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R-Class (W251) 2006-Present: R320CDI, R350, R420CDI, R500

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Old 08-18-2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Aftermarket backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!

Well, it's not fully installed yet, but partially. I seemed to generate a lot of interest in the backup camera. I'll post some pics as I go.

I'm using a small camera to fit on the left side of the third brake light (to be symmetrical to the rear washer nozzle). I'm integrating the camera to the factory radio (this car does not have navigation, but it will still work with navigation equipped models).

So far I've mounted the camera. I'll be bypassing the video signal on the monitor tomorrow (I'll post more pics as I go).

In the meantime, here are some pics of the camera installed.

(Click on the picture for a full size image).

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Last edited by WhiteBlazer01; 08-18-2007 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-18-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
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only issue with that, and there is a reason why the factory is located where it is, and ya can look at the GL and ML also, the curve off the window blocks the bottom bumper, giving you a blind spot for a little kid, which obviously is a reason for the back up camera, giving you have 3 mirrors

There is a provision for the rear camera to the left of the license plate, for the square micro back up cameras. which are better resolution and angle vs. the bullet style camera you utilized. Look at the Eclipse camera, and with a small voltage regulator from radio shack you can interface it easily.

you will then have the edge of the bumper on the bottom of the screen and an awesome view behind the vehicle
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Old 08-18-2007, 02:48 PM   #3
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PICs of MB factory camera position

Here are some pics of the MB factory camera position:
- First pic shows the square/micro camera position relative to the rear license plate.
- Second pic shows the closed-in camera itself.
- Third pic shows the COMAND view picking up a kid's bike 4ft behind the bumper, which the rear view mirror couldnt picked up. Note the low angle and the rear bumper reference always shown.

Hope these help!
Attached Thumbnails
Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-dsc05461.jpg   Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-dsc05475.jpg   Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-dsc05462.jpg  
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbondox View Post
only issue with that, and there is a reason why the factory is located where it is, and ya can look at the GL and ML also, the curve off the window blocks the bottom bumper, giving you a blind spot for a little kid, which obviously is a reason for the back up camera, giving you have 3 mirrors

There is a provision for the rear camera to the left of the license plate, for the square micro back up cameras. which are better resolution and angle vs. the bullet style camera you utilized. Look at the Eclipse camera, and with a small voltage regulator from radio shack you can interface it easily.

you will then have the edge of the bumper on the bottom of the screen and an awesome view behind the vehicle
Good observation! I definitely agree, the rear window doesn't quite give you the full view due to the window. I measured it out, and there is 8" from the rear bumper in which I cannot see.

The camera I used is actually not a bullet camera (the front does look like one however). I am using a square micro camera (I'm in the business of mobile video, and have worked with, and tested a lot of cameras). I compared this to the license plate camera, the Pioneer backup camera, and some bullet cameras.

Here are the specs of the camera I used. (Given to me from the manufacturer).

- Illumination - 0.3 lux
- 1/3" CCD camera
- 130 Wide angle view
- Weatherproof (I used rubber seals that came with the camera on both sides of the cars panel)
- 12VDC, 80mA
- 33mm x 33mm

Here is a generic pic of the camera.



The camera is pretty small. It's held in place by the front cover and the back round nut. Once I'm done installing the camera, I'll put some Loctite on the screws so it doesn't come loose over time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RDriver View Post
Here are some pics of the MB factory camera position:
- First pic shows the square/micro camera position relative to the rear license plate.
- Second pic shows the closed-in camera itself.
- Third pic shows the COMAND view picking up a kid's bike 4ft behind the bumper, which the rear view mirror couldnt picked up. Note the low angle and the rear bumper reference always shown.

Hope these help!

Thanks for the pics, it definitely helps compare the two. I do like how you can see the bumper, it does help to use as a point of reference.

I took some pics to show what the view looks like from my mounting location (and to show the way the camera works)

I put a chair touching the rear bumper (It actually isn't physically touching, but it is mm's away).

(Click on the picture for a full size image)



I temporarily connected the camera to the headrest monitor. The front radio is still taken apart, so I couldn't use it.

Note that the display from the camera is rounded a bit for a wider angle view, but not as dramatic as the OEM camera.

-Paul
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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white blazer, I used to be in the business for a while and sold it off... So i am glad you are OK with a little criticism, and it is only intended for constructive purposes.


