on July 3, 2014
TL;DR: Yahoo! BUY! Otherwise, let me entertain you...
Last year, I fenced my lot in, a 6 foot high fence you absolutely cannot see though. Our driveway goes between the fence and a small outbuilding onto the alleyway behind our home, resulting in a completely blind entry into the alleyway for us. To compound the problem, I have a large pickup and have to back out -- I really have *no* idea what's going on in the alleyway. And of course, there are some jokers who randomly fog up and down the alley at ludicrous speed. The problem was begging for a solution before my truck, which I really like, took a serious hit.
I already had a backup camera and 2-input monitor (one input unused) in the truck, so here's what I did:
I mounted two cameras on the side of the outbuilding, parallel to the alleyway, one pointed each way. I fed this to an inexpensive video combiner also purchased here at Amazon (VideoSecu Office Home Security Camera CCTV Color Surveillance Video Quad Splitter Processor 1EY), which I set to dual split mode, which forwards two cameras in one frame, with the two images stretched vertically, side by side. Which looks decent in a widescreen monitor, btw, although it is admittedly somewhat distorted. This, in turn, I fed into the product here, the 2.4 GHz transmitter, mounted at about head height on the inside of a wood wall immediately adjacent to my exit from the driveway.
Then I mounted the receiver in the truck, high up in the rear seat area of the cabin. I fed the received video to the previously unused input on the monitor, made sure power was coming from a circuit that was hot only when the ignition was on, and that completed the install.
Now, whenever I am near the outbuilding, which essentially means any time I am backing up even over by the house where I park, I can get a clear view up and down the alleyway before even sticking an inch of the truck body out there. My risk of being t-boned went from a dice roll to zero in one move. Just imagine the difference in stress. Did I mention I really like my truck?
So... we also have another vehicle, a car, that the lady of the house generally drives. I thought it would be good if she could see what was going on as well, although she drives out vehicle-front first and can see a little bit anyway. So I got her a monitor like mine, bought a second 2.4 GHz rx/tx unit from this page, and installed the receiver in her car. I was taking a chance that there was only one channel involved (so that the 2nd receiver would also hear the first transmitter), but that in fact turned out to be the case.
So now she can see what's going on as well, and again, our risk is lowered. I stored the 2nd transmitter as a backup. Then I bought a third set so as to have an RF monitor in the shed if and when I mess with things in there, and again, stashed the transmitter as a spare for the spare, as it were.
The only thing that didn't go perfectly is that in her car, I was sort of forced to mount the receiver low and under the dash as she really didn't want wires all over the place, nor was I prepared to do surgery on the headliner. This puts a lot of metal between the receiver and the desired signal, and indeed, the signal is not very strong in her car. I'm considering doing something more like getting a little mini-coax and hacking the antenna up by the windshield. I'll add to this part of the review if I get around to that.
Let me clear, though: I consider this problem not in any way a fault in the rx/tx units, just a problem I caused by mounting the receiver low and near all that metal.
The wiring... meh. I would have liked to see a little heavier wiring for the power supply. Those wires are thin! And speaking of the power supply, what I used in the outbuilding was a 2.5 ampere linear power supply that feeds the cameras, the switch/combiner, the in-shed receiver, and the transmitter. I'm a ham radio operator (amateur radio) and I really can't tolerate all the RF noise the typical el-cheapo switching power supplies, such as the ones that came with the security cameras, generate in the normal course of operation. So the 2.5 amp linear supply takes care of everything with ease, and there's no RF noise at all.
I have not observed excessive heat at any of the three receivers, or at the transmitter. A little warm, that's all. Reception (and therefore transmission) is extremely stable and reliable, and quality of the signal is perfect when within a reasonable range for my application, which is 20 feet or so in any direction. I use an old CRT video monitor along with the receiver in the shed; I rarely have occasion to turn it on, though.
Word to the wise: Note that because the units do get a little warm, we know they're consuming a few watts of power, even without measuring. You really want to connect them only to +13.8 VDC circuits that are active only when your vehicle is running and the alternator is producing charging current. Otherwise, you run the risk of going to start your engine after a few days break and... nothing. Dead battery. I hate it when that happens. I don't think you'd like it either.
