Broad IP camera support, a Raymarine advantage

When I outfitted Have Another Day to begin cruising I wanted better visibility of several areas of the boat. IP cameras are the natural way to tackle this but once I realized I wanted five or more cams the cost of MFD manufacturer branded models quickly became prohibitive. Fortunately I’d already decided to go with Raymarine MFDs and some digging revealed strong support for a commonly used IP video standard.

The back of an 8617 with ample network ports as well as CVBS (analog video) input

MFDs have support for a varying mix of IP and analogue cameras. Most MFDs don’t support networking analog inputs — the only exception I know of is Garmin’s 8600 series which can encode analog onto the network Edit 10/23 – Raymarine supports the same feature within their Axiom Pro and Axiom XL MFDs — so if you have multiple helms and want to view them at each location you would need to split the signal and run cables to both helms. Plus, MFDs typically support one or two analog inputs so if you want more you would need an external switch box of some sort. IP cameras on the other hand only need to be connected to the network to be viewed at each connected display.

Raymarine, Garmin, and Navico each offer small, high resolution, low light sensitive cameras but all carry list prices around $500 or more. But, Navico’s camera is an analog model and to my knowledge there’s still not IP cam support in their software. Regardless, five cameras at $500 each was a larger investment than I was hoping to make.

I completed the first installs in early 2016 when LightHouse II (LHII) was the current operating system for Raymarine’s MFDs. Some posts on the old Raymarine forum (which is no longer available) gave me hope that the LHII MFDs would support generic cameras with ONVIF (a standard developed for security cameras to make interoperability simpler) support.

A $50 IP camera keeping watch over Have Another Day’s stern

I purchased several different models of IP cameras from Amazon expecting some struggle. I selected different models hoping I would be able to figure out how to make one work and could then purchase enough to meet my needs. To my pleasant surprise each of the different models worked with nearly no fuss. I made sure that ONVIF support was enabled in the firmware and that no passwords were set, but they all came from the factory properly set. Once the cameras were connected to my Raymarine network they were quickly discovered and available to view on all the MFDs connected to the network. The models I bought for experimenting are no longer available but a quick search of 2 megapixel ONVIF certified IP cameras reveals plenty still available, including this one for $40.

With five cameras installed, one watches the cockpit, two look aft to port and starboard, and two mind the engine room — one aimed down the walkway between the two engines and the other focused on the Seakeeper. Physical installation was pretty easy, with a single 1 1/2 inch hole required for the power and Ethernet connections and then four small holes for the screws holding a each in place. Most use small Allen screws to adjust the aim; I’ve found these to be especially problematic in a marine environment, though many marine models use similar aiming mechanisms.



The Ethernet network supporting the Raymarine MFDs utilizes their SeaTalk HS connectors — like the round connector on the right in the photo above. While I could have located another Raymarine HS5 (actually it would have taken two since I have five cams and need one of the five ports on the HS5 for an uplink) in the engine room I instead decided to use an inexpensive 8-port standard Ethernet switch, but I made sure it was powered with 12v DC so I could power it off the DC panel. The switch supporting them is connected to one of the HS5s via a SeaTalk HS to RJ45 cable like the one above right.

The cameras I bought support POE so I’d been hoping to find a POE Ethernet switch to power them but was unable to find one that would run on 12 volts. So, instead I went with the passive POE power injectors pictured above left. These allow 12v to be supplied at the source and then run along the length of CAT5/6 cable and then split back out at the other end and inserted into the camera’s power connector. The last piece of the wiring puzzle, power pigtails, were found at Monoprice for $0.29 a piece.

When I made the move from LightHouse II based e-series MFDs to LightHouse III based Axioms I was very happy to find my already installed cameras worked as soon as the new MFDs were connected to the network. In fact, a few features I could never get working in LHII, like quad views have worked flawlessly since day one on LHIII. And, those cameras have worked reliably alongside the Raymarine CAM210 I installed for ClearCruise AR as well as the FLIR M232 thermal unit. It’s worth noting that Raymarine’s ClearCruise AR overlays do require a Raymarine branded camera for support — which makes sense given the sensor and lens specific information they need to have to stitch together the image and information overlays.

