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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I just installed a new head unit and decided to slap on a rear-view camera while I was at it. I loathe any project that involves electronics/wiring/etc but the install went pretty smoothly, with one hiccup: The backup camera doesn't work.

I know a little less than nothing about wiring theory so I'm sure I spliced the wrong wires together somewhere. This is what I did:

Power cable from camera to taillight has red and black wires. The reverse light has two black wires. I took a guess at which ones went where (surprise, it didn't work) and even switched them over afterwards, but it still didn't work.

The RC cable has those two, red tail wires hanging off, one at each end. I'm only trying to get juice when in reverse so I figured I could just leave them out of the picture (was that wrong of me to assume)?

If I had to guess, it's one of those two points that I made my mistake. Can someone help point me in the right direction? As of right now, the camera is just rear license plate decoration.
 

· Fuel it up again Dummy
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Ok STOP I stopped at I stripped wires and spliced them to others by the seat of your pants.

When you buy a head unit regardless if its a Alpine or Poopsy Doopsy Head Unit you buy the camera thats meant for that Head Unit. There are level options of quality but it needs to be one for the unit.
By doing THAT all your connections are turn key and click and go. You need to put the boot to what you have and get what will function as designed with your stereo itself.


Trust me when I say I am very well versed with sound systems in vehicles. Going cheap will more often go south and be furthest from it. I still have some pics of my systems in my last two trucks in garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm glad you have experience and that your systems have worked. Can you share that knowledge with me

Also, there are literally thousands of camera options out there. It clearly doesn't need to be one specific camera for one specific head unit.

All I'm trying to figure out is which wires go where. I don't care if my camera can't see through 8 feet of steel and concrete, in the dark, underwater, at mach 7. I'm keeping it basic on purpose (because I'm a broke SOB)
 

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All us Americans are broke sons of *****es. Its by design compliments of Uncle Sam that prick.

I'm telling you its not always so straight forward. All the cameras don't work off the same parameters. If there is data with the camera you have now that gives installation procedure for your deck then your fine. I have no idea how many cameras are out there but its not a universal fits all situation all the time.

I have installed a few Audiophile systems all fully active channel systems over the years into my trucks. I have a Alpine INE-Z928HD in my dash going to a Audiotec Fischer DSP Pro with 11 active channels to 6 McIntosh Class A/B amplifiers run to Dynaudio Esotec Components in the doors and JL Audio subs (2)10" and a 12"

Yes my camera is a Alpine because I would F it up otherwise.

The system is in my profile. Been around the block, my old truck is here too. Was A 900 watt 4 ohms old school Nakamichi First Generation plate amps of theirs. Current McIntosh system is 2,400 watts 4 ohms
 
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NTSC and PAL are the two video standards used for video signals. Maybe Pioneer, Alpine, etc use some proprietary signal but I’ve never heard as much. As to quality, some aftermarkets are crap and some aren’t. As indicated above, cheap units will come back to bite you. I bought a decent license plate unit with infrared led illumination which works fine. My suggestion is to test the camera and rca cable BEFORE installation by connecting the cable to,the headunit sitting in the cab and powering the camera from a temporary 12vt source. That way if it doesn’t work you can change out the rca cable with a shorter one and see if that is the issue.

Also, Not sure what head unit you have but it may be possible that it requires a reverse signal wire trigger in the headunit wiring harness? Mine has a wire in the harness That needs to be connected to the reverse signal in order for the headunit to go into backup mode and display the camera image on the screen. I pulled this from a wire under the dash rather than run all the way from the taillight.
 

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Yes the cameras need a reverse signal for powering up the rear camera. I put toggle 4 for old trucks manual. In my 2006 wire was on passenger side on floor inside truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. Yeah there is a reverse signal wire, but I used a micro-bypass that explicitly said to not connect the reverse wire to the truck, and instead connect it to the bypass (to allow full-function of the head unit while driving). I don't watch movies or anything at 70mph on the highway, but it's annoying when a passenger can't hook up to bluetooth when you're in motion.

Does anyone have any resources for a dummy like me on basics of vehicle wiring and electrical systems? I'm sure there's a great thread somewhere on here but I haven't found what I'm looking for.

What is the red tail-wire on the RC cable? Do I need to cap them, ground them out, hook them to a power source, etc? My understanding is that they are for power if you want an external power source to keep the camera on full-time but it isn't needed when you're just triggering it off of reverse-lights.
 

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What truck do you have? I'll help out with some wiring info if I can...
 

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There is a back up wire and usually a parking brake wire too in the head unit’s wiring harness. Parking break wire is used to prevent being able to play movies while vehicle is in motion. Back up wire is used to activate the screen to display the back up camera image. Two separate wires, two separate functions. What head unit and camera did you buy? That imfo will help greatly imstructing you as to how to wire it up.
 

