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  #1  
Old 10-19-2005, 07:13 AM
pappde pappde is offline
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OEM backup camera I DID IT!!!

Hi List.
Finally I did it. I ordered the rear camera kit from the UK. I got it yesterday. Since it was great weather over here on the east coast I decided to install it on the spot.
I have a 05 MCSconvertible. The instructions and the parts are for a hardtop, so I had to do some finageling in order to fit some of the components. All in all it took me five hours to finish, but it really woth it.
In the cabrio when the top is up to see behind is really not so good through the rather small rear window and on the side there are terrible blind spots. The camera is a godsend when backing up wit the top up. Since it works so well I am definetly going to do the switch install, so I can use the camera as a rear view mirror equvivalent for regular driving especially at night and when it rains (no rear wiper on the cabrio either). Yesterday when the car was apart I pulled in wires for the switch I only have to install the switch. This is a mod that I very highly recommend for the cabrio owners out there.
Issues with the cabrio install:
1. The small switch box the camera plugs directly in at the tailgate is too gig for the space so you have to do some carving out on the backside of the tailgate moulding. This involves remowing some of the plastic webbin on the backside, no aesthetic blemishes!
2. The tailgate has some spring loaded assemly right where the cabling comes in, so it needs some jiggling to run the cble right.
3. The GROMMET!! it is a pain!! The grommet leading from the tailgate is very narrow. It took me almost an hour to pull the cable through. I used a large amount of liquid soap, that did the trick.
4. There is vey little space in the trunk to work so be ingenious.
5. All the cables run on the LEFT side.
Once you reach the seat it is fairly straighforward. Take seat out and disconnect all the airbag wires. Connecting the pieces is just a cakewalk.
There is some glitch though. Since I disconnected the wires that go to the seat I have the little red warning light on. I reconnected everything, but it is still on. Any ideas?
All in all IMHO it is one of the most ingenious mods for the cabrio.
Denes
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2005, 07:30 AM
fsuscotsman fsuscotsman is offline
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How much did this all cost? Can we get pictures? I'm so new with my car that I didn't even know that this existed, but you are correct, the cabrio sure has some blind spots. Thankfully, I've very tall. It helps a lot.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2005, 07:32 AM
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I want to do this so bad but the cost is holding me back. Please share
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2005, 08:21 AM
pappde pappde is offline
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costs involved

Hi.

I got the camera from Formby in Liverpool, UK for $689 with shipping.
My time around five hours $0/hr.
Loots of fun though.
Denes
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2005, 08:46 AM
NeilM NeilM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappde
Hi List.
Since I disconnected the wires that go to the seat I have the little red warning light on. I reconnected everything, but it is still on. Any ideas?
If you turned the ignition on at any time while the airbags, including those in the seat bolsters, are disconnected then an SRS fault code will be set and the warning light comes on. The dealer will have to reset this for you unless you have access to an SRS reset tool.

When working on anything to do with airbags it's good practice to disconnect the battery and wait 15+ minutes for the SRS reserve power to drain.

If you did all those things but the light came on anyway then...?

Neil
05 MCS
96 M3
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2005, 09:46 AM
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AC_MINI AC_MINI is offline
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I want to see your sample.......
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2005, 10:35 AM
fsuscotsman fsuscotsman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappde
Hi.

I got the camera from Formby in Liverpool, UK for $689 with shipping.
My time around five hours $0/hr.
Loots of fun though.
Denes
Can you post a link, Google doesn't find anything?
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2005, 10:35 AM
aminicooper aminicooper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM
If you turned the ignition on at any time while the airbags, including those in the seat bolsters, are disconnected then an SRS fault code will be set and the warning light comes on. The dealer will have to reset this for you unless you have access to an SRS reset tool.

When working on anything to do with airbags it's good practice to disconnect the battery and wait 15+ minutes for the SRS reserve power to drain.

If you did all those things but the light came on anyway then...?

Neil
05 MCS
96 M3
yea what he said but the dealer might charge you for the reset if they knew you worked on your car.... or take it to a BMW independent to have the fault cleared up if dealer is charging too much.
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2005, 12:39 PM
pappde pappde is offline
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link to camera

Hi here is the link to the UK seller: NewMiniStuff.com
Denes
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsbrain
I want to do this so bad but the cost is holding me back. Please share
I to would be interested but forgot to order one crucial element. Didn't get Factory NAV.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2005, 12:45 PM
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pappde: Would you go as far to say that MINI should include this with the Convertable?
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2005, 01:35 PM
rkw rkw is offline
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Denes,

Congratulations on your success! I already have the camera from Mikey at NewMiniStuff and will also install on a convertible (2006 MCC), but I won't get to it for a couple of weeks. You may be hearing from me if I need pointers. I paid a little more than you did -- my credit card billed me for $728 (after currency conversion).

