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Installing front camera for Base?

r21free

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Just want to add a front camera to my brone .Not a 360 just front camera for parking and trals
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XirallicBolts

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Step into my office. I've done a bit of research and DIY on this topic as I added a front parking camera to my 2016 Flex (Sync 3). All of this assumes Sync 4 is similar enough to Sync 3

Here's what I've learned about Fords:
If the vehicle just has a rear camera, it connects directly to the APIM (radio).
If the vehicle has multiple cameras, they all connect to the IPMB (Image Processing Module B), which has a single video output to the radio.
At least with Sync 3, any regular 'yellow composite plug' camera can send a video signal to the radio.
On a factory multi-camera system, pressing the Camera button makes the IPMB broadcast a "Camera Display" message to the radio. If you're below 10mph, the radio displays its video feed. Exceeding 10mph or pressing the button again broadcasts a "Camera Cancel". The 10mph cutoff isn't rigid -- we know the Bronco in Baja allows you to drive faster with the camera displayed.


"So that's fantastic (nerd), what does it actually take to get a front camera?"
It may be possible to simply purchase the OEM front camera and IPMB, wire them in, and use Forscan to make necessary changes. This would probably be the easiest realistically. The AsBuilt for IPMBs include how many cameras are present and if they are VGA or HD. You'd be choosing settings based more on the Ford Edge, which certain years offered just the front and rear cameras, no 360.

I have no way of testing an IPMB retrofit -- they can only connect to a CGEA 1.3 network and Flex is 1.2; I do not have a HS2-CAN or gateway module in my car.

As far as a DIY method....
I'm hoping Sync 4 uses the same APIM harness as Sync 1, 2, and 3. The availability of APIM extension cables really makes wiring convenient, since you don't have to cut any factory wiring.
You take the extension cable, add an Arduino Nano, an MCP2515 module, a 5 volt DPDT relay, and decide what you want for trigger switches. My Flex did not come with the +/- SelectShift gearshift, so I picked one of those up: + requests/cancels the camera, - toggles between front and rear camera.
I won't bother going into details about how to wire all this unless someone is genuinely interested in this method, but as far as activation....

I spent two years sending a fake 'Vehicle stopped in Reverse' message to get the camera to appear with Rear Camera Delay enabled. The downside was, the car needs to be completely stopped. There's ~100ms delay between the radio getting a Reverse message and actually displaying the camera. This is so the screen doesn't flicker if you quickly go from P to D. If you're moving, a valid "Vehicle in motion in Drive" message would come through and effectively cancel out my "Vehicle stopped in Reverse" during that 100ms delay.

Last week I finally got ahold of an Explorer with factory front camera and learned the message that requests a proper Front Camera View. Now I can send a single message and have it display the camera anytime I'm below 10mph.


As a nice bonus, the camera display is instant. Since I don't have an IPMB, there's nothing telling it to exit the camera view at 10mph.
After a quick test, I determined that if I send a message to the radio saying "Vehicle stopped in Drive" and immediately send a camera request, I can get the camera onscreen no matter how fast I'm going, and there's no IPMB telling it to exit at 10mph.


(YouTube) It works out quite well -- this can't be done on factory multicamera Broncos because their IPMB will be sending "Camera Cancel" messages every second.


Edit 6-14-22: looks like the Bronco is a bit different, there doesn't appear to be an IPMB anymore. More research will be needed
 
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72BroncoSand

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XirallicBolts

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An extra overload of details in case I disappear, none of this is really important and just informational.

Around 2011, most Fords were updated to the CGEA 1.2 architecture. This involved three CAN-BUS networks: HS-CAN, MS-CAN, and I-CAN (High Speed, Medium Speed, Infotainment). All three were directly connected to the APIM and accessible from the OBDII port.

2013ish introduced CGEA 1.3 which brought with it an additional high speed network. To keep things straightforward Ford renamed HS-CAN to HS1-CAN, the new network HS2-CAN, and I-CAN became HS3-CAN. There was no connection between HS2 and the APIM, so Ford added a Gateway Module to interpret/echo messages between networks as needed. This also involved shuffling pins on the OBDII port -- HS1 and HS2 were directly accessible, HS3 and MS were hidden behind the gateway module. Conveniently, Ford left a test connector behind the OBDII to give direct access to HS3 and MS.

