Have you ever wanted to do a DIY Install HMMWV © HMUVEE © Backup Camera?
If you’re interested in installing a rear-view camera for you HMMWV © then this article may be for you. My goal with this article will to be share how I did it and what my first impressions are. My intentions aren’t to promote one brand over another or make any recommendations, simply share my experience.
So, it looks like back in 2017 I purchased a 12V / 24V wireless backup camera on Amazon. The product purchased was “Camecho RC 12V 24V Car Backup Camera Rear View Wireless IR Night Vision Backup Camera Waterproof Kit”. I would share a direct link, but my intentions aren’t to promote any brand.
So, let’s talk about the how, how did we write up the camera and display.
In this case we’re installing it on a M1045A2 truck. The 1045s have the slant backs and the right sponson already has a designated spot for an antenna, typically a AS-3900 military antenna is mounted there. The very front bolt whole was an ideal spot to mount the camera. I was originally going to purchase one of those clear glass overhead camera dome covers and just mount it in the middle of the antenna base but mounting it like this was super convenient and no custom fab was necessary.
Once the camera was mounted, we simply drilled a whole in the antenna plug plate and fished the wires down. In the future we’ll run some NP1 around the wires to make it watertight. Since just about nothing is watertight on a HMMWV © we’ll get to this step at a later time.
Then we fished the camera wire down through the grommet above the right rear tire.
Then, we simply tapped into the ground and positive from the right rear market lights. This way the camera will work anytime the marker lights are on. We could have ran power directly and installed a sperate switch but we felt that we would not have a need for the camera unless the truck was running and the lights were on. That means it can’t be used in blackout mode but that didn’t matter for us.
Then, we took a separate battery and hooked up the display to make sure the camera and display were talking to each other before spending the time to wire up and mount the display. And they were.
Let’s move to the inside of the cab. So, we took the display mount that was provided and drilled new wholes to match the mounting wings on the HMMWV radio tray and simply mounted it right onto the radio tray. If you look at the top wings of your radio tray you’ll see two mounting spots. We just drilled onto the display mounting bracket to match the radio tray.
How did we run power to the display? We fished the wires behind the instrument cluster and took negative from the main ground coming in. When you open up your instrument cluster, on the top right, behind your heat controllers, you’ll see the main ground coming into the truck. It should have a double nut behind it. The best way to access it is to open up your cluster, then take out your doghouse. That way you’ll have access to the front and rear of the bolt. If I remember correctly it’s a 7/16. Then we took the positive from the right cluster light.
Sorry, didn’t take pictures of this process.
As a result, once the marker lights are turned on the camera is on. Once the dash / cluster lights are turned on the display is on. This way, it’s automatically turned on and always stays on. We could have run a switch to the reverse or added a manual switch, but we actually wanted the camera always on for as long as we’ve turned on the lights to the truck.
Ease of install: Easy
Effort of install: Medium, it took some trial and error before we finalized on where we wanted to draw power and how we wanted the display to operate. All in all, it took a few hours but mostly due to planning.
- It actually comes with built in functionality to support two cameras, the kit came with one
- I haven’t tested it at night but it says it has night vision mode
- Price point, super cheap. I think I paid like $60
- For the price the video quality is good. Could be better but for the price paid it’s GREAT.
- The display mount is SUPER thin.
- The wires are way too thin for something that is intended to go into a car. I would expect thicker wires and way more insulation over the wires.
In all honesty, next time around I will likely pay more money and buy a system with better hardware and will likely go with all wired vs the wireless. I would also pay more attention to screen capture with of the camera.
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