Webcam to watch your boat -- Done! And how-to. - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 56 Old 01-24-2011
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Yes,
I noticed the firestarter too! Over Christmas I cut the cord end off my father-in-laws heater, as it was ready to burst into flames. Then I cut the end of the extension cord, as it too was ready to burn. Finally I tossed the outlet strip it was plugged into because that too was smoking! My brother-in-law brought new cord ends and we made up new cords while others opened presents. I've had to cut the cord ends off of two of my own heaters too.

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post #22 of 56 Old 01-25-2011 Thread Starter
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I've spent hours around that heater and noticed no issues. It is plugged into a power strip with a 15 amp breaker. So it's close to tripping. Any short will trip it. The boat's circuit breaker for all outlets is 16 amps. How is it different from being at our house?

Can one set the heater on low to increase safety? Of course then I'd need two of them.

Are the West Marine heaters any better?


Regards,
Brad
P.S. Interior is not purple. Not sure why it looks that way.

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post #23 of 56 Old 01-25-2011
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I keep warm a lot of product warm at work with electric heat bands that have a 500/1000/1500 watt range switch and a thermostat

At 1000 watts the plug and outlet last pretty much forever at 1500 watts you gotta keep a carefully look and change a lot of plugs

We don't run above 1000 watts anymore which works out well with the 80% rule on circuits

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post #24 of 56 Old 01-25-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom. I'll switch the heater to low power next time I'm on the boat. I don't think the circuit breaker can handle 2 space heaters on low.

We also have a 70 watt bilge-type heater in the engine compartment. That's the one that matters the most. It's plugged into the same outlet as the webcam. And we have a 75 watt light bulb that's securely mounted.

Of course, if I put the salon heater on low, the bottled water and beer might freeze.

Regards,
Brad

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Last edited by Bene505; 01-25-2011 at 06:32 AM.
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post #25 of 56 Old 01-25-2011
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Brad,

The problem with those space heaters is that when they run over 80% of the breaker capacity, they don't trip the breaker but the breaker guts, and the wiring get hot enough to melt. It's what we call "boiling the frog". Also, the key difference, is that at home, you're close enough to shut the heater off, smother the fire, call the fire department, etc. Your boat is 30 minutes away, and the staff may be gone for the evening.

The analogy being, that if you place a frog in a pot of warm water, and slowly turn up the heat over time, the frog will boil alive and not even realize it until it's too late.

A space heater with a thermostat is a safer alternative because you can set it on high, and dial it down so that it cycles on and off, preventing the cable and the breaker from "boiling".

When I was experimenting with charging equipment for my electric car, I melted down a few charging cables by running them over the 80% threshold.

On my boat instead of running a space heater, I just place 75 watt worklights in a couple of strategic spots. This keeps the bilge warm and dry, and the thru-hulls warm so that water doesn't freeze inside of them. It doesn't make the cabin habitable for human beings, but it does protect the equipment.

I apologize if I came off as being a smart-assed know-it-all, that wasn't my intent. I've really enjoyed your posts, and I'd hate to see anything happen to your boat.

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post #26 of 56 Old 01-25-2011
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If you want to cut down on the web traffic and get instant access to your pictures you might consider setting up a simple web server like apache and having that server send an email every hour or so of just the ip address. Then on demand you can call up that ip address and look at your boat at that moment.

The idea of a smart phone doing this is interesting. Android phones do not need to have a sim card to work with wi-fi. I wonder if there is a app that would do this. You could then buy an old generation. A Nexus One is about 300. You could even take flash pictures if the app allowed it.
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post #27 of 56 Old 01-25-2011 Thread Starter
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Bubble,

Thanks for the advice and your concern. I will definitely make a change when I'm next on the boat. (Low power setting.)

How concerned do I have to be about our thru-hulls. Since they are below the water line, I'm figuring they are ok as-is, without any heat on the inside. (We have 22 thru-hulls. Yes, 22.)

Regards,
Brad

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post #28 of 56 Old 01-25-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allene222 View Post
If you want to cut down on the web traffic and get instant access to your pictures you might consider setting up a simple web server like apache and having that server send an email every hour or so of just the ip address. Then on demand you can call up that ip address and look at your boat at that moment.

The idea of a smart phone doing this is interesting. Android phones do not need to have a sim card to work with wi-fi. I wonder if there is a app that would do this. You could then buy an old generation. A Nexus One is about 300. You could even take flash pictures if the app allowed it.
Allene,

The marina's internet set-up does not allow any inbound requests. I could set it up to send a snapshot every 1 hour instead, but I like getting the fresh update, and the images are only 22K in size.

There is a service called DDNS that will give you a virtual dedicated IP address, by the way. It just won't work at the marina. I do have a Plan B. If it works, you will be able to connect to the webcam, pan/tilt, and check out the interior of the boat.

Good idea on the droid not needing wifi. I have something that I'm building for the Droid, not ready to talk about it yet though. Still have a bunch of work to do on it.

Regards,
Brad

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post #29 of 56 Old 01-25-2011
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For you, just the usual caution (double-clamped, keep them closed, etc).

For me? Mine are 42 year-old gate valves, mounted on soggy wooden doughnuts. One is siezed open, and the other is siezed shut. They are fragile, to say the least. That's why I keep 'em warm so that water doesn't freeze inside the bodies and blow the valve hat off, or split the thru-hull body.

It is my intention to haul out in the spring and replace them. Thank God I only have 2 instead of 22.

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post #30 of 56 Old 01-25-2011
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Bene—

DynDNS and the related services DO NOT GIVE YOU A VIRTUAL DEDICATED IP ADDRESS. They give you a dedicated URL (xxxx.dyndns.org) or something similar that points to whatever IP address your router or device is at. The router or device MUST SUPPORT DYNDNS addressing. However, it won't work if you're behind a firewall or router at the marina.

The main advantage of using DYNDNS is for people who want to host a server at home or their office but do not pay the extra charge most ISPs levy for a dedicated IP address. So they are on a dynamic address that may change periodically, but using the DYNDNS service via their router, they can get to their server regardless of how the ISP has changed their IP address.

IP Addresses, currently using IP V4, are very finite, and limited to a format of w.x.y.z, where each is a number between 0-255. However some numbers and subnets are restricted in their use.

For instance, any IP address that starts with a 192.168.x.y is a "private" address space network and generally behind a router or a firewall. In the case of such an address, the subnet would be 192.168.x, the network address would be 192.168.x.0 and the broadcast address would be 192.168.x.255. The gateway address, usually the router or firewall, would often be located at 192.168.x.1, and the network would support up to 253 devices (256-3 (network, gateway and broadcast)). This would be considered a class C subnet.

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Allene,

The marina's internet set-up does not allow any inbound requests. I could set it up to send a snapshot every 1 hour instead, but I like getting the fresh update, and the images are only 22K in size.

There is a service called DDNS that will give you a virtual dedicated IP address, by the way. It just won't work at the marina. I do have a Plan B. If it works, you will be able to connect to the webcam, pan/tilt, and check out the interior of the boat.

Good idea on the droid not needing wifi. I have something that I'm building for the Droid, not ready to talk about it yet though. Still have a bunch of work to do on it.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-25-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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