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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 04-10-2011
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webcam lookout

I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I'll stick it here for lack of a better location. It's not gear because AFAIK, it doesn't exist.

I notice that more and more, people are using laptops aboard. While watching a sailing video today, I got to thinking: Why not mount a webcam rig at the masthead that contains a 360 degree conical mirror, and connect it to a laptop with the software to correct the view. Granted the resolution may not be the greatest, but you'd certainly have a much greater range of view than you would at deck level. You could probably also sub in some sort of cheap surveillance camera as long as you could make the 360 view look right.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-10-2011
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I've toyed around with ideas on cameras aboard, but you would need an Internet connection and most marinas charge for their access.

Let me know if you have any ideas on this.
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Old 04-10-2011
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Well, heck yeah. Mount a high def camera on the masthead. 360 view or just put it on a motorized turret. The key is to have a 60 inch TV monitor mounted under the dodger.
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Old 04-10-2011
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you could mount a camera, or cameras, anywhere you want, and run it on a monitor rather than a laptop, pretty much just the same as is done for security at any land based place.
However, you still have to watch it, so what is the advantage of watching it below decks or above, unless it is bad weather?
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Old 04-10-2011
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I could see how this could be good for long range scanning of the horizon in the day light hours.
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Old 04-10-2011
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You'd have to use a gimball mount though, a camera doesn't compensate for movement of the boat like your eyes do.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Absolutely, a dampened gimball mount of some sort. I wasn't thinking security, so being web enabled hadn't been a consideration, but if it could be pointed downwards that would be a neat side effect.

I was thinking that as an aid to regular watchkeeping it could be part of the "scan" process to get more advanced notice of something approaching. I was also thinking that you'd better be able to see things that don't show readily from surface like containers and such.

I have no plans to make or market such a device, but was curious as to what others might contribute to the idea in case I decide I need one someday.

Thank you for your responses.
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Old 04-11-2011
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Paul from the multihull forum. Had a camera that moves on his mast, so he could watch coral when appproaching land. There are camera built for the weather for this application..........i2f
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Old 04-11-2011
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Could one not mount a wireless camera at or near one's masthead and use image stabilizing software on one's computer for viewing? There seems to be some very effective software available at reasonably low or no cost.

FWIW...
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Old 04-11-2011
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Hadn't even considered underwater features. Thanks

Wireless would be nice as well, then you wouldn't need to run an extra cable up the mast.
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