Meet Frank, our wireless backup camera/GPS system with a few other goodies. We purchased it from http://www.4ucam.com after searching for a system with this dual functionality. The install is not entirely done as there is still an additional component I have left out for now. It came with a 4 sensor parking system that detects objects behind the rear bumper and shows their distance on screen up to 4' away. I will install that part of the system soon, but for now, Frank spends most of his time in GPS mode occasionally being asked to show me what's behind us.
Frank is a small little guy, but quite adequate. His 4.3" screen has an amazingly clear color picture and the speaker is definitely loud enough and adjustable. He doesn't seem to have an option to change which voice he uses (A French Lady) but it is decent and pretty entertaining. The mount in the picture above is one I made quickly out of oak combined with the hardware from the suction cup windshield mount Frank came with. The suction cup mount would have had Frank sitting right in the middle of my field of vision and not worked well at all.
Using the parts from the suction cup mount makes it so I can easily adjust the display angle and has turned out to be a good move. The Oak mount is angled toward the drivers seat a bit as well. I still have to do some sanding and stain it but it works well for now.
This isn't the camera that comes with the standard unit. I decided to upgrade so I could use the same mounting location and holes from our old hard wired camera. The only wires that had to be run for this install were to supply 12V power. The power to the camera is activated by a switch on my dash so I can turn it on while driving down the road and see who is behind me. It also could have been run to the reverse light circuit to turn on only when backing up. The camera transmits immediately upon recieving power which causes Frank to display that image instead of GPS or any other function he may be in. When the power to the camera stops, Frank goes back to what he was doing.
We were really impressed with the GPS function of this system. It displayed every little farm road and detail of our route with extreme accuracy. When a destination is entered, it tracks miles and time left, warns you far in advance when you have to turn and seems to know every shortcut. We had fun trying to confuse him in a parking lot, but most of the time left his voice off. The automatic switch to a night driving mode with the more appropriate dark screen was a nice surprise. Another nice surprise was the accurate MPH display which confirmed our speedometer is in fact off by 4 MPH. There is an option also to warn you when you are over the posted limit which it seems to know for every possible road. I turned that option off quickly!
There is one strange but entertaining anomaly that we experienced on the trip out here to MN. Since Frank recieves signals from wireless cameras, we had a few images on our screen that didn't exactly belong to us! In our 1700 mile trip, we had video security cameras display on the screen 3 times and another backup camera on a passing truck shared it's view. Not a defect, but interesting anyway.
I really think for the money invested, about $540 total after shipping, Frank has turned out to be a really excellent deal. This price includes the parking sensor system and original round camera not yet installed. There is also some additional functionality I probably will never use which includes an MP3 player(our stereo already handles that) and the ability to show images/video which our netbooks do much better already. I will show details of the parking sensor installation when it is done as well.
Exact model information is here:
The upgraded camera is model #9901T found here: