Back-up Camera Modification- Anyone??

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by the phantom, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I was curious if anyone knows if the factory back-up camera can be modified to be turned on in a forward gear. I thought that if this can be done it would be a nice feature to have when towing something especially if its small. I just rented a tiller with a small trailer for a garden and all I could see was the handles on the tiller in the rearview mirror because my truck sitting up so high. I can understand gm not installing this feature due to the camera monitor being integrated in the rearview mirror. If anyone has an idea on this please let me know thanks.
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    If it's anything like aftermarket backup cameras then it's just two wires -- a positive and a negative. The positive is usually tied into the reverse lights to provide power to the camera when the vehicle shifts into reverse. The OEM likely feeds it via a harness, which would be convenient.

    That's the camera side for aftermarket stuff; hopefully GM took a similar approach. The head unit side is a larger unknown since factory HU's are always a little weird. An aftermarket head unit usually ties into the reverse wire at the column, and simply switches from whatever it's displaying to the backup cam's input (usually a RCA video input on the back of the HU) to display whatever the backup cam tells it to display. I'd expect the factor HU to have a reverse wiring coming to it via the harness into which it's plugged.

    The long and short of this is that what you want to do is likely very doable. If the OEM stuff is similar to aftermarket stuff, it should be a matter of locating the positive reverse connections to the HU and the Camera ... and adding a switch that allows you to feed +12v to them both on demand. The one catch is that you need to do so in a way that doesn't also feed that +12v back (the other way) to your reverse lights and at the column!

    Note: A lot of this is speculation, but it's pretty sound speculation -- unless GM deviated wildly from how aftermarket producers do these things.

  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog Member 2 Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    :glasses:yeps surreal , you got it it right right, it can be done and thats the way to do it.:) we have done it here on a few vehicles and loaders...
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Actually I'm curious -- what kind of switch do you use. A two way switch would be nicest but I don't see how it'd keep +12v from being fed back into the reverse lamps and such. You do a diode too, or what?
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog Member 2 Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    :glasses:you put the switch on the ground side of the circuit, if you want the camera on and you are not in reverse, you need to run a separate power lead from a ign. switched lead/or always hot lead(If wanting the camera on when the vehicle is not on). and the switch on the ground side, and all will be good nothing else will be needed... You can also use this method of wiring to run your dvd player while not in park..... ooops did i say that
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    My aftermarket DVD unit is grounded, so no secret given up, there. :rules:

    I'm still having trouble visualizing the circuit. I follow what you're saying but haven't made sense of it, yet, I guess. A diagram would help, even if stupidly rough. I'm asking because this summer I may change out my camera and wiring (not happy with its quality), and I've considered doing this to it, too. The only reason I didn't when I installed it was I wasn't quite sure how the switch should be wired...
  7. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I was wondering if there is a seperate power wire and switch from the reverse lights possibly in the column when shifted into reverse that is utilized for just the camera. My monitor is in the rearview mirror itself so I guess I have to go fishing for a wiring diagram to find out what color and where I might locate it. How about putting a zoom in feature in the camera so I can check out the cutie behind me at a red light. :lol:

    ---------- Post added at 04:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:54 PM ----------

    I can understand the switch on the ground side but does this mean disconnecting the factory positive wire going to the camera? Like Surreal said, how does that prevent power feeding back to reverse lights if they are utilizing the same curcuit.
  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog Member 2 Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    ok ,,, your reverse(light)circuit feeds the back up camera,this circuit is opened/closed with the operation of the gear shift lever,this action sends power, closes the circuit to your lights (reverse) and to the camera a separate parallel (oem) if you want to operate the camera with out reverse just create your own circuit, by using a ground side switch, you will eliminate any cross feeding of any 12 volt current back to through the ecm, i have never figured this out , myself , but it dose work. I am sure it would work just as well with the switch on the hot side, but was always told to use a ground complete switch.instead of a power on switch... so in the end it has worked on the topkick, the ford service truck and a few other vehicles , as well as some of the machinery we use daily...hope i explained that so you could understand my jiberaihsh , its a hard thing to explain, especially in type. I am much better at speaking, dodling and doing then i am at writing it out
  9. the phantom

    the phantom Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I will be willing to give it a shot. I just want to retain the factory "automatic on in reverse" feature for warranty reasons and just in case I sell the vehicle down the road. Im gonna do some searching and find the wire color and most convenient place to splice in to it. Thanks for your input guys.
  10. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Hey [MENTION=50075]SurrealOne[/MENTION], you have the same Kenwood radio I have so all you have to do is push the FNC button and hold it for a second and the back up camera comes on. The radio has to be on is all.

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