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Back-up camera hack - '12 OB with rear view mirror display

8427 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mxfrank
Hello, first time poster here, although I've been lurking on and off since before I bought my OB back in January. Happy to be leading with something that might be of interest to people! :)

Posting this thread to confirm that I've done a back-up camera hack with the LCD display in the rear view mirror. I couldn't find a thread specifically about it, although it came up as a question a few times (with no definitive answers).

I haven't done it permanently, but I still need to figure out how to do the hack without turning on the reverse lights. (I found some threads about that I'll link in case anyone wants to work on this).

I did this right in the driver's side kick panel--the reverse signal is a prominent brown and yellow striped wire (was tipped off by an existing thread about a '10 OB). It's the upper (white) plug closest to the driver, if I recall, but that's the only brown and yellow wire I could see, so it shouldn't be hard to spot (thanks to Typhoonk for noting the color of the wire in an old thread I dug up).
[It's in the center row of 3 rows on the connector (I think) and I believe it's the third down (lengthwise). When hot (i.e., when in reverse), it turns on the reverse lights and the backup camera. I was able to do that while in park. Pretty Cool! :D]

It was refreshing and educational to do some circuit diagnosis ad the like (it's been awhile since my days of building complex circuits or even taking apart anything in a car), but then the *really* fun part about this was when I blew fuse #4 in the passenger compartment--and lost moon roof, cruise control, rearview mirror functions (including the back-up cam, ironically) and I get a flashing TPMS warning light until I replace it! Hoping it's only the one. That'll teach me to mess around with the electrical system without spare fuses on hand...I was worried that I'd wrecked the mirror or something, glad that doesn't seem to be the case though.
[Interesting side note: I can enable but not set the cruise control.]

As far as doing the hack permanently goes, depending on where I need to put a switch, I think I might get my 12V from the center wire two slots above the reverse signal line (solid yellow). It's apparently the line to the 'remote control rear view mirrors' fuse, according to the manual (continuity test tells me it does go to fuse #6, whatever that is). I had assumed that meant it was the power to the rearview mirror, but given that fuse 6 isn't blown and the line still carries 12V despite the mirror being inactive (which lead me initially to think I'd fried it), maybe I've not understood what that means. However that yellow line appears to be a switched 12 volts, which is why I'm looking at it. I'll try and confirm what it does before actually using that to give the reverse signal.
[I suspect that the back-up camera, compass and miror dimming functionality are on one line, while the garage remotes are either on another line, or powered by a battery--those were the only responsive buttons on the mirror after I blew my fuse]

I may take some photos tomorrow (kicking myself for not doing it while I was in there today, once I tried to remember specific details of the location, etc) and post them up, but I might also wait until my own hack is satisfactorily complete.

This has me wondering how I screwed up though (other than going against my better judgement and bringing in an un-fused line directly from the battery--what could go wrong, right? -_- Oops!)--any ideas? I assume I just hit the wrong line and popped the fuse, or else the reverse signal is more complicated than I assumed. I didn't figure out yet which line in that bundle fuse #4 goes to, so maybe I'll do that tomorrow, but it's labeled as 'navigation system/front wiper deicer/moonroof'.

Anyway, my main aim now is to figure out how to do this without triggering the reverse lights. I'll probably use a switch so I can turn this on/off at will with some diodes. I'm not sure if I can do that all in the kick panel, or if I'll have to go closer to the mirror itself to manage it. Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out soon.

These threads were discussing how to keep the reverse lights off: (+diagram)

So it looks like I need a diode between reverse lights and mirror, and the switch will go on the other side of the diode from the reverse light. [And I'm pretty tired, but I'm pretty sure the diagram in the post above is fine as is and a second diode would be unnecessary (between the switch 12v and the mirror's reverse signal)--I think some part of me just wants it to be symmetrical although tying 12V to 12V should not be a problem, depending on the source of it, anyway).

I think this post is more than long enough so I'm going to call it a night. -_-
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