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Ok, ok, so this got started in another thread, and I think it deserves its own =)

It got started as a joke in another thread, but I had actually been thinking about it, and I had put together a little plan already (due to my need for a reverse camera, as I can't see anything shorter than 5' standing behind me [kids] when backing up).

So, here's my simple and dirt cheap 2-camera rock/backup camera system idea:

1x Mirror LCD monitor w/ waterproof backup camera ($99): http://www.electrawarehouse.com/productDetailsByName.php?name=Pyle PLCM6000

1x 640x480 color CMOS camera, ready to run ($32): http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8739

1x small waterproof, clear-lid plastic enclosure ($2-$5): still sourcing, will head down to my shop tomorrow and see what parts they have that will suffice. Hammond has something appropriate I'm sure.

Some wire, an RCA male plug (for the CMOS camera)

Install the mirror (when it comes in, I'll see about removing the clips, and using the standard mirror mount instead of clipping on existing mirror), install the back-up camera like normal, and put the CMOS camera in the enclosure, running wires and sealing hole for wires.

Mount the CMOS camera somewhere underneath, and up-front where it has an appropriate view of what's coming up, but is fairly protected. (If you hit the camera, you'll probably hit something more expensive. =)


Any thoughts? What are your plans?

!c
 

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So this is back-up right, not under-carriage? The only problem I see with the plastic case is the fact that it will get dirty easy and once you start wiping it, it will scratch...
 

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what about peel off/tear away things like NASCAR windshields? aka a stack of seran wrap?

Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So this is back-up right, not under-carriage? The only problem I see with the plastic case is the fact that it will get dirty easy and once you start wiping it, it will scratch...
Well, one would be back-up (for me, since I don't have a rear bumper, it would be attached to the frame somewhere), and the CMOS camera would be mounted under-carriage, up-front to help prevent me from crashing tie-rod/steering stabilizer into a rock/getting high-centered when cresting a hill like this past weekend. The back-up camera comes with the mirror monitor.

The backup would give me a reasonable FOV for looking at what's behind me, and the forward, under-carriage would show what's coming up. Not complete coverage, but better than nothing.

The tops on these cases I'm talking about are polycarbonate. They will scratch, but not as easily as some of the plastics out there. I think they're cheap enough (< $5) to buy a few spares.

Normally, I'd say scratches shouldn't be an issue with the proximity to the lens, but I don't know yet if they have an actual lens or are pinhole. I'm leaning towards a lens, as the datasheet seems to indicate it has one, and I'm fairly certain the aperture should be wide enough to not be able to focus within a few inches of it, largely eliminating anything but the worst of scratches.

!c
 

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We had talked about this before I think, another idea was using wireless camera's and switching them by turning the power on or off for each camera.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We had talked about this before I think, another idea was using wireless camera's and switching them by turning the power on or off for each camera.
That would totally work too. I wonder though, if wireless camera up near the front would experience interference from the engine? (No clue, just wondering =)

!c
 

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That would totally work too. I wonder though, if wireless camera up near the front would experience interference from the engine? (No clue, just wondering =)

!c
I'm gonna find out one of these days, haha. Someone will probably beat me to it. Basically boils down to how cheap it can be done and actually be usable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh yeah, and to further drive home the point - I nearly crunched a car pulling out of the store on my way home today. People really have gotta stay off my ass =)

!c
 

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I had this same idea. I bought a cheepy B&W two camera system with monitor for $70 bucks. It comes with a 12v 4" monitor that you can set to monitor one camera at time or set it to toggle between cameras at various rates. To protect the cameras I bought some of those inexpensive flashlights (2 for $5 at Wallyworld). Started to put it all together, but never could find a convienient place to mount the monitor. I have my CB mounted on top of the dash-ette. I'll play with it some more (heh heh you said 'play with it' heh-heh) and see if I can put it all together.
 

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3d glasses?

You will find that using video cameras as spotting aids isn't all that helpful.
The problem is that video is two dimensional and lighting and shadows don't cooperate to give you an accurate sense of the obstacles in your path. You will probably enjoy the installation and experimentation however!
 

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I worked in car audio and custom installation for a few years. Those cheap cameras are like anything else, you pay for what you get. You can protect them all you want but I never had one last more than 6 months (even on RV's that are on-road and used less than a DD.

The cheapest I have found a camera that had a decent longevity was around the $120 range (without the IR night vision).

If the video screen works for you though you can get an electronic video switcher for cheap, between 20-50 bucks. Than you can just switch between what you want to see. While your at it why not just hook up a DVD player, PS3, and a TV Tuner too :thefinger:

Just an FYI, I put almost 30 TV's in a Denali once upon a time. Even had a 2.5" LCD in the gas cap door. :smokin:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah, I figure it probably isn't going to be the bee's knees or anything like that, mostly just a fun project to say "you did it." lol.

For a real understanding of the topology in front of you, a few ultra-sonic sensors mounted in the bumper could easily be coerced into generating mapping data via a simple uC. The hard part then is generating the video on the cheap. I can generate simple video down RCA (think colored blocks and bars) for less than a hundred bucks, but for a real, effective mapping solution, would have to move to the more expensive propeller boards. Too many active projects right now to even get started on something like that.

As for TV on the trail? If I wanted to watch TV, I'd stay at home! :D:thefinger:

!c
 

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I have a reverse camera attached to mygig and it works great. i do have to clean it when I wheel or when it rains.



I'm planning on putting another camera up front under the front bumper so i can see what i'm driving over. Ijust need to find a good location where the camera will not get crusher by rocks and still be usable.
 

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JKdrone said:
getting high-centered when cresting a hill like this past weekend.
Just get more lift :thefinger:
 
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