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Front parking-camera project

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by GregP507, May 27, 2014.

  1. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I've done a bit of research and located a wiring harness which will allow me to enable a new video input for the LCD display on the head unit of my PIP. I destroyed the front spoiler on my previous car because it was impossible to avoid hitting parking blocks which were higher than the spoiler. I'm looking for a front video camera which I can mount discretely under the front bumper, which will give me a clear view of obstacles in front of the spoiler. I should be able to select the auxiliary input from the main menu once it's installed, and see what's going on in front of the car.

    I'm interested to know if anyone else has attempted to do this.
     
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  2. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

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    I considered it, but then decided to go with the ultrasonic parking sensor kits that beep faster as you get nearer to an object.
    You can get them on Amazon/Ebay for under $20 now... and they even include the hole-saw for the sensors to install them into the front spoiler/lip.

    You'll also need a switch to power the parking sensor on/off as you won't need it on all the time.
     
  3. KennyGS

    KennyGS Senior Member

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    I've learned to guess and maintain a safe distance, or just back in when possible.

    Although interesting, I feel like there's enough elctronic gadgets in my Prius.
     
  4. PriusC_Commuter

    PriusC_Commuter Active Member

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    There can never be enough electronic gadgets in our cars :p
     
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  5. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I'm willing to bet you also have a four-plex lighter socket array like I do. :)
     
  6. Michael33

    Michael33 Member

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    The 'Around View' camera system found as an option on the Leaf and some other cars is fantastic. I use mine to park 95% of the time. The rear-view camera on my housemate's PIP, however, is TERRIBLE. Really low-resolution. I don't know if it's the camera or the screen, but it sure needs improvement.
     
  7. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    The 4- way cameras on Nissan products inspired this idea.
     
  8. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I suspect that the bean-counters made the decision to go low-res, even though there's no sound technical reason to do so.
     
  9. Michael33

    Michael33 Member

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    So this site now pops up ads in front of us based on what we write? Screw that.
     
  10. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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  11. Mainer

    Mainer Mainer

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  12. Mainer

    Mainer Mainer

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    Sounds like you have developed a much needed parking system. I am interested in doing a front parking device also.
    I purchased a 2014 four and found that is much harder to park than my '05 was. My wife is very afraid she will damage the front end. Could you please list the components and purchase locations and any additional installation help?
    I am sure there are others that also need any info that you could furnish.
    TIA
    mainer
     
  13. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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  14. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Got it working. Now I have a good front view what's directly in front of my car. I still need a proper switch to power the camera. For now, I have it wired to a lighter-socket plug. All I have to do is put the head unit into "VTR" mode, power up the camera, and tap the parking brake pedal a little.

    It's not so onerous as it sounds; it works quite well. I'd rather touch the parking brake pedal than buy the $200+ bypass module that over-rides the lockout which requires the parking brake to be engaged before you can view external video on the head unit screen.

    I was a little worried that slow forward motion might disable the video, but it stays on when I'm rolling the car forward, with light pressure on the parking brake pedal. Now I can park without fear of breaking my front spoiler. Cost me $200 to get the last one fixed.
     
  15. lensovet

    lensovet former BP Brigade 207

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    can you go into a bit more detail about how you did this?
    personally very interested in something like this for tight parking situations
     
  16. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    I'd rather go with something like this:

    Front parking sensor, no holes

    No holes in the bumper/spoiler, no changing modes on the MFD, etc.

    SCH-I535
     
  17. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    As long as you stay under 5mph, you can use the TVR function. I am making a 6 camera + Aux input semi auto switcher circuit for my parents' cargo van. The switching consist of 2 ON-OFF-ON switches that I'll be adding to the dash. The circuit also takes turn signal input as well. Cameras and aux in can be activated at any speed in traveling forward or reverse.

    Sw1
    ON-Direct front camera on, even when in reverse, can view 10:00-2:00 directly in front of the car pending on camera. While in this position, when left turn signal is activated, view switch to front driver side view, can display 9:00-1:00 view. when right turn signal is activated, view switch to front passenger side view, can display 11:00-3:00 view. This is perfect for curb parking of either side. Sw2 is deactivated at this position.
    OFF-Camera switcher is completely off. Normal stock operation. All cameras and Aux-In are deactivated except for the rear camera and it's only activated when in reverse. Sw2 is deactivated at this position.
    ON-This position solely activates Sw2
    Sw2
    ON-Rear camera activated while driving forward. Direct view of rear, can view 4:00-8:00 view pending on camera. While in this position, when left turn signal is activated, view switch to rear driver side view, can display 5:00-9:00 view, perfect for showing blind spots. when right turn signal is activated, view switch to rear passenger side view, can display 3:00-7:00 view, perfect for showing blind spots.
    OFF-Rear camera normal operation. turn signals are still activated to display blind spots.
    ON-Aux-In. All cameras are deactivated.

    The circuit is a switcher, not a video processor. It displays images as it is from the camera so image may be mirrored pending on camera. Side cameras should be mounted under the side view mirrors. 1 facing forward, 1 facing back of left and right. I believe my switcher will give the driver complete 360 degree view of the vehicle and should work with any rear camera system, stock or aftermarket. Unfortunately it is not for sale. I have had this design in mind since 1994 but never actually built it. Now that I'm having my mods made on PCB, I have designed my video switcher on PCB as well.
     
  18. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I've described all the components earlier in this thread. I got a small camera mounted in a rubber housing, that rotates in the socket like an eyeball, very easy to adjust any time. I needed a special harness from Japan to allow external video inputs to the PiP head unit display.

    Originally, I wanted to power the camera from the driving lights, but I found it easier to run the power wires through the firewall along with the video cable. it's very hard to get at the main grommet, so I taped a sharp knife to a stick, and cut a slit in the grommet. It was still very hard to push the wires through, so I taped then to a stick. Still no luck, so I taped a cap from a Bic pen in the end, which still didn't go through. Then I sprayed a shot of WD-40 on the rubber, and it went through. I pushed it all the way, until I could see it on the floor-mat.

    So far, I've connected temporary power wires for the camera, but I plan to find the right switch to fit in the square hole next to the steering wheel. As I said before, the system prevents you viewing video unless the parking brake is pressed, and the car is not traveling more than a few MPH. I have to tap the parking brake to display the video.
    FrontCamPiP.jpg
     
  19. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    I have another question:

    First some background: I've decided to mount another camera under the passenger-side mirror, in addition to the one under the front bumper. I plan to tee both composite video cables into the one composite VTR input of my head unit video display, but theoretically, only one camera at a time will be sending a video signal to the head unit, because only one will be getting power. The power will be controlled by a 2-way rocker switch. Since I couldn't find such a switch of that size with a center-off position, I will need another main power control. I plan to do this through the parking brake pedal, which needs to be slightly depressed anyway, to enable the video display on the head unit. This would be much simpler to operate than installing another power switch.

    My question is whether the power wire that turns on the parking brake light is heavy enough to run a small video camera. Since the power to the selected camera will be getting all it's power from the switch in the parking brake pedal that activates the parking brake light, I need to know if I can tap this wire, or whether I need to install a relay.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  20. ExHawkeye

    ExHawkeye Junior Member

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    If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably not anything in the code of this store, but Google Adsense (or whatever) serving ads based on the content of the page being loaded...