Winter kept me inside way to much his year. One of my other useless gerbil projects was a backup camera. Originally I was going to put in a set of cameras to look forward to the track for the front wheels. Alas, no good spot to mount the tiny cameras that will not ultimately result in their destruction. Well I had all the parts to put in a backup camera. Again, the Soft Top Defender has a few limitations in where to mount the silly thing. Most of the simple backup cams use the license plate frame or you cut a hole. Not what I was looking for.
In an uncharacteristic flash of intelligence, I realized the tiny camera I had gotten would fit in the license plate light holder cover. This was an easy instal. It did two things there, A. drilled a hole on another cover to let the lens peek through. I bought the cover on ebay for as little as I could find one, $4.59 + 2.50 shipping. I used some clear liquid nails to secure the camera in place, after first putting some tape over the lens. This way I could just peel off the tape and not get any of that goo on the lens. I also realized the hot incandescent bulb would heat up the camera, perhaps fatally and the glare would obscure things at night. I had some flat LED panels and I fit one taped onto the lens of the cover in lieu of the bulb.
Now you can go two ways, first you can run wire from the rear to the front, or use short haul video transmitter/ receiver units, from ebay, again somewhere in the realm of $12 if your willing to wait a decade or two for it to arrive from the Sino manufacturing complex.. Pull your power from the backup light itself. Mine had some screw together in-line connectors and it was easy to add my wires there for power.
So how to display?? Well I got a Garmin Nuvi 5000 series off, you guessed it, ebay, for under $50. I got that model for two reason, takes topo maps and has a video input, for regular old video, not some proprietary Garmin video. It also goes to backup cam mode when it senses video. I mounted it on a a quick release ball gizmo off Amazon for $5. I mounted the gizmo actually to a chunk of ABS that was bigger than its base plate, so I could use the really high strength foam tape for trim on cars. Grips like an IRS auditor and if you end up not wanting the device anymore comes off without any holes. When you get the Garmin, ensure you get the mount with all the inputs, not just the power. Or you cannot add the video.
It works! I have no idea how I lived without it before, my life is now forever altered. So on to getting that giant electro magnet working so I can use it to parasite off trucks on the long rides on interstates. Should save some gas. Alternatively, I can get a giant hook the Freak Brothers used.