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Old 12-10-2016, 06:24   #1
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Masthead camera

Just saw a video of a guy using his drone to navigate the shallows , awesome view from the drone so now i was wondering if a person install a outdoor cam on top of the mast ? should give a good view from there when navigating shallow reefs etc , obviously not using this as main method of navigating but sure think it will help to have that view from up there

Anyone done that or have thoughts on that.
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:55   #2
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Re: Masthead camera

Good idea. A wireless job with pan and tilt with a bracket which fitted into the main sail track so it could be hauled up when needed maybe?
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:43   #3
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Re: Masthead camera

interesting idea, would have to be a good resolution camera
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:45   #4
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Re: Masthead camera

Yes, it is on my "to do" list too!
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:11   #5
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Re: Masthead camera

DDabs, yes but even with my reverse cam on my car it's a ok pic , and even with a low resolution cam just to see the diffs in water colour will be a big advantage

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Old 12-10-2016, 08:36   #6
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Re: Masthead camera

I tried this on a short mast (10 meters). It does not work. Human eyes from the bow give you a better picture. I think it is all about contrast, brightness and resolution.

I think this could work with a very tall mast, very HQ (4K) camera with image stabilisation and a fine big monitor in a very dark nav station.

Maybe also if you use some digital tricks - IR or the likes.

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Old 12-10-2016, 08:38   #7
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Re: Masthead camera

POV camera with wifi out. Just spreader height should do. You might be able to rig a solution on your courtesy flag halyard to hoist aloft. Lots of 4K cameras will give 1080p via wifi at 30 fps.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:56   #8
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Re: Masthead camera

I guess you could mount it on top of the steaming/deck light
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:29   #9
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Re: Masthead camera

Good idea. You better install a little windshield wiper on it for bird poop tho!
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:31   #10
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Re: Masthead camera

I think it's a good idea.

When my mast was out three years ago, I put in coax and power cabling for a PTZ camera to be hung below the radar dome, so 10 meters above the waterline.

My idea was not picking through shallows (although that seems also like a good idea), but to enhance visual watchkeeping with a better view ahead, and also, especially, for docking. In addition, I intended to feed the video feed to my bulkhead 32" monitor so that I could see something about what is going on outside, from my nav table.

I have so far not gotten around to installing the actual camera, but this winter might be the trick at last.

Most modern chartplotter MFD's allow you to display video. Those very bright displays should give a fine image. I don't think very high resolution is necessary to get very useful visual information. Especially docking! Which is a PITA in a boat like mine (with 16' beam) where you can't see the dock at all from the helm.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:45   #11
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Re: Masthead camera

I am about to install one masthead and one lower spreader camera playing to a 12v recorder and monitor under the dodger.

Colour cameras so hope will provide useful info of bow and beyond.


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Old 12-10-2016, 10:14   #12
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Re: Masthead camera

Would a GoPro work well for this or would it be too wide angle?
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:30   #13
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Re: Masthead camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Good idea. You better install a little windshield wiper on it for bird poop tho!
Yep, and a way to charge it and get the signal to where you want it. And it will have to be waterproof.

I suspect that if you think about this for a few days, you will realize that it's not as good an idea as you might have thought at first.

If you can arrange a way to raise the camera when you need it and lower it back down for safekeeping, charging and lens cleaning, it might work.

I've been watching a TV series "Distant Shores" where some of the shots are from the mast.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:37   #14
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Re: Masthead camera

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Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Would a GoPro work well for this or would it be too wide angle?
Most POV cameras are 170* lens so pretty wide angle. The good news is that you can buy non-GoPro 4K cameras for less than $100.

If you view live at 1080p it's more a matter of monitor size. The next step would be a smart phone wifi view mounted in a VR headset.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:27   #15
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Re: Masthead camera

Panbo.com had a review the Garmin version on Aug 31. Shows it mounted at the mast head but I can't imagine going up there every time it needed a recharge.
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