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Old 08-09-2019, 07:13 AM   #1
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Let's talk about wireless cameras

We're in search of a battery-powered, wireless camera that can be accessed through an iPhone or iPad. It will need to be movable as we intend to re-purpose it. It will need to connect to the boat's existing wifi/LTE hotspot on the boat and be reachable from the accessible from the internet.

1. Most of the time, we're away from the boat during the week so we would like to leave the camera positioned on the enclosed aft deck so we could check on things throughout the week.

2. When we're aboard but leave for a few hours to run errands or whatever, my wife would like to put the camera in the salon to be able to remotely check on the dog.

3. When returning to port from a trip, I would like to hang it or attach it to the transom (perhaps with velcro) and use it as a backup camera.

Some of the battery-powered models claim a battery life of months when in stand-by mode, which this would be most of the time. Some of the models we've looked at so far include:


Yeskamo - $109.99

The same identical camera is marketed under other brand names without the solar panel for $30 less.
Enow - $79.99
Sdeter - 79.99


Kami - $109.99

Has anyone implemented such a camera? What did you go with and how well is it working out for you? Any other recommendations?

Thanks.

John
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:02 AM   #2
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Salt water environment is rough, buy spares because some of these random chinese companies disappear overnight. Forget about any chance of warranty coverage. That and understand most of them will 'phone home' back to mainland communist china, and have a slew of security problems. Some folks don't care... they probably should.

Battery operated is tough, especially if motion sensing is involved. There's only 'so much' you can expect out of the compromise necessary to operate on low wattage. Some are smart enough to use Bluetooth Low Energy to maintain a connection to a hub, and only fire up WiFi when they really need to wake up and provide a short video clip. Constant viewing kills battery life, even with solar augmentation. So they're more about short clips than surveillance.

I set up some Blink XT cameras on the boat and have been reasonably happy with them as motion detection devices. The key is pointing them toward items that will have only relevant motion in them. As in, tight on a doorway, not out across the dock or water. Constant false triggering from motion kills the battery.

You could use them for 'dog checking', as the latest ones have two-way audio. That and the app will show you temperature, so you can check that as well.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:59 AM   #3
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I would like to add some wireless cameras to our Raymarine navigation system. We have one wired camera in the engine room and would like a couple more cameras but they have to be wireless. I donít know which will work with Raymarine other than the Raymarine brand and I donít want to spend $600 each for them. Raymarine support says just buy theirs and wonít tell which off brand ones will work. Has anyone used off brand cameras and if so which ones will work?
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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These seem to be ok. They meet all the standards and aren't crazy expensive. I haven't bought them yet. I'm looking at four for my home and shop. Free mobile app for remote viewing.



https://www.amazon.com/Camera-Wirele...language=en_US
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
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These seem to be ok. They meet all the standards and aren't crazy expensive. I haven't bought them yet. I'm looking at four for my home and shop. Free mobile app for remote viewing.



https://www.amazon.com/Camera-Wirele...language=en_US
Hi Ben.

I looked at those and they look pretty nice but they have a power adapter. We need battery powered.

John
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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I have zero clue why one would need battery operated, but here are Live shots from my cameras on the boat, along with a current screen shot of my boats status taken from the alarm system.

I am sitting at my desk at work this morning over a hundred miles from my boat, and am happy to know that my boat is doing just fine.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #7
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Hey Kevin,

Can you describe your system and componemts?

Thanks!
-Greg
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:20 AM   #8
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I've been using some WIFI cameras from a startup in Seattle (Wysecam) that meets my needs. They are not battery operated though and like previously mentioned they do connect through a company cloud server. If the company goes away I doubt they will work any more. They nicely serve my purpose of checking on the boat when I'm away and at $25 I'll risk the company's survival.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:29 AM   #9
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Hey Kevin,

Can you describe your system and componemts?

Thanks!
-Greg
Sure happy to.

First and most important is establishing a local network and connecting your boat to the internet. That enables everything else.

