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Load line camera

Discussion in 'Cranes' started by Natman, May 1, 2021.

  1. muzy

    muzy Well-Known Member

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    That looks really good for the price. But for any price I don't se how it could be better.
    Nice and clear, bit of glare on the monitor. Looks very workable. Well done.
    Was just joking with the Cha ching comment.
     
  2. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Did a job today for one of my best HVAC guys, and was telling him about the new camera system while I was working blind (but with a good signaler) on a high commercial roof. The signaler was also the rigger, so he'd disappear for a bit, then re-appear after he got the HVAC rigged. I told the boss man on the ground, standing by my cab door, "OK, he's got it hooked up, here he comes" just as the signaler came into view again. It was not needed at all, just a parlor trick, to illustrate it's potential usage. Another time he stopped me swinging, but I could see I was off center a couple feet, and I told the boss man "watch, before I winch up, he's going to have me swing to the left a bit more," just as he signaled exactly that. One minor plus, I was able to see when I was rigged to the last load, so I didn't have to ask, (they never tell me, I have to yell/ask) as I like to suck the boom in on the last load as opposed to winching down, just to save a bit of time in getting wrapped up and outa there.
    Setting trusses today also, working half blind, I was able to see when the one unseen nail bender had his stabilizer nailed in place on his side, there is just a lot more situational awareness now with this setup. I am working out how much to utilize it....., today I could have told the HVAC signaler there was no need to run back and forth to signal me, he could have done it right by the load, under my camera, same thing! I did tell him afterward, so maybe next time we will let the camera do the work more.
     
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  3. FarmWrench

    FarmWrench Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor has a drone which has some features that could solve some problems. The drone can be told to "follow" and/or "circle" a target. If aimed at the corner of a truss it's possible that the gimbal could give confirmation of proper placement.

    It wasn't terrible expensive (less than $500) and it's survived all kinds of stupidity.

    If positive opinion is expressed I'll dig up his YouTube channel with lots of footage.
     
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  4. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I have the camera dialed in perfectly, this morning as I set a 40' sheeted gable 60' away, with not being able to see the end wall or the two nail benders on the plate line (normally, I would have had to stop and yell at them "hey guys, I can't see thru OSB, and you're not giving me any signals, and I'm not telepathic"), today I just kept booming down/cabling up until the camera told me to stop. After I had winched down to make contact, they got to bracing it without any calls to tip it one or the other, so right where it should be! This thing is a huge stress reliever and a voice saver, and the picture quality today was finally everything I had imagined, sharp, clear, no lag time, just perfect.

    Having this setup, AND a remote release like Tradesman uses on his truss jobs, is something I am next considering, though i have yet to hear back from the US distributor of the unit he has, I may go domestic, a competing brand that also looks like it works well. I'll post a few pictures in a day or so, just remember it's a cell phone pic of a TV screen.
     
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  5. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Keep in mind the actual picture quality is much better than these cell phone pics of the my cab receiver shows.
    Some sheeted gable work, can't see squat, no signalers, typical, it's a godsend for them. Working on a log home, picking off the stack working in the blind, piece of cake now. Watching the carpenter (blind again) nail his stabilizer, after he get's his second nail in I can see it's time to cable down, I can watch him unhook me and also see that my chain rigging is free of the truss before I boom outa there.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    More pics: IMG_20210712_074457158.jpg
     
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  7. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I'm doing a big HVAC job at the local high school, with a contractor I work with often. He stays by the parapet wall long enough to get me in the general area, and in my camera's field of view, and then disappears! But now I am watching him on the camera....and the final let down of the 1200 pounds units is just like normal: real slow line speed the last couple inches, lightly touchdown while giving him time to double check the way it's sitting, then down all the way.

    Late yesterday we had to stop for a big thunderstorm to roll thru, and as I don't have it waterproofed yet I just took it off (one nut, pull two wires). When we started back up I couldn't get it boot up, so we set two units without it and it was patently clear what an advantage having it was. Sure, in a perfect world, with plenty of help, it wouldn't be needed, but he was shorthanded and it made all the difference. Before we did a third unit without the camera, I discovered why it was not working. I had left the lens cap on!
     