In 2018, Ford stopped being nice and removed the test connector. I had to take yoga lessons and dislocate my spine to access the backside of the gateway module in that Explorer so I could connect directly to HS3-CAN.

--

The IPMB has always been designed to sit on HS2-CAN. It broadcasts messages down HS2 and the gateway module will rebroadcast them down HS3 to the APIM. The message likely changes in the process, so finding the message on HS2 doesn't help us -- we need the echoed message on HS3 that the radio actually receives and reacts to.

After some trial and error, with many thanks to the author of this guide, I determined the following messages work on Sync 3:

Camera Request (Forward):
ID: 3EE Data: 00 08 08 1B 80 00 00 00
Camera Cancel:
ID: 3EE Data: 00 00 08 1B 80 00 00 00

What would still need to be determined is what the messages look like for the gear/speed/etc. On the Flex, the message structure is
ID: 109 Data: aa bb cc dd ee ff gg hh
where aa bb is RPM, cc is Gear, dd ee ff is Speed, gg is Ignition.
We need this data for three reasons:

1) The camera view is cancelled by the APIM when you put the car in Park, but it remembers the state. Restarting the car will put it in Camera mode. We need to watch for the car to go in Park and broadcast a Camera Cancel when that happens, otherwise things get flip flopped.

2) If we want video-in-motion (activating camera above 10mph), we need to broadcast a fake message stating "Vehicle is in Drive, 0mph" immediately before requesting the camera.

3) For safety's sake, have the rear camera displayed when the car is in reverse. It's fine to toggle between front/rear while driving forward, but reversing should always show the rear.

---

"So can we get video at highway speeds on High/Lux?"
Not easily. The IPMB broadcasts that Cancel message every second.
We can get video-in-motion on Base/Mid because there is no IPMB sending cancel messages; we have full control over it.

---

If the Sync 4 APIM uses the same connector as Sync 3/2/1, it'd be rather easy to make an add-a-camera kit in your living room to install in the vehicle. The APIM extension cable will give us access to HS3-CAN, accessory power, and the video signal coming into the APIM. The DPDT relay will determine which camera is connected to the APIM's video input. The Arduino with canbus module monitors canbus communications to know the gear/speed, broadcast messages as needed, activate the relay, and handle whatever input trigger you use.

In lieu of a physical switch, it's sometimes possible to use existing messages depending on network layout. The Flex's radio/hvac panel is on HS3-CAN so I was able to monitor button presses and use the Eject button to toggle between front/rear.

If you really wanted to get fancy, you could use multiple relays and additional cameras -- if the Arduino sees a 'Left Turn Signal' message, activate the camera view and switch to a camera mountd on the left mirror. At a certain point you'd essentially be making your own video processor and eventually-eventually-eventually you've just made one of these kits, but much cheaper and customized to your liking -- none of that 'press and hold OK on left steering wheel' requirement. That kit is more or less some solid-state relays, a canbus module, and a custom logic chip. I'm doing the same thing but with off-the-shelf parts.


=====

Edit: Found the APIM connector for the Bronco. It's the same connector type as Sync 3, so we're in business! Interestingly, only HS3-CAN remains -- everything else must be rebroadcast from the gateway module. Also the jokes about the Bronco being a lifted Flex, but it was the Sport that recycled Flex's book code.
 
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JBMontclair

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I’ve been thinking about this too.. Is it possible to connect a camera with an MMB that’s carplayed to the infotainment system? Then you can see the cam or watch Netflix or whatever as well. (Not while driving of course). Seems simpler than playing with the broncos electronics and some of the trail apps aren’t CarPlay like Maprika so I think you can get those too.
 

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Here's the parts breakdown. I don't have mine yet to start pulling plugs and verifying what Bases come with. Due to *likely* modularity in harnesses, I'm just pulling the modules and cameras; see attached
 

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kevin.gt

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Has anyone looked into third party solutions like SummitView or even a cheap camera system marketed for RV’s? I like the idea of keeping onX or Gaia going through carplay while the trail cameras are on another display
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