Using the Cameras

Both cameras are looking at the same dockbox, but it’s on opposite sides because the top camera is in mirror mode

Have Another Day came from the factory with a Voyager analog camera system with an engine room and stern docking camera. The stern camera is in mirror mode which flips the image horizontally so it appears as it would if you’re looking in a mirror. This is important if you’re going to use the camera for docking as it means that when you look at the display (which is mounted on the dash and hence forward-facing) port is port and starboard is starboard, rather than being flipped as they otherwise would be with a forward-facing display and aft-facing camera. To preserve this same functionality I’ve enabled mirror mode on the two aft-facing cams– but not the cockpit view shown in the bottom of the above image.

Although the cameras have been very reliable, this one’s finish hasn’t been

The cameras have been very reliable over the nearly four years they’ve been on the boat, but one of them is showing its age (and perhaps price) with a finish that is peeling off. It’s unsightly but so far hasn’t affected functionality at all. But there are other options; for example, Iris’ line of marine IP cameras all support ONVIF and offer a broad range of cameras in housings designed for the marine environment. Iris even offers several through-hull cameras for a view of what’s under the boat.

Recording the cameras

The only thing lacking from Raymarine’s IP camera support is surveillance recording. In fairness to Raymarine MFDs are not security devices and they’ve never claimed they were. But, there’s peace of mind knowing that activity is recorded and if necessary I could refer back to the recordings. I’ve long used a $60 software package called Blue Iris at home to serve as a network video recorder (NVR). I couldn’t see any reason this wouldn’t work for recording the output of my cameras so I connected a network interface on my Intel NUC to the Raymarine network and fired up Blue Iris. Within a few minutes I had all the cameras configured, including the CAM210 installed forward looking for ClearCruise AR.

With Blue Iris running on the PC on the boat I’ve configured nGrok for remote access to the Blue Iris web interface (shown above) or their mobile app to checkup on the boat. Blue Iris’ clip storage is limited only by the amount of hard drive capacity available on the computer. I’m able to store about 30 days of activity in about 200gb and that can be reduced by adjusting the size and frame rates of the recordings.

My total investment in the cameras, cabling, switch and adapters is around $400 the total climbs some if I factor in the expense of Blue Iris and the PC doing the recording but those were components I had on hand. For a relatively small cost (especially by boat standards) I have much better visibility around the boat and the confidence that it’s all being recorded and archived.



Similar Posts:


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Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, completed the Great Loop in 2017.

35 Responses

  1. Gordon Lewandowski says:

    Are there any wireless IP cameras that would work? It’s a lot easier to get a 12v tap in various places on our Bayliner 4788 than it is to pull CAT5 cable.

    Thanks for all that you guys do – very informative and your articles have driven a few purchase directions . . .

  2. I just came across these: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/litmor-battery-cam-ultra-affordable-security-cam

    They’re wifi cameras at a very reasonable price. Using and old iPad mounted in the pilot house is what I’m aiming for using about 4 of them. No wires. Just plug them into a USB port when off the boat. Remount into click min tings when back on board.

  3. Gordon Lewandowski says:

    Extremely reasonable pricing and good design. The few reviews on the Apple App Store for their security light are scathing. But at $100 for two cameras it’s not a huge gamble. I’m waiting to hear back on availability and also on the apps support for video input from multiple cameras. Would be cool if the worked on the Axiom I have installed!

    • Randy Repass Jr says:

      Hi Gordon, what you comment directed at my comment on the indiegogo cameras? I think so. Anyway, they’ve just prolonged their campaign there to ship in late November early December, which is very common for these campaigns. The app on the App Store has an odd rating, as the camera is not yet available. So I’m not sure how they could even test it.

  4. Gordon says:

    Reviews posted about another Litmor product. A motion sensing security camera with floodlights. Not the same product. Just learned that the app doesn’t support spilt screen for multiple cameras. Yet. But they are apparently working on it.

  5. Brian says:

    You can use a 12VDC to 48VDC converter to allow you to use a standard PoE switch on a 12V DC system (eg: https://i.imgur.com/1iLQt6w.jpg )

    Blue Iris is OK, but it can be kind of a resource hog and a bit clunky. I’d look at the free version of Milestone, unless you have more than 8 cameras.

