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Weather / Web Cameras

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Old 14th Mar 2018, 23:37
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Weather / Web Cameras

Greetings.

As many of you are aware, webcams for the weather are a great idea. There's lots of places offering services to host them and it's all a little complex to be honest. AirServices have done a great job with help from Dick Smith, however they can be a little clumsy to access when you're up flying and there won't be enough resources to keep rolling them out to the smaller airfields.

So I've gone and made it very simple.

IF you have WIFI at your airport or off-airport location such as home or workplace, go to ebay and buy this camera, power it up and mount it, either outside or pointing out a window:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/22267244....N41.S1.R1.TR2

I will send you basic instructions on how to set it up to upload photos to a website that I have arranged for unlimited photo hosting.

You will then be able to access it such as via a link like this one:

http://webcamstorageaus.com/ytdn/showimage.php

If it's located at your airport, then we can have it added quickly and easily to OZRUNWAYS! The more cameras the better as far as most of us are concerned.


If you DON'T have WIFI at your airport, you can use a 4G camera instead, but it will cost more (there are others, this is just an example):

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HD-1080P...FNNfqwX4y1vqrQ

You'll need to add either a $100 p/a SIM card from ALDI or a $150 one from Telstra.

It's not hard, I've done the hard work for you.

Let me know here or by PM if you need more info.

So far I've got 2 more coming online soon, one near Melbourne and one at the top end of Tassie.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 21:53
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Great initiative. Thanks.

I wish they/someone would host a camera at Lilydale or Coldstream pointing north and north east, at the 2 passes over the Great Divide that are an alternative to Kilmore Gap.

Is there a web site (other than ozrunways app) that lists all camera’s and a link to them?
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:46
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If it's located at your airport, then we can have it added quickly and easily to OZRUNWAYS!
OZRUNWAYS doesn't even show all of the BOM ones. Any idea what the reason for this is? They are presumably all owned/operated in the same manner, but OZRUNWAYS doesn't display all of them, like Cairns for example.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 00:37
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Could you use an old mobile with WiFi instead of a decidated camera?
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 02:25
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Here is a small collection of weather cameras setup by a group of individuals for pilots at aerodromes.

www.skycam.net.au

I look after the online portion, whilst the individual hosts look after the cameras and provide the internet.

Added benefits are weather data on images

It has been a very successful setup and well supported by Ozrunways.

Soon to come: Jabiru, Birdsville, Orange and possibly Wilpena Pound
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 02:43
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Originally Posted by sdielectrical View Post
Here is a small collection of weather cameras setup by a group of individuals for pilots at aerodromes.

Added benefits are weather data on images
Which leads me to the question I was going to ask Squawk7700...How do these Webcams overlay the METAR data on the image?!?
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 02:59
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Originally Posted by sdielectrical View Post
Here is a small collection of weather cameras setup by a group of individuals for pilots at aerodromes.

Skycam Network - Home

I look after the online portion, whilst the individual hosts look after the cameras and provide the internet.

Added benefits are weather data on images

.....
It is so important to have date and time stamp easily visible on each image to ensure it is not yesterdays weather we are looking at.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 03:13
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KRviator, you'd have to ask sdielectrical on how to do the weather overlay economically as there are many solutions ranging from low cost to mega $$.

Some of the cameras on the skycam page above appear to be using a system imported by: Davis Instruments Australia but they are up there in $$.

The idea of what I am suggesting is an extremely low cost system that primarily shows cloud cover and if you want, simply point it at your wind sock for an accurate indication. When imported into OZrunways the text can be a tad small so it's hard to see the wind strength etc within the photo. At least that's the case for my ageing eyes and ipad mini on the dash.

rjtrjt, I've spoken with Coldstream today, thanks to your prompt and they are certainly interested.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 21:41
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More power to you, S7700. A little thing can promote a huge safety outcome.

A decade ago CASA produced a CD on pushing on into WX. I have to be honest, you keep scrolling through until you see WX below your personal minimums and then go back one panel and press the divert button...how clever am I...Not!

Coldstream cameras pointing at both Mt Slide and Black Spur are a damn good idea! From TYA that would be timely information for a decision to divert to Kilmore or not launch at all.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 12:29
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I'm talking to Tyabb about getting theirs back on-line reliably via a central location to access as it well as OZRunways or similar other EFB product. Coldstream will hopefully come on board too. I didn't raise the prospect of 2 cameras with them but it's certainly worth mentioning. They will need power run up a pole which will be a little bit of stuffing around. Am waiting for a callback from Lilydale.

