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Steve M
02-16-2007, 11:18 AM
I'm so excited to see we reached our goal of 250 new members and the new Pres. webcam is now online! Although we have been in the clouds, soon we shall see some awsome views of the western side and even many awsome sunrises come up over the mountain. The MWO keep getting better and better! Thanks to all of you who continue to work hard and give of yourselves to see this organization continue to stay top notch!

Brad
02-16-2007, 11:30 AM
I agree. This is a great step - and the zoomed in images are nice. Is there a key sponsor who helped to fund getting the cameras? Is it LL Bean?

fifteendays
02-16-2007, 02:01 PM
While L.L.Bean provides sponsorship funds to the MWO each year (some of which are put towards the webcam network on our website), I am very proud to say that this new cam was funded by the 250 folks that joined in our drive.

I think this is a great model to follow going forward-- look for new cams and new cam drives in the future as well.

That's a great question for the forum... Where should we place the next one?

We have a couple of options, but we may be open to other ideas as well. All we need is power and a line-of-sight to the summit. (Of course, our tech crew will probably come tell me "it's not that easy!"...)

So, if you made the call, where would you put a new webcam?

Scot
MWO Staff

KD Talbot
02-16-2007, 04:49 PM
Hermit Lake Shelter, looking straight at the bowl, though I'm not sure they have power enough to run the cam. It can be run on solar power, right? Could this work? This would provide an excellent source of info on skiing in Tux, which courses were being skied, how crowded the trail is, etc.

My next spot would be at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, looking at the summit dome. Like the shot from Wildcat you could tell if they were socked in or just in a cap cloud, if they were snow covered, etc.
KDT

Brad
02-16-2007, 07:55 PM
Both of these would be great places. Another view might be from Gorham. Are there are tall buildings that would give a good view from there. Here is a view using Google Earth.

http://images21.fotki.com/v517/photos/1/1002902/4071997/GorhamView-vi.jpg

Bill O
02-16-2007, 08:10 PM
Currently I'm very satisfied with all the webcams. The Presidentials cam filled in a huge data void. Lakes of the Clouds and Hermit Lake are great ideas. Solar power might be able to run the cams, but I'm not sure. The cams tend to need some minimal baby-sitting, especially if rime is a problem as it would be at Lakes.

Brad
02-16-2007, 08:11 PM
Head south on route 16 from Gorham and there is a road on the left - Stoney Brook Road. Know anyone who lives there? Or is there a neighborhood club house?

Here is the view from there.

http://images21.fotki.com/v516/photos/1/1002902/4071997/GorhamView1-vi.jpg

Steve M
02-16-2007, 08:21 PM
Gorham is one of the places I was thinking of and another is maybe Lakes of the clouds or Madison Spring huts. It's just too bad they couldn't be useful for search and rescue but we know that in most cases, where someone would need to be found, the weather would be too ugly for any type of visibility. Someone would have to be standing in front of the camera saying HELP MEEEEE!! :p

KD Talbot
02-16-2007, 09:12 PM
I know Gorham like the back of my hand. It would be a great place for a cam but I can't think of anyplace high enough to get a good view of Washington. The view Brad shows from Stoney Brook Road is actually if you were in a plane flying over it at about 2 or 3000'. From most places in Gorham views of Washington would be blocked by Mount Madison and Pine Mountain. You can see parts of Washington, the auto road crossing Chandler Ridge for instance, from rte 16 near Stoney Brook, but not the summit. It's possible there are some views from Stoney Brook, but I think hills and trees would block a clear shot. There is a radio or tv antenna on Pine Mountain that would be high enough, but the view of Washington is blocked by Madison. All you can see is Boott Spur. Mount Hayes is across the Androscoggin in Gorham and has great views to Washington, but no way to power the cams.

You can't see Washington from Madison Springs Hut, either, you would have to be hundreds of yards south or east of the hut.

I hate to be a naysayer to these other ideas, I just don't think you could get a clear shot, or in the Madison Hut case the camera would have to have to be too far from the hut to be practical.

Like Bill, I too am satisfied with all the cams, I was just throwing out suggestions because Scott put it out there. Thanks MWO for all the new views! When I started looking way back when, the only cam there was the deck cam. I thought it was a joke because all I saw was gray for the first 10 or 12 times I looked, then finally I got a view. I'm glad I was persistent.
KDT

Bill O
02-16-2007, 09:34 PM
Madison Hut is a multi-hour hike from the road and even longer from Mount Washington. During the summer it would be manageable, but if anything happened in the winter it might be down for weeks.

Something about using one of the huts just doesn't seem right. I have no problem with solar lights or weather stations, but a webcam sitting on the hut seems to diminish the wilderness experience. I'm not easily offended either.

What about the old Jackson cam? I know that used to have many zooms available, but the Wildcat cam covers all that. I liked the Jackson cam only slightly more than the North Conway cam. Frankly, both were rather boring.

fifteendays
02-16-2007, 11:08 PM
I liked the Jackson Cam! It was actually in the home of a former Obs employee up on Tyrol who has to suffer through those spectacular views every day.

What about someplace up in Jefferson, Randolph or even Twin Mountain? I really don't know that area very well, but I do recall some amazing high plateau vistas of the Presi Range from around Santa's Village. That plus the Gorham side would complete the circle around the mountain, giving all of us an amazing look at the mountain from many points on the compass.

Thanks for the input!

Scot
MWO Staff

Brad
02-17-2007, 08:02 AM
The lens and cameras are so much better today. The roadside view area just north of N Conway on route 16 might be an interesting spot. But it would be a long throw to send the signal back to the summit.

I was also wandering around NW of the summit last night (on Google Earth). There are a few peaks there that would give awesome views. But, power would be a problem.

Bill O
02-17-2007, 08:48 AM
I liked the Jackson Cam! It was actually in the home of a former Obs employee up on Tyrol who has to suffer through those spectacular views every day.

What about someplace up in Jefferson, Randolph or even Twin Mountain? I really don't know that area very well, but I do recall some amazing high plateau vistas of the Presi Range from around Santa's Village. That plus the Gorham side would complete the circle around the mountain, giving all of us an amazing look at the mountain from many points on the compass.

Thanks for the input!

Scot
MWO Staff

It seems like Twin Mountain would just be a longer shot of what the Presi Cam already sees.

I haven't been up there in awhile, but can you see Mount Washington from Gorham?

From an observer standpoint a view from a northern town looking south at MWN makes the most sense. Assuming you can actually see the summit.

KD Talbot
02-17-2007, 10:25 AM
You just can't get a good view from Gorham or Berlin unless there's a way to have a remote solar powered camera that someone would be willing to climb to and babysit now and then. From Berlin you can see the ridge of Nelson Crag, Ball Crag and the summit, just barely, behind Mount Madison. Checking around the photo journal turns up some good shots from Jefferson and Twin Mountain, but again, they seem to be from remote sites. I'm not sure what could be done from any of these angles.
KDT

afmrintern
02-17-2007, 10:30 AM
When I was an intern, I spent alot of time at Jefferson Campground. And while the only place that you could see the mountain from there was on top of an upswing on the swingset, there were some good spots around. From downtown Jefferson on Rt.2, perhaps from the roof of the general store, or perhaps from the clubhouse of the golfcourse.

Then again, I don't remember if you could see washington from there, or just a fantastic view of the northern presis. Google earth anyone.

KD Talbot
02-17-2007, 10:33 AM
You can definitely see Washington from there.
KDT

Brad
02-17-2007, 03:23 PM
It seems like Twin Mountain would just be a longer shot of what the Presi Cam already sees.

I haven't been up there in awhile, but can you see Mount Washington from Gorham?

From an observer standpoint a view from a northern town looking south at MWN makes the most sense. Assuming you can actually see the summit.
A problem with a Gorham view would be the sun. Direct sunlight on the lens will cause damage. Now that I think of it, this might be tough to line up and be okay.

I would like to see a Presidentials camera sunrise video. I know that will have the same issue with sun glare. But, this time of year it would not be a problem.

Bill O
02-20-2007, 12:19 PM
Use number 16 for the new Presi Cam: Ceiliometer

It would be interesting to get Lakes of the Clouds hut in sight on the Presi premium views.

AlpineHikerFan71
02-20-2007, 02:29 PM
I would love to see Lake of the Clouds hut be on a camera and that vincinity. how awesome would that be. Great point!

Bill O
02-20-2007, 03:45 PM
What about the feasibility of getting a user controlled cam like this one at Killington:

http://www.killington.com/K1WebCam.html

I'm sure bandwidth would be an issue, but they seem to be very popular.

KD Talbot
02-20-2007, 03:53 PM
Now that is cool!
KDT

AlpineHikerFan71
02-20-2007, 06:14 PM
What about the feasibility of getting a user controlled cam like this one at Killington:

http://www.killington.com/K1WebCam.html

I'm sure bandwidth would be an issue, but they seem to be very popular.


WOW, that is awesome, if we could get something like that from the summit perhaps and have the availability to zoom on from the summit down in different directions. I am not sure of the capabilities of something like this to how far they can zoom, I am not a tech guy, but that would be cool to be able to zoom in on Lake of the Clouds hut.

Patrad Fischroy
02-21-2007, 09:13 AM
This is a little off topic, but if anyone is interested in viewing webcams in general all around the world, Google Earth is a pretty good source. If you look in the available layers and expand the Google Earth Community there are a few webcam folders. Checking the adjacent box will display them. There are even more available on the Google Earth Community website. I found one that has cams in Australia and Antarctica. A little voyeuristic I know, but fun to browse through, and occasionally very handy to check on traveling conditions before a trip.

Mike D
02-21-2007, 09:41 AM
What about the feasibility of getting a user controlled cam like this one at Killington:

http://www.killington.com/K1WebCam.html

I'm sure bandwidth would be an issue, but they seem to be very popular.

I proposed this about a year ago. My thought was to put a user-controllable cam on the railing of the parapet. It is on the list of features we would like to add to the Premium Content. I hope time and work-load allow us to implement the ideas.

Bill O
02-21-2007, 09:59 AM
I proposed this about a year ago. My thought was to put a user-controllable cam on the railing of the parapet. It is on the list of features we would like to add to the Premium Content. I hope time and work-load allow us to implement the ideas.

That would be awesome. A 360 degree live view of the summit. Even if it was only up in the warm season it would still be great. Imagine being able to pan across the summit and watch the clouds dive into Tuckerman Ravine.

Brad
02-21-2007, 05:43 PM
I have a couple of user-controlled web cameras at my cabin in Maine. In the winter I lock them down to protect the cameras. But, in the summer I allow viewers to move the cameras around. One is normally mounted along the shore on the lake. You can go about 155 degrees in pan. I do not have the microphone installed - but, that is an option too!

Brad
02-21-2007, 05:54 PM
Many web cameras they use Java to deliver the image. If you watch them for an extended period of time the connection will drop and you ahve to reconnect. There is a "fix" for this.

* Go to Start - Control Panel.

* Double click on "Java". The Java Control panel will start up

* Go to the Java tab

* Click on the upper "View" - for Java Applet Runtime Settings

* There may be multiple versions of the JRE listed. For each one past the following in the "Java Runtime Parameters" field. This is done as one long line from the minus sign to the second "5000". There is a space after the first "5000" and before the 2nd "-"

-Dsun.net.client.defaultConnectTimeout=5000 -Dsun.net.client.defaultReadTimeout=5000

- Click OK - OK

This will change the timeout default that Windows has so that Java will continue to run. I can bring up a web camera at the cabin in the morning and it will still be running the next afternoon.

hearse driver
03-06-2007, 09:37 PM
on the front of the Cog Railway Train- if that's even possible.

Brad
03-07-2007, 06:28 AM
on the front of the Cog Railway Train- if that's even possible.
Interesting idea and a bit of a challenge. I have been known to drive - with a laptop (always for Street Atlas and GPS) - Yahoo Messenger up and running - and a small web camera mounted on the dashboard facing front. Others can watch as I drive down the highway. Not sure why I did it, but it works fine.

The key is to have a good cell signal - which does not happen on the Cog.

To do this I have a Cingular PC Card in my laptop giving me around 1 Mbps download speeds anywhere around the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC area.

6288
03-07-2007, 11:09 AM
I have a couple of user-controlled web cameras at my cabin in Maine. In the winter I lock them down to protect the cameras. But, in the summer I allow viewers to move the cameras around. One is normally mounted along the shore on the lake. You can go about 155 degrees in pan. I do not have the microphone installed - but, that is an option too!