The local network is based on a cradle point router (www.cradlepoint.com) that chooses between cellular providers, or satellite signal for internet access. The router was around $200 and is programmed using a web browser, easy peasy. Everything connects to the router via wifi or hardwire but mostly wifi.

The alarm system is based around a samsung smartthings hub (www.smartthings.com) The smartthings hub interfaces with individual devices via it’s own wireless system (separate from the boasts wireless and different frequencies). This is built into the hub. The individual devices are from several vendors but include water sensors, smoke/co alarms, and sensors that can see a external “contact closure”. This is all off the shelf stuff and all the compatible devices are listed at www.smartthings.com. All of the devices are battery operated, and I’m seeing over 50% battery life in each device after over 6 months of run time.

The hub cost $70 and the devices all vary in cost but are between $20-50 each. There is no subscription fee, you just buy the hub and the devices as need be to add functionality. Programming of the hub is using the samsung smartthings free app. The cool thing is that the devices are available from a variety of manufacturers, so you get a real mix of devices.

The cameras are just dlink cameras. Dlink is a major home and business networking and camera manufacturer. The cameras cost between 50 and 100 each, and you can view them using a web browser or the free dlink app.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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Hey Kevin,

Nice! Thanks so much!
-Greg
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Hi Ben.

I looked at those and they look pretty nice but they have a power adapter. We need battery powered.

John



Oh ok. There's no mention in the specs about what voltage is needed to run the camera. I wouldn't think they would need much power. The best I could do would match a DC to DC power supply if the cameras can't run directly off 12v from the house batteries. There are some 12v solar set ups that use a small battery similar to what powers a child's ride on toy, think Power Wheels. Those could be nestled in somewhere close by. Maybe in a deck storage area. The camera would only need a thin wire run to it for power.


Nest makes some really nice battery-powered cams with wide angle lenses. They are something like 170 degrees. Two could cover nearly half the boat. They aren't remotely movable but are remotely viewable. Unforunately, I can't find a source for them but they are very similar to the Arlo units.


https://www.amazon.com/Arlo-Pro-Wire...language=en_US
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:01 PM   #12
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Good info.


I could argue for a solar powered camera with a wifi connection directly to the Iphone, IPad or other viewer.



A distant second would be a 12v power source.



Cant find one.
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:36 PM   #13
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Bill Kearney said:
Quote:
I set up some Blink XT cameras on the boat and have been reasonably happy with them as motion detection devices. The key is pointing them toward items that will have only relevant motion in them. As in, tight on a doorway, not out across the dock or water. Constant false triggering from motion kills the battery.
I've been using the Blink/Blink XT cameras for ~6 months (the XT version only since the end of June when it came out), and I've been very happy with their performance and access online. Bill mentioned that pointing was an issue, but the cameras also have very specific settings for sensitivity and the area within their views that they'll trigger on called 'activity zones.' For example, if you have an outdoor camera mounted high on the stern pointed towards the bow of your boat and there's a walkway that runs across the bow with an access pier along the side of the boat, the camera can be set to ignore the heavy foot traffic across the bow but alert on those that approach the boat along the side.

The cameras have both day and night vision capability, sound monitoring (when triggered), and the XT version has 2-way sound - you can yell at people through the camera in real time. The cameras are also IFTTT capable, compatible with similarly capable devices, but I'm still figuring that out. I've been too busy boating to get too deep into it.

The only disappointment I've had is that there is no way to save single frame captures. Video clips can be saved, shared, and edited, extracting still pictures as desired, but taking a still shot and saving that isn't. A minor inconvenience.

I'm encouraged that the supplier has shown that they're motivated to continue upgrading and improving the cameras, the app to use and control them, and the connected online experience - so far. Others have ventured into the home security/monitoring business, providing DIYers and self-monitors a decent capability and then bailing when they couldn't convince the users to pay monthly fees. Hopefully, this won't happen here.

Not a salesperson or one that will benefit from sales, just a happy customer.

Greg.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:41 PM   #14
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I was looking at these


Wireless car backup camera color monitor RV Truck Trailer Rear View Backup Wireless Camera RVCam Day & Night Vision
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