proper hot lead for back up camera

padman63

New member
I just finished installing the integrated back up cam from mid city engineering into my 2014 Sprinter. I am using the factory head unit for a display. The camera was not recognized by the head unit until I plugged the supplied "programmer" into the obdii port. You can buy this programmer separately from Mid City. I bought the whole kit from them which included the camera, wires, and programmer. Nice product and inexpensive.
Can you tell me what that kit cost??
 

riccog125

New member
Was looking to buy the kit myself from Mid City. I want to say the kit is $485. They said it was on back order for about 2 weeks. I've decided to install a separate 4.5" monitor which I will modify to fit in place of the rear view mirror (not needed as mines a 2014 cargo with partition). I purchased the camera that replaces the 3rd brake lighthttp://crimestopper.com/products/safetyplus/cameras/sv6902spr.html from Amazon. I'm looking to run it all the time possible on V1 and install an additional camera near hitch and use reverse trigger on V2. I have a question to everyone who has hooked up the camera to the Audio 15 radio. I assume the camera is getting the reverse trigger from the radio? If this is the case I should be able to grab the reverse trigger wire from the radio harness correct? Anyone know what color it is? Thanks
 
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chain55105

New member
Can you tell me what that kit cost??
I paid $358 plus $15 shipping a couple weeks ago. Some notes about the kit: 1) the camera is black and white. 2) The kit came with an extension that used 2 female connectors. I called mid city (they answered right away which was nice). They offered to send me a male to male adaptor n/c. I opted to get it at radio shack for a few bucks. The install is rather straight forward with only a few connections to make.

I made the mistake of thinking I could get power from the 12 cig lighter right under the head unit. Easier said than done. Thankfully I found this thread and grabbed power from under the seat.

The camera comes on 2 ways. In reverse it comes on and uses the back up grid overlay. When in park or D you can press the SYS button on the head unit and see the back up cam display without the grid overlay.
 

riccog125

New member
Anyone want to sell or rent out the OBD programmer? I'm having second thoughts on my install. I like it but only did it because I was thinking of changing out the factory stereo and building a carpc. Those plans are on hold as of now and i'm thinking the factory radio display would be nicer for now.
 

chain55105

New member
How do you program the system with the OBD programmer? Just plug it in and it does its own thing?
You just plug it in - it does the rest.

Ricog125: I could probably loan this out. I might be helping someone else with an install but he might end up with his own programmer.
 

Karl2014

New member
OK, I'm electrically challenged. I have my backup camera installed except for the power connection. I peeked under the driver's seat and didn't see the place to connect to the ignition power terminal. I did get the upfitter's box (forget the real name) on my 2014 crew van. Any more suggestions?
Also, when connecting the OBD programmer, should the ignition be on? Just plug it in and let it do its thing? There's a big hole in the back of the programmer like something should be plugged into it (opposite the OBD plug).
I'm ready to take it to a shop but hoping there's a DIY fix that I can handle.
Oh yeah, I probably shouldn't have bought the ebay camera for $650 when there was a receipt in the box saying it cost the ebay guy only $350... crimestoppers sounds like a much better deal for under $400.
 

chain55105

New member
OK, I'm electrically challenged. I have my backup camera installed except for the power connection. I peeked under the driver's seat and didn't see the place to connect to the ignition power terminal. I did get the upfitter's box (forget the real name) on my 2014 crew van. Any more suggestions?
Also, when connecting the OBD programmer, should the ignition be on? Just plug it in and let it do its thing? There's a big hole in the back of the programmer like something should be plugged into it (opposite the OBD plug).
I'm ready to take it to a shop but hoping there's a DIY fix that I can handle.
Oh yeah, I probably shouldn't have bought the ebay camera for $650 when there was a receipt in the box saying it cost the ebay guy only $350... crimestoppers sounds like a much better deal for under $400.
If you look at the picture in post #2 the location of the 3 wires is indicated by the left side diagram. The picture is oriented as if you were standing outside the van with the driver door open. There is a cover over the 3 wires so it is not super obvious at first glance. The location is on the top near the outside middle of the seat base. You can remove the entire 3 wire module to make it easier to access. I have seats that swivel so I was able to swivel my seat and push it towards the back of the van. Next I cut away a bit of the foam insert/cover so I could slide the foam cover far enough out of the way. If your seats do not swivel it might be hard to see the location of the 3 wires.

Here is a link to the upfitter PDF file. I believe page 54 has the same info as post #2:

http://daimlervansupfitterportal.co...builder-guidelines/sprinter-bbib-6-7-2012.pdf

I turned the ignition on with the programmer already plugged in. It should just do its thing.

If all you need to do is hook up power you are very close to finishing.
 

savvytravy

New member
Hi all,
Thanks for all the great info on here. I'm running into a couple problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I purchased an echomaster camera and the Midcity Programmer.

I ran the hot to the third terminal far right labeled Ignition Power.

I then ran the black ground to the ground M6 ground bolts under the seat as well. I plugged in the programmer, cranked the van and the camera worked right away.

