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 Post subject: Satara Webcam: History, installation operations, etc
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:05 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm
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DvZ wrote:
Here is a challenge to all.

Remember the original thread about funding for a new cam.

I call upon all to honour your original pledges.

Thanks Freda for being the first.

PS:
Just checked the site out - R15 000 needed for Satara webcam.

If my memory serves me right, we managed to get approx R15 000 pledges from first thread.

@Admin:
Any way of keeping us posted of how much was donated by forum members?

I did I little "research" and to refresh our memories about this compiled the following:
Bwana sort of started the whole discussion on a new Satara cam with his post at the bottom of this page on 30 January 2005. On page 3 of the thread EricExSA mentions that a discussion is taking place to raise funds (it seems that the link to that page has been removed. Was called something in the line of Member activities: pledges)

And the reason why I could not find it is because someone ;) changed the heading of the thread and it is now called Funding for the next webcam were Wildtuinman offered to spend some time on a platform at Sunsetdam. He eventually decided not to do it because he would miss WTV and WTD to much :twisted:

On this page Kruger (Danie) mentioned what will be needed to set up a new cam as well as the total cost (his post is about halfway down). Second last post EricExSA opened the bidding with an amount of $100 Canadian.

And then as with so many threads we went off-topic and as it was before the days of spin-offs you will have to work through a couple of T-shirt posts and then find the actual start of pledges on the bottom of page 3.

I'm sure that more are hidden between the thousands of post on this Forum but I think this will be enough to refresh our minds.

{Edited by DQ, the links that do not work anymore have been removed. But I thought we should keep this post for reference}

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"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall
www.flickr.com/groups/birdssa


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 Post subject: Satara Webcam: A description on installation and operations
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:46 pm 
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Location: South African National Parks (SANParks)
A bit of detail on the Satara webcam:
We had the choice of making everything perfect or making the cam live with 90% functionality. We have chosen the latter and the Satara webcam is live with minor glitches.

Let me explain a bit about the camera and the operation of it:
I first ran numerous tests on the webcam in Pretoria, checking and testing various issues/aspects of the new webcam during January 2006.

On Monday morning 30 January 2006 (a very hot and humid day in Kruger National Park), I took the precious load of equipment to Satara after sleeping over at Skukuza. I started installing the webcam at the waterhole just outside Satara camp (will post some pics on it later). I had to wait for a very lazy elephant bull to finish his morning drink before leaving my vehicle to start the installation! Although we both (elephant and I) represent the same organisation (SANParks), I did not trust him acknowledging me as a colleague, he has a bit of a weight advantage! Keeping an eye on him at a distance, tools started rattling, power was tested, brackets fabricated around the leadwood tree stump, outdoor enclosure properly sealed ensuring that no water can get to the camera. This proved to be very useful as the camera survived various rain showers and hot days during the testing phase, which started on 30 Jan 2006 and ended today 15 Feb 2006. At about 18:00 everything at the camera was installed and aligned. Thereafter the wireless link was installed, tested, etc. At about 22:00 a rain shower surprised us on the back of my LDV sending us scrambling for cover for the notebooks that were used in the set-up of IP addresses, etc. on the wireless card of the webcam! At 23:15 the first image was transmitted via the wireless link via our Wide Area Network (WAN) to Pretoria! After final adjustments, the webcam was functioning 100% and a shower and bed was welcome sight at about 02:00 on Tue morning 31 Jan 06.

A bit more on the Satara webcam installation itself:
The Satara webcam is an IP camera meaning that the camera itself has intelligence in it with a processor, software, etc. Without going into too much detail, the webcam at Satara is basically a device on the SANParks network as any other PC on our network with an address, software built into the webcam, intelligence on the camera, etc. The camera itself sends an image every 30 seconds to our webserver. Now this is where we had to make the decision to postpone the launch of the camera to perfect the web interface or not. As said, we (Admin and myself) decided to go ahead for now with 90% functionality and sort the other 10% out later.

The image is transmitted from the camera starting at the top of the image downwards and that is why you might sometimes get only the top portion of the image or a partial image. The web server (which displays the image to you as a virtual registered forum member) does not know when the webcam has completed the transmission of the image and displays it as it is transmitted. We are still looking for solutions around that.

The webcam at Satara is 'talking' to the SANParks network via a wireless link that runs between the camera at the waterhole and Satara camp. That is a distance of about 140 metres. The image is then carried via the SANParks network from Satara in Kruger National Park via our WAN (Wide Area Network) to the web server where you can see a new image every 30 seconds.

You will notice that there is no date/time captured on the image itself. The date time you see is taken from the image properties to ensure that the date/time is the transmitted time of the image as it landed on the web server. Our webmaster (Admin) has also put in a huge effort trying to solve this problem! We'll continue to look for a solution...

That in short(?) is a description of the Satara webcam and how it works.

Problems you might experience with the webcam's image:
  • Half or portions of the image displayed on your browser (as explained above)
  • The date/time caption not on the image itself (but below the image) and no logo on the image
  • Lower light conditions at Satara might result at a dimmer image as the flood light at Satara is not as bright as the one at Orpen and the waterhole is much longer than the one at Orpen. I have experimented with the camera in night mode at night but the image is then black and white only

Well, enjoy the new webcam at Satara that finally arrived! Thanks again to everybody that contributed to this project; without your contribution, this would not have been possible! Thanks again!

_________________
Regards

Danie Pretorius
Manager: Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
South African National Parks (SANParks)


Last edited by Danie on Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:40 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Just to let you see the equipment you are looking at the whole time:

The scene
Image

The cam itself
Image

Fusebox (?)
Image

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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:51 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I saw that there had been talk about strange lights on the webcam pics, and that it must have been de moon. Have a look at the webcam. You see the restaurant, the half circle of grass in front of it, and outside the fence the trench of the waterhole. The webcam is visible, just, at the top and to the left of the trench. Note that North is at the top, so how can it be the moon? That would be to the north, so I guess it's from a nightdrive vehicle.

Edit: and now to get my north and south correct...

_________________
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Last edited by DuQues on Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:25 pm 
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Thanks for that DQ - I knew there was a road in that direction that went to the staff village but did not realise the village was actually situated 'behind' the camp itself.

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Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:54 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
re: Satara cam sunrise and sunset pics...

here is an early morning photo on which mother nature has placed shadows to show us the sun rises from the left on photo, which would be then be the east. Pic was saved on 05 aug, 2006 at 07h56
Image



this second pic was saved on 05 aug, 2006 at 08h33 same morning as above pic, notice the shadows.
Image

this third pic was saved , same day, at 16h23 and shows the sun sets from right of picture which is the west.
Image

So i figure the cam is facing southeast ..

When cam is panned 180degrees to show the restaurant building..it is facing the opposite..northwest ?

Elaine


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:59 am 
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
yep, i see the restaurant, the crib, and small clump of trees/bushes and was i that far off going by the sun and shadows?
On the satellite-photo the bushes appear to be almost touching the crib.

Here is a pic that i took in 2001 to show where i am standing on the far side of the crib to take the second pic that i will post..showing where the cam is/was. (I am the one without the gun!!)I know from the current cam view, the cam seems to be installed lower now (and danie said the same cables and connections were still there) ..but almost the same direction as back then? (The reason that we were there was that big 'BUSH'. No critters were eating it and it was growing wider and blocked the cam view and the lights. )
Second pic is where cam was located on dead tree..

Image

uh, oh..now i can't locate the second shot that i wanted to show you!...I assure you that it does exist. But i must go through a CD or two and I promise to find it in the morning..it shows the cam being moved to the right to avoid the bush. They are standing on a 'bakkie' cuz no one could find a ladder at that time. :cry:
I shall return in the morning...it is now 3:55am here in PA..to be continued......
(edit) I found it..!! :lol:
Light is at end of crib..and cam with housing is at the bakkie
Image
Good Night all..
E.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:55 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
I've collected a few posts here about the Satara webcam and it's history, if you think that you have found another one that should be included in this topic please send me a pm with the location of it.

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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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