Backup camera issue

  • Hi all,

    When this first happened, I assumed it was a bad camera and replaced it, but now I'm on number three of different brands and models, so it's gotta be me as opposed buying three broken cameras.

    I have the power cable connected to reverse lights. I tested with a multimeter that it gives 12.8 volts when reverse is geared. So the power cable seems ok. I then tested the video cable by using a different source, a VCR, starting at the back where the camera would plug in and resulting in 1.18V in the cab. So the video cable seems ok, too. Now, when I plug in the cameras into both the power and video cables, nothing happens. I get 0 volts on the video cable in the cab. I even bypassed the long video cable and tested the voltage directly on the camera's output, but keep getting 0 there. What the heck am I doing wrong? It's not making any sense right now. My original assumption was the camera device was broken and it wasn't transmitting a video signal. However, three brand new devices later, I'm starting to think it's me, not them.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you,


  • Hi Peter,

    Testing for voltage on a video lead isn't really that beneficial. Depending on the signal there may or may not be enough voltage to trigger a meter and even if there is a carrier signal there, it doesn't mean there's a usable video signal.

    Did you connect the VCR input to the HU to see if you actually got a video signal over the cable? Along the same lines, if you have a small TV or computer monitor you can connect the output of the camera to the input of that monitor and see if you get a picture. If you have 12v on the power lead and have a good ground on the camera, but are not getting a picture, it's a bad camera.

    What's the head unit and camera that you're currently using and what kind of vehicle are you installing it in?