Then I turned the van off and removed the programmer. Then marveled how easy it was. Then I cranked again and the camera wasn't recognized. So then I plugged in the programmer and nothing. So I checked all connections. Everything is good. Cranked again. Nothing.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

powbass

Member
I just had one installed by a local audio dealer $700. He was a dealer for Mid City Eng. in Chiacgo
I don't know which wire the tech used to connect to the back the radio, but he didn't remove the drivers seat. I believe a call to Mid City Eng, will get you the answer. My camera works great and
has the 1' grid lines.:cheers:
 

savvytravy

New member
Thanks Powbass. I did call Midcity. Luckily for me no seat removal either. They let me know you have to let the programmer code the Radio for up to 2 minutes. While I thought I had left it in long enough, once I reentered the programmer and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing, all is working.

Just a note to everyone: keep the programmer it in the port for at least a couple minutes. What an expensive piece of plastic, but when all said and done, camera and programmed for $450 and 3 hours of my time running the cable, splicing, troubleshooting, etc. Not to bad.

I'll consider the $300 I saved from a pro install as a paycheck!

Gettin' paid.
 

Inertiaman

Active member
I've got some questions about the Midcity programmer versus the NAV-TV module.

If I understand correctly, the Mid-City programmer can be re-used on multiple vehicles, and does not need to be left installed after the re-programming occurs?

On the other hand, the NAV-TV module must be left wired into the vehicle. I spoke to NAV-TV and they claim that one advantage of their product is robustness against possible "un-programming" by a dealer. For example, if you visit a dealer for some random reason, and they do a vehicle firmware update, it would conceivably reset your vehicle to the original settings where the Audio 15 doesn't pass through the camera signal. With NAV-TV installed, you can go through the programming options again to recover your camera signal.

A third option is some aftermarket installers claim to permanently reprogram the Audio 15 to accept the camera signal. Has anyone done this? Do you worry (or have you experienced) a loss of the camera signal after a dealer service visit?

My goal is to have a backup camera that is seamlessly integrated with the Audio 15 unit, shoes automatically in reverse, no switches, etc.

Lastly, can anyone identify an installer in the Seattle/Portland (or worst case, SF bay area) that can do this re-programming? I found one in Philadelphia that came w/ high praise/recommendation from the local MB dealer, but that's obviously too far.
 

Inertiaman

Active member
Answering my own question again . . . I guess I should have called Mid-City *before* my post above.

So Mid-City told me that their programmer bonds with the VIN number and can not be used to program other vehicles. It *can* be used multiple times on the one vehicle, so in the case of a dealer firmware update resetting your Audio 15, you can just plug in the programmer again. So its like the NAV-TV in that its a one-VIN use, but its unlike the NAV-TV in that it is not permanently wired/installed.

Note that the above statements are in direct conflict with a statement on their website that their "programmer is a valuable shop tool, as it can be used to program additional 2014 Sprinters." When I pointed this out to the tech on the phone, he said it was definitely incorrect and that he would have their web guy delete that asap.

Mid-City quoted me $458+$15 shipping for the full kit (brake light camera + programmer) or $308 for the programmer only.

This seems like a safer option -- not to mention cheaper -- than having an installer do it, and then having little/no recourse if someday a dealer visit undoes the programming.
 

ENMeyer

Active member
What cable and wiring do I need for the Mid City Engineering setup? I was going to remove my headliner today, and figured I'd run the cabling now for future installation of this backup camera.
 

Hamish53!

Hamish
What cable and wiring do I need for the Mid City Engineering setup? I was going to remove my headliner today, and figured I'd run the cabling now for future installation of this backup camera.
The cable/wiring comes with the kit from Mid City Engineering, so that part should be plug and play. What they send you has pretty nice connectors on each end and four bundled wires. I would have thought three would do, one for video, one for power, one for ground, but others on this list will surely know for sure.

Btw, their instructions on their website suggest getting power from the 12v lighter just below the radio which should be easy once you have the radio out, addressing the question in the subject of this thread.

I just received my kit today and am wondering what are the best options for routing the wire from the camera to the radio - especially about getting past the driver's seat and into the dash. Surely lots of folks here have done this with success so any tips on the easiest way to get from A to B would be gratefully received!

Thanks in advance,

Hamish

FWIW, I've had the headliner out on a 2011 high roof up as far as the A/C unit (to install interior hanging surfboard racks with nutserts/threaded rivets plus sound deadening material) and it's not especially hard to do, but it's a pain to get those out and back in without damaging anything in the process, especially the tabs on the sides that hold each section up.
 

Hamish53!

Hamish
Having just struggled to get to the cigarette lighter to power a Mid City Engineering back up camera and learning that you apparently need to remove an absurd amount of the dash to get to it, I ended up running the + & - to power the camera straight down from the radio, across the passenger side of the battery compartment, through the channel with the big red wires from the battery and under the driver's seat. There, the ground on the bottom of the compartment is easy to connect to and the key-powered terminal is also easy to connect the red lead to (the one with the black and yellow wire). That terminal is provided for just this purpose, so hopefully using it rather than tapping in elsewhere will keep the MB gods happy.

Details are really well shown here at minute 13: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5NBFeEhaGQ

That video is extremely helpful for several aspects of running the wire to the camera at the back of the vehicle, especially getting up through the tail light area. FWIW, I found it easier to go down from above through the contorted holes rather than up from below.

Btw, the camera works really well, adds lines when you're in reverse and no lines when you're driving. Slightly over $400 from Mid City Engineering. The install is straightforward, although they provide pathetic instructions for removing the radio and nothing else. Count on 3-4 hours from couch to couch (and a lot of annoying Mercedes connectors).
 

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