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Old 09-09-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
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Android rear view mirror with reverse camera/GPS/DVR

I've wanted a reverse camera for a while and I figured that if I was going to add a screen, it may as well be an Android device so that I can have GPS (and other bells and whistles).

I despise the larger screen dual din stereos some install in these cars. No offense, but they are too large and obtrusive for such a small car, in my opinion. 5" is big enough.

The unit I purchased costs around $67.
Specs:
A33 quad core 1.2 GHz (visually confirmed)
512mb RAM
8gb ROM
Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
5" 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen
Front (1920 x 1080 HD) and rear (720x480) camera, dual DVR cycle recording
G-sensor
Motion detection
GPS
WiFi
Built in FM transmitter (and onboard speaker)
Micro SD/TF card slot
32 x 9 x 1 cm

https://m.ebay.com/itm/Quad-Core-5-39-39-Android-4-0-Car-Rearview-Mirror-GPS-1080P-DVR-Wifi-Backup-Camera-/112430034825?txnId=1851887837001



I'm really impressed with this unit. The screen could be a bit brighter, but it's not bad at all. The included GPS program is in Chinese characters, so I deleted it and have been using a version of Offline Maps Navigation that is compatible with this version of android (available on my Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1d7g2onUlHtdBPeBMSeQHmDXDxvJLm-bo) and love it. I originally tried an older version of Google Maps, but it ran so slowly that it was unusable.

The settings included with the UI left a lot to be desired, so I added an app that works as a shortcut to the standard Android settings (no way to access without it). The settings app is also on my google drive: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1o9khYn86j2-80qrXnURvLJ3J5vXSqQ-U .

I recommend a compatible version of Firefox browser since the Google browser included with it is very rudimentary (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RJ_hfR8yrr_q90lmDdmXBzUNbnl_cCqH).

I didn't want an off brand Chinese lithium battery in my car, so I removed it. It's only function was timekeeping, anyway, and the clock updates via wifi and/or GPS, so the battery is pointless.

I also really didn't want to strap this thing to my rear view mirror (seemed clunky and ugly), so I made a mount with my 3D printer (ABS) and overlayed the flat portion with CF vinyl wrap for a finished uniform look (and painted the screws and bolts black). STL file here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=10GwdRqAGtSS02g5mqArDqciCRJl1yXf9 .

For reference, the stock mirror weighs 227 grams (0.5 pounds). This mirror weighs 361 grams (0.8 pounds) with the battery and 338 (0.75 pounds) without the battery.
It is bigger than the stock mirror, but does not obstruct my view at all and I don't even notice the size difference when driving.

Overall, I love it. There were a few small cons, but they were easily remedied.











UI:





Last edited by particlewave; 09-09-2018 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:50 PM   #2
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The front and rear cameras display picture in picture during normal driving. Simply tap the smaller video to switch them around.



Rear camera was pointed at the floor in this one...


Last edited by particlewave; 09-09-2018 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:07 PM   #3
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Some rear camera install pictures here...

There is a rubber grommet in the rear trunk that the license plate light wires pass through. It is between the left tail light and spoiler mechanism. I stuck a coat hanger through it and it popped out right above the left bumperette bracket.
Taped the rear view camera wire to it and pulled it through.





I need to clean behind these things!



Run the wires up the left side of the trunk, then over the liner bracket. It comes out under the clamshell, right next to the top of the rear shock.





From there, under the foam drip tray, through the roll bar, and tucked into the left side door trim. Up the A pillar, across the top of the windshield, and out the back of the latch/dome light assembly (same with the GPS antenna and power supply which is tapped at fuse E1)

Last edited by particlewave; 09-16-2018 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:08 PM   #4
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:50 AM   #5
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Great looking install ! Can you still see out of the mirror when camera images are being broadcast ? It looks like maybe the right half of the mirror is still a mirror . Also can this be used as a " hands free " device with an Android phone ?
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:53 AM   #6
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How did you pop your rear view mirror off the ball, is there a trick to getting it on/off?

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Old 09-10-2018, 05:03 AM   #7
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i looked hard at this at one point, but didn't like the shoddy way they attached to the oem mirror - your soln is excellent. i was looking at it to run a track lap timer ...
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:01 AM   #8
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This looks great Charles! Very tempted to try this out
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
Great looking install ! Can you still see out of the mirror when camera images are being broadcast ? It looks like maybe the right half of the mirror is still a mirror . Also can this be used as a " hands free " device with an Android phone ?
Thanks
Yes, with the screen on, 60%-70% of the mirror is still mirror and you can see out of it just fine. With the screen off, it's all mirror. I have mine set to shut the screen off after 2 minutes.

