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Author Topic: Backup cameras and perspective  (Read 3658 times)
belfert
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« on: September 03, 2009, 08:32:01 PM »

I am having an issue with my backup camera and perspective.  On the road, vehicles look like they are way behind me on the screen, but my mirrors show them as being pretty close.  The lane stripes also look like they are two or three times longer than normal.

My camera is about 10 feet up.  Do I need to lower it?  Any suggestions?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
RJ
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 08:35:50 PM »


I am having an issue with my backup camera and perspective.  On the road, vehicles look like they are way behind me on the screen, but my mirrors show them as being pretty close.  The lane stripes also look like they are two or three times longer than normal.  My camera is about 10 feet up.  Do I need to lower it?  Any suggestions?


OK, this comes from a former professional driver and driver trainer, and is the KISS answer:

Turn off the camera and use your mirrors.  (Make sure they're adjusted properly!)

Only use the camera when you need to back up w/o a spotter.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 12:29:12 AM by RJ » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 10:41:58 PM »

The rear view camera is used to monitor whatever I am towing so I'm not going to turn it off.  I use the mirrors all the time when driving.  No other way to really know what is happening around you.

I just happened to notice vehicles that looked to be fairly close in the mirrors look to be a long ways away on the rearview camera.  If the perspective is all screwed up what good does it do me to have a camera when backing?
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Sean
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2009, 12:13:00 AM »

I'm having a hard time imagining how you'd see any vehicles in your backup camera, while driving, if it is adjusted properly.

In order to be useful for close-quarter maneuvering, the camera should be as high as possible, and aimed down toward the ground so that you can just barely make out your rear bumper at the bottom of the image.  For most cameras, that would mean the top of the image would be the road surface perhaps 20' behind you.  If you can see a car there (other than your own toad), it's tailgating.

The only time I use the rear monitor while driving forward is to double-check that I have completely passed someone/something and it is safe to move over to the next lane -- at that distance, the mirrors don't tell the whole story.

There are some systems on the market involving a motorized mount so that the camera is aimed as I described above when the transmission is in reverse, and is aimed somewhat higher for a more traditional "rear view mirror" view out the back when driving forward at speed.

-Sean
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 02:33:42 AM »

I think the way the lens is ground is the key. The picture on ours is pretty realistic and doesn't look distorted.

Our rear cap has a slight angle, there is no way I could see the rear bumper when tilted as far as it is allowed. I have it adjusted so I can see a toad, which we don't have yet. I like to be able to see what is behind me. If I can't see well enough when backing, I have my wife back there giving me directions, it has a mic so I can hear her screaming at me to STOP! It is also adjusted so I can see her giving me hand signals. I don't use the camera much, although I do leave it on so I can see what/who is behind me.

Adjust the camera to view what you want.

BTW, it's a very low cost B/W I bought from RV Cams, great unit with night vision.

Paul
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 10:00:26 AM »

It looks like basically I should twist the camera so it points closer to the hitch/bumper.  I talked to the vendor and the objects looking far away is normal because if the wide angle lens.  He said that aiming the camera to see the hitch helps.

I do like Sean and will check the rearview camera if I can't tell for sure from the mirrors if I have cleared a vehicle.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 10:05:29 AM by belfert » Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 05:01:09 AM »

We have the voyager setup. Of course, we always use the mirrors, before changing lanes, but the side cameras are another blind spot check before the lane change. Usually there are people behind the driver that are watching the camera (not the driver as much Grin Grin Grin).

Our rear camera is adjusted so we can see a car behind us, if it is going to pass.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
cody
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 05:16:58 AM »

We bought the voyager system but it's not installed yet, I'm anxious to see how well it does, it's set up for 4 cameras and has pan and tilt so I'm really hoping it works as well as they claim, so far we've got the rear camera and the right side camera, I plan to get the left side camera to for it but am having a hard time figuring out the forth camera, I'm thinking shower cam but libby said nope.
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John316
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 05:20:28 AM »

Cody,

We just have three, right now. The fourth will go on the trailer. I think that you will be pleased with the performance. BTW, don't expect too much of the tilt/pan. We were told (but I don't have experience), that it doesn't do too much.

God bless,

John
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 05:36:32 AM »

I also have a voyager, just one camera, could add one or two more but don't really need to. Love the setup. no more guessing if the toad is still there and no more blind spot behind me. Smiley
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cody
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 05:41:09 AM »

The thing I'm hoping the setup will do for me is let me know if someone is beside me on the curb side, it's hard for me to see along that side and I'm always concerned about onramp traffic, I had one idiot once try to squeeze me over when I had a semi right beside me and couldn't go anywhere, that guy hit the shoulder when he ran out of ramp, that memory is vivid in my mind still and I'm hoping the extra cameras will aleviate some of that for me.  Mine isn't mounted yet and not wanting to hijack the thread but is there a recommnended height for the rear camera from the ground?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 05:42:59 AM by cody » Logged
John316
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 05:47:24 AM »

Cody,

I will measure our side cameras. I think that there was a method to the madness when we mounted ours. I will let you know. They have worked very well.

