Web Cam on Main Street????
Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
I am working on placing a webcam down main street. My plan is to attach it to the Miles City Voice server and provide the video free to the public as part of that project.

There is a camera style that I am interested in. My goal would be two - one facing east, the other west. I think we can get the movie theatre marque in the view...

If you have any experience or recommendations, please contact me.

If you are interested in helping me get the cameras please let me know too. Obviously weatherproof cameras that can be controlled from 20 feet below are a little pricey.

My goal is a live webcast of the bucking horse parade.

Is it possible?
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Posted by Dan Siegfried (+68) 16 years ago
I'm sure they're not cheap, but Axis Network Cameras are pretty awesome. See one in action here:

http://lakecam.engr.wisc....view.shtml
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
That is a cool camera with great features- at $1200 I would think it should be.

Anyone with ties to Miles City willing to contribute to the camera cause?

I'll put in $50.00 and I'm already on board to provide the mounting location and power to the camera.

Put your money where your mouth is everyone.

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 4/1/2006).]
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Posted by Chuck Littleton (+139) 16 years ago
Its a match Chad $50.00
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Wow. Thanks guys. We're already 20% there for the first camera!
The model I'm watching is:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eB...PcY_BIN_IT

They are prevalent and consistently priced.

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Posted by Leonard Smith (+20) 16 years ago
Great Idea! I'll chip in. This would be a great boon to people who can't get out to see what is going on downtown.

A couple ideas:

Ask MDU, Mid Rivers or the banks to be permanent sponsors like the First Interstate camera in Billings.

Also, cameras on top of the street lights at Main and Montana would provide a great angle on both East and West Main. N and S Montana could be added as funding permits.

Maybe Mid Rivers would donate phone pairs instead of going wireless.

This would probably improve the driving habits of most of us.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
A lot of airports have cams on them - overlooking the side of town they're on (or, in MC's case... the entire town).
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+236) 16 years ago
I would be glad to chip in.
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
Eric,

Don't forget to get George to give you a dollar amount; he told me he would help out as we're going to be able to see the marquee at the Montana Theater with the camera looking West.

Those of you saying you'll pitch in please provide a dollar amount as we need to keep a running total. There are expenses beyond just the camera as well.

Thanks for the support.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5096) 16 years ago
Hey - I'll chip in $50 - yust let me know where to send the $$$$$

Bob L.
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Posted by Heath H (+642) 16 years ago
Who wants to collect and spend the money? I'm in for $50. Someone post and address...
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
You could send a check to my store, unless Chad wants to be the collector??

Here is the running total so far:

Already In the bank : 100.25
Pledged on MC.com : 150.00

So we have $250 bucks - that's half way there!

We need 5 more people to commit to 50 bucks.

If you want, you can send a check to:
Eric Brandt
911 Main Street
Miles City, MT 59301

(406) 232-4000 if you have questions

Donations marked as anonymous will remain that way.

If I get more than we need, I'll put it in the pot for the east-facing camera.

I have a cable up to the front of the store already, but Chad and I discussed some alternate mountings and located a place to drop another cable if needed. We're pretty much ready to go once we get the camera in!

Thanks for the support! - Happy to be of service!

Eric
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Posted by Morhead (+123) 16 years ago
Eric

I will commit to $50.00. I will send the check to your address listed on the prior post.

Come on everyone this is an awesome idea!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 16 years ago
I will also commit to $50.00. I will drop it by your store tomorrow (Friday).
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
Eric:

Put me down for $50.00.

Chad: is there anyway this camera can be powered by wind or solar? Maybe the camera should be mounted over by City Hall.

Richard



[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 4/7/2006).]
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+821) 16 years ago
Eric, I'm in, too, for $50.00. I'll send it to the store.
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
Richard,

There's certainly plenty of hot air being blown around at City Hall!

Eric-

If the funding adds up we should consider a tilt, pan & zoom camera to cover both directions with one unit. It's more $$, but a much nicer system.

