Replacing parts in a system with unusual connectors

Replacing parts in a system with unusual connectors

Help to convert an old existing cable to the more modern universal 4 pin aviation cable we use.

This help worksheet should assist people who have had an old system fail and have struggled to find a direct replacement part to just plug in.

We will first look at the scenarios and discuss the most likely part that has gone wrong.

My screen is black / blank / blue or says no signal but monitor still displays menu functions

This is the most common query we get asked about, the conversation usually starts “my screen has gone black or says no signal, I can enter the menu system and adjust a few settings but I never see a picture”. 

Approximately 9 out of 10 times this points to the camera being at fault, if your screen is behaving normally in every other way apart from not displaying a picture then the following are the possibilities:-

  1. Camera has developed a fault and isn’t giving a signal
  2. Camera has insufficient power caused by bad connection or monitor giving too low an output to camera
  3. Camera wire between monitor and camera has broken strands inside (possible crushed or stretched cable)
  4. Rarely – the monitor has a fault that means it can’t display the signal it receives.

Unfortunately cameras don’t have repairable parts inside so have to be replaced as a complete unit, follow our guide to add a camera to existing wiring.

My screen is dead / black / white and doesn’t respond to any buttons or display menu

This is usually the monitor at fault, but it is worth checking the power and earth connections to the vehicle electrics to ensure these haven’t failed over time.  We have seen crimps in particular fail, very often they give a voltage on the outside but just have such a bad connection that it won’t power up the system. 

It is worth remaking the power in connection and trying again, we would recommend unplugging the extension cables from the monitors channel inputs first (some monitors power down if they detect a short). 

If your power input lead to the monitor is not showing a voltage from the vehicle it is possible a fuse has blown to the wire that the monitor’s power supply is attached to.  Some monitors also have an inline fuse which may have blown, this will usually be on the power in wire and should be checked.

If the screen doesn’t respond at all to buttons after all fuses have been checked, connections re-made and extension cables unplugged then it looks like a failed monitor.

Pure white screens indicate an LCD panel failure and a rainbow effect indicates a physical breakage of the LCD panel. 

Unfortunately monitors can usually only be repaired by the original factory.  If it is one of our range there is a chance we could repair the monitor for a small fee to cover postage and parts.  If it’s not one of ours we wouldn’t be able to repair as each factory uses different panels and mainboards. Follow our guide to add both new camera and monitor to existing wiring.

Attaching a new camera on to your existing wiring

If you don’t have a conventional plug and play connector then you will need to upgrade your connector to the more modern style used in cameras like ours. 

Tools you will need:

  • Multimeter
  • Wire Cutter/Stripper
  • Insulation Tape or Heat Shrink
  • Soldering Iron
  • Soldering Gun
  • 1M 4 pin cable wire from our website to splice on to the cable

Warning 1 : Never cut the wires to the new camera as this may allow atmospheric moisture to enter down the cable and wire colours will be different to advice on this page. 

Warning 2 : Never cut the extension cable whilst there is power to the camera system as this may cause a short.

Method:

  1. Ensure power is dead to the system and cut the old connector off on the main extension wire (not the camera side cable).
  2. Separate the wires out so they aren’t touching each other.
  3. Power up the system by turning the monitor on.
  4. Use your multimeter to detect which wire(s) carry power (usually just one - but occasionally more) and note the colour down.
  5. Cut the 1M wire purchased from us in the centre and strip back the cable sheathing and separate the wires.You will see 4 wires inside.  Red = +12V, Black = earth, Yellow core (shielding around) = video, White = audio (most of the time not used).
  6. Twist the red wire on our cable to the coloured wire you identified as +12V on your wiring, solder and insulate. (Positive power supply is the only wire that can cause damage if you get it around the wrong way so please be careful).
  7. With any luck you will find another cable on your main extension cable that has shielding around it (this should be the video).Solder this to the inner core of our video cable (yellow wire).The shielding can be twisted together with your existing cable shielding and soldered.Insulate the connections made.
  8. Now you will be looking for the earth cable, take our black cable and touch it against the spare wires on your existing cable, when you touch it against the earth wire it should light up with a picture on screen, solder and insulate.
  9. If your camera has sound (we only stock a few that do) and if your monitor has a speaker then you can enable sound by attaching the white wire from our cable, you will need to touch it against the spare wires on your cable until you find one that is giving you audio.
  10. Tidy up your wiring ensuring all the wires are well soldered and insulated.
  11. Job done, time to put the kettle on.

Attaching a new camera and monitor to the old extension cable

As you wouldn’t be able to identify which wire does what if the monitor is broken, we have to replace the monitor and camera in a pair so we don’t cause any damage by guess work.  This doesn’t necessarily mean running a new cable front to back (unless you are wanting to upgrade a single camera system to a twin).

 Tools you will need:

  • Wire Cutter/Stripper
  • Insulation Tape or Heat Shrink
  • Soldering Iron
  • Soldering Gun
  • 1M 4 pin cable wire from our website to splice on to the cable

Warning : Never cut the wires to the new camera as this may allow atmospheric moisture to enter down the cable and wire colours will be different to advice on this page. 

  1. Ensure no power supply is going to the old system by disconnecting the positive and earth supply from the old monitors wiring harness.(If confirmed working then these inputs could be used for the new monitor).
  2. Identify the end of the extension cable both ends (please note that the wire coming from the monitor is NOT the extension cable, that is just the multiplug that goes between the monitor and the power/inputs/earth/triggers etc - the extension cable is usually hidden under the dash).
  3. For most of our cameras you will require only 3 wires to be used inside the cable (+12V, earth and Video).You will need to use the same colours both ends.Cut both the rear and front of the extension cables connectors off.If you find different colours then either an adaptation has taken place, it is running through a switching box of some kind or you have not found the true extension cable at the front and have cut the monitors wiring harness by mistake. If you find different colours and you are definitely on the right cable then you can use a multimeter and an extension piece of wire and in continuity mode find out which colour corresponds to which colour.
  4. Cut the 1M wire purchased from us in the centre and strip back the cable sheathing and separate the wires.You will see 4 wires inside.Red = +12V, Black = earth, Yellow core (shielding around) = video, White = audio (most of the time not used).The 4 socket part will be used at the front for the camera input and the part with 4 pins inside will be used at the rear to plug in to the camera.
  5. The first wire we recommend you connect would be the video, this is the yellow wire on our cable.Ideally this should go to the screened cable of your existing wiring (if you have one).On our yellow wire we have braiding/screening around it, solder the inner core and insulate first, then twist our braiding and your existing cables braiding together and solder.
  6. Then you can attach our red wire to a cable of your choice, you will need to replicate it both ends.For example if you attach our red cable to a pink/yellow striped cable on the front part of the vehicle then make sure you attach the red cable to the pink/yellow striped cable at the rear part of the vehicle (assuming the colours aren’t different front and back as previously discussed).Solder and insulate.
  7. Then attach the black wire of our cable to a colour of your choice, as above ensuring it is the same wire front and back. Solder and insulate.
  8. If the camera has a microphone and the monitor has a speaker then you can attach the audio wire on our cable (white) to a cable of your choice as in point 6. Solder and insulate.
  9. At this point you should have essentially turned your old cable in to one our 4 pin cables and installation will now follow the usual installation instructions in your manual provided with the system.