Mobility Scooter Back Up Camera

IN WORK

My father has limited mobility, so we bought him a mobility scooter.  It's a really nice one, with lots of features... but what I thought would be an off the shelf addition, is nowhere to be found.  I'm talking about a small backup camera and monitor setup.  Most people I see in mobility scooters have limited neck and back rotation.  Mirrors are available but can't see directly behind the scooter as they don't hang out past the driver.

The retirement facility my father lives in has two elevators.  A small one, and an even smaller one.  He has a choice.  Drive in forward, without being able to push the elevator button, nor see what floor he's at, and having to back blindly at his floor... or back in, with the fear of running into someone.  Consequently, I've been going over to his place almost daily to help escort him.  But I want him to have full autonomy.  It's important for his mental health as well.  Independence is something elderly people struggle with, and for good reason.

This isn't a technically difficult addition, but likely involves some hardware most average people have never seen.  I'll highlight some of the unusual pieces of hardware, how they work, and provide sources for everything used.  This is NOT an expensive project!  The two main parts are a backup camera system, and a DC-DC converter.  The camera system includes the necessary wiring, a reversed image camera, and a small monitor.  At the time of this posting, it was all of $33!  Many of these scooters use two 12V sealed lead acid batteries in series, making 24VDC.  Most accessories are 12V.  The DC-DC converter efficiently converts the 24VDC to 12VDC.  You could have the camera system operate from a switch, but I chose to add a relay, which automatically turns on the camera/monitor anytime the scooter is on.  It doesn't draw much power, and not having a switch means one less thing for my father to worry about.

 

Happy owner of a new scooter!


I ordered this scooter via Amazon.  It came in a large truck.

The driver used a hand cart to put it into my climate controlled garage.

It assembled quickly.

The seat is heavily padded, the arm width is adjustable, and the seat rotates to multiple indexed positions by pulling up on a lever.

We plan on using his scooter to go to stores, restaurants, and doctor visits.  The carrier I bought is great.  Very strong, made mostly from aluminum.

The ramp is actually twice the length of the height shown.  It scissors open, making for a long shallow angle to drive the scooter up the ramp.  Note, this is NOT designed to drive up while on the scooter.

I found a very inexpensive backup camera system on Amazon, intended for use in a car.  I also purchased an adjustable Ram Mount, allowing the monitor to be positioned at any angle.

I put a cup/cell phone holder on the left side.

The scooter's electronics live under the plate shown in the middle of this picture.  This is where I tapped into the 24VDC battery bank, and the switched power when the key is on.
Insert wiring diagram here

When the scooter's key is turned on, it supplies 24VDC to the aux relay I added.  The relay then supplies 24VDC into the DC-DC converter I added.  It takes the 24VDC, and drops it down to 12VDC.  This output is fed to the backup camera system, and to a 12VDC cigarette outlet I put in the basket.  This way his oxygen concentrator can be operated/charged while the scooter is switched on.  When the key is off, the camera, and 12V outlet, both shut off.  No worries of accidently draining the battery if accidently left on.

There wasn't room under the floor plate to fit the DC-DC converter.  It is a sealed unit.  I mounted it under the scooter by the left rear wheel.

It's the silver finned box attached to the frame with two large cable ties.

The only negative thing I found with the setup is the rear camera uses visible LEDs.  The more expensive systems use IR LEDs, which the human eye can't see.  It's not blinding when standing behind the scooter, and he can't see it while driving.  But you can clearly see where the camera is mounted.  It's pointed up slightly, giving him a wide angle view of what's behind him, day or night.

It's hard to show the clarity of the picture.  He has a good view of the monitor, even when the steering is turned left or right.
   
   




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Last updated 05/12/22    All rights reserved.