[This message has been edited by Chad (edited 4/7/2006).]
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Ok,

There is enough pledged for the first camera!

As soon as the money comes in, we will order it - There will be a little for the shipping I'm sure.

Chad - How much time do you think we will need to put it up? Once it's up, he computer end of it shouldn't be too hard.

Can we be up before bucking horse?


SWEET! Thanks for the responses!

Eric
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
A few hours should do for mounting and getting the wiring routed between the camera & your server.

Power is near the mounting location.
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Chad:
Depending on the current required, we could send the power through the 2 unused cat-5 pairs. That might eliminate the need for local power anyway. I'll look into that.

This is exciting! If everyone sends in as pledged, we will be able to order the camera next week!

Bucking Horse - Here We Come!
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Posted by Morhead (+123) 16 years ago
Just bringing it back to the top!!!!
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Posted by Heath H (+642) 16 years ago
Sending pledge this afternoon. Thanks for getting it up and running!
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Posted by Dona Stebbins (+821) 16 years ago
Pledge went out this morning!
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Posted by Morhead (+123) 16 years ago
I am sending the check tomorrow the 13th.
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Excellent!

The checks are starting to come in. This is great guys!

So far $250.25 has arrived. Only $250 left to come in and we will place the order!

Unless otherwise instructed, I will be listing the names of those who have contributed on the project for due recognition. If you prefer to remain anonymous, I need you to let me know - you can send me an e-mail.

I'm getting a little giddy about this - I'm really excited!

Eric
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
We are getting close on the funding and even closer on the deadline.

I think that if we don't order the camera this week we will not have it ready for The Bucking Horse Sale Parade. We have received $413.61
toward the $500 goal but still need some pledge money to arrive. We need another $86.39 to order the camera. I'm donating the shipping, the cat-5 cable and the setup costs. Chad has contributed to the fund and is also donating his time and setup help.

We are REALLY REALLY close here folks. This is great! Let's not drop the ball this close to the goal line! Please let me know if you have anything in the mail already. I want to buy the camera by tomorrow.

Thanks a million!

Eric
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+236) 16 years ago
Sorry I missed all the action, I'll put my check in the mail tomorrow. $50.00.
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+236) 16 years ago
Mailed $50 at 6:00 am this morning, on my way to work.
I am assuming there will be a link on this site??
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Posted by Van (+559) 16 years ago
There are people homeless in New Orleans??
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Posted by Morhead (+123) 16 years ago
VAN

What the hell is your point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Yes Van, there are. And if they move to Miles City we will know right away with the new web cam!!!!!!

LOL

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Posted by Van (+559) 16 years ago
.!.
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Posted by steve (+17) 16 years ago
IS this going to be running at night during the BHS as well to show all the folks all over the country that people at the BHS know how to have a WILD western good time?

Steve S
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
The web cam I wanted I can't find. I found the same model but without the tilt/pan. I'm going to go ahead and get that camera now and try to find the tilt/pan mechanism to go with it elsewhere so we can go live in-time for BHS.

The camera WILL be online all night - but I don't know how much you will be able to see, Steve!
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Posted by steve (+17) 16 years ago
Darn I was hoping to have black mail material...lol. Ohh then again on second thought... I will be down there partying too. Hey any body know anyone with 1-2 rooms to spare, trying to find a place to stay (with pay) during the BHS.
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Steve,
There is always Photoshop - who do you need to blackmail!!

OK Seriously - I made an executive decision...

The seller told me that they have a new model coming in next month or so - but we didn't want to wait.

So, I bought the same camera that we were looking at except it does not have the pan/tilt built-in.

I also bought an outdoor pan/tilt motor assembly that may or may not actually fit on this camera. I will have to run an additional cat-5 cable to the controller and we will have to position the camera manually for now. This mode will double my cable requirements and may require someone with some metal skills if we need to fabricate a bracket - but it should do the trick. If the sellers provide me with tracking numbers, I'll post those here so we can all track the progress.

