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Dreaded Prior Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I thought I'd experiment with one of the full-screen rear view mirror/monitors. I love to look at my rear louvres from the outside, but the rear view is fairly limited through them. As these mirrors are now available with a full width display and 1080p rear cameras, I'm going to try one for a bit and see how I like it.

I selected a Toguard CE60H as it had a 9.66' screen and 2.5K front and 1080p rear cameras. This was the smallest mirror I could find with a full width screen, but it's still huge compared to the Lotus OEM mirror. I'll probably eventually fit a windscreen glue-on mount to mount it a bit offset to minimize the blocking of the view ahead, and avoid the silly rubber band mount to the OEM mirror.
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This had a GPS option, which enables a GPS speedo display on the mirror (and logs location into the DVR files, if you care about that) . I put the antenna under the sunscreen mount, after clearing away a bit of the foil so the GPS could see the sky through the fiberglass. The mirror comes with a high current 5volt power supply for your lighter socket, but there are already too many wires associated with the thing, so I got a 5V 15W supply off Ebay (not powerful enough, see below) and hacked up an old phone charger for the requisite mini-USB plug. There's a jack there for the old LED clock, so I could grab switched power and fit the 15W supply right above the mirror. The camera cable snakes to the back under the left side headliner trim, and follows the vacuum line through the bulkhead to the reverse light tap and camera.

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At the rear, a mount is sandwiched between the 3rd brake light lens and the body work, and the cable was thin enough to bring out through a tiny slot made in the edge of the license plate light so I did not have to drill a hole.

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For testing it's stuck on the original mirror, but that's hideous looking and will go away. there are screw holes in the back of the very slim mirror, and I can add a plate to fit an appropriate mount later.
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Pros- Inexpensive, I think it was $80 with GPS unit on sale.
-Took it for a drive today and had a lovely expansive (170 degree?) view out the back streaming onto the mirror, quite a change from the old slotted tunnel.
-If you wanted a dash cam anyway, this puts it out of the way without extra mounts and wires.
-Touch screen control of camera selection, viewing angle, brightness and settings, recordings etc.
- Day/date/clock/GPS speedo

Cons- I need to learn the options and menus, as there was a speed alarm that scolded me at about 160kph that will have to go.

-These things have a normal tinted mirror when they're turned off, so you can use it as usual. But, with sunlight on the screen there's a battle between screen brightness and the mirror reflection that could be distracting. I would not try this with a sunroof car, but on my solid roof car I can tilt the mirror to aim the reflection elsewhere and still see the screen. For this reason a mount allows a good range of tilt would be preferred.
-It's 10" wide vs the original 7.75", and a bit taller as well.
-Wide angle rear camera may make things appear a bit distant, but looks OK so far.
- Like any camera, the lens needs to be kept clean/dryish.

We have had our first snow, so it might be six months before I can give an updated review of the thing.
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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784 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I can't get images in mirrors to focus with my garage camera, but here's a comparison of the OEM, tinted cam mirror , and mirror display views.
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All other things equal, I would recommend a rear camera with a narrower field of view, to give a more realistic backing image. In traffic, maybe mounting the camera in the louvres instead of the license plate area might give a better view of something other than the following grille, but you'd give up the best view of the ground behind the car for backing, and let's be honest, an Esprit was never the best option for viewing traffic.

Here's an example of the display conflicting with the reflection.
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Dreaded Prior Owner
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784 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
OK, here's what it looks like with the cleaner windshield mount. I drilled and tapped a thin aluminum plate to mount the arm with an offset to give me more room to angle the mirror mounted on such a steep windscreen. I should have glued the mounting block a little lower.

A postscript on the power supply; the one pictured above was not up to the task, so I ended up pulling the guts out of the provided lighter plug power supply and mounted it above the mirror as before, wrapped in some shrink tube.


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I'm considering what you did as it's the cleanest version so for I've seen.

How do the front/rear cameras record to the memory card? Separate files?
 

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Dreaded Prior Owner
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784 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The DVR writes to 6 folders-
Normal recording with new file every so often, Emergency triggered by impact sensing, and Photo triggered by touch screen; one of each for front and rear cameras. Files are in .MP4 format. Front camera records Lat/Log, date time and speed if you install the GPS module. Rear Camera seems prone to "jelly' the image when bumped about.

I glued a plastic tab to the micro SD card to make it easier to get out of it's slot in the top of the mirror.

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I was sitting in a buddy's Chevy C8 and noticed that it had a display instead of a center mirror. We were amazed at the clarity and resolution. Since you say this unit has a 2.5K camera front and back, I'm wondering how that compares. The image you attached above looks pretty good but not as good as what we saw with the C8.
 
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