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Ecky 12-13-2016 12:32 AM

Replacing mirrors with cameras
Although I'm going to also be posting this in my build thread, chances are good it will have a wider appeal than just those looking at what I'm doing to my Insight.

After reading extensively on the variety of cheap Chinese junk available on Amazon, I decided on these cameras:

E-KYLIN Vehicle Car Auto Side View Camera, 360 Degree Angle Adjustable Side Mirror Flush Mount Camera, Mirror Image w/o Grid Lines, 22.5mm Hole Saw - Pack of 2

These LCDs:

5” Inch Digital TFT LCD Color Car Rear View Monitor Screen for Parking Backup Camera ,Support all the car with 12V/24V Power,High Definition 800(RGB)X480 Pixel

And also, a pair of these convex mirrors to go just inside my windows for safety's sake:

Today my cameras arrived, and I hooked one up to an old 24" computer monitor I had in my basement.

The image quality in practice looks better than the still suggests, and you're not going to miss a motorcycle in your blind spot. Low light performance is yet to be determined but they aren't doing half bad in my dark apartment. One nice thing about these cameras is that they seem to sample their exposure from the darkest parts of the image, meaning they don't flare out if you have a bright light pointed at them.

My plan is to install blanks where my existing mirrors are, and use the included hole saw to plant the cameras into them. I'm not 100% certain of the screen locations yet but I'm considering having one to either side of the steering wheel, near my vents. If this proves too distracting at night, I'll figure something else out.

Ecky 12-13-2016 01:03 AM

This is a top-down view of my current mounting idea:

I would replace the mirrors with blanks, and give those blanks a protrusion with a flat surface poking out at a ~30 angle to give the camera the ability to see back a little more. I'd probably also want a small sun shield to help with glare.

98hxman 12-13-2016 06:16 AM

look in to the 918 hypercar it has a cam set up alot like what you are planing. my give you so good insight as to haw they went about it.

redneck 12-13-2016 07:47 AM


Your system is pretty much what I installed. :thumbup:

You can read about it here.

Also State mirror laws.

They work ok. However, I find it easier to use my mirrors for a quick glimpse when I have to change lanes quickly.

My tiny drivers side mirror is more than adequate.

Thread here.


Ecky 12-13-2016 08:45 AM

I wasn't aware of that older thread, that's very helpful.

Ecky 12-14-2016 08:52 AM

Looks like these cameras have around a 130 field of view, and when the camera is angled as much as possible, it's still 30 away from my simulated side of the car, which will need to be compensated for.

Ecky 12-14-2016 09:27 AM

I've contracted Daox to design and 3d print the mirror blanks. Here's his current design:

Any feedback would be welcome.

oil pan 4 12-14-2016 10:23 AM

How much power does the system actually use?
For the alt delete folks.

Ecky 12-14-2016 10:25 AM

The screens are rated for <0.5w standby, <3w on. I have a 12w wall wart that was able to power both cameras and both screens, FWIW. I can get a Kill-a-watt reading if you'd like.

NeilBlanchard 12-14-2016 12:45 PM

I had side video mirrors for about 5 years:

Neil Blanchard Designs: "eyes forward" Video Mirrors on my xA

If you have video cameras that are 90-110 degree field of view, then you got the right cameras. Having too much field of view makes the view both too distorted, and too small, and it is very hard to see depth. Having 720P or better would be great. And having them work in the dark is also important.

The monitors are also key: you have to prevent their light from reflecting off the windshield, etc. I did this by moving them closer to me; just behind the steering wheel. My

My first monitors had cold cathode ray lights, and they got dimmer and dimmer as they warmed up - in direct sunshine, they were basically unusable. The second set had to be turned on manually each time.

The 3rd set of monitors were great: they were 7" LED back lit, and they powered up when I turned on the car. They were brighter, and worked well in higher temperatures, too.

If you have questions - ask away!

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