Brad,

I have a panasonic at my camp in Maine and I have left it on year round. It only is spec'ed to work at freezing or above, but I have never had a problem down to -15F. It is in an enclosure, but I did not buy a heater.

Bill O
03-07-2007, 11:30 AM
on the front of the Cog Railway Train- if that's even possible.

I don't know about the front of the Cog, but that's an interesting new idea. Any good views from the cog base or along the tracks?

Brad
03-07-2007, 11:40 AM
The quality of my Road Runner connection to the Internet has dropped to be very bad. There is way too much packet loss. It is effecting access to my cameras as well as VoIP from inside the house. I am about to go on the attack to get Road Runner to fix their quality problems. I had to do the same 2 years ago in NC and finally got it resolved there.

Steve M
03-07-2007, 07:00 PM
[QUOTE=Brad]The key is to have a good cell signal - which does not happen on the Cog.[QUOTE]

The cog railway would have to have repeaters along the tracks to keep a signal I would guess.

6288
03-08-2007, 07:59 AM
What about the feasibility of getting a user controlled cam like this one at Killington:

http://www.killington.com/K1WebCam.html

I'm sure bandwidth would be an issue, but they seem to be very popular.

The camera I use at my camp has a couple cool features. You can set restrictions for the general public whereas they have a few minutes of motion, then they get placed in a snapshot mode. You can also have defined users (with passwords) which are customized as to what functions they can control, when, and for how long. If you click on my camera in my sig you will get 10 minutes of motion, then you are sent into 3 second snaps. It has a 21X optical and 42X digi zoom.

Steve

Brad
03-15-2007, 11:40 AM
Would there be a place at Crawford Notch to mount a camera? One close up view could be the pond on the north side of the road. This would be a great spot to do a full motion video that changes to every 30 seconds refresh. We could watch that moose out there!

Bill O
04-05-2007, 07:34 PM
Sorry to resurrect this dead thread, but I just got the new Windswept and there are two pages of new members. Very impressive.

Steve M
04-09-2007, 07:01 PM
I saw that also an I was amazed at how many new members were in there.
Here is the breakdown of new members last quarter:
Presidents Club: 1
6288 Club: 4
231 Club: 5
Summit Club: 33
Family/Dual: 128
Individual: 198
Introductory: 1
Senior: 60
Student: 23

With a grand total of 453 new members!
Thats awsome!

Brad
04-10-2007, 06:01 AM
This is excellent. The MWO needs members and having so many higher paying ones coming on board is great to see. Thanks to all for your support for such a great organization.

Knots
05-05-2007, 12:52 AM
...though I'm not sure they have power enough to run the cam. It can be run on solar power, right? Could this work? KDT

I don't mean to sound contrary, but you seem to have an excess amount of WIND POWER.... if you put a small wind turbine up there, you could power the whole region.... and a webcam.... heck, you could probably string up a wind speed meter to a small motor, and that could power quite a bit....

Wind energy is the most powerful, easiest-to-harness source on the planet. Places like this could really help to take a bite out of oil consumption!

Hope this doesn't offend anyone who wants to leave the land pristine, but in the larger sence, it would contribute to saving the planet...

Cheers mates!

Bill O
05-05-2007, 06:56 AM
I don't mean to sound contrary, but you seem to have an excess amount of WIND POWER.... if you put a small wind turbine up there, you could power the whole region.... and a webcam.... heck, you could probably string up a wind speed meter to a small motor, and that could power quite a bit....

Wind energy is the most powerful, easiest-to-harness source on the planet. Places like this could really help to take a bite out of oil consumption!

Hope this doesn't offend anyone who wants to leave the land pristine, but in the larger sence, it would contribute to saving the planet...

Cheers mates!

This topic has been discussed pretty much to death in some of the other threads. But I'll take it up again. Mount Washington and the other high peaks in the region do have huge amounts of wind power, but they also have heavy riming and icing. A wind turbine would never last, trust me, its been tested. Also, the winds are too strong. You would never be able to build one to withstand the wind and produce a reasonable amount of electricity.

A few turbines on NH peaks wouldn't take anything close to a bite out of oil consumption. A drop in the bucket isn't even a good cliche, more like a drop in the ocean. Wind makes big turbines spin, and sometimes it even looks pretty, but its nothing compared to the power of oil.

On that end, NH is already helping to reduce oil consumption. A large portion of the population uses wood to heat their homes.

Brad
05-05-2007, 07:04 AM
Brad,

I have a panasonic at my camp in Maine and I have left it on year round. It only is spec'ed to work at freezing or above, but I have never had a problem down to -15F. It is in an enclosure, but I did not buy a heater.
I got quite a chuckle this morning when I saw this sign in your yard.

http://images24.fotki.com/v830/photos/8/8235/242566/SteveDMSign-vi.jpg

Joey Keyz
05-05-2007, 10:27 AM
I'm still kind of new to the site, so I'm having a ball with these web cams
http://hazecam.net/mtwash.html

One problem .....the Newark/NYC cam brings back bad memories.
I used to drive my truck in these areas. 25+ years....Bad times!!!!

I love New Hampshire......I really do.

Steve M
05-06-2007, 11:04 PM
The quality of my Road Runner connection to the Internet has dropped to be very bad. There is way too much packet loss. It is effecting access to my cameras as well as VoIP from inside the house. I am about to go on the attack to get Road Runner to fix their quality problems. I had to do the same 2 years ago in NC and finally got it resolved there.

Brad, I was in Sam's the other day and they have a four camera surveilance system with a monitor and, I guess, a VCR. Its full color and seem to have a great picture. Is something like that capable of using as a web cam for posting pics or vids online??

Brad
05-07-2007, 06:11 AM
Most of the cameras that work with a VCR are a closed system. They record a movie to the tape. That is not what I wanted - and it seems that "6288" also had the same interest as I did.

1. The web camera had to be a "network camera". This means it gets an IP address on your home network just like a computer does. Most of these cameras have a web server in them so you do the configuration work with a browser. This can be done inside the house or outside. I am in NC and can deal with the camera in the cabin in Maine. With a VCR version you normally have to be right there. My wireless router in the house forwards a port address to a camera. Each camera in the house has its own port address.

2. There are indoor cameras and there are indoor/outdoor cameras. Not only are the outdoor versions able to deal with colder weather and rain but they can deal with the bright sunlight and even produce good images at night.

3. Low LUX is key for night time viewing and images. This is a measure of how sensitive the lens is to light. A smaller number is better. The new camera I am taking north later this month is a 0.18 LUX camera. I can't wait to watch sunrises with it.

3. Pan/Tilt is key for most locations. From a browser the viewer can move the camera to pan left and right - and also tilt up and down. Mine can pan about 150 degrees. "6288" has a cool Panasonic camera that does about 350 degrees.

4. Ability to FTP images is key for me. I have the camera send the image it sees every xx number of minutes or seconds to my photo web site. So, for security I can see what happened afterwards. Some will also send an email to you if it sees motion. Mine will do one or the other - but can not do both at the same time. maybe the newer versions can - not sure. the email attachments usually show what the camera sees and that is after the motion thing has gone by.

5. Wireless capability is key in many situations. For VCR based units the wireless is to the base station. For a network IP address based camera you want 802.11x wireless support. This then connects into you home network. My camera over the garage doors looking out at the driveway is wireless. All that goes there is power.

6. Power over Ethernet is quite a new. My new camera has it and it is slick. Power and the Ethernet network cable go into a small box. Out of it is just the network cable which goes to the camera. The camera knows how to deal with the signal stuff on some wires and power off the others. So, for a long haul I just have to string the network cable. plus, i do not have to have the power adapter out by the lake at the base of a tree. :-) The new camera will be 200 feet from the house and I am hoping power over ethernet will make the signal more stable. Last year i was running wireless and it was not as stable as i wanted. (Watching sunrise in Maine is very important as i drive to work in the car in NC)

Hope this helps. At least it is my perspective. "6288" can add some here too I am sure.

Steve M
05-07-2007, 07:23 AM
Thanks, that was very helpful. Can you direct me to some websites where I can read more about it?

Steve M
05-08-2007, 12:59 AM
Brad, I hope you didn't miss understand my last question. What I realy meant to ask is where did you purchase your setup so I can go check them out???

Brad
05-08-2007, 05:37 AM
Actually I thought you had asked for sites just to read up on them. My answer was they are mostly marketing materials. The above is my information based on working with web cameras for 5-6 years at the cabin.

The other thing I did not mention is "zoom". Some cameras, like "6288"s have a very good zoom control. As you zoom in the focus adjusts very well. He has a preset for the birdfeeder so it looks like you are right next to the birds - or squirrels.

Now to your question, if you are getting a major name brand like Toshiba (what I use) or a Panasonic (6288's), then go to their web sites and get the Owner's Manual PDF file. Read up on what it can do and see how hard it is to set up. These are the two brands I like. Then I either go to Amazon.com to buy it - or in the past I have gone to www.webcamstore.com and bought it there. They have some nice construction camera setups - solar powered.

My new camera comes with Power over Ethernet and I just changed it here in NC to use that feature. So, there is no power cord strung out to the camera - just the Ethernet network cable. It is working well here in NC. In Maine it will be at the end of a 200 ft Ethernet cable down at the lake. So, that is a bit different set up.

You can see 6288's camera from the signature link on his posts. Mine is set up for testing in NC at http://barwinds.homeip.net:8003 - the camera does allow me to turn on controls to the user - but I will not be doing that other than pan, tilt, zoom. If it is set for recording the sunrise or moonrise in Maine I want to control the camera's settings.

6288
05-08-2007, 09:45 AM
Brad, I hope you didn't miss understand my last question. What I realy meant to ask is where did you purchase your setup so I can go check them out???

That may be a tall order, since there are not a lot of these on store shelves. I believe most of the sales are via internet stores. I found a site that allowed you to actually log into various cameras. When I started playing with the panasonic I was hooked. Then of course I started "googling" for the best price.

Having said that, I do believe Radio Shack carries an inexpensive "starter" camera. I have seen them in some stores actually in stock. Some of these cameras are a grand or more in price, and really not something most stores are willing to stock considering their limited customer base.

Steve

Steve M
05-08-2007, 11:30 PM
I see there is quite a spread in prices. What price range did you guys feel was enough for what you want to accomplish. There are too many choices of cameras and not enough knowleadge on my end.

6288
05-10-2007, 02:22 PM
For what I wanted, I believe you have to start at $500, but I ended up paying around $700 (listed for $1200). Plus enclosure costs ($200). But you can certainly be "on the air", so to speak, for $200. I really like that Toshiba BTW, wish I saw it earlier.

Brad
05-10-2007, 07:11 PM
You should be able to be under $200 if you are looking for an inexpensive indoor camera. I have 2 of the original 802.11b wireless network Linksys cameras at my cabin. One is actually looking outside, but ti gets over powered by bright sunlight.

Here is an updated version from Linksys (http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1175229403526&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=0352686883B01)

and
another indoor camera from Linksys (http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1134691947479&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=4747986883B01)

Toshiba network cameras (http://www.toshiba.com/taisisd/security/products/prod_camera.jsp) and mine is the IK-WB15A. I also have a IK-WB11A which is now discontinued. Both of these are indoor/outdoor pan/tilt/zoom models. The WB15A is not wireless but it is Power over Ethernet which is very nice. I paid $580 for my WB15A on the Internet.

Here are Panasonic's cameras (http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelList?storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&catGroupId=25097&cacheProgram=11002&cachePartner=7000000000000005702) of which "6288" has the KX-HCM280A.

As I go through looking at these options I see very few are outdoor - even fewer are wireless - and very few support 1280x image resolution. My Toshiba does support it. I have it set for lower resolution for viewing - but the image that is sent to my photo web site is the highest resolution possible - 1280x768. Another big difference is the angle of pan and tilt - as well as the low light LUX required.

You have to select the options which are important for you - then select from the ones that can satisfy those requirements.

Steve M
05-10-2007, 07:27 PM
You guys are awsome! If I can get set up here in Florida, when we have a Tropical storm or hurricane I can have it available for your viewing pleasure!:)

Brad
05-10-2007, 07:54 PM
One of the things I like about the Toshiba camera is they have a URL to go to a single image JPG. So, I have this in my cell phone favorites and I go to the phone and see what the camera is seeing right now. "6288" does Panasonic have the same feature? I read the Owner's manual for your camera and could not find it there.