This particular unit does not have Bluetooth, which wasn't a problem for me. There are others that do, but you must watch the specs. To run smooth, you want to see the A33 4 core processor and at least 512mb RAM, 8gb ROM.

Last edited by particlewave; 09-10-2018 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
How did you pop your rear view mirror off the ball, is there a trick to getting it on/off?
No trick to it. Just pull and wiggle.

I did take the mirror mount post off the windshield first, though. I didn't want to crack the glass or pull the mount tab off. It came off and went back on easily.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Radium King View Post
i looked hard at this at one point, but didn't like the shoddy way they attached to the oem mirror - your soln is excellent. i was looking at it to run a track lap timer ...
For those without a 3D printer, you can buy swivel mounts for it, but they ship from China. I may get one as I seriously over engineered mine.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/3-Car-Cam-Rearview-Mirror-Bracket-Holder-Mounting-For-VW-Audi-Volkswagen-Skoda/253586960685?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Fintro11 View Post
This looks great Charles! Very tempted to try this out
Thanks Martin
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:01 AM   #12
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cool. to work as lap timer it would need ability to connect to a wired external gps/accelerometer (onboard gps typically doesn't have a sample rate adequate for track use).

would also have to confirm software works with the various cameras and with external storage (w limited memory, presume you would have to use sd card for most video storage?).

does it have enough oomph to run say a wifi obd device?
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Old 09-10-2018, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by particlewave View Post
No trick to it. Just pull and wiggle.

I did take the mirror mount post off the windshield first, though. I didn't want to crack the glass or pull the mount tab off. It came off and went back on easily.
My mirror fell off the ball (I think Safelite didn't get it back on fully after a new windshield, as it would touch the light when I moved it in the glare reduction position) and when I tried to pop it back on, it cracked my windshield, arrgg

I really like this, I have a broadway mirror now, but this looks like a fun project!
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:51 PM   #14
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well, looked at harry's website and it'll support BT gps, which avoids the additional cabling, and it also supports external storage so an SD card will work. presume it'll work with the main camera, but not sure about reverse camera, etc.

issue appears to be that HLT would like 2 gb of ram. apparently it'll work with 1 gb, but that is the minimum. did some searching and nothing with 2 gb available and not much w 1 gb. anyone with any experience running HLT with just 1 gb or ram - work ok or no? ps, sorry if any hijack ...
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:19 AM   #15
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The most I could find was 512mb...
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:14 AM   #16
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I decided it was too big and obstructed my view.
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Last edited by particlewave; 11-17-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:49 AM   #17
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Getting the buttons laid out:

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Old 11-18-2019, 03:07 AM   #18
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^^^ Interesting you are an adventurist I'll give you that . But it made me think is there a way to get a " screen " to fit in one of the center console openings ? As an example in mine the top slot is the worthless cup holder . A slim screen would look " right " in its proportions to the rest of the console . And the top slot in my opinion is a perfect spot for eye viewing . Hmmm may have to look into this further .
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:55 AM   #19
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so, tech has caught-up and they now have 16 gb versions of these things. perhaps time to revisit my track timer project - android mirror, swivel mount, BT gps/accel mounted someplace inconspicuous, harry's lap timer, perhaps get the rear camera working as a driver cam instead (mount on a ram mount of some sort?).

and perhaps a wifi obd scanner as well?
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfuerst911sc View Post
^^^ Interesting you are an adventurist I'll give you that . But it made me think is there a way to get a " screen " to fit in one of the center console openings ? As an example in mine the top slot is the worthless cup holder . A slim screen would look " right " in its proportions to the rest of the console . And the top slot in my opinion is a perfect spot for eye viewing . Hmmm may have to look into this further .
You can get single din units with a screen, but I have not found one with Android OS that would also accommodate GPS, front/rear camera and DVR, or app downloading.
They’re all just screens. And tiny screens, at that.

The unit I’m working on will occupy the batwing and lower slot only, leaving the top slot open for the storage cubby.
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Last edited by particlewave; 11-18-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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