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  8. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Learned something while wrapping up the HVAC job at the high school: the boom tip dipped below the parapet wall, which is grout filled cinder block, and that blocked the camera's transmitter and I went blind. While my HVAC guy wondered why I didn't respond to his signals It occurred to me the next time I use the camera in this fashion, arrange beforehand that 2 taps of my horn will signal that I lost the signal for whatever reason and that we have to revert to hand signals face to face. My receiver antennas (3 of them, same with the transmitter, something to do with video quality/lag time) are in my cab, mounted about the same level as the LMI, on the rear of my 10" monitor, just to keep the install as simple as possible. Wood framing doesn't effect the signal at all, doesn't blind me, and in this case I had all 110' of stick out, maybe with less stick it would still signal thru the masonry. If it was a chronic problem, I could mount the antennas out on the boom or even higher up in the cab, but it would mean a less clean install, so as long as it works 99.9% of the time I'll keep it like it is.
     
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  9. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    For the first time ever, I let my boom inadvertently contact something (OSB with 2x6 framing, no harm to the boom at all). It happened after a 9.5 hour day setting trusses on a monster 2 story house that was perched on a hill, and while the previous 3 hours I had 104' of stick out, in order to get the needed reach over the height of the house and being forced to set up right near it, I had thought we were done. So I swung the boom around to the front and had sucked it in to about 50' when the builder then asked me if I could lift up some small bundles of jacks before putting it away. After he told me they would be going into a room close to me, so no need to run the boom way out again, I went ahead and started to do so. Only after we all heard a CRUNCH, did I realize that while I was staring at the 10" monitor, and only lowering the load in the tight spot (and the entire crew of 4 was watching the load, none watching my boom, including me) as it slowly rotated in such a way to fit, (inside an octangle room no less) that I had neglected to pay attention to my boom clearance.

    It took me an hour or so to fully realize what had happened and why. Normally, pre boom tip camera, my eyeballs would have prevented it, as I'd be looking out at the boom/load (if I could see it.) Now, I was distracted by the monitor. It reminds me of when I'm backing up and looking at my in the driver cab backup camera's screen, (not my mirrors) and then I see some obstruction narrowly miss ripping a mirror off. Too much information, or at least more then I was used to, and I now make sure to continue to scan the mirrors while also using the backup camera, and I will do the same with my boom and the new camera. The crew were not concerned at all about the slightly buggered up framing, as during the previous truss set I was working totally blind and the camera's capability was blowing their minds, they were experienced enough to see it's advantages out weighed a 10 minute repair job on the framing. I was of course lucky to get this wake up call, without any damage, lesson learned.
     
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  10. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    First pic was the view out the cab window. The kid on the tag line plus the two carpenters all completely out of my view. Second pic is the view from the 10" high def monitor. Third pic the house we were working on, this camera has spoiled me big time, I can't imagine working without it, and don't know how I got along with out it! It's a huge stress and hassle reliever, FOR ME, plus it makes the job go better for my customers.

    I had a job Friday, for a builder I've never worked with before, and I first thought that I was at the wrong place, as I couldn't see ANY trusses. Turns out, for reasons unknown, every single one was in the backyard, scattered about. No way for me to get back there or even close to seeing them, a custom built application for the camera though, especially as the kid rigging for me was just that, a kid, about 12 or 14 maybe at most. This is typical of residential construction in this area, the rigger and the tag line person being the low man on the totem pole, and the least overall experienced, keeping my job from getting too boring.

    I seem to have all the little bugs and glitches out of it, the last 40 hours of operation have been faultless. A second 10 watt solar panel, (one wasn't enough to keep abreast of the unit's amp draw, .6) and a cobbled up retainer for the HDMI plug on the wireless transmitter (it would make, at times, intermittent contact, not having a mechanical means to secure it in place, just friction, now it does) were the last two fixes. Once a week I tighten the big nyloc nut that secures the gravity swing arm a 1/4 turn or less), too loose and unless your super slow and smooth booming up or down and it will swing too much. Too tight and it won't auto position straight down, though that hasn't happened yet as I have erred on the too loose side. IMG_20210907_171135091.jpg IMG_20210907_170429183.jpg IMG_20210907_171140380_HDR.jpg IMG_20210907_171140380_HDR.jpg
     
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  11. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    Adding some weight to that camera may make it swing less. Relying on tension is going to be a constant battle.
     
