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[Review] Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera

Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT 1

Following on from my previous review of the Garmin DriveAssist 50LMT Navigation Device, this Garmin Wireless Backup Camera complements the DriveAssist system. It must be used with a compatible GPS Navigator such as the one mentioned above. What makes this camera easier to use and install is that it is wireless and doesn’t require you to run long cables from the rear of your vehicle to the front. Now most people will now be thinking that because it’s wireless, the video will be laggy. Read on to find out if this is true or not.

I was meant to install this on my car last week, however because of the poor weather in Auckland, this had to be postponed…. to this long weekend. Installation was pretty straightforward once I had gathered all my required tools for the job, and took around 5 -6 hours in total, considering it was my first time ever installing equipment on a car, and my first time ever drilling into the car.

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 16

Garmin included the following in the box: the reversing camera itself with mounting bracket, wireless transmitter and plenty of power cable, traffic receiver/vehicle power cable for the DriveAssist 50LMT to receive the camera transmission, easy to follow instructions, screws and an allen key.

The instructions were very easy to follow and it even has detailed diagrams to help you with your installation.

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 2

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 1

For my installation, I tapped into the left reversing lamp’s (you can use right as well, but my camera was situated more on the left of the vehicle) wires and spliced them in order to connect the camera/transmitter’s wire onto it to grab power. The reason why I spliced the reversing lamp wires is because I only need the reversing camera to work when I put the car into Reverse. You are able to connect it to an always on power supply, but then it will draw more power, but you will be able to view the reversing camera even when you’re not in reverse.

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 10
The fuse box is the only thing exposed on the inside of the boot; the camera wire is folded along the edge of the boot and the transmitter power wires are hidden inside and behind the side liner of the boot.
Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 4
Splicing the reversing lamp wires and covered up using electrical tape.

Once this was all connected, wires hidden neatly where possible, and the camera attached to the license plate screws, it was time to test the camera out. Ideally you should test if the camera is working once you splice the wires, before you attach the camera onto the car.

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 13

This video shows you a bit of the camera display in action (too much sunlight to see clearly).

Now the camera quality on the display isn’t that great, but there is no lag in the video. Things/objects are moving at full speed on the display. While the quality isn’t that great, you can definitely see if something or someone is behind the vehicle, and that’s all that matters for an aftermarket system. Guidance lines can also be set and adjusted by off-setting them to set lines on the ground (in my case I went to a carpark with parking lines and adjusted them via that way).

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 14

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 15
The final product clipped and secured on to the license plate using the license plate screw.

According to Garmin, up to four cameras can be used together in one system, and the wireless transmitter typically transmit 45 feet (13.7 meters). The range also depends on the vehicle and how many things are blocking its path, however for a sedan like my one, it should be fine. Also note that the traffic receiver/vehicle power cable included with the Wireless Backup Camera unit must be used for the DriveAssist 50LMT instead of its original one, in order to receive a video feed from the camera.

The camera and its corresponding cable are safe from the elements, but the wireless transmitter and its corresponding cables are not. That should not be a problem because the wireless transmitter and its corresponding cables should be tucked away inside the boot of the vehicle.

Garmin Wireless Backup Camera Installation 12
GPS cable has since been tucked away under the dash, and GPS has been relocated to the right side of the windscreen near the A pillar.

In my opinion, I think it was a well spent day installing and configuring the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera. Installation turned out relatively easy, because of its detailed instructions and diagrams which came with the unit. Screws and an allen key are provided, however, drill bits, drill and screwdrivers will need to be supplied by you.

Thanks again to Garmin for providing us with this opportunity to install, test and review these Garmin products. For more information, please visit: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/automotive/garmin-driveassist-50lmt/on-the-road/533/bc-30-wireless-backup-camera/prod501486.html

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