: Axe's attempt at thermal vision system for CTS-V

05-25-13, 08:30 AM
Yesterday my FLIR Pathfinder LE system arrived. It's a thermal imaging system, here's a vid

Ideally, I'll have this mounted and displaying on the factory nav screen before i drive to CO at the end of June.

Anyone have any experience doing this? I'm going back to the dealer Monday to talk to the wiring guy and see if i can get a schematic for the car so i can try to make this a clean install and minimize the chance of F'ups.

First thing i'll have to decide is where to mount it. i hate putting it in front of cooling radiators. there's a duct right by the fog lights, but i believe (have to check) those are functional for brake cooling. not exactly easy getting behind the grill in the first place. Lots of cussing awaits me, raining so can't ride the chopper anyway, might as well start looking this thing over. any tips from experience are appreciated.


05-25-13, 10:47 AM
Badass. I want one. I'd proably would just mount it on the sunvisor like the video cause then I would just flip it down when I need to use it. (I'm short) Let us know how it goes!

05-25-13, 10:56 AM
if i can't figure out the wiring into the screen before the CO trip, that's where mine will be for the time being.

05-27-13, 08:54 PM
used a battery charger to make sure everything functioned. started taking things apart. i had to modify the mounting case, but i think i found a location that won't block much airflow and will allow good vision. just need to make another bracket and get everything wedged in properly. also got a wiring diagram for the backup camera today, so hopefully that helps me figure out the dash spaghetti...

here's some test images of the car in the garage, Sunshine, and Baron.


05-29-13, 01:25 PM
also got a wiring diagram for the backup camera today, so hopefully that helps me figure out the dash spaghetti...

How about sharing that diagram :thumbsup:

05-30-13, 06:47 AM
i can try to scan in a jpeg of it, but what i'm realizing is it's not going to do me much good. it's just what comes out of the backup camera, but as opposed to splicing in there, i'll likely have to catch the vid signal from the head unit to the monitor, as who knows where the reverse trigger is to override the radio vid signal, etc. i'll post more as i figure all this out...slowly...

Sunshine leaves for Europe tomorrow, so was hoping to get a lot done this weekend, but Chip bought an early m5 bmw that roached the timing chain tensioners, so starting tomorrow eve i'll be in his garage repairing that gem...

06-02-13, 08:20 PM
Today i got the bracket basically made and made sure the grill doesn't interfere with the camera view. took more hours than i want to admit to make the bracket, and no, it's far from perfect, but it's crude yet effective like me, and with coat of black paint, it'll be just fine hiding under the trim panels under the hood. just have to get it out on a long straight road and get the adjustments right, then start trying to hook it up to the nav panel. i've got a couple more pigtails coming from the visions system supplier Wednesday, so hopefully i have things pretty figured out by then...

pics below show the cam hanging from the bracket i made. other is a test view. you can see the cam behind the grill on the left, then my thermal shot on the test monitor.

06-05-13, 06:53 AM
i hate wiring, but part of the job...


06-11-13, 06:27 AM
fortunately i found one prototype box on a shelf somewhere that does exactly what i need, allows external camera input. Yesterday i got the screen to actually display the thermal camera, so now i just have to get the camera mounted solid, run cabling, final connections, and put everything back together properly.


06-17-13, 06:55 AM
Finally got everything working and back together clean. didn't have to cut into any wiring or mount any switches in the console. just hit mute 4 times to activate dash menu, use the up/down to scroll, and right mirror to toggle. works like a champ!


C "T" ess
06-17-13, 11:17 AM
Perhaps I'm naive but what exactly are you trying to accomplish; in other words, how will this accessory serve you. I've never seen anything like this other than in cop shows. I'm sure there is a reason you want it, I'm just curious as to what that is. thanks

06-17-13, 12:27 PM
I believe one of the major benefits is the fact he can now see pedestrians/animals at night when his lights may not do the job (especially on the sides if they're walking toward the street)...I've been impressed with what these systems can do. (Although I don't see a need for it myself)

06-17-13, 06:12 PM
I like it. IMO everyone needs a hobby. Axe has one at least 2 levels above mine.:cool2:

Bobby VW
06-17-13, 06:25 PM

06-17-13, 06:38 PM
I like it. IMO everyone needs a hobby. Axe has one at least 2 levels above mine.:cool2:

And four levels above mine...lol

06-17-13, 06:42 PM
If you live where you drive in the wilds, like here in the West, having the ability to "see" animals approaching from the side of the road, this is a GREAT feature! I drive a lot of miles at night, and this will be my next upgrade! Looking forward to see how it ends up.

Thank you Axe, Marv

06-17-13, 06:51 PM
truth be know, i spent 6 years getting a 4 yr engineering degree and like to fck with stuff, so on some level, this was a toy that i enjoyed the challenge of installing.

from a practical standpoint though, when i drove my S1K from TX to CO through the night, i got scared by deer/coons too many times. headlights just do not give enough time to react, and on 2 wheels, you'll just lay there and bleed next to the critter. i'm driving the V to CO next week, so i figure if it saves me one critter collision, it was well worth it.


coincidentally Marv, I'll be in Ft. Collins most of the time, but in Denver for a burial (wedding) on sat eve. may not take the car to that, but will see.

I think it was DTS's that came with thermal vision systems for a couple years, $6K option if i remember correctly. someone else said new E class benz's have them i guess?

06-17-13, 07:08 PM
Brilliant. Night vision would have been washed out by the headlights but heat signature isn't effected.

I really hope you put a video up showing how you did the whole thing.

Heck, if you put night vision on it you'll have the same optics as our M1 tanks!

06-17-13, 07:15 PM
i'm going through all the video on the camera now and will post it when it hits youtube. have to separate out the V1 install and chopper show footage.

you're right about the night vision, that's why thermal's a better choice. This is the MIL grade too, export controlled. as opposed to the M1, this is only equipped with a .45LC or .40 depending on what i'm carrying that day.:thumbsup:

06-25-13, 06:38 AM
everything works perfect!


06-25-13, 08:22 AM
Great job!
Nice video too! :D
Where did you get the lock pick box with video input?
Can you change the key sequence to activate the camera?

Bobby VW
06-25-13, 11:38 AM
Geez is that sweet!!!

06-25-13, 04:50 PM
Great job!
Nice video too! :D
Where did you get the lock pick box with video input?
Can you change the key sequence to activate the camera?

X2 :cool2:

07-02-13, 12:48 PM
X2 :cool2:
X3 :thumbsup:

07-02-13, 02:13 PM
everything works perfect!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/V7eVe75fvC4 (http://youtu.be/V7eVe75fvC4)

That is amazing! Good job! Something to think about that's for sure! What was the total cost if you don't mind sharing?

07-03-13, 06:47 PM
i hate wiring, but part of the job...

You may hate it but you are obviously quite proficient at it. I applaud your skills.