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Author Topic: Rear view camera  (Read 3317 times)
Timkar
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« on: April 14, 2011, 09:48:22 AM »

Checked the archives and haven't seen much posted for the last few years on back up cameras so I am looking for opinions.
Wired vs wireless? I am basically "old school" and wired seems to make more sense to me but am looking for real world experience.
There are quite a few available on ebay in around the same price as the one on this link.
http://www.rearviewsafety.com/products/rvs-770612-rear-view-camera-system.html

Does anyone have experience with this unit?

Thanks  Smiley Smiley
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JohnEd
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 10:51:52 AM »

Consider a video switcher device that will allow you to view the areas from 5 different cameras.  The cameras have gone thru a whole range of improvements and price reductions in the past years.  You want color and night vision and the best pixel count you can afford.  I want vid for the "door", right side, left side, rear fisheye, rear telephoto, front bumper for kids, roof looking back and roof looking forward.  The one under thre front step looking "up" is, just, well, sicko.  Nice if you can display 2 or three on you flat screen that the driver cab see.  The one that displays your silver leaf and the navigator and geo data.  Put in a switch so you can't watch TV and it is an instrument panel.  Your bedroom flat panel should also get the same data.  If you buy this type of multi camera system for your home you will spend thousands.  I'll bet it can be put together for hundreds without the flat panels.

Hope you post your design and costs Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

John
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 11:49:55 AM »

Tim, there are a ton of threads on the subject.  Some folks use the term backup and some combine the term rearview and that clouds the search.

I could write a book on the subject.  In my typical fashion I have tried to be cost effective (read cheap Shocked Grin) with my camera systems (yes plural).  I have had at least three systems and I can tell you that the cheap ones simply are not worth the money.  

I have not heard of any wireless systems that work well.  The technology is changing and maybe there is something out there.

The big issues are picture clarity, washout of the picture with indirect sunlight on the camera (direct sunlight will kill any picture), AND night vision.  The last item is really important to me.  You really need a good infrared camera.

I talk a little about my latest system in this thread:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=15048.0

This system uses Weldex components.  A couple of years ago, Tina in Elkhart had a ton of the cameras.  Most were removed from Monaco coaches as they had a lot of problems.  Turns out the cameras were fine, but the cable connections caused problems.  The problem when I bought mine was they only had big BW monitors that could be connected easily.  They had the great little 7 inch LCD color monitors, but no cables.  I bought the LCD monitors cheap, but later found out that you can't buy the unique cable.  I have had an ebay search for over a year and finally found a couple of monitors with cables for about the price I expected to pay for the camera.  

So now I have  pieced together a great RV Camera system including side cameras.  It is great to have the night vision when we are parked in a public lot.  I can see almost all of the area around the bus - even in the darkest locations.  I also have enough components to put a backup camera system in our service truck.

I talk about an earlier system I tried here:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=9998.0

That thread lists some other threads that talk more about all the trials I have gone through.

Most folks recommend these folks as the best source:  

http://www.rvcams.com/Default.htm

More "blather" from the know-it-all  Wink

Jim
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 11:53:28 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 01:28:29 PM »

Tim,

I got our backup camera back in 03 from http://www.rvcams.com/Default.htm

It's just a black and white no frills type, read cheap! Grin

They were great to deal with. When it arrived the monitor had an internal rattle, meant broken. They replaced it with no hassle, would buy from them again.

Paul
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 01:56:33 PM »

Tim, my camera is tied to the flat screen over head it is a Sony camera and I love the big screen just a toggle switch on the dash man those things have come down in price looking at the web sites.
I spent 3000 bucks for a Sony System with sound on my Eagle in 1992 now you buy a better system for a 1/4 of that price.
They have made some big changes to the wireless systems I noticed on my doctors new Prevost from Marathon it has a wireless Sony system with 3 cameras bright as day in the night time but I read some place it was over 700 pixels I bet that is a high dollar camera lol


good luck
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 01:57:02 PM »

When wiring a coaxial camera neatness is your enemy. Coaxial cables need to be run in a somewhat wavy way to avoid interferences. Also a coax parallel to a power wire will lead to trouble. (don't ask....)
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Timkar
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 06:48:34 PM »

Thanks to all for the info and the links. Lots to check out  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2011, 11:14:10 AM »

Disclaimer: I am not paid for the following, I'm just a fan, and this is a personal recommendation.

