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Solved 1700 and ext video (backup camera) input (sort of)

IcePilot 0 Points
edited November -1 in Magellan Vehicle Forum
How to use the 1700 with a backup or other video source? I figured it out – After buying two 4 conductor "Video 3.5 mm to RCA adapter cable"s that didn't work , I found an old step-kids IPOD cable with 4 connector (3 black bands) 3.5 Plug to 3 RCA connectors –and it worked ! AND it worked using the yellow to yellow RCAs
– Did a continuity check on the cable –
Here is the “secret” – The 3.5 plug to the 1700 has 4 connections. A common (also known as a “ground”), video, right audio, and left audio. – For the 1700 Magellan, the receptacle (female) socket has the COMMON contact ring as 3rd from the tip (counting the tip). Most 4 contact 3.5 plugs use the 4th contact from the tip as the “common”

For most Video (4 connector) 3.5 plugs – tip = audio (R or L), then - 2nd contact = audio (L or R) then 3rd contact = video, and 4th contact (farthest from the tip) is the “common” return for each signal.

For the Magellan 1700 it goes tip= audio, 2nd = audio, 3rd = COMMON, 4th (next to the plastic) = Video

Now you just have to fine an old IPOD cable or rewire a video cable yourself - OR bug Magellan to make one available. - good luck! :wink:


  • Hi! Thanks for the explanation on this it is very helpfull, if you have a have a diagram or photos it woild also be appreciated.

    Thanks again.
  • wb6wsn 0 Points
    Good info about electrical interface! Now, how does video work:
    1. Does presence of inserted 3.5mm plug auto-switch the 1700 to display video?
    2. Or does it require the presence of a live video signal to switch to video display?
    3. Or do you have to key in some button sequence for video?
    4. Does the video take up the full screen?
    5. How do you get back out of video and into GPS functions?
    6. Is the video monochrome or color?
    7. Did your video image appear to be vert/horiz proportional?

    My application is to use the 1700 with a back-up camera. Thanks in advance!
  • 1944 0 Points
    Thanks so much for the infromation on how to connect my backup camera to my magellan 1700. I took an existing RCA plug and put new RCA plug at the other end but put the center wire on the ground side and the outside wire in the center position. Works great!!
    I searched for many hours trying to find out what was wrong.
    Thanks again.
  • >> Good info about electrical interface! Now, how does video work:
    1. Does presence of inserted 3.5mm plug auto-switch the 1700 to display video? <<

    No, a signal present on the video connection switches the 1700 to the camera.

    To exploit this, connect the camera power to the backup light power connection... then, when the car is placed into reverse, the 1700 will switch from nav to external video

    5. How do you get back out of video and into GPS functions?

    Turn the power to the camera off... in the above example, take the car out of reverse.

    6. Is the video monochrome or color?

    depends on the camera... if you have a color camera, it's in color.

    7. Did your video image appear to be vert/horiz proportional?

    Seems to be but have not made measurements... doesn't really impact use as a backup camera since distortion is not a factor that matters. Most backup cameras are very wide angle so they are already distorted.

    Beverly Howard
  • fwiw, has the 1700 for $150 at the moment and I found a license plate mount camera with led illumination when dark on amazon for $16.

    The camera is color and displays mirror image on the 1700 with distance marks.

    All that is needed is a four contact 1/8" plug and female rca to cobble up an adapter from the camera video to the gps... if you don't solder, 1/8" to (3) rca plug AV cables can be found on the internet, but, pin them out as not all assume that the third ring is common ground.

    The hardest part will be running the video cable from the camera location to the dash area.

    Beverly Howard
  • HI, good job on the mystery backup camera. I wrote (emailed) support and got the answer that they make a wireless camera (that costs over 125$) and has all cables and plugs!

    I looked it up and it looks exactly like the one I bought on ebay for about
    25 $ which is a license plate camera with IR leds for night vision. after I cut the rca plugs off. I am sure most dollar stores, or the cheap places on line monoprice, I looked it up, here it is, 78 cents! This is for the ipod, but its the same thing. I went to radio shack, over 10$.

    I'm curios how you were able to ohm out the cable, did you take the cover off the unit to get to it while plugged in, or to the contacts on the female plug? Anyway, excellent job.
  • I am sure most of you will figure it out, but I emailed magellan support, and was told to buy their camera, and also, the issue and why you need the 3 ring plug is as follows (this is for anyone who does not understand basic electronics, sorry to everyone else)

    The 3.5mm plug is used for countless things, most people associate them with ear/headphones. The plugs look basically the same, 3.5mm "thick", and 14mm long (.55 in). There are black rings in the plug that seperate it into different functions. With 1 black ring, The tip or end 5mm is for audio or video, and the remaining 9 mm is icommon/ground.

