Intro: A Drive Record Unit (DRU) for My Car!
Ever since a stupid driver reversed onto my car causing damage, then she went about lying to the police that I hit her car, I wanted a recorder to take point of views in my car while I'm in it. Also I like to have a video feed of when I'm reversing so this DRU fits the bill nicely.
Before we get started, please check out these two pre-requisite instructables that my DRU is based upon.
The total cost of the DRU without the car Assistant is approximately 80USD which is not bad at all. Now, if you dare, read on for how I implemented this really nice add-on to my veteran car.
Step 1: Getting a Stable Power Supply.
All three components of the DRU use 12VDC. The car 12V accessories circuit does not give a stable power output for sensitive electronics. I used a DC DC buck boost converter to give a guaranteed 12.0VDC out for the DRU. I used a spare speaker wire quick connector to allow easy use during implantation.
Step 2: Installing the Cameras.
I used a self thread short screw per camera bracket and mounted them at the front and rear windscreens. To run the cables for data and power I used stick on cable fasteners. Later on I will do a separate instructable to neaten up the wiring.
Step 3: Installing the Wi-Fi Router.
I cable tied the router in the glove box compartment so it is protected and will be kept cool by the air conditioning ducts.
Step 4: Installing the Power Supply.
Behind the glove box I cable tied the DC DC converter. There are no metal parts nearby to allow for an electrical fault and in this area it is very cool thanks to the air conditioning evaporator.
Step 5: The Surveillance Software.
I used iSpy on the car Assistant to accept video via the Wi-Fi link. I set it to record on motion detection for both cameras and save to the Assistant's SSD. Any software can work but I love iSpy.
Very important is the time and date stamps on each camera feed. This way it is easy to search for the required video footage.
Step 6: Real World Testing!
Driving to work, I took a pic during traffic. Of course I paid attention to the traffic and NOT the DRU on my Car assistant. After a minute my car Assistant screen turns off to save power and not be a distraction.
I replayed video recordings when I parked at work and I'm pleased with the results. I DO NOT want to ever have to use the DRU for accident report purposes but it is a nice piece of insurance. My main use will be the reverse camera feed.
I have already ordered a third camera to be used on my Instrument cluster to record the vehicle speed. This will provide valuable information on my car for any disputes, which I really hope I don't ever need to use.
I hope my instructable has been informative to you good folks. Take care and stay tuned for ever more awesome instructables on this most awesome of sites!
Update Dec 2016:
Here is a video of a near miss my DRU caught!