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Hey guys

I installed a backup cam into my parents 2009 Sl550 and had the dealer add the camera in STAR but when shifted into reverse nothing happens the ntg 2.5 does not switch to reverse cam. Did the dealer do something wrong? Or what am i missing


Does the car need need to see q signal on that line to switch. Im clueless now
 

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Although the USA version of COMAND has all the settings and even wiring connections for a backup camera, it won't work because video is locked-out unless it's in park. Of course then aren't in reverse so there no signal to activate the backup camera. The solution is an aftermarket module that will unlock video in motion sold by Mid-City Engineering sells this. There may be others, too. I've seen the Mid-City module ion action (member Wayne Drayer here on the forum had it installed) and it works very nicely - even has an option for a front camera.
 

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Although the USA version of COMAND has all the settings and even wiring connections for a backup camera, it won't work because video is locked-out unless it's in park. Of course then aren't in reverse so there no signal to activate the backup camera. The solution is an aftermarket module that will unlock video in motion sold by Mid-City Engineering sells this. There may be others, too. I've seen the Mid-City module ion action (member Wayne Drayer here on the forum had it installed) and it works very nicely - even has an option for a front camera.
Thank you for the reply,

Infact after I posted, I reset the Command by holding down the ON button for 10 seconds, when turning the Command back on, put it in Reverse, and boom, i have backup camera


so ill say what was done to hopefully help others, I did NOT use Mid City Engineering


I bought a camera with a 170 degree viewing angle on ebay for around 35 dollars, made by Crime Stoppers I also purchased wireless transponders one receiver, and one transmitter as i did not want to run wires from the trunk to the cab so wireless it was. those cost about 15 dollars, then bought a Fakra to Rca for around 7 dollars. One trip to the dealer to install the "Camera" with STAR diagnostics. though it seems they never reset the optic link, which holding down the on button did, and boom backup camera, dealer did not charge us anything to turn on the backup camera.





 

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Thank you for the reply,

Infact after I posted, I reset the Command by holding down the ON button for 10 seconds, when turning the Command back on, put it in Reverse, and boom, i have backup camera


so ill say what was done to hopefully help others, I did NOT use Mid City Engineering


I bought a camera with a 170 degree viewing angle on ebay for around 35 dollars, made by Crime Stoppers I also purchased wireless transponders one receiver, and one transmitter as i did not want to run wires from the trunk to the cab so wireless it was. those cost about 15 dollars, then bought a Fakra to Rca for around 7 dollars. One trip to the dealer to install the "Camera" with STAR diagnostics. though it seems they never reset the optic link, which holding down the on button did, and boom backup camera, dealer did not charge us anything to turn on the backup camera.





Good job!!!

Can you tell me the model number of the Crimestopper Camera you purchased? Also how did you install the camera did you drill a hole through the handle?

Thanks
 

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Good job!!!

Can you tell me the model number of the Crimestopper Camera you purchased? Also how did you install the camera did you drill a hole through the handle?

Thanks
Thanks!

While its not my car but my mothers I have taken apart several of her Mercedes, and my own vehicles so this was not new to me.


The Camera I used was Crimestopper SV-6818.EM.II, Its a great little camera!

This is what I used to turn it into a wireless system HOT Transmitter&Receiver 2.4G Wireless Module for Car Backup Rear View Camera EF | eBay

as far as installing the camera, if you look at the handle area of an SL on the passanger side there is a small circular thing.... its empty..its a plug of sorts. so we removed the black trim, and sanded that a little bigger to actually hold the camera, cut the end of the plastic round thing off and the inside was large enough to fit the wire threw into the trunk, then it was routing the wire, routed along the trunk and to the factory wiring down the trunk hinges, and into the panels, near the Power Plug on the passanger side of the trunk, we took power from that power plug so the camera is infact always powered.


Now to remove that black plastic piece, you have to remove a body panel like remove the license plate( its the part the license plate it attached to) there are...4 bolts from the trunk lid to this part to hold it on, also on the bottom edge are 3 more bolts, that are hiddin by the rubber gasket, this comes off no problem. after that 2 nuts to remove the black plastic trim, and then 2 bolts to remove the handle assembly, BE CAREFUL with the handle assembly there is a microswitch that works the handle for trunk opening and its easy to unalign it( we did and it was 90 bucks to fix)
 

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Very interesting! Everything in WIS says it should not work. I've been really wanting a backup camera, so I may try this for myself. One thing you get with Mid City is a front camera, but I can live without that.
 