Wired cameras only!!!  You need a high quality 75-ohm cable with clean/proper terminations to get a good picture.  Coaxial cable starts to have signal integrety problems when you do agressive bends, so try to keep your bend radius large than 1-foot (any tighter and the center conductor crushes the insulator and brings it closer to the shield - this reduces noise rejection in the cable).  As a good practice, you should bring power from the monitor all the way back to the camera, to reduce ground loops.

I personally like cameras based on HDR/Day-Night technology ("True Day/Night" means that the camera has a moving IR-filter, otherwise they just turn off the color output of the camera and add the color pixel values for better sensitivity - two paths to roughly the same solution).  The best camera chipset I've found to date is Pixim (in my experience, better picture than Sony/Panasonic chipsets) - which feature "D1" resolution ("true" SD video at 720wide by 480high).  In talking to the regional sales rep, I found a reseller that has very small, full featured, and yet inexpensive ($150) Pixim based cameras named RangeVideo.  This camera comes with a break-out cable, remote for programming settings, and a case with mount (needs to be put into a housing for outside use).  Any CCTV or in-car-entertainment monitor with a composite input (the Yellow RCA barrel input) will display the video.

With a "standard camera" like the Pixim, just about any LCD monitor will work.  I found this one on ePlace (not affiliated with the seller), for about $90 (free shipping).  That'll put the price of the major hardware at about your $250.  Your linked kit's camera is already waterproof, but if you have a camera hood on the back of your bus already, it the camera doesn't need to be.  I would recommend spending your money on the camera - the monitors are all pretty much the same at this point.

I'm using several of these in my Truck's CCTV system (dash cam, bed cam, driver cam, passenger cam).  The HDR feature keeps the camera from getting washed out when a headlight hits it, and it has great low-light sensitivity.

Best,

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:29:27 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 11:34:32 AM »

Tim, considering the low price, that camera looks interesting.  Do I understand correctly that it would need a coax cable and a power supply from the front?  I did not see anything about reversing the image though. 
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 11:45:44 AM »

Correct, this is a hard-wired camera.

[EDIT = Let me verify this statement tonight...]Using the included remote via the OSD, the camera supports both H and V flipping[/EDIT], as well as access to the other settings (when Day/Night switches in, naming the camera on the OSD, etc...).  I believe the product page I linked for RangeVideo has a demo reel where they navigate the OSD in full...

For $150, it's an awesome camera Grin.

Best,

-Tim

[Update]Yes, it does support H/V mirroring - I recalled using it during my initial tests, but I couldn't remember if it applied to this camera specifically.  Here is the pertient section of the manual:



-Tim[/Update]
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:00:58 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2011, 03:41:19 PM »

I got a cheap, wireless for around $90 from Camping world, VR90 or something like that.

I installed it inside at the rear window and it works fine. However, the screen is pretty small but it does the job.

I mounted the camera so the bottom of the screen is four feet from the rear bumper, works great.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 09:16:21 AM by gus » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2011, 04:51:52 PM »

Gus, is $900. really cheap for a camera?
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2011, 08:19:57 PM »

I got a Voyager from Camping World a few years ago for $800 and really like it.  I can adjust the sound, tint, contrast, color and brightness and it has infared for nite vision which i never did hook up a hot wire for since i don't very often drive at nite. It is on my to do list, just way down at the bottom of it. Smiley  It is hard wired and has a 7" screen.
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2011, 10:06:55 PM »

I confirmed above the H/V flipping on the $150 Pixim camera - I also found the next generation Pixim camera, the so-called "SeaWolf" based camera in indoor form for as little as $110 at this site.  They also have an outdoor version with IR emitters built-in for ~$170.

Again, I am not a paid spokesperson - just a fanatic Smiley  BTW, I have no experience with this above linked online seller.

-Tim
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:20:37 PM by Tim Strommen » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 06:14:42 AM »

all the talk about hard-wired, i'm assuming you are still building, that this is not a retrofit.  while the idea of a few more security camaras sounds great, i'm thinking no way to re-wire it all.  at least not without tearing everything up for a total mess. 
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