Forum Thread

Installing in-line toggle switch to wireless backup camera receiver causes bad things to happen

karrun 4,400 808 August 26, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Okay, I realize this is a pretty obscure issue, but I've gotten help here about obscure things before, so I thought I'd give it a try. In a nutshell, I am trying to install a wireless backup camera and monitor in my truck. The camera part went fine. The monitor receives the signal from the camera by way of a wireless 2.4ghz receiver. Both the monitor and receiver need 12V power to operate, and no instructions came with it, so by hunting on the internet, I found that the best thing to do is wire both of them together to a power source (wire) that supplies power to something that only comes on when the key is inserted in the ignition. I chose the overhead console that shows the temperature, trip odometer, etc. Only when I wired it, the receiver and monitor came on immediately, not just when the key was inserted. I couldn't find another power source nearby, so I thought if I wired a toggle switch inline between the power source and the receiver, I could just toggle the switch on and off when I needed the backup camera to be on. This all worked fine when I tested it with a 9V battery as a power source. But when I wired this setup into my truck, as soon as I connected the black wire, the wires began to overheat and actually melted the insulation. This even before I turned the key. I quickly disconnected the wires. Luckily it doesn't appear to have done any lasting damage to the truck's electronics (as far as I know ).
Anyone know why this would happen? The set up without the inline toggle switch didn't cause the overheating. I thought a toggle switch was just a on or off switch and don't see how this could cause it to happen. I did have some trouble soldering the wires to the switch and may have overheated it somehow. Could this cause the issue?

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Joined Nov 2005
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#2
Usually things that come on with the ignition have a built in relay. For example car stereos need +/- for power but also another + lead that the car activates when the key is in. If you want to bypass this, you can simply connect that lead to the other positive lead.

If wires are melting (insulation), they aren't rated for the current draw. With a system like this it shouldn't be much, but you should check the specs and also list the AWG of the wire that's overheating. Can you list the specs of the toggle switch? Would it happen to be one that lights up?
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#3
Well I don't know the AWG, but they are very thin. But they are rated for DC 12V power source.The toggle switch is not the light up kind. Radio Shack package says contacts rated at 3A at 125VAC. Is that the problem, since this is a 12V sysytem ?Here's the RS link in case it helps.
http://www.radioshack.com/product...absetBasic

Here's the link to the camera/transmitter/receiver
http://dx.com/p/wireless-waterpro...-12v-66907
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#4
You're probably going to need a one-way diode to steer the current to intended direction. I remember I had to use them when I tabbed the alarm system into the existing taillights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diod...t_steering

Also the wire gauge is not rated by volt, it's rated by current.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_gauge

It would help to locate the fuse box and get the ignition power from the wiring harness there.
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#5
Thanks for the advice. i think what I am ging to do is wire this into a cigarette lighter adapter extension cord and just unplug it when not in use.
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