Video: Doug adds a $10 backup camera to his car in two minutes
– Now when it comes to my options for putting a back-up camera in my car, a 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan, normally driven by young ladies in their mid to late twenties, my options are kind of all over the place. The dealership wants $500 to install one. And if I have to spend one more minute, one minute of my life in a car dealership, I just, I can't give these people any more of my money. And I'm not gonna have this car forever. I'm not a 26-year-old girl any more. There's this cool wireless system that Darryl reviewed that's also $500. I'm starting to notice a theme here. Then there are these janky DIY kits for around $20 to $30, but you gotta run all these cables and have these assy looking screens and you have to splice into your brake lights for power, which just seems like trouble waiting to happen.
I'm a knowledge worker. These hands aren't meant to get dirty. They're all I have. Plus, my face and my voice for these videos. And my brain for thinking. But hands, face, voice, brain, that's it. But one day I got to thinking, why can't there just be a cheap, weatherproof camera that I can hook up in my car when I need it, which is not very often. I live in a hilly part of Boston. But I only need it about 50% of the time. I don't need, why do I have to spend $500? This is crazy. The answer, it turns out, is one of these cheap, and I mean cheap Android powered endoscope cameras meant for snaking through pipes. It'll stand up to the elements. It costs 10 bucks, 10 bucks. It automatically opens a camera app when I plug it in. The one I got is five meters, or about 16 and a half feet, which is long enough to run the length of my car.
I ran it under my floor mats and out through the hatch, down behind my license plate so it stays put, and then tightened the plate around it. Then when I need to park, I just plug it into my phone. There's a free app called CameraFi that works with these endoscope cameras and opens up automatically when you plug one in. Now, of course, we're missing the really handy guidelines you get with an actual backup camera. There's no high-tech night vision, but there is a light that you can control right from the cable, so you can park at night. And these endoscope cameras are meant for viewing things really close up, so you feel like you're about to tap the car behind you until you get used to how close you can actually get. See, I had plenty of room. But, hey, $10 for a backup camera that's weatherproof, works with an Android phone, installs in two minutes, no dirty hands. Actually your hands do get kinda dirty running it through the license plate, so make sure you keep some wet wipes handy, and make a manicure appointment for later in the day. Do this in the morning, and then go get a manicure later.
You'll thank me. Your hands'll thank you..