There is a service called "Dynamic DNS" that is needed to make all this work. Your Internet Service Provider assigns an IP address to your house's Internet connection. They can change the set of numbers any time they want. So, many web cameras (Linksys, Axis, Toshiba, Panasonic and others) have the ability to go to a free service like dyndns.org and keep the records there up to date on the house' address. Linksys routers and access points can do the same thing. So, set up an ID on dyndns.org - define a name for your house - tell your web camera or access point in the house to keep that ID and name up to date.

This is how I get at my cabin in Maine as longlake.homeip.net and my place in NC as barwinds.homeip.net and my mother's computer as ...

Most Internet Service Providers block port 80 from being used from the outside of the house. Many web cameras come with their default port set to port 80 (standard web server default port number and all browsers know about this). So, you have to configure the web camera with some other port than 80 to get at the camera from the Internet. I have used 8001, 8002, 8003, 8004 as my 4 web cameras. At the wireless router in the house I have "port forwarding" turned on to take each of those port numbers and forward the requests to the right web camera on the inside network.

It is really quite simple - but, not a cookbook thing.

Brad
05-10-2007, 07:57 PM
You guys are awsome! If I can get set up here in Florida, when we have a Tropical storm or hurricane I can have it available for your viewing pleasure!:)
Here is a web camera down at Key West. Lots of fun to watch the sun sets.

http://floridakeysmedia.tv/axiscam/cgi-bin/liveimg.dll?path=axiscam/okcam1.jpg

Brad
05-11-2007, 06:15 AM
Steve,

I sent the URL below to my cell phone, added it to my Favorites and it works fine. So, I can snap the current image any time. :)

http://mainecam.dyndns.org:50004/CgiSnapShot?Resolution=320x240&Quality=Precision&Language=0

It looks like the Language=0 is not needed since the default is English

And the Quality=Precision is also not needed as you have that set as default also. The 320x240 size works fine on the phone.

Actually I tried 640x480 and that worked fine too. I have run my web camera image at 1280x960 to my cell phone and it worked well.

6288
05-11-2007, 06:23 AM
One of the things I like about the Toshiba camera is they have a URL to go to a single image JPG. So, I have this in my cell phone favorites and I go to the phone and see what the camera is seeing right now. "6288" does Panasonic have the same feature? I read the Owner's manual for your camera and could not find it there.



It can, but it's not a menu driven item. You have to write CGI code. The good thing is this opens up a world of possibilities, the bad thing is you have to know how to code it. The CGI manual is an addendum, it may be on the support web page somewhere.

Brad
05-11-2007, 06:49 AM
This seems to work fine

http://mainecam.dyndns.org:50004/CgiSnapShot?Resolution=320x240

But, it gives you a web page - not a JPG.

Here is a URL that gives us an image only.

http://mainecam.dyndns.org:50004/SnapshotJPEG?Resolution=320x240&Quality=Precision

Steve M
05-11-2007, 08:12 AM
Hey Brad, the link to the camera in Key West just gives me Code. Is there a plug-in I might need to see the image??

Brad
05-11-2007, 08:17 AM
There should be a msg to install the ActiveX controls.

Steve M
05-11-2007, 08:20 AM
I was able to domnload an activeX for this one to work. That is awsome how I can move around and see what is happening. By the way, a squirrel is eating all your bird seed.:p What happens when two or more people try to move it at the same time?
http://mainecam.dyndns.org:50004

Steve M
05-11-2007, 08:22 AM
This is all I get from the Key West image:

--myboundary Content-type: image/jpeg ÿØÿþOh AXIS 2400 1.12 00:40:8c:51:47:fa 192.168.0.252 1 Fri May 11 08:21:58 2007 ÿÛC  ,6') ,@9DC?9>=GPfWGKaM=>YyZaimrsrEU}*|o…fprnÿÛC44nI>Innnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nÿÀð`"ÿÄ ÿĵ}!1AQa"q2‘¡#B±ÁRÑð$3br‚ %&'()*456789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyzƒ„ *‡ˆ‰*’“”•–—˜™š¢£¤¥¦ ¨©ª²³´µ¶·¸¹ºÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊÒÓÔ Ö×ØÙÚáâãäåæçèéêñòóôõö÷øù ÿÄ ÿĵw!1AQaq"2B‘¡±Á #3RðbrÑ $4á%ñ&'()*56789:CDEFGHIJSTUVWXYZcdefghijstuvwxyz‚ƒ„ …*‡ˆ‰*’“”•–—˜™š¢£¤¥ §¨©ª²³´µ¶·¸¹ºÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊÒÓ ÕÖ×ØÙÚâãäåæçèéêòóôõö÷øùú Ú ?æ´*=.*.f6—wo‘¨ŽÙ°@`ä“ò·÷G çP½‡˜·sÆ>ͳ*4weÃÜp£'*F1Æy* K¶[lÏ™*I»=6‡Çüô¡.vØMm³>d©&ìôÚcð?Ò€,ǧ¡ñéÒnTûX¶¶Höœ ýqøTö*\kÂÊY˜[¬fUå£b6;nÞŸMÜô5[ûKþ'ßÚ~Wü¼ý£ËÝþÖìg®*KMbKt²B›ÖÖ u—Æ𤲯N0ZNÛö6 =¹tž3k8ƒ'yU“ÀÀÀ*xéÈÈú|©çe“÷ 0G;`žUö`:üãõ«VZ×Ùl…¹Žm»Z6XçØ’+d ˃—Ã*+‘þ/ûü©

Brad
05-11-2007, 06:20 PM
Go to http://www.fla-keys.com/webcams/ and the Key West camera is at the upper right.

Brad
05-12-2007, 07:39 AM
Now we know why "6288" selected that user ID. Yesterday he must have hammered 6,288 nails in making that deck we could see on his web camera.

If the camera is looking at the bird feeder (home position), click on the far right side of the image two times and the camera will swing over to the deck.

Nice job Steve!

Steve M
05-12-2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks, Brad. That site from Key West has fixed everything. I see what your saying about that deck. It's really large. That will be nice for some awsome cookouts this summer. Are ther any cams available that you can fish from remotely?? I'd try it in that lake back there.:p

Brad
05-12-2007, 05:55 PM
Remote Fishing Web Cameras - - - Not to sure about that.

This one is pretty cool http://www.nc.rr.com/cams/beachcam.cfm

http://www.avalonpier.com/piercam.html

Brad
05-12-2007, 07:01 PM
The BeachCam has audio also if you use Internet Explorer.

Steve M
05-12-2007, 08:27 PM
That's very nice, The sound of the waves is relaxing. Almost like being there...Almost.

Brad
05-13-2007, 04:35 AM
That's very nice, The sound of the waves is relaxing. Almost like being there...Almost.
Catch anything?

Steve M
05-13-2007, 09:05 AM
No, but I got quite a tan and played some volley ball.:)

6288
05-13-2007, 09:31 AM
Now we know why "6288" selected that user ID. Yesterday he must have hammered 6,288 nails in making that deck we could see on his web camera.

If the camera is looking at the bird feeder (home position), click on the far right side of the image two times and the camera will swing over to the deck.

Nice job Steve!

Thanks, but it's got a bit of work to go. I have so many things going on for the next several weekends I don't know when I can get back up there, so I took a vacation day Friday just to get something done. I ran into Paul when I went into town, he was working on the church at the top of the road near his house. I said "hi" for you.

The deck is eventually going to swing around to the pond side of the camp too, although it will only be about 5ft in width there. I will finally cover those big trailer hitches.

Back on topic... I cleaned my enclosure of spiders and put several mothballs in the enclosure. I'm curious to see if this keeps them away. You will find they can be quite a nuisance to remote cameras.

Steve

6288
05-13-2007, 09:39 AM
BTW, here is a picture from another camera (lesser quality as you can see). But it gives a better perspective of the camp.

http://home.comcast.net/~smdamelio/deck.jpg

Brad
05-13-2007, 09:53 AM
Steve,

Thanks for the update. Now the camera it looking at an Oregon box. Time - temperature - and what else? How many presets do you have control of with that camera? we have access to 8. But, it looks like there may be more available to you.

Duck on the dock!!!!!

http://images104.fotki.com/v473/photos/8/8235/242566/Duck-vi.jpg

Steve M
05-13-2007, 12:54 PM
Now that I have seen that cameras can be ajusted for the amount of time between captures my question is why are the MWO cameras set at 15 min.? It would be cool if they would refresh faster. Anywho...

Brad
05-13-2007, 02:46 PM
Now that I have seen that cameras can be ajusted for the amount of time between captures my question is why are the MWO cameras set at 15 min.? It would be cool if they would refresh faster. Anywho...
The major concern is probably bandwidth. Lots of people coming in to watch a "video" would suck up all their bandwidth to the Internet and their service provider would be asking for large checks each month. For a non-profit organization, this is impractical. As the frequency of updating the images goes longer it becomes more affordable.

The combination of 15 minute images for us - and the sunrise and sunset videos for members - is a compromise to have an affordable answer. When I started up the MWO Fotki ID there was some concern as to what the impact would be on MWO's bandwidth. And in fact, the answer is it is a reduction for MWO's site - as we go to Fotki's site. Fotki provides the disk storage for the images and handle the bandwidth and server needs. All for the one low membership cost - which I pay. Right now we have 8,100 images taking 22GB of disk space on the Fotki site - at no cost to MWO.

I am sure the MWO cameras can update the web site more often than 15 minutes. Lets get more members signed up for the organization and have a portion of that increase pay for increased bandwidth. Any chances of this happening?

Steve M
05-13-2007, 10:19 PM
Well, With the rate at which the MWO seems to be growing and the public awareness that seems to have increased I think it's not too much to believe that it is possible in the future to have more bandwidth and quicker refresh rates as well as many other benefits. I think it's great that you have volunteered a service and if more people do that than that will also help the organization to go farther with the money they do have.

Brad
05-14-2007, 10:48 AM
Hmmm, automatic focus is nice on remote web cameras. Yesterday I could read the display on the Oregon unit at "6288"s place. Then he laid some boards on the deck and the boards have a defined grain. Now the camera focuses on the grain leaving the display unreadable. Of course, this is revealed AFTER Steve leaves the camp and heads back to Mass. (My stuff always works when I am there - and stops as I drive out.)

6288
05-14-2007, 12:09 PM
Brad,

The Oregon unit is just a temporary thing. I needed to take down the big thermometer because I put in a "remote control" flood light (did I mention the camera has outputs which can trigger a relay?) I had the remote sensor on the other side of that beam, so I just placed it on the camera side to see if I could read it. The camera has two modes for the lens, macro and normal. Sometimes I put it in "normal" mode so it won't try and focus on spider webs. Especially at night when the lights go on. I often forget to place it back in "macro" so it will focus on the thermometer better. BTW, you can always override the auto focus and use the manual controls.

Steve M
05-14-2007, 12:34 PM
Steve, I was just looking at the bird feeder and someone else must have been looking also because the camera began moving. When two people try to move the camera at the same time how does it assign priority so there is not a fight?

6288
05-14-2007, 12:53 PM
The camera just keeps moving at every command received. You just battle it out. :eek:

Of course if someone starts battling with me, I just shut them down...:p

Brad
05-14-2007, 02:09 PM
BTW, you can always override the auto focus and use the manual controls.
Oh, All Powerful One,

I tried to adjust the focus to see the display better. After 4,276 clicks I gave up. It was getting better, but never good enough. What is an interesting feature of the camera is the ability to say - after 10 minutes of idleness, go back to "home" which is the entrance view. It is nice when all those others folks (like me) leave the camera pointing off someplace else.

Steve M
05-14-2007, 07:17 PM
The camera also seems to have a higher frame rate, lets say, 2 frames per second for a while then goes to 3 seconds/frame. Is that a deliberate setting?

Brad
05-15-2007, 06:21 AM
It will be interesting to hear what the Panasonic can do. The newest Toshiba camera I have is more flexible than the older ones. It can run at 30 frames a second - but you need to be in the house to get that. Road Runner cuts the upload bandwidth pretty seriously. Running a large image (remember I can go to 1280x768 but I don't) at that rate, you need good connectivity. I have the max refresh rate set to 7.5 frames a second.

When it gets dark most cameras have a setting to go to black and white - or slow down the exposure - or both. I do not like the black and white - so, I slow things down at night to get the best quality image i can. I have been known to watch fireworks up the lake at night in Maine - from NC. Some of the sunrise pictures I grabbed off the old web camera last summer were awesome.