    With a 2 ring (most common), there are 3 sections, either audio L/R and ground or Audio/Video/Common. The tip, 5mm is audio (L or R) and the middle 3mm is either video or (audio L/R whichever the tip wasnt), the remaining 6mm is ground/common.

    The reason the magellan 1700 needs a 3 ring is for that 6mm ground section. Normally that is common. In the case of the magellan, it is 1/2 video and 1/2 ground, so if you used a 2 ring, you would ground out the video signal as soon as it went to the 1700 (ithe circuit would be grounded so the camera wouldn't work)

    With a 3 ring, the 3rd section is common (3mm) and the last section 3mm is video. This is the one next to the plastic that the plug comes out of. If there were a way to easily get inside the 1700 and rewire that jack, then we could make it accomidate any cable, but that is not possible. In fact, doing so is a good way to permanently screw your gps up. Just get the .78cent cable. If you dont want to do surgery, here is the pinout of the cable. NEXT POST. ALSO TIGER DIRECT HAS THE 1700 (RECONDITIONED for $99.)
  • I got a 99$ tiger direct rehab and it is perfect. THe box has everything, the unit works perfect, and it looks brand new. I asked them what the issue was and they said 99% had the following 2 reasons for needing to be reworked.

    1- NOTHING. Customer returned and to make sure they got refund or something else, they said it didn't work. Sent back to magellan by retailer and it worked perfectly.

    2- BATTERY. Pretty much explains itself.

    THe other 1% had a variety of things too numerous to ask. Chances are very good you will get a new unit anyway except the return policy is limited and its much cheaper.

    Pinout of 78CENT cable. NEXT post. Need to ask admin why at this point my disply jumps and wont show me typing.
  • This is ridiculous. My computer will only display about 10-12 lines then it jumps when I type below that point. Otherwise, this would have been in 1 post.

    TIP===center pin of WHITE RCA jack (from end to first black ring)
    next section from tip: Center pin of RED RCA jack-between 1st/2nd blk ring
    3rd section from tip: Common of all 3 -the outer metal part of all RCA plugs
    Last section (between 3rd ring and plastic base) Center pin of YELLOW RCA jack.

    So, the point is, CHECK THE CABLE WITH AN OHM METER OR FIND SOMEONE TO DO IT, but mine will work as is. I plug the yellow (which si video anyway) into the camera video, and the plug into the maestro and it will work. I do not need the white or red (which are audio cables).

    Here is another source for 2.34
    Thanks to ICEPILOT
  • I received the Magellan Backup Camera from Magellan for a review and figured out the wiring for the camera and to a Magellan GPS as well. I used a camcorder cable that has the audio and video from the four section 3.5mm to the RCA connections and just changed the connections around on the RCA end until I got the right ones.

    You can even plug a DVD player that has audio and video out to the GPS unit, I used a Sansa View and a portable DVD player to play video on my Magellan 9055 GPS. This is a neat way to save some money on a screen for watching movies while on the road.

    If interested in my take on the backup camera my site is
  • Why did u need to figure out the wiring? Their camera comes with
    the wires. We did this with little or no help from magellan. They charge about 200$ more than their camera is worrh
  • They have the wiring setup for their camera, not other cameras, they changed the wiring on the AV input so other cameras would not work. If you look at the picture on the site below you see the wires are not to the same inputs as the cable that camcorders use. I had to see which part of the 3.5mm connection went for video and audio.

    Their camera is terrible for nighttime use.

  • SOLUTION for audio and video by KWKSND !!

    i own 2 magellan 9400-lm's and here is what i found works

    (1) get a camcorder cable that adapts a 3.5mm 3 ring plug to 3 rca's for the gps's a/v input
    (2) now rewire either the output cable from the audio/video source of your choice, the input cable from step (1) for the gps, or make a patch cable to go between.

    once you have chosen which cable to mod go ahead and rewire it as follows

    *1 reverse the video pos+/neg- wires so your video rca plug is neg- in the center and pos+ outside.
    *2 snip the neg- wires on the left and right audio cables so you only have a pos+ in the center of the rca audio plugs and no ground- outside.
    (the sound now works because the ground- is already supplied by the video connection but it has been moved to a different contact so adding more grounds- here would in fact short out and kill your video feed because the audio grounds- would go to the same contact as the video pos+)
    *3 connect the 3.5mm 3 ring plug to the gps's a/v input.
    *4 turn on the gps and a/v source.
    *5 now connect the source's video(yellow) rca output randomly together with the input rca's until you have video.
    *6 then plug the remaining rca's together, you have sound !!

    my 9400-lm's ended up being connected like this
    video from source(yellow rca plug with pos+/neg- reversed) <=connects to=> left audio(white) input on gps
    right audio from source(red rca plug pos+ only) <=connects to=> right audio(red) input on gps
    left audio from source(white rca plug pos+ only) <=connects to=> video(yellow) input on gps
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