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Old 10-21-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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Docking cameras

Unless an obstruction (like someoneís dinghy) is very close, Iíve a clear aft view from the upper helm, but with Eisenglass in place, I donít have a clear view of a dock edge.

Iíve a better view of the dock edge from an open lower helm starboard door but canít see anything aft and little port.

Cameras (one pointed aft, one starboard and one port) would seem to be a solution, but I donít know what to purchase or how to integrate them.

I have a 2010 Raymarine MFD with navigation and radar displays, which will also allow for camera input. However, the display is only on the upper helm and Iíd like to have good visibility from both helms. To use this display, Iíd have to run wires between the cameras and the display.

My preferred navigation tool is OpenCPN on a PC running Windows. Since the PC can be easily moved to RAM mounts at either helm, the PC would also be my preference for the camera display.

Wiring. The12v running lights are near likely camera mounts aft, starboard and port, so this could be the camerasí power source; I could use the light switch to turn the lights and the cameras on and off. Iíd prefer wireless (either WiFi or Bluetooth) communication between the PC and cameras, since new wires would be tough to run, particularly aft. The boat has a WiFi router, so WiFi camera communication could be routed through this router.

An alternative to the PC for the camera display may be my wifeís IPad, which wouldnít be all bad, since the IPad could probably also run ActiveCaptain and become another navigation tool.

Looking for ideas on what to do here.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:21 PM   #2
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There are quite a few threads on cameras already here. Lots of different options of course. The two I see the most are the marine-grade cameras provided by the big manufacturers like Raymarine, which will integrate pretty easily with MFDs and such, and much cheaper solutions using security cameras, etc.

I chose sort of a hybrid of the two and bought an AXIS camera server that works with my Furuno stuff, and then security cameras from a big vendor that are stainless steel and water proof.

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Like you, I can see astern and forward very well from my upper helm, but I can't see the dock edge as well as I would like. I added a camera in the engine intake area that points at the dock edge, and not only shows me the dock, but the rub rail on the boat, and the person stepping off the stern.

It has been a lifesaver in terms of getting the boat right up to the dock safely. Here's the model I bought for outdoors. I bought some cheaper ones for inside. It runs off of 12V (I used a stable converter supply) and has a lot of mounting choices.
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