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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is another thread for a 2018+ CRV with what seems to be same issue (and no resolution). When the sun comes from behind, or a low light conditions, the rear camera really sucks and doesn't show much safely. On other more modern car models the rear camera is much better under such adverse conditions.

It is quite a safety issue since I don't necessarily see rear cross traffic or little people when I turn around or in mirrors. I already have bright LED bulbs all around and brighter lights wouldn't help during sun glare situation.

I don't think the display is the issue since on good days it shows me he situation OK. To be clear, it is never as good as in modern cars, but acceptable.

Is there an actually better camera I could install? I already replaced the camera once since the OEM camera failed and it still looks the same (no improvement, but also not worse).

In theory I also could look into replacing the radio unit with a modern 7"or 10"screen unit and a separate 3rd party camera. but ideally I avoid re-building the whole car and also like to keep the car as clean and original as possible.

While looking around I came across a different idea. There seems to be rear-cross traffic alert to add. Basically ultrasonic (or radar) sensors on each side of the rear bumper that also act as blind spot detection.

Did someone install that on a 2013 CRV and what would be a good product? I found a cheap one , but really would like one that is decent (no annoying false alarms etc.). If that coudl be done, that would be a great safety enhancement for an older car. One concern with a 3rd party system is that the manufacturer has no clue where i install the sensors and in what angle. So it may not work that well.

Since a good system may save me from buying a newer car for a while, It would be a worthwhile investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
FWIW, my camera is clean and when I get into my car, I sometimes wipe off the camera for that reason. It is just a bad camera, period.

I grew up (and learned driving) before ABS etc. But it wasn't a great time safety-wise. At least cars back then had smaller pillars, fewer blind spots, were smaller, had larger mirrors, and more glass. So you needed way fewer of these gadgets.

When I back out of my driveway, I often drive against the sun, or in the dark and it is hard to see people on the sidewalk. They also are hard to see by manually looking back due to the blind spots. I once backed out with my wife's newer car and the rear-cross traffic system warned me of a person on a bike I did not see. Even when her camera is excellent. Until that time I didn't even know her car has that feature. I also pick up my daughter from an activity in the evenings and the parking lot is full of children running to their parents' cars. It is quite scary even when I park backwards (so I leave forward, when I see better). You only need to avoid one accident for that system to pay for itself 100 times over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Heres a relevant review from the system you linked. Its not worth it IMO to retrofit these systems:

We followed the installation instructions to the T. Even the vehicle in the diagrams was almost exactly like the car we were installing it to (2016 Honda CR-V). Installation was easy and straight forward, except for connecting to the reverse wire of the simply because the harness supplied would not reach. Once installed we placed to oil barrels where one would suspect a car in your blind spot would be, and sure enough, the warning would illuminate and beep if you tried to use your turn signal. Time for a road test.... sadly, that's when everything went wrong. The system would pick up EVERYTHING as being in the blind spot, but when an actual car was in the blind spot, it wouldn't even activate. We checked the instructions, checked and measured out the positions of the sensors. The bumper is a flimsy plastic so we didn't suspect it was causing issues with the sensors... we couldn't figure it out, so we had to tear it all back out of the car, pack it up and ship it back. We were excited to try it, but it wasn't ready for the real world yet.

You could just install a second dedicated rear view/side view camera with a separate screen if this is a major concern for you: For example:

Cameras
That was just an example to illustrate what type of system I'm asking about. i know a $100 system won't give me 3 great features. i suspect $500 or so may be a price something good could exist?
the problem still will be to calibrate and fine tune the sensors (and the processing of signals). and for each car those get installed, the sensors will be in a different angle. So maybe this is not going to be a successful mission of mine.... A system that is annoying all the time won't enhance safety.

Not sure I want to look at complex camera systems. they will not work well under adverse conditions like night and rain. i find it funny that Tesla goes away from radar and solely trusts cameras because "humans also drive with vision only". Yeah, and humans suck at night, fog and rain driving.....

I was hoping to just replace the camera and use the regular OEM screen. Maybe adding a new stereo with screen could help if that has a good camera option. But where would I install that camera? and would that also be activated by gear in reverse? Sounds like i would need a lot of wiring harnesses specific to my car. i was hoping there is a place that sells all those specific to my car. I know Crutchfield has all that for stereos for specific cars. So maybe there also is a place for cameras or radar sensor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think installing a second camera may be an option. I looked a bit at Crutchfield and came across these: please advise if the general idea is good:
Boyo License plate camera and blind spot detection it looks like i need some sort of display unit or mirror with display. it says it has a 0.1 Lux rating and 976x592 resolution. 175° angle. Is that good for night? Looks like low resolution since it is way below HD. it may be above Honda, but that is an easy achievement :). I don't think it uses radar, so I'm not sure how blind spot detection works.

