Web camera

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Does anyone use an automated web camera? Any suggestions for a "good one"? We would like to install one in our gym.
Ronnie Continenza
Kenston High School

-- Ronnie Continenza (khs01@hotmail.com), April 04, 2001


Wow, that was fast. Thanks for posting. I don't know how long it will take to get this party started but it sure is encouraging to get the first reponse within 6 hours. Regarding web cameras, I don't know.

If you haven't already, you might consider adding an email alert. If you do, you'll get an email when anyone posts to the forum. We use a "LUSENET" forum at Grady like this for sports reports. It has been hard for me to explain the email alerts to folks.

-- Terry Kearns (pthkdym@aol.com), April 04, 2001.

Darlington School has a web camera which allows people to monitor the construction progress of our new athletic center (you can view it from our home page www.darlingtonschool.org). I unfortunately can't dig up the specifics on the hardware (as it's all a year old now, it's probably outdated anyway!), but I can describe the set-up. I believe the camera was a Polaroid. We attached the camera to a small robotic mount which allows us to remotely move the camera around. We did this because the camera is mounted on top of a very inaccessible stadium light pole. The camera and the mount are both mounted inside a climate-controlled, water-tight bubble. The whole thing had power, one video cable, and one serial cable (for controlling the arm) run to a server in a water-tight box under our press box. That server feeds out video to a fiber line which ties into our network. The software we use was included, and requires only a browsing computer to run a Java applet for live video.

The process was expensive. The equipment, including camera, mount, bubble, mounting hardware, server box, and various cable was around $2,500. We used a hand-me down computer for the server. The installation by an outside electrician was about the same. Our situation was complicated by the remoteness of the camera, but the cost was off set almost completely by the construction company for our athletic center, as they use it for their own purposes as well. We have also been capturing stills from the camera from which we create your typical build-the-building-in- thirty-seconds videos.

Finally, the camera has not been a wildly popular area of our web site. We've logged only 3,513 off-campus hits to it since it was installed the first of last June. Last month it received 285. This could be due to people having trouble running the java applet, or simply due to the fact that most people come to our site at night when there's not much to see outside! Either way, we've been glad that the construction company subsidized this venture. When the building is finished, we will probably move the camera and keep it working somewhere else because the equipment cost is already covered. But if I were starting a new web cam project, I would get less expensive equipment (how good do web pictures need to be?) and find a secure place inside a building to mount it. Good luck!

-- Stefan Eady (seady@darlingtonschool.org), April 04, 2001.

I have seen cameras all over that have their own built-in webserver, however they are not cheap. All that would be required for them to run is a buble and a power and network cord, give the camera an external internet ip and it is ready to run. Some can do video feeds as well as still photos, here is a URL to one of these cameras. http://www.axis.com/products/cam_2120/index.htm

-- Anthony Fuller (1fullea@bor1.sd01.k12.id.us), April 10, 2001.

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