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Old 07-20-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
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2009 30' Classic
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Need Feedback On Wireless Camera System

Fellow Airstreamers,

I have a brother-in-law who's both an electrical engineer and webcam geek. He has live webcams all over New England. I was telling him how nice it would be to have an inexpensive wireless rear-view camera both to see what's behind me on the highway and while backing. He went to work and designed a wireless system that uses my iPhone as the dashboard monitor thereby saving the cost of a monitor and having to wire it. Furthermore, I get great clarity at distances up to about 50 feet.

I think what he's designed is truly unique and it works great! If a smart-phone-to-camera system such as this exists, I haven't read or heard of it. So, I'm interested to learn whether there may be a market for such a system. Please read the features below and let me know your opinion.

Main features:
1) An iPhone or other smart-phone (whatever brand/model you happen to own) is used as a wireless color monitor. The phone is placed horizontally in a dashboard holder and the only wire is your phone's charge cable to the vehicle's USB port. The phone can still be used to place/take calls, messages, emails, access apps, etc. and then instantaneously reconnect to the camera. The phone can be easily removed/replaced in the holder as necessary.
2) A high quality wireless weatherproof outdoor MPEG4 IP network camera with infrared night vision and built in DVR provides live streaming video to the smart-phone.
3) The camera can be mounted either on the rear top of your TT or inside the back window as desired. Mounted externally, the image in dark is almost as clear as in daylight. Mounted inside the back window, the glass filters infared so you only see whatever is illuminated such as headlights, lanterns, etc.
4) The complete system is entirely plug-and-play except for mounting the camera and plugging or wiring it to a 12 volt source. I use one of the AS's cigarette lighter sockets.
5) All hardware is pre-programmed. One iPhone app download is required.
6) Camera to monitor range is ~50 feet. Trailer length and electrical interference from the TT or TV are of no concern.
7) Selling price for the complete system (minus iPhone or other smart-phone which you undoubtedly already own) would be ~$400.

Thank everyone for your feedback.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #2
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I think others have done similar approaches with varying levels of success. Some drivers have their navigator working GPS on the iPhone while driving or checking iExit or AllStays and other apps while on the road.

Never a right or wrong, just different pros and cons based on what you're trying to accomplish.

Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:28 AM   #3
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I like the concept, but the price would be higher than I'd want to pay since I'd be buying only the camera, no monitor. Something below $200 would be more likely to garner my interest, as long as the 50' range was absolutely reliable.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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I also like the concept and it will be interesting if it actually works as well as advertised. Pricing will be an issue as one will be buying limited hardware.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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4ucam have wifi 12V cameras that connect to a iPhone app with recording functionality. I purchased one last year but never got around to installing it on my existing trailer...mainly due to my intention of replacing it with an AS. However, with my AS I plan on using a Voyager system with dedicated display. Personally I would rather not have my iPhone "locked down" to the camera function.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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2009 30' Classic
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Quote:
I like the concept, but the price would be higher than I'd want to pay since I'd be buying only the camera, no monitor. Something below $200 would be more likely to garner my interest, as long as the 50' range was absolutely reliable.
Bob,

You're right the camera is the most expensive component because the one we've chosen and tested is high quality, waterproof, and IR capable. For interior mounting through the back window where weather and IR are not factors, the camera's price could be cut significantly. I need to research a good alternative camera, but I expect the total system price could be cut by half with a less expensive camera.
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