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-   -   Weather/Web Cameras (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/606573-weather-web-cameras.html)

sdielectrical 22nd Mar 2018 01:30


Thank you for your support to get infrastructure installed at Mittagong. We’ll be working on this during next week.

Does anyone know an aviation enthusiast located in the Blue Mountains? I’ve heard YKAT is now closed. It would be great to have a camera mounted on the Hydro Majestic or similar vantage point.

Camera just needs to plug into router. Nothing too difficult.

This area after all is a “critical locality”. Just like Bowral and Kilmore Gap

Maybe a RFS base or similar. Pretty much any business or government building has internet intrastructure.

OK4Wire 22nd Mar 2018 01:37

I noticed your link goes to a 720p camera. I am wondering is the upgrade to 1080p camera worthwhile? Or does the extra bandwidth cause problems?

Squawk7700 22nd Mar 2018 02:22

Originally Posted by OK4Wire (Post 10092239)
I noticed your link goes to a 720p camera. I am wondering is the upgrade to 1080p camera worthwhile? Or does the extra bandwidth cause problems?

The 720 4G camera is around 145k per photo. So depending on the data plan a bigger image could cause come issues. At 2 per minute it's ~145 x 30 x 24 x 365 = ~ 40 gb.

The problem is that the default Telstra sim plan is $150 for a year, however it depends on what the bonus data is at the time so you may literally have between 20 and 40 gig and not know what you can get.

You can of course set to every 4-5 or longer which will use up all of the 20gb. The 4G can also be used as a router, so adding a second smaller camera will mean less photos per hour.

Not a huge issue as you can simply top up the data plan, but it starts to get a big expensive for the budget conscious, so if ADSL is onsite, happy days.

The other idea could be turning off power during the dark which can be done easily with a timer, however this doesn't work on most cameras as they need daylight to be able to focus when power is turned on.

720p cameras are literally sub $50 and with ADSL onsite you can have this all running and on a website and Ozrunways for $50. A cheap 1080 camera is closer to $80-85. Not much difference but it seems from my discussions that if we're pushing $100 it sounds like a lot more. Just a perception thing.

Since starting this thread I have 2 new units in Victoria and one in Tas that will come online next week.

In addition, I've got tentative agreement for 5 more across 3 locations in Vic and potential for a sizeable number in WA.

The biggest impact down here would have been for 3 council operated airfields in Vic, however the council isn't coming onboard and wants to look at the bigger picture which I feel will take quite a while.

Does anyone know if AirServices have finished their rollout?

Ixixly 22nd Mar 2018 09:51

Well done Squawk7700, brilliant work, only bad thing about it is that CASA couldn't manage to do something like this themselves!!!

Squawk7700 22nd Mar 2018 10:11

The biggest surprise has been how many airfields (particularly council operated) actually have ADSL fitted, which makes it a complete no-brainer.

Dick Smith 24th Mar 2018 01:02

Airservices have buildings at Kings Tableland and perhaps Mt Boyce near Mt Victoria. Great place for a camera. Anyone know anyone at AsA? I will pay for the camera so they can have safety as the most important consideration!

Squawk7700 24th Mar 2018 02:54

Hi Dick, has your funding donation been depleted?

I would be interested to know why they chose certain locations over others, such as Launceston and Devonport versus Hobart, or is it still on-going and they are likely to come along? Wouldn't want to duplicate systems.

Hopefully we can fill the gaps.

The hardest part is convincing operators (mainly councils) that this can be done very economically, for really just the cost of a camera or two, be they from $50 to $1,000 units, it's great value if they have Internet already. Thus far, words I've been hit with include... "strategic direction, grand vision, airport vision, 2020 budget, feasibility study, cost benefit analysis, consultation with council members, duty of care, corporate responsibility and liability concerns."

ASA simply have a nicely worded disclaimer around the validity of the images and advises that the service is unregulated.

sagan 24th Mar 2018 03:52

Lord Howe ? Particularly as the expert eyes on site has been silenced by CAsA

Squawk7700 24th Mar 2018 06:54

Originally Posted by sagan (Post 10094829)
Lord Howe ? Particularly as the expert eyes on site has been silenced by CAsA

Discussions are already in progress for this one ;)

We are looking at a more substantial offering given the significance of the location and the very harsh environment. We're thinking it may take a lot longer than the others for installation.

