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Discuss the Orpen (KNP), Satara (KNP), Addo and Nossob (KTP) webcams
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Danie
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Re: Webcam's image quality still not good

Unread post by Danie » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:35 am

Wild@Heart wrote:
Kruger wrote:The webcam is online again but the image quality is not very good at this stage. :( Please bear with us!


Did the Hyena's get hold of the Cable again? :twisted:

We hope not! It is a ground loop problem on the power supply/coaxial feed from the camera. The technician at Orpen is trying to locate the problem. It is one of those typical intermittent problems which suddenly jumps up and then disappears again for
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Unread post by DinkyBird » Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:42 pm

Ollie wrote:I recently joined the forum, and it rocks.... 8) Thanks to all of you who keep this up and running, it is a real treat to be able to log on and see whets happening the other side of the world. By the way on the sponsorship side of things... has any one shown interest in sponsoring the cam? Again thanks keeping it going :D

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Unread post by Danie » Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:23 pm

The webcam's image is still not good. We have changed the electrical supply's path to the camera, change the phases, checked the earth connections (common problem with the ground loop), still not the solution.

We are awaiting a new power supply for the camera - that will hopefully solve the problem!

We hope to have it fixed real soon! You can at least see a bit of the waterhole at this stage - better than nothing!
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Danie Pretorius
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Unread post by Danie » Wed Nov 16, 2005 1:44 pm

After lots of investigation, changes to the power circuits, changes in power phasing, changes in the power feed to the camera and the webcam server, nothing solved the problem. In the video industry an electrical ground loop problem is one of the most difficult problems to pin-point and solve - that is usually causing these distortions on the image.

I have been in contact over the past weekend and yesterday with the technician again and we are currently awaiting a new power supply for the webcam which will be delivered on Saturday (that is the promised delivery date). The power supply will then be replaced and that will finally (hopefully) solve the problem as we would have changed everything by then that could be causing this problem. The power supply's output seems to be insufficient at this stage (although it worked 100% for more that a year!) - it suddenly started giving the incorrect output to the webcam (so it seems) and that might also cause the distorted image on the webcam - that’s the wonderful world of electronics!

Unfortunately the webcam is in the bush and it is not always quick to get something done/tested as large distances have to be covered by technical staff to get to the webcam and spares are usually from Johannesburg (about 500km away). So these things take time!

I'll keep the forum up to date on any news. So far, the image is not too clear but you can at least see the waterhole!

Let's hope that the spares that will be arriving on Saturday, will finally solve the problem.
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Danie Pretorius
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Unread post by Danie » Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:28 pm

The webcam has just been fixed. A new power supply was installed by our technician (Charles) and it is working like a charm! :D

Thanks again for your patience over the past few days while we were trying to sort out the problem.

Enjoy the webcam! :)
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Danie Pretorius
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Hippos on Cam

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sat Nov 26, 2005 12:23 pm

From time to time hippos are spotted on the webcam.

As far as I know, there is no large area of permanent water near Orpen, (certainly not accessible to us visitors).

Where do they come from and why if they live in water. Is it to drink clean water or is it just on their eating travels.
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Unread post by Bushmad » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:30 pm

I have wondered about this too...

I have heard that Hippos travel very long distances on their nightly grazing routines. The one hippo that I saw on cam recently literally walked straight passed the waterhole and did not seem to drink. Then again we did see some that got into the water when the rains had not yet come...perhaps the drought had forced them to search for other sources of water? When hippo's dams dry up they have to leave but where do they go in times of drought??

Another question for me, like Bush baptist is where are they from? The nearest river to the cam is the Timbavati but it is dry. There are reserves West of Orpen that are open to the Park perhaps they have permanent wtare sources there where they spend their days.

Does anyone have insight into this?
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Unread post by Penny » Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:36 pm

Is there a possibility that they came from Rabelais dam as it dried up? I do know that the fate of many of them was pretty dire a couple of weeks ago before the rains!
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Unread post by Stoffel » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:17 pm

Pretty sure that they will not come from Rabelais as the dam actually does not exist anymore after the 2000 floods. But from where are they coming? Probably from Timbavati reserve's side?
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Unread post by Loams » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:34 pm

The thing to bare in mind here is that Hippo's don't need the water in the evening, they need it during the day as they cannot sweat to cool them down and they have very sensitive skins. If they wanted the waterhole for it's water, we would see them during the day not at night.

To me they are just nightly visitors grazing past, and if they are thirsty, they will pop in for a drink. On the map about 10km from Orpen I see hartbeestfontein Dam. They could be residing there, but there are probably also many other water sources around that don't have names either.
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Unread post by DuQues » Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:26 pm

The very first hippo we saw on the cam just continued on, and someone remarked that hippos happily walk away 15 km from water. There is enough water around in a circle that would cover that area. It must have dried up quite a bit before the rains as we saw them a lot before the rains.
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Unread post by arks » Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:33 pm

Has the cam become tilted downwards over the past few days? In earlier pix there is a bit more horizon and sky at the top and I find this new angle, with more foreground and less background and sky, quite disconcerting. Danie, was this intentional?? Can it be altered back to the way it was before? Does it bother anyone else?
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Re: Greetings and a question

Unread post by Danie » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:20 pm

BrightOutlook wrote:As a regular viewer of the cam from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, I've finally broken down and registered to post messages here in the forums. The cam is a near constant open window on my desktop. It gives me a lot of pleasure to look out on a world away. Thanks to the staff and KNP.


Dear BrightOutlook
Welcome to our forums and I hope you will enjoy the webcam further as well as the forums!

BrightOutlook wrote:It's as a viewer seven hours behind Kruger that I offer a question/suggestion, when might the bulb in the floodlight get changed? It appears to be cycling on/off frequently during the night which would typically indicate that it's time for a change out.

Cheers.

Thanks for letting us know. I was not aware of it as it has been a while since I watched the cam at night (being on leave for two weeks).

We'll look into this problem and will have it repaired soon - it might be the flood light itself or the light sensor that switches the light on at night and off in the morning (day/night switch) that might be faulty. Our electrician will look into it.

Thanks again for the info!
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Danie Pretorius
Senior Manager: IT Infrastructure
South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Unread post by MikeDiego » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:11 am

could bandwidth limitations be overcome by streaming high resolution images from Orpen to a webhost located in an urban setting, then serving various configurations of streams and individual images from there to the public?

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Unread post by DuQues » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:05 pm

Nope, and for two reasons. The images have to be beamed through a narrow connection, and even if that is not a fact, you pay for bandwidth...
Last month the server used 526.751.803 Kb... quite a lot. (That is site + webcam.)
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Webcam Highlights

Addo
Submitted by mirwin at 16:08:40
orpen
Submitted by Karin Mitton at 20:30:11
satara
Submitted by Anonymous at 10:37:48
nossob
Submitted by vacation at 15:02:01