Setting up a 3 way on car camera system

Some time ago I acquired 3 sets of wireless reversing cameras from a major automotive accessory supplier when they were having a stock clearance.

wireless-camera-kit

I managed to pick up three of these at a clearance sale

The idea is to use one video monitor to see all three cameras by running them through a switch on the dashboard.

2 cameras are mounted on the vehicle permanently and the third is a 'roving' camera that I can place anywhere on or near the vehicle.

Here's how I built the 3 way camera system feeding into a single monitor.

You will need:

3 x wireless cameras. (A misnomer as you still need to apply 12v cables to actually make them work).
1 x wireless monitor which is the same frequency as the cameras.
1 x 3way power switch on/off/on
1 x portable 12v power supply like one of those battery engine starters.
Some electrical wire long enough to reach all the cameras

How it works:

Mount a camera on the front of the car and hook up to the 12 volt cable which will go to the switch at the dashboard. In my case I used the upper contact and I also placed a small green LED indicator lamp so I could see when it was on.

video-camera-on-front-bumper

The front camera mounted above the number plate

This allows you to really really see what is in front of the car at bumper level.

Same to the rear, I used an elevated position on the tailgate, but it can be used in any position you choose depending on what you want to focus on. I turn it 180 degrees when the tailgate is up and get it focussed on the towball.

reversing-camera-on-tailgate

The rear camera mounted inside the tailgate looking through the glass

I wired this to the other end of the switch and the 12 volt power cable (fused 2 amp is enough) I also added a small red LED to indicate this being active - Now you can see what is behind you.

Now you can flick between the two cameras front to back.

switches-on-dashboard-front

Dashboard switch is up for the front camera

 

switches-on-dashboard-rear

Dashboard switch is down for the rear camera

 

in-car-video-monitor

The monitor can be mounted anywhere on the dashboard or kept in the glove box and brought out when it's needed (note - it's on the floor in this pic as the sunlight was too bright to photograph it on the dashboard)

The third camera can be placed anywhere within its range. It can be attached to the battery pack and placed behind the car, on the drawer bar to observe the tow hitch while hitching, on the rear bumper of the caravan while backing into a tight spot, in the tight spot so you can back up towards the camera... etc etc,

video-camera-on-rear-bumper-02

Using a battery pack to power the third 'roving' camera 

When you centre the dashboard switch the feed from the 3rd roving camera will show on the monitor in the car as it will be the only one transmitting.

switches-on-dashboard-centre

You can also use one of the other 2 video monitors inside the caravan with the roving camera outside somewhere to observe the outer area of the campsite.

I hope this helps you to get a better view of what's around you.

5 thoughts on “Setting up a 3 way on car camera system

  1. Avatar
    D. J. Cameron-Stephen says:

    Hi. I already have a wired in reversing camera which becomes active when I put the car into reverse (ie wired to the reversing lights). I have now put a towbar on the front of the car (4WD) so I want to wire in a camera to the existing system so I can see the front towbar. I'm an old fart, and don't know enough to do this. Could you suggest something, please? A wiring diagram would be fantastic!!! Happy to pay for it.
    Thanks!
    Don

  2. Avatar
    Jucas says:

    Hi.. I like your how to.. I'm looking to make a similar switch..how did you connect the wires? Front camera and rear camera? Regards

  3. Kurt Mueller
    Kurt Mueller says:

    1st camera lets me derive up to about 10 cm off a bollard etc which would be totally invisible from the drivers seat. actually lets me see anything in front of the van that is hidden below the bonnet, like kids dogs etc. juyst like a rev camera.Also lets me see any bumps and ruts up close.
    Cam 2 is the one I use most when backing up, just like any other reverse cam except I can also keep an eye on the towball when it is vertical. (tailgate up).
    Cam3 can be used anywhere with a battery pack. Even at night.
    All this from the single monitor. A second monitor can be used as wekll from a battery pack or 12volt source. mainly used to see where I am going from behind the caravan. I dont need to run video cables, just supply 12v

  4. Avatar
    Tanya says:

    Hi there, read thru your idea of 3 way camera system and would like to know more about how you've benefitted in more detail from this on your travels? Thanks, appreciate your tine to reply. Cheers Tanya

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