God bless,

John
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cody
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 05:50:16 AM »

The back camera is the one I'm concerned about, my side camera pretty much has to go under the air horns, not much choice in that one.  I was told that each company seems to grind their lenses differently and you almost have to look at how they show to see if thats the one you want, we got ours from trina in Elkhart and she had one set up on the counter, I liked the clarity of it and how it seemed to show in 'real time' rather than distorting the distances, I mainly use my mirrors but I'm also trying to eliminate as many blind spots as I can for safety sake.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 05:53:55 AM by cody » Logged
John316
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 06:06:59 AM »

I will measure our backup camera. It has worked well for us.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 06:13:50 AM »

Ours is mounted in a camera pod approx. 9' from the ground.

Paul
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2009, 06:18:07 AM »

Cody, mine is mounted on the top of the rear cap on my 5A which puts it at 9 1/2 ft. off of the ground. I have it set so i can see the bugshield on the front of the jeep and am still able to see way back behind me. I am also surprised at how much of a side view i have. Makes it a lot easier to back up.  If you are going to mount it below the top make sure you have enough room for the camera to pivot to the angle that you want before you drill any holes. Smiley Seems to me that is why i mounted it on top.
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2009, 08:20:42 AM »

The perspective problem is because of the wide angle lens on the camera.  You're stuffing 120 degrees of view into 30 degrees of screen.  It's the same thing as a bubble mirror.

Rear view cameras have two uses.  First, to help you back up, IN CONJUNCTION with your mirrors.  They let you see when you are approaching an obstacle or a mark on the ground.  Second, they help you make sure that your toad is still there.

In either case, the perspective issue isn't any kind of issue at all.

The problem comes when you try to use it as a rear-view mirror.  You don't do this with your bubble mirrors, so why would you do it with your rear cam?

Use it for what it was designed to do and you won't have a problem.
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cody
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2009, 12:34:06 PM »

I've don't recall anyone saying they depend on the back up camera for anything other than an aid, I just can't see where it wouldn't be helpful or where it wouldn't be a good idea to remove any blind spots if we could.  I'm sure we all agree that the mirrors are the best way to keep track of whats around us but I'm sure we all also agree that with any large vehicle there are going to be blind spots and if we can minimize those blind spots we will increase or safety margin.
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JackConrad
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2009, 01:36:36 PM »

Cody,
   Our side camers is installed about 6" above the door opening and closer the to front edge of the door. This works good for us.  Depending on your camera, YMMV  Jack
PS: 3266 was the number Greyhound assigned to this coach when they took delivery of it in November, 1973
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 01:39:55 PM by JackConrad » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2009, 04:03:58 PM »

I use 4:

blind spot cams at the top front corners
rear view cam at eye level in the back window
tykes and trikes cam, straight down. looking for things you really do not want to back over

the rear view cam is for spotting tailgaters. as noted above, wide angle lenses make distance determination difficult
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Hobie
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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2009, 04:30:09 PM »

Here is a little trick.  Some systems have this built in but here is a DIY.   

Park the bus on a large flat parking lot.  Then attach a long 60 foot or longer tape measure the the driver side rear bumper and pull it straight out behind the bus. 

Now go inside and view the monitor.  Use a grease pencil and trace the tape measure line on the screen.  (Or, cut a piece of clear acetate to the screen size and trace using a permanent ink pen )  Place a red cone or (or something) on the tape at specific distances ... 10', 20', 30'.   Mark these distances on the screen as well.   

Move the tape to the curb side and repeat.

These lines will form a 'V' shape on the screen and accurately show the sides of your 'footprint' with distances.   This method will be correct for any lens, height and wherever the camera is pointed.

As already noted, your camera should not replace a second pair of eyes when backing but another tool while in the drivers seat.
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2009, 06:55:14 AM »

Whatever floats your boat?

The need to see beside and behind the coach is practical in nature.

Rule #1: Don't hit anything.

Being able to see what's beside and behind is critical to Rule #1.

And watching the toad hitch come apart and drag on the ground might be good too...

For the novice reader, the points being made are that cameras may be used along with the mirrors and a helper when necessary to keep rule #1 intact, unless your camera system can match or surpass the view that the mirrors can provide, in which case, give us a shout!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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cody
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« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2009, 07:14:46 AM »

Another thing about the backup camera that should be noted is the mic, our wives don't have to carry a small radio if they are being spotters as we back into tight spots and it's even like marriage, with the mic we can hear them but they can't hear us which is sometimes a good thing lol.  I'm in favor of bringing any assist we can that will make our travel safer, with some of the electronics available now it's getting to be gadget heaven lol. 
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John316
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2009, 07:16:30 AM »

Cody,

Sorry, I haven't measured ours yet. I will try to do it today.

