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Old 05-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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Simple engine room and back up cameras

I know this has been discussed before but since my search resulted in 2 year old posts I figure technology has evolved to make those posts a bit obsolete.

I want to install an engine room monitoring camera preferably wireless that is low level light capable and wireless. I need the camera resolution good enough to read the fuel filter vacuum gauges and to display the picture on a monitor (not computer) that I will buy and install on the bridge. Color would be preferable to view stains forming on the engine room diapers. Using the same monitor I would like to also install a back up camera and possibly a wide angle camera (to view on coming boats from behind) all wirelessly.

Any suggestions on a system I could install for a couple of hundred bucks?
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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timjet, I am super interested in this tech. I like the fact that you can access these cameras via internet so you can check on the boat while you are anywhere. I am going to put one on the oil pressure gauge on my gensets just to keep an eye on it and the other good spot is the oil "catch" pan under my detroits to look for a major before the oil pressure drops. I was going to put some in the bilge just to see if I'm taking on water. Back up camera probably not but maybe a side to side so I can see when I'm getting close. Good luck on your search and I am gonna keep an eye on this tread. Paul
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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Simple engine room and back up cameras

The PO had installed two Lorex IR capable cameras in the ER - one oriented to the front of the engine - belts and hydraulic pump and the other looking at the aft end of the engine - shaft and coupling and bilge sump and oil filters. These have hard wired video feeds to an automotive type LCD (think DVD) display at the helm capable of two video input connections. Being IR capable they provide a picture when there is no light in the ER.

I subsequently mounted two Lorex cameras in the cockpit to give us port and starboard stern quarter views when backing down - or even seeing someone walking down the dock (side tied). The video on these is wireless to a receiver at the helm. They too are IR so color in day light and B/W at night. They came with 110v AC to 12v DC power converters. I cut those off and wired the connectors directly to a 12v breaker at the main panel.

Perhaps more details than you are seeking - the LCD display only presents a single image at a time. So with the original two ER cameras we just toggled between the two displays. The wireless receiver is capable of taking four video feeds and configuring a four image display and sending that as a single image to the LCD monitor. So I then ran the wireless receiver through a Radio Shack manual video switch (think A-B switch) along with one of the ER cameras. In this manner I can send through the A-B swith one ER camera (with the other directly connected to the LCD display) and toggle between them as before. Or I can select via the A-B switch the aft camera quad type display to be sent to the LCD monitor and then toggle to it and have both stern quarters displayed.

And finally I've purchased a third Lorex camera (found it on sale and decided to give this a try) like the two I've installed in the cockpit with plans to build a housing out of white StarBoard and mount it on the mast spreader facing aft - just looking out over the stern. This too is a wireless camera and will connect with the wireless receiver so the quad display array will then have three of the four frames filled. I will need to get 12vDC power to this. However I have some spreader lights already mounted - though am planning to replace them - so I should be able to get power to this third exterior camera from the same breaker as used for the aft cameras.

The reason for the StarBoard housing is that, while the cameras or exterior type, Lorex says they are meant to be under an eve or overhang and does not recommend mounting them directly exposed. That's not a problem at all in the cockpit - mounted under the boat deck overhang. I do notice that with temperature changes there is a bit of condensation at times on the inside of the lens cover of the cameras in the cockpit. It hasn't been a problem so far. Time will tell on this. More capable cameras with heating in the housing (eliminate condensation I guess) and pan/tilt and Internet capable along with more sophisticated monitors and recorders are all available. It's only money. I think I'll have less than $300 on all this - materials only. Of course I started with the two ER cameras and the LCD display in place.

I've purchased the cameras from both Lorex directly and from Amazon. I'd heard some reports on marginal customer service at Lorex. My experience has been okay - be patient as you may be on hold for a while. I've not had to interact much though I may need some help getting this new camera synch'd with the existing wireless receiver.

Hope this is helpful and sorry for the length.

Don
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Thanks Don, this is real helpful. What brand and where did you get the receiver.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Simple engine room and back up cameras

Timjet:

The receiver came with the camera from Lorex. As I recall I ordered a camera with receiver from them and then picked up a separate camera (same model) without a receiver from Amazon. The second camera synch'd up fine following their instructions. This third camera I've purchased has a wireless receiver that I shouldn't need as I'm planning to synch this camera with the wireless receiver that's in use. So thinking I'll just hang on to it as a spare.

Welcome to Lorex - Leader in security camera systems

I've no interest in the org and only ended up there because the PO installed cameras were this brand and they seemed to have the most extensive web offerings in combination with reasonable prices. I generally feel you get what you pay for so these may not last long. I decided to chance it. My total cost is something less than 75% of the cost of a single Garmin camera. I've seen a Garmin camera installation. Very impressive and I'm sure of the highest quality. I'm just frugal - some of my friends would say "cheap" - and they may be correct.

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Simple engine room and back up cameras

Timjet

More specifically:

Wireless security cameras

Don
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