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webmaster 08-05-2012 09:21 AM

WeirsCAM Problems
If you view the WeirsCAM regularly you've probably noticed that it has been having serious problems since the spring and usually does not update. For those of you who have asked or anyone else who is interested here is some information about the problems and coming solution:

I've been operating the WeirsCAM since 1999. During that time the camera has been upgraded several times to provide better resolution and more features. The last camera ran for 5 years without trouble but could not deliver an image larger than 640 X 480. To allow for a larger image and H264 streaming I purchased an expensive Axis camera last year that was loaded with features. It was integrated into its enclosure with a heater unit and motorized lens that would allow me to make all lens adjustments remotely and had lots of other advanced features. It seemed like a dream come true.

The camera worked OK during the fall and early winter but started having problems around January 1st. It started losing some of its settings and I found myself resetting them (remotely) almost daily. Since the camera is not physically accessible during the winter I crossed my fingers and hoped I would be able to nurse it through until the spring using the remote connection.

A few months later the problems got worse. Now it would not only lose settings but also freeze up (or drop power?) making it impossible to access. When the power was cycled it would work for anywhere for 2 hours to 2 weeks before freezing up again.

Troubleshooting this was not easy, especially since I live several hours away. This spring and summer I made 5 trips up to step through the possibilities. Although the camera itself was the likely problem there was also 200' of cabling, junctions, connectors, heater, lens controller and power supply to consider.

On each visit I tried one thing so I could isolate the problem. In each case the camera would work fine for several hours or days before freezing up again. A few times it seemed to be working perfectly but had frozen by the time I got home. You can imagine my frustration.

Last week I made my final attempt. A few hours later it froze up again and it now can only be the camera itself. It needs to come down and go back to Axis. When it comes back it will go on Craig's List. Reliability is a must for a remote webcam and the Axis camera didn't make it through the 1st year.

The good news is I've got another camera ready to install in the next few weeks. It's a Stardot Netcam like my older cameras and will hopefully be as reliable. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the Axis camera but can deliver a 1024 X 768 image and simple video streaming.

Thanks for your patience as I worked through this. I hope to have the WeirsCAM back to normal soon.
One of the first pictures captured by the WeirsCAM in 1999.
The camera was pointed out over the water soon after.

trfour 08-05-2012 05:20 PM

Viewing The WeirsCam, And Others Around The Lake
Has become a daily ritual for me being primarily in Texas since the end of 2005. Jobs for old farts like me weren't readily available, with the economy being stagnant and all, so I've been surviving on S.S. and unable to donate as much as I would like to in appreciation and gratitude to all what this entire website means to most of us.
The good news is that I just landed a contract and started working full time and will be able to donate more as I feel that I should.

Hang in there Don, more help is on the way!

Rattlesnake Gal 08-06-2012 06:40 AM

Thank You!
For all of the time and effort that you go through for all of our enjoyment. Your webcam is one of the best on the lake! Sorry that this last one has been such a hassle for you. Best wishes for a smooth and successful upgrade that will hopefully last for years and years. :D

Webbsatwinni 08-07-2012 10:37 AM

Thanks for the effort, the weirs cam is a daily ritual and I can't imaging life without it. I even check in while on the island to see if weather is coming our way.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

webmaster 08-07-2012 12:18 PM


Originally Posted by Webbsatwinni (Post 188482)
Thanks for the effort, the weirs cam is a daily ritual and I can't imaging life without it. I even check in while on the island to see if weather is coming our way.

I hope you haven't been relying on it for the last few months, the image was usually way behind. :eek:

I have the new camera ready to go and I'm hoping to get it installed on Thursday.

webmaster 08-09-2012 07:15 PM

The new camera was installed today and is working normally so far. I still have to fine tune it in various weather conditions so it may take a while to get the exposure, contrast and color balance to the best settings. Also, this camera has a different streaming method and I have to get StreamBy to make some adjustments.

I'm losing some features that the "old" Axis camera had but hopefully gaining reliability with the StarDot camera. I no longer have remote control of the lens and there is no more H.264 streaming so the video stream won't be as smooth but it should be good enough. Again, after this spring and summer reliability is the most important feature.

Thanks for your patience everyone. Fortunately we had many other CAMs to watch while I worked this out.

Resident 2B 08-09-2012 09:56 PM

Hi all,

This camera replacement obviously was not for free. The cost of the new camera and the webmaster's travel cost something.

For those able to do so, this is a great time to consider making a donation. There is an orange button on the right margin of the website's home page. It works very well. :)

Just felt I had to suggest this. Sorry if I offended anyone.


upthesaukee 08-10-2012 07:55 AM

Got a problem, Mr. Webmaster...
I got my first look at the camera today, and it is cloudy and rainy:(...the other webcam was sunny and dry....:)....what the heck is up with that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:laugh:

Seriously, thanks again...and again...and again...for all you do. picture quality is fine...make that great.

Island Girl 08-10-2012 06:21 PM

I am glad you have a new cam up and running. I know how frustrated you must have been. We island dwellers rely on all of the webcams and appreciate all that you do for us to keep them going.

Snake Eyes thanks you too!!!


webmaster 08-11-2012 12:47 PM

I had some time today to improve the exposure and color. I still need to see it on a sunny day but I'm happy with the image so far.

StreamBy isn't set up for this model of camera and they said it will take some time to get the live streaming working again. As soon as they figure it out I'll post an update.

Resident 2B 08-11-2012 06:28 PM

Thank you, Don!

It really looks great.


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