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Reversing Camera

Rearward visibility isn't too good in the Jaguar saloons and drop heads so I thought I might try one of the cheap reversing cameras that are widely available. My first thought was, could I find one that I could mount behind the glass of the rear number plate box?   

The one I chose proved to be just a little too deep when using its swivel mounting but the camera was small enough if I removed its mounting.

For ease of wiring I decided to buy a wireless set-up. With the transmitter fitted inside the number plate box the screen received a good signal when the car was in my driveway but out on the open road the reception varied considerably depending on the presence of other vehicles and buildings.

To overcome the poor reception of the wireless system I bypassed it with a long RCA male to RCA male cable and routed this over the offside rear wing and along under the Furflex at carpet level. 

I intend to use the system as an additional rear view mirror for normal driving as well as for reversing so I am not powering it through the reversing lamp switch.

I have arranged that the camera is always on if the ignition is switched on. To get power to the camera I used the reversing lamp wiring and the switch  simply as a terminal block  by connecting the normal reversing lamp switch wires together on one terminal. I don't use a reversing lamp but the feed wire in the number plate box forms a convenient live connection for the camera.

I recently changed the function of my front fog lamps to act as flashing indicators . This then made the fog lamp switch redundant and available as the power feed for the screen so that I could turn it off  if needs be.

 I had already converted to negative earth to let me use other modern accessories. The other departure from original is the need to make a hole in the number plate for the camera to look through.

One final slight complication was that this camera system detects darkness and turns on a set of red/infra red LEDs surrounding the camera lens. I didn't want to cut a larger hole for the camera + LEDs and I didn't want the light sensor changing the screen characteristics after dark so I soldered a small 100k ohm resistor across the sensor terminals so it no longer uses the LED mode. I mounted the display on a metal plate up side down. The display image can be selected for upside down use and it remembers its settings. The plate is the same width as the HMV 100 radio and fits in the slot provided in MkIV cars. (I had previously fitted a MkIV heater to my SS and I copied the under dash radio mounting.)

The guide markers on the 7" display work well and the start of the red zone corresponds with a gap of 3" between my rear bumper and the car or object behind.

The camera and screen that I bought included a small transmitter and receiver that didn't work well in my installation. Below is the same items without the wireless parts but requires a 5 metre long video cable with a male RCA connector on each end. Routing the video cable as I described above I found that 5 metres was too short but that was because I routed it through a hole on the near (left) side of the number plate box. If I had routed it through a hole on the offside of the box then I think 5 metres would have been enough.

The specifications for the camera that I bought as shown above quote "Lens Angle: 170"  but measuring the actual view angle for my set-up it is closer to 110 as shown below but I still think that it should cover my blind spot quite well for lane changing.

 Addendum: With the steering wheel in the straight ahead position I did find that the 9 o'clock spoke tended to obscure my view of the screen so I have now inserted a tripod extension between the screen and its mounting bracket. This results in the screen being lower and in fact resting on the gearbox cover.