I'll post some pics of the one I did, i have done it in every class of Benz, including the G wagon... hold on SLR is a negative, so everything but...
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jbondox View Post
white blazer, I used to be in the business for a while and sold it off... So i am glad you are OK with a little criticism, and it is only intended for constructive purposes.


I'll post some pics of the one I did, i have done it in every class of Benz, including the G wagon... hold on SLR is a negative, so everything but...
Sure thing jobondox, we're all here to help each other.

I do a lot of rear view cameras on cars, and also on motorcycles. I'll put a rear and front camera, and connect the two to a dual DVR unit. This way riders can record and review their track runs, canyon runs, etc....

I'd definitely like to see some of your work on the other cars!

-Paul
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:40 AM   #7
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I am deinitely interested in the project, but since I don't have the skill to DIY it, it would really help if you could post a list of required materials.

Nice work by the way!
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by f-rod View Post
I am deinitely interested in the project, but since I don't have the skill to DIY it, it would really help if you could post a list of required materials.

Nice work by the way!

mi espousa will get mad at me again. saying too much modding. this is nice mod to do for the R. I`ll wait for the publication from you guys. VERY, VERY nice. Keep it up, guys.
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBlazer01 View Post
Well, it's not fully installed yet, but partially. I seemed to generate a lot of interest in the backup camera. I'll post some pics as I go.

I'm using a small camera to fit on the left side of the third brake light (to be symmetrical to the rear washer nozzle). I'm integrating the camera to the factory radio (this car does not have navigation, but it will still work with navigation equipped models).

So far I've mounted the camera. I'll be bypassing the video signal on the monitor tomorrow (I'll post more pics as I go).

In the meantime, here are some pics of the camera installed.

(Click on the picture for a full size image).
Hi Paul,

I just PM you regarding to the module. Again, thanks for the great post!
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:23 PM   #10
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whiteblazer you are the man

looking forward to doing the mod. where do you buy a camera like this one
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:21 PM   #11
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video module

does the Comand unit have a generic input for a back up camera? or are
people using modules like this --

PAC Audio shows this part -

Part Number: VCI-MBZ/MCR
Allows 2 Video inputs, 1 backup camera input & RGB navigation input. Built in Audio/Video switcher Great for lease vehicles. Quickly convert radio back to OEM specifications within minutes. No soldering or tools needed to modify radio. Replace factory ribbon cable with supplied ribbon cable and you are done! Revert back to stock quickly for lease returns!

Works with:
Mercedes - R Class (W251), M Class (W164) and GL (X 164) 2006-2007
Mercedes - CLK (W209) and C Class (W203) 2005-2007
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:55 PM   #12
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look at this abortion i seen today... it was icon video mod... very bad


http://www.esotericsoundandperforman...view_album.php
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:33 PM   #13
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If I did it that way, I sure wouldn't show pictures!
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:41 AM   #14
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they didn't do it that way, they found it that way... If you look at the pic gallery, it says hacked up installs.
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclancy View Post
does the Comand unit have a generic input for a back up camera? or are
people using modules like this --

PAC Audio shows this part -

Part Number: VCI-MBZ/MCR
Allows 2 Video inputs, 1 backup camera input & RGB navigation input. Built in Audio/Video switcher Great for lease vehicles. Quickly convert radio back to OEM specifications within minutes. No soldering or tools needed to modify radio. Replace factory ribbon cable with supplied ribbon cable and you are done! Revert back to stock quickly for lease returns!

Works with:
Mercedes - R Class (W251), M Class (W164) and GL (X 164) 2006-2007
Mercedes - CLK (W209) and C Class (W203) 2005-2007
R class command units typically do not come from the factory with the backup camera input. you can however order from parts a command radio that is backup camera ready and will take the camera input without any additional modules.

the PAC module will work as well but requires that the radio undergo quite a bit of disassembly to install it properly and not have issues with the ribbon cable when the motorized screen moves (they conveniently forget to mention this in the instructions and ads). additionally the PAC module image is actually overly dim when displayed on the factory LCD even when the brightness and contrast settings are at maximum. this is actually a design issue with the PAC module and while it will not damage anything the overall look and quality is a bit on the substandard side.

the big difference is in price: if you arent camera ready then a new camera ready command HU is about $1500. the PAC module is about $500 plus maybe $200 for installation. neither option includes the actual camera and installation which will add another few hundred dollars as well. it ends up working out to be about $2000 for the factory HU/cam/install, $1200 for the PAC module/cam/install, or $500 for the camera and install if you have the cam ready factory HU.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:30 AM   #16
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thanks rob for the summary. are 06 comand's camera ready? i m guessing not....
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Old 09-12-2007, 01:02 PM   #17
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Hmmm... $2K is a bit much. I'll live with the Parktronic...
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDriver View Post
Here are some pics of the MB factory camera position:
- First pic shows the square/micro camera position relative to the rear license plate.
- Second pic shows the closed-in camera itself.
- Third pic shows the COMAND view picking up a kid's bike 4ft behind the bumper, which the rear view mirror couldnt picked up. Note the low angle and the rear bumper reference always shown.