Richard
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  #13  
Old 10-19-2005, 01:41 PM
pappde pappde is offline
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It is an intresting question. I am a driver for almost 25 years and I started on Russian built Fiat's that had mirrors good enough for a dollhouse and did not back into anything or anybody so far. Nothing renders care an attention obsolete. Having said that I think for a car with so extensive blind spots such as the MCSC, a camera like this is a must, by todays gadget driven standards. My other current car is a Mercedes Gwagen. That monster could use the camera even more. If my lease on that would be not ove in the comming May, I would definetly look into a retrofit camera of sorts. So if this would be a factory option my answer would be an emphatic yes. It is intresting though. A color camera chip like the one that comes with the kit sells around $95 or less on the net. The "controll" unit cud not be more than $40 tops, throw in the wires and connectors and it would be still below $200. BMW sure makes a nice profit on part sales.
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Old 10-19-2005, 02:21 PM
rkw rkw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDiff
pappde: Would you go as far to say that MINI should include this with the Convertable?
I am expecting my rear camera to be a significant enhancement, but IMO it is a stretch to say that MINI "should" include it. If you don't have the camera, you must adjust to the rear visibility, and you will, just as truck, van, and bus drivers have always done.

Before I purchased the MINI unit, I also checked on aftermarket vendors. A switchbox that is compatible with the factory Nav, plus a camera would run about $500 to $600 depending on the choice of camera. I went with OEM because the product is tailored for the Mini Cooper. The MINI camera is inconspicuous and looks like an integral part of the car. All of the aftermarket cameras would look added-on (unless you are willing to cut a hole for a flush-mounted camera).
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2005, 05:07 AM
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It might be interesting to know if you could add a tap and send part of the video to a CamCorder.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2005, 04:22 PM
pappde pappde is offline
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Project finished

Hi List.
Today I finished the projet. I added and wired up a toogle swich and installed two diodes in the wiring harness. Now my backup camera can be also turned on, during regular forward operation, on demand. The switch is on the opposite side of the flat tire reset button on the Left hand side of the parking brake. There was a cover for an identical switch opening there so I did not have had to destroy the moulding with anew opening there. The switch is lighted when on.
So far as I can tell the real strength of the camera is covering the hugi blind spot towards the rear sides.
Will take some pics over the weekend.
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2005, 06:28 PM
Waterway4 Waterway4 is offline
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Check this out. Pictures of install are there too.

http://www.motoringfile.com/2005/03/..._camera_review
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  #18  
Old 10-21-2005, 05:09 AM
pappde pappde is offline
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Thanks

Hi List.
In closing this thread I would like publicly acknowledge the contribution of TheOfficeMaven.
He posted the original thread on installing the camera and also it was He who recommended to me how to fix up the wiring harness to handle more than one 12V signal input. Thank You TheOfficeMaven.
Denes
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:44 AM
rkw rkw is offline
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Denes,

Could you tell us more detail about adding the switch for on-demand viewing of the rear camera? I am in the process of installing my rear camera. I would be interested to know which wires you spliced into, and which switch you chose.

Thanks,
Richard
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  #20  
Old 12-12-2005, 05:45 PM
pappde pappde is offline
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picture on demand

The automatic switchbox that is included with the camera, normaly is operated by the 12v signal from the backup light. The wiring harness that comes with the kit has a lead that has to be spliced to the backup light lead as per the install instructions. You have to install a diode, that is rated for 12v, here to prevent the backup light coming on when you use the on demand switch.
Install the manual switch where you prefer. I placed mine opposite the flat tire reset button, there is a square remowable tab in the molding. I drilled it and mounted there the switch which is a cheapo lighted one from RadioShack, but it really loks as almost an OEM piece. You need to bring in a 12v lead to this switch. I used an add a fuse device in the fuse box. I used a non switched fuse socket. You need the second diode installed on the lead wire comming out of the switch going to the switch box. This diode prevents current flowing back to the fusebox when the reversegear is engaged an theswitch circuit receives current from the backup light.
I hope it is clear.
Denes
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  #21  
Old 12-12-2005, 06:43 PM
Wagnbat Wagnbat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappde
Take seat out and disconnect all the airbag wires. Connecting the pieces is just a cakewalk.
There is some glitch though. Since I disconnected the wires that go to the seat I have the little red warning light on. I reconnected everything, but it is still on. Any ideas?
Your airbag plugs have a certain amount of resistance. If you touch them at all, it changes the resistance, which the Mini recognizes as a potential fault with the airbags, and it disables them.

