Village Square Cam - Mt Buller

Discussion in 'Mt Buller' started by Richard, Jul 1, 2014.


    Richard Addicted Member Administrator


    Whiteman Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    But typical whiteout this morning.

    absentskier Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Good for snow preservation!
    Claude Cat

    Claude Cat Gone Fishing Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Most useful snow cam in Australia.
    :thumbs: Whiteman, Blitzen and CarveMan like this.

    TOFF Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    Looking snowy :D

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    We need a PT cam there so we can have 3 or 4 views from the VS cam like Hotham has in the Gully.

    I can get a cam that does it without needing a script to set positons, uses preset positions and sends and image for each when it parks at each positon.

    It could have a view same as now of Village square.
    One looking up Bk St
    One of the pic below
    Another 90 degree or more left of the shot below.

    Or line up however many stops it takes to do a full panorama each sweep.

    In a dome unit on a pendant on a post upright from the fence, shaped like the street lamps in shot it would blend in.

    :thumbs: Equus, boorsy and luvthabumps like this.

    TOFF Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    So, stairs you say.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    We could see all the stairs as they vanish under snow.

    tot Active Member

    spew cam!
    steps have filled again

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Could be worth doing a Kickstarter or something similar to see if we can get it crowdfunded.

    I can think of a couple of other private apartments that would be good cam locations. Not as prime as Casa LTB due to the all-night aspect, but they could be worthwhile.

    kimberlee81 Dedicated Member

    OK, I'm in. Figure it out, get the OKs you need from apartment owners and let's Kickstart it! (Or Indiegogo - they're good, too)

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Guess we need Dbski to quote on the costs for the cameras/housings etc, factor in wiring as well. Get a feel for how much we need and go from there.

    There is one particular apartment overlooking the Chamois area, we've spoken with the owners and they would be cool with a cam.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Buller Cam fund would be good.
    Could certainly do a lot better than we have now.
    The Sony Ipela cams I got are old and were good some years ago (make that many years ago) and 640x480 images limiting.
    Althought the the external auto iris lens on them they do have a sharper image and work well at low light.

    Cost is about $1,500 for such a cam with pendant housing with higher res images than the current one.

    If a few people were involved we might be able to soruce a better deal on a cam to suit and maybe offers to locate one in a prime spot.
    Anywhere with lighting is good for 24hr purposes and it doesnt need a lot.

    Apparently the Hotham ones that do multiple images have some script they wrote to do the job of PT and image saves but looking at a few cams it seems some of them can do that job inside the came so no need to get complex at the server end.
    Server end script to mark images and save to file is all it need.
    A mod of that script could process all the images and image lib might be able to stitch them for a panorama.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    OK - do some homework on the costs, once that's done I'm happy to do the marketing side.

    Good thing about crowdfunding is if you don't reach your goal you're not stranded half-way, you either get the dough or everyone gets it back.

    I'm sure there's enough nerd power in the forums to sort out the server stuff.
    :thumbs: d'girl and Claude Cat like this.
    cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod Season Pass Gold

    The script you have was written with an assumption that it would one day support multiple cams with very little additional configuration. ;)

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold


    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I'll get a couple of cam model options and prices to do the job.

    The perl script I use can handle many cams and images already, it can also grab data from an external file to insert to images like temps
    Can store latest and archive copies to seperate folders.
    CW wrote the original and Ive bolted some bits to it since to do the other stuff.
    I run a cron job for it ever 5 mins all year round and it does the lot.

    I figured If there is a cam that do all the position memory stuff inside the cam to ,move it to set spots and send and image for each one then all it would need is the script running and be plugged in.
    Found 2 cams that can go from one spot to another preset, and each time the pan tilt arrives at a new spot it can trigger events like sending an image over ftp all from the admin settings inside the cam.
    So if no script needed for that control job then it should be plug and play pretty much.

    VS cam now has Cat5 cable and 24vAC running to it now from inside so any IP aware cam and heated housing can be plugged in there.
    Add 40x40 2.5mm RHS post with insert and capped on top to balcony fence corner post, powder coated in the balcony color and fit pendant cam to it.
    It'd take the cam above eye line to anyone on the balcony or inside and not down on the fence where it is now.

    Was thinking if that one was replaced with a new multi image one then the old one might be used for a location where there is no multiple views to be had so by replacing the VS cam we get another location with the old cam and a new VS cam .

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    :thumbs: MickM likes this.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Yeah might be good to get a few options at different price points and we can see where peoples appetites are.

