Cheap reversing camera - $130.00 delivered

Submitted: Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 07:47
ThreadID: 32630 Views:7482 Replies:14 FollowUps:42
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Our Land Rover Defender is extremely difficult to see out the back of. We have the drawer system and on top of that a shelf system which houses the fridge, boxes, bags, etc. Behind all of that is the spare. Not easy to safely reverse, and I came very close to nudging someone the other day that I swore was clear but wasn't quite.

I've decided to get a camera system to help out - not just for seeing rearward pedestrians in the car park, but for reversing into tight camping spots and general reversing. Only problem I found is that they aren't cheap. Systems were looking like $4-800 for the camera, wiring and monitor. I have only a small area in the Defender dash so can't have a 7" monitor which is the norm - it just wouldn't fit anywhere. I found the $700-odd din-sized slide-out ones looked too fragile, and would certainly fall apart because of corrugations and dust.

So.... I found one on eBay out of..you guessed it...China. $130.00 delivered to my door in Sydney. Not bad!!!! There's no reason that the camera shouldn't be as high quality as the Jaycar unit - it's probably the same one. The screen should go for years too. We'll see how it all likes living inside a 4WD over time. Anyway - for $130.00 who's arguing.

The camera looks like the Jaycar unit (with the swivel mount) that they sell for that price alone. Here are the specs:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* 2.5" TFT Screen
* Can be operated inside your car or at home
* Plays DVD/VCD/VCR/CCTV/Rear View Camera
* Resolution (336,960 pixels)
* Build In Speaker
* NTSC/PAL system auto switch
* With Volumn/Color/Brightness adjustments
* Thin Film Transistor (TFT)
* Power Supply: 12V DC ± 10%
* Image Sensor: Color CMOS
* Electronic Shutter time: Auto PAL;1/60-1/100,000 Second
* Number of Pixels: PAL 510(H)x492(V)
* Horizontal resolution:380 TV Lines
* Operating Temperature: -10 to +50 Degree C
* Camera size: 30mm x 42mm
* Monitor Size: 75x59x27mm

Jacks:

* RCA type Video and Audio Input
* DC input: 12v/400mA

Accessories:

* 1 x 2.5 inch TFT LCD Display
* 1 x Car Rear View Color Camera
* 12V car cigarette adapter included
* RCA cable


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Reply By: traveller2 - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:27

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:27
Well come on what is the auction number ;-))
AnswerID: 165490

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:28

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:28
9707565938
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Reply By: Scoey (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:46

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:46
Just a thought, how much detail would you pick up on a 2.5" screen? That's what size screen my didgital camera has and I don't reckon you'd do too well reversing with that! Just a thought but. :-)
Cheers
Scoey!
AnswerID: 165498

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:50

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 08:50
I think that if you can't see a whole person then you had better have your eyes checked! ;)
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:01

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:01
Just had to measure my mobile phone screen , 4cm x 3cm or 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches and front screen is 2cm x 1.5cm ,plenty big enough , if you cant see that size at arms length perhaps you need glasses.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:21

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:21
I think if you cant reverse without using the side mirrors you should hand your license in .. :P
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:40

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:40
Uhmm... yeah. Whatever...... some people are just too good for this technology.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:40

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:40
. . . some people have reversing mirrors that let them see BEHIND the vehicle ???

Mike
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:00

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:00
Like the looks of that, so what are my chances of seeing my towbar for lining up the trailer? OK I can see it is small and probably no problem seing someone but my biggest problem is hooking uip the trailer on my own - without a clunk would be nice.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 165502

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:02

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:02
I was thinking the same as well :) It's a great use for it. I'm tired of getting my wife to gesticulate directions to me only to find that my pintle hook is still a foot from the target....
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:11

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 09:11
Now that's a good idea. I like that.as for Omaroo's comment above I's not a matter of being able to see the whole person, I was sworn at a few years ago by a bloke who walked behind my car as I was reversing, He yelled abuse and said why don't ya look where ya F***# going , so I told him I only have bluddy eyes on the front of my head so when I look right I can't see to the left ,I had looked behind,while i was looking to my right he must have slipped in from the left so when i looked left as i was starting to move and there was no one there , sometimes you just can't win.
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Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:07

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:07
Take it from me this is good kit... I was pleased to be able to do away with Sybils incoherent gesturing & signals... It has made hitching a dream...I mounted mine on a suction cup on the rear window and then when hitched It goes onto a bracket on the rear of the van. It took some farting around to get the wiring in place but it works well now, only takes 3o seconds to transfer it from one spot to the other. I suspect that these are all made in the one factory (Electronics factory No.27) in China & merely rebranded by retailers...they all look to be of identical design.
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:12

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:12
Excellent news indeed Basil :)

I can't wait!

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Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:01

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:01
errrrrrrrrrr when I said I mounted it I was indeed referring to the camera, not Sybil...
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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:21

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:21
oh i knooooooooooow

but have you put the picture up yet?

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Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:58

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:58
I thought the wall would be a good place.....
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:13

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:13
OK - where would YOU put the camera, given that it's a 25mm hole that you have to drill? Thank God the Defender is all alloy :)


AnswerID: 165521

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:18

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:18
In the middle of the spare wheel ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:20

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:20
That's another possibility I suppose Willie. It'd be pretty simple to make up a solid little bracket... and it wouldn't be so obvious.
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:24

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:24
Brilliant idea Willie. Other than that I'd lean towards 2.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:27

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:27
I was looking at going with "2" as well Gramps, but I'm not sure what the view immediatelt left would be like because of the spare. It probably depends on just how wide the viewing angle is. It's easy enough to hook it to power and move it around before a solid installation I guess.
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:30

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:30
Yeah, I was thinking it was about the right height, furthest from the driver, etc etc but completely overlooked the 'blind spot' caused by the spare wheel.

Do you feel like installing two cameras :)))))))))
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Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:36

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:36
At this rate, you'll be getting into Roachie territory LOLOL
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 19:59

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 19:59
I'd put the camera under the vehicle that way you can watch the oil leaks as you drive!..^_^..
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:03

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:03
Not one oil leak on my Land Rover - anywhere. That fact was even bought up by my non-Landy mechanic yesterday. I must have a dud. 170,000km and no oil donations to nature.....
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Reply By: Penguin (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:29

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:29
Just love your mascot :-)
AnswerID: 165530

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:33

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 10:33
hehe.. thanks Penguin!

That's our little girl Pug, called "Chops"

Here's her being all patriotic...

Cheers
Chris


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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:50

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:50
Maybe that's what I need. Sometimes little cars (weapons of self destruction) get so close up my jaxy I can't see them.
AnswerID: 165554

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:55

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 11:55
It'd be good to have a little LED message banner up in the back window scrolling the following text:

"Your number plate is being photographed you tail-gating fool. Back off!"
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FollowupID: 420415

Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:09

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:09
Omaroo, $99 at Dick Smiths... Programmable LED banner, not sure how many words you can have though...
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:11

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:11
:)
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Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:57

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:57
You know Omaroo you may jest but that actually is not a bad idea....RichardHeads driving up your cloaka, so close you can't see their headlights really get up my nose, to the point that I put a pushbutton switch in the brake light circuit to momentarily turn on the stop lights, trully gives em the runs...
But hey a sign that one could change as well... the possibilities are endless "Slow down, unmarked cop in front", "take of your top, & smile for the camera", "Random breast testing vehicle", "The speed limit is XXX I am doing the speed limit" "Take your lights of high beam you turkey"," don't worry I will stop for a cuppa soon"... LOVE it, gotta have one, off to tricky dickies... Bye
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Reply By: greydemon - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:02

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:02
Would people please STOP posting photos of Landrover Defenders !!

It is just soooooo insensitive.

