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Old 03-13-2015, 02:13 AM   #1
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Backup Cameras?

Well, I'm not really looking for a backup camera, but one where I can mount it to view the area behind the boat and transmit a signal (wirelessly?) to a display that is mounted on the helm.

The use would be to monitor a dinghy while it's being towed. The camera would need to be able to be zoomed out to adequately view the dinghy when it's about 125' behind the mother ship.

Black and white would be fine, no need for color, and the ability to focus it would be nice but probably not a must-have item.

Any suggestions or ideas on brands and models?
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:26 AM   #2
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Lots of information out there on wireless video systems, try Google.

Prices have really come down in the last few years. If you have a chart plotter most have inputs for camera feeds that the wireless receiver plugs into, freeing you of the need for a sep. monitor.


Be sure you get a "reverse image" camera.

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Old 03-14-2015, 10:29 AM   #3
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Do not forget you may be running at night. I am guessing there are systems that will work in both day and night environs.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:04 PM   #4
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Cameras are easy now days.

I have several cameras on the boat. I can watch them live while on the boat, or from anywhere else. They are cheap at less than $100 each, easy to set up, and don't require the internet for viewing on the boat.

And...

No special gear is required. I can view them from my laptop, or my ipad, or even my iphone.

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Old 03-14-2015, 02:47 PM   #5
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The primary requirement seems to be ... depth of field being 125'. That makes automotive type backup cams not best suited.

Not sure about night vision, you might need indoor/outdoor cam with night vision and decent resolution (720p ?).

Try any wi-fi (networked) security cam, they usually have required depth of field range for your application. Plenty of those on amazon, and elsewhere ... just google it.

BTW, the night vision at 125' might be a costly feature.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:27 PM   #6
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I tow a dinghy and use the radar more often to monitor the dinghy.
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Old 03-14-2015, 11:08 PM   #7
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I mount a solar charged LED flashing marker light on the tenders I tow at night if I can't use the runnng lights.

And remember, if you tow at night you need to display the proper nav lights.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:04 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the tips and links. We probably won't be doing much towing at night. We will be doing some as we go up the coast of WA and back, but once that part of the trip is done we'll be moving during daylight hours.

Depth of field to ~125' would be good, and that was one of my concerns with a wide angle backup camera. Most of the security cameras I've seen lack enough resolution to really see that far. Beyond about 50' they tend to make things so fuzzy it's hard to see what you're looking at.

I don't need the screen shot of the dinghy to be crystal clear, but I would like to be able to see it clearly enough to detect changes in its running attitude (as if it was taking on water).

Capt Bill, do you have any info on the flashing lights you're using?
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #9
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http://motivationdocksupply.com/elec...ights/sl15.png
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:14 PM   #10
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Capt Bill, I tried to get some ordering info on that light but was blocked because I didn't have permission to enter that server.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #11
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That's not a camera. It looks like a solar dock light.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:22 PM   #12
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I don't know why you would not consider the whole group of networked home security cams.

I have a decade old Toshiba security cam, only 640x480 resolution, installed inside the house peeking at the dock which is 150' away and extends another 50'. I can notice the weasels, muskrats, and gulls invading the dock ... not a sharp image of the guests but nevertheless, enough resolution depth to see the state of dinghy 125 feet behind you. Today's cams are much, much better ... you can hardly go wrong.

I would dismiss the night vision cameras for your application. The IR reach tends to be in 60-85' range and therefore these cameras might be optimized for that range. Plus the IR add-on doubles and triples the price.

I would look at the networked outdoor home security cams like the one linked by ksanders. Again, there is plenty of them on the market in different form factors with various bells and whistles including PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom).
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:09 PM   #13
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Just watch the quality of the wireless transmitters, the last ones I tried got really hot to the point that I disconnected them.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:57 PM   #14
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Good point ... that is the reason I am going with wired power-over-ethernet (PoE) cam vs wi-fi cam dispite the fact that I have wi-fi router and wi-fi bullet on my boat. Simpler, more reliable, no need to fiddle with the wi-fi settings, etc.

FWIW, not sure if this is going to help GFC, but my choice for my boat's backup and security cam is wired cam supporting PoE. It's easier for me to string a new Ethernet cable rather than new 12vdc wire and find another set of terminals and breakers to connect it to. I have already PoE injector installed for the wi-fi bullet.

Have not done any extensive research, just via Amazon, and my choice is Dahua IPC-HDB4300C cam ... yup, made you know where, but the specs look good and at $130 a piece I can afford to experiment.

It offers a choice of three lenses. I will go with the shortest focal length of 2.8 mm that gives me wider angle AND deepest depth of field ... shortest lens = widest angle = deepest field. Hope this helps ...

Here is the amazon listing: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00JV50Z2...I2SWUNYI3KQ1LQ

Here is the cam page with specs: IPC-HDB4300C(-A)
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:36 PM   #15
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That's not a camera. It looks like a solar dock light.
You are correct sir! Well, almost. It's a solar charged LED marker light.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:03 PM   #16
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Capt Bill, I tried to get some ordering info on that light but was blocked because I didn't have permission to enter that server.
Try this: SOLAR LED MARINE LIGHT / HAZARD MARKER LIGHT WHITE 1-2NM SEALITE (SL15 WHITE) - Beck Electric Supply
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 PM   #17
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OK, thanks for the information. I now have enough info that I can do a more directed research and find what I'm looking for.

You guys are great. Thanks.
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