So, there is quite a bit of flexibility with frame rates, B&W, exposure settings at night on most cameras. The min LUX rating says how well it will see at night. With small Xmas lights on a railing up our driveway I can see the driveway all night in that camera. It will be interesting to see how well the new camera does out on the lake ...

Brad
05-15-2007, 08:46 AM
6288,

A person with a gray jacket and black pants just walked out of your driveway "entrance". Neighbor?

6288
05-15-2007, 01:38 PM
The camera also seems to have a higher frame rate, lets say, 2 frames per second for a while then goes to 3 seconds/frame. Is that a deliberate setting?

Just about all the IP cameras I have seen can do 30FPS. But you have to realize that all that great speed the cable companies advertise is download speed. Upload speeds (which most people don't require) are far less, usually in the area of 360Kb/s or you can upgrade to 720Kb/s , but that is still a factor of 10 or more slower than most download speeds. That directly effects the frame rate you see. The number of concurrent users viewing will effect the frame rate also. The only time I see anything close to advertised frame rates is when I am on the local network with the camera.

6288
05-15-2007, 01:41 PM
6288,

A person with a gray jacket and black pants just walked out of your driveway "entrance". Neighbor?

That would be Jeff. (or as my daughter calls him "Judd", from a Stephen King movie) Hey, it is Maine!

Brad
05-15-2007, 09:37 PM
That would be Jeff. (or as my daughter calls him "Judd", from a Stephen King movie) Hey, it is Maine!
Stephen King lived in our town. We have the Magic Lantern - just like in his books. Many of the sayings in Henry Snow's normal vocabulary are in the books. Henry lives in town. Go to the house on Long Lake King lived in for a while and the last name on the mail box next door is Granger and this was the first name of one of his characters.

When King was run over by the car a few years ago he was taken first to the hospital in our town - then on to Portland. We have a lot of Stephen King connections.

Brad
05-15-2007, 09:42 PM
Just about all the IP cameras I have seen can do 30FPS. But you have to realize that all that great speed the cable companies advertise is download speed. Upload speeds (which most people don't require) are far less, usually in the area of 360Kb/s or you can upgrade to 720Kb/s , but that is still a factor of 10 or more slower than most download speeds. That directly effects the frame rate you see. The number of concurrent users viewing will effect the frame rate also. The only time I see anything close to advertised frame rates is when I am on the local network with the camera.
The speed test on Vonage's web site shows you both download and upload speeds - as well as connection (Quality of Service) quality.

https://www.vonage.com/help.php?article=497&category=73&nav=6

Steve M
05-15-2007, 09:46 PM
Well then the beach cam at wrightsville beach, NC must have an impressive Upload capability because that camera seems to be really smooth. Possibly a T1 connection???

6288
05-15-2007, 11:13 PM
My upload speed as tested by the vonage page was 1.4Mb/s, faster than I thought. Download speed was 20.1Mb/s . Still much greater then 10X. I'll have to test the connection in Maine next time I'm up there.

T1 lines are obsolete. T4 or fiber is the new fast line. All our new lans at work are gigabyte.

Brad
05-16-2007, 04:51 AM
Well then the beach cam at wrightsville beach, NC must have an impressive Upload capability because that camera seems to be really smooth. Possibly a T1 connection???
I doubt their connection is very fast. They are well off the beaten track on the coast. Their image is small and not great quality. The image is like the Linksys indoor cameras I have at my cabin. They do not need much bandwidth and produce more of a video stream. The cameras came with software to record the stream and it plays back in Windows Media Player looking like it came from a digital camcorder (which is what it really is).


My upload speed as tested by the vonage page was 1.4Mb/s, faster than I thought. Download speed was 20.1Mb/s . Still much greater then 10X. I'll have to test the connection in Maine next time I'm up there.

T1 lines are obsolete. T4 or fiber is the new fast line. All our new lans at work are gigabyte.
A fellow who works for me (works out of his home outside Boston) has the same type of fast down/upload speeds. We do not see anything like that in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area. I just tested at 390Kbps upload for my connection in NC. The Road Runner folks in Maine are saying they will have all the old Adelphia cables replaced with fibre by the end of November. That will give us better quality and faster speeds. Our cameras should do a lot better then.

If the quality of the upload connection goes down or there is too much traffic for the size of the pipe, then the camera's refresh rate appears to be slower to those outside the house. Inside you still get the 30 fps rate. I would be curious what you are seeing for speeds from the cabin.

Steve M
05-16-2007, 09:03 PM
Here in Monticello, Fl. We have DSL through Embarq and I have a download speed of 6042 kbps and an upload speed of 648 kbps. How do you think one of your cameras would perform. I've been told that DSL is not as stable as cable but I haven't had the opportunity to see for myself.

Brad
05-17-2007, 05:01 AM
Here in Monticello, Fl. We have DSL through Embarq and I have a download speed of 6042 kbps and an upload speed of 648 kbps. How do you think one of your cameras would perform. I've been told that DSL is not as stable as cable but I haven't had the opportunity to see for myself.
With that upload speed a couple of cameras would work well. If you use the Vonage speed test link I provided above you will see the quality of service you are getting.If the quality is getting down below 70-75% and you have telephone service through the DSL link, you may get words clipped off as packets get dropped. the camera would probably still look fine though.

Brad
05-17-2007, 05:31 AM
6288,

Did you just turn on the date and time stamp function on your camera? Or have I been so focused (pun intended) on the view that I never saw it? It is an easy way of knowing that our connection to the camera is running.

Steve M
05-17-2007, 08:56 AM
Vonage says my quality of service is 99%. The little graph puts me at 652kbps upload and 5.04 Mbps download.

Brad
05-17-2007, 09:18 AM
Vonage says my quality of service is 99%. The little graph puts me at 652kbps upload and 5.04 Mbps download.
You are in wonderful shape!

6288
05-17-2007, 04:57 PM
6288,

Did you just turn on the date and time stamp function on your camera? Or have I been so focused (pun intended) on the view that I never saw it? It is an easy way of knowing that our connection to the camera is running.

Yes, I don't know how I missed that feature before this. I kinda like it.

Brad
05-17-2007, 09:48 PM
Yes, I don't know how I missed that feature before this. I kinda like it.
See - we are watching.

Are you going to be at the cabin over Memorial Day weekend or next week? I head to Boston after work tomorrow (graduation weekend in Boston) then head to the cabin Sunday night - late. I will work from home next week and will have lots of folks in for the holiday weekend. The Dock Party is Sunday morning if you want to join. Sure - right. At the Dock party we put the dock in the water! It takes 6 people about an hour. 12 sections - 5 feet wide and 8 feet long.

Oh, the water is cold this time of year . . .

6288
05-18-2007, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the invite Brad (I think, lol) , but I am starting my week "on call" next Friday and will be staying close to home. I'm hoping to get up there the weekend after Memorial day. I'm sure I've buzzed by your cabin a few times this winter on the snow machines on my way to Harrison. Long Lake is really in need of a camera, there are always many questions in the winter as to the state of the ice. I'm surprised none of the businesses in Naples haven't stepped up, a causeway camera would be neat.

I might be in the market for a small boat this year to trailer out your way. If you see anything in the 14-16ft range keep me in mind.

Steve

Steve M
05-18-2007, 08:52 PM
Brad, Do you have a camera on the lake where you will be putting in the dock? If so it would be fun to watch you all sweat. I don't mind watching other people work.:D

Brad
05-19-2007, 01:45 PM
The interest in our Dock Party is under-whelming. I have a new camera with me in the car. The plan is to get the house network back and running then mount the camera down at the lakeside - on a tree. Yes, if that is in and running you will be able to watch the events. I would recommend watching the Louis Vuitton Cup sailing races instead. Probably more exciting.

6288,

As I was driving north yesterday I was watching you dock area at the pond and at 5:01PM a man came walking back from the shore back into your property. I did not get a good look at him (I was driving at the time). It seems you do have folks wandering through your area when you are not around. Maybe it was Stephen King himself.

Currently I am in Concord, Mass - wet outside - had a tour of the area - even just popped down to the Harvard bookstore. Off to Quincy for dinner. Then after graduation stuff tomorrow I will head to Maine. Have to be there for work at 8:00AM Monday.

Steve M
05-19-2007, 03:42 PM
The interest in our Dock Party is under-whelming. I have a new camera with me in the car. The plan is to get the house network back and running then mount the camera down at the lakeside - on a tree. Yes, if that is in and running you will be able to watch the events. I would recommend watching the Louis Vuitton Cup sailing races instead. Probably more exciting.
I know what you are saying. I'm sure it won't have me captivated for hours but this camera thing is sort of new to me and I think it will be cool to pop in and check on the progress. If you would, please, turn on the two way mic if equipped so I can say, "ok, a little more to the left, yup right there, that looks good!":D

Brad
05-19-2007, 08:11 PM
I know what you are saying. I'm sure it won't have me captivated for hours but this camera thing is sort of new to me and I think it will be cool to pop in and check on the progress. If you would, please, turn on the two way mic if equipped so I can say, "ok, a little more to the left, yup right there, that looks good!":D
The camera does have the ability to have a mic and speakers. I am planning on setting up a mic - no speakers.

Steve M
05-19-2007, 08:26 PM
That's a good idea, you don't need someone like me interupting your afternoon by blabbering. It would spoil the solitude!!

Brad
05-20-2007, 06:06 AM
I am not sure if the lakeside camera will be open to the public all the time. It depends on the uplink quality. The images sent to my photo site will be available for viewing. If we have better link quality and do not impact my wife's and my telephone, then I will be able to open it up.

Steve M
05-20-2007, 10:39 PM
It sounds like you have DSL at the cabin? How can that affect the use of the telephone? I thought they were sort of seperate entities but then again my understanding is limited.

6288
05-21-2007, 09:34 AM
I wanted to post an update to my mothball idea (to keep the spiders at bay). I placed several mothballs in the camera enclosure a few weeks ago. They indeed are keeping the spiders (and webs) out of the enclosure, but it seems they introduce a new problem. I now have some sort of crystalized growth on the glass dome. I've never seen anything like it before, so I am assuming it is some reaction to the chemicals in the mothballs. Any chemists out there?

Gorque
05-21-2007, 12:09 PM
I read some articles where plastic reacts with mothballs, but I haven't read about mothballs reacting with glass.

Patrad Fischroy
05-21-2007, 12:15 PM
Well the naptha does evaporate to be effective, if this enclosure is outside and the glass dome is much colder than the rest of the enclosure, you may be getting condensation of the naptha on the interior. Is the enclosure temperature controlled? It may be as simple as cutting down on the number of mothballs that you put in there.

Mike D
05-21-2007, 01:15 PM
I don't think glass reacts with anything. Like Patrad mentioned, it may be mineral condensation.


I read some articles where plastic reacts with mothballs, but I haven't read about mothballs reacting with glass.

Brad
05-21-2007, 02:47 PM
I read some articles where plastic reacts with mothballs, but I haven't read about mothballs reacting with glass.
I doubt the lens is glass. I know are plastic and can easily be scratched.


It sounds like you have DSL at the cabin? How can that affect the use of the telephone? I thought they were sort of separate entities but then again my understanding is limited.
We have cable connection. We have web cameras, computers, servers, and Voice over IP (VoIP) telephones. The VoIP services are sensitive to link quality more than speed. We have anywhere between 1 and 5 VoIP telephone connections at any one time.

6288
05-21-2007, 02:50 PM
I should have mentioned the dome is actually plastic. Also, the camera gives off a fair amount of heat and it would not be unusual for the interior to be several degrees higher than the exterior of the encloser. I did put quite a few (5 or 6) mothballs in there.

Gorque
05-21-2007, 02:51 PM
I don't think glass reacts with anything. Like Patrad mentioned, it may be mineral condensation.

A quick net search (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide) returns few agents that react with glass.


Sodium hydroxide slowly reacts with glass to form sodium silicate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_silicate), so glass joints and stopcocks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stopcock) exposed to NaOH have a tendency to "freeze". Flasks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laboratory_flask) and glass-lined chemical reactors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_reactor) are damaged by long exposure to hot sodium hydroxide, and the glass becomes frosted.

I realize it's Wikipedia and should be taken with a grain of salt, however the same Google search did bring up other links of certain acids that react with glass.

6288
05-21-2007, 02:59 PM
here is a picture (as taken by the webcam) of the crystals.


http://home.comcast.net/~smdamelio/dome.jpg

Gorque
05-21-2007, 03:50 PM
Those are some serious crystals! How long did it take for them to form to that size?

Brad
05-21-2007, 05:21 PM
It looks like 6288 is in NEED of a trip to Maine to fix the camera.

We went to the graduation at Lesley Univ in Boston yesterday. Then I got to Maine late last night. With work today I did not get a lot done around the house - but will get to it shortly. However, I did get the house network running - web cameras accessible - images getting to my personal Fotki account - and I mounted the new web camera down at the lake. Images from it are being sent to my site also. I was running it initially at 320x240 and my son complained already about the quality. So, I changed it to be at 640x480. It can go to 1280x960, but that would use up a lot of bandwidth. Inside the house it works just fine. At 640x480 the refresh rate does slow down.

I will try to leave it at "sunrise" so the Fotki site will have images of sunrise over the lake.

Here is am image from it.

http://images22.fotki.com/v837/photos/8/8235/242566/20070521live-vi.jpg

Brad
05-21-2007, 09:29 PM
9:21 PM and it is totally dark out. Some lights in the distance are from Portland about 40 miles away. I am pleased with the way the camera "sees" at night!

http://images23.fotki.com/v866/photos/8/8235/242566/LV0320070521212143000N-vi.jpg

6288
05-22-2007, 06:35 AM
Those are some serious crystals! How long did it take for them to form to that size?

That is within 2 weeks of placing the moth balls in the enlosure, actually I began seeing some in a few days.

Brad, that camera is beautiful! It makes me really want to think about PoE and a "tree cam". Did Time Warner come through for you? It seems like they did. Or did you put in a new router?

Brad
05-22-2007, 08:00 AM
Before the Time Warner man came to the house (the day before) I saw them make changes in the network. So, when he came to the house things were probably a lot better. I did replace the wireless router (Linksys - which I really like) with a Buffalo Technologies unit (we have their Terastation 1 TB network disk storage units and have been pleased). So, it is set up and most things have been figured out - but there is one major difference. With the Linksys unit an external URL to get to a camera inside the house would work. With the Buffalo unit you have to use an internal house address if you are in the house.

The outside network is still not great. There are periods of pretty good - and some times things are very bad. It is off and on.

One concern with web cameras is the bright sun (sunrise in my case). Over time it will degrade the sensor in the camera. Some cameras come with a tinted globe which would help. I have a tinted replacement globe for this camera (since it is the same housing as the one it replaced). When the warranty expires I will swap the globes to put the tinted one in (hmmm, never checked maybe the new one has the tinted globe already - must go check).

The sunrise this morning was very nice to see. In the summer we waterski before breakfast. The conditions this morning are typical.

http://images22.fotki.com/v837/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070522053709000N-vi.jpg

Patrad Fischroy
05-22-2007, 08:43 AM
here is a picture (as taken by the webcam) of the crystals.




This does look to me like it is mineral condensation/deposition. I don't see any signs of etching on the surface that would indicate to me some reaion with the cover. I assumed at first that you kept the enclosure heated. From your comments I take it that is not so. Another possible solution is to give it a little ventilation. Of course that would give the spiders a better form of entry, but it might make the enclosure a little less hospitable for them as well.

Steve M
05-22-2007, 08:54 AM
Brad, that is a very nice image. The quality is great. Your position on the lake is also cool. I want to see sunrise vids from your camera as well!!:D

Brad
05-22-2007, 01:28 PM
Brad, that is a very nice image. The quality is great. Your position on the lake is also cool. I want to see sunrise vids from your camera as well!!:D
Thanks. We played with the color settings for the lens now that the camera is mounted outside on the lake. The colors seem to be a lot better.

Videos could be done by having a fast set of images sent to the photo web site for a period of time. I do not have the ability to just grab during a period of time, then go to a less frequent interval for the rest of the day - in an automatic way. Maybe one morning I could do this by hand and grab the images to see what I can put together.

Maybe I can create a non-profit organization studying water quality and wind patterns. Then membership could fund my toys.

Brad
05-23-2007, 12:37 PM
Brad, that is a very nice image. The quality is great. Your position on the lake is also cool. I want to see sunrise vids from your camera as well!!:D
Okay, you asked for it. I neglected to lock down the camera so others could not move the camera. So, part way through it moves around a bit. I will do better next time.

This video starts at 4:00 AM and runs to 5:50 AM for 1,072 images 5 seconds apart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBVN8qTDmqs

Steve M
05-23-2007, 09:20 PM
Brad, that was really cool! I love the mist on the water and the colors in the still water as the sun was rising. Then the beam of sun as it comes over the trees. Then the water begins to ripple with the first breezes of the morning. Very nice. That looked like about 2 frames/sec. Have you tried to run it faster or is that about max? Either way I enjoyed it.

Brad
05-23-2007, 09:42 PM
Brad, that was really cool! I love the mist on the water and the colors in the still water as the sun was rising. Then the beam of sun as it comes over the trees. Then the water begins to ripple with the first breezes of the morning. Very nice. That looked like about 2 frames/sec. Have you tried to run it faster or is that about max? Either way I enjoyed it.
The software I used can do each image at 0.5 seconds as the minimum time looking at the image. I have the gap between images set to zero. Since the images were taken at 5 second intervals, the video was running at 10x speed.

The camera is set now to record tomorrow's sunrise from 4am to 6am at 10 second intervals. We will see what that looks like with the same 0.5 second time on the video. The MWO sunrise and sunset videos are really 30 second interval images.

Steve M
05-23-2007, 09:47 PM
The MWO sunrise and sunset videos are really 30 second interval images.
You can really tell the difference. 30 sec. intervals is almost too long but their movies seem to move a lot faster even though it's more choppy.

Brad
05-23-2007, 09:58 PM
You can really tell the difference. 30 sec. intervals is almost too long but their movies seem to move a lot faster even though it's more choppy.
I can do a 20 second try the next morning. getting the images is easy. Putting the video just takes computer think time.

Steve M
05-23-2007, 10:02 PM
I can do a 20 second try the next morning. getting the images is easy. Putting the video just takes computer think time.
Sweet, looking forward to it!:D

Brad
05-24-2007, 08:55 AM
Well, I have a 2 hour video from this morning's sunrise (non-event) taken with 10 second images. It was so foggy you can not see much of anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WxYJq8SS1Y

Brad
05-25-2007, 08:26 AM
Sunrise this morning was not very interesting. it was done at the 10 second interval again trying to get a good example to use for comparison to the next interval the camera can deal with which is 30 seconds.

Here it is if anyone wants to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Bqd8N93aY

We are planning on having our "Dock Party" Sunday morning starting at 9AM. I am planning on opening the camera up for public access (no password required) while we are working - and maybe for the whole day. I will give you access to the pan/tilt, zoom, audio, presets functions on Sunday. Since we all will be down at the lake, I may even try to give access to the different levels of resolution on the camera. Then you can see what 1280x960 looks like (huge).

Steve M
05-25-2007, 08:53 AM
That was certainly better than the day before. I liked it. Did you notice the little bug that flies into view on the right side of the image around 4 min. 21-24 secs. The reflection of the clouds in the water is cool too.

Steve M
05-25-2007, 08:58 AM
We are planning on having our "Dock Party" Sunday morning starting at 9AM. I am planning on opening the camera up for public access (no password required) while we are working - and maybe for the whole day. I will give you access to the pan/tilt, zoom, audio, presets functions on Sunday. Since we all will be down at the lake, I may even try to give access to the different levels of resolution on the camera. Then you can see what 1280x960 looks like (huge).
Sounds good. I'll pop in from time to time to check out the action.:) I'll even call the paramedics if needed.:D :D

Brad
05-25-2007, 09:44 AM
Yes, I saw the bug. The camera is really amazing in its clarity. I am hoping for a nice interesting cloud sunrise coming up.

Brad
05-25-2007, 08:09 PM
Here is a nice picture from this morning taken from my web camera.

http://images24.fotki.com/v853/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070525071743000N-vi.jpg

Brad
05-26-2007, 08:42 AM
The sunrise video from this morning is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WoInTiegWo

Steve M
05-26-2007, 09:25 AM
That one was really nice. The mix of clouds and sun was perfect. Is that your boat out there??

Brad
05-26-2007, 02:56 PM
That one was really nice. The mix of clouds and sun was perfect. Is that your boat out there??
Nope - neighbor's boat I rescued last night. I put our moorings in before dinner and as i was coming back in I thought their boat was "a bit low in the water". The "in the water" was the right set of words. Turned out they forgot to put the drain plug back in. I had to swim down and get it back in for them. Water was not too cold at all.

We hope to get my boat tomorrow afternoon after the Dock Party. The battery is getting charged on my wife's boat. You will see that one later - today hopefully.

My son and his cousin are out windsurfing right now. What a great day in northern New England.

Steve M
05-26-2007, 04:09 PM
Brad,
I tried to log on to the lakeside camera just now and I got in but there was no image to view. Is the camera off line for now??

Brad
05-26-2007, 05:17 PM
Brad,
I tried to log on to the lakeside camera just now and I got in but there was no image to view. Is the camera off line for now??
It is running at 1280x960 and that may not work well from outside the house. Sorry, to say but it awesome here. I just put it back to 640x480.

Steve M
05-26-2007, 05:53 PM
Ok... I figured out the problem. I was using Mozilla Firefox as my browser and wasn't getting anything. I just tried explorer and hwen I did it asked me to install an activex control and now it works great with explorer. I'm going to try it again on firefox

Steve M
05-26-2007, 05:55 PM
Nope, no dice on firefox. Maybe you have an answer for this one.

Brad
05-26-2007, 06:12 PM
Nope, no dice on firefox. Maybe you have an answer for this one.
Even with the Internet Explorer plug-in for FireFox the camera is not accessible. I just use IE and it is fine. All my other things are done with FireFox.

My son has trouble the image up at all with IE6. I have an IE6 machine and it worked fine. There are probably plug-ins on his system which are conflicting.

Brad
05-27-2007, 07:00 AM
We are having our Dock Party today (putting the docks in). Our lakeside camera is now open access with no password. I will try to keep it open all day. The URL is

http://longlake.homeip.net:8003

Have fun - the pan and presets are available to to also.

Steve M
05-27-2007, 07:32 AM
We are going hiking this morning but will be back around 11am. I will check out the progress then. In the mean time, be safe and enjoy!!!

Steve M
05-27-2007, 07:34 AM
The sunrise is nice this morning, the wind must be blowing already because the lake isn't calm like it usually is this early.

Steve M
05-27-2007, 02:30 PM
Well, ya did it, the dock looks great!!

Charlie
05-27-2007, 03:24 PM
yes very nice thanks

Joey Keyz
05-27-2007, 04:19 PM
OK......I have to become a member to see all this, right?

I donated to the MWO, but I think it's time I open up my wallet and become a member. Will an Individual membership help out?

Brad
05-27-2007, 05:26 PM
OK......I have to become a member to see all this, right?

I donated to the MWO, but I think it's time I open up my wallet and become a member. Will an Individual membership help out?
Membership to The Dock Party Association is not required. Send all contributions to MWO.

Steve M
05-27-2007, 05:36 PM
Brad, nice boat! I caught you guys while putting the cover on. Looks like lots of fun this summer. My family and I went on a hike this morning and got back later that I thought so we didn't see the Dock Party. Anyway if anyone is interested you can see the pics of our hike by clicking the link below. The album is the Alfred B. MaClay State Garden one.

Brad
05-27-2007, 06:15 PM
Get your front row seats for The Dock Party. Here is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9s37qUCEV0

Steve M
05-27-2007, 07:31 PM
See, I got to see the dock party anyway, hehe. By the way, why are the last 5-6 frames from the opposite direction?

Brad
05-27-2007, 09:30 PM
See, I got to see the dock party anyway, hehe. By the way, why are the last 5-6 frames from the opposite direction?
After we finished with our dock we all shifted to our neighbor. Then the crew put their dock in too. We do this together each Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Steve M
05-27-2007, 10:07 PM
Ahh, I sea...I mean lake.:)

Charlie
05-28-2007, 09:08 AM
witch way does the camera face ,it looks like it is west ?

and how big is te lake ?

Brad
05-28-2007, 01:23 PM
witch way does the camera face ,it looks like it is west ?

and how big is te lake ?
The camera faces east. North is to the left - south is to the right. The lake runs north and south and is about 11 miles long. we are 2 miles from the northern end. So, we get excellent sunrises.

Brad
05-28-2007, 03:24 PM
6288,

Is this your float we see in the web camera?

http://images24.fotki.com/v797/photos/8/8235/4985705/CRW_4285-vi.jpg

Or this one?

http://images24.fotki.com/v853/photos/8/8235/4985705/CRW_4270-vi.jpg

What a great rock to hang out on!

