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post #1 of 20 Old 11-26-2017 Thread Starter
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boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Looking for some suggestions for a solar powered webcam/security camera to monitor my 34' sailboat with a two AGM house bank battery system while its on the mooring. I searched on sailnet for past threads and saw the one posted in 2011 - 2013. Are there any threads that are more recent?
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-27-2017
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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

This has some interesting possibilities. It is not solar powered but the draw may not be much. Very interesting developer.
http://brnkl.io
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-27-2017
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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Where are you?

I'm pretty sure that you can get cellular wifi enabled cameras in Europe, but not the US. Not sure why.

Step one in the US is to figure out the bandwidth necessary for internet access. Most marina's around here will do something to prevent their wifi access from being used as a 24/7 vid streaming portal. Ours kicks you out every 24 hrs and requires a separate screen to access. No password, just a step that a dumb unit can't automatically access. I'm sure this is to keep the entire marina from doing this.

The only alternative I can find around here is a cellular based hot spot that would run about $100 per month.

Once you figure this out, there are all sorts of systems out there. DropCam, Simplisafe, etc.

Several of them (like Simpisafe) have cellular capable wireless intruder detection, along with internet alerts to your smartphone, but all that I've found require 110v electricity and wifi to power a video camera, if you want one. I bet a small inverter off a battery that was being recharged via solar would work. You would have to cobble it all together.


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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Thank you both for the information. I will look more into the cellular systems. I am just getting started with this thought; my boat got hit last year and put an $8,000.00 hole in her side. I am on Nantucket, MA.
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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

What is needed is a subscription... reasonable rate.... web cam(s) accessible via the www in populated harbors. Several marinas and other locations offer web cams. As a business the harbor sites' web cams could be supported by advertising and include PSAs, tide info and so forth. This is doable... but it would require enough cams to cover the entire harbor and sufficient resolution to see clearly. The cams could also have mini weather stations! The cams would have to have power and connect to the www and be "addressable" ... perhaps show as locations on a google map.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Tried something similar at my marina. The problem I ran into, and I tried two separate makes/models of camera with "quick easy setup via free app" was I needed direct access to the wi-fi router. Entering just the username and password in the app was supposed to work but didn't, so I needed to use the other method in the instructions which required configuring the router. Not to many marinas out there would be willing to accommodate that I imagine.

After returning the second camera I started doing more research like asking questions on Amazon, etc. I never got a single response indicating that all was needed was a wi-fi login on any model, they all responded that initial setup required having access to the hardware. This was a couple years ago though, maybe there's newer stuff out that will actually do what it advertises.


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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

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Originally Posted by JoeDunn View Post
......my boat got hit last year and put an $8,000.00 hole in her side. I am on Nantucket, MA.
Ouch! Were you at a slip in the basin or on a mooring. You year round out there?

I took for granted that you wanted to be able to access this camera remotely, which is going to require that you get your own dedicated wifi/cellular access. If at a slip out there, is there any chance they send cable TV to your slip? If so, you just may be able to get your own router. If at a mooring, you'll need a cellular hot spot.

If you don't need to see the pics remotely, there are all sorts of cameras that will simply record for your return. Some are designed to take picture of hunting game in the woods. However, the same concept is used for security cameras, even hidden cameras. You just download the video/image chip, when you return.


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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

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Originally Posted by JoeDunn View Post
Thank you both for the information. I will look more into the cellular systems. I am just getting started with this thought; my boat got hit last year and put an $8,000.00 hole in her side. I am on Nantucket, MA.
I'm not normally the "stir it up guy" in life, especially at my marina, but I know your pain as someone crashed into me last year and punched a hole in my side deck. Never found the guy, no confessions to date.

Have you considered talking with other marina folks to see if anyone else feels cameras on the field would be good? Maybe it's something you guys can bring up with the marina owners (like a union would in way). Let them know your concerns and maybe they will put cameras up. I don't imagine for them it would be an incredible cost compared to possibly losing business over it. Not that I would threaten to leave, but I think any reasonable request would at least be heard by the owner from his\her customers.

PS: I asked at my marina, but there's less than a dozen real boats there and the place is run by the township. I get the impression there is really no money to go around as is. Option 2 is hang a trail cam or two on your mast, paint it silver to blend it. The next person who hits you will at least have their picture taken.

Some youtube videos, nothing fancy


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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Zero competition in Nantucket. And a line at the door, at least in season. I suspect their complaint department has a trap door in it.

However, I would be surprised if the basin didn't already have cameras, come to think of it. I'm guessing this unidentified ramming occurred in the mooring field (also a single provider, no relation to the basin marina).


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Re: boat monitoring via web cam/security camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDunn View Post
Looking for some suggestions for a solar powered webcam/security camera to monitor my 34' sailboat with a two AGM house bank battery system while its on the mooring. I searched on sailnet for past threads and saw the one posted in 2011 - 2013. Are there any threads that are more recent?
Assuming you have at least cell service at your mooring, your best option would be the Blink XT camera up-linked to the internet (via wifi) through a mobile hotspot device (Verizon version HERE).

The Blink XT camera is weatherproof, has motion detection, infrared night vision, and has a two year battery life. Purchase comes with a free account for web monitoring while at home, and a smartphone app for monitoring while on the run.

For the up-link to the internet, you'll also need to purchase a mobile hotspot device. These devices are typically procured through your current cellphone provider, and added to your existing 'plan', just as you would if you were to add another cellphone.

Since the Blink XT camera can survive two years on a single charge, no need to worry about its electrical needs. The mobile hotspot device can live off its 12V charge cord plugged into a 12V receptacle on the boat. Easy_peasy_lemon_squeezy.

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