Back up camera too bright cause? - Jeep Compass Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-18-2018, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Back up camera too bright cause?

I wanted to make this a separate post so it would not be ignored as someone new posting on this issue and it gets some attention that might help us understand this issue and what might be able to be done to help this.

As I just posted just before this post my wife and I went wheeling last night till late and where we were at was near pitch black with only a little sliver of crescent moon as natural light. I had posted before our back up camera screen seemed fine at night just being a bit too bright at the bottom of the screen. Most of the time there are other light sources around when we have been backing up at night. I don't know if this helps our eyes not be so sensitive to this hot spot on the screen or if the surrounding light changes the camera settings.

Last night after being out of the Jeep sky gazing we got in the jeep to travel further down this very dark forestry road. I put the Jeep in reverse and we were both blinded both of us quickly putting our hand up to block the screen. It was crazy bright white and binding as many of you put it. Being me I decided to investigate this as I initially thought is might have something to do with the reverse lights. With the parking brake set and wife in the Jeep it was shifted again into reverse and again even from outside was blinding.

I started covering the reverse lights and it just got worse. I then took a card and started blocking the bottom of the camera and as I moved almost half way up the lens it got better. I noticed the license plate lights were lighting up the ledge under the licence plate pretty good so I cover that area with my arm. Again the brightness got much better but the light was still glaring off my arm. So I covered the license plate lights and bingo the camera dimmed and the image was better than it had ever been at night since that hot spot at the bottom was gone.

So at least in my case if I can find a way to either shield the license plate lights in such a way that they are not shining on that ledge under the plate while still providing light to the plate or maybe kill the stock plate lights and use a lighted frame that shines light from the sides I feel our issue will be resolved. I really feel like for some reason if the only other light source the camera can see is this ledge with the plate lights glaring off of it it starts screwing with the contrast and brightness this for some reason lands us with a very bright screen along with that crazy hot spot at the bottom.

So I'm thinking maybe when the rest of you get a chance go out at night and put some tape over your plate lights get in your jeep toss it in reverse and see if you get the same results. Of course don't drive like this if it does fix this as cops may not understand the issue! lol

I can only guess that the color of the Jeep and brightness of the plate lights may affect how bad this issue is if it is indeed the same the rest of you are dealing with.
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-18-2018, 09:15 PM
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Ah man this is a brilliant discovery! Gives me an idea but I'm too busy to work on it this week. What if a guy got into the wiring back in the tailgate and put in a normally closed relay to the license plate lights, such that when the reverse lights are powered on it would kill the power to the license plate bulb(s).

This I'm confident would be legally fine since you spend very little time in reverse. Then when you go out of reverse and the backup light power goes away the relay goes back to closed on the license plate circuit and everything is normal. I feel like this could work and be super cheap & relatively easy (at least, once somebody writes up a nice how-to with pictures for everyone else to follow).

I can't work on it now, very busy for at least a few weeks more, but if anyone else is able to run with that I'd be curious to know where you end up!

Thanks Chris!
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-18-2018, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arudlang View Post
Ah man this is a brilliant discovery! Gives me an idea but I'm too busy to work on it this week. What if a guy got into the wiring back in the tailgate and put in a normally closed relay to the license plate lights, such that when the reverse lights are powered on it would kill the power to the license plate bulb(s).

This I'm confident would be legally fine since you spend very little time in reverse. Then when you go out of reverse and the backup light power goes away the relay goes back to closed on the license plate circuit and everything is normal. I feel like this could work and be super cheap & relatively easy (at least, once somebody writes up a nice how-to with pictures for everyone else to follow).

I can't work on it now, very busy for at least a few weeks more, but if anyone else is able to run with that I'd be curious to know where you end up!

Thanks Chris!

If I get a chance to tonight I'm thinking about trying to fab up a couple of temporary shields to see if the light can be reflected to the plate and deflected off of that ledge. If so and this works for everyone we will see if we can get FCA to fab up some with self adhesive that service departments can just stick on.