There are many Discovery drivers out there who set off one fine day to buy a Defender and returned home driving a Discovery. We all made the same basic mistake ..... never take your wife with you when you go to buy a 4WD.
AnswerID: 165559

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:08

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:08
Sorry old bean :)

I'm lucky in that Defenders are a luxury item to my wife. She used to drive Unimogs and Land Rovers in the Army years ago, and considers the 110 a "new-fangled luxo-barge".... ;)

Sorry... gggnnnnnn....... couldn't hellpppp ittt...... :)


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Reply By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:13

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:13
I don't understand a device like this being sold as suitable for vehicles with a voltage spec of * Power Supply: 12V DC ± 10%.

This gives us a max voltage of 13.2 volts so this means we must use a regulator to keep within specs as most vehicles run over 14 volts.
AnswerID: 165562

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:20

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:20
Ray - I asked the bloke about this, as yes - you are absolutely correct. Over 14 volts is quite the norm.

His replay was that the tolerance could and probably should be written as 20% or even higher. He says that the factory specifies that this is how any advertising must read so that they are covered. Understandable I would have thought. That would give you anywhere between 9.6vdc and 14.4vdc. At the end of the day he's adamant that they aren't all that sensitive at all and had been installed in hundreds of cars.

Regulators from Dick Smith are $8.22 for a kit.



Power almost any battery-operated device from a car battery or DC power adaptor up to 1.5A. By changing the resistor value on the PCB you can step-down voltage to 3V, 4.5V, 6V, 9V or other voltages within the range. Has an output voltage range of 1.2V - 37 Volts DC.
Features:

* Power almost any battery-operated device from a car battery or DC power adaptor
* Regulates a +ve12V (nominal) supply to a lower voltage
* By changing the resistor value on the PCB you can step-down voltage to 3V, 4.5V, 6V, 9V or other voltages within the range
* Delivers up to 1.5A (with heatsinking)
* Has an output voltage range of 1.2V - 37 Volts DC
* Features internal thermal overload and short-circuit protection
* Supplied with components and PCB
* Case optional (use H-2305)
* PCB size:48mm x 61mm
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FollowupID: 420423

Follow Up By: Member - RockyOne - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:03

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:03
I wonder if our old mate,Omaroo (or others) could indicate how to get 8 volts out of the DSE kit as I have DSE camera (12v DC) that transmits to the receiver that is,unfortunatley,for me, 8v DC..The cam has about 100m range,LOS,as I got it to mount on both rigs and,wait for it,animals.Our German Shep plays our two cows,want to get him "dicing with death"..Cam may have a limited future,but,hey,don't most of todays lectronix? Help!
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:30

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 09:30
RockyOne

I haven't bought the kit yet, but I suppose that you get a list of resistor values to use to achieve a range of target output voltages. Other than that - it might be possible to use a potentiometer (variable resistor) that matches the upper and lower values in the acceptable range so that you might use a voltmeter to "tune" it to whatever you wanted.
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Follow Up By: Member - RockyOne - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 10:23

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 10:23
Omaroo ! Good clue..Pot..(not that sort ;-) Our local DSE store is operated by a TV etc repair guy..He should steer me rite on the right pot to adjust to correct 8v..I have a good digital meter to read "real" voltage..I mite duch down to Dicks this am & see if they have one..Or order..Thks..
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Reply By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:24

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:24
The following is also a nice system for those with limited monitor space...

Brash Imports

$300 delivered...
AnswerID: 165565

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:29

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 12:29
Yeah - I looked at these. Although it's not quoted here, the screen (mirror bit) is reasonably heavy apparently. It would be OK on our Jeep, for instance, because the mirror attachment ball/socket is very stiff. The Land Rover's just flops all over the place and wouldn't let you adjust the screen to stay in one place over the bumps in the road.

Not a bad price though hey?
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Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:03

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:03
Also available via ebay fora lot less, the one i bought has an "ultra thin" display and is actually on the visor...but the mirror makes sense.
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:19

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:19
I have the Brash Imports one with monitor mounted on mirror. It is not heavy, don't remember how heavy, but my guess is 300 to 400g. My mirror is mounted on the windscreen and the monitor has been great. It has two inputs, so I can add a second camera on the back of the CT if I wish. When monitor is off, the screen is reflective enough to still act as a mirror.

