ob-kc

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sflinux
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ob-kc

Post by sflinux » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:38 am

https://ob-kc.com
"Hello OB-KC Viewer.

My name is Hugh Bosely and I set this website up as a public service in 2009. As an avid wave sailor and weather geek, the goal was to provide a reliable data point for wind and surf conditions for this part of Ocean Beach.

Over the years we have had millions of unique viewers and have provided a useful data point for surfers, local residents, tourists, beach users, local media and little old ladies in the Midwest who just like to watch the sunset on the edge of of the western world.

Additionally, we have had quite a few moochers including iWindsurf, iKitesurf, Surfline and dozens of other commercial websites have been "borrowing" data and i-framing images.

The site was cobbled together using an 8 year old Canon Powershot G2 ($8 on eBay), an Oregon Scientific WMR88 weather station ($120), and an old desktop computer.

Through the years, I went through 4-5 Powershot G2s (good for 300K shutter clicks each) before I upgraded to a G10 ($100) which still works. I went through 3 WMR88s until I upgraded to a $1,000 Davis professional weather station which requires a new anemometer every year. Also replaced were 2 motherboards, 3 video cards, 2 hard drives, a monitor, and 2 routers. The biggest reason for hardware attrition? Salt + high humidity at the beach.

I had no programming experience so used an assortment of off-the-shelf programs to drive the site. GB Timelapse captured the images. Batch Photo Processor resized the images for banner, medium resolution, high resolution, thumbnail and a stamped image. Movie Salsa stitched together stills into hourly and daily time lapses. Weather Display parsed the weather station data an did some of the FTP work. WX Live brought the info to life with a flash display, WXTide32 generated the tide graphs. And finally, FileAze was used for file management and additional FTP. All of this is running on Windows XP.

All in all there were lots of moving parts and at any given time a dozen processes were running to keep the site working. Additionally there were computer issues, router issues, server host issues, Comcast issues and power issues.

If any one link in the system failed, the whole system would crash and required a manual restart. This was fine when I was living at the beach but in 2016, I moved to Jordan to start a refugee code bootcamp. During this time, I relied upon my girlfriend to keep the system up but as she spends less than half her time in SF, there were outages for weeks at time.

Recently I returned for a brief visit and realized the computer that drives the site is shot. Motherboard and video card are dead and other components including hard drive, monitor and cables are in various stages of collapse and heavily corroded. Add to this, bit rot for decades old software. As such, I decided to scrap the current setup.

The cost to produce the site has averaged about $800 per year. This includes hosting, ISP and hardware replacement costs. Viewers have contributed about $200 per year. Most of this from 4-5 key donors.

Since I haven't taken a paycheck in 3 years I am not really in a position to support the site. However I am happy to continue to host the site if viewership can support.

Soooooo, I am seeking ideas and technical support for OB-KC 2.0.

Specification: as few moving parts as possible.
User story: Just the fax ma'am!

One idea is a high quality, wireless network camera ($1,000) dumping into a very basic page: OB-KC logo. Live cam image. Donate button. That's it! No ads, weather, external links, articles, tide graphs, time lapses, satellite data, wave etc. Just one piece of data - an image.

This solution requires a web host, an internet connection and router and a good camera.

Another option is to add weather but this requires an on site computer. We could serve with an older laptop as weather software is neither CPU or memory intensive. All that is really required is a USB port and wifi capability.

A third idea is to hack the Powershot G10 into a web cam but again, this requires an on site computer to serve the images which I would like to avoid as this is another moving part.

The G10 has good glass - better than most high end security cameras. Plus with 15mp resolution and 5X optical zoom, image quality is very good compared to the high end 4mp security cameras. If anyone is good with electronics, there might be a way to convert the G10 to a network camera bypassing the need for a computer to serve the images.

Anyway, if the community is interested in OB-KC 2.0, I need someone to step up as a project lead as I just don't have the bandwidth or the geographic position to assist.

The lead would have to recruit technical volunteers, coordinate fundraising (Kickstarter?), purchase and install the hardware.

I can get one of my bootcamp grads to build the page and continue to use the same host.

If anyone is interested in leading this, please contact me at hugh at ob-kc.com.

Again, thanks for everyone's support over the years and looking forward to the possibility to rebuilding our site.

Waves,

Hugh Bosely
"

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le noun
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Re: ob-kc

Post by le noun » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:25 am

Surfline already has 4 HD webcams on the beach. Wind data was the only thing that was interesting to me about OB-KC (the nearest sensor on Ikitesurf is fort Funston).
Moved a few blocks away from the beach last year, so problem solved. SS$$
Kites: 2018 F-One Bandit: 8m and 11m.
Board: 2018 F-One Mitu 5'10 Surf/Foil convertible
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Manera 5/4/3 X10D

Cj_
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Re: ob-kc

Post by Cj_ » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:41 pm

^^^^
Cool !
Sounds like you just volunteered yourself for onsite reports '

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le noun
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Re: ob-kc

Post by le noun » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:31 am

Cj_ wrote:^^^^
Cool !
Sounds like you just volunteered yourself for onsite reports '
right... Lo)%
Seriously though, I think it would be more efficient to get everyone emailing ikitesurf to put a sensor at Kelly's Cove.
Kites: 2018 F-One Bandit: 8m and 11m.
Board: 2018 F-One Mitu 5'10 Surf/Foil convertible
Harness: Manera Exoharness.
Wetsuit: Manera 5/4/3 X10D

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Re: ob-kc

Post by drroc » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:19 pm

le noun wrote:
Cj_ wrote:^^^^
Cool !
Sounds like you just volunteered yourself for onsite reports '
right... Lo)%
Seriously though, I think it would be more efficient to get everyone emailing ikitesurf to put a sensor at Kelly's Cove.
They can't even fix the Waddell sensor. It is broken most of the time. I don't know if they will even bother with a new sensor.

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sflinux
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Re: ob-kc

Post by sflinux » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:33 pm

I am not, Hugh. I was just sharing the information with the forum. I got a private message from windfind,
"Hi Hugh,

First, I want to thank your for maintaining your cam and weather station through the years.

(We are very familiar with the difficulty of maintaining such sensors in hostile environments since many of our 1000 proprietary stations are on Coast Guard Nav. Aids where constant salt spray and bird droppings are the norm. After years of trying out every "professional" weather station on the market, we concluded that the only way to make a weatherproof station was to manufacture the stations ourselves. These stations have been proven capable of going through the eye of hurricanes on offshore Nav. Aids hence they are a critical part to the Hurricane Network we provide to NOAA and NWS.)

We have a cooperative agreement with Weather Underground to share Public Domain weather information which I assume included your station. And if we had an easy way of contacting you we would have tried to work out a deal with you long ago.

So please consider this option: We would like would like to install one of our weather stations in the Ocean Beach Kelly Cove area in a location that is free of turbulence and highly correlated with the winds near the beach. If your location is suitable we would compensate you with free access to our wind reports, forecasts, models etc for the Bay Area and the entire USA and Baja. As well as a free ad to your cam website if you wish.

Let me know if you are interested.

Mike Godsey
iwindsurf.com/ikitesurf.com
Weatheflow.com"

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sflinux
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Re: ob-kc

Post by sflinux » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:34 pm

The new high resolution webcam is installed. MJ0_ Thank you to all that donated.
I am hopeful that we can get a local wind sensor installed here too.

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