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I've owned the car since 2/4 and one of my major gripes was the lack of use of the rear view cam at night. I live in an area where street lights are nearly non-existent, so the camera has been useless especially when trying to back up our driveway and avoid the ditch it crosses.
I had installed a pair of Rigid SRM on my F150 and was very happy with their performance. Additionally, the extra light helps with the tinted windows when trying to utilize the side mirrors.

The MDX has a dealer installed factory trailer hitch and harness, so I was eager to tap into the 7-way harness's reverse lead. Here's where I quickly ran into a road block. I could not find a single resource that would confirm the correct color for the reverse wire. I went as far as to attempt to open the factory plug, but quickly found that it's a sealed unit at the bumper...no luck there. All signs pointed to the PURPLE wire from what I could find. More on that later.

I wanted the light be to under the vehicle, but in a spot where road debris or other irregularities would not hit the light when mounted. I found that the factory jacking point located on the rear cross-member was the perfect spot as its location is lower than the lowest edge of the rear bumper as not to block too much beam output.

The install was pretty easy. Made the mounting spot out of 1" by 0.25" aluminum flat bar. Cut a template out of cardboard and got it to the point where I was happy with the size. Center punched two spots for holes (used the upper two marks in the picture) and drilled two small holes. Stainless steel hardware all the way around. I purchase a 3' extension from Rigid that I then put inside a small inexpensive loom for added protection. Ran the wiring up over the sway bar, Gorilla taped to the bottom of the cabin, and through the grommet where the trailer harness enters the cabin. I found through trial and error that the YELLOW wire in the harness is the reverse signal. That process was super frustrating by the way. The light draws roughly 1.4A of power, so it's hardly taking up any of the 7.5A in the reverse circuit, and still leaves room for a trailer when hooked up.

The end result is MUCH more usable nighttime camera display. For reference, the trash can is at the end of my driveway which is between 30-35' from the back of the car in those pics. I'm happy to answer any questions. This was a fun little project.

See the second post for the output shots (I exceeded the file limit)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Output shots

EDIT:
The mirror shots are with the windows UP, so that's the view through the 35% tint.
 

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Neat idea! Thanks for the post! I used to own a 2nd gen mdx and if you thought the 3rd gen was bad, it was almost a complete black screen on the 2nd gen. I like this a lot, but is blinding to a person or car if they were looking from behind? Can you get a picture of it on at night from behind?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Neat idea! Thanks for the post! I used to own a 2nd gen mdx and if you thought the 3rd gen was bad, it was almost a complete black screen on the 2nd gen. I like this a lot, but is blinding to a person or car if they were looking from behind? Can you get a picture of it on at night from behind?
Thanks.

I'm not sure I understand the need for the request, but I'll do my best to try to get a picture. Couple of problems with that though. I didn't install this on a switch like in my truck. The truck was on a 3-way toggle. ON - OFF - AUTO. This install is wired directly to the trailer harness, so it comes on only when the vehicle is placed in REVERSE. It's not on at any other moment in time. I don't have a second person to take a picture for me (the wife would just roll her eyes and call me crazy), so I'll have to set up the phone.

The nice part about the install is that the light is UNDER the vehicle, so there's a natural cutoff line because of the rear bumper overhang. The light's horizontal center line is about 1" lower than the lowest horizontal line of the bumper/hitch. You'd have to be some 15-20' behind the vehicle for the light to be at eye level...maybe even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like this a lot, but is blinding to a person or car if they were looking from behind? Can you get a picture of it on at night from behind?
I'm posting again. See picture labeled "SRQ 9" in the previous post. If you look at the oak tree in the right side of the picture you can see a defined "cutoff" of the direct beam pattern a few feet up the tree. The rest of the lighting is scattered from the diffused light. This should help give you an idea of where the light comes directly (unobstructed) from the pod, and then what is scattered from the lens.
 

