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View Full Version : Question about your webcams...



Meje
01-17-2007, 01:02 PM
Ok...I'm just wondering this because my fragile mind had a brief moment where it questioned the viability of several things.....you'll see what I mean in a moment.

So, you have 5 webcams. Each of these webcams must be connected to the web to be of ANY use at all...

However, it occured to me that getting internet service at 6,288 feet where there are no other occupants is either incredibly expensive (at least for the initial setup) or incredibly difficult to maintain (in the case of satellite).

Here's how the thoughts played out in my head.

*DSL - 18,000 foot maximum distance from the CO - considering EVERYTHING (elevation, distance from any noteable populated area, additional distance for cable placement) I doubt that you're using any flavor of DSL.

*Cable - More likely, but again the idea of installing poles and cables to one location at the top of a mountain seems incredibly expensive.

*Satellite - I dont personally use a satellite for net access, but I understand they're similar to those used for TV service. I cant imagine that a satellite could stay pointed at the correct location in :eek: 85+ MPH winds:eek: (at least not with the garbage included in the installation kits that these dishs come with).

So, I suppose my question is, HOW are you getting internet service to the top o' the mountain?

Thats it...anyone with knowledge or insight, your reply would settle this issue in my mind, and I'd appreciate that. :)

Bill O
01-17-2007, 01:51 PM
Wrong, wrong, and I'm sorry to say wrong. Okay, you weren't really wrong but the observatory uses none of those methods to get on the internet.

You forgot radio signals. To the best of my knowledge the Observatory maintains a link to the valley via microwave link. Yes, expensive initially but relatively cheap to maintain. I think there are some backup systems in place as well.

Future plans call for bringing electricity to the summit under the cog tracks. I'm guessing this would include some sort of cable/fiber optic internet link.

Mike D
01-17-2007, 03:03 PM
As there are none of the wires on the summit that would be required for DSL or cable Internet service, those two options are out. Satellite is expensive for the speed provided.

Bill correctly pointed out the viability of microwave communications. The same kind of energy contained in visible light, a microwave oven, and an FM radio station carries data between Wildcat Mtn, Mt Washington, Bretton Woods, and North Conway (and that won't be the end of it!). As with every other endeavor up there, the weather makes microwave communications challenging, especially the exterior antennas and cables that must endure numerous freezes and thaws every year.

Mike D
01-17-2007, 03:06 PM
In conclusion, our Internet connection is located in North Conway, and our WAN is made up of everything behind that.

Bill O
01-17-2007, 03:22 PM
Aren't there still some copper lines running to the summit?

Brad
01-17-2007, 04:32 PM
As there are none of the wires on the summit that would be required for DSL or cable Internet service, those two options are out. Satellite is expensive for the speed provided.

Bill correctly pointed out the viability of microwave communications. The same kind of energy contained in visible light, a microwave oven, and an FM radio station carries data between Wildcat Mtn, Mt Washington, Bretton Woods, and North Conway (and that won't be the end of it!). As with every other endeavor up there, the weather makes microwave communications challenging, especially the exterior antennas and cables that must endure numerous freezes and thaws every year.
And the fact that you folks keep it all running is amazing! We enjoy the views from the web cameras - sitting in a nice warm house in front of our computers. Folks have been known to remove rime ice from the windows outside so we all can see out the web cameras better. And someone recently climbed up Wildcat Mt to clean a lens.

You are right. Getting a good solid "high" speed internet connection to 6,288 ft up is tough. My hat (and gloves) go off to the crew and all who make it possible and keep it running.

Steve M
11-04-2007, 10:26 AM
Looking at the North view webcam this morning (10:15 am) image, the glass looks cracked. It may be just an illusion because of the Ice but I thought it was interesting none the less.

Brad
11-04-2007, 11:57 AM
Looking at the North view webcam this morning (10:15 am) image, the glass looks cracked. It may be just an illusion because of the Ice but I thought it was interesting none the less.
The North video the other morning showed the window in front of the camera moving back and forth with the wind. You could see the movement clearly because of the ice on the window.

Steve M
11-04-2007, 05:08 PM
The North video the other morning showed the window in front of the camera moving back and forth with the wind. You could see the movement clearly because of the ice on the window.
So the window is broken??? Well I will have to go up there and fix it since I am a window man.

Brad
11-04-2007, 07:19 PM
So the window is broken??? Well I will have to go up there and fix it since I am a window man.
Sorry but check out a later image during the day. There is no crack. Maybe you should go anyway and check it out. That way you can make a recommendation on how to prevent the crack that is not there from showing up or getting worse than it isn't right now.

Mike D
11-04-2007, 08:01 PM
The North video the other morning showed the window in front of the camera moving back and forth with the wind. You could see the movement clearly because of the ice on the window.

I've seen this phenomenon occur almost every day; the window looks like it's breathing. I think it happens far more than we have high winds, but I haven't looked for a hard correlation. I wonder if it has to do with pressure fluctuations brought on by the air circulation system.

Steve M
11-04-2007, 09:28 PM
I've seen this phenomenon occur almost every day; the window looks like it's breathing. I think it happens far more than we have high winds, but I haven't looked for a hard correlation. I wonder if it has to do with pressure fluctuations brought on by the air circulation system.
So there is no crack in the glass. Boy am I confused!:confused: