Reversing Camera in Pre XK

Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7065
Location: Edinburgh Post12x9Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2023 11:00 am Post subject: Reversing Camera Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

Rearward visibility isn’t too good in the pre-XK Jaguar saloons and drop heads so I thought I might try one of the cheap reversing cameras that are widely available. My first thought was, could I find one that I could mount behind the glass of the rear number plate box?

The one I chose proved to be just a little too deep when using its swivel mounting but the camera was small enough if I removed its mounting.

For ease of wiring I decided to buy a wireless set-up. With the transmitter fitted inside the number plate box the screen received a good signal when the car was in my driveway but out on the open road the reception varied considerably depending on the presence of other vehicles and buildings.
To overcome the poor reception of the wireless system I bypassed it with a long RCA male to RCA male cable and routed this over the offside rear wing and along under the Furflex at carpet level.

I intend to use the system as an additional rear view mirror for normal driving as well as for reversing so I am not powering it through the reversing lamp switch.

I have arranged that the camera is always on if the ignition is switched on. To get power to the camera I used the reversing lamp wiring and the switch simply as a terminal block by connecting the normal reversing lamp switch wires together on one terminal. I don’t use a reversing lamp but the feed wire in the number plate box forms a convenient live connection for the camera.

I recently changed the function of my front fog lamps to act as flashing indicators. LED Lights This then made the fog lamp switch redundant and available as the power feed for the screen so that I could turn it off if needs be.

I had already converted to negative earth to let me use other modern accessories. The other departure from original is the need to make a hole in the number plate for the camera to look through.

One final slight complication was that this camera system detects darkness and turns on a set of red/infra red LEDs surrounding the camera lens. I didn’t want to cut a larger hole for the camera + LEDs and I didn’t want the light sensor changing the screen characteristics after dark so I soldered a small 100k ohm resistor across the sensor terminals so it no longer uses the LED mode. I mounted the display on a metal plate up side down. The display image can be selected for upside down use and it remembers its settings. The plate is the same width as the HMV 100 radio and fits in the slot provided in MkIV cars. (I had previously fitted a MkIV heater to my SS and I copied the under dash radio mounting.)
The guide markers on the 7" display work well and the start of the red zone corresponds with a gap of 3" between my rear bumper and the car or object behind.

Yes, I know that I still need to tidy up the wiring at the display.

The specifications for the camera that I bought as shown above quote “Lens Angle: 170°” but measuring the actual view angle for my set-up it is closer to 110° as shown below but I still think that it should cover my blind spot quite well for lane changing.

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Fitted many of these and door remotes for older cars, worth the minimal effort and doesn’t detract from the quality of the car…good job

Thanks Tom,

Apart from reversing, changing lanes might be easier. I think my worst problem is with vehicles in my blind spot close up in the next lane and perhaps the camera will be good in that situation.


I bought two cheap wireless backup cameras and installed one in my mini van.
The only issue with it was sometimes it would pick up someone else’s office cam.
Only does it in one spot and never when I was trying to use it.

Hi Stephen,

Perhaps I wasn’t being entirely fair to my wireless system because I wanted to install the camera inside my number plate box and due to the short wiring between the camera and transmitter the transmitter also had to be in the box. I possibly could have improved things if I had extended the cables to allow the transmitter to be mounted inside the body of the car but it was simpler just to replace it with a wired link to the receiver.