Thanks so much for the support! This is going to be great!
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
You're up awful early this morning. I can make the bracket. Tom won't be back until Monday, so I still need to get permission for the mounting location. I always have location #2 as a backup. We may want to get cable pulled so it's ready when the camera arrives.
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Posted by Rick Goff (+73) 16 years ago
Are we there yet?
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Chad,
Have we considered...





... Trees! They are filling out - does our spot of choice clear them?


Just a thought


Also, I have plenty of cable in stock right now. We will need to run two lines as the motor requires its own set of wires. The motor has a length limitation of 150 feet according to the documentation. The network has a limit of 600 feet - but I don't really want to spend that much on it

I have a tracking number, but I can't confirm it is for that package since I have bought several things today. I think that's it but I will try to confirm before I post it.


Eric
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
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Posted by Tootz (+71) 16 years ago
Good morning,
Just a thought. Not sure where you plan on putting the web cam, but you may want to consider the route that the old barracks will be taking when they finally make the move out to Kinsey. The lines on the route will have to be taken down and it would be a shame to have to move the cam again. Have a good one. I'm excited about being able to see Miles again.
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Posted by Tootz (+71) 16 years ago
[deleted - duplicate]
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Posted by Tootz (+71) 16 years ago
woops
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
Do you think they'll ever move. The house mover collected the cash, blew the money, got another DUI, and lost his drivers license. I think they'll stay put until they're burned by Ft. Keogh's admin. dept. It's really too bad they were ever allowed to move them from their original foundations in the first place.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
Those are still there? Wow!

I remember being in that very house when it was still out on the Fort's old "parade ground" area - where it originally stood. It was a shame - the livestock were mulling all around (and in) those buildings.

I actually was able to be there when it (and a second one, if nost mistaken?) were lifted and moved - and invariably dropped where it is now.

It's a shame - things like that should really be cared for and preserved, not abandoned.
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Posted by Van (+559) 16 years ago
The University of Montana web site has a camera mounted on top of a building and you can turn the camera 360 degrees to see the M or the football field.
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
GREAT NEWS!!!!!


The Camera arrived quite by surprise today! I have no time to test it today, but maybe tomorrow!

This is great!

If you want to be on the beta-testing list, let me know. I will select a few at random when I'm ready.

If this camera works, - we've got the parade!

WWWWOOOOOOOWWWW!!!! YYYIIIPPPEEEEEEEE!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
I'd be happy to help test - I have a load of html and server space to slap code on.
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Great News!

The camera works great! I have already established the link to the FTP server and the camera is sending full color images of ME sitting in front of this computer.

I'm particularly impressed that the lens has endured the obvious strain - and for fear of your safety, I will not force you to suffer.

Suffice it to say that the device is performing according to design parameters. I will have to write a php script to read the directory and pluck the most recent file for display, and I will need a JavaScript application to display the php results and update once a second on the client. Anyone out there already know how to do this?

The motor should be here tomorrow.

Chad: The camera provides an RS-485 output to certain types of motors. Our motor will not be compatible, so we will have to run the cables for it. Should not pose a problem. When can we mount it?

More to come...


Eric
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
New Update...

I ordered an Auto-Iris variable focal length lens to fit this camera. Without the auto-iris, there will be problems adjusting between dark and bright light conditions. Daytime images might wash out completely. Also, since there is a long street, I have determined that the fixed focal length of the standard lens will not give us a very clear picture of the street. Hope this comes in soon! I'll keep you updated.

Eric
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Posted by Rick Goff (+73) 16 years ago
If you need a mirror, let me know. I've got lots of unused bandwidth in a large datacenter. I've got a webservice setup to accept incoming images for hosting too, so that could be adapted if needed.

I could do a front-end viewer too. A javascript/html, or flash/actionscript.
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
Eric,

I'll try to get the base plate done Sunday & maybe a bracket. I'm still pondering where to mount it due to length of cable runs.