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Very interesting! Everything in WIS says it should not work. I've been really wanting a backup camera, so I may try this for myself. One thing you get with Mid City is a front camera, but I can live without that.
we where originally going to go with MidCity but after seeing the cost, decided against it i have very little into the actual camera and the stuff to make it work, as well as the dealer not charging us to add in "Camera". they originally said it would be 160 dollars, but since they could not get it to work( Not resetting the optic link) it was no Charge, they also get enough of their money with the CLS550 as well LOL
 

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I spent the day doing the install. Actually, I put the camera in the trunk lid yesterday when i was working on a vacuum leak. Anyhow, I decided to hardwire mine, but honestly, the wireless option would have been soooo much easier! I ran the wire under the passenger footwell carpet to the door sill, along there, up the side panel behind the passenger seat and into the trunk. All that took 20 minutes. Then I spent several hours securing the wire through the tubular frame, following the existing wiring bundles. And guess what? The wire that came with the camera wasn't long enough to make it to the trunk lid, so I had to do the power connections on the side of one of the wiring bundles. It works, but I really need to get a longer video cable. The one included was 20 feet, but I need 25 feet. I'll order one, and redo this "someday". But for now, it's working.

Thanks for your work on this! It's a great, inexpensive upgrade. And a head scratcher as to why it wasn't option!
 

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You can see Drkvampire's pics above of his install - mine is identical. The connection to the back of the COMAND unit is very simple - you just have to remove it to access the back panel. I ripped off this photo from a Google search to show the back of the COMAND unit. The video input is the green connector above the one labelled "Navigation":



Note that this connector is a FAKRA style, so you need an adapter:



The Crimestopper camera we used comes with several components. This is the best photo I could find showing its wiring:



Here's a basic description of the hookup:

The camera itself has a single lead coming out of it that's about three feet long. It ends in a small round connector that has four leads in it. That connector plugs into a pigtail that splits into two connections - an RCA jack for the video connection, and a coax 12v power jack. They include a 20-foot RCA cable to use for the video feed, and a 12v round power plug with a few feet of cable on it. The 20-foot video cable also includes red pigtail wires on either end to use for running 12v from the head unit.

The problem I had was that 20 feet of video cable was not quite enough. I needed 25ft to get all the way from the head unit, along the door sill, through the trunk, and then snake up an along the tubular frame. The path through the trunk lid frame is pretty long because it has to follow the sections for both forward (trunk) and reverse (top) operations. What I was able to do was find a suitable place to make my connections along the frame. Since there are four "things" to connect there, I just wrapped them with Gorilla tape to hold them in place:



I used the power pigtail on the 20-foot video cable for 12v+, tapped into the cigarette lighter circuit. I pickup up a ground on the trunk lid itself. I spent a good five ours messing around with the yesterday, plus an hour or so on Monday when I installed the camera in the trunk lid (already had it open to repair the latch). It's not a hard job, but it sure would be easier to use the wireless adapter! I am going to order a 25ft RCA cable an d go back and do this "right" later.
 

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Great write up rudeney. My car came with factory fitted TV, would that be using the green connector already, meaning I couldn't use it for a reverse camera?
 

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Hat tip to Drkvampire and Rodney for their posts. The only thing "missing" on my '07 R230 is a backup camera. Your posts and pix give me confidence that a camera can be installed ... just not by me. I hope your installations work seamlessly and give you many many years of dependable service. I'm confident neither of you wants to do this over.

Many thanks.
 

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Great write up rudeney. My car came with factory fitted TV, would that be using the green connector already, meaning I couldn't use it for a reverse camera?
I would guess it does use that input for the TV option. I'm not sure if there would be a way to make both of these work.
 

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Great information guys. I would love to add this to my car.
I notice that both cars are later than mine (2007) and the central display is physically slightly different. Do you think this would work in a 2007?
Also, what is the path in STAR to activate the camera option?
 

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The MY2009 facelift updated the COMAND unit to NTG 2.5. I am not sure if this will work on the earlier NTG 2.0 units. I looked at some photos of those on eBay and I don't see video input ports on them like on the NTG 2.5.

In SDS, you go into "Control Units" -> "Information and communication" -> "Audio, video, navigation and telematics" -> (accept the MSOT configuration) -> "COMAND - (COMAND Display and Operating Unit)" -> "Development Data" -> "Control Unit Adaptations" -> "Control unit adaptations (Variant coding)" -> "HU Parameter"

If the options is available, it will be there.
 

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Rudeney, thanks for the path information.
I don't know how a rear view camera would be displayed in SDS but mine shows info on TV,DVD and VT.
It also shows "LCT not connected" and "IPS not available".
Does any of this relate to a camera option?
 