  6. Neziak says:

    Ben, thank you for a great article. I have to expand my network in order to add cameras and I wondered if a Raymarine HS5 is really necessary for networking Raymarine HS components (radar, Axiom, RMK10, etc) or can it be simply substituted by a cheaper unmanaged switch similar to the one that you have for your cameras? All the components would need to be connected using Raynet to RJ45 cables or an equivalent adapter.
    If this solution works, what is the advantage of the HS5 switch over a generic switch?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      I’ve done just that with success previously. Raymarine will tell you the fully supported configuration uses their switch. I think this is mostly because they don’t want to introduce the variability of unknown switches into the network. But, I don’t believe there’s anything special from an Ethernet switching perspective happening within the hs5.

      One thing to consider is a regular Ethernet switch will need to be mounted in a dry location. RJ-45 connectors are very far from weatherproof.

  7. Alex says:

    Hi,
    I was just trying to connect a 3rd Party IP camera (exactly DAHUA HFW1230SP) to my Raymarine Axiom 9″ and it does not work. This camera it’s ONVIF compatible, RTSP, H.264, etc. You said ONVIF must be enabled but in the Raymarine Forum says ONVIF should be disabled: http://forum.raymarine.com/showthread.php?tid=31

    My Axiom recognizes the IP Camera and I can see it’s exact name, but I can’t see the video, only a black screen. It´s configured with anonymous login, H.264 Video Compression, Dynamic IP Adress, etc.
    Looking back into the Raymarine Forum I found a person with the same problem as me but he says that at a previous software version was working just fine: http://forum.raymarine.com/showthread.php?tid=9194&highlight=H.264+camera

    Can you tell me exactly which software version are you using? And which are the models of the Amazon cameras you bought?

    The only thing it worked for me was with an Axis M7011 Encoder (Factory configuration) and an analog camera.

    I’ll be very grateful with your response, and maybe it’s someone with the same problem as me that can tell me his experience.

    Thanks,
    Alex.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Hi Alex,

      That link doesn’t say that ONVIF must be disabled, it says “(ONVIF User Authentication MUST BE DISABLED)”. If you’ve disabled ONVIF it definitely won’t work as that’s how the Axiom is negotiating with the camera. Please turn ONVIF back on but turn user authentication off and let us know if that worked any better.

      -Ben S.

      • Alex says:

        Hi Ben,
        Thanks for your response.
        Sorry, it was my confusion then.
        That’s right, what i’m disabling in my camera is ONVIF User Authentication and it’s not working.
        The strange thing is that the Axiom detects the camera but no image comes out.

        Alex.

        • Brian says:

          You might also want to confirm it is set for 1920×1080 max resolution, and try different (lower) bitrates and framerates. Also try different H.264 encoding options, if possible (I’d recommend Base encoding, not High).

          FWIW, I have found that some cameras just do not work, even though they are ONVIF compliant, support unauthorized streams, etc.

          • Alex says:

            Yes, I’ve tried every configuration you say and it does not work.
            I think it could be some authentication problem with that camera or something. But the strange thing is that I can see the video in the Web Browser without any user or password, just like the Axis Encoder does.

            So, I would be grateful if you tell me some Brand or some Amazon link of any camera that you are sure that works with the Axiom.

    • gregy says:

      hi alex, that was me on the raymarine support site.
      since that time, i changed out the original dahua camera and substituted it with a newer camera, and to date succesuve Lh3 updates seem ok,
      i must say each time i upgade axiom firmware, i cringe in case it again breaks the cameras, so far all good.
      looking back, i can only assume – as i did at the time, it was related to some incompatability with earlier ONVIF versionin camera, and some change made in LH3 – despite raymarine claim no such change was made.
      also FWIW … im using a 4MP camera … but reduce the resolution in camera config,
      and all ok (total 3 cameras).
      similar to others here – im using a separate POE switch (powered by a 24 to 48V DC convertor) for the cameras, and its non POE port connected to raymarine raynet switch.

  8. Keith Pleas says:

    Ben? How is your network configured? I see from your Blue Iris web shot that you’re using 192.168.x.x so it looks like you’re using DHCP from an onboard router for your cameras. But Raymarine says that all their devices uses a Class A address block starting with 10.x.x.x. In particular, I have a joined Ethernet / Raynet network like I think you have, and when I power on a connected IP camera it’s getting a 10.x.x.x address from one of my Axiom MFDs.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Keith,

      The PC that is recording sits on two networks with two separate network adapters. I maintain separate networks for each MFD brand on the boat, plus a boat network. The boat network uses 192.168.101.0/24 addressing while the Raymarine network is, as you noted, a 10.x.x.x address space. I’ve removed the default routes for the Raymarine network adapter on the PC so that only next hop traffic is sent on that adapter.