Steve M
05-28-2007, 03:59 PM
That rock looks so inviting. These webcams are making me homesick for New England. I'll bet the water temps are still in the 50's though. Ours are in the 70's.

Steve M
05-28-2007, 04:01 PM
By the way, what camera are you using for those shots?? The elevation is quite high it would seem.

Brad
05-28-2007, 07:56 PM
By the way, what camera are you using for those shots?? The elevation is quite high it would seem.
We took a group hiking up Bald pate in Maine this morning. 5 people and 5 dogs. Not a good place to hike as we pulled 50+ ticks off each dog when we were done.

But, there was a lookout over the pond that 6288 has his cabin on. So, I used my Canon with a 500mm lens on it to try to get a picture between the trees. These 2 pictures above were not from a web camera.

Brad
05-28-2007, 07:58 PM
That rock looks so inviting. These webcams are making me homesick for New England. I'll bet the water temps are still in the 50's though. Ours are in the 70's.
I did not check the water temp. But, we waterskied this morning and it was very nice. We did not see another boat out there and it was nice and flat. This afternoon after our hike I went in the lake without a wetsuit on - and yes, it is cold.

Steve M
05-28-2007, 09:05 PM
It is May in Maine!....HELLO!!!!:eek:

Charlie
05-28-2007, 09:31 PM
brad it looks like a nice place to be .

thanks for letting us dream a little because we cant be there :( :(

unless you have a big party for all us :D

6288
05-29-2007, 11:27 AM
6288,

Is this your float we see in the web camera?

http://images24.fotki.com/v797/photos/8/8235/4985705/CRW_4285-vi.jpg

Or this one?

http://images24.fotki.com/v853/photos/8/8235/4985705/CRW_4270-vi.jpg

What a great rock to hang out on!

Wow, great perspective. Actually I think both of those shots are to our South, but same side of the pond. I will finally get a chance to get up there this Friday and clean my camera dome. Hopefully the deck will have "decking" on it by the time we leave too. I ordered a small (10 watt) solar panel last week. I don't know if it will arrive in time for this next trip. But I am going to try an experiment with my wireless camera. The camera is supposed to draw 4.5W @12V, I have a gell cell (17Ah) and a yagi antenna. I'm going for a "tree cam". Maybe disguise the whole thing as a bird house.

Brad
05-29-2007, 12:21 PM
Wow, great perspective. Actually I think both of those shots are to our South, but same side of the pond. I will finally get a chance to get up there this Friday and clean my camera dome. Hopefully the deck will have "decking" on it by the time we leave too. I ordered a small (10 watt) solar panel last week. I don't know if it will arrive in time for this next trip. But I am going to try an experiment with my wireless camera. The camera is supposed to draw 4.5W @12V, I have a gell cell (17Ah) and a yagi antenna. I'm going for a "tree cam". Maybe disguise the whole thing as a bird house.
Fantastic - this will be great to see.

Steve M
05-29-2007, 12:38 PM
brad it looks like a nice place to be .

thanks for letting us dream a little because we cant be there :( :(

unless you have a big party for all us :D
great idea, How about the end of July!!
I'll bring the Hamburger:D

Brad
05-29-2007, 01:49 PM
Sunrise this morning had a bit more character,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFx8pWoHHDk

Steve M
05-29-2007, 03:36 PM
Sunrise was great yet something went bad wrong around 4 min. 20 sec.

Brad
05-29-2007, 03:59 PM
Sunrise was great yet something went bad wrong around 4 min. 20 sec.
yes - there were 2 or 3 gaps where the files did not get to fotki.

Charlie
05-29-2007, 06:19 PM
great idea, How about the end of July!!
I'll bring the Hamburger:D


if this was to happen i will bring the steaks and lobsters :D :D :D

Charlie
05-29-2007, 06:22 PM
well looks like I'm locked out need a password

Steve M
05-29-2007, 07:18 PM
if this was to happen i will bring the steaks and lobsters.:D :D :D
WOW, steaks and lobsters! Well then I guess I won't bring Hamburger. I will bring Steamers and Corn on the Cob. Maybe we could turn this into a genuine New England Clam Bake!!!

Charlie
05-29-2007, 07:28 PM
may be we can use the observatory for a forum get to gather . do a Fri afternoon to sun noon . :rolleyes: :rolleyes: we can talk with out a computer ;) ;) and every one bring some food and share with the ones on top that are hard at work .:D :D

Brad
05-29-2007, 08:39 PM
well looks like I'm locked out need a password
Sorry folks - my wife works from the house and my son is there for the month. They both have VoIP and need good connections. So, I had to put the lakeside camera back with under password control. Maybe I can open it up again next weekend if the Internet connection holds reasonably well.

Charlie
05-29-2007, 08:44 PM
well thanks it was nice to look at when it was up and running

Brad
05-29-2007, 08:47 PM
may be we can use the observatory for a forum get to gather . do a Fri afternoon to sun noon . :rolleyes: :rolleyes: we can talk with out a computer ;) ;) and every one bring some food and share with the ones on top that are hard at work .:D :D
It would be great to have a forum get together. Doing it on top would be excellent, but we would probably get better participation if we did it somewhere like Pinkham or N Conway. Plus, carrying hot lasagna to the summit would be a bit tough anyway.

I think I will be in Maine the weekend of August 4-5. Anyone interested in that weekend? Now to find a place to do a Pot Luck Dinner. Maybe Al's place in Randolph? Al, you here listening in? Or do you have a better suggestion?

Steve M
05-29-2007, 08:49 PM
Have you noticed how Brad keeps skirting the idea of a get together at his place. LOL:D

Brad
05-29-2007, 09:06 PM
Have you noticed how Brad keeps skirting the idea of a get together at his place. LOL:D
Moi?

Sometimes I think my wife is running a Bed & Breakfast! We have a steady stream of house guests all summer. Dinner was a small one last night - only 10 people (the 5 dogs do not count). I know she has the place booked solid all summer - and I have not brought up the idea that several from work in NC want to hike Mt Washington over Labor day weekend. They have said they will help take the dock out. We are hoping to pull this hike off.

So, a Forum Frolic is probably not in the cards this year at our place.

Steve M
05-29-2007, 09:41 PM
Well, I guess we can let you off the hook this year. If we do have a get together somewhere this summer I won't be able to make it unless it is between July 17th and July 29th. That is the time I have set aside to get up there. I could change it but then I would miss STP.

Brad
05-29-2007, 09:52 PM
I would love to be up there for STP. Not sure how I can do it for that weekend. Things might change as we get closer. I will be up there almost 2 weeks the beginning of July. Normally I do not return after a long visit for 3 weeks. If I make that one 2 weeks later, then I could do STP.

I am back in NC now - will be here next weekend - then will drive to grandsons to Maine the following weekend - up and back quick trip. No hiking that time. Should be able to waterski though.

Rich
05-29-2007, 10:22 PM
may be we can use the observatory for a forum get to gather . do a Fri afternoon to sun noon . :rolleyes: :rolleyes: we can talk with out a computer ;) ;) and every one bring some food and share with the ones on top that are hard at work .:D :D

No better place to get together than the Obs facility! No need for hot lasagna, Brad. We enjoy delicious, mouth watering MRE's (longlifefood.com) when we hike. Just order up a few cases and we'll be all set. How about some dates? Perhaps many of us will be in the Whites for flags on the 48 (flagsonthe48.org) on September 8. Would that weekend work? Might be too much in one weekend, huh...

Steve M
05-29-2007, 11:48 PM
No better place to get together than the Obs facility! No need for hot lasagna, Brad. We enjoy delicious, mouth watering MRE's (longlifefood.com) when we hike. Just order up a few cases and we'll be all set. How about some dates? Perhaps many of us will be in the Whites for flags on the 48 (flagsonthe48.org) on September 8. Would that weekend work? Might be too much in one weekend, huh...
LOL...Sounds scrum-dilly-yummy can't wait for that one....Umm...I think I'll bring the hamburgers after all!!:rolleyes:

Brad
05-30-2007, 10:53 AM
Sunrise this morning can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VPjnl5fDRM

Brad
05-31-2007, 06:53 AM
I ran the sunrise video this morning at 30 second intervals. Do you like this speed vs the 10 second intervals?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AghP343vyIU

Brad
05-31-2007, 07:19 AM
One of the images from sunrise this morning off the web camera.

http://images23.fotki.com/v875/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070531050200000N-vi.jpg

6288
05-31-2007, 07:42 AM
I ran the sunrise video this morning at 30 second intervals. Do you like this speed vs the 10 second intervals?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AghP343vyIU

I like it (30s) better, FWIW.

Steve M
05-31-2007, 08:24 AM
I ran the sunrise video this morning at 30 second intervals. Do you like this speed vs the 10 second intervals?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AghP343vyIU
I like it a bit shorter but I think it looses some of the detail. Not bad though.

Brad
05-31-2007, 11:12 AM
I will run tomorrow at 10 second intervals - but cut off more before and after to try to make it shorter.

Brad
06-01-2007, 06:22 AM
6288,

The IP address of our house in Maine was changed last night and the whole house network was down. I can not get at your camera either - so, they may have changed you too. My son had to reset everything in our house to get back online. The lake camera is still not available yet.

Steve M
06-01-2007, 08:17 AM
WOW, sorry to hear that. Well...tomorrow is another day for a sunrise. Good thing we get them once a day.:)

Charlie
06-01-2007, 09:52 AM
yes sorry to here that about that .

but now that the lake cam is down i might get some work done around the home instead of dreaming about being on the lake :D :D

but i hope its up soon some thing may change on the lake and i may miss it :eek: :eek: :eek:

Brad
06-01-2007, 10:01 AM
yes sorry to here that about that .

but now that the lake cam is down i might get some work done around the home instead of dreaming about being on the lake :D :D

but i hope its up soon some thing may change on the lake and i may miss it :eek: :eek: :eek:
I hate to tell you - but - my wife fixed it. the camera is now running and images are being sent to Fotki again. But, you are not missing anything as the lake is still quiet flat - wow so nice.

http://images23.fotki.com/v875/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070601095239000N-vi.jpg

Charlie
06-01-2007, 10:18 AM
ok i will try not to look at it for the next 1 hr :( :(

Steve M
06-01-2007, 10:23 AM
Being that I am a native of New England, knowing what it's like to be cloudy more than sunny (especially in the spring), think that overcast and cloudy days and even rainy days are as beautiful as sunny days in their own way. People here in Florida (the sunshine state) think I'm nuts but oh well...I guess there just isn't mush hope for them.:p
What I see in that photo is an awesome opportunity to catch some fish!!!

Charlie
06-01-2007, 10:35 AM
or take a nap just floating around :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Brad
06-01-2007, 10:54 AM
I used to work in NY and drive to Maine every weekend. As we crossed over the bridge at Portsmouth, NH and got into Maine I used to take my watch off. It would not go back on my wrist till we left Maine again. Time did not matter. Enjoying yourself did.

Steve M
06-01-2007, 05:13 PM
When we get to the mountains there is no tv (dvd player)or cell phones(unless absolutely necessary) until we leave to head home.

Brad
06-02-2007, 05:30 AM
6288,

It looks like you have gotten to Maine for the weekend - and your deck is looking nice.

6288
06-02-2007, 08:59 AM
6288,

It looks like you have gotten to Maine for the weekend - and your deck is looking nice.

Ayup (trying to fit in here). I'm at the camp now. Something tore down the birdfeeder. The neighbor says it was a bear, but I'm not convinced of that yet. I have moved a smaller camera to keep an eye on it (with motion detection). Gotta run, ran out of deck screws yesterday so we are taking the big run to "town".

Steve

Brad
06-02-2007, 10:06 AM
Ayup (trying to fit in here). I'm at the camp now. Something tore down the birdfeeder. The neighbor says it was a bear, but I'm not convinced of that yet. I have moved a smaller camera to keep an eye on it (with motion detection). Gotta run, ran out of deck screws yesterday so we are taking the big run to "town".

Steve
Wow - going to town. That is a big deal. We have a bear wandering around our area. Some trash cans have been messed up at night. And folks on the road have seen him walking down the road in the daytime.

Remember the name of the road around the corner from you - "Bear Trap Road".