I've received the camera in the link above and it's testing well. I ran into a bit of a problem with reading the latest file to display it as they upload to a directory based on the current date. Each camera model firmware is different which can be a challenge. One check-box on one camera, doesn't exist on another, oh the joy of IT. I've outsourced the PHP code update to a guy on AirTasker for $18 LOL as I didn't have the patience.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 21:46
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Squawk
If you can get these up it will be something to be very proud of.
Great effort, and much appreciated.
I am sure once someone does the first one and they can be contacted and can report how easy it was to do, more will come on board.
For some of us tech luddites, it seems daunting but if their is a proven relatively eay way, then that is much different.

Last edited by rjtjrt; 17th Mar 2018 at 23:09. Reason: Spelling
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 21:58
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Setting up the Skycam network camera on my hangar at Cootamundra was a relatively easy process, with great assistance from sdielectrical.

Perched on the corner of hangar doing up U bolts at the bottom of a 4.2 metre length of gal pipe while CBs were building up was a little worrying, but I managed to survive.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 22:08
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The aviation wx forecast gives cloud conditions at Mittagong and Mt Victoria but no cameras at these locations.

I will donate the capital cost if someone organises! Is there a Mittagong airport group who could do at least one?
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 22:24
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
The aviation wx forecast gives cloud conditions at Mittagong and Mt Victoria but no cameras at these locations.

I will donate the capital cost if someone organises! Is there a Mittagong airport group who could do at least one?
Good call with those locations Dick. They are very much like the Kilmore Gap location which is now covered because of your initiative.

Iíll have a think about MVI but I have already been in contact with a Bloke whose is trying to get the club at Mittagong to give the go ahead for internet and a couple of my cameras. Iíll draw his attention to your interest in these locations and see where he is up to
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 22:48
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I don't want to tread on anyone's toes... I am more than happy to add cameras to the SkyCam network in conjunction with other systems out there, it's really just a link on a website.

My experience shows that small operators aren't excited about costly weather stations and that a near live photo is suitable for most purposes and this is a very low cost non-commercial solution.

I've just finished the set-up for north Tassie at a grand total of $55 and I'll ship that down there for mounting and addition to Ozrunways shortly. They have WIFI on-site which made it easy.

For areas with no ADSL it's $150 for a 4G camera and $150 for data P/A.

In summary...

If WIFI on-site:

Cost ~$55 for a camera once off (Multiple cameras are fine too)

No-WIFI:

Year 1: $300 (camera + data)
Subsequent years: $150 (Telstra data - gives a photo every 3-4 mins)

* Both options require 240 volts
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 23:49
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Squawk77

Yours is a good solution as it gives the option of wireless data. With the addition of a small solar panel, battery and charge controller it could be placed almost anywhere

There is no stepping on anyoneís toes. It all benefits the flying community

As for the skycam stuff. It was just a development at the Rylstone Airpark. There were many enquiries about how to do it and that is why I started a place in the ether to keep them all as people couldnít see past all the IT stuff to do it themselves

It seemed hard enough for people to get their aero clubs to agree and work together to get things done with internet and funding

Every site is different

The weather data info that Iíve got on the images was quite a bit of work with php. There is no easy way for me to tell you how to do it. It took a lot of work and has been refined along the way. I am happy to help anyone if they have questions

Rylstone and Shute Harbour purchased a Davis weather station and I wrote script to display this information. This I believe is better than a METAR

There were a few people that came to me for help and did Things their own way. Merimbula, Cessnock & Gawler were done with their own cameras with a bit of tweaking and help on the phone.

I would like to try the wireless camera as used at Tooradin. It looks like a decent low cost solution. Good work setting that up


I believe the government is dragging the chain in this area

METARS should now be provided with an image or images as standard. This is 2018

Last edited by sdielectrical; 17th Mar 2018 at 23:51. Reason: Spelling
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:17
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Dick,
PM sent
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:24
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One thing that would be handy, would be some note on weather image indicating direction camera is pointed.
Not essential but handy for those that do not know the area.
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:30
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Originally Posted by rjtjrt View Post
One thing that would be handy, would be some note on weather image indicating direction camera is pointed.
Not essential but handy for those that do not know the area.
Your Right.

On Ozrunways they have a button to select between the cameras and because of this you can tell which direction it faces. Unfortunately if there is inept one image at the location there is no need for the buttons and so you have no idea which way it faces. I have asked them to make this change in the app but they are very busy

On the sky am site it says under the image which direction.

I tried not to clutter the images too much with stuff but you are right and I will have a think about a nice way on the image to clearly show direction facing and hopefully
Implement something soon
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 01:18
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I put the direction of the camera into the namestamp at the top left of the image so when it shows up in Ozrunways it shows the direction.


I've managed to get two "sign-ups" today alone, so it will be good to keep the momentum going! 3 new cameras in a week is impressive.

Latrobe Valley and another strip nearby to them are now onboard so thanks guys!

Last edited by Squawk7700; 18th Mar 2018 at 01:42.
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