The front bumper of the MX-5 Miata is very low. Some people even lower their car more, by an inch or so. A front parking camera would be very useful, to avoid scratching the lower part of the bumper while parking close to high curbs.
The CMU has no direct control for activating camera view mode. It is only possible to activate through CAN messages. I decided to make a CAN message insertion device for this purpose.
In the past, I’ve made a few other devices, connected to the CAN bus. All the devices use a microprocessor from Microchip. I’ve decided to combine all these functions from previous projects (mirror controller, fob controller, turn signal timer, fuel reminder) into one universal device.
The backup camera is activated by putting the gear shift position into reverse, but the front camera will need some kind of manual activation. One option is to use an external switch. However this would not be an easy option for most people, so I decided to implement an alternative option using the “Mute” button on the central console. My initial implementation switches the front camera by pressing the “mute” button once, if the car speed is below 5 mph. A second click on the “mute” button will return the screen to normal operation and turn off the camera. This method is implemented by software, so it will be easy to modify in the future, if necessary.
There are many low-cost cameras available from Amazon. I choose a camera with an adjustable lens position.
To make the installation process easier, I designed and manufactured a special harness with all the connectors.
This harness must be installed behind the CMU unit, similar to the backup camera harness. Access to the back side of the CMU is a little complicated but well documented on the Miata forum.
To utilize the “mirror controller” feature one more cable is needed..
If only the “key fob windows controller” is in use, only one main connector must be connected.