    The thing with crowdfunding is you could say - rase $1k we get model A, $2k we get model B, $3k we get model C etc etc.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I added some to it to grab temp values out of another file I have getting temps from the APIRA sensor unit.
    Added some timing code and file size check, it needed a bit more time and was processing files still being sent off cams.
    Also file process is in FTP level to accounts I created for the cams and sends output to a live http folder.
    :thumbs: cold wombat likes this.

    mx_boarder Old And Crusty

    Any scope for partnering up with a commercial building we have relationships with?

    Some are in great positions, with good illumination at night.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    TBH I am more thinking of cams that show the skiing/runs etc.

    I think upgrading the Village Square Cam is imperative, but that's enough to show night-time action, no need for more IMO.

    The existing Buller cams are pretty pathetic so I reckon we need ones with modern PTZ etc that actually show you the conditions out on the runs. My lodge could be an option but we don't leave the power on midweek - so it would take an electrician to put in an extra circuit, also need to put in ADSL. But it does show top of Sun Valley, Hog's Back, Skyline.
    :thumbs: Equus and mx_boarder like this.

    Vermillion Pool Room Season Pass Gold

    The grollo building on the avenue/Chamois looks right out on to the run, it would be a good spot for a cam. The lodge I stay at is in there, from the window I can see the Bluff if it's clear. I think there's 5-6 tenants in that building, maybe try one of them?

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    The one we can use is on the other side of Chamois, one of the new places. You would get a view back up the hill too with a good PTZ

    Vertikar Active Member Season Pass Gold


    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Im going through cams checking options.

    I have to read the manuals of each one to be certain it has the functions needed.
    Then look at housings for outdoor in snow.

    Then try to find sample images if possible to check quality.
    Note the new Mt Stirling cams are static and use a far higher res but IMO the image quality is not real good, not sharp and color balance is a bit NQR so dont want to get a cam with a lot of features, big resolution but that has poor image quality.

    The Sony Ipela cam at VS is old and only 640x480 res but the image quality is good, color balance correct, good in low light, sharp images
    That's due to the fact is has OEM Sony sensor in it, a Bosch auto iris lens (has a electro mechanical aperture that opens and shuts to control light ) and has manual focus to get dead sharp focus on the subject.
    You dont get that with many Dome cams that have a smaller fixed lens and only control light with gain and focus is set.

    The one on LBS owned by MW has a decent size lens, I was looking at it yesterday when I was up there.
    Image quality is pretty good, but could be better.

    Once Ive got a short list Ill post the models and see what prices we can find.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Ok this is taken from next to one of the places we can put a cam up:

    :thumbs: Equus and BigA like this.

    Whiteman Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Good shot.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    That's a good spot.
    There would likely be enough light coming of those places to illuminate the ground enough nearby to see any falls at night.

    With a PTZ adding zoom a multi position cam could do a long shot toward LBS direction as well but it'd only be of use on good vis at zoom but nice to have.

    If we upgrade the VS cam to a multi view the Sony cam is available to use until we can do another multi cam for this spot.
    Might be able test some views with the Sony and then decide if a multi view is worth the extra coin to put there, and have a view there at least in the mean time.
    The VS Sony cam has a CS lens mount that makes it easy to swap lenses and fit a wider angle lens to it. Has manual zoom and focus now.
    Ill get the FOV off lenses to suit and see how much frame we have.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Looked at a pile of Cams at bhphoto in the US.
    They have a big range and good prices, got the APIRA Sony cam from there and a few DSLR bits in the past.

    Bottom line is any cam will be compared to the best ones which are Sony OEM cams.
    Image quality is the best and when I see 1/4 ExView Sensors in non OEN Sony cams I am always suspect they are knock offs because I have had them before in cheap bullet cams etc.
    Quality is not good.

    Sony do a few PTZ cam models and checking all comparable cameras, Axis, Panasonic, Canon, ATI they are not really cheaper.

    Some others offer larger res images but that means nothing for images being displayed on web sites, quality is about the lens and sensor that makes the images sharp and the right color etc and the Sony has the best and others seem to be copies of SonY cams that are not really cheaper.
    Most of them are about 59 to 60 degree horizontal FOV too.

    Sony cams

    C2 series are cheaper than C7 because they run off 24vAC that we already have on site so no need for PoE.

    Choices are
    Unitized Outdoor SD PTZ camera with 720 x 480 resolution, 1/4 type Exview HAD CCD imager, 36x optical zoom, dual streaming


    720p HD PTZ camera with 1280 x 720 resolution, 1/4 type Exor CMOS imager, 28x optical zoom, dual streaming JPEG/MPEG-4/H.264

    There is a 580 model for more but thats overkill.
    Once you get beyond these cameras anything more is all for HD video not so much still images so for our use with stills the 520 or 550 are suitable.

