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Mynd webcams / weather data query.

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Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby David Broughton » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:36 am

There was talk of having an independent (Holfuy) unit at the Mynd - has this been progressed at all?
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:06 pm

Holfuy no longer sell their units with cameras, they are purely weather stations which we already have on the Mynd courtesy of MGC. I did buy what we thought would be suitable but technically it was impossible to display the images on our website, and the company were unwilling to enable that capability so the club never bought it and it's on my house as a security camera instead.
However we are continuing investigating alternative options.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby David Broughton » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:19 am

The proposal was made due to the unreliability of the MGC equipment. It's good when it works but annoying when it doesn't! (e.g. no pictures or data / frozen images with incorrect timestamp). Those issues still persist with only Geoff M. bothering to sort them out and the gliding club people seemingly don't give a toss.

N. Wales have managed to install a working webcam at Llangollen. Would it be impossible to have our own weather station & webcam (maybe separate units) perhaps mounted on Rod Buck's old mast?

The Holfuy units at Sarn & Clatter seem much more reliable than the MGC setup.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:59 am

Dave, Yes regarding the MGC situation, Geoff is in Spain but did contact MGC on Friday to ask them to fix their cameras, but as you say it's fallen on deaf ears. That's a shame as I was at the Malvern club do last night and a number of people said to me they were avidly watching the forward facing time lapse camera watching people fly so another view would have been good.
The Llangollen type is an option but it's very expensive for what it does and doesn't do weather hence the continuation of searching for other alternatives - if nothing is found by the spring then I will propose to committee that we get a Llangollen one.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Geoffm » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:01 pm

I've been on the road for a few days, only very intermittently connected. I will try and get this sorted asap.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Geoffm » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:43 pm

OK. This is what is happening, with an explanation. There are two versions, short and long. And a summary.

Short

We are fixing it. Have patience. I've been on the road for a while.

Long

The static webcams and the weather station link to a small computer (called Myndcam) in the MGC office. The weather station never fails. The webcams will, very occasionally, lose their connection to the computer, Myndcam. The webcams themselves don't break.This is invariably fixed by rebooting the cams - we put most of the cams, including the timelapse (which don't connect to myndcam, they run separately), on timers so they restart every night. This fixes most things.

Now, last week, the internet connection at the MGC was going off and on quite a lot - just dropping out for a few minutes, then coming back on. This briefly knocked out all the internet comms. Basically, I ignored this a) because I'm not there, and b) because it seemed like it was probably an issue at the ISP end, not ours.

On Friday, though, the static cams and the weather station data stopped being uploaded. They are still working. What isn't working is the myndcam computer. This was replaced a couple of years ago. Normally rebooting it - which usually needs to be done physically, because, if it isn't working, I can't connect to it remotely - fixes it. I called the MGC and they did reboot it immediately. They are normally extremely good at responding to my requests - not least, because I am one of the two people in charge of IT there.

However, this time a simple reboot didn't fix it. The other MGC IT person, Paul, who is extremely competent, is looking at it, but needs to order a cable to connect directly to it, so we can diagnose precisely what and where the problem is. He is doing that now - I have just spoken to him. He also has been away, just got back from holidays, hence the delay.

If Myndcam stays down I'll redirect the static webcams to at least upload the image to a different server. That won't give us the weather station data though, just the images.

Separately and unrelated, the internet has gone down again today, which is why at the time of writing this, the timelapse cams are out too.

Summary

There are three points of failure at the MGC. One is the external internet connection. Paul is rebooting the routers, but if it is not at our end, he will sort it with their support. The second is a flaky electrical supply, which is not unique to the MGC - in the valley, where I live, we often get brief outages. I only discovered in the summer that some of the equipment, including myndcam and the main office coomputer, wasn't on a UPS. It is now. The third is the myndcam computer. The last time it was out for a significant time, which a reboot didn't fix, was around this time last year (other than a loose cable sometime in the summer I think). It is possible the computer needs replacing, in which case the LMSC has a long standing commitment to buy a new one for the MGC. I'll know more when Paul gets back to me with his disagnosis (or fix).
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby David Broughton » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:13 pm

So the problems seem to arise from the complexity of the system installed at the MGC, a flaky mains power supply, possible ISP problems and a limited number of people available with the nous to fix it?

Surely a couple of solar powered units - weather readings & camera - (operating via mobile phone network?) would be much simpler & more robust. And maybe no need to replace the computer.

PS. Or - Sarn isn't so popular and the webcam isn't well positioned so simply move that unit to the Mynd?
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:53 am

Dave, No doubt you and many others will be pleased to know that our committee have agreed on a way forward to completely removed dependence on the MGC internally located cameras and weather station. I'm in discussion with manufacturers as there's an issue over supply of components, but all being well will be all in place before we have some proper Mynd weather. Ah so that will be sometime in the next 2 or 3 years then going on current weather pattern! Actually, hopefully in next month or two, but the kit has to be supplied and thoroughly tested first before installation outside. The cameras are supposed to be massively better capability than any other site has - full HD quality, zoomable, realtime video, but we'll wait and see on that as the mobile data usage may be far too great, hence the testing.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby David Broughton » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:02 pm

BTW - It looks like the north-pointing webcam has been moved. Now showing a hazy shot of sheep & molehills! :lol:
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Geoffm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:39 am

I've asked someone to adjust it.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:35 am

The new camera's for the Long Mynd have arrived half an hour ago and I've started testing them - one will point north and one south to see the whole ridge. The new Holfuy weather station is due to arrive this afternoon. So all being well within the next few weeks we'll have got them all running reasonably ok and can get them installed on the Mynd.

Good news all round, pity about the weather though.
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Justin Davies » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:57 pm

Great effort Dave!
We all really appreciate your work.

Justin
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:43 pm

Here's the kit on test in the garden - two cameras and a weather station - it's all working. However, we think the camera mounting and Solar panels are far too flimsy to cope with Mynd wind, so we'll have to improve things before they get finally installed.

Ignore all the loose wires and the drain pipe - that's not the final state !


Myndkit_test.jpg
on test

:D :D :D
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:44 pm

It's getting nearer being ready. Just been trialling on ground and the pictures are much better than the existing cameras.

When we get a pole installed and they are fitted and available on the website, the pictures will be much bigger.

LongMyndSouth_06032020.jpg
Looking south


LongMyndNorth_06032020.jpg
Looking at our launch
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Re: Mynd webcams / weather data query.

Postby Dave Thomas » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:32 pm

Well, just in time for the post frontal XC weather later this week, you will be able to cry over missed thermals - the two new camera systems and Holfuy weather station are now available on a link on the webcams and weather page - link near the top of the page. However though they do show images of the Mynd, only from a few miles away rather than the nice still pictures shown before on this forum message - that will come eventually. They are on a separate page to avoid the main one being too massively long with all the other weather data we now have available. We really are rather spoiled for choice with information now.
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