If this idea fails I have a few other ideas Something thing my wife brought up is that the license plate is lit up really brightly. So the light may be able to be defused more by white lense tape or something over the plate light cover. I also thought about changing the bulbs to red. Red light is legal on the rear and as long as the plate can still be clearly read I think it would be fine here. But other places might not like this idea. Red light is a cleaner light and does not glare as bad as white light.

Your idea would certainly work as long as people are fine with a little wiring hack.

But if you get a chance soon go out at night and put some tape over your license plate lights and make sure your problem is the same as mine.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-19-2018, 04:16 AM
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Hmm I'm definitely going to try this. Thanks for posting!
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2018, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Update. I just got in from goofing off with the license plate lights I took some pics but trying to take pics of a screen to show brightness of another screen is just a train wreck.

So here is what I did. At first I just looked at how the reverse screen appeared doing nothing. As suspected if the camera can get light in from the reverse lights reflecting off stuff and things like street lights and house lights it dimmed back down. I still had the hot spot but instead of being blazing white I can make out the orange paint vs last nite the whole screen turned bright white.

I did not have time to fabricate anything so I decided to try to defuse and dim the lights. I started with one layer of silver duck tape. Not to be confused with real aluminum duct tape. This really knocked down the hot spot and I was happy with the results. But I had more tape so layer 2 was applied. This yielded interesting results the hot spot disappeared the image of the ledge was still there but was cleaned up a lot. But the camera picked up some noise.

Well I still had more tape so layer 3 goes up I can still see the ledge but is is a bit more dim. However the noise bumps up as well. Next I block the lights almost completely. I can still see the ledge but not so easy to make out the color. Noise jumped way up and is very grainy and blotchy. But something else happens now the reverse lights reflecting off the ground became much brighter almost as annoying as the ledge. So the hot spot is now from the reverse lights and is in the middle of the screen.

My best guess is that FCA played with the camera software to try to get this under control. So they were counting on that ledge being bright and as you remove that bright spot the software brings in some noise as that spot dims. The light level for me with one layer of duct tape was pretty good and the plate still very visible.

I tried some masking tape as well and it made things better but the duct tape was best. I'm wondering if the camera is IR sensitive. Ok while typing that I had the brainstorm to go out with a IR remote control and see if the camera picked up on the IR led. So yes it is capable of seeing IR which makes sense for better night vision. Now the tag light is pretty bright and slightly blue so is it an led factory? If so could it be putting off IR? If so this might explain why the glare is so bad off that ledge and making the screens so bright and why duct tape worked better than masking tape the siver blocked more IR light maybe.

Grrrr so much to think about and it is 1:30ish AM here and I'm finally tired enough to go to bed. So we will pick back up on this as others try blocking their tag lights and post their findings.

Last edited by Chris Jacobs; 06-19-2018 at 05:40 AM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2018, 03:14 PM
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try backing up with your regular lights off

messing with the license plates lights may end up badly
i have been pulled over when the bulb goes out

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2018, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdram4x4 View Post
try backing up with your regular lights off

messing with the license plates lights may end up badly
i have been pulled over when the bulb goes out

What use the light switch how quaint there has to be a civilised way! LOL

Would be the easiest way for everyone to check if this is the issue and for some might be a solution. I honestly forgot we can override the auto headlights. Tunnel vision I guess! lol

Honestly there are things that can be done here that will keep the Jeep legal and resolve this issue. I'm thinking defusing the plate lights seemed to work well on my Jeep. Even with 2 layers of duck tape the plate was lit up completely and would not have been an issue. 3 layers started pushing it a bit and 4 I'm sure would get you in trouble if your in an area that tends to not let these things slide. But there be other materials that can be used to yield better results and be a more permanent solution than tape.

Another thing I was thinking is a flat black decal on this ledge with something on it that makes it tie into the vehicle and not just be a random looking blob of black on the hatch.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2018, 09:46 PM
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@JeepCares any way to suggest to see if the body control module can be updated to turn off license plate lamps when backing up?