Anyway, these are great, flexible products that can really kick up the safety for you and yours, and I highly recommend thinking about what more you can accomplish outside of just making a backup camera wireless, especially since it's pretty easy to run a video cable for that application. That switcher combiner I mentioned can do a quad combine with four cameras, and you can feed that to the transmitter. Four cameras, all displayed at once via one monitor input. Give you any ideas?
on July 31, 2013
First of all, if you not familiar with car electrical, pay a professional to install the backup camera. Otherwise, with this wireless transmitter and receiver set, install backup camera is quite straight forward. Considering there is no heat-sink for this kit, I don't think this kit is being designed to have the power on at all time so you should only hook it up to the reverse wire. For my SUV, I installed the transmitter from backup light harness (simple) and receiver using reverse wire I found under the dashboard (not easy, I have to use the signal tracer for that, search the web for your model). The picture is crystal clear 99% of the time, from time to time there is a brief interference but shouldn't affect its main function which let you see if anything on your car's back.
on June 1, 2014
** Revised review 1 day later ***
The transmitter started to flake out after more than 15 minutes of driving. Eventually, I removed the transmitter and ran the video hard-wire through the car and my backup camera works properly now. I would not recommend this 2.4 gHZ transmitter product.
*** Original Review ***
My car didn't come with a backup camera and after reading an article on how a dad ran over his kid, I decided it is really a must and did some research on installing one myself.
There's a youtube video by Cars & Driver on installing a backup camera, but every car is a little different, so before buying everything, I would advise to check out your car and envision how you would put everything together. I spent $100 total make it happen:
Morris Products 10772 Quick Splice Connector, Red, 22-18 Wire Range
- It worked well! The difficult part is making sure the wire is in the right places before clamping down with a plier. Once all the way down, the wire is really tight in there. I used this to splice the power from one of the reverse light on the trunk.
E-PRANCE New Car Door Clip Panel Audio Video Dashboard Dismantle Kits Installer Pry Tool
- Could not have removed the stupid trunk lid liner without this tool and also a small flat head screw driver. The trunk lid liner is held on by 8 black plastic round clip and to remove them without breaking the plastic round clips, you need to discover where to push in with the flat head screw driver by probing under the clip. The location is found when you can stick the flat head deeper than everywhere else. The two sides are usually vertical or horizontal and once found, just shove in the screw driver and one of the very narrow but flat prong to pop it out!
INNOVA 3300 Hands-free Digital Multimeter (10 MegOhm)
- Had to use this to find where to get the power source for the LCD Screen. I did not like this for the car because the prong is not narrow enough to stick into really tight spot.
Esky® EC170-09 Waterproof High Sensitive Color CMOS Black Aluminum Alloy Universal Car License Plate Frame Mount Rear View Backup Camera
- The camera is really nice and the frame is nice too. There is are built in indicator lines for distances that's not removable. Fish eye camera lense is also really nice. My only issue is that there doesn't seem to be a way to stop the camera from freely rotating other than the wire sticking out stops it. The length of the wire is also a small issue; it was ok for my car as it's the right length to go throught the plastic of the license plate lighting fixture. But I can see it an issue if it needed to be longer.
4.3 Inch LCD TFT Rearview Monitor screen for Car Backup Camera
- I wish the wires coming out of the LCD Screen was much longer, but it wasn't. The picture is very accurate in its portrayal, so it's not a problem.
2.4g Wireless Color Video Transmitter and Receiver for the Vehicle Backup Camera/front Car Camera
- Works very well for short distance of a normal car. The transmitter heats up very fast though, and I worry it may break down with the amount of heat it produces. ... I'm scared of if and when it breaks as I don't like the idea of going back in to fix it.
**** Installation on 2015 Volvo S60 ****
1) 20 minutes just trying to get the trunk lid liner off. The black clips were really hard to remove, but once I figured it out, it was just a process of getting to the side of the clips and pushing in the right way. There is also the trunk latch plastic cup thing that pulls right off. A trunk holder thing that has two plastic clips that needed a good push from the back side that I didn't do appropriately (and broke the clip). A trunk release handle that is attached to a steel cable that needed some finessing to remove.
2) 10 minutes on unscrewing the license plate lighting fixture. I needed some special Torx screw driver and it was almost not the right size. Eventually, it came out easily when the screws were all out.
3) 30 minutes to connecting the *RIGHT* 2.4 ghz transmitter to the license plate camera and stuff it in the space inside the trunk. What's nice is the transmitter has the plugs to power the camera and to receive the 1 yellow RCA feed. So, I had to thread the transmitter cable into the trunk through the license plate lighting fixture. Then, to power the transmitter, I found the red/black wire for the reverse light on the left side of the trunk lid. My wife had to come to put car in reverse for me to verify the right cables to use. I used the splice things to splice the cables together, very fast!
4) For the front, I stuck the LCD screen to the dash, ran the cable on the side, and connected the power lines together with a cigarette lighter car adapter. I utilized an old cigarette car adapter that I wasn't using anymore, cut the wires, stripped, and lashed it all together.
Now, I have a backup camera for just about $100!