Hope these help!
RDriver,

Is your setup a factory version?

I'm a newbie to the forum as well as a new owner of a 2007 R-500. I'm researching backup camera options. I've seen the PAC offer (w/o camera) and am scared off by the DIY complexity.

I've looked at the Audiovox RVMPKG3. However, the camera that comes with it is more suitable for a camper or transporter. It hangs from a u-shaped bracket that is bolted to a surface and looks to be at least 3-4" wide. The Audiovox monitor is built in to an attachable rear-view mirror that straps over the factory mirror. Consumer Reports reviewed it. Its relatively low cost (plus the cost of an alternate camera) make for a good recommendation.

JR
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:34 PM   #19
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Does ML/GL comand fits on R class?
Saw one on ebay with backup camera enabled, just wondering if it fits on our R.
Same size, different look? and no functional diff?
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:34 AM   #20
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I bought a command with nav on evay that was in either a ML or a GL. I switched out the commands, plugged it in and it fits and works perfectly. I didnt even have to get it star coded at the dealer. I am assuming mine must be backup camera enabled because the screen goes blank when it is in reverse and this never happened with the original R class command.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:19 AM   #21
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How to input camera?

Here is my story, I bought a 2006 R350 from eBay early this mouth, without Navigation. When searching for a Nav DVD drive for it, I read these wonderful posts about the backup camera. So I thought, with little bit more money than the DVD drive, I could get a Backup Camera ready HU with navigation. But as Rob said, it is not easy to find such R radio. Then I bought a ML Comand with cam/Nav from u know, eBay. It doesn't fit !!! but I noticed they are same bodies with different faces. Can I just "deface" them and switch it to my R face? So I put my screw driver to work, not a easy task, have to remove the LCD too. Couple hours later, I made that switch.
The ML body with my R face fits and works in my R350 now. Haven't get the Nav antenna connection yet, and the screen turns to black when i put car in reverse. But my question is where do I input my Camera signal? My R's old radio had two connectors on the back, a black and a yellow. I thought the black one would be open, waiting for me to input my camera signal ... that is the aux video input, right? but it has a wire going somewhere.. to where? I need some help here, again.
I attached two pictures, one with my defaced R radio with ML face. One with the back of old R radio with connectors ...

Thanks,
Ste.
Attached Thumbnails
Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-img_2882.jpg   Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-img_2873.jpg  
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:25 PM   #22
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I am kind of in the same boat... i jsut got a 07 ml350 w/ nav, and i want to do the cam upgrade.. from what ive found out either the comand has the video input for the cam or it doesnt.. if it doesnt then you need the video interface w/ the inputs that attaches tot he ribbon cable...thats where the cam plugs in..usually they have two inputs for video, then the reverse sensor...i found a great system in uk, but then dont ship to us..but basicly by running the vin you can tell if your command is video ready.
http://www.parkingsensors.co.uk/dolp...ng_sensors.asp

to do a post dealer install is about 1500 w/o the park sensors. those will add about 500. and there is the question about the guidance on teh display.. i want my system to have the green and w/e other lanes on the monitor.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #23
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I was reading posts from C class members who did their Cam upgrade, but they have a different system than ours, I even got a cable ready for that. Anyway, with detailed help from Rob again! I found the inputs for the camera on the back of the Comand. and it's working perfectly now. The cost for a new Comand/Nav was $550, plus 100+ for the camera, cable, it came out less than $700 plus my labor. And I have the old Comand up for sale, but would doubt any one needs a used non nav Comand, If you have the one with Nav now, you could sell it easier on eBay.
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Backup camera installed to factory system, with pics!-0216091751a.jpg  
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:31 PM   #24
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I want to add a camera..need help

My 07 R350 has Nav and parktronic, how do I add reverse camera?
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:24 PM   #25
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you can't unless you change the COMAND unit...
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:24 PM
 
 
 
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