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  12. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Yeah I forgot to mention I did fasten a chunk of 1" plate to it to do just that, and I have yet to over tighten the pivot bolt (which swivels in a block of nylon), it has never failed to point down, just another little detail I am still playing around with. It can get a little disorienting at times if it does start swinging, I need to remind myself it's not the boom itself, just the camera!

    I'm doing a HVAC this morning, and the installer is going to be shorthanded, I will be sure to let him know of the camera's capability before we start.
     
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  13. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    A HVAC job on a mall, (only 65' away but behind the parapet) with only 1 person on the roof, and it took about 10 minutes after the guy left my set up area to make his way up and around to the unit. While I was waiting I figured I may as well get the hook centered up over the load. The removal of the old and set down of the new unit was done mostly with the camera, and a bit with our cell phones on speaker. I also got an extra $160.00 (after offering the out of town contractor to haul it off IMG_20211115_144659114.jpg "for no extra charge") at the nearby scrapyard for the old unit, scrap prices are high right now.
     
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  14. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I seem to have finally gotten the last few bugs out of my "system." I have the needed combo of solar power (two 10 watt panels, one on each side of the boom tip) and 18 AH of battery. I snuck up on this setup, only after real world (my first winter with it) use showed that half the battery and solar power would work, in ideal conditions only. Now it can be a gloomy all day long job and I don't run out of power. Once I, and a crew, got used to the camera's capability, having it go out was a big deal!
    I still take the camera off if it's rain or snow, it's not designed for outdoor use, and extensive searching has not yet found one (at a reasonable price, this one is just a bit over $100.00) with the needed features that is for outdoor use. As a backup, I have added a couple adapters so that I can quickly (one bolt, a couple plugs, but I have to lower the boom to get at it) go back to my all weather backup camera original system. While it's lesser video signal (a bit of lag time, less definition etc.) is hard to take after the hi-def view, it's way better than nothing.
     
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  15. f311fr1

    f311fr1 Senior Member

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    Look at Lorex
     
  16. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    Good tip, BUT, the camera's output is via a CAT 5 cable, and that's a deal breaker right there. My wireless zero lag time, hi def transmitter requires a a HDMI cable output on the camera. I can throw these terms around like I know what I'm talking about, but I have learned a lot since starting this little project. I am very pleased with the picture quality right now, couldn't be better (though a controllable zoom would be nice, but that opens another can of worms). If I toast this first camera, I already have a standby one in the shop, but so far not a huge deal to just avoid best I can, heavy precip.
     
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  17. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

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    Natman, could you find a plexiglass box to put your camera in so that it would be water prof? They used to do that with to make a camera submersible. The pictures look so good I can see where you would be spoiled having it and hate not being able to see what is going on.
     
  18. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    The power and HDMI cable both come down from the top, and my concern is water following them down, directly into the connectors. The camera has all it's input ports on the sides. I could make a drip loop, using longer cabling, and have already made a sheet aluminum top cover, but have not gotten longer cables yet. In a snowstorm like the other day, and driving 60 MPH for an hour, moisture migration could still be an issue.

    BUT, you gave me an idea, I bet I could find a Tupperware type plastic container (and may have one in the kitchen) of the right size, throw the top away, and once installed with the camera underneath it'd provide top and side protection, that and drip loops on the cable would make it pretty bulletproof. Until I burn up a camera, I will just remove it when needed for the time being, but that's the backup plan.
     
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  19. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

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    Probably over kill but could you use connectors that are water proof to the box and short wires to the water proof connectors from the camera. To me after being able to see what you are doing I would hate to go back to working in the blind.
     
  20. Natman

    Natman Senior Member

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    I've used those type of fittings in doing solar work,, they have a compression nut and a rubber gasket that seals up when the nut is tightened, but the problem with these video cables is the big clunky fitting on the end, much larger dia. then the cable itself. I went "quick and dirty", needing another good equipment write off before the end of the fiscal year anyway! $4.29 for this plastic food storage container, and the holes and cables goobered up with Lexal, an adhesive caulking I have used for airplane work. Ace Hardware sells it, 10 times better than any silicone and best of all it's specifically formulated to adhere to all types of plastic. It occurred to me while drilling the holes, a stainless mixing bowl would look a lot better and be more durable. So I will be on the lookout for the right sized one the next trip to the grocery store IMG_20211227_155448328~2.jpg , call this one a proof of concept.
     
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