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Old 17-06-2019, 07:46   #1
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Seeing at Night

From my experience it is hard to see anything from inside a cabin while traveling at night. Sometimes it is difficult to even see other boat lights. And it is not always practical to navigate outside of an enclosure. On my last trip I used a SiOnyx Aurora camera clamped to a bow rail. This camera connects to a tablet or laptop via wifi so the camera view is displayed on the remote device allowing you to see what is outside while remaining inside. The camera is not infrared but uses available light to illuminate objects. That means when it was a moonless night the image, which is like watching a video, would be very grainy/static. I could still see the horizon but barely. However, even then any light would clearly be visible - I was seeing boat lights showing up on the horizon (see still image). But when there was some moonlight the image was very clear. I had to change the battery every 1.5 hours and the one spare battery would recharge within that amount of time.

The other images posted are in Portsmouth, Dominica at midnight taken with a cell phone and then with the Aurora camera. The sailboat was about 40 yards away. The boat on the left in the last image did not have a light and was not visible with the naked eye at about 120 yards away.

For me the camera was well worth the price just by reducing the discomfort level with traveling at night. If you plan to buy wait until holidays, etc. and they will usually have discounts.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:30   #2
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Re: Seeing at Night

Usually on light intensification cameras anything red shows up extremely bright, way brighter than a white light of the same intensity, and usually green lights don’t show up well at all.

Have you noticed any of this?
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Old 17-06-2019, 10:05   #3
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Re: Seeing at Night

That's a pretty dang neat idea. Did you have any way to protect the camera on the bow from salt spray, etc.?

In a general way, I hate new technology - but night vision really has some practical benefits. Makes me hypocritical unfortunately..
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Old 17-06-2019, 10:22   #4
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Re: Seeing at Night

You are obligated to look around all 360 degrees, not just forward. This sounds like a way to become complacent. Hazards don't always come from the bow.

It might not be practical to leave the cabin for a good look around but it is essential for safety.
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Old 17-06-2019, 10:54   #5
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Re: Seeing at Night

The camera is water resistant and certainly got wet when I used it without any problems. I didn't really pay attention to red light, green light, white light. I just know that I was able to see an approaching boat that had lights on far in the distance. The bottom line is I felt I was able to "see" better while navigating at night.
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Old 17-06-2019, 11:03   #6
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Re: Seeing at Night

Does the camera spot the things that go bump in the night?

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Old 17-06-2019, 11:17   #7
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Re: Seeing at Night

Right up on the mast, self-leveling, 360° rotation pan/tilt control, gyro-stabilised, both low light and full IR

In a few years, AI packages will be cheap, great assist for singlehanded-passagemaking.

Self-captained boats in the commercial sectors will lead the way, each advance appearing in cheap-Chinese consumer-level stuff within months
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Old 17-06-2019, 13:44   #8
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Re: Seeing at Night

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Right up on the mast, self-leveling, 360° rotation pan/tilt control, gyro-stabilised, both low light and full IR

In a few years, AI packages will be cheap, great assist for singlehanded-passagemaking.

Self-captained boats in the commercial sectors will lead the way, each advance appearing in cheap-Chinese consumer-level stuff within months

That's interesting, and I don't see why it wouldn't happen. I have issues with any un-captained boat, especially one able to do massive damage though. But just like alarms programmed for radar, I'm sure an infrared camera could set off an alarm from an object tracking into the field of view. That would be a great help at night.
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Old 17-06-2019, 14:26   #9
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Re: Seeing at Night

Wouldn't mind being woken up to chat with a whale.

But I'll ask the AI to let me keep sleeping when the Kraken shows upClick image for larger version

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Old 17-06-2019, 15:44   #10
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Re: Seeing at Night

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Originally Posted by clayzone View Post
The camera is water resistant and certainly got wet when I used it without any problems. I didn't really pay attention to red light, green light, white light. I just know that I was able to see an approaching boat that had lights on far in the distance. The bottom line is I felt I was able to "see" better while navigating at night.

Including the one coming up fast from astern?
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Old 17-06-2019, 15:48   #11
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Re: Seeing at Night

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... And it is not always practical to navigate outside of an enclosure.

I have to disagree.


It is ALWAYS practical to maintain a lookout outside of an enclosure!


It may not be overly comfortable, but failure to do so is just poor seamanship and a danger to yourself and others.
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Old 17-06-2019, 16:34   #12
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Re: Seeing at Night

Sailing has become an inside sport.
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Old 17-06-2019, 17:08   #13
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Re: Seeing at Night

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And it is not always practical to navigate outside of an enclosure.
That's quite scary to see that written down by someone on a boat.
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Old 17-06-2019, 17:41   #14
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Re: Seeing at Night

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That's quite scary to see that written down by someone on a boat.
The OP could just stay at home and watch youtube sailing videos. It would save a lot of trouble and expense.
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Old 17-06-2019, 22:55   #15
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Re: Seeing at Night

I have a fluke handheld thermal camera for my work. At night, you can see an as amazing amount of stuff that you can't see by eye, especially warm objects like mammals. It would be very useful for search and rescue and security. I'm going to try it some night for entering a mooring field.
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