Several mirrors with display. Some with camera, some without (could be combined with above license plate camera?) I'm not sure if it is legal to give up the real mirror, and if the camera isn't great, i would not have the mirror. So I'm not sure i like to have the tiny mirror display

Several display units. Some with, some without camera. I think that would give me the best way to see the rear camera (large, and i still have the analog mirror). A long time i was looking into this for other reason. So this isn't the worst upgrade.

Some questions:
  • is running the wire from back to front a reasonable task while looking good? Does the rear camera get power from whatever front unit I use?
  • what minimum data specs should i aim for to get a significant improvement (resolution, lux etc.)
  • Besides Crutchfield, what are good places or brands to look at? I want a reasonable price, but something I'm happy with and enhances safety.

Edit: I found the Boyo manual and it says it uses microwave radar
Edit 2: i chatted with Crutchfield, but I'm still left to wonder where to get power (red, ACC) from). But the total cost inc. a wireless 10" head unit would be closed to $1,200. If i do wired android and 9"screen it may be $900. but with the effort to install, I'd rather go all in wireless and so on. So this isn't a cheap solution, even when it gives me a side benefit (new stereo with touchscreen)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I am not an expert on resolution, lux, etc for backup cameras so I cannot address that question. You should look at reviews/pictures once you have narrowed 2 or 3 down.

Crutchfield is great for exploring vehicle specific options and have great customer service if you have questions. Rear cameras generally get power from either the head unit or the reverse light. Your best bet may be to see if a best buy near you does installation. They have a decent selection of backup cameras and headunits that are reasonably priced. I would avoid the mirrors with displays if your issue is with visibility/quality.

I think the bestbuy purchase and install may be the best option for you.
Thanks, yes I think mirrors are out of my search.

That Boyo unit also has blind spot monitoring. So it needs to work while driving forward. The Crutchfield person suggested the same to power it from reverse light, but that really doesn't work when driving forward (when I need blind spot warning). So what I'm still missing is knowing if and how I actually can install it.

I can explore the bestbuy since they are in town. But I think if I have to pay them for install, it will be a similar issue and economics look even worse. Here is what bestbuy offers, looks like they don't even have anything good to begin with.Ugh! this is for cars that don't have a camera already, but what I really want is a really good one.

I also was thinking of asking the Honda dealer. But last time they quoted me $900 for a hitch receiver (that cost $200 installed at U-haul). I doubt they can offer anything remotely good or economical.

Edit: I just realized the head unit comes with a camera. not as great, 0.5 lux, but sure better than the OEM. i guess i could try that for $850 inc. the kit. if the camera isn't enough, I can upgrade to the radar license plate later.

I dug more into installation. Since the 2012+ models came with camera, I didn't find much about installing one. But I found this for installation on an older CR-V and it should be similar for my 2013. I also looked at some rear-dash cam installation videos.
I need to run the cable through the hatch and the rubber to the top rear of the car. From there I originally thought to go along the roof liner. but he runs it at the bottom under the doors. this also avoids the A-pillar airbag. This isn't all straight forward, but looks manageable. Would anyone going a different installation route?

On the head unit he installs a parking brake wire. I assume this has some nanny function that some features of the head unit only can be used when the parking brake is applied. Can I just omit that and connect that wire to the regular 12V+?

I'm still undecided if I just go with the camera that comes with the head unit, or add the better camera/radar combo. My fear is, if I start with the Jensen head unit camera first, and buy the radar later, I have to run wiring again.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if the license plate radar isn't so great. i saw they also have separate radar units that can be installed to the bumper corners, which may be a better location. My fear is, if it doesn't work perfectly (and false-alarms when cars are 2 lanes away for example), it becomes a useless feature. Sot he radar only makes sense, if it works very well. Does anyone have experience with the license plate-mounted radar system?

There also is the option to buy a cheaper non-android head unit with 7"screen device etc. But with the installation kit being $210 regardless, and the time to install, it seems silly to save on the head unit.

Does anyone know the specs of the OEM camera? I like to guess how much better my replacement will be. i found this aftermarket camera that claims to have 0.5 lux. So ?I wonder how much better than OEM it is. i mean, the OEM camera works at night, it is just black and white and all grizzly looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went to bestbuy and regret wasting my time. they basically have a bunch of cheap under 7"models and had one $1,200 9"head unit. So with that i jsut decided they will become the new Circuit City. They mainly have (Police) radar detectors for speeders in the car section. I'm also probably writing off the radar idea. Even for more expensive systems there seems to be a lot of false laerts etc. And i can add that later independently if i change my mind. Right now i like to focus on a really good camera.

I'm wondering if I couldn't just install a new camera to the existing wiring harness and use the existing screen? I know the OEM camera has the 8V signals for narrow, down and wide view, but I don't need that. It looks like I either need an adapter to use a standard RCA camera. My existing camera (I already had to replace mine a few years ago) doesn't have multiple angles either and it is fine since i only need wide view.

I saw many people get a new head unit and use the OEM camera (not sure why one would want to do that....). and there are adapters to hook up the old wiring harness to a new head unit. I basically want to do the opposite.