As for the refresh rate, every second is annoying. I'd suggest 5 or 10 second intervals so a person can look at what's in the image.

We can discuss a bracket & mounting location later today.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3857) 16 years ago
Hey Chad, thanks for the effort and thanks to everyone involved.

When we last spoke you said that you would not have the bandwidth to do streaming video and that you planned to up date every one second. Other sites I have visited that refreshed that often are just annoying. Might I suggest that every five or ten seconds might be better? I will be grateful with whatever you do. It will be very cool to have a Main Street cam.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
What about an html or java version (or dedicated popup window) that updates every five or ten seconds and simply another link to the constant streaming video version (my personal favorites) - if the cam is able to do video?

The feed provides both - it's just the scripts that control what version the visitor sees so there's no need to have one over the other when we can have both?

ala

CLICK HERE FOR
10 SECOND UPDATES


CLICK HERE FOR
STREAMING VIDEO

...or one that updates static images more freqently, like every second?
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
I would prefer to provide full streaming, but I can only host about 6 connections at a time. I have seen the server peak at 9, but I don't believe that was sustained - the math does not work out

The camera does provide a constant stream. It also can take snap-shots and upload those to an FTP server or e-mail address.

I know it is possible to bounce the video off another higher bandwidth server, but those come at an extremely high premium. I will do whatever I can, I assure you.

Thanks again everyone! Thanks for the feedback as well. I suppose we can have a drop-down with a choice of refresh rate.

Eric
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Starkey (+236) 16 years ago
I'm trying to be patient, but am so excited. Any estimate on when we get a peek?
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 16 years ago
I'm building the brackets this weekend and we hope to get the camera up this weekend if we can get up to the mounting location- it's pretty high off the sidewalk. May have to rent a manlift.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
Is this location a secret until the unveiling? Or, do we get some tantalizing clues?

I'm looking forward to this too. Great stuff you all are doing!
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 16 years ago
Dan, Here's the super-secret location. Try to keep it to yourself though - We don't want everyone to know about it yet!

http://www.milescityvoice.com/mcvcam.php

The Camera is in and working.

The Motor is in and working.

The new narrow focal length, auto-iris lens is in... and sort of working. Some modification of the camera and lens circuitry was required, but I think I have it licked.

The programming has begun, but nothing is ready yet.

The weather-proof case and motor are currently at Golden Needle Designs. They have graciously donated decal lettering which should be readable from the street - well, for some anyway! We should have that back Friday. Thank you Jane and Tim!

Official testing will begin this weekend with some live tests. The goal is the Parade! WISH US LUCK! It will be a long weekend for a couple of us. If you're feeling sorry for me, You know where I'll be, and I never turn away fresh Pizza!

VIVA MILES CITY!
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
Hmmm... I wonder how this camera will impact the age-old MC tradion of draging main? If this had exsisted back in the late 70's, Chris C-R would have been in trouble even more often. Daddy's T-Bird was pretty distictive. (Sorry Chris.. I am just teasing you. )

Now all that is needed is a wireless internet conection for a laptop and Lissa and the MCPD will never have to leave the coffee shop.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15369) 16 years ago
HELP... what happened to the edit message button. It is gone. In my last post that should be "tradition".
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
lol... Eric. Okay, it's just between you and I.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1439) 16 years ago
Ahhhhhh... I see (Yes, I tried to find an "edit" button too). The location is great!

Having the movie theater marquee in a bit of the frame will really give some nostalgic context, too, when caps are looked at in years to come.

I can't wait.
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Posted by Chris Choate Raible (+35) 16 years ago
Richard I just read your note and laughed soo hard! It's true I put a lot of miles driving up and down that street and our gas bill at the Beacon proved it. It was hard to justify since most of my driving was in town and it took at most 5 minutes to get anywhere. Movie started at 7:00 and you would leave home at a few minutes till and still park, get popcorn and still be on time I will be home this Thursday for BHS weekend and I look foward to having some fun!!
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