Installing the reverse camera

A reverse camera is always a good aid, for cases like parking in a tight spot or getting out of the parking rear-first. Connecting a reverse camera with a Media Nav unit is a rather simple process, the most time-consuming part being the placement of the camera on the car body.

Guide

Prerequisites:
– a reverse camera kit
– electrical wire, ideally copper
– electrical tape
– female crimp pins for DuPont-style connectors
– skrewdriver, with a T20 torx head/bit
– small flathead skrewdriver
– pliers
optional: license plate lights camera housing (for your car model)

Most reverse camera kits contain 3 components:
– the camera itself (with or without a mounting plate) with a split cable – 1 connector for power (usually red), 1 connector for video (usually yellow)
– a RCA (composite) video extension cable, with an additional wire for activation signal
– a power cable, with a DC connector on one end and 2 loose wires on the other end

Step 1. Install the camera on the car body, in a location that doesn’t obstruct its view. This step is time-consuming and varies from model to model. Generally, the best location for the reverse camera is in the license plate lights housing, where possible. This requires getting a dedicated camera housing for your model. These custom housings still have a space for the license plate light.

In order to replace the original lights housing with the custom one, you will need to remove either the plastic cover on the inside of the trunk door or the rear bumper, depending on the license plate location. For most car models, tutorials (some including videos) for these operations can be found on the internet. Don’t forget about the camera’s cable, it should not be exposed to external factors, such as water splashes or rain, and it’s end (the 2 connectors) must be accessible, in order to connect the camera.

Note: It is not recommended to drill holes in any of the metal parts of the car, as they will leave those spots vulnerable to rusting, in time. Drilling holes in plastic parts shouldn’t be a problem.

Step 2. Take the power cable and connect the black (or black-red) wire to the reverse lamp’s ground. Take the red wire and, together with the RCA video extension cable’s additional wire (usually, also red), connect them to the reverse lamp’s power. Connect the power cable’s DC connector to the the power connector of the camera’s cable (usually, the red one). Last, connect the video cable’s connector to the camera’s cable video jack (yellow).

The taillight usually has at least 3 lights: brake, turn signal and reverse. Each light has it’s own circuit for powering, but they share a common ground. Also, taillights have a connector, the lamps being placed on a simple PCB. So, for this configuration, you should have a connector with 4 or 5 wires. If there also is a fog light, the connector should have 5 or 6 wires. Connecting to the wire powering the reverse light and the ground wire is the simplest method for powering the camera – electrical tape may come in handy, depending on the type of connectors. The only thing that has to be done beforehand is identifying the reverse light’s power wire and the ground – this can be achieved by dissassembling the taillight and studying the circuits on the PCB located inside.

Step 3. Remove the dashboard mask surrounding the Media Nav unit. This varies from model to model, but, for most car models, tutorials can be found on the internet. After, remove the 4 screws, using the T20 torx and easily slide out the Media Nav unit. Disconnect all the connectors from the back – no need to remember each connector’s position, they fit only in their respective sockets. We will work on the white 24-pin connector (left).

Note: Once the Media Nav unit will be turned on again, it will ask for the authorisation code. In case you don’t have it, this is the best time to find it, by using our Unlock Code Calculator, since it requires the security precode written on the unit’s label.

Step 4. Take the free end of the RCA video extension cable and add a crimp pin to the additional wire, using the pliers. Next, add a wire to the central rod of the yellow jack and use electrical tape to wrap it up, so that the wire doesn’t touch the outer metal ring. Add a second wire to the outer metal ring and use electrical tape to keep it fixed. For these 2 wires, also add crimp pins. The central rod is the video signal, the outer ring is the video ground. These 3 wires will be connected to the 24-pin connector.

Step 5. Take the 24-pin connector and, using the small flathead skrewdriver, pull the little drawers on its side. This will give access to the wires.

Step 6. Connect the 3 wires from Step 4 to the 24-pin connector like this:
– video signal (central rod) – to pin 10
– video ground (outer ring) – to pin 22
– camera signal (additional wire) – to pin 3
Make sure to push the crimp pins until they are in place – otherwise, they may not connect with the pins from the Media Nav unit. Push the little drawer back to fix all wires.

In the end, this is how everything should be wired up:

Step 5. Put all cables back in the Media Nav unit and slide the unit back in place (in the dashboard). Put your car key in the On position or even start the engine. When the Media Nav will turn on, it will ask for the unlock code.

Once the main interface shows up, put the gearbox in reverse. In some cases, the camera is already activated and the camera stream will appear immediately, so no further operations are required. If it isn’t, or there seems to be a delay regarding the video stream or camera viewer, follow our tutorials for activating the reverse camera:
Activate the reverse camera (MN1 & MN2)
Activate the reverse camera (MN3)

Do not put everything back (skrews, dashboard cover etc.) until you’re finished, you may need to check the cables again.