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Nice mod. This is something that is actually more a necessity than people realize because of how reliant we are on our backup cams (but also useful for the cross traffic alarm). The current camera sensor is VERY sensitive to light conditions, so when people complain about the blurriness of the backup cam, it is mostly because the sensor doesn't have enough light. I've been considering going to brighter backup lights first to compensate for the sensor shortfall before adding on auxiliary lighting. Also had considered just mounting similar lights in cutouts within the removable bumper trim or using a wider light mounted to to the two existing holes in the subframe above that jack point (since I use it).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice mod. This is something that is actually more a necessity than people realize because of how reliant we are on our backup cams (but also useful for the cross traffic alarm). The current camera sensor is VERY sensitive to light conditions, so when people complain about the blurriness of the backup cam, it is mostly because the sensor doesn't have enough light. I've been considering going to brighter backup lights first to compensate for the sensor shortfall before adding on auxiliary lighting. Also had considered just mounting similar lights in cutouts within the removable bumper trim or using a wider light mounted to to the two existing holes in the subframe above that jack point (since I use it).
I have found, last night and again this morning, that the scattered and reflected light does help when you actually turn to look out the back glass. It's proving to be a valuable modification and I have about $130 in it total, plus about 5 hours of my time.
 

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Nice job. I like the affect of the added light. I need to do something similar but have been waiting on somebody/company to make a much brighter backup bulb hoping that solves the problem.
Does anybody know of a brighter backup bulb I can try?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice job. I like the affect of the added light. I need to do something similar but have been waiting on somebody/company to make a much brighter backup bulb hoping that solves the problem.
Does anybody know of a brighter backup bulb I can try?
There are a pile of LED bulbs that fit the 7440 bulb size. I almost went this route, however very few (if not none at all) of those lights are bright enough to illuminate the ground behind the vehicle. The reflectors inside the reverse housing are unable to project much light downward as needed.

For anyone who's curious, Rigid makes a plethora of lights that are bigger and smaller than this pod. The SRQ is a 4-LED setup, while the SRM is 2-LEDs and the SRM2 is 3-LEDs. They even make a 6-LED SRQ2. So what I'm saying is that you have a range of options all under 2.5A draw. I had a pair of the SRM on my truck which is the same output as one SRQ, which is why I went with the SRQ as I was familiar with the amount of light it would throw. A single SRM would be adequate and not "too bright" as it's about 750 raw lumens, and draws a little less than 1A.
 

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nice setup you got there.

might just do the same.

and as the other poster surmised; the camera sucks at being able to process images at low light.

this is a nice little workaround for that limitation.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I ordered a snap on amber lens that arrived today. It's raining like a mutha so I won't be able to snap it on and try it out for a day or two. I'm curious to know if the camera likes white light or light that's more yellow. Soon we'll see.

Backing up in the rain tonight was easier, and made the camera more usable than before. I'm happy with the result!
 

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I have a second generation so my hitch is more under the back end. I just did this for $12.
Took a Blazer C8020 Back-up Light/Utility and plugged it into the 7 pin connector. Has a bright ass halogen light and just stays in the connector. Made by Blazer international and I got it at Wally World.
 
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I have a second generation so my hitch is more under the back end. I just did this for $12.
Took a Blazer C8020 Back-up Light/Utility and plugged it into the 7 pin connector. Has a bright ass halogen light and just stays in the connector. Made by Blazer international and I got it at Wally World.
I looked at the Blazer when I was doing this three years ago on my truck. Effective but aesthetically unpleasant to me. I couldn't stand the look, but it works!!
 

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Application to 2nd Gen X?

This sounds like a very worthwhile mod, especially for the 2nd Gen MDX, which has a next to worthless backup cam. Anyone with any insight/advice on the best way to implement this on a 2009 MDX? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This sounds like a very worthwhile mod, especially for the 2nd Gen MDX, which has a next to worthless backup cam. Anyone with any insight/advice on the best way to implement this on a 2009 MDX? Thanks.
Can you take a picture of the underside of your '09 from the back? I think there is a similar jacking point on your model year.
 

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A little over a week since this install and I'm happy to report no issues.
Funny, the wife and I returned Sat night from dinner with friends and upon backing into the driveway she commented on how much better the camera looked. She didn't ask WHY...just noticed the improvement.
 

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So more to add. I had purchased a snap-on Amber lens cover from Rigid thinking that the yellow-ish light would be more preferred over the white-ish light the LEDs put off. Well, I'm here to say I was wrong. The Amber color does not improve the camera's ability to pick up light, in fact I think it hurt honestly.

So just in case anyone else was curious...no amber cover.

However, Rigid does make a smoked cover that would effectively "hide" the SRQ pod from being visible from the back. I'm good with how it sits right now though.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Rigid SRQ. Many vendors including Amazon.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Good looking out. Appreciate it.




I've only mentioned it...what...4 times?
 
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