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-20-2018, 01:12 AM
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@dawm That would be the simplest solution probably, hopefully they would also fix the engineering mode to allow settings to be saved because engineering mode (as described in another thread on this issue) does allow enough camera changes to make it better, but then those changes don't save when you exit that mode.

http://www.myjeepcompass.com/forums/...tml#post132777
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-20-2018, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arudlang View Post
@dawm That would be the simplest solution probably, hopefully they would also fix the engineering mode to allow settings to be saved because engineering mode (as described in another thread on this issue) does allow enough camera changes to make it better, but then those changes don't save when you exit that mode.

http://www.myjeepcompass.com/forums/...tml#post132777
I know a couple engineers in the company, I'll see if they can put a bug in someone's ear.

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post #11 of 15 Old 07-02-2018, 03:20 PM
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Well, I did the experiment last night and unfortunately it didn't really work out for me. Maybe its because there is a floodlight at the peak of my garage roof, I may try it again somewhere with less ambient light but in this case backing up to my garage shutting off the lights did not help, actually by all honest accounts it made it worse both in terms of picture clarity and brightness levels. Was worth a try though.

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post #12 of 15 Old 07-02-2018, 06:32 PM
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Well, I did the experiment last night and unfortunately it didn't really work out for me. Maybe its because there is a floodlight at the peak of my garage roof, I may try it again somewhere with less ambient light but in this case backing up to my garage shutting off the lights did not help, actually by all honest accounts it made it worse both in terms of picture clarity and brightness levels. Was worth a try though.

Have you tried covering the license plate lights as suggested in the original post? I haven't gotten around to trying on mine yet.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-03-2018, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I did the experiment last night and unfortunately it didn't really work out for me. Maybe its because there is a floodlight at the peak of my garage roof, I may try it again somewhere with less ambient light but in this case backing up to my garage shutting off the lights did not help, actually by all honest accounts it made it worse both in terms of picture clarity and brightness levels. Was worth a try though.


Ok it looks a bit better with lights off but the reverse lights are definitely wiping out the camera reflecting off your garage. Are you running leds in the reverse lights by any chance?

We had ours out the other night in a dark parking lot for a lake overlook and I took these pics. There was nothing behind us to reflect the reverse lights but the pavement. Not hard to tell if the lights are on or off. LOL

I'm about to put the duck tape back on but want to try the white film that comes with a temporary lens repair kit first to try to softly defuse the tag lights.

On a side note we were at a Sonic drive in last night and with all the lighting they have there the screen looked very much like it does during the day time even with the lights on. So light source may make a huge difference here. Thanks for the input!
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-03-2018, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jacobs
Are you running leds in the reverse lights by any chance?
All stock/original lights, not sure what type they are but I have not changed them.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-04-2018, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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All stock/original lights, not sure what type they are but I have not changed them.

Ok then betting your picking up on what I found in my experiments. At home in the driveway when I was doing layers of duck tape all was well till I completely blocked all of the tag light from hitting that ledge the back up lights then flared on the screen reflecting back off of stuff in the yard. It seems to me like they set the light balance with light reflecting off that ledge. If there is nothing there the brightness gets cranked up making anything lit up by the reverse lights way too bright. So we are left with the simplest solution being to defuse the tag lights so they are not hitting that ledge at full brightness. I need to rember next trip to Wally world to pick up a taillight lens repair kit. It will be interesting to play around with using all 3 colors to see how it affects the camera.

On a side note here has anyone stood at the back while opening their hatch with the lights on. Those tag lights have a hot spot just like a spot beam they hurt the eyes and you end up with splotches in your vision for a bit. They are bright enough that 2-3 layers of silver duck tape over them still lights up the tag just fine. I found this out the other night when I was opening the hatch to get some water out of the cooler in the back and I had the lights on to help me see anything I might trip over. Needless to say on my trip back to the drivers door I could not see anything except those splotches. LOL
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