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Old 07-11-2021, 01:10 AM   #1
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Video cameras

This is just a fork of the discussion in another thread about engine room cameras. I wanted to get my expanded set-up fully tested before posting more detail. I think I am there now.

I started out using one of these kits:

[Expandable 8CH, 2K] Hiseeu Wireless Security Camera System with 1TB Hard Drive with One-Way Audio, 8 Channel NVR 4Pcs 1296P 3.0MP Night Vision WiFi IP Security Surveillance Cameras Home Outdoor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07719HQQS...ing=UTF8&psc=1

...and a small outdoor monitor I had left over after upgrading my OpenCPN plotter to a bigger screen, to monitor my engines, shafts, and genset.

Then I added and integrated one of these remote PTZ cameras to each of the front and back of the boat:

3MP HD Wireless Security Camera Outdoor, Pan Tilt Zoom, Two Way Audio, Motion Detection, Light Alarm with Floodlight Color Night Vision, SD/Cloud Record, Compatible with Hiseeu Wireless Camera System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081PRVDJ3...ing=UTF8&psc=1

To prevent two of the engine room cameras from intermittently "disappearing", I added one of these:

WiFi Repeater, Hiseeu WiFi Range Extender for Hiseeu Security Camera System Wireless https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NRBYM5C...ing=UTF8&psc=1

I am about to install two of these inside and don't envision any problems, but haven't tested them, yet:

【2K,Human Tracking】 Hiseeu Pan/Tilt Wireless Security Camera Indoor,3MP Camera,Two-Way Audio,2.4GHz for Baby/Nanny/Pet,IR Night Vision, SD/Cloud Storage, Suit Hiseeu Wireless Surveillance Cam System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086L7ZYQV...NMGVKV3J7Z3QPN

To make the system cloud-backed and Internet-connected via 5G cellular, I connected one of these to the local NVR:

https://www.att.com/buy/connected-de...pro-black.html

It should be noted that the ability to route from the wired ethernet port to the wireless network isn't an advertised feature of the above device, but based upon the way the manual described the use of the ethernet port for "data offloading", I figured it would work for "data onloading", also -- and was right.

The devices all run on 12VDC, but come with AC adapters. Most I wired to DC circuits, but I am running a couple on invertable outlets right now, just for convenience

I spent about $350 on cameras and the NVR and another $350 for the 5G cellular router refurbished on eBay, as well as for AT&T monthly service in association with my phone's account.

The system worked fine through what we got of Elsa in the Tampa area, even producing pretty clear images during pounding rain.


Along the way I learned some things...
-- The camera adapters are labelled negative tip, but are positive tip.

-- I needed the repeater to get past the engine blocks for a couple of the cameras, at least to avoid the occasional camera disappearing act.

-- This indoor camera is NOT compatible with the NVR:

1080P Security Camera Pan/Tilt/ Zoom Indoor WiFi Camera Pet Camera Smart Home Camera with Infrared/Full-Color Night Vision,Two-Way Audio,Person Detection,Working with Alexa https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X1S3WC5...ing=UTF8&psc=1

-- This camera, despite integrating with the NVR, is manually, NOT remotely, pannable and tiltable:

Hiseeu 2K Security Camera Outdoor,Two-Way Audio,Dome Surveillance IP Camera,Not PTZ Camera,IP66 Waterproof,Motion Detection,Night Vision,12V DC Adapter,Compatible with Hiseeu Wireless System https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HRPQMY3...ing=UTF8&psc=1

-- For reasons I don't understand, some flakiness I originally experienced in the Internet-reachability on the NVR went away when I disabled DDNS.

-- I paid extra for the battery for the Nighthawk cellular router figuring it would be good for backup, but ultimately removed it because, well, the boat has much bigger batteries, so there was no reason to waste energy or wear-and-tear on the device battery keeping it charged.

