Wireless Backup Camera

I stuck an empire logo on my suburban and jokingly named it the stormtrooper.  It has the right color scheme, and I hoped the name would mean it couldn’t hit anything.  That didn’t work, and it backed into a neighbor’s car.  Nothing serious, but a backup camera would have been useful.  Here is one now!

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Finding a spot on the suburban that would let me see well, but not get broken off the first time I loaded up lumber was a little tricky.  This spot doesn’t give the best view but should be out of the way.

The unit I got was wireless.  I just needed power for the in-cab unit, and to tie into the reverse lights for the camera assembly.  I pulled the tail light off and found a lot of wires.  The green is positive for the backup light, the black wires are all common grounds, and that brown wire looks a lot like a black wire if you are too excited and cut before you should.  I used heat shrink solder connectors.  They self seal and make a nice slim connection.  I added tape to each as an extra layer of protection.

I snaked my own wire down into the bumper area before the kit arrived and it turns out they gave you 10 miles of wire to deal with.  I wrapped up the transmitter and extra wires with a lot of zip ties and stuck it in the cleanest secure spot I could find.

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I don’t know how long it will take for water to get into these electronics and ruin the whole setup, but considering the vehicle is 17 years old, a lot of other things will break down first.


Back in the cab you just need to plug the screen in to 12V power.  It will come on when you go into reverse.  Hey presto, it works!

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Now I need to find a spot to stick it and hide the 12 miles of power cable.  The kit came with a suction cup bracket that was supposed to go on your dash.  Mine is so high that anything on it would obstruct vision.  Instead I printed a wedge shape to go between this blank spot next to the environmental controls.  It angles the screen towards the driver by 10 degrees.

3M’s VHB tape will make anything attach to just about anything else.  It is expensive, but good stuff.  A layer on either side of my PETG (should survive the high heat of Florida’s summer) wedge fixed the screen in place.

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I was able to stuff most of the extra cables in a pull out ash tray below the screen.  Everything looks tidy if decidedly out of place.

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