Brad
06-03-2007, 07:04 AM
6288,

Nice bird feeder you have now. But, it looks like you have a furry visitor.

http://images23.fotki.com/v867/photos/1/1002902/4071997/stevebirdfeeder-vi.jpg

Rich
06-03-2007, 07:38 AM
Have you noticed how Brad keeps skirting the idea of a get together at his place. LOL:D

Steve, If you really want a get together at Brad's cabin...just ask him to set up a web cam at his next party. Just like being there!

Brad
06-03-2007, 07:51 AM
Steve, If you really want a get together at Brad's cabin...just ask him to set up a web cam at his next party. Just like being there!
I already have the web cams - http://longlake.homeip.net:8003 is open access for the weekend. I just need a party on the dock.

Looks wet out today and nobody was out waterskiing this morning. Next weekend will be a fast NC-Maine-back to NC weekend. Our 2 grandsons get out of school n Friday and I will drive them to Maine for the summer. Can you imagine being able to spend the summer in the woods on a lake? Wow - what a good deal.

Rich
06-03-2007, 08:08 AM
Question for Brad and 6288,

Both of you have awesome places on a lake deep in the woods of Maine. I would LOVE to have even a shack on a lake somewhere to get away from daily hectic life and people in general, enjoy a 5AM still water paddle, sip my early morning coffee while watching the critters at the bird feeders, spot the occasional bear wandering through the property, ahhhh...you know the good stuff. Anyway, my question is...

What inspired you to allow the cyber World to join you at your private lakeside retreats through your cams?

Brad
06-03-2007, 09:00 AM
Question for Brad and 6288,

Both of you have awesome places on a lake deep in the woods of Maine. I would LOVE to have even a shack on a lake somewhere to get away from daily hectic life and people in general, enjoy a 5AM still water paddle, sip my early morning coffee while watching the critters at the bird feeders, spot the occasional bear wandering through the property, ahhhh...you know the good stuff. Anyway, my question is...

What inspired you to allow the cyber World to join you at your private lakeside retreats through your cams?
Interesting question - and I will be interested in 6288's answer too.

For me it is a two part answer. I work in NC and my cabin is in Maine. Have I mentioned before that I love Maine - and the lake - and the . . .? My daughter and son also live and work in NC. So, we all want a piece of Maine as we go about our NC activities. Watching the sunrise over the lake from NC is the 2nd best thing to being there. It is nice to have the cameras for security - but, the primary reason is to see what is happening up there. It is an emotional thing.

We have a large extended family. So, giving access to the cameras to the 30-40 "kids" who have joined the family over the years is a natural thing. Actually, it is really just the ones who have been up recently who have access. The plumber has access to the driveway camera so he can see how the heated driveway is doing during a snowstorm in the winter. The cameras are there to be used.

The biggest concern in opening them up is the impact on bandwidth. If we want to turn them off, that is easy - but rarely have we done that.

So, it all goes back to we are very open folks - love to share and do things with others. We love the place in Maine and love to share it - in person - and thru the cameras.

Steve M
06-03-2007, 09:09 AM
Can you imagine being able to spend the summer in the woods on a lake? Wow - what a good deal.
That would be great. I will be looking into buying a piece of property somewhere up there to hold on to for the future. When I retire then I can spend more than the summer in the woods on a lake-great deal!!

Brad
06-03-2007, 09:52 AM
That would be great. I will be looking into buying a piece of property somewhere up there to hold on to for the future. When I retire then I can spend more than the summer in the woods on a lake-great deal!!
Based on many years of study, folks are willing to drive to a weekend vacation place if it is within a 3 hour drive. We are just within 3 hours of Boston. So, property vales are higher than if you went another hour north. Still there would be nice lakes and ponds to buy property. But, it would be more reasonable.

6288
06-03-2007, 10:25 PM
Question for Brad and 6288,

What inspired you to allow the cyber World to join you at your private lakeside retreats through your cams?

I actually placed the cameras at the camp both for security and to see snow depths. We snowmobile in the winter and there's nothing like actually seeing the measurement. I opened the (one) camera to a sledding website and people seemed to really appreciate it. It's very easy for me to close public access and often times I do when we are staying there. This forum is fairly small and the audience here is pretty high caliper and appreciates views I believe.

Steve

Steve M
06-03-2007, 10:33 PM
Steve, thanks for the kind words and yes...I do appreciate the views. :D

Brad
06-04-2007, 06:19 AM
This forum is fairly small and the audience here is pretty high caliper and appreciates views I believe.

Steve
I agree with the "high caliber" audience here on this forum. However, the potential for not being small is pretty good. I have had days when a link was posted on the Observers' Comments to a set of my pictures - and got over 50,000 images viewed that day. There are a bunch of people out there who are interested in MWO and if they come to our cameras we will be swamped. If they all become MWO members that would be a good day.

The weather up north does not look good today unless you are a duck. Quack.

Instead of watching the rain on the lake I have been catching up on the Louis Vuitton Finals races in Spain. New Zealand is doing very well!

Steve M
06-04-2007, 07:34 PM
I agree with Brad. The other thought I had is the amount of "Guests" that frequent this site. There are far more guests than members and I would be more inclined to open my cameras to members than non-members. We really have no idea who the non-members are but members are more serious (or should I say committed) than guests.

Brad
06-04-2007, 08:21 PM
And with all this discussion about web cameras and having them open - and my lake camera was down last night - then okay - now is down again. Not sure why.

Steve M
06-04-2007, 08:31 PM
I don't really know the answer to this one but with my limited knowledge of wabcams and networking I would think that webcams too would be vulnerable to viruses since they are partly software based. Yes or no?

Rich
06-04-2007, 09:52 PM
Brad and 6288,

I figured the security was a big aspect of the cams. Reading the snow depths...wow...what a great idea! Nice to have that ability to see what's going on when you're not there I'm sure. Thanks guys for "sharing" your cabins with us...I feel right at home! ;)

Brad
06-05-2007, 06:24 AM
For me another key use of the cameras is to check the snow in the driveway. We have a heated driveway and it would be very expensive to run the system all the time. So, I go to the web camera and if the driveway has a lot of snow on it and we will be going up for a period of time, I select a day that will be a bit warmer, then go through the Internet and turn the driveway heat system on. When I see it is all melted, then I go back and turn the system off.

6288
06-05-2007, 07:55 AM
I don't really know the answer to this one but with my limited knowledge of wabcams and networking I would think that webcams too would be vulnerable to viruses since they are partly software based. Yes or no?

Actually no. Unlike the Bill Gates world, most cameras are unix based. From the onset, unix never allowed the rogue program to invade it's OS. Plus they have the (limited) OS in firmware, so you can't write to it easily. Basically you get a small instruction set, and you have to live with it, unless you can upgrade the firmware. About the only thing we might be vulnerable to is a denial of service attack.

Steve M
06-05-2007, 09:18 AM
Actually no. Unlike the Bill Gates world, most cameras are unix based. From the onset, unix never allowed the rogue program to invade it's OS. Plus they have the (limited) OS in firmware, so you can't write to it easily. Basically you get a small instruction set, and you have to live with it. Unless you can upgrade the firmware. About the only thing we might be vulnerable to is a denial of service attack.
That's great! Personally I think a lot of the viruses out there are written by Microsoft or affiliates for the sole purpose of manipulating users into staying dependent on them and upgrading to newer versions of their product...ie...more sales.

6288
06-06-2007, 10:07 AM
, I select a day that will be a bit warmer, then go through the Internet and turn the driveway heat system on. When I see it is all melted, then I go back and turn the system off.

Brad,

What do you use for controllers for such high draw devices? We have a similar problem in the winter. I have several electric heaters (220V) and it would be great to turn them on a few hours before we arrived.

Brad
06-06-2007, 10:21 AM
Brad,

What do you use for controllers for such high draw devices? We have a similar problem in the winter. I have several electric heaters (220V) and it would be great to turn them on a few hours before we arrived.
The driveway heat system is a furnace and radiant heat system. Between the red switch on the wall at the basement stairs and the furnace I have an X-10 on/off switch. This is normal 110V.

I have other X-10 switches to recycle web cameras and to turn exterior lights on and off. I believe X-10 (www.smarthome.com) does have 220V switches.

6288
06-06-2007, 04:33 PM
Thanks Brad, I assume with the X10 stuff you have to have a PC running at the remote location. I was thinking more of something like this http://www.controlbyweb.com/webrelay-quad/index.html

Only these would have to trigger another 220V relay to actually put the heaters on.

Steve M
06-09-2007, 10:12 AM
Brad, I tried to view the lake cam over the last few days and it can't be found. Are you still off line or have you changed the IP??

Brad
06-09-2007, 05:16 PM
Brad, I tried to view the lake cam over the last few days and it can't be found. Are you still off line or have you changed the IP??
The lake camera went offline due to an installation error i made. I am in Maine for the weekend and just fixed it. Back and running!

6288
06-10-2007, 08:35 AM
Brad,

While you're up there, see if you can find my bird feeder!

Steve M
06-10-2007, 09:58 AM
This mornings Comments are from the Reed family, summit visitors for the weekend. I have never heard of such a thing. Is it something new or have they always done this??

Brad
06-10-2007, 11:33 AM
Brad,

While you're up there, see if you can find my bird feeder!
I tell you - the bear got it. If you had the camera images sent up to Fotki.com on a regular basis you would have seen him come up, grab it, and off he went.

The bear on our road is getting a bit more bold. He has been seen walking down the road at 6:30AM.

Brad
06-10-2007, 11:35 AM
This mornings Comments are from the Reed family, summit visitors for the weekend. I have never heard of such a thing. Is it something new or have they always done this??
I had not heard of this before. But, it is a great idea!

6288
06-10-2007, 11:51 AM
I tell you - the bear got it. If you had the camera images sent up to Fotki.com on a regular basis you would have seen him come up, grab it, and off he went.

The bear on our road is getting a bit more bold. He has been seen walking down the road at 6:30AM.

I know... I actually had a camera set up on the feeder w/motion detection. It got him, but then the pictures were overwritten. I thought I had more room in the camera buffer. Now I just record the main camera with software on my PC, but I need more bait! No doubt about it being a bear this time. I put 2" screws in the holder so it just bent the iron. Plus the feeder has left the area! I'll be up again on the 20th.

Brad
06-10-2007, 12:20 PM
6288,

I am sorry, but I was laughing so hard. Let me swing by in a few minutes and see if I can find a fat bear around the place ...

On second thought, I am going swimming.

Sorry to hear you are not up this weekend. The weather is great - very few boats on the lake - our kids and 2 grandkids and 3 dogs are playing in the water. A very nice northern New England summer day - 71 degrees out now with a very light breeze.

fifteendays
06-10-2007, 11:17 PM
I had not heard of this before. But, it is a great idea!

The Reed family owns Art Lee Floor Covering in Intervale, NH and they very generously donated all the carpeting for the expansion of the summit museum shop, complete with installation, on very short notice. Their contribution was HUGE for the Observatory. The carpet went down on the Friday before Memorial Weekend, our staff frantically stocked and completely re-set the shop and we had a huge holiday weekend. It was great.

While this isn't something we normally do, we were more than happy to welcome them to the summit for an overnight visit to say "thanks". I'm glad the summit crew gave them the opportunity to post a comment on the website as well!

Scot
MWO Staff

Steve M
06-11-2007, 12:46 AM
While this isn't something we normally do, we were more than happy to welcome them to the summit for an overnight visit to say "thanks". I'm glad the summit crew gave them the opportunity to post a comment on the website as well!

Scot
MWO Staff
That is an awesome gift for both the MWO and the Reed family.

Charlie
06-11-2007, 03:19 PM
looks a little windy on the lake today

Brad
06-11-2007, 08:14 PM
looks a little windy on the lake today
Yes, but as I drove out this morning at 3AM the moon was rising over the lake. Here is the camera view at 4:08AM - just moonlight.

http://images6.fotki.com/v880/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070611040816000N-vi.jpg

And after sunrise

http://images114.fotki.com/v879/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070611071429000N-vi.jpg

I am now down in NC and will have to do with watching the web cameras for the next 3 weeks till I get back to Maine.

Brad
06-11-2007, 09:12 PM
Last night the camera caught a mink swimming along the shore. We have seen in and around the rocks on the shore. (Not as exciting as 6288's bear.)

http://images6.fotki.com/v880/photos/8/8235/4962265/LV0320070610204617000N-vi.jpg

6288
06-12-2007, 07:55 AM
Well, been running 8 days now on my "solar" powered experiment. I have a BL-10 in my back yard at home on a 10W panel and a 17Ah battery. It's been pretty sunny for the most part, and of course it's mid June, so I would expect good results. The camera is here (http:////bellwx.ddns.us:50000/CgiStart?page=Single&Language=0) and the panel is down on the bench at the lower left.

