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Thread: Four HD Cameras installed in Avalanche

  1. #1
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    Four HD Cameras installed in Avalanche

    Goal: To install cameras in my beloved Avalanche to serve multiple purposes


    I know some of my reasons may seem way out there but if we don't push the envelope who will?
    This project will be done in multiple phases as some of my plans are dependant on other projects that I have planned for the Avy.

    Reasons:
    1 To install a rear view camera for back up purposes.
    2 To install side view cameras to eliminate blind spots and increase field of vision
    3 To install a front view camera............ for the cool factor primarily.
    4 To record videos from the cameras for insurance purposes in the event of an accident.
    5 To record videos from the cameras in the event of a robbery or attempted robbery when vehicle is parked.
    6 To record driving events for my own protection if I get pulled over for something mundane as speeding especially if I am not.
    7 To be able to remotely view video from the car when I am away from it


    Background:
    Some of you may ask why the necessity of HD cameras versus the cheap rear view cameras that are easily available nowadays.
    To answer that you'd need to know more about my current A/V system that is currently still evolving and will continue to do so.
    I have installed a computer in my truck and currently have a 12.1 in touchscreen monitor with DVI, VGA, HDMI and RCA inputs in my dash.
    I have tried the cheap CMOS rear view cameras and to say the least the picture quality is appalling on a screen of this size and it is especially bad at night Then to add to the grief I hate the fish eyed view view you get with extremely wide angle lenses

    After going through 3 CMOS rear view cameras and 1 for the front I realized that they were a complete waste of my time.
    I next considered a CCD cameras and researched them. However the exorbitant prices plus the blurred lines between sellers claiming their CMOS camedras were CCD versions I decided I did not want to get burned by buying 4 or 5 CMOS cameras from someone who claimed they were in fact CCD.

    Seeing as how I have a computer with loads of hard drive space the the ability to add lots more via USB, I considered the option of USB webcams versus getting RCA to USB adapters to get videos to the computer hard drive or purchase a small 4CH DVR for the RCA cameras
    All the extra hardware needed to connect 4 RCA cameras versus the webcam based system which already had the basics instaqlled in the form of the CPU in the car caused me to lean to that end.

    Hardware:

    CPU with 320 GB hard drive...........hard drive soon to be upgraded
    Logitech C920 HD Webcam (1)
    Microsoft Lifecam Studio (3)
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  2. #2
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    Cameras
    Front View Camera


    Side and Rear View Cameras
    Last edited by Dluvr22; 09-20-2012 at 05:50 PM.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  3. #3
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    Front Camera Install

    The Logitech webcam was the first to get installed. I had to choose between mounting it in the front grill somewhere or in the front windshield.
    After a lot of thought I opted with mounting it in the windshield as mounting a forward facing camera in the front grill where it could see in front of the car will only expose it to the elements (rocks, debris and lots of dust which would mean constant cleaning).

    I therefore decided to fabricate a mount onto the GM mirror mount



    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  4. #4
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    For those who are familiar with the Logitech C90, This is a 15 MP HD webcam with dual microphones.
    It can also record 1080P videos.
    I won't be using the microphones on for this install though for now.
    I must say I was blown away when I saw the video quality of this thing while drive testing a few days ago.
    I blew my mind. Never again will I even consider adding a CMOS camera to any of my future installs.

    More images of the rear view mirror mounted camera.





    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  5. #5
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    Part pf this project also includes embedding data from the gps receiver and the obd port to the video so I can get speed, heading, date and time stamp, longitude and latitude as well as whatever data I deem necessary using minicam.
    Speed and data and time stamp are very necessary in the event I need to use the video as proof if I get pulled over and the police officer claims I am speeding ( especially if I am not going as fast as he says ) and for insurance purposes in the event of an unlikely accident.

    Stand by for a youtube video as soon as I can upload it from my Avy to YouTube.
    Since I do have a dedicated hot spot in the car, I'll be doing a video on the way home to get some dusk and nighttime videos as well.

    eventually I also want to stream real time of the internet so I can view the videos from anywhere via my iPhone or any internet connected device.
    That is stage 3 or Stage 4 ........... I need to get the installation done and everything working tin the car first.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  6. #6
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    For the Side View cameras, I first had to make the LifeCam waterproof otherwise the first rainstorm would put an end to my project.
    to do this,I purchased some Plasti-Dip spray paint and applied a few thick coats over the camera.
    This will also serve to hide those bright blue power leds which will only distract me while driving as well as draw attention to themselves when the truck is parked outside at night with the cameras recording......................


    Camera Plasti-Dipped





    Side Mirrors removed from truck




    Modifying Mirrors to mount camera and run wiring through the doors






    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  7. #7
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    Doors with mirrors removed .
    I had to drive around for a day without side mirrors as I worked on this project




    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  8. #8
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    Side view cameras finally mounted and wired into doors.
    I chose this location as it afforded me a view of the mirror even if the cameras were off.
    Also the camera is not sticking up and out of the lines for the truck and lastly that location offered the most aerodynamics as the design of the mirror mount shielded to some extent the air circulating around the mirror





    I know some may think it is still too large but the truth is people barely notice it where it is mounted at this time.
    That makes for a nice install in my book.
    Now to go out for my drive home and see if I can get some videos.

    Here are some sample videos.

    All videos are recorded at 720p resolution.
    YouTube is lowering the resolution by default.
    I recommend changing back to 720p for those who are interested in taking on the same task and want to see the true quality


    My morning commute


    Last edited by Dluvr22; 09-21-2012 at 11:00 AM.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  9. #9
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    Last edited by Dluvr22; 09-20-2012 at 06:18 PM.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  10. #10
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    Here is another video
    This one was taken at night in extremely bad weather.
    At some point on my drive home last night everyone was driving with the hazard lights on.
    It was that bad but yet the images still look good.
    I was really worried that these would have really bad image quality at night but again it exceeds my expectations and beat those so called night vision cameras that are out there.


    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

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