Switching between two "rear" cameras via RF switch box with DR650S-2CH

Discussion in 'BlackVue' started by mannyfresh2500, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. mannyfresh2500

    mannyfresh2500 Member

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    I have a DR650S-2CH with front and rear cameras. But I plan on working as a rideshare driver soon so I would like to have an IR dash cam recording the interior of the car. I will only be needing to do this maybe 2 days each week and I would rather not have to run more wires down the side of the car for power/signal to add a whole separate camera. I figured I could get a hardwired connection behind my rear view mirror with a button switch that will allow me to select which rear camera to use. The main/front camera won't know any different (just the presence of IR vs no IR). The majority of the time driving would be spent with front/rear cameras but with the option to switch to front/interior camera quickly and easily when it's time to do rideshares.

    I believe the Blackvue coax cables are standard RG-174 cables with male MCX connectors on both ends. I honestly have not tested this but I have a strong suspicion that this is the case. So will buy some cheap cable to find out.

    The shortest coax cable that Blackvue sells is 4.9ft and I was looking for something shorter so I can connect the IR camera to my DR650S-2CH and attach it about 8 inches away from the main camera. I don't have the cable that usually comes with this camera when you buy it as a bundle so that's why I looked for a standard short cable that may be compatible. I actually have not bought the Blackvue IR camera just yet so I'll move my rear camera to the interior in the meantime as I will add a mount to the front of the car for it to slide into.

    BlackBoxMyCar sells a 2ft version of the coax cable which is not Blackvue-branded but they advertise it to use it with that brand. You can tell it's not OEM because it's a different color (and also looks braided?) while all the Blackvue cables are black. But why pay $10 shipping for a $13 cable? It's gotta be a standard cable so I found another vendor that sold one with more reasonable shipping rates and a slightly shorter cable.

    After I've tested I will report back on whether a standard/non-OEM cable works. The other question will be whether the RF box will pass all the signal and power through to the selected camera.

    The reason for wanting an RF switch box is so that I don't have to disconnect/reconnect cables all the time to switch cameras. The connectors will wear out after doing this repeatedly for too long.

    I just need to find a switch small and light enough to stick behind by rear view mirror with a button or knob on it (like below). I had no luck finding an MCX switch box. There are converters to turn the MCX connectors into the larger "F type" used for cable TV but I would have to use gender changers which will add bulk. Changing the female plugs in an F type switch to MCX should do the trick. That way I can just plug all the male MCX connections from the two cameras and the one from the front camera into the RF switch.

    $_3.jpg

    Does this sound like a crazy idea? Maybe I just need some sense talked into me. I could be making this too complicated so I'd like some input.

    Or instead of doing all this I can just get a standalone camera with IR (but not the one that clamps onto the mirror since I don't need dual cams and that's bulky). I just would rather make it work with my main camera and just push a button to switch secondary cameras. I don't want to spend money on switching do a different main camera.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. SawMaster

    SawMaster Well-Known Member

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    Dash Cam:
    Mobius, G1W-S, G1W-HC, WR-1, G1W clone, and more to come!
    I don't know of any commercially available coax switches that have a small enough form factor to meet your needs. Being a "radio nut" myself, I'd homebrew a switch in a shielded enclosure, but you may not have the tools or inclination for doing that. Even then I think a seperate cam would be an easier approach.

    Is it necessary to hide this from the passengers? If not then some kind of "trail cam" or "game cam" might make for a quick and easy solution. Or maybe the cam on a smartphone would work mounted on a bracket (most phone cams pick up IR as-is). From my limited research it seems that no cheap dashcam converted to IR usage works very well, and with any of these you may need an IR illumination source too. Not being nosy, but honestly I don't let anyone I cannot trust into my car and if I can trust them I don't need to record them; the two kind if go hand-in-hand.

    Sometimes being blatantly open is a better approach to things; people behave better when they know they are being watched helping stop problems before they even start. Since most folks know little or nothing about these cams, a cheap one mounted very visibly along with the statement "I record everything inside and outside of me car for my own protection and for insurance purposes, and it's all uploaded to the cloud automatically" should be enough to induce civilized behavior. And anybody who can't deal with that is not the kind of person I'd want to have in my vehicle anyway ;)

    Phil
     
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  3. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Having been a taxi driver on and off for over 20 years I would say most of the ones who will give you trouble would either not be in a state to read a notice or even care about the consequences.

    I wouldnt drive a taxi again if my life depended on it EVER.
     
  4. mannyfresh2500

    mannyfresh2500 Member

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    Definitely if a rider is not comfortable with there being a camera in the car I would not want them to ride.

    I'm picking up a job with Uber part time. In the rare event that something does happen in the cabin I want to be able to protect myself and also make the riders feel more safe knowing that there is a recording.

    I really don't want to use a cellphone for this. I need a dedicated camera, preferably small and without a screen. That's why I thought the Blackvue IR camera would be best.

    I'm not trying to hide the camera but it would just be nice if it didn't obstruct my view of the road yet get a good angle to capture most of the cabin. So I have the perfect spot for the rear or IR camera since it's so small.

    So you see, initially I plan on just moving the rear camera to the front to a mount that I will have for it. I will only be doing this maybe once a week while I'm driving people around. But eventually the plan is to have the IR version eliminating the need to keep moving a camera back and forth.

    The main problem I'm trying to address is the stress on the connections from being unplugged and plugged back in every week.
     
  5. mannyfresh2500

    mannyfresh2500 Member

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    Just coming back to this thread with an update...

    As I recently found out before starting to drive for Uber, my car insurance policy will drop me if I use my personal vehicle to drive for Uber. I'm not paying for a commercial policy just to drive a few hours a week and make close to nothing. It's not worth it to me anymore.

    Since I won't need to worry about having a dashcam to record the inside of my vehicle I will just keep using the front-facing and rear-facing dashcams of my DR650S-2CH setup where they are (recording the outside front and outside rear of the vehicle). I never ordered the IR camera or the RF switch anyway, so no money wasted on my part. But it is what it is.
     
  6. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Ah the realities of what looks like a good thing but isnt. As i said above Been there done that and even full time taxis dont make a fortune
     
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