I found this adapter and based on the description it should work. But it being Aliexpress, I don't know if that is reliably the correct one. Does anyone know the correct adapter I need?

Alternatively I could splice into the wire if I know what wire is what. Does anyone have details on that? I assume what I need is 2 wires for the signal, a ground, and a 12V+. Just need to know which is which. Can anyone tell how to splice the wires (which is which)?

For cameras I found some with higher resolution and low lux-rating. One issue I came across is that many have much less than 170° angle, which wouldn't work well detecting people or cars running into my path. So I want one with ideally HD (or close), 0.1 lux and CCD sensor. Some examples:
Accele RVCLPMBS with CCD, 0.1 lux and 960p for $80
Audiovox ACA801 with CCD, 0.1 lux, 180°, and HD for $110

They have a few also with 0.1 lux rating, and even infrared. but with CMOs sensor. Should I even consider CMOS? And is the infrared even good? if it is just monochrome and pixelated it won't tell me much anyway.

Im sure its possible, this individual did it with their imid screen in their civic:
DIY: Installing Reverse Camera on my 9th Gen iMid Screen (Pic Heavy)

They also have the same pin-out as our CRVs:

Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Diagram


Its a tight space to work in. I connected my aftermarket headunit to the stock camera and have no issues with visibility but to each their own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Im sure its possible, this individual did it with their imid screen in their civic:
DIY: Installing Reverse Camera on my 9th Gen iMid Screen (Pic Heavy)

They also have the same pin-out as our CRVs:



Its a tight space to work in. I connected my aftermarket headunit to the stock camera and have no issues with visibility but to each their own.
Im sure its possible, this individual did it with their imid screen in their civic:
DIY: Installing Reverse Camera on my 9th Gen iMid Screen (Pic Heavy)

They also have the same pin-out as our CRVs

Its a tight space to work in. I connected my aftermarket headunit to the stock camera and have no issues with visibility but to each their own.
Thanks. I actually took my back panel off and tried to measure voltages on the wires to find out what is what. Pictures show the original Honda connector (what comes from the head unit)

White Electrical wiring Electrical supply Cable Electric blue

Creative arts Rectangle Font Toy Plastic

Wood Gas Art Bag Electrical wiring


but my leads are too large to stick into the connector. So I couldn't measure voltages. but there are 8 wires in 2 rows and the connector is made for 2x6 wires (not all used.
One row has Blue, Green, Green, White. the other row has Black, Red, Yellow, and Black. So I still don't know how to do that and it doesn't seem to match colors you show in the schematic. The connector also doesn't look like the Aliexpress link I posted above (that one is a 2x7 to begin with).

So I need to get some thinner leads to measure voltage or find some other way. but that likely won't tell me which is the video signal. Oh, I also need to get 2 of the green fasteners for the back panel since they broke. the last time I replaced the camera.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
So i got thinner leads for my voltage meter and tried to find out what wire does what. But the only way to get contact with a conductor was to unplug the camera. but when it is unplugged, the system de-activates the camera. At least this is what I assume since I didn't find a 12V. I only found the yellow is 3.3 V. All others didn't show more than a few mV.

Is there actually a name or model# for that plug?

I don't want to remove insulation or something else extreme to measure the voltage with the camera plugged in. There is no slack, and i don't want to risk damaging something before having a solution for a new camera. I could add posi-taps, but I don't know if they work for those tiny wires.

Would a T-tap like this work to measure the voltages with live camera? Or am i on a fool's errand since i likely won't be able to measure the vide signal?
Dams, Honda, why did they not use a standard camera and standard stereo....

Edit: looks like for $170 I could get an OEM camera that allegedly has 0.1 lux.

Edit: Another big snag. First, I asked Crutchfield if by any chance they have an adapter to hook a new standard camera to the OEM wiring harness plug in the hatch. They don't.

Then I kind of talked myself into installing a new head unit. i found out a 10" probbaly is too large and will cover part of HVAC control and the hazzard switch. So a 9"may be the ticket. I then found out in order to adjsut the clock, and to keep the OEM screen functional (to set light and lock operation options etc.), i need to buy the $210 wiring kit. OK, so with an inexpensive $360 radio plus the $210 it isn't too bad.

But then I saw that it said without iDATA link you lose the OEM screen: "An iDatalink-ready car stereo is required to retain your vehicle's personalization settings menu." . I chatted with them again, and indeed, you need to get a fancy radio with iDATA link to still be able to use the screen. So my $570 jumped to $936 for the cheapest iDATA link radio (8" Pioneer). And this isn't even a wireless Android radio. All that plus whatever camera I buy.

Since I'm generally OK with the radio, this is a lot of money to have better rear vision. But i don't want to butcher up my car and have unusable screen (and settings for the car). So I'm still kind of stuck with the OEM camera system. So a mirror display doesn't look to bad now. At least that isn't impacted by the radio.

So my last hope is:
  • find a "good" OEM replacement camera
  • find a way to hook up a standard camera to the OEM plug
 
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