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I don't think so. I don''t even thing the NTG 2.0 has video inputs. TV is displayed via an external module.
 

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2009 SL550 Backup camera

The MY2009 facelift updated the COMAND unit to NTG 2.5. I am not sure if this will work on the earlier NTG 2.0 units. I looked at some photos of those on eBay and I don't see video input ports on them like on the NTG 2.5.

In SDS, you go into "Control Units" -> "Information and communication" -> "Audio, video, navigation and telematics" -> (accept the MSOT configuration) -> "COMAND - (COMAND Display and Operating Unit)" -> "Development Data" -> "Control Unit Adaptations" -> "Control unit adaptations (Variant coding)" -> "HU Parameter"

If the options is available, it will be there.
I hate to keep dragging this thread out - but each local car/audio shop I go to has a different idea and price than the others. Of course the dealer says "can not be done". Installed prices range from $1000 to $1400 - that is just insane.
I found a company in Toronto that said said I do not need all those different VIM modules (like Midcity Engineering). They said since all I wanted was a backup camera I just needed to install one and hook it to the green fakra connector.
Is this true?
I have an appointment in a few days at a local foreign car shop with SDS to have the system accessed.
If I do not need to go there - I will just cancel. IF I need to enable something in the COMMAND 2.5 system - can someone please advise what needs to be activated so I can give clear instructions to the repair shop. Thanks again to everyone for all your help.
 

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No trouble, Bob! This is an exciting and valuable mod and I really have to thank Drkvampire2001 for figuring this all out and teaching me something new. As long as you have COMAND NTG 2.5 (and your MY2009 should), this is a fairly easy and inexpensive three step process:

1. Install a suitable backup camera in the rear of the car and get its video signal to the dash (wired or wireless).
2. Connect the video output from the camera to the video input port on the back of the COMAND unit using a FAKRA-to-RCA adapter.
3. Use SDS "developer mode" options to code the COMAND unit to the presence of a backup camera so that it displays its video when the vehicle is in reverse gear.

Besides the camera, FAKRA adapter and either a longer RCA cable or wireless adapter kit, no other expensive third party parts or modules are required! Total parts cost is $60-$65 (see below).

To make sure you the NTG 2.5 COMAND, just look for the SD-card slot above the DVD slot, built-in. It will also have built-in Bluetooth hands-free without the need for a "puck" adapter in the center console. It also lacks the "soft" buttons (4 on each side of the LCD screen).

To get video from the camera in the trunk lid to the back of the COMAND unit, you can go wired or wireless. For wired, you just run a long cable from the back of the COMAND in the dash, through the body, up the trunk hinges, and to the camera in the lid. The Crimestopper camera we used comes with a 20-foot RCA video+power cable for wired hookup, but it's not long enough, so you'll need to buy a longer one. For wireless, you need a transmitter/receiver pair. Mount the transmitter in the trunk lid with the camera, and the receiver behind the COMAND unit.

The pros of a wired system is that you don't have to worry about any RF interference disrupting the signal. Also, using a cable with both video and power combined, you can easily tap into the cigarette lighter for a power source instead of having to mess with the wiring in the trunk lid. Note that the power sources in the trunk lid are always on, so this would be just one more drain on the precious consumer battery. The cigarette lighter is only powered with the ignition. The main con of going wired is that you have to remove some trim to run the wiring, plus you'll need to carefully run it up the two-way hinge on the trunk lid. It's not difficult, but will take a few extra minutes.

The pros of a wireless system are not having to deal with running wire through the car or trunk hinge. The con is that you have to pickup power in the trunk lid and it will be always on. Plus, it will be prone to interference. Many cars use RF transmitters for their backup cameras, even as factory equipment.

As I said, it's under $65 for parts:

Crimestopper camera $40:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DEJRVII

FAKRA-to-RCa adapter $9:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012IAKEPU

Wireless option $12:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DY0UAXE

Or wired option $10:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016PX9ES4

Now, you have to consider labor. If you DIY, then there's no real labor costs. If not, I'd expect to pay an installer for several hours of work, so maybe $200. On top of that, you'll need SDS with developer mode to do the coding. I see that the OP used his dealer. I am surprised at that, because I did not realize the dealer's SDS had developer mode - I've only seen that on the Chinese clone versions. Then again, maybe I overlooked the setting in the standard adaptations, or the latest version of SDS has in in the standard settings. Anyhow, unless you find a friend with SDS who will do it for "beer", then maybe another $100 for a shop to help.
 
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