    Reading the manuals they can do the FTP file send everytime the cam moves to a new position in Tour setup.
    Other thing is the basics of the admin setup is the same to the Sony CS110 cam we have at VS so it'd be easy for me to set it by just transferring settings then adding the position tour function.

    So there is two prices to work with.
    If we need to get a cheaper camera we are looking at another brand at about US$1,500 for anything good enough to make it worth it.
    Rather have 1 great quality image than 4 shitty blurred ones that are over contrasted and wrong colors.
    :thumbs: CarveMan likes this.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    For the mounting it can be attached to a goose neck mount


    Cut off the base and attach it to a length of square RHS that can be used to extend off the vertical post next to where it is mounted on the corner.
    The tip of the fence post can be seen in that pic above just in shot, that is a metal cap on top of the RHS post that is 40x40 2.5mm wall
    I can tap the top cap off the post, the inside of ther RHS is 35x35, I have some RHS in that size so can use a short bit to join a longer 40x40 extension on to it a metre long with the goose neck on top to fit the camera to.
    Wire on the inside of the tube and out of a hole in the RHS extension to connect to the existring network cable and power cable there already.

    That raises the gooseneck and camera about a metre above the height of the fence top rail.
    More height provides a wider view and the housing would be above the head of anyone on the balcony as well not hanging off the fence and so obvious.
    :thumbs: BigA and CarveMan like this.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    OK cool - based on those two options come up with a total cost that we would need including all fixtures/fittngs/cabling/accessories etc - that way we can set a crowdfunding figure. Like I said it can be staged so you can say if we get $X we get camera A, but if it goes off and we get $Y we can get camera B

    The main thing with crowdfunding is total transparency, people need to know exactly what they are contributing too, what they will get out of it and how much it will cost.

    Also I am assuming that our priority is to upgrade the VS cam before we do Chamois?

    nisstrust Dedicated Member

    priority would be to upgrde VS cam. As pretty as a chamois cam would look, I dont think it gives much of a reference point like VS cam with the ledge, garden and steps. It has to also be illuminated at night as well.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold


    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Ill do a list of what needed with prices to do it with 2 cam options for the VS cam replacement.

    djam Active Member

    How about working out a flat camera cost, that only requires power, use a 3/4G
    modem for data. Or even look at solar power recharged battery system, so it
    could go anywhere. That would open up many opportunities for the placement.

    Then it could be, $5k raised one cam, $10k, two etc. more money, more cams.

    Add sponsor packs, invest xx $ and get your name across the top of the image
    for 1 year.

    How every you do it, make sure your input is well covered.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    A remote camera would be great but the issue is more one of permission to locate it.
    At Buller BSL owns pretty much any structure out of the village and no chance of them hosting it and the club structure each with comitees can make that a long process.
    There are few like LTB that have a sole occupant residence in a location that is suitable for multi view camera.
    See what the future holds but for now we'll stick to getting one off the ground.

    As to sponsor names on images it detracts from the image a bit and makes it more a commercial exercise of selling advertising space.
    IMO its better to keep the cam/s as "ski community cams" and stick to attracting funding on a community basis.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    My club lodge would be one such location that might work, the view is of the top of Sun Valley/Plug Hole and up to Skyline, Southside Bluff etc.

    Permission is no issue but we turn off the power each week so it would need a new circuit which would cost money, also there is no ADSL so it would need to be 3G/4G.

    Happy do to it but I think there are better locations.

    Also agree re: commercialisation - I have thought about it but think if it's going to be a community venture then it needs to be totally clean. When aussieskier is rolling in dough we will just pay for the whole thing and put our logo on it.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I think the community based way could attract more philanthropic funds if its for a non profit venture that does some public good.
    People donating to a cause could make it happen sooner and it they also benefit as visitors to Buller all the more.
    And avoids the fear of some that commercial interest might end in cams going off a night in future in line with resorts interests if its a commercial exercise.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Exactly. Has to be one or the other.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    With limited locations having power 24/7 and net access via router might be an idea to have to look at a package that includes 3G/4G, battery and solar panel that expands the options of where it can be fitted a lot.
    Doing that adds on going cost of the net connection but thats not a lot.
    I pay $50 a year for the APIRA cam for a fixed IP for temp sensors and data costs.

    We are lucky having the cam at LTB's who has covered that side of costs.

    I like the Cham spot.
    Do they have power and or net access we can piggy back to ?
    Data used is very small amount and power same.

