From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Back up camera recommendation
Date: Fri, 09 Mar 2001 22:20:29 -0500
Robt Rost wrote:
> Just remember, The camera monitor needs to mimic the rear view mirror. What you
> are used to. IF you do not have the image reversed, like in a mirror, in an
> emergency you could react "the wrong way" and make it worse. Most of the "Sam's
> or like systems can not give you a reverse image.
All you have to do to reverse a security system monitor is to
reverse the leads to the horz deflection coil on the picture tube.
If you can't do that yourself and you can't find a neighborhood 10
year old to do it for you :-), most any TV repair shop should be
able to do it in a couple of minutes for their minimum bench
charge. If you're lucky, there'll be a Molex connector that can be
reversed. If not, then a couple of wires have to be soldered. One
step cooler is to install a DPDT switch so that the screen can be
viewed direct or reversed at will.
What this does is cause the electron beam to sweep from right to
left and it paints each horz line of raster. This is a trivial task
on B&W monitors. It will get a bit more complicated on color
monitors but still well within the capabilities of your average TV
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Followup on Broken Backup Camera System
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 13:05:09 -0500
Geeezzzzuuussss, what a rip! $400 for a $50 LCD camera? Wow.
Anyway, you have several options. Can you see anything on the screen?
Even if it is blank, if there is raster, the monitor is probably OK.
Unfortunately there is absolutely no support information on the web site
so I can't delve much deeper. Does the monitor have a video input on the
back? An RCA jack or something similar? If so, then you can run a video
jumper cable from your VCR or video camera to test the monitor.
Your service tech should be able to inject some video, even if by using
clip leads, to test the monitor.
Does the "square plastic coupling" look like a phone cord connector? If
so, it's probably an RJ-45 modular connector that is becoming a standard
on small video cameras. I don't know that the pinout is the same among
different camera makers so another brand might not be plug'n'play. Your
tech can determine that.
They typically use an 8 conductor connector, 2 wires for video, 2 wires
for audio (probably not used here), 2 wires for power and two wires for
"alarm" to conduct an alarm input back to the monitoring station. Your
tech should be able to verify that there is power at the connector
(typically 5 volts) and that video injected into the connector gets
displayed on the monitor.
There are only a few companies that make the actual guts to the camera.
Therefore it is possible to buy just the guts (or a cheap camera for
disassembly) and replace the guts in your camera. BW bare board cameras
start in the $30 range and color ones in the $50 range. Again, your tech
should be able to do this for an hour or so's labor.
Yet another option is to buy a replacement security camera and install it
in place of that high priced unit. I use the Samsung security camera
system in my restaurant that Sam's sells. It comes with 3 water resistant
cameras and one ceiling mount dome camera. Inside the dome is a bare
board camera held in place with a couple of plastic clips. Sam's sells
extra cameras on their web site. About $75 for a camera, as I recall.
This camera uses the 8 wire modular plug as I described above. At worst,
the tech would have to rewire the connector to match what is on your rig.
The water resistant camera is defacto waterproof. I've had a couple
mounted outside my place looking at my parking lots for almost a year. I
filled the connector cavity with RTV to make that waterproof. The rest of
the camera is sufficiently waterproof to live outside.
I seriously doubt an RV place would have an electronics tech on staff. I
suggest finding an independent electronic/stereo/TV repair shop in your
area. Or the neighborhood whiz kid :-) These kids typically work just
for the thrill of the hunt (I used to be one :-), although a little pay
makes him more receptive to the next request.
On Thu, 27 Jan 2005 10:03:04 -0500, Lee Bray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>OK just as follow up on my backup camera not working, I checked those
>items I could that were suggested. I unplugged, and plugged it in again
>at both ends, looked for fuses and those I did find were OK. My back up
>system is the INTEC Car Vision Systems a CVC 111 (camera) and monitor
>CVM550 and I also went to the INTEC site where replacement costs appear
>to be approximately $405 per item. Now is this system worth say
>replacing the camera or if I should buy something else as someone said
>for that price you could buy a whole system. Any suggestions, I am
>taking it to the shop where they will try to check the camera again.(no
>charge if they have something they can hook to the fitting) Any
>response would be appreciated.
>I am not sure which to do because the cable is specific I assume for the
>INTEC system as the shop foreman said different systems have different
>connectors. The INTEC system had a square plastic coupling other than
>that I assume they would have to run a new cable to put in a new system,
>am I correct in this assumption?
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Followup on Broken Backup Camera System
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 14:16:18 -0500
On 28 Jan 2005 09:46:23 -0800, "bbbobert" <email@example.com> wrote:
>After reading the responders on the cheap, I do want to point out a
>couple of things: 1. The low cost camera's they mention, most often do
>not have Infra-red illuminators to give you night vision.
Actually, most now do have illuminators. The cheap one from Harbor
Freight that someone mentioned does. Wallyworld is selling a cheap
monitor and camera wireless system (about $50) under the "homeland
security" (gag) brand name that contains very bright LEDs. I bought one
for my mom to use to monitor her front door and I can say that it performs
well. The camera is waterproof and rated for outdoor use.