There was talk of one already being there, but it seems to depend on who you talk to as to whether it actually exists.

An issue I can foresee is the lack of coverage over the ocean... for a lighty, you're looking at up to 3.5 hours over water of which 3 could be out of range 3/4G range, so having an OZRunways image that's 3+ hours old could be an issue, but that being said it would be a good guide to start with.

If anyone has flown there (which I'll happily admit that I'm not brave enough to do) and can advise on the extent of mobile coverage, that would be greatly appreciated!

KRviator 24th Mar 2018 07:49

Originally Posted by Squawk7700 (Post 10094914)
If anyone has flown there (which I'll happily admit that I'm not brave enough to do) and can advise on the extent of mobile coverage, that would be greatly appreciated!

From HERE...

Many holidaymakers are delighted that there is no mobile phone coverage on Lord Howe Island, but public phones and faxes are available.
And according to THIS website, it looks like Norfolk Island only has 2G coverage! :eek:

StickWithTheTruth 24th Mar 2018 08:09

Yes, no coverage AFAIK.

My question was around how far out off the mainland does coverage extend. I'm guessing well and truly sub 30 miles perhaps, so pretty much useless as I've identified above, unless you're driving a fast yet.

catseye 24th Mar 2018 08:12

blue mountains cam
the ASA site on Tablelands road is closest to the saddle and ( I recall ) slightly lower than Mt Boyce.

Used to use the scenic skyway camera which was steerable on line. Not sure if you can steer anymore or maybe I don't have the technology right.

what ever goes in needs east and west outlooks and deicing

CaptainMidnight 24th Mar 2018 08:43

Anyone know anyone at AsA?
  • Jason Harfield
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston
I thought you knew them -

Squawk7700 24th Mar 2018 08:53

From a pilots perspective, mainly from those with experience in the area, is Lord Howe a concern for cloud, or is it mainly just the strong and unpredictable winds causing turbulence that mean you can't land there?

I'm tipping that the majority of traffic is IFR, however I'm sure there's plenty of VFR.

I'm just wondering what the true value of a weather camera will be...

- VFR over the top?
- Cloud / fog on the ground?

I haven't been in the Tasman enough times to know if fog and low cloud are an issue.

Edit: Seems I've answered my own question by looking at their website :-)

What I didn't realise is that the runway is only 888 metres and needs to be extended by 2023 as Qantas won't be running the Dash8-200 after then.


Squawk7700 27th Mar 2018 12:16

Well it has certainly been a busy week... the word is spreading fast and I'm getting a lot of interest.


6 confirmed sites (all airports).
12 tentative sites (all airports).
10 confirmed cameras - installing over the next month or so.
19 tentative cameras planned thus far.

Of the tentative ones, I think around 6-7 may not go ahead for numerous reasons. This is just the start and it's expanding rapidly.

All sites are in Victoria, WA and Tasmania including some nearby islands. Am definitely getting quick traction with private operators, with councils somewhat more non-committal, which I can only assume is a financial restriction. There's committee meetings to happen and board meetings etc for some of the sites which was also expected.

Ixixly 27th Mar 2018 12:31

A quick suggestion Squawk7700, in conjunction with Dick Smith, perhaps he could help cover the cost of a number of cameras and data subscriptions for the Council run Airports which may speed them along in getting it approved as they wouldn't have to get approval for funding too? Hopefully it might at least remove one hurdle they'll try and use to stop them from having to actually make a decision!!

rjtjrt 27th Mar 2018 21:01

Well done. Great to hear of the progress.

Squawk7700 27th Mar 2018 22:15

I've been thinking. I should perhaps re-phrase when I say "financial restrictions" for council. I'm thinking it's more policies and procedures rather than finances. As a local government employee, you would not just go and put up a camera without seeking permission and permission usually comes from board / council / committee meetings which is fair enough.

I feel it won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Gordy 27th Mar 2018 23:49

You should see the wx cams in Alaska:

Alaska Weather cams FAA

Squawk7700 28th Mar 2018 00:29

Impressive and a great insight at what can be done. It's clear why Dick Smith gave his significant donation to make this happen in Australia.

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