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Unlocking the E9X backup camera!

Summary

This is a tutorial on how to install and unlock the E9X backup camera!

1 Unlocking the E9X backup camera!

So I'm not sure how many people know about this, but the iDrive has backup camera software built in, but it was only an option in the European market. The hardware doesn't exist for North American vehicles but the software for it is vestigial, just requires a little emulator box to trick it into thinking the hardware components are there. The hardware required is less than $120, so its quite affordable. I've read this works for CCC and CIC as well as manual and automatic and PDC and no PDC. There may be some coding differences depending on your configuration. If you upgraded your CCC to CIC then its said to be flaky at best. And as always, only attempt this if you know what you're doing or willing to accept the outcome of your work as no guarantees are made. I've purchased the hardware and am going to be doing this shortly, here are the instructions as I've interpreted and organized them.

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Hardware you'll need: (I'm currently selling some of this stuff that is extra, contact me in the discussion thread and I can save you some money/hassle)


Software:
  • NCS-EXPERT

So first of all, we will assume you've purchase the camera, emulator box and the PnP splicing harness which should look like this(Image credits to Rotary Rasp):
camemu.jpg as-quadlock-001.jpg

Just make sure whatever camera you get, has the Micro A/V and power connector, otherwise you'll have issues installing it in the flex tube. To install these pieces, firstly always start by unplugging your battery. You can fry some electronics like your climate control if you accidentally short out some wires.

To give you some visual understanding, the harness is used as an inline extension between the factory wiring and the navigation unit. This means you can splice the emulator into this harness while it is outside of the car for convenience, as well as not have to worry about cutting into the original wiring of the vehicle itself. Here is a photo of someone who spliced into the factory wiring, but at least you'll see where things are supposed to go:
IMAG0531.jpg IMAG0536.jpg

First, you'll need to splice the emulator into the harness. Please see the PDF diagram on how to do that and verify ON YOUR OWN that the instructions are correct! Typos happen!

Take the brown and green (CAN) twisted wire from the emulator, and splice it into pin 11 and 9, respectively. Rotary Rasp has mentioned that sometimes the emulator would lag a few seconds when shifting into reverse and has found that this is because the CAN wires going to the emulator and to the radio are not twisted together tightly. If your video takes a second or two to appear after you select reverse, check your CAN wires.

Do the same with the red and black wires(Power), but splice them into pin 15 and 12, respectively. Lastly, take the white wire from the emulator and attach that to the 12v wire(usually red) on the camera.

Once that is done, you'll need to wire up the camera to the harness. When using the harness, you should be able to connect the RCA + and - into the back of the harness into the correct pin slots using blanks in the plug itself. For North American cars, the RCA + goes into pin 21 and RCA - goes into pin 24.

To test your setup, begin by plugging everything in and when using the harness, you'll have to take the fiber cables on the right side of the plug assembly and pop them into the new harness where it plugs into the CIC unit. Find a temporary grounding point for the camera wire.

Now, before you go through the effort of running all your wires and finding out that it doesn't work and questioning your wiring setup, you should code the car using NCS-EXPERT and see if you get the expected results.

Add the option $3AG to the VO in the CAS and FRM modules.
Enable the feature in the navigation computer (CIC module) by changing these values:

MACRO_PDC
aktiv
MACRO_REARVIEW
aktiv
RVC_CIC
wert_23
MACRO_L6_PARKMENU
aktiv
PDC_DIRECTION
vertikal

Assuming your video feed works, proceed to install the camera.

Remove the trunk liner and replace the existing handle for the new one with the camera and connect to a permanent ground. Fish the wires down one of the support columns underneath the trunk lid.
caminstalled.jpg IMAG0527.jpg IMAG0528.jpg

Be very careful with the flex tube, its a very tight fit, string and soap may help, and puncturing or ripping the tube is very easy.

Route the wire from the trunk to the back of the dash through the rear seat and passenger door seal or behind the center console.

Attached Files:

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