-- For the distances I am using the outdoor cameras, they work perfectly for my expectations. But, if installed in a smaller boat and lower to deck, depending upon one's expectations, they may not zoom out enough.

-- There are more features accessible on the NVR than via the app. A surprising thing is that there are more light-management options on the NVR, in particular, the ability to be in daylight mode, without visible or IR illumination, at night (even though the app can set each camera for IR or visible illumination at nightl).

-- SD mode generates a blurring of the detail in the ripples of water that seemed artificial to my eye. In HD mode the detail is clear.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:01 AM   #2
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Good info, thanks for the post! We will be doing a similar setup this Fall in our boat. We were going to go with:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T8ZDTTP...v_ov_lig_dp_it

but it's currently unavailable . . . I like the 12" screen over the 10.1" screen. We'll just have to see if it comes back in stock, or find a compatible screen elsewhere.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:45 AM   #3
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Good thread.

I've ran the gamut of cameras over the last couple days. At first I thought I might combine engine room and security cameras and have one system, and I started out looking at wired NVR kits. Through an internet rabbit hole, I ended up looking at components and thought I might build my own. And then I remembered the question that someone asked about minimum focus distance. After researching, I found that a 2.8mm lens has an "identification distance" of about 10'. I only have about 1 foot of room between the front of my engines and the bulkhead.

And then I remembered that I had found an off road camera system for Jeeps. So now I'm thinking about dedicating one of these to engine room monitoringhttps://www.amazon.com/Camecho-Vehicle-Monitor-Waterproof-Trailer/dp/B07DNXH257/ref=psdc_1253823011_t4_B07R6PLBG5

If I keep the systems separate, I can go with a 4ch PoE NVR for security.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by slowgoesit View Post
Good info, thanks for the post! We will be doing a similar setup this Fall in our boat. We were going to go with:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T8ZDTTP...v_ov_lig_dp_it

but it's currently unavailable . . . I like the 12" screen over the 10.1" screen. We'll just have to see if it comes back in stock, or find a compatible screen elsewhere.
Just note, to my knowledge, the cameras are waterproof but -- that screen is not. Thats why I opted for the one without and supplied my own for the flybridge

Also note, to my knowledge, the cameras are on a wireless LAN, the NVR needs to be hooked by ethernet CABLE to the Internet (of course that can be by cable to a wifi router and wifi from there).
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:03 AM   #5
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Also note, to my knowledge, the cameras are on a wireless LAN, the NVR needs to be hooked by ethernet CABLE to the Internet (of course that can be by cable to a wifi router and wifi from there).
There are some NVR's that have BNC connections, which means that you can wire the NVR, and each individual camera to a 12v power source and use the boats 12v battery bank. After that it's just a matter of putting a wifi adapter in the NVR's usb port.
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Old 07-11-2021, 08:44 AM   #6
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There are some NVR's that have BNC connections, which means that you can wire the NVR, and each individual camera to a 12v power source and use the boats 12v battery bank. After that it's just a matter of putting a wifi adapter in the NVR's usb port.
Yes. It is just that, to my knowledge, the specific model referenced doesn't work that way.
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Old 07-11-2021, 09:39 AM   #7
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If you have a true Engine Room... cameras are the way to go for a simple visual check. Unfortunately, must of us have Engine Compartments. If you have a compartment, adding various sensors other than the typical dashboard types that you already have may be the way to go. Just an opinion.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
Just note, to my knowledge, the cameras are waterproof but -- that screen is not. Thats why I opted for the one without and supplied my own for the flybridge

Also note, to my knowledge, the cameras are on a wireless LAN, the NVR needs to be hooked by ethernet CABLE to the Internet (of course that can be by cable to a wifi router and wifi from there).

Good info on the screen, but we don't have a flybridge, rather an enclosed pilothouse, so requiring a waterproof screen is a non issue. NVR does NOT require ethernet cable to internet. The cameras talk directly to the NVR without any other interface, unless you want to monitor remotely, which we don't care about. Thanks for the comments though!


