Install front camera on our 01 Ford Super duty F 250

IN PROGRESS...2/19/17

Another round toit. Almost got it

Adding front camera, parking aid

What I want is the monitor to switch/show rear or front camera when jockeying the truck around in direction moving. Especially when the scooter and rack are up front. I want this to be automatic when shifting into reverse or forward, regardless of radio on or off, no monitor interface. If im trying to walk truck sides ways between 2 objects and only have a few feet, don't want to be playing with monitor or switches. So not using the aux inputs of radio. Many ways to do this, manual switching, auto switcher boxes, monitor AV source, etc. But, this is what I'm doing, assuming it will work (not sure). Video linked at bottom showing it working...

Running switched 12v power to front camera thru a normally closed relay. The video output and trigger will be into the reverse circuit of radio/monitor. So front camera will override radio/monitor just like reverse does. When switched on, front camera will come on immediately, remain on until I shift into reverse. When shifting into reverse, the backup trigger wire that turns on monitor will also energize relay turning OFF front camera. In theory shifting in and out of reverse should switch views immediately. When front camera turned off, not used, reverse triggering/display will function as normal. So pretending (and hoping) I have a clue that's how I'm proceeding.

Once/if I get wiring to work its figuring out how and where to mount front camera-details...Somehow it needs to be able to move to scooter and see front of rack.

Crude wiring cartoon.

Local availability of electronic parts becoming almost nil, otherwise 4 pin normally closed relay would be choice.
Using an SPDT relay, only the N/C (#87a) side, to turn off power to front camera when shifting into reverse.
Do not know if necessary but adding blocking diodes on the front & back camera trigger feeds.

Started switch/ relay prewire. Where I want switch means pulling the dash-forgot cant simply drill hole- have to clearance the inner dash...err.

Just time...

Dash loose, picture to record wires..pulling wires to drill dash in shop. Then its opening up inner or sub dash to allow wires to pass thru and switch to clear. Which took most of the day.

Got the inner or sub dash plastic clearenced and wiring passed thru. Used a dremal on inner dash to cut hole to match new switch, xacto and files to clean up. Everything except the wiring-turned to crap,its a disaster. I hate seeing wires like this. Cant do a whole lot now and I still have the camera trigger wire harness to add. Once radio and cameras working Ill pull lower dash again and loom best I can. Mostly it will be zip ties bundling just trying to tidy up. And some labels-too many 'red' wires. Yellow wire was originally was going to constant power to radio (yellow), but saw potential for being left on so went to 12v feed from key off source.

But front camera switch installed, relay working, green LED. Yellow is the on board trickle charger. Next is make the camera trigger wire harness. basically a Y with directional blocking diodes. Run power wire from relay to front of truck... and realized what I should have done. There's power at front of truck.

I could have set this up switching ground for camera. Basically the same except 87a/30 on relay would be ground, fed by switch that is connected to ground instead of power...lose the unneeded LED but operationally same results as far as camera switching. Mute- Not starting over-just hindsight. Except would be a simple matter of removing power wire on switch, moving the led ground to source terminal, take 5 seconds-hmmm. After some thought Nixed. What I don't know is if camera powered it might 'hunt' for ground, possibly use video cable or trigger wire with unknown results. Like when one taillight looses ground, all kinds of weird stuff happens. Trudging along as planned...

Made the plug in trigger double diode harness to feed monitor. Labeled. Front camera trigger, rear camera trigger that also energizes relay.

Installed in the truck, tested using meter and its working. Turn on manual switch and power out of relay (to feed front cam), throw into reverse, relay turns off wer to front cam. Awaiting arrival of front camera and video cords. 'Till I see the monitor switch, fuses don't pop and screen doest go alternate purple, orange to black, not assuming. Still could fail or work a bit odd, mostly response times for cameras I am unsure about....

Camera arrived and installed. Its tiny.

Wires run to front.. Reworked existing fuse block so dash switch feeds individual fuse that feed camera and trigger wire for monitor.

