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WIRE CONDUIT FOR CUSTOM GPS CAMERA SYSTEM

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I have a 2008 Volvo 780.

 

I am close to wiring my GPS and camera system. The computer (for the GPS system) and the DVR (for the camera system) are located in the area above the refrigerator, behind the driver. The computer is a full size desk top computer, with SDD, DVD player and a 12vdc power supply. The DVR is a security system recorder (with 16 camera inputs and two audio inputs) and is powered by 12vdc. I have built two custom shelves, in the compartment, above the refrigerator, to hold the two units. A 13 inch monitor is located on a custom built stand, located behind the dash (just to the right of the radio). The monitor can be swung over to the passenger, just in case the DW wants to assist in navigation chores. :rolleyes: If we can get a cell signal, the DW will be able to surf the net and do her Facebook thing. The monitor is USB powered, with HDMI signal input and seems to do quite well in bright sunlight. There will be a control panel above the driver's head. The system will be using a wireless mouse and keyboard. The GPS puck was the one (actually, the next generation) recommended by Mark Bruse [spelling]. He and I spoke at the 2014 HDT Rally about his onboard computer system. The GPS puck works great. I was able to pick up satellite signals from inside my house and inside the Volvo.

 

I need to run wiring conduit from the following areas:

 

1. From the computer/DVR shelf area to under the truck. The conduit will be used to bring 12vdc (from the batteries) to the computer, cameras and DVR. And, will be used for camera cable feeds.

 

2. From the computer/DVR shelf area to the compartment above the driver's head. The conduit will be used to run power, for each of the cameras (I will be able to turn each of the cameras on and off from the overhead control panel). I will mount a switch box in the overhead compartment that will allow me to switch the monitor from the computer to the DVR. The USB powered speakers will be located in this area. So, I will need to run the speaker wire through the conduit.

 

3. From the overhead compartment to the monitor. This will be used to bring power and signal to the 13" monitor.

 

4. From the computer/DVR shelf to the area above the work station table. This will be used to supply power and signal to a monitor mounted in a "flip down" stand. Passengers can go back to the work station and watch movies and/or surf the net. The upper bunk is alway in the down position. The latching mechanism is broken and is not worth the hassle to repair.

 

 

Any ideas, pictures of conduit runs or, other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Obviously, this will involve cutting holes into the HDT, which is always cause for concern.

 

Thanks.

 

Jim

 

PS: For those of you wondering why in heck is this guy going through so much trouble just to install GPS and a camera system? The short answer is because it is fun :)

 

The advantage to this system are as follows:

 

GPS software easily upgradable. And/or several programs can be used.

16 camera inputs and two audio inputs. This allows for a video log of trips.

Video log (with sound) of accidents for the insurance company (or plaintiff lawyers who would like to sue me).

With 16 cameras, I can look anywhere around the truck and trailer.

Easy to upgrade the monitor, as technology improves.

Easy access to the internet, if I have cell service.

Easy to upgrade the GPS puck as technology improves.

Passenger can watch movies and/or surf the net at the work station.

Easy to upgrade the computer, as technology improves. This computer was custom built, by a computer techie and is state of the art.

Easy to upgrade the DVR as technology improves.

 

As I get smarter ( :wacko: ), I may look into having the computer replace the DVR.

 

 

 

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JD, I like it. 12 volt with desktop level computing power.

There are very few limits to what one might do with that.

 

When you figure how to open the trans-warp worm hole for a 5 minute

trip from SanAntonio to Ft Stockton, sell me a copy of it will you?

Ham radio packet communication and Voice over IP like Skype are also a plus.

Love to see the setup and hear what the real power consumption might be. :)

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Jim,

Couple of questions:

1. Don't you already have 12 volt power at your overhead console?

 

2. Do you plan to allow enough wires and switches for 16 cameras?

 

3. Have you determined your wire size based on distance and amps required?

 

4. Have you pulled interior panels to see if there is room for a hidden conduit run or will it have to be exposed?

 

You need wire size and qty in order to determine conduit size.

 

For inside the cab if wiring will be exposed you can make your own cable trays out of wood and cover them in fabric to make them more pleasing to the eye.

Dave

Edited by Star Dreamer

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JD, I like it. 12 volt with desktop level computing power.

There are very few limits to what one might do with that.

 

When you figure how to open the trans-warp worm hole for a 5 minute

trip from SanAntonio to Ft Stockton, sell me a copy of it will you?

Ham radio packet communication and Voice over IP like Skype are also a plus.

Love to see the setup and hear what the real power consumption might be. :)

I lucked up on the computer tech. I found him on craigslist (scary, I know). He is trying to build up a computer business.

 

We met, the first time, at a Walmart parking lot. I told him to climb up into the cab to take a look at what I am planning. In retrospect, I bet he was a bit nervous.

 

I showed him the area for the monitor and told him we have to keep it under 13 inches, to fit. He suggested using an inverter, for power, I said, no. I told him to figure out another way to power everything DIRECTLY with 12vdc. I have four huge batteries directly below the floor.

 

He walked away and I never expected to see or, hear from him again. About a week later, he called and said that he has everything spec'ed out and emailed me a shopping list. I ordered the parts and gave them to him. Then, I was really wondering if I would ever see him again. LOL.

 

About a week later he delivered the system. We turned it on and it is screaming demon fast and everything is running off of 12vdc! VERY NICE!

 

This kid (anyone younger than 40 is a kid to me) did an awesome job. He told me upfront that he had never built a computer running directly from 12vdc but, was willing to learn and, he did not know of any monitor that could work in the sunlight that was 13 inches.

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Jim,

Couple of questions:

1. Don't you already have 12 volt power at your overhead console? Daah. The CB is right next to the console, as well as a cigarette lighter receptacle.

 

2. Do you plan to allow enough wires and switches for 16 cameras? Yes. At the overhead console, I will have 16 switches and 16 panel mounted fuses. Each camera will be on its own fuse (in the event, one camera blows a fuse, I will not lose the other cameras). There will be one wire (of sufficient gage) delivering power to the 16 switches. It will be fused to handle the current draw for all 16 cameras, when on running.

 

3. Have you determined your wire size based on distance and amps required? ​No. I will check the spec sheets (and measure the current draw) for the cameras. I will measure the wire runs. I have already figured out where I want cameras.

 

4. Have you pulled interior panels to see if there is room for a hidden conduit run or will it have to be exposed? I have not pulled panels, yet. For the run from the shelves to the overhead panel, it looks like I can run conduit inside the compartment, over the driver's door. The conduit will be exposed (about two inches) as it goes from the shelves to the compartment. I am hoping to stay away from exposed, if possible.

 

You need wire size and qty in order to determine conduit size. I will start working on this.

 

For inside the cab if wiring will be exposed you can make your own cable trays out of wood and cover them in fabric to make them more pleasing to the eye. For the monitor, over the work station, I may have to go exposed (the wiring that is, not me :rolleyes: ). I like the fabric idea.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.

Dave

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When you figure how to open the trans-warp worm hole for a 5 minute

trip from SanAntonio to Ft Stockton, sell me a copy of it will you?

 

I already asked the computer techie to get on it. For some reason, he thought I was joking.

 

Ham radio packet communication and Voice over IP like Skype are also a plus.

 

This is very intriguing. I need to learn more about this stuff.

 

Love to see the setup and hear what the real power consumption might be. :)

 

Once I learn how to do that Picaso photo thing, I will post some pictures. The computer techie actually measured the current draw while the thing was running. I do not recall what he said. I will ask him, next time we speak

Edited by Jim Dromi

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JD: Another thought, because your DVR is no doubt network capable, so is the computer, you can run

the mapping programs and be connected to camera system all at the same time. I use a trackball mouse

so is very easy to select stuff on the monitor screen without moving hand around. Just

click the desired application window to look at a camera, map, web page, etc... Another possibility is a second

monitor that could be dedicated for the DW position, she could do stuff should you desire to look out the windshield sometimes.

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JD: Another thought, because your DVR is no doubt network capable, so is the computer, you can run

the mapping programs and be connected to camera system all at the same time. I use a trackball mouse

so is very easy to select stuff on the monitor screen without moving hand around. Just

click the desired application window to look at a camera, map, web page, etc... Another possibility is a second

monitor that could be dedicated for the DW position, she could do stuff should you desire to look out the windshield sometimes.

Great minds think alike. The monitor stand was designed with the flexibility to add a dedicated DW monitor. The 13" monitor, for the driver, has an 18" (I think it was 18") big brother. If this system works well, then I will add the DW monitor. It requires the fabrication of another swing arm assembly and light shield assembly.

