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Old 11-21-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
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DIY backup camera?

I've got some old security cameras and a Sony lipstick cam. All seem to run on 12v, and have BNC and/or RCA connectors. I've attached them to an older camcorder at times, but I don't use any of it any more. And I have lots of cable.

I was wondering if I could make a cowboy backup cam out of it. I'd need some sort of screen; do the 7" monitors you see in cars just have a power connection and some video input? And if so, what are they?


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Old 11-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: DIY backup camera?

Assuming your cameras are 12v and output standard video signal, you should be able to use them. Commonly you either wire the camera's power lead to the backup lights, or wire it directly to a always hot (switched or unswitched with ignition) power source. In either case, simply run the video feed to whatever monitor you have. Most modern flat-screen stereo headunits have provision for backup cameras.

I ran my video using coax cable I had laying around. I terminated the ends with F connectors and then used F-to-RCA connectors to attach to the camera and the monitor. The coax was really easy to pull through the van cabinets and whatnot, and I only had to drill small holes vs. trying to route a cable that already had RCA plugs on each end.

I wired my camera to the backup lights, but if I had to do it again I'd have the power always on whenever the van is on, so I could toggle my monitor to see out the back even if I'm not in reverse (to check the bikes on the rear rack, etc.). The only issue I see with this is that I guess the camera might burn out faster, since it will always be on and transmitting, vs. only on intermittently when in reverse.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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Re: DIY backup camera?

I have 4 unused monitors on the back of the seats in my van. I'd be happy to pull one and send it to you if you can't find anything suitably cheap (read free). I can check the inputs but if I remember correctly they are just RCA.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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DIY backup camera?

I recommend the constant hot or switched camera as well instead of just reverse. I use mine constantly to check on things and to see what's behind me on the highway. I don't know if it burning out would be a worry unless your van is a daily driver. It would still be worth it to me though even so.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Re: DIY backup camera?

Keep in mind that backup cameras need to reverse the image...
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