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Old 23-05-2013, 16:06   #1
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Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

This is such a simple idea that I thought it was already posted or not at all. Based on my search, it may be the latter.

Like most cruisers, I own a cell phone, more specifically an iPhone 5, and I have found its built in camera and flash to be an indispensable tool aboard my boat, when doing maintenance and repairs. It is perfect for getting into small spaces, like under sinks, and Racor fuel filters, to take a picture of how a plumbing part is connected, and to see of there is water or sludge that needs to be drained. It is the perfect communication device to take pictures of a needed part and sending it in an email to a long distance supplier or to walk in with to a chandlery to make cetain that the part you buy is the part you need.

If you haven't used your (smart) phone's capability this way, try it. It saves a lot of time and effort.

If you have used your (smart) phone in other useful ways aboard, please share them here.
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Old 23-05-2013, 17:57   #2
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

My overseas customers email photos all the time. It can really help identify the item they need. I wish my local customers would bring in pictures more often.
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Old 23-05-2013, 18:06   #3
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
If you have used your (smart) phone in other useful ways aboard, please share them here.
When my boat was new, I had a couple of warranty issues. The manufacturer asked for photos, which I could email directly through the iPhone. Within an hour of taking the snapshots, I had received authorization for repairs from customer services.

Pretty slick.
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Old 23-05-2013, 18:25   #4
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

I two have found the "photo of a place I could not get my head into" a great use of my "phone".

Absolutely fantastic for finding leaks on both boat and car.
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Old 23-05-2013, 18:31   #5
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Even before I had a digital camera, if I had to do any work on the boat I would make a sketch of the before (and if I remembered! ) an after picture. I had a film camera, but couldn't, in most cases, wait a week for the pictures to come back. Sorry to date myself so easily!

Not everyone can make sketches, I learned. But I still think the one of our Lewmar winches is better than any Calder/Pardey/sailing guru "How To Manual" or photo!

I still keep referring to it. Now, if I could only get back and do the work itself.
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Old 23-05-2013, 18:53   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
This is such a simple idea that I thought it was already posted or not at all. Based on my search, it may be the latter.

Like most cruisers, I own a cell phone, more specifically an iPhone 5, and I have found its built in camera and flash to be an indispensable tool aboard my boat, when doing maintenance and repairs. It is perfect for getting into small spaces, like under sinks, and Racor fuel filters, to take a picture of how a plumbing part is connected, and to see of there is water or sludge that needs to be drained. It is the perfect communication device to take pictures of a needed part and sending it in an email to a long distance supplier or to walk in with to a chandlery to make cetain that the part you buy is the part you need.

If you haven't used your (smart) phone's capability this way, try it. It saves a lot of time and effort.

If you have used your (smart) phone in other useful ways aboard, please share them here.
Exactly what my wife did when we had a leak behind the water heater. Turned on the light, shot a video in a 180 around both fittings and we were able to pinpoint easily.
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Old 24-05-2013, 00:27   #7
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Yes it's great for finding lost screws under the engine etc.

I also find photos a great way to communicate when you don't speak the local language.
Showing a shopkeeper a photo on your phone is much easier than trying to describe what you are looking for. Google images makes it easy to download a photo.
I also use it to describe locations to taxi drivers in foreign countries. Street names are often impossible to find.
Show a taxi driver a photo, on your phone, of a prominant lanmark near the cove where you are anchored, and there is little risk you will end up in the wrong place. (Or use the maps as described below)

There are lots of other useful things to do with a smartphone. I generally stop at new island every couple weeks and always download a map from google. With the inbuilt GPS you cannot get lost.
It is also a much easier way to get directions to shops etc. Even if you have little common language, locals recognise maps of their own town and can point to the location on the phone.
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Old 24-05-2013, 00:33   #8
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Used it for photos of electric connections before removing a piece of equipment.

Used it for the layout of the pushrods on my FP Generator engine as it is easy to get them the wrong way round.
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Old 24-05-2013, 06:35   #9
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Here's an even better device for getting a look into those tight places...
2M USB Endoscope Camera with 4 White LED Light New | eBay

Got myself one of these and it works great. You can capture videos or stills, and the camera end is waterproof. Might be the best $15 I ever spent.
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Old 24-05-2013, 09:34   #10
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

"Here's an even better device for getting a look into those tight places...
2M USB Endoscope Camera with 4 White LED Light New | eBay"

That's great! Think what you can save by giving yourself a colonoscopy!
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Old 24-05-2013, 09:58   #11
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

"Here's an even better device for getting a look into those tight places...
2M USB Endoscope Camera with 4 White LED Light New | eBay"


Now if that would run on Android and I could hook it to my tablet it would be perfect.
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Old 24-05-2013, 11:00   #12
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Re: Cell Phone Cameras and Boat Maintenance

Hi:

Given the number of times my eyes are 3 feet away from my hands and the object of my current swearing session, I am not convinced that $200 spent on one of those inspection video cameras wouldn't be a bad idea.

Boulter
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