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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to get some feedback on my project

This is a rather cheap project. If the results turn out well, I'll swap in some nicer equipement and possibly add a front bumber camera to record some unique driving footage. I picked up 2 5" portable PS1 LCD screens at KBToys for $30 and a miniture wireless camera for $50.

I'm still deciding where I want to install the screens but am trying to make some new sun-visors and fit them in there. The screen is 5/8th" thick but there was quite a bit more circuit boards inside than I expected. I'm currently chopping down that stuff (started with 6, now its 4, 2 more that arent going to be alot of work to replace, and 1 thats alittle tricky).

Actually as I was writing this, the camera came in. Dicked around with it for 5 minutes on the lcd, VERY IMPRESSED. And its eerily small. Only thing to decide is where to mount it, need to check the logistics of installing it inside the bumber.

I'll keep you guys updated.

~Tj
 

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I'm not sure if you're just letting us know, or if you're asking for help/ideas with this... but in either case, I know CWTIII has done something similar with his RV mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
you know what, I got so distracted with playing with the camera when it came in, that I lost track.

My father just got a acura MDX and it had one of these camera systems, and I know that was a very pricy option. So when I saw the opprotunity to add the same to my car for next to nothing, I couldnt resist. Basically, I'm doing it to show up my dad that I made the same feature at a fraction of the price he payed.

There are 2 issues I could use some feedback on.
1. electricity, I'm very well versed on circuit theory but a car electronics virgin. I was hoping I could tap into the wires for the interior light. Is that line 12V? If so I'm golden.

2. How to mount the camera. It would sort of defeat the idea to have it looking through the rear hatch. I pretty handy at fabbing enclosures and waterproofing things. I'd like it to sit inside the bumber next to the liscense plate. I've never pulled off my bumber so I really dont know what to expect, anyone have some advice?

~Tj
 

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There are 2 issues I could use some feedback on.
1. electricity, I'm very well versed on circuit theory but a car electronics virgin. I was hoping I could tap into the wires for the interior light. Is that line 12V? If so I'm golden.
Yes, the line is 12V. But do NOT tap into an existing wire to power a screen. Screens draw serious power to light up the backlighting, and therefore should have dedicated, fused power lines.

2. How to mount the camera. It would sort of defeat the idea to have it looking through the rear hatch. I pretty handy at fabbing enclosures and waterproofing things. I'd like it to sit inside the bumber next to the liscense plate. I've never pulled off my bumber so I really dont know what to expect, anyone have some advice?
Mounting into the bumper is normally where I put them, unless its an SUV. My only concern is did you buy a waterproof camera, or are you planning on making a waterproof casing? If you're making a casing, you might have issues because a lot of "cheaper" cameras won't work worth dick through glass/plexi because of reflections from the lens and casing.

Did you get an IR cam? I usually purchase all my spare electronics parts from www.eio.com -- they have everything from screens to cameras, to lasers, if you know how to use them. ;)

E1
 

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Another member here drilled a hole in the center of the Mercury emblem and mounted the camera there. Unless you are looking for it, you couldn't really notice that it was there. A few things to think about for the rear camera though...

1) Screen location: If you are replacing your rear view mirror with the camera and mount the screen in the visor you would have to have the visor down all the time. Maybe it is just me, but that would get annoying really quick!

2) Camera: How are you going to mirror the signal that the camera puts on the screen? If you just hook it up regular, the image on the screen wont be reversed like a regular mirror. Thigs that are supposed to be on the left would be on the right - and vise versa...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
lol, I never thought that the image wouldnt be reversed like the mirror, thanks for the heads up.

I'm not planning on removing the rear view mirror. Its pretty much a novelty item. I live in the city so parrallel parking is an every day thing and its at a premium. It'd be nice to know exactly how many inches I have. I have a few other projects in the works that'll use the LCD's so I'm doing the camera in the mean time so I have something to plug them into for now.

Ya, I didnt think too much of the ampage of the screens until you mentioned it. I'll have to measure it after I have the boards stripped down but it looks like they will draw about 1-1.25 amps each, so seperate wiring wouldnt be a bad idea.

The camera isnt waterproof, I'd be making an enclosure, I will test to see if there is any distortion through lexan but I think I'll be OK. I thought about drilling through the O on the emblem, but I'm hesitant about trying that. The camera is FM, and its signal is strong enough that I'm not going to have any problems there.

heres some pics of what I'm working with



 

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This is looking awesome. You said you got two 5' ps1 lcds for 30 bucks?!?! that is awesome, i wish I could find them that cheap
 

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Here are a few pics of my current rear-view camera/screen set-up...









BTW...The screen I am using is capable of "flipping" the image from right to left...I don't know if the ones you purchased can perform that function, but I remember the very first day I installed my system I had forgotten to do it...FREAKED me out while driving! Hehe!

;)

~CIII
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for the photos, thats pretty bad ass. I somehow thought that I would be the first to do this.
 

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A trick spot to mount a rear camera is the key hole on the passenger taillight, I think it will look real sleek and no one will be able to tell you have a cam. Once I get my TV's I will be doing this mod. Im pretty sure its not that hard to do once you remove the key cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
NOW THATS AN IDEA. I can honestly say, I have never keyed my trunk open. I'd have to get it mounted at like a 1degree angle to compensate from the offcenter location. I'll have to scrounge around my surplus parts at home, but ZEX got me thinking. For some odd reason, we have a large assortment of prisms at home (from tanks, dont ask, some family member old job). I could mount the camera sideways and reflect it off the prism to reverse the image, that would also solve the problem of protecting the lens from weather.

If anyone else is looking into this project, heres a link to buy the camera (should be for sale for another week or so, use the coupon bensbargains for another 5 off)
http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=203C-50MW-N

~Tj
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Originally posted by: mercurycougar
This is looking awesome. You said you got two 5' ps1 lcds for 30 bucks?!?! that is awesome, i wish I could find them that cheap

Well there was alittle trick to it (but I got really lucky because they went on sale for 30). When it arrived, the screen was all messed up, it looked like someone pored acid on it. Now the instructions in the order slip had a sticker to slap on the box to reship it if it was defective. But instead I decided to call them up (this is KBToys by the way), they do not list their customer service number so here it is 1-877-452-5437. You can call them up and tell them the screen is broken or something (or skip this step and just email). And they will give you this email [email protected] and to use include your order number and part number in the subject and to write "defective, please reship" in the body. You'll get an email back in about a half hour with a new order number and instructions to dispose of the defective unit "however you see fit".

(The reason this works is because they filed for bankruptsy so they just want to liquidate inventory) My screen was easily fixed in 5 minutes by opening it up and peeling off the antiglare film on the LCD. But you may want to try this yourself, the worst that can happen is that they want the defective shipped back (and you return it to the store for a refund only down the shipping costs). You may end up with 2 screens for the price of one.

this screen looks pretty sweet
http://www.kbtoys.com/genProduct.html/PID/1840639/ctid/19/INstock/Y/D//ls/default
 
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