Mt Whitney Zone
Posted By: Steve C Whitney Web Cam - 09/23/09 07:36 PM
Another thing I need to work on (decided to post here):

Paul wrote:
> Has anyone commented on the picture being blurry or should I just go and get glasses at my old age?

My response:

Well, you can always get those glasses. smile

But I myself have been really annoyed with the blurry pictures. When we first got the camera set up, the pics were clear as could be. But somewhere along the line, they went south.

It is either one of two things: sun burn of the cmos chip in the camera -- it sits there 24 hours a day focused on the peak and zoomed in, and twice a year -- about now and in the spring time too, the setting sun passes through the camera's view. So there we have the camera aimed and zoomed at the sun. I cannot imagine any electronic chip able to withstand the heat that has got to generate!

Check out yesterday's picture:

Here's Joel Baldwin's archive:

However... the guy who wrote the camera-driving software tells me he has a camera pointing into the sun as well without any trouble. He thinks it is, instead, the focus setting on the computer. There is a slider bar on the screen of the computer that Doug needs to play with to find the right focus. Apparently all the way to one end is NOT infinity as one would think. But Doug is not one to play with such things. I am heading over for the group hike weekend, and hope to work on things then. I even have an improved camera, and IF I can get a version of XP Pro installed on my older lap top, I am taking that over and setting it up, too. Dang! I need more TIME!

Here's a question for the people here: Do you think reimbursing me for such things as web cam software (Windows XP Pro is about $60 on ebay) is something the association dues can cover?

I am hoping we can use the association to help support the web cam, and therefore use it as a connection to Doug and the Whitney Portal Store and Hostel. I really want this web site to be "in cooperation" with the Doug and the WPS.


Posted By: Rod Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/24/09 03:03 AM
I am totally good with that Steve.
Posted By: Bee Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/24/09 04:07 AM
I am ALL for forging a strong bond with WPS and lending support when appropriate. It would be nice if down the line (or up the line) everyone -- including Doug -- viewed this whole project as an asset/ally rather than some sort of competition.

Posted By: PhilI Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/24/09 05:08 AM
I like the idea very much too!

- Phil
Posted By: AlanK Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/25/09 01:06 AM
I agree with the preceding posts.
Posted By: CaT Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/25/09 11:08 PM
Excellent idea.
Posted By: Steve C Re: Whitney Web Cam - 09/26/09 12:46 AM
Thanks everyone, for the support. I just purchased a copy of Windows XP Pro on ebay for $49.55.

I hope I can get it installed and working on my old laptop. Then I can run over to Lone Pine for the group hike weekend and set up the laptop so I can work on it remotely.

If that plan works, we will see some improvements in the web cam pictures.
Posted By: Steve C Re: Whitney Web Cam - 10/22/09 09:34 PM
Posting a followup to this thread...

It turns out that the focus problem was caused by some unknown event. Either the camera's focus mechanism getting stuck at some point, or more likely, a power-outage.

Just before we went over for the wpsmb group hike weekend, Doug played with the setup, and the focus magically came back.

While setting up the new cam, I discovered that if the plug is pulled on the camera's power supply (as in a power outage), the camera focus can change when it powers back up.

However, the laptop computer has a battery, so it never went down when the power failed, so the software program continued to run, without ever detecting a change. So it never re-set the camera's focus!

Once Doug sat down at the computer and played with settings, the program readjusted everything, and the focus came back!

Now, as the hardware currently runs today, the laptop I am using has no battery -- it died years ago. So if there is a power outage, someone at the hostel will need to go up and press the start button on the laptop. But the good thing is that I can connect to the laptop remotely, and get it to re-adjust the focus.

...but then the newer camera is set up to auto-focus, since there is apparently a bug in the Olympus driver software for that camera model, so that the software cannot focus on infinity when it is zoomed to the max. So the daytime focus should always be ok.

...but that leads to yet another problem: In auto-focus mode, in dim light, the camera goes into infrared focus mode, and since there is a protective cover over the camera, it focuses on that, and not at infinity. So the picture is completely blurred out. mad

Maybe I should go back and re-install the older camera to take the low-light pictures.
Posted By: wagga Re: Whitney Web Cam - 10/26/09 01:56 AM
There has been some background discussion re mounting a cam on a remotely-controlled tripod head on the Hostel roof. Any thoughts?
Posted By: Paul Re: Whitney Web Cam - 10/26/09 06:01 PM
I've always enjoyed the setup that they have for Mammoth....... that is, the ability to take control of the camera, zoom in, out or wide angle. Is this what you are talking about? I wonder what the costs might be.

Posted By: Steve C Re: Whitney Web Cam - 10/26/09 06:05 PM
I'm not sure what that setup would cost. Initially, I looked up a remote-controlled tripod that would allow the administrator to change its view, that is about $100.

I imagine Mammoth's is a video camera -- more expensive, and I don't know what the web software would cost to allow different people access. ...but we can check into that. It would certainly be a possibility. Although I don't know what the zoom quality would be for a video camera. Our current web cam gives us a 10X optical zoom.
Posted By: CaT Re: Whitney Web Cam - 11/07/09 01:47 PM
Click on the webcam picture-link on our site this morning, and let me know if you get one small section of a very large image as the first thing up instead of the usual sized image...

Posted By: Rod Re: Whitney Web Cam - 11/07/09 02:43 PM
I get a blown up view of the usual sized image.
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