Rear-View Camera InstallInstalling a rear-view backup monitor
Have you ever tried to hook up to a trailer without someone spotting for you? If you avoided scratching your paint or dinging the hitch, consider yourself a talented estimator of distance. For the rest of us, though, a rear-view camera can make this task and others much easier.
In recent years, proximity sensors that beep when you back up too close to an obstacle have become a popular factory option on SUVs and other large vehicles. Problem is, the device doesn't tell you what's back there, and only some indicate just how close you are to hitting something or, even worse, someone. A rear-view camera is actually a better alternative. Not only does it let you see what might be blocking your rearward path, but also can serve as a security measure for spotting intruders lurking behind your vehicle and a safety measure to help avoid hitting a child or animal.
In some cases the rear-view camera is mounted at the top edge of the roof, so it has a bird's eye view of any objects behind the rear bumper. On this particular vehicle, though, the owner didn't want to drill into the sheetmetal, so we opted for putting Hind Sight color CCD bullet-type camera in the plastic bumper cover. Actually, you can install the camera in just about any location you wish, and use the angled controller rings to aim it in the desired direction. (In fact, we once saw an owner of a sport compact who had eight-yes, eight-cameras installed at various locations, with a spit-screen setup on a large monitor.
You probably don't need anything that elaborate (or voyeuristic) on your truck or SUV, however. The housing for the 3.5-inch screen included with Vizualogic's Hind Sight Backup Monitor System fits right over the support for the rear-view mirror within easy sight of the driver without impeding forward visibility. We should note that the monitor required a bit of adjustment when fitting it into the plastic housing. You may need to elongate or widen the screw holes with a drill bit or reamer, but not so much that they are bigger than the washers for screws.
Normally the camera comes on when the gearshift lever is in reverse (by linking the system to the wiring backup lights), but the vehicle's owner requested a manual override switch as well (not a bad idea for the security aspect already mentioned). That step required drilling a hole in the dash for the switch (not included, but readily available at most electronics supply stores). We also had to install a diode in the wiring harness to prevent the manual switch from activating the circuit for the backup lights. The diode is a small, in-line electrical component that acts like a check valve for current, keeping it from flowing in more than one direction.
The professional installer also recommended zip-tying the conduit about every six inches so it stays secure, and also scraping paint off the metal where the system is grounded. Once it's properly installed and you're able to spot things behind you, you'll probably wonder how you ever survived without it.
Hind Sight Backup Monitor System, 1493 Bentley Drive, Corona, CA 92879, 800/624-7960, www.vizualogic.com
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