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DIY Front Camera upgrade for RVC-HIGH

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
Hi! Hope that you don't mind if I keep my modification log over here.

In MQB cars (which includes Golf MK7) there's couple options where it comes to rear-view cameras:
RVC-Low: simple camera, triggered by reverse light bulb signal.
RVC-High: camera module connected to CAN-BUS, with 4 view modes.
AreaView: set of 4 cameras with stitched 360 degrees view around the vehicle.

Recently I retrofitted RVC-High but having front camera would be a cool option. AreaView retrofit is complicated and, what's most important, expensive. So I decided to add an aftermarket front camera and force the system to switch to it when needed. Having RVC-High opens up some possibilities. The most important thing is that the video feed from the camera is still available after shifting from reverse gear. Also it's possible to bring up the image on the display by pressing parktronic button. Thanks to that it should be possible to switch from rear camera feed to front camera feed when needed.

Still waiting for the camera to arrive, but this is the one that I chose: CCD Front View Camera. Also considered this option: YIFOUM HD CCD Car Front View Parking Night Vision with an easier installation in front grill.

Anyway, I decided to have this video feed switching both automated and manually triggered with a button. Below there's a quick diagram that I prepared for the control module (don't mind the LED polarization which is wrong here). I want to use something like ATTINY88 micro development board as a control unit for my setup.

Planning to use I/O as below:
  • Input 1: reverse gear status (from backup-light or R indicator in DSG trim)
  • Input 2: parktronic status (from orange indicator on the parktronic button)
  • Input 3: button to manually control video switching if needed
  • Output 1: video switching relay control
  • Output 2: front view indicator (more about that later)
  • Output 3: parktronic button override (also more about that later on)
IMG_8741.jpg
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
Since I need to tap into buttons next to the gear selector, here are some details of the button unit on the right side:

module name in schematics: EX30
Pinout of the 10-pin connector:
1 - GND
2 - Buttons backlight (KL58 illumination, regulated with the dashboard)
3 - signal from parking aid button
4 - signal from parking assist steering button (self parking system)
5 - N/A (most likely wired to 3rd button)
6 - orange indicator for parking aid button
7 - orange indicator for parking assist steering button
8 - N/A (most likely wired to 3rd button indicator)
9 - N/A
10 - N/A

IMG_8762.jpg
 

davide.bonetti

Ready to race!
Location
ITALY
YES! finally ;) I really want a front camera and was considering the AreaView retrofit, but besides the cost it gets complicated on Golf because it does not exist from factory.

I'll be monitoring your progress.

first thing that comes to mind is that the front camera should be the same feed as the RVC-HIGH, I mean PAL/NTSC and same resolution.
 

davide.bonetti

Ready to race!
Location
ITALY
damn I am so excited about this that I straight ordered the camera and the controller.

hope you don't change your mind on parts :D
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
YES! finally ;) I really want a front camera and was considering the AreaView retrofit, but besides the cost it gets complicated on Golf because it does not exist from factory.

I'll be monitoring your progress.

first thing that comes to mind is that the front camera should be the same feed as the RVC-HIGH, I mean PAL/NTSC and same resolution.
Hope this mod will be successful as well.
Yes, camera should be in the same system as the OEM RVC system, which is NTSC. The one that I ordered uses said system and should be 170 degrees wide when it comes to optics. That's going to be first thing that I check. I want the image to be as wide as possible. Only then the camera can be used as cross-traffic camera. If the image is ~90 degree wide it would be useless...

Some time ago (before RVC retrofit) I connected dashcam with A/V output to my MIB and coded it as RVC-Low. Just to confirm that MIB supports NTSC.


About the modification: today I tested if it's possible and how hard it is to create custom button to manually control the video feed switching relay. It looks promising. Button is white in mass with black mask on it so I just need to remove black paint.
Tested couple settings on the laser engraving machine and found one that's strong enough to burn thought the paint but weak enough to not melt the plastic underneath.
IMG_8785.jpg
 

o_a_ravi

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Phoenix
Excited about the idea, MR-Fix is trying out. Following and already making a list of parts to buy (RVC Low to High conversion) and this option for front view.

@mr-fix let me know or PM me., if you need any help with designing the custom circuit for the gear lever switch wiring, relay switching between cameras and with the ATTINY/Arduino controllers.
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
@o_a_ravi thank you for your offer to help! Will keep that in mind for sure. I don't have much experience with hardware, but I remember some stuff when I was playing with Arduino years ago. Would appreciate your input here:

1. ATTiny will operate at 3.3V or 5V logic level and GPIO is limited when it comes to amps. So I will need to use transistors (ULN20** for example) to boost levels to 12V and provide more current.

2. Diode should be added to relay to prevent ATTiny damage.

3. Thinking about adding single WS2812 LED under the button instead of searching for OEM white and amber LEDs. Will be more fun to have RGB option over there but it would have to tap into KL58 signal to mimic OEM button backlight brightness. Not sure if I can get the same white color with it, since OEM white LEDs are really high quality and WS2812 CRI... well it's not so much white when set to #FFFFFF.
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
Most likely decided on the icon to engraver on the empty button.
Passat and Arteon with AreaView are using "Parking sensor with Camera" button instead of the standard button.
icon-camera2.jpeg

But since I'm adding new button and not replacing the original one, I want to use just the camera.
Going though MIB GFX assets I found the icons, but it was small. Quality was too low even try to engraver it.
icon-camera1.jpg

So here's my attempt to draw this icon in vectors.
Zrzut ekranu 2022-08-18 o 09.31.40.png
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
Thinking out loud:
when wiring the video signal and relay, can I just put the video feed though relay, leaving the signal shield connected and permanently jointed for both cameras?
 

o_a_ravi

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Phoenix
Thinking out loud:
when wiring the video signal and relay, can I just put the video feed though relay, leaving the signal shield connected and permanently jointed for both cameras?
Yes this will work, because for both camera inputs, the shielding is basically your body ground. You don't need a DpDT relay.
 

o_a_ravi

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Phoenix
Question on activating rear camera Flip motor -

How does the rear camera flip open mechanism works (wiring aspect of it) ? Apart from the 7 connections (Video Signal, Power and Canbus) there is also a 4 terminal plug that connects to the rear camera assembly., which is for Power, Trunk Latch Status and Flip Motor. Per the older/Lowline version this is connected to Reverse Lamp. Which tells me that unless you put the transmission in R., the Camera will never pop open ?

Specific Questions:

1. When the transmission is in R / Reverse., Rear Camera pops out.
2. When Gear in P/N/D ., Upon pressing the Park Button., does the video feed gets activated ? If camera flip connection shares the Reverse Bulb, the reverse light will also get activated.
3. For the custom circuit (Mr-Fix idea above)., for adding front/back camera switching on Parking Mode., sounds like you would also need a trigger relay module to activate the flip motor for using Rear Camera mode (when not on R mode).
 

Attachments

  • HighLine_Camera_Harness.jpg
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  • RVC_Low_Wiring.jpg
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  • s-l1600 (1).jpg
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davide.bonetti

Ready to race!
Location
ITALY
for lowline camera the badge flips only when the gear is in R, correct. it indeed uses the reverse bulb wire.

for highline camera the R signal is sniffed over CanBus, this allows the video feed also when pressing the park button.

not sure which module actually triggers the flipping badge.
 

mr-fix

Go Kart Champion
Location
Poland
Car(s)
MK7 2.0TDI Variant
RVC High Camera module controls the flip badge directly.
As said, it sniffs Can-bus for messages (reverse gear, parktronic button, vehicle rolling backwards) to open the mechanism.
 
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