Adding front parking camera and more…

The front bumper of the MX-5 Miata is very low. Some people even lower their car more, by an inch or so. A front parking camera would be very useful, to avoid scratching the lower part of the bumper while parking close to high curbs.

The CMU has no direct control for activating camera view mode. It is only possible to activate through CAN messages. I decided to make a CAN message insertion device for this purpose.

In the past, I’ve made a few other devices, connected to the CAN bus. All the devices use a microprocessor from Microchip. I’ve decided to combine all these functions from previous projects (mirror controller, fob controller, turn signal timer, fuel reminder) into one universal device.



The backup camera is activated by putting the gear shift position into reverse, but the front camera will need some kind of manual activation. One option is to use an external switch.  However this would not be an easy option for most people, so I decided to implement an alternative option using the “Mute” button on the central console. My initial implementation switches the front camera by pressing the “mute” button once, if the car speed is below 5 mph. A second click on the “mute” button will return the screen to normal operation and turn off the camera. This method is implemented by software, so it will be easy to modify in the future, if necessary.


There are many low-cost cameras available from Amazon. I choose a camera with an adjustable lens position.



To make the installation process easier, I designed and manufactured a special harness with all the connectors.





This harness must be installed behind the CMU unit, similar to the backup camera harness. Access to the back side of the CMU is a little complicated but well documented on  the Miata forum.

To utilize the “mirror controller” feature one more cable is needed..

If only the “key fob windows controller” is in use, only one main connector must be connected.

AIO module Installation Guide rev 1.1


30 thoughts on “Adding front parking camera and more…

  1. I’m looking forward to this one.
    With regards to the placement of the trigger (button for activation), perhaps the blank spot next to the seat-belt indicator, wont work for the RF, but would be a great place and wont make it too obvious


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  3. Would it be possible to activate the rear backup camera on the 124 Spider when not in reverse as a way to see the traffic behind you when changing lanes? I did this to my Toyota Highlander so I could check on things I was towing.


  4. Would it be possible to activate the front camera in the same manner that Toyota does? It turns on when the brake is applied and speed is under 3 mph. I assume you would to put other conditions on it such as automatic in drive and manual not in reverse. This way no external switch is needed, and ya can stop before the crosswalk at red lights…


    • I had another idea, The Mazda CX-3 and the MX-5 ND share the same turn signal switches. I replaced mine to get a switch with fog lights (future install). But they sell a switch that has a momentary rear fog light position. I just don’t know what pin that activates on the body control module.


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  6. Could you please post the video if installation?
    Also is there a solution where you can add multiple cameras simultaneously recording like model 3s?


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