    If we get the VS cam replaced the current one is easy to relocate for a trial of the location and views.
    I also have an LED spot lamp to add to the cam that can illuminate the ground near it enough to see a decent image at night.
    Was going to add it to APIRA cam to spot lamp the roof at night but havent got around to it.
    It is switched on and off by the camera itself using alarm output and time schedule in the admin of the Sony cam.

    CarveMan Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Not sure if the Chamois location has fixed line internet, but certainly has power. Will find out.
    :thumbs: DbSki likes this.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Had a look for the Sony cams in Aus, found one.
    Price AU$5,999
    So wont be buying one locally.

    BH quotes on freight are odd.
    2 models with same weight and dimensions
    The more expensive unit is half the cost for the cheaper one

    UPS Worldwide Expedited
    4-6 Business Days Delivery
    UPS Worldwide Saver
    3-5 Business Days Delivery
    Priority Mail Express International
    5-7 Days Delivery
    FedEx Priority
    3-5 Business Day Delivery

    UPS Worldwide Expedited
    4-6 Business Days Delivery
    UPS Worldwide Saver
    3-5 Business Days Delivery
    Priority Mail Express International
    5-7 Days Delivery
    FedEx Priority
    3-5 Business Day Delivery

    Ill have to contact them to get the right price for freight.

    GST will apply on the cam unit being over AU$1,000

    For the SD cam with CCD that gives us 720x480 res max
    SNC 520 with outdoor housing is USD$1,899 = AUD inc GST $2,235

    For 720p cam with CMOS sensor that gives us 1280 x 720 max res, has option to set to 800x600 which would be better size for web pages.
    SNC 550 with outdoor housing is USD$2,529 = AUD inc GST $2,976

    Powder coating pole in "Monument" color
    Min rate is $75 covers it.

    Goose neck is $150
    It has a 1-1/2 " NTP thread on the end and it cost me about that much to get a die nut to suit the thread and make the bent tube so cheaper to buy it.

    Transport $100
    That covers fuel there and back and entry which will ensure it can be done soon as we have the cam regardless of my budget that day to travel there.

    I can make the post out of off cut 40x40 I have already and the hardware to fit.
    12v AC power and network cable is already in place at VS location.

    Ill nail down the Freight prices with BH photo

    Richard Addicted Member Administrator

    If I was doing this all over again, I would go with a 3G/4G modem in the housing and external omni antennae. Run an always on 240v to the installation - use a housing that takes 240v in (so it can have a juicy internal heater) and basically make the whole thing contained like a freeway Traffic setup.

    Running both power and data to an enclosure is a pain in the ass and if the setup is benevolent domestic - some numpty muppet always ends up turning off the power, or changing ISP or putting a new modem in or mucking up dhcp or port forwards preventing images getting out and remote cam management access. Basically it screws up and can't be fixed until the experts get back there. Witness the hopeless inconsistency for uptime of Fletch cam over the years.

    $6k for a PTZ is crazy talk (I know you all concur on this) - it will never ever ever ever return that value. Max budget for all hardware where installation is volunteer/free should be $3k or less.
    :thumbs: CarveMan likes this.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    If it was a for profit cam then we could use 4G and ongoing costs for it and afford to pay for main wiring to the housing.

    But for this we are constrained with costs and ongoing costs as well as what we can fit at location that is ok with the owners who are not making anything from it either.
    Using the low power wiring makes it easier to assure the property owner that it wont involve any permanent fittings and can be easily removed if they need anytime.

    At APIRA they fitted 2 GPO's in the attic for the cam system that are left on full time and only lodge manager has access to them.
    The WifI it uses is for members access so its setup well and hardware hidden away.

    VS cam LTB had and outdoor GPO fitted that is pretty safe from being turned off.
    The issues with the router was just a battle of WiFi and now its hard wired to the Ethernet port on the router its not competing and seems to have solved that.

    LTB covers cost of data and power for it which isn't much power or data but its some cost.
    I pay an annual fee for data and fixed IP for the temp sensor unit at APIRA, its cheaper than a 3G/4G setup and cost.
    So costs are sustainable with that setup.

    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Cams are back on.
    VS cam and APIRA
    Server upgrade yesterday by my host ImageMagick got moved from /usr/bin/convert to /usr/local/bin/convert so the script to do cam images stopped yesterday.
    Fixed now.

    MickM Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    VS Cam seems to be broken?

    TOFF Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold


    DbSki Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I see images at 16:26 now on server.
    Should be at ski soon.

    djam Active Member

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