If I were concerned about illumination I'd just mount a spotlight next to
the camera and hook it to my back-up lamp circuit. That way I'd have
plenty of light and a color image, assuming my camera was in color.
>2. The camera's do not reverse the image to make it appear, like a rear
>view mirror ( this is important in an emergency situation, as all of us
>are so ingrained to that reversed image that we respond accordingly).
The reversing is almost always done in the monitor and not the camera. I
say "almost" just to leave some wiggle room. Of the several units I've
personally examined, all used conventional cameras and reversing monitors.
For CRT-type displays, a simply 5 minute mod makes any monitor into a
reversing monitor. Open the thing up and reverse the leads on the
horizontal sweep coil. This reverses the direction of the electron scan
and reverses the picture. I've converted a number of CRTs for customers.
Only 2 wires involved.
>3, Many rear view camera's are mounted on the exterior of the RV. It
>takes a lot of good engineering to make a waterproof camera, that
>withstands the water under the pressure of 70+ mph wind pressure.
Nah, not a big deal. A simple 2 piece thick plastic case with an O-ring
on the mating surface does the job. Certainly easy enough to check out
the spec before buying.
BTW, the place where most backup cameras are located, just down from the
rear chin of the RV, is a low velocity, low turbulence, low pressure area.
That's why the lens stays clean for so long even in putrid weather. Pay
attention next time you pass a rig on the highway in the rain and note the
I should note here that the so-called "lipstick" cameras that are now
widely available are great for this application. Everyone I've ever
examined is waterproof and many are available with illumination.
A couple of years ago, after I got tired of paying the $100/hr the sewer
service charged me to video my restaurant's sewers, I made a "sewer cam"
using a lipstick cam. I simply slid a short piece of steel tubing over
the back end of the camera, then potted the wire along with the end of a
coil type sewer snake onto the back of the camera. I used some 26 ga twin
shielded twisted pair instrumentation wire to conduct the power and video.
I made up the connections to the camera's pigtail using Raychem adhesive
lined heat shrink. I attached the wire to the snake about every 6" using
thick wall heat shrink.
I used a color camera that contained white LEDs for illumination. This
camera works almost as well as the several thousand dollar purpose-made
unit. His has quartz halogen lamps for illumination and so the image is
brighter and the dept of field is greater. But my camera makes useable
images and tells me what I need to know - where the clogs are.
I left this camera in place for a couple of weeks hooked to a time lapse
recorder to solve a persistent problem of clogs coming from the
restaurant's bathrooms. I wanted to see what was causing the clogs. I
quickly discovered the problem.
Despite having a designated receptacle in the women's room and a sign
announcing its proper use, it seems that some women were flushing their
sanitary napkins. (I thought they taught girls not to do that in health
class..) I made up a new sign announcing the sewer cam (including a
screen grab of a clog) and stated that I could figure out who was doing
the deed by comparing the time on that cam and my security cams and that
I'd be billing the perp for the Roto-rooter service call. Amazingly
enough, the problem has almost completely gone away. People are such
Anyway, this camera survived that duty without any additional
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Followup on Broken Backup Camera System
Date: Tue, 01 Feb 2005 20:36:10 -0500
On 1 Feb 2005 13:13:02 -0800, "bbbobert" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>For CRT-type displays, a simply 5 minute mod makes any monitor into a
>>reversing monitor. Open the thing up and reverse the leads on the
>>horizontal sweep coil. This reverses the direction of the electron
>>scan and reverses the picture. I've converted a number of CRTs for
>>customers. Only 2 wires involved.
>This is true, if the person involved is: 1. able to figure out what
>part inside the monitor is the horizontal deflection coil, is handy
>with a soldering iron and does not want a warranty on the monitor. On
>the new solid state LCD monitors that is not the case.
I'm sure all the people who are handy with a soldering iron appreciate the
put-down. For those that aren't, it's easy enough to walk into most any
TV or stereo repair shop, plop down the monitor and say " I want to
reverse the imagine on this monitor and I've been told that reversing the
leads on the horizontal sweep coil will do it. Please do that for me".
Some of the more ignorant will argue, whereupon one walks out and finds
another shop. Most of the guys will be thrilled to earn a minimum bench
charge for 5 mins work.
As for warranty, when I pay <$50 for the thing in the first place, I
really don't give a rat's ass about warranty. Of course, if I buy it from
Wallyworld or most any other big box outfit, I simply lug it to the
returns desk, announce "it quit" and either get a refund or a replacement.
Clue: they don't expect the clerks to crack the case looking for mods.
>I have seen a
>few high end models with an image reversal switch, but is is done
>through the electronics, nothing like the method for tube type
Duh. That's why I said ">>For CRT-type displays, a simply 5 minute mod".
Hmm, I'm beginning to wonder about the motivation of all this arm-waving.
Is it face-saving or...
