Rear camera info - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Modifications R172 Details that make your car different

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#1 Old 07-31-2013
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Smile R172 Rear camera info

I have been doing my own custom and some times chalanging install for a while now. Not much info available for R172 rear cam install. I figured I would put some info and photo gathered from the web and my own instalations. Hopefully others will have some input and share their own experience ..

1-Make sure your headunit is equipped with rear cam input.

If yes, you will only need the camera, if no, other hardware will be needed.
The easy way to find out the answer is by shifting to reverse and see if your monitor goes black with a message "please check your entire sroundings". If you get that screen, you are set, If nothing happens, you might still be able to turn that option on through the "engineering menue".
Going to that menue is easy . Just follow the simple steps . Start your car (HU stays on this way) turn your radio or any other input on. On the key pad of the head unit, press and hold the phone hang up , the number symbol(#) and the number 1 , hold all three buttons on at the same time for about 10 seconds. A new menue should appear on the monitor. Now you have to go to the bottom of this menue (HW setting) by turning the comand knob , then press to enter, a new menue should appear, again go down to the bottom (HU parameter)and press to enter, another menue appears, you will have to go page 3 of this menue, scroll down to the bottom and push the comand knob in the down direction, this will take you to next page, do the same again, you should be on page 3 out of 11. On the bottom if this page you should see(21)rearview camera.scroll down to it and press in to enter. Change to SRVC. Press back button and turn the the unit off. Turn car off . If you miss a step, at any time, you can just turn the unit off and turn back on to start over .when all done, Open door and out. Lock car and wait one minute . Now unlock door and turn car back on put in reverse and if the steps were done correctly you should see the black screen with the warning.
While in the "engineering menue" you might be tempted to change some other settings, but unless you know what it is, stick to task. No harm is done by entering that menue.

2-Camera needed .

Any rear view camera with composite video out will work, it just depends on the options,mounting location and methods. You will need a clean 12vdc source and ground to power the cam, and tapping the reverse light will be required to trigger the cam, depending on what you buy, some come with a control unit, and some have the grid lines and some are wirless. Needing a clean power source( for a good install)meaning you will have to run wires to the front, makes the wirless cam pointless. Shop around for a good quality, low profile, wide angle cam, CMOS or CCD.

To be continued with the wiring and HU removal

3-Removing head unit

found some pictures, which does a better job on showing than my dark pictures...so I used some, with little editing, and kept the name of the company that posted the flash.
1-2-Begin inside the center console...I used a small flat head screw driver, with scotch tape on the tip, to prevent scratching...pry and pull up
3-Remove the 2 screws
4-Pry and left up. raise and leave folded up
5-Remove the 4 screws, 2 short and 2 long
6-7-start from the top, left or right, and pull out gently until loose
8- pull up on the sides until loose, the left side is a little harder.
9-Unplug, small plug and command plug, the idea here, is to left the panel out and lay it to the side. no need to remove all plugs. putting the stick in D will help to remove panel.
10-Once HU screws are within reach, take all 4 screws out.
slide the unit out, and look in the back of it
continue below
11-The rearview cam input is in the twin green plug
12-you will need a female RCA to Fakra adapter.. You can buy on ebay, or make it your self
Run the cable in behind the unit, and drop it to the left side .
That is it for the HU...You will be plugging the cam to the cable later.
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Last edited by Dsr207; 08-01-2013 at 07:35 AM.
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#2 Old 07-31-2013
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Wireless Backup cameras?

Are there any good quality wireless backup cameras that will send images, wirelessly, to the Command screen without the necessity of removing the HU and running wires from the rear to the head unit?
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#3 Old 07-31-2013
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Originally Posted by dlomshek View Post
Are there any good quality wireless backup cameras that will send images, wirelessly, to the Command screen without the necessity of removing the HU and running wires from the rear to the head unit?
A wirless camera will have two parts to it, a sender and a receiver . The receiver can be anywhere but its output will have to hook up to the back of the HU .. There is no escaping that.
Btw, removing the HU is very easy, takes about 10 minuets .. 6 screws hold the panel in place and 4 more holds the HU .. I will post instructions and photos later on this evening ..,


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#4 Old 07-31-2013
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HU removal continued

pictures 11 and 12..continued from first post

Back of head unit showing green twin plug, where cam video goes in, plug in the other picture is what's needed to convert the standard RCA output into the mercedes fakra plug so it can be plugged in.
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Last edited by Dsr207; 08-13-2013 at 08:18 AM.
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#5 Old 08-12-2013
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Great so far.... not sure what to do with the cable laying down the left of the HU.... where to tap the 12v and how to take the boot apart to run the wires and fit the camera...

So... when do we get treated to the next instalment... e.g taking the bits apart and running the wiring?

