*** CAMERA is off and on due to hackers attacking one of NZ’s ISPs ***
Shuttle tickets here: https://www.kahutsshuttles.nz
The idea for a “Bikecam” was born because of Arapuke’s unique micro-climate, which often has no relationship to the weather conditions in the nearby town of Palmerston North.
On days where weather in town can be overcast, the conditions at Arapuke often can be warm and sunny, so often bikers would not know conditions on the hill were actually great.
Due to the elevation of upper parts of the park, such as the “Summit Hub” its occasionally possible to be biking through the clouds in “whiteout” conditions, which is an experience not to be forgotten.
Many of the trails are north-facing, so even after rain, often a few hours of sun and a breeze are enough to dry the trails rapidly. Recent advances in trail building methods, using better drainage techniques have greatly improved the rideability, making many of the Arapuke trails “all weather surfaces”.
Many people generously donated their time and materials to make this Webcam project come alive.
This part of NZ has some challenges. One challenge is Wind. The Tararua Ranges can experience extremely high wind gusts in exposed areas, which are capable of bending and breaking structures. It was vital that the Camera tower was designed to cope with wind gusts of 150Kph without damage.
There is no electricity, and no Internet in the park so this meant a 16 kilometre point-to-point wireless internet link from town was required.
Netfone supplied the equipment and labour to connect this camera-site to the internet. Thanks to Netfones software developer Omar for working out the streaming Video “tech” and building some cool tools along the way that he has open-sourced. Its been a really fun project.
Thanks as well to the suppliers who assisted with this project, Christie Sheet metals and Scotty Bruce.
Tower Drawings - Vert-X
Vert-X created the engineering drawings for the tower, making sure it was strong enough to stand the storms. Thanks, Steve & Jason for your community spirit.
Solar Stand - Altherm Aluminium
A big thanks to Altherm Aluminium who fabricated the stand for the solar panels, and have allowed their building rooftop to be used for the Broadband-Dish that delivers wireless broadband. Altherm assisted with the installation at the site as well – thanks Mike!.
Many volunteers, Rob Vandenberg, Ollie Neilson, Mike Borens, Rolf Lennards
6 July 2019 Vert-X Structural Engineering Consultants Design Approved for constructions
8 July 2019 Pole Construction begins
8 July 2019 Construction of concrete foundation pad
8 Aug 2019 300Kg, 5m high Antenna-tower is ready for relocation.
1 Nov 2019 Construction crew prepare the site, and 3 tonne foundation craned into position, and tower errected
5 November 2019 – Volunteeers transport and prepare the solar panels to power the webcam
5 November to 27 November 2019 – Netfone commence cabling and installation of electrics and Broadband.
27 November 2019 – Base station installed at Altherm Aluminium in Keith Street Palmerston North. The base station feeds the internet to the Webcam.
10 December 2019 – Live streaming begins.
This was a really interesting fun-project that got Netfone staff away from their PC screens, and up in the wilds – we even did some customer support calls during the build on the hill, using the new Broadband-link. Thanks to Netfone guys: Mike, Omar, Pradip, Ollie & Raf. George offered moral support.