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For conduit that will be subject to abuse look at the liquid tight non-metalic commonly used to wire central a/c units to a house. Home Depot sells it. Gray plastic type stuff. Lots of different fittings for the ends and straps to secure it. It's not super flexible but you can get elbows where needed. It's easy to cut and work with. For less abusive areas look at the Carlon Blue ENT (electrical nonmetalic tubing). Whatever size you think you need to handle the wires you plan to install, go bigger. Some day you're going to want to pull another wire through, or remove the wires you stuffed in there. Bigger now makes it much easier then.

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Love to see the shopping list

 

Any chance your using Ethernet camera's? Then all the info could be over a standard ethercable and that would cut down on amount of wires through the cable - or better yet, POE (power over Ethernet - one cable to the camera)

 

similar cameras - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=mobile++poe+camera&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Amobile++poe+camera

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Why a switch/control panel for the cameras? I'd argue that you as the driver perhaps shouldn't be messing with that while driving, especially as you don't want to be considered "monkeying with your own evidence" after an accident.

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peet - Jim is probably figuring on all the cameras being in record mode and the selection being what he needs to see. ie - right turn signal and right camera comes on the screen, left turn signal and the left camera comes on the screen, no turn and back to the GPS screen.

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Having run some wiring up to the overhead on my 2000 VNL770, some comments,

 

I run some wires up the windshield posts. Maybe 3-4 wires on the lampcord size. Maybe a little more.

 

There is a challenge from the windshield post to the cabinets just above the windshield. The wires can be feed between the molded roof panel and the roof.

 

To the cabinets above the driver and passenger door windows, again you can feed cables between the roof and the molded roof but with a lot more snags.

 

Running cabling in the cabinets behind is easy. Getting it to the cabinets over the door a big challenge without removing the cabinets and wall covering.

 

My inverter/charger is located where your PC is. I used a 90 degree PVC conduit body to feed cabled through the floor. I drill holes through the floor (two bodies used) and glue the body into the hole. I feed the cables through and then caulked the entrance to the body. I used the bodies because I think a 90 degree bend provides more protection that just a through floor hole. Pictures on my website.

 

I used a Small Form Factor PC. I originally wanted to put it on the overhead shelf, the one above the cabinets over the windshield. The running of the video cables to the two monitors was my deterrence. It was easier to mount the PC on the engine cover and just run audio and power cables up the windshield posts.

 

I considered DC powering of devices. Then I did a lot of research that DC powered PCs need DC Power supplies to regulate the voltage fluctuations you find in a vehicle, especially at starting. It was a lot easier to use an inverter and the power supplies of the PC, audio amplifier, and the larger monitor which together provided a regulated power source. Originally I used a 800 watt simple inverter for the PC system. When the 800 watt inverter failed, I couldn't find one of the same power and fit is the same space. All the new inverter were physically larger. Maybe that is why mine failed. My solution was to run a power cord from the main 2000 watt inverter/charger which is on for the refrigerator anyways.

 

I used 7" Lilliput Monitors for the driver. When the LED backlight came around, the visibility was fairly decent inside a sun shade. I wish I could afford the 7" modified for sunlight, but $700 each is a little stiff. The CoPilot's monitor is a 10.2" DC power touchscreen. If I ever have to replace that monitor, I think I will skip the touchscreen. The CoPilot used a wireless keyboard with a trackball. Touchscreen does diminish some of the brilliance of a monitor. We have tried a 15" and 17" in the CoPilot's position. The big screens blocked the AC vents. Sun shade on these monitors were unwieldy and not of much use.

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I also have fished and pulled wire all over my truck. If I was to put in an even more complicated

setup, I might decide to run a duct. Panduit does wire management stuff where you can access it easy.

Some of the styles could work real well and help control long wire length issues.

https://www.google.com/search?q=panduit+raceway&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UGX_VNn8IMmXNs6OgegM&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg&biw=1312&bih=624

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I also have fished and pulled wire all over my truck. If I was to put in an even more complicated

setup, I might decide to run a duct. Panduit does wire management stuff where you can access it easy.

Some of the styles could work real well and help control long wire length issues.

https://www.google.com/search?q=panduit+raceway&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UGX_VNn8IMmXNs6OgegM&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg&biw=1312&bih=624

I never heard of Panduit. Thanks for the info.

 

Panduit looks like the solution to run wires from the shelf unit to the monitor, over the work station. No need to fish behind panels, easy access to wires if I need to in the future, and it appears to be cosmetically pleasing.

