Springwatch in School

Since Thursday, Jason and I have been working on a project to bring a little nature over to the St. Peter’s website.

I got the call on Thursday asking me if I could source a camera to take in to the school. Apparently a nest had been found outside one of the classrooms, and the school wanted a live feed.

Time was of the essence!

After having a scour around the internet, I found a cool budget camera that would fit the the bill.

The bonus of this camera is that it has infra-red for night vision, as well as sound if required.

I went along on Friday, and we hooked up the camera near the nest and armed with a sledgehammer, drill and an uneasy desire to cause carnage connected the camera to the school network and the mains.

Configuration was interesting. The IP camera allows a live feed that you can configure it with – but requires the installation of an unsigned ActiveX control (which is a pain to install because it is unsigned). Also, the FTP settings will allow you to connect to an FTP site, but not set a filename or folder. ARGH!

So some jiggery pokery came into play. I set up an FTP service in IIS 6.0 on the main server, and created a new folder for the uploaded images. After a little bit of waving in front of the camera, I found that the images were being uploaded in a sequence from when the camera is turned on. eg. cam0001.jpg, cam0002.jpg and so on.

I created a page on my own website, as the school doesn’t have direct FTP access:

<h1>St. Peter's Nestcam</h1>
<img id="camImg" src="./cam.jpg" alt="" />

The picture you are seeing is a motion-sensitive feed,
which is updated every 10 seconds. If there is little or no movement,
the picture stays the same.

Don't worry, it does change! Just take a look at another time.&lt;/p&gt;

Thanks to the bods at <a href="http://www.centaur.it/">Centaur Systems</a>
for setting this up so quickly

Back to the
<a href="http://www.st-peters-canterbury.kent.sch.uk/">school website</a>

Finally, two scripts were created to upload to FTP. I don’t have them to hand, but I’ll upload them later. I promise!