Yes, according to the manual, your airbags are disabled while your airbag light is lit.

This happened to me (PAC SWI-X install), and I had to take it to a dealer to reset the resistance meter and fault light.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:38 AM
rkw rkw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappde
The automatic switchbox that is included with the camera, normaly is operated by the 12v signal from the backup light. The wiring harness that comes with the kit has a lead that has to be spliced to the backup light lead as per the install instructions. You have to install a diode, that is rated for 12v, here to prevent the backup light coming on when you use the on demand switch.
Install the manual switch where you prefer. I placed mine opposite the flat tire reset button, there is a square remowable tab in the molding. I drilled it and mounted there the switch which is a cheapo lighted one from RadioShack, but it really loks as almost an OEM piece. You need to bring in a 12v lead to this switch. I used an add a fuse device in the fuse box. I used a non switched fuse socket. You need the second diode installed on the lead wire comming out of the switch going to the switch box. This diode prevents current flowing back to the fusebox when the reversegear is engaged an theswitch circuit receives current from the backup light.
I hope it is clear.
Denes
Thanks, Denes.

I understood it well enough to be dangerous. To be completely precise, does the following diagram show what you describe? (I don't know if the actual polarities involved are - or +).

Click the image to open in full size.

The additional step is to find a 12v source, which you connected from the fuse box. If the GPS computer is powered by a 12v supply, I will try to tap it from there. If you are using a non switched fuse socket, does it mean that the camera may be potentially receiving power 24/7?

I have now mounted the camera and ran the cable into the boot of my convertible. As with your experience, it was quite a chore to feed the cable through the grommet! I found it helpful to remove the flexible rod that came attached to the cable, and instead use a thin plastic wire tie to help fish the cable through. Your description of installing the connector box inside the convertible boot door was perfect and very helpful.

Here is a picture of my cutout in the boot handle for the camera:
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

Below is a photo of inside the convertible boot door, before the trim cover was put back on. I placed the connector box next to the retractor mechanism. You can see it wrapped in two layers of padding that was supplied with the kit. You can also see the inside of the trim cover, and where I had cut out webbing to allow clearance for the connector box.
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

Thank you Denes for writing up descriptions of installation on the convertible and the on-demand switch. It is very helpful to have this information instead of doing it blindly on my own.

Richard
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  #23  
Old 12-13-2005, 02:46 PM
pappde pappde is offline
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Your drawing is accurate.
Good luck with the cam. You will really apreciate when backing with the top up. It really makes easy and you really see everything behind you that is really important.
Denes
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Old 01-13-2006, 10:22 PM
rkw rkw is offline
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Update: I did finish my camera installation a few weeks ago, and it is a fantastic mod.

Click the image to open in full size.

For me, it is a very significant enhancement to the car. I do a lot of parallel parking in San Francisco, and the camera allows me to back up with great precision (the white bar near the bottom of the screen image is the edge of my Pepper White bumper). In my convertible, whether top up or down, and even with the parking sensors, I would otherwise have to rely on some faith while backing up. Just last night, the camera was very helpful when I was in a busy and cramped parking garage, and had to back out of a parking stall while my normal view was blocked by SUVs on either side.

For me as an engineer, installing the camera itself and connecting to the Nav were straight forward. More of a challenge was to route the cabling from the boot handle to the Nav unit. I had never done this type of project before, and it was the first time I had ever removed seats and pulled off interior trim panels on any car. I'm glad now that I did it all myself, because I have gained the understanding for how to go about doing other mods I would like (such as installing interior lighting for rear passengers, which in the convertible there is none at all).
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:02 PM
rkw rkw is offline
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I forgot to pass along an installation tip I was told about. Like Denes (pappde), I used liquid soap to lubricate the harness to help pull it through the very small grommet. Someone at a shop told me that professionals use hand lotion instead of soap, because soap gets gummy and sticky as it dries. This seemed especially true for the BMW harness wrapped in a cloth type of sheath, which soaks up liquid and makes the surface dry quickly. Soap worked for me, although I had keep rewetting it.
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Old 01-15-2006, 02:02 PM
 
 
 
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