Edited by Jim Dromi

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Jim,

If you wanted to reduce the number of wires you could use a multiplex automotive can buss system, but I think you would not gain much for the cost. Now if you wanted to control the items with a remote then it might be worth it. Make sure you include a few spares if you can.

Dave

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Love to see the shopping list

 

Any chance your using Ethernet camera's? Then all the info could be over a standard ethercable and that would cut down on amount of wires through the cable - or better yet, POE (power over Ethernet - one cable to the camera)

 

similar cameras - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=mobile++poe+camera&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Amobile++poe+camera

PM me your email address and, I will forward you the email, the computer techie sent me, with the shopping list, to you.

 

I never heard of ethernet cameras. Looks intriguing! Do you have experience with these cameras? So much to learn and so little time. :(

 

One of the reasons I am going the way I am is that the "system" is easily (with $$$) upgradeable as technology continues to improve.

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Jim, like Mark I do not use conduit. I have tried it and found it to be too unwieldy. There are pros/cons of course, but the cons killed it in my experience. I just run individual wires and fish them as required. I use the same technique as Mark to go through the floor. Where you have to go on the surface the surface mount raceway stuff works well. Home Depot/Lowes carries a type of it. Not sure it is Panduit though.

 

I've taken to task specific devices that I can routinely update as required. That means no central "server" in the truck. I'm liking the price and capability of the PC hybrid devices and they are quite flexible in use. But they may not meet everyones needs, and frankley there is an attraction to a good DC PC set up as a do-everything server.

 

My next related project (after finishing my current list) is a dedicated 8" tablet running W8.1 that will have the Silverleaf app on it and monitor the truck electronic buss via a BlueTooth dongle. I'll run VMPSpc customized for what I want to see and feed it with the TM-540 Bluetooth module. I'll likely mount the display vertically at the driver A-Pillar. The 8" is big enough and does not interfere with vision. I'll try one of my 10" ones, but it may be too big.

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There are multiple 12 VDC regulated power supplies intended for computers. Some accept the standard "AT" style (or more modern equivalent) power connectors to the motherboard. I used this one:

 

http://store.mp3car.com/collections/our-products/products/dcdc-usb-200-intelligent-dc-dc-converter-with-usb-interface-for-programming

 

to supply regulated 12VDC to a QNAP TS-451 Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit in my fifth wheel. The power source is the trailer's 12V battery bank. This type of "buck-boost" converter is necessary because, of course, the battery voltage can range from 11.0 to 13.6V, or even a wider range, depending on state of charge etc. Basically I'm using the vehicle battery and this regulator as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for the NAS, which is basically a compact Linux computer with four drive bays.

 

The MP3Car web store has several supplies that would be appropriate to drive a small PC directly from a 12V lead-acid battery pack.

 

BTW, I've used those Carlon PVC gray conduit junction boxes to pass ethernet and coax cables up through the roof of the fiver, to antennas. They are weather tight after you put the gasketed lid on, and can be easily sealed to the roof with RTV or other sealant. And then running the cables through several feet of PVC conduit along the rooftop keeps the cables from potentially whipping around in the breeze at 65 MPH!

 

Pete

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For conduit that will be subject to abuse look at the liquid tight non-metalic commonly used to wire central a/c units to a house. Home Depot sells it. Gray plastic type stuff. Lots of different fittings for the ends and straps to secure it. It's not super flexible but you can get elbows where needed. It's easy to cut and work with. For less abusive areas look at the Carlon Blue ENT (electrical nonmetalic tubing). Whatever size you think you need to handle the wires you plan to install, go bigger. Some day you're going to want to pull another wire through, or remove the wires you stuffed in there. Bigger now makes it much easier then.

Jim,

the Carlon Blue ENT only comes max size of 3/4" which i think gonna be tooo small for conduit for what your planning. the Gray plastic coated Liquid tight would probably be the best best. you should be able to get it in bigger than 1" which if you can squeeze it back there , i would run extra conduits along with rope in the conduit for further expansion and make it easier for you down the road...

id be more than happy to work with you at the West coast rally to help install whatever you need.

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I never heard of Panduit. Thanks for the info.

 

Panduit looks like the solution to run wires from the shelf unit to the monitor, over the work station. No need to fish behind panels, easy access to wires if I need to in the future, and it appears to be cosmetically pleasing.

Panduit has been around in the tech world for quite some time. they make all kinds of stuff and most of it is very quality oriented.

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