      Hope that helps.
      -Ben S.

      • Neziak says:

        Hi Ben. How do you remove the default routes? I assume this is to reduce traffic on Raynet.

        Another question – have you found a way of injecting internet into Raynet through Ethernet rather than WiFi?

        Neziak

        • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

          Neziak,

          I remove the default route on the Raymarine network adapter because I don’t want the computer to try and reach the internet via the Raymarine network since that network doesn’t have an internet connection. Long ago I tried adding an internet connected device on the Raymarine network but it didn’t work. Tht was many firmware revisions ago and so while it’s possible something has changed I suspect it hasn’t.

          -Ben S.

      • Keith Pleas says:

        Hah! I knew it must be something like that! When I bridged the networks my devices started getting those private IPs – I thought I was losing my mind until I figured out the MFDs had to be supplying them. BTW, for others trying to make this happen I suggest getting the ONVIF Device Manager from SourceForge – make sure you can get the image to display there first before trying to get it to display on the MFDs.

  9. Keith Pleas says:

    Ben – one more question – other than having IP cameras on both networks, what else are you sharing with the Raymarine network?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      At present that’s the only link between the two networks. When I first installed the Raymarine network I had a WiFi access point on that network so I could connect a PC easily for debugging (especially as I configured the ONVIF cameras) but over time I found that wasn’t necessary.

      -Ben S.

  10. gregy says:

    I have a similar situation, and when bridging the boat network to raynet, i started to have unexplained lockups and resets on the axiom MFDs ,
    i removed the bridging cable and all ok. so from my experience,
    definitely not a good idea to have an “uncontrolled” beidge.
    hence a method similar to bens to keep the two networks separated needs to be implemented.
    in my case, currently trying to configure a mikrotik to separate majority of traffic, but still allow boat network to reach IP cameras on the raynet… without upsetting their being administered (DHCP etc) by the axiom MFDs ….

  11. Philip says:

    Newbie dumb question. I’ve searched all oer and can’t figure this out – I’d like to connect 2 cameras to my es128. The IP cameras will be connected to a standard switch via RJ45 (not the HS5, just standard switch) and powered separately (not POE). This part I get. Where I’m confused is how the switch is then connected to the Raymarine network.

    Does the switch then plug into a SeatalkNG 5-WAY connector via the RayNet to Rj45 cable so the cameras become discoverable on the SeatalkNG network? Or do they need to connect another way? Thanks in advance!

    • Brian says:

      You need to connect your switch to the RayNet port on the es128.
      Seatalkng is NMEA2000, and there is no support for any kind of video via NMEA2000, no matter what a manufacturer call it.

  12. Al says:

    I have tried to install a TrendNet 1 MP camera with no success. I turned off authentication. I tried the default port 554 as well as 8554. It works easily with VLC player on a Raspberry Pi computer. It is assigned an IP address thru an Amcrest POE switch. DHCP is enabled. I don’t know what else to check. I tried this before and after the most recent software upgrade for Axiom. One thing I noticed was that my Raspberry pi and laptop both were able to access the internet thru ethernet when Axiom was logged onto wifi.

  13. Carlo says:

    Hi Ben, I read your article with great interest, thank you for sharing your experience.
    I’ve been trying to do more or less the same on my boat for some time but currently I have two problems:

    The first is my Axis M2025-LE IP CAM.
    It worked great for over a year attached to the Axiom12 MDF as it came out of the box.
    Since I had the bad idea of ​​updating the firmwares of the camera and the Axiom12, the MDF no longer sees the camera.
    The problem is that the Axis IP CAM webpage, upon first access, forces you to create a user account.
    I then tried to restore the IPCAM to the factory settings without accessing it, to leave free access by default, but this didn’t help either.