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What truck do you have? ...
.... What head unit and camera did you buy? That imfo will help greatly imstructing you as to how to wire it up.
So, lemme get this straight...

You guys want to know the truck year and trim, radio make/model number, AND the camera make/model? Smdh. The next thing that you know, you'll be asking for scans of the diagrams from the radio and camera instructions showing the connectors, wires, and wire colors.

You will NOT get points for difficulty on this event if you keep asking for data! Remember... *anyone* can do this with good data. ...and you guys are not just "anyone."

So, close your eyes and start installing!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a 2004 F-350, Crew cab, 8ft, SRW, 4x4

It's a Pioneer AVH-X390BS head unit with an Esky backup camera (yeah, I know it's a cheap one). I installed an AVH-X specific microbypass in the wiring harness as well. I'll check the instructions after work today on the microbypass because now I'm unsure of myself, whether it was the back-up wire or parking break wire that it said to not connect to the vehicle. Regardless, I only recall one of those wires being present. I will confirm all tonight
 

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I was just having fun. ...but - with my comments - I wanted to help stress that what you have described may make perfect sense to you - but is fairly hard to follow.

A better approach is that you post the connection diagram for the camera and the back panel + connection diagrams for the head unit. Then, these guys will tell you how it should be connected and then you make the appropriate change.

The alternative approach being pursued here - them telling you what is wrong based on your verbal description - is extremely statistically unlikely end in fruition.
 
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If your head unit has GPS you may not be able to use the parking break module, I have a pioneer unit and the GPS detects motion and will disable video. I'd probable wire the reverse signal wire to eliminate the possibility of that being the problem
 

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You will NOT get points for difficulty on this event if you keep asking for data!
I keep forgetting that I'm in this for points. But given the challenge, I will try.


First off, the instructions for your micro-bypass would connect to the parking brake wire for your truck, not the reverse wire. Head units with video capability require the vehicle to be in park. The micro-bypass gets around that safety requirement.


Let's assume the camera kit is something like the attached photo... they are all very similar.

The OP mentions red tail wires hanging off the RCA ends. These would likely be used for a built-in reverse switch. One end of the red tail wire would be spliced to the reverse light in the tail light. The other end would be spliced to the reverse sense wire at the head unit. This saves you from finding a wire under the dash that receives voltage when in reverse. The RCA cable, of course, also plugs into the camera input on your head unit.

When the truck is in reverse, the reverse light will send voltage up the red tail wire and to your head unit. This tells the head unit to switch its display to the camera feed automatically.

You said the power cable for the camera has a red and black lead. The red wire needs to be spliced into the 12V power, and the black wire to ground. If you're using the reverse lamps, you can choose either the left or right tail-light. On my 2004 F-350, the reversing lamp wires are black for ground and black with a pink tracer for 12V power. Probably the same for your 2005.

After the splices are done, you connect the power barrel connector (red connector in the photo) to the camera and the RCA video cable (yellow connector in the photo).

Then, when the truck is in reverse, voltage from the reversing lamp is used to turn on the camera and to signal the head unit that the vehicle is in reverse.

If you want to be able to access the camera feed when the truck is not in reverse, you would need to splice the power feed for the camera into a voltage source that is always on when the key is turned on. Some guys use the trailer connector harness for that.

Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wire diagram makes sense, I'll see if I can whip something up, but I'm no electrician.

-I'm too much of a beginner on here to post images so my wonderful, scratchpad wire diagram can't get posted-

Vitaminjoe, what I'm getting from your feed back says that the red tail wires on the RCA and the red lead on the power cable should be tied into the 12v power wire (black/pink) on the reverse light. Is that right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Installation instructions for the microbypass, specifically for the parking brake wire:

"Connect green wire on microbypass directly to light green parking wire on radio only. DO NOT connect this wire to the vehicles actual parking break circuit/wire! *If this wire runs ANYWHERE else, then make sure to disconnect it!"
 

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Isnt the activation a ground signal ?
 

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So, lemme get this straight...

You guys want to know the truck year and trim, radio make/model number, AND the camera make/model? Smdh. The next thing that you know, you'll be asking for scans of the diagrams from the radio and camera instructions showing the connectors, wires, and wire colors.

You will NOT get points for difficulty on this event if you keep asking for data! Remember... *anyone* can do this with good data. ...and you guys are not just "anyone."

So, close your eyes and start installing!

:)
I took a bad attitude out of the gate because this can go wrong so much easier then right. Also there are so many levels of quality with the cameras.

For me I just don't like it not being plug and play. My stereo system is a wiring menagerie but the stereos optional items I went Alpine so I didn't deal with this. I truly hope you gentlemen get him squared away.

Heres a bit of proof
 
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