I found that this camera is only drawing 100mA and the panel puts out 600mA in good sun (at up to 17V, which is high for the camera, but seems to be taking it OK) The battery keeps the voltage down, but I have seen it get as high as 15.8V. The real challenge will be to see if there is a place in Maine that is sunny enough and close enough for the wireless to be effective.

Brad
06-12-2007, 03:59 PM
Is the BL-10 camera wireless or wired? I tried to find anything on it and was not successful.

Here is a package solution for what you are doing.
www.webcamstore.com/professional/product.php?systemid=298

Steve M
06-12-2007, 06:28 PM
That's really cool. The picture quality seems pretty good too.

The deck looks good also.:)

6288
06-12-2007, 06:41 PM
Is the BL-10 camera wireless or wired? I tried to find anything on it and was not successful.

Here is a package solution for what you are doing.
www.webcamstore.com/professional/product.php?systemid=298

The full model is BL-C10A. I just couldn't remember it at the time. It's an inexpensive ($199) wired camera. The camera that I want to use the panel on is in Maine and is the wireless version of this camera. (BL-C30A I think)

Brad
06-12-2007, 06:45 PM
I found the BL-C10 on Amazon for $185. Has pan and tilt - does not say wireless.

The BL-C10A is $188 - can FTP images to a web site like I do for Fotki. It has pan and tilt. Not sure about zoom though.

The BL-C30A adds on wireless and goes for $260. So, it can connect to your home network. Has pan and tilt. FTP images to a site. This has a faster refresh rate (30 frames per second) and supports up to 30 users at a time. You will not get to these limits through the Internet - but, you would see a nice improvement when inside the house compared to the above two.

It is interesting there are no Power over Ethernet options or higher image quality than 640x480.

Brad
06-12-2007, 06:51 PM
The full model is BL-C10A. I just couldn't remember it at the time. It's an inexpensive ($199) wired camera. The camera that I want to use the panel on is in Maine and is the wireless version of this camera. (BL-C30A I think)
With a good antenna in your cabin you should be able to get to most places on your property to connect to the wireless camera. We have a friend who lives about 1/2 mile away around on the other side of the cove. My son and I use her small office building down at the shore when we are in Maine working. This morning my son was working in our boat as it was tied to the dock (why would my son be working from the boat at 6:00 AM is another whole story) and he could connect to the friend's wireless network since the antenna going from her house to the office aims pretty close to our boat at the dock. There are even a good set of trees in between the house and the waterfront.

The wireless connection should not be a big problem to solve.

Pictures of the office and the view (which I would never look at when working ...) are at http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet/cabin/office/ (except for the last image which is in my basement office area).

6288
06-12-2007, 08:03 PM
Brad,

Did you ever get a chance to look at these (http://www.controlbyweb.com/webrelay-quad/index.html) ?

Being able to handle 24VAC @ 1A is perfect for a thermostat. Mine should be here tomorrow. And no remote PC to deal with!

Brad
06-12-2007, 08:32 PM
Brad,

Did you ever get a chance to look at these (http://www.controlbyweb.com/webrelay-quad/index.html) ?

Being able to handle 24VAC @ 1A is perfect for a thermostat. Mine should be here tomorrow. And no remote PC to deal with!
Yes, i saw them but struggled to see what application they could work for - for me.

For example, I have a set of 4 dual-bulb floodlights on trees along the pathway to the parking area at the cabin. The wall switch by the front door needs to work to turn the lights on and off. I also need the ability to turn the lights on and off from the Internet. I do not see how this unit would handle this task.

I have 4 X-10 units installed today (wall switches, outlets and an on/off switch in the basement ceiling for the driveway heat system). We are talking now about 2 more wall switches in the garage and 2 or 3 down in the pump house we are putting in on our 2nd lot. So, quite quickly we will be up to 10 X-10 units. Some of the next ones to go in will have dimmer capabilities.

What am i missing with the WebRelay unit to see how that would help me? Also, I can add a switch for $25-$50 depending on the features I want.

What will you be using the unit for?

I will be getting a couple of Leviton remote consoles to manage some exterior lights - from the house and also from the campfire/dock area. It would be nice if these could tie in with the rest of the automation stuff.

Brad
06-12-2007, 09:42 PM
For some reason YouTube.com was very slow today. I uploaded these two videos this morning and they just showed up.

Here is the moonrise early this morning. The moonrise sequence starts at 3:00 AM. The brightness at the end is amazing for a web camera.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YfsevD_L6k

The sunrise was a dud for color but wonderful for cloud action.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhu8_AQ2tjk

6288
06-12-2007, 10:36 PM
What will you be using the unit for?



I have 4, 220V in-wall mounted heaters. Our wood burner is our primary source of heat, but the electric heaters (2000W) make a huge difference at night in the bedrooms. So I wanted to be able to turn them on before we leave for the camp in winter. I can't turn off/on the thermostats since they are housed individually in the wall units, so my only choice is to turn on/off the power source.

These IP relays will be used to trigger much larger SPDT relays which I am housing in a metal enclosure next to the breaker panel. The large relays operate on 24VAC (common thermostat transformer) and the contacts can carry 30A @ 220V. (I only require 10A) Each leg of the 220V circuit will be switched via the double pole relays.

I assume the X10 modules need a running PC at the remote site, which I want to avoid (an honestly don't trust). I have tried in the past running remote PC's and something always seems to go wrong with them sooner or later. So for me, a $100 solution in this switch is just the ticket. And the rest I designed and built myself (the only one I trust with this kind of amperage).

I do the same thing on a lesser scale with one of my cameras. The camera has on output which will short a couple hundred milliamps @12V. I use this to trigger a relay which passes 110V to 2 flood lights. A button on the web page for the camera controls the whole thing.

Steve

Brad
06-13-2007, 05:24 AM
I have 4, 220V in-wall mounted heaters.
As soon as I see "220V" I run the other direction. I would not mess with that stuff. I am sticking with 110V. And since the things I want to control are not on dedicated circuits, I have to do the control at the outlet/switch/device.

I am controlling the power for the cameras, lights and furnace through a PC at the cabin. It is an old hand-me-down from a friend. I have PCAnywhere running on it so I can log in and use it as if I were there. I am sitting in NC right now and ran the Windows updates that came in last night and rebooted the machine. This is also the computer that grabs the MWO camera images and sends them to the www.fotki.com/mwo site every 15 minutes.

If the images are getting updated on Fotki I know the computer is running. It also has a Yahoo Messenger ID. I can easily see if that is running to see if the computer is on. Microsoft seems to like to reboot it for me. If the YIM ID is not logged on, I use PCAnywhere to log in and normally it is sitting waiting for the computer password. Enter that and it finishes the start up process. Yes, having a computer adds to the complexity. But, I needed one for the image uploading - and it is the guest computer for folks who come to visit. When I put the computer on a small UPS that helped the stability issue. That keeps the computer running even when the whole house generator kicks in (there is a 4 second outage before the generator starts up).

With the X-10 things you can control many of the devices through a dial-up telephone line into a controller. And some of the controllers are becoming IP network based with web pages in them for configuration. They are still pretty small with a limited number of devices that can be controlled this way. With a computer as the controller I have pretty much unlimited numbers of devices I can use.

Another thing to remember is - put the cable modem and wireless router for the Internet connection on a small UPS. That way the Internet connection will continue if the power goes out - until the generator kicks in. I have been on a digital telephone call (VoIP) when the power went out. 4 seconds later the generator took over and the call as well as the internet connection continued through it without a problem.

6288
06-14-2007, 07:50 PM
Brad,

Check out this page, I disabled the password so you could see it. No worries, it's not hooked up to anything yet.

http://bellwx.ddns.us:8081/

Brad
06-14-2007, 09:00 PM
Brad,

Check out this page, I disabled the password so you could see it. No worries, it's not hooked up to anything yet.

http://bellwx.ddns.us:8081/
So, the On/Off flips the relay for that 220V circuit. That should work fine for that type of application. You must have a dedicated circuit for each device. Will you be wiring in the relays all right by the circuit box?

It was interesting in that right after I typed my response above - I had a web camera freeze up. i needed to unplug it and power it back on. And the camera is plugged into an outlet in the bunkroom where my grandkids are sleeping. With an On/Off switch for the whole circuit i would have killed the power for everything they have in the room. With the X-10 setup I flipped the power off to just the camera and then back on. All working again.

Ha - as it is getting dark in Maine I just saw that the electrician has installed the floodlights on a tree by the shoreline. Light is shining down on the dock for the first time. I will be able to put the cover on the boat at night and be able to see what I am doing.

6288
06-14-2007, 10:32 PM
So, the On/Off flips the relay for that 220V circuit. That should work fine for that type of application. You must have a dedicated circuit for each device. Will you be wiring in the relays all right by the circuit box?



That is correct. The reason I can get away with this setup is that each heater is on a separate breaker, and the relay box will be aside the main breaker box.
(and still protected by the breakers if something really went wrong) There's really not much else up there I need to be able to control. I have the flood lights controlled off the camera already, and the heaters were actually something my wife really wanted to remote control. The modem and router are on a pretty large UPS and it is externally fed form a deep cycle marine battery. It can stay up w/o power for several days.

Steve M
06-14-2007, 11:42 PM
WOW, you guys are like out in the ozone layer when it comes to all this stuff. I try to follow along but it's beyond me! It is a cool idea though to be able to control things in the house remotely. It would be neat to be able to turn the a/c back down to a comfortable temp just a few hours before we arrived home from a trip.

Brad
06-15-2007, 05:24 AM
WOW, you guys are like out in the ozone layer when it comes to all this stuff. I try to follow along but it's beyond me! It is a cool idea though to be able to control things in the house remotely. It would be neat to be able to turn the a/c back down to a comfortable temp just a few hours before we arrived home from a trip.
A lot of this discussion goes back to having a second home or cabin. We are not there all the time and want to know what is happening. Therefore, the web cameras.

Before you get there it would be nice to turn the heat up so you do not waste half of a weekend visit trying to warm up. Therefore, the Internet access to turn things on and off.

Then we also lose power quite a bit. So, how can you keep things running if power goes out or be able to make due with no power for a while. Lots of folks have wood heat as the primary or secondary heat source. Last year our generator ran for 125 hours. If you have food in the freezer or water pipes which could freeze, you need a generator or a neighbor to come stoke the wood furnace. On our 2 miles of private road we have 4 year round homes. So, there are not a lot of folks around as "close neighbors".

I am working with the local plumbing/propane supply company. We will put in a small transmitter on the top of the propane tank outside the house. That will send a signal to a receiver inside the house. This will use the regular telephone line at 3AM to call the computer at the propane supply company to tell the system how much propane is in my tank.

This way the company does not have to send a driver out to check and fill the tanks. He only goes when it is needed. The main application of this will be for customers who have a generator and do not live there all the time. This is just one more thing to think of when out in the woods away from town. We should be testing this when I get up at the beginning of July.

Charlie
06-15-2007, 10:34 PM
brad how come on the cam tonight it said it was 9 pm and it was still light out on the lake ,but here in pa at 9 it was dark . was the cam picture displayed right.

love that view :D :D :D

Brad
06-16-2007, 07:46 AM
brad how come on the cam tonight it said it was 9 pm and it was still light out on the lake ,but here in pa at 9 it was dark . was the cam picture displayed right.

love that view :D :D :D
Two reasons.

1. Maine is further north and it gets dark later. Sunset last night in Maine was 8:28 PM. Hmmm, Harrisburg, PA seems to have the same sunset time.

2. The other reason is it is a low light camera. It is listed at 0.18 LUX. So, if there is any light source at all, it will use it. The moonrise the other night was quite bright in the camera by 3:40 AM. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YfsevD_L6k I could set the camera to go to black & white mode when it starts to get dark - but, I have not done that. There is an exposure setting to get more light in when it is dark and I have that set to 2 seconds. It could go up to 4 seconds to "see" better at night. (I just changed it to 4 seconds and we will see tonight what difference it makes)

The LUX capability is a major difference between cameras. The Panasonic BB-HCM531A looks like it is a similar camera to mine. A little better on the LUX reading. Same price range - a little higher. From what I have played with the Panasonic cameras from my cell phone - I can see the still image on the phone, but I can not save it because of the way the URL is constructed. With the Toshiba I can view the image - save it on the phone - and then e-mail it to be posted on my Fotki account to be viewed in 15 seconds.