SmartPark 2000 -- Backup obstacle warning "radar" - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-05-2006
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SmartPark 2000 -- Backup obstacle warning "radar"

Put one of these on the truck:





CORRECTION: AutoPark 2000 (SmartPark is fixed mount for garages)...

It warns when you're getting close to something when backing up. Very simple to install: just tap ground and your backup lights at nearest taillight, and run a pair of wires to the cab for the warning speaker. It mounts to a bracket (supplied) that fastens on with the screws that hold your license plate in place.

I apologize in advance for the pics below. I took them at night and the camera doesn't focus right in low light and it wasn't important enough to do them right -- and I'm lazy, lol.

Anyway, the electronics are all in the piece that mounts on your license plate. Although they claim it's waterproof, I wasn't happy with the coating on the board so I took it completely apart, masked off the optics, and sprayed it heavily with urethane "conformal coat" for circuit boards. The lower part of my truck spends considerable time underwater, lol.

I put it on because the reduced visibility with the spare tire carrier have resulted in me backing into cars not once but TWICE. Now I get a warning at about 4 feet and a rapid "urgent" beep and change of pitch around 18 inches or so which with my tow hook and what not evaluated to about a foot left.

You can see where the speaker (really a stick-on tweeter) mounts. The beeps are loud but not obnoxious and they can be heard over a loud stereo. It's close enough to my ear that I can't miss it.

I bought it for $15 including shipping on eBay, so it's not expensive if you can find one cheap like that.

It senses ambient light also and extends it range 20% at night when visibility is even worse. You can adjust the range of warning somewhat using a trimpot on the board.

Overall rating: 9 out of 10. I'd give it more if it were better waterproofed as delivered.

Update: Tons of them available on eBay for $25 including shipping. That may actually be what I paid, come to think of it. Still worth it and then some.

Last edited by n3elz; 11-05-2006 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 11-05-2006
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looks good!

haha i see some more wharton cleaning you need to do!
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Old 11-05-2006
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pretty cool John. my friends 05 exlporer has that (built in though), so does my other friends 07 f350... it's kind of cool since you can't see too well out the back most of the time.
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Old 11-05-2006
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Looks good, but clean up the truck! What does Amateur Radio mean on your license plate?
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Old 11-05-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger01
Looks good, but clean up the truck! What does Amateur Radio mean on your license plate?
he is a licensed ham radio operatior
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Old 11-05-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offroad_ranger
he is a licensed ham radio operatior
Oh I see now!
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Old 11-05-2006
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Ha ha! Well, the mud inside came arcing in through the open window when I hit a mudhole, lol. The truck is NEVER really "clean" anymore. Seem's I scarcely clean it before I'm out in mud again...oh well...
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Old 11-17-2006
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And speaking of mud: went on on 11/11/2006 to Wharton and the infamous "Quarter Mile of Mud".

Well, my rear bumper spent considerable time underwater and coated with mud. When the unit was cleaned off it still worked flawlessly. Apparently my additional waterproofing either worked or didn't hurt the unit's waterproof-ness, lol.

I still think this thing is well worth the $25 I paid for it, for sure.
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Old 11-17-2006
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Awesome stuff. Might have to look into one of these once I get a spare tire bed-mounted as a 33 just doesn't seem to fit underneath. Haha...
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Old 11-26-2006
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Well for those of us with depth perception problems (in my case an older guy ) these types of sensors are great. I have used a number of them including the license plate mounted types shown in the link mentioned above. The one that I have found that I like the most is found here. http://www.autotoys.com/x/cust/home.php?cat=7
It is pricey but it works great. It announces distance down to the inches.
I havenít tried to mount one in my truck yet as it would require running power wires
to the back of the truck and, in this case, a speaker wire run into the cab.. Hookup to the taillights should be easy
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Old 11-26-2006
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Pretty cool. I wasn't too bad (yet, lol) with depth perception, but the spare tire carrier just makes it pretty much impossible to see right behind the truck.

I like that one you just linked, but I wonder how it would be after being underwater? That's part of the reason I got a cheap one to start -- I wasn't sure what would last and what wouldn't. I was afraid the ultrasound types for instance might get their transducers damaged if immersed.

As it turns out, this one looks like it's going to keep working after immersion -- but I like the idea of being told the actual distance to the obstacle like that other one does.
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