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Reverse camera wiring

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11 minutes ago, Tim-Ci said:

You could always try temporarily running a thicker wire to the fusebox. The camera's onlydraw a minute current, approx. 0.1 amps, so I would have thought a thin cable should be okay. A thin cable might get a higher voltage drop though compared to a thick one. My camera got upset with the voltage supply to it when I wired it to the rear sidelights.

Another thing it could be is the connector on the back of the unit for the reverse camera video feed. They can be very weak. The connector for the aux. audio input on mine had a loose pin inside so the audio would drop out on one side. Never pull on the wires when you disconnect those plugs! I had a spare connector in the box for one of the accessory leads, that fitted in the audio port with a bit of trimming, so I soldered that plug on to replace the damaged one.

If you give the connector and wiring for the reverse camera a wiggle it might come to life.

Also one of my rear USB ports stopped working, a wire had snapped just by the connector, probably due to me pulling on the wires when disconnecting it. I managed to repair that with solder and insulation tape.

 

Thanks for reply Tim.

Would a wire like this one suffice? http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-3202mm-stranded-copper-awg-3232-6-amp-equipment-wire-black-xr32k

 

I have a feeling that it's the connector at the back of the headunit that can be at fault as you have mentioned. I have tried wiggling the wires/connector with no joy. I even tried having the accessories connector half-way in etc. If that's the case, would I have to open up the unit to investigate? My knowledge is quite limited when it comes to wiring and electricals 

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No worries...

On mine I had to kind of push the wires into the plug and push the plug into the unit, to make the connection, when the plug was damaged.

Despite the picture, that Maplin wire is really thin. I would go for something with at least 0.5mm wire diameter. A piece of speaker cable or mains cable you might have lying around would probably do it - even if you just have to cobble something together made of slightly thicker wire just to see if it makes any difference.

When I say the connectors are weak, I really mean the plugs that fit into the back. From that I remember, the phyiscal ports on the back are reasonably strong, so there should be no need to open the unit up. Some of the manufacturers are quite good at support, for example they might sell you a new plug for a few pounds - there are a few bundled together on mine with a cable ties, but I think the reverse-in is just a small part of the loom.

If you had a multimeter you could try measuring the resistance between say the (1) inner part of the female plug for the reverse-in (the one you connect the RCA cable to) and the pin that it corresponds to on the rectangular plug that fits into the unit, then do the same for (2) the outer part of the female plug and the pin that it connects to on the rectangular plug. You might have to insert  a couple of strands of wire into the rectangular plug as I doubt a multimeter probe would fit down the small holes in it. Ideally there would be less than 0.5 ohms resistance, if you can't get any reading the wiring or the plug might be damaged.

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I just had a thought, why don't you plug the camera's RCA cable into the AV-In port, then put the head unit in AV-In mode. After this then try putting the car into reverse and out of it. If you're lucky you might briefly be able to see a picture coming through the AV-In when the camera powers up before the head unit switches to the reverse video input.

If no joy there, connect the camera's positive feed wire to the red or yellow live wires on the back of the stereo (temporarily) to make sure the camera has power all the time, then try the AV-In mode again.

If you see a picture then it's almost definitely the reverse-in video cable that's faulty on the head unit.

Oh, and if you end up taking the stereo out anything like as many times as I have, you might need to buy some of these as they get a bit worn out each time you remove the dash trims: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-E46-3-E65-7-Series-X3-E85-DASHBOARD-DASH-TRIM-STRIP-INSERTS-CLIPS-GROMMETS-/171200062485?fits=Car+Make%3ABMW&hash=item27dc51a415:g:2nwAAOxy4dNStZcZ

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by Tim-Ci

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Also make sure that your pink reverse trigger cable between the main loom and the canbus box is disconnected. The source of the false reverse triggers is the can bus box. If you have the canbus reverse disconnected, a live from the reverse circuit (either from the reverse light itself or one of the three feeds behind the fusebox) will trigger the reverse instead. 