Thanks and keep it up...
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#6 Old 08-12-2013
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Got it....I knew I was forgetting something...
Ok start with trunk, and camera install.
Most do the install to the right of license plate...Requires drilling small holes under the trunk lip per cam instructions..I did mine in the trunk handle
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#7 Old 08-12-2013
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Running cam wires
Take trunk panel off
Use a soft flat edge, I used a small flat head screw driver, with scotch tape on the end, Remove the 2 plastic inserts, and remove the 2 pins. next pop small handle cover off to get to 2 screws. remove, and the panel will pop off.. run cam wires with the other wires.
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#8 Old 08-12-2013
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Tapping reverse wire...pull the back behind brake light, look for purple wire(in my case, that was the reverse wire) Or use a volt meter, to find the wire(12 vdc when reverse is engaged)..after tapping the reverse wire, I used a coat hanger wire to run the wires to the other side , there is a path directly to the front, behind driver seat.. use smarttop instructions to fold the carpet back(lost all photos)..once wires are through, run behind carpet, all the way diwn to the edge of the driver seat...
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Last edited by Dsr207; 08-13-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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#9 Old 08-12-2013
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power...remove panel by driver seat door..it pops up, no screws, start from the back...once removed, fold carpet back to expose the wires loom..12V is red with purple, and ground is solid brown. use a volt meter to make sure you found the right wires...tap into the power, run your cam wire to the head unit ..going behind the carpet...If you have to remove the left side panel under the dash, it has one screw, behind a plastic tap...and then it pops out by pulling it in the direction of the door...Hope this helps, not the greatest instructions, Lost most of the pictures and had to compromise...
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#10 Old 08-16-2013
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I am doing the same mod, my problem has been how do u pass the camera wire from the trunk to inside the car, I see your diagram passing the wire down with the harness but not sure I understand how you passed it inside the car
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#11 Old 08-16-2013
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#12 Old 08-16-2013
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Originally Posted by adibzo599395 View Post
I am doing the same mod, my problem has been how do u pass the camera wire from the trunk to inside the car, I see your diagram passing the wire down with the harness but not sure I understand how you passed it inside the car
Please update your info as requested by Jbanks ..
That will enable others and I to help you better.
If you have the r172, you can pass the wires from the trunk to the front through the trunk left back corner using something like a coat hanger wire.. There is already an opening there..you have to lower the carpet behind the seats to see it.
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#13 Old 08-21-2013
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Well, my camera arrived today, and with only an hour of light left, I decided to get started.

I have had the HU out and fashioned the Fakra with one I made to use the spare half of the twin green video input and tapped into the 12v plug just under the HU for power as I know where that is fused

I lay the cables through the carpet temporarily out of the left side (passenger side on my RHD) and popped them in the cargo net until I get chance to run them behind the carpet....

I had already 'programmed' the Comand unit to enable the Rear View camera, so thought I'd just plug the camera in to test when going to reverse...and guess what.. it works.

Next stage is to fit the camera to the boot... I'm going to try to go through the plastic just to the side of the boot button... very nearly central so if need be I can replace that plastic bit and cover any hole I have to make in the metal work to return the car to stock.

I am using a really cheap CMOS camera that requires just a single 6mm hole to be drilled for fixing and passing of the wires, but will seal with silicone before fixing. It's chrome finished and made of metal, rather than plastic so hopefully will live up to the IP67 standard it is claiming.... it even has fixed guide lines too

Will update when I get chance to carry on the install.
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#14 Old 08-22-2013
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All done!

I must say it was a piece of cake all in all!



The scale on the cheapo camera is not that good, but the uppermost green line represents about 6" behind the bumper, so all good. The wide angle is excellent and shows almost a flat line 170 degrees... so combines with mirrors and parktronic, I should be all good to reverse with total peace of mind.

The below picture is taken from quite low down to show the location



When looking at the back, the camera is hardly noticeable, despite it being chrome.

Please excuse the dirt on the car, it rained overnight and has just started to rain again, so I have not had chance to clean SiLKy yet.



Here is a guide to print out and use when installing a Rear View Camera into a R172, most of the content is a collaberation from this thread, but other resources have been used with kind permission of it's owners.

R172 Rear View Camera Install Guide

Many thanks to Dsr207 and etyu for the information and inspiration.
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#15 Old 08-22-2013
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Great job on the DIY Manual, which should be Stickied!
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#16 Old 08-22-2013
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Great job .. Both on the cam install and the manual ..
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#17 Old 08-22-2013
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I'll have to post better instructions on wiring the illuminated wind Restrictor using brake and headlight output, and properly need your help in making it look good..


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#18 Old 08-22-2013
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I'll have to post better instructions on wiring the illuminated wind Restrictor using brake and headlight output, and properly need your help in making it look good..
No problem, just give me a shout, it's the least I can do (and I do the least best )
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#19 Old 09-17-2013
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doesn't sound to bad, one question do I have to get the mercedes fakra plug or will the HU take the standard RCA plug?
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#20 Old 09-17-2013
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doesn't sound to bad, one question do I have to get the mercedes fakra plug or will the HU take the standard RCA plug?
No RCA input, so yes, you have to use an RCA to fakra adapter


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Mods ..SmartTop..SmartTV..Illuminated doorsills..Chrome hood fins..Illuminated WindRestrictor..Alpine active rear camera..FrontZone curb sensors..Midcity engineering remote start..Dronemobile..Web ready..
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