Ultimate Backup Camera - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-10-2017, 07:03 PM   #1
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Ultimate Backup Camera

I've had several backup cameras and they work to a degree but they don't do one job that I'd like a camera to do. That's show what type of vehicle is back aways. The images of vehicles catching up to me aren't clear enough to tell me whether I should be speeding up or slowing down.

So I had this nice old mini 8 camera that was a great camera in its' day. It had been replaced by newer models. But then one day, a person who shall remain unnamed, dropped it on a concrete floor. Poor camera. It had a shattered screen and the whole cassette loading assembly wouldn't retract and the side door wouldn't close.

It sat around for quite a while and then I got the idea that maybe I could salvage the guts and make it work as a backup camera. After all, it has a high quality lens and up to 800X zoom , not that it'd need anywhere near that much zoom.

So I did some surgery on it, removed parts and got the side door closed. After all that it still powered up. I want it to turn on and off from the switch in the truck. If I'd left the battery on it it wouldn't have shut until the battery died. So I attached a DC-DC converter onto it so it'll run from the truck voltage controlled by the switch in the cab. Works just fine. I was worried that there might be a transient voltage spike that might damage it but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

I'm making a waterproof box for it for the trailer bumper.

These are my first comparison tests today.

At 70' the small car is already small from the standard camera. The Sony image shows more detail.

At 150' the small car is almost invisible. The Sony image shows the car quite clearly. That's only a moderate amount of zoom. I can play with that once it's installed on the trailer.

So far, so good.

Ron
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:10 PM   #2
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Distance is 150'

Ron
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:17 AM   #3
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OK Ron, you got me. So you duct tape the Sony to your back bumper. Can do. I got a couple old video cameras collecting dust in the closet myself.

So...I'll bite... then you run them wires (huh? -- totally lost me here--) under the trailer to the tow bumper, and then what?? How, again, does it's image of approaching vehicles appear on your dashboard? Are we talking wireless? (But how is this possible in your 1986 Ford Ranger?)

Feeling a totally alternative in-transit-voltage spike of my own here.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
OK Ron, you got me. So you duct tape the Sony to your back bumper. Can do. I got a couple old video cameras collecting dust in the closet myself.

So...I'll bite... then you run them wires (huh? -- totally lost me here--) under the trailer to the tow bumper, and then what?? How, again, does it's image of approaching vehicles appear on your dashboard? Are we talking wireless? (But how is this possible in your 1986 Ford Ranger?)

Feeling a totally alternative in-transit-voltage spike of my own here.
Ah Myron, you're a hoot, "duct tape", "86 Ford Ranger", "transient voltage spike"


I've made a little box to protect the camera with a plexiglass window for the lens. It'll attach with metal straps to the bumper. I like duct tape but....

86 Ranger The last time I tried towing with a 4 cylinder Ranger over high passes it didn't go so well. My, last of the Rangers, 2010 V-6 does much better.

I like my cameras hard wired. One of the first mods I did was to run wires and video cable to the rear of the trailer. My monitor in the truck has a switchable input. I can select the camera on the back of the truck or switch to the trailer camera. The existing camera on the trailer just doesn't show enough detail for me, especially in CA when I'm always doing a bit more than 55 . It'll stay in place and I will be able to switch to it if this one doesn't work out.

Since there's no one on CB anymore to tell me that there's a Smokie at my back door I have to do it myself.

Ron
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:44 PM   #5
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Ah, think I'm getting a clearer picture now Ron. So -- my truck has a tailgate camera and guessing I can tap into that line with a connecting linkage to a cable on the trailer tongue that runs to the rear trailer where I can hook into my video camera. That now leaves me with figuring out how to switch my Silverado dashboard screen between the two video feeds. Probably impossible.

Then there's the issue of making the camera work, getting power to the camera, etc etc. Got to stop now, and rest. Brain is hurting. Got to go out and tackle something more simple, like fiddling with the fridge.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:14 PM   #6
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OK, out to Hope and back this weekend, about a couple of hundred miles. With all due humility and modesty I pronounce this experiment an unqualified success.

I set it for very minimal zoom. Perfect and the clarity was perfect. It's way better than either of the two trailer cameras that I've used.

So, if you have an old bashed up video camera that's not being used for its' original purpose, they do make an excellent rear view camera.

Ron
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:27 PM   #7
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Don't cross the border with that thing. The border patrol may think you are carrying a car bomb.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:46 PM   #8
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Yikes, maybe if they find my timer module for my alarm they'll think that the whole trailer is one big bomb.

Ron
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:43 PM   #9
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OK, Pops, how much? Damn the border patrol, I want one.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:22 PM   #10
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That would make a good rear view camera. If you ever want to try it basically you have to determine what voltage it runs on. So you just look at the label for the charger or the battery voltage.

In my case I needed 8 volts. The little module is a DC-DC converter so it drops the power from the truck down to 8 volts. It's only a few bucks.

I don't really understand why the video camera lens gives a much more realistic image as the distance increases. Maybe you photographers know, depth of field?

Ron
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