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.

June 2017 3D Prints

Lots of good prints this month.  I have got the new printer pretty well figured out and have ventured out into new materials and longer prints.  First up is a cool blade guard I made.  I picked up this nice boning knife for bbq goodness.  It is crazy sharp but came with no guard.  I printed a two piece guard with magnets set into the one half.  The two bits glue together.  It keeps the edge and my fingers safe and fits snuggly.

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Porch Cup Holder

I have some Adirondack chairs on the back porch.  They are reasonably comfortable, but have a distinct lack of cup holders.  I fashioned some a while back out of wood, but the sizing was all wrong.  These are perfect.  They hold coffee cups, large tumblers and small glasses alike.  The RTIC’s blue handle was printed back in September and is still alive after daily use.  Thingiverse Link


Thermocouple Kickstand

I got a cheap thermocouple reader for reasons beyond my obsession with measurements… I swear.  It works well, but didn’t come with a kickstand.  I am used to all my multimeters having some way to sit themselves upright.  This one clips together, then slides on snugly.  It doesn’t add too much bulk and stands steady.


PETG

I have a few high temperature projects, so it is time to venture beyond the safety of PLA.  It is a great material to print with, but loses strength quickly when things get hot.  Enter PETG.  It is higher temp and strength like ABS, but less toxic, and lower warping.  One of my firsts was the Franken-Cooler.  Not without issue, but largely a success.

Next I made a small clip to keep the USB cables in my car in order.  They always get pinched in the lid when I close my center console.  This will keep them in the pass through.  Simple but effective.  I needed the higher temp material because cars get hot in Florida.

I made some mods to the camera setup on my prusa.  Someone made a decent set of parts to attach a common webcam to the Y stage.  The only problem is their main bracket was a bit loose.  I started with PLA because that was all I had.  It sits up against the underside of the heated bed.  If I need higher bed temps the part could fail.  I designed a lighter tighter fitting version with speed holes to help cord wrangling.  The PETG part will not fail due to excessive bed heating.

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While I was at it I found a lens adapter that could replace the original webcam lens with a very wide angle one.

The new lens give a much better view of the print bed.  I can see the whole thing instead of just the middle third.

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Finally I can take time lapse videos that don’t look terrible.  Behold the birth of a baby groot.