TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Alternative for adding backup camera to 1.5 / 2.0 Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by gregd, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. gregd

    gregd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    585
    Hi folks,

    Discussion in another thread got me poking around the Internet, and I see that there are a number of alternatives to connecting a backup camera to the in-dash unit. Some are snap-on overlays to the existing rear view mirror, some replace it, using the original on-glass mounting nub. Either way, the backup monitor is in the mirror itself, and when not backing up, it's just a regular mirror.

    Has anyone tried this approach (successfully)?

    Random examples:
    Amazon.com : I-Max 4.3 Auto Adjust Brightness Car Rear View Mirror Monitor of General Parking Assist System - Support Backup Camera Compatible : Car Electronics
    Amazon.com : AUTO-VOX Universal 4.3 inch LCD Wireless Rear View Car Monitor with Mirror Kit+ Waterproof HD Wide Angle Backup Camera : Car Electronics

    I'm thinking to save headaches in wire routing by mounting the rear camera to the under side of the center break light, inside the cabin, instead of on the rear license plate frame. It's high enough there that it can see over the side "wings", and far enough forward, so a 170 degree view will cover the side blind spots when driving normally (i.e. just leave the camera on all the time). The view down low directly behind the car would be reduced, but I think still good enough. Certainly better than no camera at all.

    While I like the idea of having the monitor in the rear view mirror - looking at the dash while backing up has never felt right to me - I wonder about the effect of the eyes needing to change focus so drastically between the monitor and mirror views.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,402
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    The disadvantage of mounting the backup camera where you describe is that it won't clearly show how close you are to low objects when backing up.
    And running the wire from the camera to the aftermarket rear view mirror looks to be awkward
    A wireless rear view camera, as described in the other thread, seems a better solution, and using large smartphone or iPad mini tablet to display the camera image will give a larger and sharper image.
     
  3. gregd

    gregd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    585
    I'm not a fan of adding another display to the already cramped space in the cabin. There's really no place to put it, which is why using the rear view mirror intrigued me. It's already space allocated for basically that same purpose, just not high-enough tech to pull it off.

    I should probably study the past threads on adding the camera to the rear plate area, so see how the wiring is done. My impression from when I read it earlier was that it wasn't a fun project...

    Does anyone know if the rear mirror detaches from the window by simply sliding it off the mounting nub? Any tricks? I'd rather not use a clip-on version of the product, as it would be that much closer to my face, and a rather tacky thing to do to the fine work of art that is the Roadster.
     
  4. augkuo

    augkuo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Berkeley
    I had a backup camera installed on my 2.0 and in terms of labor, it'll be the same whether you mount it by the rear license plate or by the
    rear brake light. You'll still have to wire power to the camera unit so I don't think you'll save much. Like ecarfan says, the whole point of the
    camera is to see low objects like parking curbs so you don't damage your car. I put one in front as well to keep the front spoiler from getting
    scratched up ;)
     
  5. m0rph

    m0rph Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Belgium
    I had backup cameras in my last cars, and also on my 2.5. They are completely useless a day after washing the car.
    As my front bumper is damaged and will be replaced first week of January, I am now looking at these invisible (electromagnetic) parking sensors. If anyone know which are the very best on the market, please share..
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,402
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    #6 ecarfan, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    Alternaitive for adding backup camera to 1.5 / 2.0 Roadster

    Understood. But I don't use the JVC head unit in my 1.5 (by current standards it's lousy and I can't hear the stereo at highway speeds anyway) so I envision placing my iPhone 6 or an iPad mini positioned on a mount in front of the JVC unit and using one of them as a rear view camera display.
    The image size of the rear view camera display in one of those aftermarket LCD mirrors seems too small to me to be useful. Maybe I am spoiled by the huge image in the center display in my Model S. [emoji6]
    Interesting comment, and one that concerns me. We know that the rear end of all vehicles attract dirt and grime. I assume that you mean that the rear view camera lens quickly becomes coated with dirt and the image becomes unusable. Is that correct?
    I have not found that to be the case in my Model S, but readily concede that the S rear view camera is not useful in the rain.
    One solution is to give the rear view camera lens a quick wipe every time you unplug the car at home before driving to clean the lens, though that does not solve the rain problem.
    I am interested to learn more about that, but am not willing to replace or modify my bumpers. Thanks.
     
  7. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,485
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    We went to Al & Ed's Autosound, spoke to Eli, and they upgraded our dashboard to a 2.5, replaced the JVC with a Kenwood with integrated backup camera mounted just above the number plate. It wasn't cheap, but we are VERY happy with the result and the work. No business relationship, no kickback, just a happy customer.
     
  8. Habious

    Habious Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    410
    Location:
    Springfield, VA
    Yes, the existing rear-view mirror just slides off (up) off the nub. I've replaced mine before (bought a Lotus mirror because I wanted to integrate a dash-cam into the mirror mount and didn't want to screw up the original one - bought the new one, modified it, installed it, and have the OEM one sitting on a shelf somewhere (I actually think it's on top of my microwave right now))
     
  9. gregd

    gregd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    585
    Ok, so I went ahead and got a replacement mirror (Amazon.com : I-Max 4.3 Auto Adjust Brightness Car Rear View Mirror Monitor of General Parking Assist System - Support Backup Camera Compatible : Electronics) and separate backup camera. Electrically it all seems to work perfectly on the bench. Mounting the mirror, however, seems less than satisfactory.

    The Roadster's mirror uses a different mount on the window than the new mirror. I expected this, and the new mirror comes with a universal adapter which is supposed to work in any car. It is essentially a cup that fits over the existing nub with double-sided foam tape around the outside. While I distrust the adhesive it uses (yet to be proven), the big problem is that it moves the mirror down another half an inch, and with the mirror itself being bigger than the old, and having a longer neck, all this puts in the way of a clear view forward.

    I think it would be ok if I can find a shorter way to mount the new mirror to the original mounting nub. A quick on-line search didn't turn up anything, but I'm expecting that I am not the first to have this problem. Any ideas for a flush-mount adapter for the Lotus mount? Any ideas on how much weight it can take?

    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  10. nsxpert

    nsxpert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    santa monica, ca.
    May I ask when you had this done and what was the cost? Also, which headunit did you go with?
    Think I need to bite the bullet and have this done.
     

Share This Page