Map for self

Where currently stuck till I come up with something. Original plan was for camera to be mounted on truck yet be able to move out onto scooter when hauled on front rack. I simply could not figure out a practical way of doing that. So mounted camera to truck. See what I see when scooter carried but likely unplug truck and plug in a scooter or rack mounted camera.

So for the time being the cameras plugs and power leads I inserted in a large scrap of loom. If the camera stays where it is at I can put all the wiring under the plastic apron out of sight. More than sure Ill mount a small box so plugs are on top for easy access, either for swapping cameras or replacement access. These cheap cameras aren't known for longevity. But an area the needs serious revisit, I just stopped until scooter camera addressed. It could very well be I can see thru its step thru frame enough another camera isn't needed. Wistfully thinking, whole point and thrust of the front cam was the scooter.

Envisioning a bracket mounted to rack elevating the camera a couple of feet. Allows securing cables. Possibly a mount that's clamped by scooters flip up seat, but its the cables between I see a problem. A wireless would be an easy solve,though unwanted cost. I have power to rack, unplug trucks cam-plug in the receiver, scoot cam&transmitter would be controlled by running lights... but- just a lot of effort at this point.

Still on the round toit for another day..but thinking out loud while writing this, looking at old picture I think have a plan. Welding a short 1 1/4" square tube as receiver to face of hitch plate, probably broach thru for minimum stickout, weld from both sides. Mount camera to a piece of 1" tube however long/angle to place at optimum view thru scooter. Probably another short piece or something vertically from receiver up with means to retain/route cable up to plugs, simpler a short extension. unplug truck cam-drop extension. mount camera stalk to receiver, plug in! Some fab details but would be super easy, removable. If Id thought of this from the get-go it'd be done. Hopefully in the interim, what I can see thru scooter helps.

Back to point...

Camera mounted.

I had hoped it would protrude a bit further, though if bumper was seen, its reflection would wash out so left for now. Plus like camera tucked out of view.

The bracket could be mounted under grill and flipped 180 placing camera about 1- 1 1/2" outward. Max downward now, just seeing edge of grill, I have about 14" in front of truck. Pretty sure if move out, Id see bumper and would have to tilt out so wouldn't gain any closer view. Just have check if more exposure of camera would be that much better downward angle, don't think so. On the round toit

View from front camera.. I've been driving this truck for a while, pretty much know where she's at, but seeing to within 14" of front bumper is amazing

Auto switching between front and rear camera works awesome! Turn on the front camera, shifting into reveres automatically switches to rear camera, out of reveres front camera comes back on. Wasn't sure. There is a mili second flicker when switching. I assume no delay between power sources to monitor yet cameras switch, so there's a lag as monitors feed is almost constant, then the camera comes on. I don't know if issue or not. But In use if Im jockeying the truck sideways between 2 obstacles and need instant front to back view Ill use as set up, otherwise normally Ill only switch on front when trying to get close to something, turn it off to backup, manually turn on to see forward. But watching it auto switch is pretty neat, but manually switching will ensure its there when needed.

Put the rack on just to see

More than I expected, scooter is open thru front so I would see chair. Chair is setting about even with racks tie off posts. Need to load scooter but too lazy. Guestimating, scooters foot well, higher than rack rail, will block view from chairs seat bottom down, sided to side about width of chair. Be hard to judge distance. Keep me from running into a Mack truck but cant really see whats directly in front. I have no need to see 2 car lengths out forward so camera on a stalk to get it higher and out somehow, pointed more downward is the plan.

Whole point for front camera was pulling close to something with scooter on rack. Have front truck camera-functions but unneeded, have auto switching monitor front to back view. Until I can drive forward up to within a few inches of say a tree stump or park post that's 12" off the ground with the scooter rack on, this section a fail. Its just going to take concentrated effort to complete. When I started the front camera I saw camera placement as the real issue. Had hoped by the time I got here something would gel- some ideas but otherwise not.

Except for a few roundtoits when motivated and time allows, done.

Back up camera installed on truck, switchable to backup camera on camper. Front camera on truck, with allowance if pursued, switchable to scooter cam. Auto switching between front and rear cameras when wanted..

You Tube video just showing monitor switching between front & back cameras, both auto and manual mode.

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