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Creating adaptors for a reversing camera

With more vehicles having a reversing camera fitted as standard we are seeing more and more people needing to replace these when they fail. If you have a  360 degree system or one built into a car then there are issues with replacing an existing factory fitted camera. The biggest issue is many of the cameras use a 5 volt power source whereas aftermarket units are 12 volt. If yours is on a Lorry, motorhome or is an aftermarket product then these instructions should help you convert your existing connector to the 4 pin aviation that is so common.

Step 1

This is where you check your existing camera cable to see what cores are contained within it. It can be helpful not to cut the cable completely, but to open it up by carefully splitting the cable insulation. What you find inside can vary from 2 wires and a bare outer shield upwards to 7 or 8 wires. Generally you would hope to expect them to have follwed a colour code as follows:-

Red = 12v

Black/bare wire = negative

Yellow = video

White = sound

What you expect and what they actually are is another matter!

You may find that one of the wires carries 12 volts to power the IR LEDs in the camera. Another may be used to carry 12 volts to power a small heater, although this is fairly rare in reversing cameras in the UK. I have seen white used as the earth or as the video channel.

Another potential problem is where there is a wire within an wire.


This picture shows the wiring from an Obserview camera. If you look carefully at the white wire you can see there is an inner insulated wire with an outer shield all within an outer insulation. If you miss that then you will ground the video signal so no matter what it will not work. On this camera just connecting the 3 wires labelled will produce a picture. You can usually identify a wire within a wire as it is thicker than other wires in the cable.

Step 2

By now you should have some idea if you can identify what each cable in your wire does. The next step is to cut off the plug of your failed camera with a good length of cable to help create the adaptor. On one of our 1m 4 pin extension cables cut in half to give you the male connector. You are now going to join your connector off your camera to the male connector from our cable.