Hturner, we have a full stand up engine room. boat currently has a video setup with forward/aft looking cameras on the mast, and one in ER. The two on the mast need replacing, but since the entire setup is probably 10 to 15 years old, we were going to replace with new.
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Old 07-12-2021, 09:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by slowgoesit View Post
Good info on the screen, but we don't have a flybridge, rather an enclosed pilothouse, so requiring a waterproof screen is a non issue. NVR does NOT require ethernet cable to internet. The cameras talk directly to the NVR without any other interface, unless you want to monitor remotely, which we don't care about. Thanks for the comments though!


Hturner, we have a full stand up engine room. boat currently has a video setup with forward/aft looking cameras on the mast, and one in ER. The two on the mast need replacing, but since the entire setup is probably 10 to 15 years old, we were going to replace with new.
Makes sense!

My situation is different. I have a flybridge, monitor them from the Internet to keep an eye on the boat, and use the ones inside as a motion alarm.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:34 PM   #10
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As for cameras I have an wired rv cam in the engine room, salon and on the mast. these 3 cameras are connected to the video ports on the plotters. I have 2 garmin wireless cams one facing forward and one looking down at at the swim platform for docking. these cams wirelessly connect to the plotters. garmin has some kinks to work out on these. Now for security and monitoring while onboard or afar I have 4 wyze internet cams. these guys are cheap and work well. I have one in Engine room soon to be 2, one in saloon, one above the cabin door showing the dock and entry area and a pan tilt zoom on the underside of our hardtop in our enclosed fly-bridge. All the wyze cams use usb power so they are easy to set up to run off my onboard 12vdc bus. I have them set up to give motion alarms. they can be set up to give sound detected alarms as well.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:49 PM   #11
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With all this great research, can anyone suggest a near-zero latency camera suitable for an actual backup camera? Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:29 PM   #12
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With all this great research, can anyone suggest a near-zero latency camera suitable for an actual backup camera? Thanks.
Likely not if wireless. Too many outside influences.

Any hardwired, wired correctly will assure near zero latency. IP or 1vpp analog (typically bnc or rca connections). POE is easiest and best.

If you're strictly looking for back up camera, most for vehicles provide decent pictures, in real time with fairly low current draw. The biggest challenge is bright reflection that overwhelms the sensor.

I can get much more granular if needed. Feel free to ask questions.

Great thread and input so far. I am under contract on a Californian 48 with survey this Monday in PNW. I plan on adding video throughout. Some great suggestions so far, so thanks to those that shared!
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:56 PM   #13
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If you have wireless cameras and view them locally off of the NVR, you shouldn't have any problem. Latency will be minimal.

It is a local network, without routing or extensive switching, without "reliable protocols" trading latency away for correctness and in-order delivery, with the signal carried by RF between the devices at "The Speed of light". The NVR shoukd be able to keep up fine. And, if it can't, itnisnt a wired vs wireless thing.

If you have cameras, whether wired or wireless, and view them via your phone or tablet via the cellular network, you may notice more significant and variable latency, especially if 3G or 4G (vs true 5G). It is just the nature of the signal going out and coming back over cellular, bandwidth available, and needing to be switched and/or routed between the upstream and downstream legs.

The latency won't be between the cameras and the NVR for either the wired or wireless case. It'll be upstream and downstream to "The Internet".

If you need repeaters, they may add some delay, but likely not much vs docking speeds. I added one, but adjusting the antennas made it not needed.

If your wireless camera connectivity is marginal because of the combined effects of distance and obstructions, e.g.engine blocks, you may occasionally suffer freezes when the data doesn't come through.

I originally had occasional, but brief, freezing with my engine room cameras due to the metal down there. But, adjusting the antennas fixed it.

I have never had the problem.with my forward or rear facing outdoor cameras or cabin cameras, I assume because there isn't much to get in the way of their signal.