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Good thinking donttpanic. I suppose it might make sense to just try connecting the camera +12v feed to the permanent or switched lives (red, yellow wires), and the RCA plug into the AV-In socket, then selecting AV-In mode, in that case.

I've also tried the Deep OBD app. out today, got the ECU files downloaded, but other than scanning for errors, I can't make it display any data. I am worn out after playing on the Eonon for a few hours, so will have another go soon. I did manage to get Kodi setup on it so I can stream live Freeview TV from my windows media center PC to the car using Wifi (and the DVBLink streamer software), which is quite neat. I'll probably not use it much but it's nice to play about with it (I've got the TV tuner box wired to the Eonon, but outside my house is a narrow alley where the signal is a bit choppy).

Edited by Tim-Ci

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Thank you for the tips Tim and dontpanic. 

I found an easier way to diagnose this. 

 

 

I have a friend of mine with the same unit. So I installed his into my car and voila the camera worked straight away as soon as I put it in reverse. This is all using my existing wiring. 

So I'm guessing my head unit is at fault then? Other than having to get it replaced what are my options?

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If it is your unit then you could wire the camera to the switched live in the stereo loom (yellow or red wire, I always forget which, the one that has no power with the key out of the ignition), so it's always turned on and sending a signal when the stereo is on, then connect the video feed to the AV-In input on the back. Then you'd need to press the AV-In icon when you wanted the camera feed on the screen. You could put an icon to it on the home screen if there isn't one there already, or maybe even map it to the navigation button if your unit has one - it might be an option in settings or an app on the unit on yours, I can programme my 'navi' button using both methods.

It might mean you lose your music when you switch to AV-In to see the camera though, and have to open the radio or music player again afterwards.

I can't only assume something has gone bad inside the unit. The workaround above is nowhere near as handy as having it working properly. Perhaps you could remove the case top and see if there's anything obviously amiss at the back of the connector the reverse-in cable plugs into, as you suggested earlier, like a loose metal pin on the back of the connector.

These units can be such a nuisance when they're not working properly, I've spent tens of hours faffing about with mine to get it stable and get all the features working properly. I hope the more modern ones are a bit more robust as I love having all the possibilities Android opens up and would like to get a faster, newer one in future.

Edited by Tim-Ci

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Thanks Tim, I think I will just go ahead and sell this unit and buy a new one. I've wasted too much time trying to sort this out lol

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Fair enough, I think there are some ones with an octa-core processor now, and ones with Intel processors. I think these are the next generation of units that are faster in use, and some have a boot time of less than 10 seconds, compared to about 30 seconds for the older quad core Rockchip ones.

I might be tempted to replace mine in a year or two with one of those newer types, preferably one with some of the bugs ironed out - things like, FM quality, overall sound quality, external microphone working out of the box, wifi not dropping out (not common but mine does it).

Yes these units can be frustrating but I'm pretty happy with mine now.

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@dontpannic  Wanted to pick your brain for another question. I previously installed a Kenwood CMOS-230 Backup Camera into my E46, where I wired the reverse trigger wire from my Sony radio to my 12v reverse lights, but also wired the red wire from the camera to the 12v reverse lights. The camera works great when I put it in reverse, but if I'm doing a multi-point turn (reverse, drive, reverse) the camera turns off when I switch from reverse to drive b/c the power is cut since camera is tied to the reverse power. I've noticed that for my newer VW with a factory back up camera, when I switch from reverse to drive and back to reverse, the camera stays on the screen for the entire duration. Would it be possible to wire my E46 like this? I figured I would still wire the trigger wire to the reverse lights, but then wire the red wire from the camera to something else? I also figured it wouldn't be a good idea for the camera to always be on, right? 

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@Valletta18 Yep - it's just a case of finding a 12V ignition switched feed somewhere near the reverse light. Im actually thinking about doing this shortly on my Touring as my new headunit gives me the capability of looking at the reverse camera at any time, but it doesn't work when I'm not in reverse.

 

As for the camera being constantly on, I'm not sure. I have a dashcam that's on all the time and that seems fine, so I think it should be OK to stay on.

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