So far I have been able to communicate with hand signals. We use a lot of the same ones that we use for backing concrete trucks in.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2009, 07:26:07 AM »

And in order to further protect that spousal relationship, some of us have been known to brazenly back it in with nothing but the mirrors God put on the coach at its manufacture.

Campground lets out a collective sigh of unfulfilled anticipation, as there will be no hooting, hollering, hose bib crushing, electrical panel smashing, neighbour's awning clipping, maneuvering entertainment from this campground site...

Pull up, back in, shut down.

Look up high, busnut, look up high....

happy coaching!
buswarrior




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cody
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2009, 07:33:44 AM »

lol, yep entertainment is a good word for it, I watched a fifth wheel with a boat on the back of it try to back into a site a few days ago, why the guy didn't unhook the boat I don't know but he zigged and zagged for 15 minutes and still couldn't keep it straight (hard to figure isn't it lol), he wouldn't accept any help and I'm not sure who was madder, him or his wife that was spotting for him, all brand new equipment too except for the boat, both the truck and the fifth wheel had the paper tags on them so they had just been bought.
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« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2009, 07:37:49 AM »

Go practice in a parking lot after hours, where there are no spectators/witnesses.

Busnuts have a responsibility to the hobby to avoid embarrassing the rest of us.

No campground driving antics out of a converted coach, eh?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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cody
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« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2009, 07:48:17 AM »

I've never had a back up camera before so it'll be a novelty for a while, we've had rv's of one sort or another since 1976 so for us manuvering the bus isn't a problem, we're kind of used to using the mirrors, thats all we've had for so many years, I guess I'm a dinosaur or too poor to keep up with technology, more likely just a dinosaur lol.
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« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2009, 07:54:04 AM »

Go practice in a parking lot after hours, where there are no spectators/witnesses.

Busnuts have a responsibility to the hobby to avoid embarrassing the rest of us.

No campground driving antics out of a converted coach, eh?

happy coaching!
buswarrior

I remember watching mechanics at Central Florida Transit bringing buses into the garage and over a pit. Seemed like they rolled in at 20 mph, and hit the brakes one time before they shut down.  Pretty impressive.  When I had my own pit, it would take me ten minutes of checking every few feet to make sure I was centered.
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« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2009, 09:40:36 AM »

Go practice in a parking lot after hours, where there are no spectators/witnesses.
Busnuts have a responsibility to the hobby to avoid embarrassing the rest of us.

If you wake up some morning to find that someone has stuffed Winnebago pamphlets under your windshield wipers, you'll know that you failed in your responsibility.

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« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2009, 04:07:38 PM »

I have a simple, cheap VT3 BU camera. I know exactly how far the bottom of the screen is from the rear bumper because I measured it (4'). I really don't want the camera showing the rear bumper, it is too late then!

The only down side is the small screen size, otherwise it works fine and the camera is mounted on the rear shelf inside the rear window out of the weather.

My original rear view mirrors with stuck-on small convex wide angle mirrors eliminate blind spots, never have that problem.

It appears to me that numerous side and rear cameras just confuse things by adding to the visual workload of the driver. I sometimes wonder if they aren't becoming expensive crutches?

If I'm not sure of what is happening when backing I get out and look.

There is no need for radios if a backup assistant stands so as to be seen in the rear view mirror and uses hand signals. The trouble with many assistants is that they don't understand the maneuvering limitations of the bus so they are often more harmful than helpful, this causes a lot of yelling and screaming in RV parks!!.
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RJ
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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2009, 06:43:32 PM »


My original rear view mirrors with stuck-on small convex wide angle mirrors eliminate blind spots.



Especially when adjusted properly!



It appears to me that numerous side and rear cameras just confuse things by adding to the visual workload of the driver. I sometimes wonder if they aren't becoming expensive crutches?



Totally agree on this.  Particularly if operator is in city traffic during "rush" hour.  KISS!!



If I'm not sure of what is happening when backing I get out and look.



Just like the pros do!


There is no need for radios if a backup assistant stands so as to be seen in the rear view mirror and uses hand signals. The trouble with many assistants is that they don't understand the maneuvering limitations of the bus so they are often more harmful than helpful, this causes a lot of yelling and screaming in RV parks!!


Maybe even a few divorces!!


Great post, Gus!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2009, 09:00:28 PM »

Cody,

Sorry, I haven't measured ours yet. I will try to do it today.

So far I have been able to communicate with hand signals. We use a lot of the same ones that we use for backing concrete trucks in.

God bless,

John

<Sigh!> When I almost backed my girlfriends Jeep into some trees 1 1/2 weeks ago, then attempted to run over the fire-pit when we left, there were a few hand signals..but I'm guessing that's not what you were talking about.. Embarrassed
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« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2009, 09:48:42 PM »

PA,

Those signals probably used only part of the hands!!
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