    Secondly, I would like to access the cameras remotely. I don’t necessarily need to record, but at least I would like to intercept the rtsp stream remotely.
    On my Teltonika RUTX11 router I have configured two different LAN interfaces, from which two separate LAN cables come, for two different networks that are not physically connected to each other.
    The LAN1 interface with has two DHCP servers, the first of the Teltonika Router, range 192.168.10.x, to which a Netgear router is connected for the internal LAN of the boat, Netgear DHCP server with address range 192.168.11.x, and then all the entertainment devices, such as decoders, Apple TV, NAS, RaspberryPi, iKommunicate, etc. , everything works perfectly. Various port forwardings etc., all devices have internet, everything is accessible from inside and remotely.
    On the LAN 2 interface, on the other hand, I only have the Axiom12 MDF and the IPCAMs.
    This interface is configured only to give internet access through the same WAN (unlimited 4g GB sim card, public ip and dynamic dns), but it has no active dhcp server, so that the MDFs provide their IP ranges to the connected devices. (via HS5 and various Ethernet switches).
    At the moment, it causes the camera problem, I can’t get it to be seen by Axiom and therefore I don’t know if it can get an IP from the MDF.
    Then secondly, to access it remotely, I would need to configure a fixed IP to the cameras at least of the same range as those assigned by Axiom, but as I told you, as soon as I try to enter the Axis webpage it requires the creation of an account with password.

    Do you have any suggestions for me to improve the system?

    Thanks so much,

    Carlo

  14. Mike says:

    Good article, thank you. I just added 3 FLIR digimerge N133EB security cameras to my Silverton’s engine room. I ran into the same issue where my Axiom and my Nighthawk router were banging DHCP heads. So, I separated the two networks. But, no matter what I do I cannot get these cameras to come up on the Axiom. Using my laptop and a ip searcher, I found that the Axiom has assigned IPs to the cameras and they’re viewable in their web browser. I’m assuming that it has to be a setting. I’ve disabled onvif authentication and turned on anonymous login in (no login required). I’m wondering if any of you have had to activate another function to get it to connect like UPnP. The RSTP options are only located in this part of the FLIR UI.
    Also, I noticed that the Axiom assigns 10.30.. addresses to Raymarine products but 10.22… addresses to 3rd party stuff like my laptop and these FLIR cams . I’m curious if the HS5 switch has any level of ip addressing routing as I have the cameras connected to the Gig port on the HS5 via a Netgear Gig Switch. I’m wondering if I cannot see the cameras on the Axiom because the ip addresses are different. Any help you guys may have would be much appreciated. Thanks

  15. Brian says:

    Mike – the HS5 is just a “dumb” layer 2 switch, it is not an active component in the Layer 3 addressing.
    I think you’ll find the 10.x.x.x addresses are all in the same subnet, despite the differences in that 2nd octet you noted.

    IMO, Raymarine broke the “broad IP camera” support somewhere along the line. The only cameras that work for me anymore are Raymarine/FLIR units (and FYI, FLIR sold the Digimerge business to Dahua in 2018, so those no longer count as “FLIR” cameras). I’ve tried a multitude of cameras, and none work. I have also been doing some packet sniffing between my Axiom 7 bench test unit and some Raymarine IP cameras, and I think I might have an idea on how to get some 3rd party cameras to be picked up by the latest Axiom software, but I haven’t had time to fully test all this yet.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Brian, doesn’t sound like good news for all the time and effort I dumped. I have a friend that that’s been helping me with this and he’s hinting around about cracking Lighthouse as a side project. I think there’s a solid interest out there in doing so. I’ll urge him on. Being that its Android, I’d imagine that it’s very much possible.
      I did most of my refit with Raymarine equipment and it’s proprietary BS has been the single biggest headache. Being that they’re using free software from another company, you’d think that they could move into the 21st regarding compatibility with others.
      Does anyone have a recommendation on a sunlight viewable touch screen that won’t break the bank?

      • Brian says:

        You won’t anywhere trying to crack the Lighthouse binaries, they are signed, so you’d need to be able to sign your new binary to get the MFD to accept it. This is more than just the traditional binwalk binary hacking process.

        In Ray’s defense, part of their argument is based on using equipment that is proven to play nice on a network, not flood the network, etc. Your IP camera streams go over the same Ethernet backbone as your radar data, for example. And I do not think most people would want to put radar images at risk in order to save a few hundred dollars on IP cameras. The Ray cameras are expensive compared to cheap consumer gear, but about average when compared to other professional-ish cameras.

        • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

          I’m really surprised by this. I still use five non-Raymarine cameras on my boat and they work perfectly with the latest version of LH3. My cameras are older, but I have some newer ones I can test with.

          I have Raymarine Axioms installed on Panbo(at) and one on the RV. I’ll create a netowrk on one of those and see if I can get everything working again.

          -Ben S.

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