I will document in this thread my progress in installing a Front View Camera (FCV) in my 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a RA4 (8.4 AN) radio.
I decided to install the FCV for a number of reasons:
Parking (parallel, street, garages)
Off-Road (over-the-hill visibility)
Blind entry/exit (alleys, garages)
I have previously considered adding Parksense Front Parking sensors and I have no doubt I would be able to, at a higher price but the fact remains that the addition of the sensors would not help the driver view the ground directly in front of the car (about 15 feet from my driving position).
Until recently there was only one choice on the market: the hardware-based Coastal Tech Lockpick CHR558 v2 solution. In the past few weeks, a new software based solution has emerged, the Customtronix software-based choice from Europe. I chose the Coastal Tech Lockpick solution for these reasons expressed here.
I will be using instructions for the Lockpick installation and for an external CB radio antenna installation posted elsewhere on this forum. I will not reinvent those and I will up-link then here as I progress with my install.
Unfortunately I had a stomach flue over the week-end and made zero progress and then today the weather did not cooperate. I hope to have it installed in the car by next week-end and I will detail the relevant installation aspects here.
I will be using:
Coastal Tech Lockpick CHR558 V2
Pyle PLCM37FRV camera (with optional lines)
The camera works, is not the best ever but at $23 dollars, I can replace a few. I will have details as the installation progresses.
Meanwhile if anyone has done this before, please point me to your installation thread but I have successfully handled more hardcore car navigation projects before. Thanks.
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We've been working on the mounting gear. The bracket that came from the factory only allowed tilting and that would have been insufficient. Moreover, we were under the impression that it would not reach out far enough through the front grille slot, therefore limiting its field of view.
As such, we fabricated a new aluminium bracket. The bracket has been machined to match the external dimensions of the camera, drilled for any pins and tightening screws, and would allow the camera to be adjusted on 3 axis:
- moving the camera forward of the radiator or backwards towards the radiator
- panning (rotating) left (driver) or right (passenger)
- tilting down (bumper) or up (sky)
Of course we are only talking adjustments of a few millimeters here but we did not have that adjustment possibility in the first place. And since we are not Chrysler, to have engineered the grille for this purpose, anything added aftermarket that was not part of the original design, must some room for error and adjustments.
The picture I included here shows the location - front grille, center slot, off-set right. Initially I wanted it smack in the middle and I was prepapred to cut (dremel) the plastic insert in the slot, for a "dead center" installation but the camera turned out to be smaller than expected. The camera does fit through the 2 center slots but it is a tighter fit and maybe in winter they will break. I think it is sufficiently centered.
This location was chosen for several reasons:
- we avoid removing the bumper
- we mount it high in a position approximating the location of the rear camera, whose view angle we are trying to replicate
- we have an existing solid bracket which is pre-drilled and which can be further drilled: the hood latching mechanism - onto which we will attach our bracket.
well I have adaptive cruise control so it was not a choice.
that location will be prone to road rash, dirt, dust, grime and will require permanent cleaning. It will also not provide the spatial view / location awareness as well as the higher location: there is a reason why you are able to see your rear bumper in the rear view camera - so you can spatially place the car in relation to other objects. As such, a radar eye location would not allow you to see the car bumper in reference to other objects unseen from the driver seat. That's my take. Besides you'd have to run wires alongside the radiator which means shielding and front bumper removal which I wanted to avoid.
Understood. I have a different grill so want to consider alternative locations. I also have different needs for the front camera than the rear and seeing the bumper isn't important to me. Appreciate your perspective and think you did a great job but looking for other options.
The camera attachment was finalized (pictures are still at an intermediary stage) but I did not have enough daylight left either Saturday or Sunday to start the Lockpick install and running the wire through the firewall. And it seems that I will be unable to do it over the Labor Day week-end. Anyways, the mounting took much longer than initially anticipated due to the fact that I wanted to plan for a possible camera replacement (either with same model or another brand) and I wanted to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
I messed something up so i will finish tomorrow. I worked a cool 6 hours on it, the Lockpick doesn't like the BACK button only the remote, there is no grommet pass-thru, I had a CEL, and solved it all except the wrong wire I soldered which i have to fix tomorrow.
But I will start the write-up tonight. It will be great parking aid though. It will cover the entire front of the vehicle. And no - the camera isn't anywhere near the proper position. It was just leaning on the car.