Monitor is about 150mm wide by 100mm high. I could measure it if anyone wanted, but I'm a bit lazy and having a beer at the moment.

As for mounting, it depends what you want to use it for. If you want it for reversing onto the trailer, get it as close to centre as possible and down within a few inches of the tow hitch. Mine is at the right hight, but ecause of number plate location, it is about a foot off centre. I pick up the hitch in the bottom left corner of the screen, so it is still great for the purpose. Just took some getting used to.
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:01

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 13:01
Just has confirmation that it has been shipped 7/4/06 12:43pm. Countown is running......
AnswerID: 165577

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:06

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:06
LOL I'd watch the postie...of course you realise it's on a "slow boat from China" so I would'nt be warming my soldering iron just yet....
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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:39

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:39
LOL!!

Coming via China Post. Hopefully air.
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Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:55

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 14:55
Greetings

Mount the camera so that it looks out through the rear window glass in an area swept by the rear windscreen wiper. You may get to see the rear window heater wires (particularly at night) but all is out of the weather and the view is as clear as possible in the worst conditions.

Regards

Paul
AnswerID: 165597

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:05

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 15:05
Mmmm.. another good idea Paul. Only niggly (with the Defender at least) is that the swept area is quite away inside the window edge, so mounting it to something is going to be tricky. I'll definitely look into it though. Thanks!

Cheers
Chris
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:54

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 20:54
I have my camera mounted on the roof rack.

Just made a bracket for it and bolted it to the work light which also sits on the back of the roof rack.

Cables go along the gutter and then down the snorkel into the engine bay.

Wayne
AnswerID: 165670

Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 21:02

Friday, Apr 07, 2006 at 21:02
Do you find it useful Wayne?
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 05:36

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 05:36
Could not drive without it.

I can not see a thing out of the back of the Troopie, I have wing mirrors but to see something or someone directly behind the vehicle it is a must. When I first got the camera I reversed up to a garbage bin with out hitting it. I could not do that with out the camera. To see an object that is below the rear window line right up to the point of contact, you can't do that with mirrors.

Being up high and in the middle it makes it easy to reverse, in fact it does take a little getting use to because unlike your head that will move a little to give a better view the camera is fixed. This means that the camera must have a wide angle of view.

I can see the tops of the two spare tyres and a good distance back from the vehicle. If I wanted it for reversing the vehicle up to a trailer all I would have to do is to angel it down a little more.

I had a look at the same E-Bay site for a camera. I want to put one on the front of the vehicle so that I can get my wheel placement spot on, and also be one up on Roachie.

The screen that I have got has provision for two camera inputs and to switch from one camera to another is just a matter of pushing a button.

The screen is mounted on the overhead console just in front of where the rear view mirror would be. The rear view mirror was removed because it was completely useless.

Best of luck with the camera. I see now that it is the latest thing on new 4WD vehicles.

Wayne

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Follow Up By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 08:44

Saturday, Apr 08, 2006 at 08:44
Thanks for the input Wayne :) I think that we have the same problem and solution. I can see a tiny strip of sky out of my back window - that's all.

Is it legal to remove the mirror - even if useless? How do you go at rego time?
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 10:31

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 10:31
OK - It's arrived. Now I have something to do over the next couple of evenings in the garage :)

The Chinese eBayers have come through yet again. Everyting looks as though it is as advertised.

Yay!
AnswerID: 167758

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 11:08

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 11:08
Let us know how it works.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:00

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:00
Well - I connected it up this arvo when I made it home and voila! It works - and in full colour too :) It seems to automatically adjust its own exposure levels too. An object that I pointed it towards was initially quite dark, and after a second or so it brightened up and came to a nice clear colour image - and not over-bright. Should be great!

Now to mount it properly....
AnswerID: 167859

Follow Up By: Member - Mary W (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:23

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:23
Am watching your post with great interest as also drive a defender.Mine is a98 300tdi but still reliable.Also tow a small van at times.I will be watching to see where you mount the cam and monitor.Have GPS gear mounted to the left of driver so rear view monitor will have to go somewhere else.Thanks for the info already posted,
Regards,Mary
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