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Old 05-25-2009, 02:32 PM   #171 (permalink)
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That is really cool, Neil!

You should be okay with latex paint, I would think. I've heard of guys using latex house paint to cover pink or blue Styrofoam before fiberglassing over it. The latex paint keeps the polyester resin from attacking the foam.

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Old 05-25-2009, 02:46 PM   #172 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
...Careful painting foam, I think most paint eats foam.
Not polyurethane, such as Great Stuff out of the spray can, which can be sanded and painted.

The easy way to make such a mirror fairing would be to use a smooth plastic, perhaps Mylar or acetate, fold it over the mirror stalk, then spray the Great Stuff into the void and hold in place until the foam expands and sets up. That imparts the shape and smooth texture to the foam.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:25 PM   #173 (permalink)
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Hi,

Thanks for the feedback folks -- I also did the driver side today:

















With the hole through the sail plate opened up a bit with my rotary tool:














As you can see, I've moved the two screens down as close the steering wheel as possible -- this avoids the reflection on the windshield!

Each paddle mirror is ~41 sq. in. and the remaining stalks are ~10 sq. in. so the area is down ~62 sq. in, and I'll try to do another coast down to test the Cd...
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Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 05-25-2009 at 10:35 PM..
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:56 AM   #174 (permalink)
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well damn, in depth stuff right there

i was wondering why didnt you buy a spare mirror or fab a bracket/plate



that way you didnt have to take apart your oem one
(plus you could return it to stock at any time)
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:19 AM   #175 (permalink)
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Not to question your project, as I haven't done such a radical mod myself, but why don't you use your rotary tool to cut off (out?) more of the original mirror and make a chamber to mount the camera in inside the mirror mount? Similar to what CoyoteX did? That way the camera wouldn't be sticking out like a sore thumb. Just though I'd ask. Thank you for the plethora of gorgeous pictures.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #176 (permalink)
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Hi,

Probably what I should do is buy some (used) sail panels and do just that. I was trying to keep my originals is reusable condition; for our friend Justin Case. I do like the added angle that this gives me -- I can see the vehicle behind me in both screens. Here's a shot from my trip into work this morning:



I also kinda' like the way they are visible; if it looks like nothing is there, then I may have to add back the little vestige mirror...
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:49 PM   #177 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I also kinda' like the way they are visible; if it looks like nothing is there, then I may have to add back the little vestige mirror...
As far as legally, you are covered by the Law:

MGL - Chapter 90: Section 7. Brakes, braking systems, mufflers, horns, lights, audible warning systems, and other equipment; compliance with safety standards; stickers and emblems
"... Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with at least one mirror so placed and adjusted as to afford the operator a clear, reflected view of the highway to the rear and left side of the vehicle..."

Technically, your inside central rear view mirror is to the letter of the law Neil.

Besides, if you are pulled over, you can show the officer your Custom Aerodynamic Mirror-Emulating Replacement Armatures!

P.S. I would like to note that you could still keep the same angle and similar field of view and bring the CAMERAs closer to the body, just my $0.02.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #178 (permalink)
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Video Mirrors

Hi,

Well, I've driven with the video mirrors for a few days now, and I'm close to being used to their location. I drove in the heavy rain yesterday -- and they work much better than optical mirrors! The lower resolution "misses" much of the mist (kicked up from the tires) and their aperture adjustment makes the images on the screens quite bright. Ditto for dusk operation. I have not driven at night except once, and I think I now have the windshield reflection issue solved...

If I were to design this from scratch, I would say that a slightly less wide angle of view would be plenty (90-100 degrees instead of the ~110 degrees these cameras provide). The wide angle is great and I love being able to see a bit of the side of my car in both screens, but frankly, it takes getting used to. And that leads me to my next improvement:

I would want the lens optics to compensate for the barrel distortion (and maybe overcompensate?) so the cars behind in the adjacent lanes were shown larger and appeared to be closer. I am still looking over my shoulder to confirm that I have room (which is probably wise in any situation!), because they look pretty small when they are ~100' behind me.

Large (semi) trucks behind me show up in all three mirrors! And the way they work in the rain is quite impressive -- the lens get a few drops when the car is parked, which show up as soft-focus distortions on part of the screen, but if you wipe these off, then they stay dry when you are driving. It doesn't matter if your windows get fogged up, either!
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:35 AM   #179 (permalink)
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pretty sweet set up, I am thinking of doing my mirrors after reading this. How is the video feed at night? you mention the reflection in the window, but how is video quality?
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:51 AM   #180 (permalink)
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Hi,

As the light conditions change, the cameras adjust their apertures in steps, so the brightness of the images changes in a noticeable way. As the light gets dimmer, they switch to what looks like an infrared mode, and it looks like a slightly colorized black & white image. I can see as well at night as with the optical mirrors, though I have not done this much yet. I will be driving after dark this evening, and I'll try to take a picture of the screens.

I do hope to mount the cameras more closely to the sail panels -- I will do this after I'm confident it all will work out. I also want to clean up the way the screens mount, by attaching their frames together into one unit; and I have to deal with the wires obviously.

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