>Every color system I have been sent a sample of, or sold, ( 7
>or 8 different manufacturers) have used camera's that reversed the
Oh, I see. You SELL backup monitoring systems. Given the prices and
corresponding profits, I can see how you'd want to discredit DIYers.
>In the "old" day's of tube type camera's they had the horizontal
>coil connections on a plug so you could reverse the image in the
>camera, (in those day's they were most often elevator camera's. To make
>the housing shorter the camera mounted flat and looked into a mirror
>that was pointed out the housing window.).
>Many RV'rs are handy and will tackle a basic install, but not open up
>and modify electric/electronic devices.
Really? I bet there are a whole group of folks taking exception to that,
as you'd know if you'd been here awhile. Whatever.
Your armwaving did get me interested so I hit the web. I learned
something interesting. Both the Toshiba and Sony LCD driver chips used in
the majority of LCD monitors have reversing pins. Both vertically and
horizontally. Sony calls the horz reversing signal RGT and the vertical
I looked at a bare board LCD monitor I have and sure enough, there were
solder pad jumpers for both pins. For those solder-challenged, a trip to
the TV repair shop or a call to the neighborhood electronic whiz kid is in
Further interest led me to disassemble a bare board CCD camera I have
handy. It uses the Sony imager and processor chip. A little searching
around for a data sheet and shazam! The pulse generator chip has pins to
enable reading the CCD in either direction. Those japs are clever l'il
fellers that way...
>One of the camera manufacturer's, I sell, uses the same exact case on
>both the rear view camera's( with image reversed), and the underwater
>camera's, ( rated to 200 ft below sea level).
Guess that's handy when camping underwater....
>According to his
>records, he gets back under warranty, 3 times ( percentage of units
>manufactured) as many RV camera's as he does underwater camera's. This
>indicates an environment that has rain under pressure greater than that
>found at 200' below sea level.
All it indicates to me is that this is another example of worthless
statistics. If he does in fact get back more RV cameras, I bet it's
because he sells more.
>>Actually, most now do have illuminators.
>A manufacturer's survey taken in 2003 showed less than 20% of all CCTV
>camera's built had illuminators in them According to CCTV New's
Two years ago. That's like, Pleistocene in electronics years.
>>If I were concerned about illumination I'd just mount a spotlight next
>>to the camera and hook it to my back-up lamp circuit. That way I'd
>>have plenty of light and a color image, assuming my camera was in
>Maybe most motor home driver's are not like me or most of my fellow
>Indiana FCRV member's, but almost all of us drive with the rear view
>monitor on. You want the IR on all the time, at night, to watch your
>toad, or for the guy without headlight's behind you.
Wow! I keep my eyes on the road and my mirrors at night. No wonder there
are so many bad MH drivers, what with their eyes glued to the TV screen
and all. Now I know you're just makin' this stuff for the sake of arguin'
but really now. Cars ripping up behind you with their lights out being
visible on the monitor in time to do anything about it? Riiiighhhhtttt.
I'm just wondering what you'd do if said perp ever really did show up on
I am curious about what valuable info you get from looking down on a toad.
Can't see flats or blowouts from that angle. Not enough resolution,
especially at night, to see the hitch or safety chains. That it's still
there, I guess.
>A lot of the "new" motor homes do not have rear window's so the camera
>system is the only rear view you have. Adding additional load to your
>reverse switch, can burn it out. They were designed to carry the
>current to light 2 small back up indicator lamps, not a spotlight. Some
>of the switches are mounted on top of the transmission and require the
>transmission removal to replace.
Man, we're getting faaaar out there now. I guess all those good ole boys
who put a couple of aircraft landing lights on the back of their pickemup
truck so they can see to back the bass boat in at night haven't heard
about that. I can understand why since there are backup light switches on
the steering column, on the transmission input shaft and through the
walls. It'd be hard to generalize something like that to all those boys.
Now here I am thumbing through my NAPA switch catalog and for some reason
I just can't find any that go in the top. Both sides and in the bottom
but nary a one up high. Can't recall any on any vehicle I've ever worked
Oh, I get it. Yer makin' this stuff up again. Had me goin' there for a
>I have been installing and selling camera's and video systems of all
>types for over 25 years, We try to test and review most of the stuff
>before my company sell's it. We do not like to do warranty work, so we
>try to avoid the questionable stuff. I put my reputation as stake with
>every sale. I have seen all levels of product quality, and now, with
>the "low end" overseas stuff being sold here. You can not always
>believe the spec sheet's.
Well good for you. I'm sure there are enough "checkbook engineers" out
there to keep you in business.
You have my curiosity up again. You slur "overseas stuff" and yet, for
the life of me, I can't find a single CCD or CMOS consumer grade camera
makers on these shores. Oh, I know that there are a lot of cottage
industries making custom packaging for those "overseas" camera but that
doesn't count. If you know of a domestic fab line for imaging devices I'd
love to know about it.
>Sorry for the long post.
Yup, so are we.