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Is this possible?

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  • Is this possible?

    I'm looking for ways to install a backup camera.
    My computer is mounted in the trunk and I have only a vga and usb cable run from it to the screen in the front, and running a new cable would be prohibitively difficult. The screen has only a vga input anyway.

    So my idea is to use an rca to vga adapter from the camera. From there i would use the 12v switched power from my backup lights to trigger some sort of transistor to switch between the computer's vga and the camera. This would enable automatically switch the video source to the monitor without having to worry about booting up the computer.

    I have some limited experience w/ electronics, mostly with a solderless breadboard we used in an electronics class. I don't really have any soldering experience, but I do have access to the tools.

    Is this a reasonably possible project? Thanks for the input.

  • #2
    it's best to use a LCD with video inputs including the VGA, not just VGA alone, most have the ability to switch to the video when active then back. You can't switch the VGA over properly the way you want it done, in your case, try a usb capture device with your cam plugged in, and use an APP to view the feed, thats about it... for Car Pics! for Touchscreen timeout fix!


    • #3
      yeah, I looked into the usb capture card. the problem with a software solution is that you have to wait for the computer to boot before you can see the video feed. With a computer that takes 30 seconds to boot this means the backup camera is useless when you first get in the car, and that is really the only time I would ever use the backup camera.

      Why would something like an bus switch integrated circuit not work for an active vga signal? wouldn't something like a kvm switch do the trick?

      thanks again.


      • #4
        At one point, I was thinking of doing something similar. I was going to hook up the RCA from the cam and the PC VGA to some kind of automatic video switch. I never really looked very hard, but I didn't find a switch that I could use. There were some autosensing 2-port VGA switches that automatically switched video sources (kind of like this: So I was also thinking about some RCA to VGA adapter to connect the RCA to the switch, but I didn't know if it would look good. I would have powered my cam through a relay triggered by my reverse lights, which would cause the VGA switch to change over to the new cam input.

        I never followed through with the idea, so I don't know if it would have worked.

        I also briefly looked into some video to vga converter/switchers that were meant for playing gaming consoles on your PC monitor. (examples: or

        Right now, I just have my reverse cam hooked directly to my touchscreen and I use the remote to manually switch inputs. Maybe I'll start looking into autoswitching again.