I have the 8-camera Hiseeu NVR that comes with 4 fixed cameras I use in the engine room to which I have added 2 indoor PTZ cameras for the cabin as well as forward and rear facing outdoor PTZ cameras. All bought from Amazon. It took a firmware upgrade, but everything runs great.

They have new higher res outdoor PTZ cameras with optical (vs digital) zoom. I'm going to try upgrading to those. I love the camera system. It is reassuring underway and fun to watch when away.
I can also yell out to my neighbors on the dock, using it as an intercom (whether onboard or away)
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:50 AM   #14
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In a perfect environment most of what you say is spot on.

Suggesting wireless isn't subjected to latency is a stretch. With today's wifi and speeds, it is most certainly pretty close. And I also believe under way there should be negligible latency. While wired can be subject to EMI, it is tame compared to wireless. Wireless is as effective as the environment it operates in. This can also hold true for wired, but is much easier to plan around.

Network congestion is an entirely different conversation and both wired and wireless are victims of it. Improper setup is an issue in either case.

In the context of backing a boat into a slip, that split second may or may not matter. And I believe that is the crux of the question as per wfleenor and the reason I myself will use wired for any camera at transom. I'm ok with wireless every where else.

Video is just a different beast compared to anything else on a network. Compression, resolution and frame rate impact delivery and can be exacerbated on wifi. Streaming is altogether another conversation.

I really like how you put your system together although I'm shooting for POE. How our business and home are wired. For me, it's nice and simple.

Apologies for running off at the mouth. IP video is my passion and profession and I tend to get carried away with myself.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:42 AM   #15
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I did /not/ write that it is not subject to latency (.) I /did/ write that it will be "minimal". And, that is correct for any applicable definition of minimal.

There isn't a feedback or head-of-line blocking situation here for one frame to delay the next. Nor is there a significant computational cost to generate a processing bottleneck.

I could go farther into the technical details here. But, this probably isn't the right forum, pardon the pun. If you'd like, I use the same identifier here as I do in the real world. I recently cycled to teaching lower division classes. But, if you drive down on my personal Web page, you'll find the materials from my recent graduate networking classes, where this is covered in detail. Enjoy!

In my message I agreed that the wireless nature of the network can introduce problems, just not latency. I relayed my own, resolved, experience with video occasionally and brief freezing. And, I offered that things like engines and other obstructions make boats fertile ground for these challenges.

Run a POE solution if you'd like one. Encourage others to do the same, if you'd like. I did that for the Wi-Fi repeater on top of my boat. But, my experience has been that safe wiring chase space is scarce and hard to grow. And, when wiring isn't kept both protected and accessible, when things inevitably fail, the wiring can eventually become a maintenance headache. A wire run today could mean a compromise when trying to do something else that needs that space tomorrow.

I haven't gone crazy with wireless devices, but where I have them, I've found that they isolate failures to easily identifieable single components in accessible spaces. Debugging, upgrades and replacements are lighting fast. And, I've found my wireless devices very reliable, at least after some initial tweaking.

Even in a packed and active marina, with independent marina data, radar, camera, and personal data wireless networks aboard my own boat, I havent had any problem with interference among wireless devices or with other forms of EMI.

Please understand, this isn't a thought experiment for me. I have 8 cameras up and running. I posted pictures in a thread here. I've been able to experience how they work in practice and monitor their network traffic while poking at things.
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:55 PM   #16
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I have a wired IP camera and did run tests today - hung a tablet in front of the camera runing a stopwatch and ran another stopwatch next to the screen in the pilothouse. Found no latency either directly I did find a significant (20-40 seconds) delay when trying to view through a raspberry pi 4. Thanks for everyones' input.
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Old 10-16-2021, 07:04 PM   #17
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Just as a follow-up on my camera searches, I have found that an ESP32-CAM will transmit over a LAN to a raspberry pi4 with nearly zero latency. So I have put together 2 units and set each to look straight down the sides of my 23ft beam boat to back into my slip.
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