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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘surveillance camera

March Weather

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The people in the US state of Minnesota have long associated the state tournaments for high school hockey and basketball with snowstorms. The reason is simple. The tournaments happen in the month of March. Snowstorms this time of year have good potential for dumping a lot of snow at one time which makes them particularly memorable.

I’m enjoying both snow and sports. Being the only one in the house has made for guilt-free overindulgence in spectator sports on television while the snow piles up outside. I’m also feeling like a kid with a new toy now that I have a live camera view available on my phone whenever I want to see it.

We had a fresh blanket of modest depth on Friday morning.

You can see my tracks coming up from the barn after feeding horses that morning.

There was just enough sunshine to dry up the driveway after I had plowed so that just hours later it looked like it hadn’t snowed at all.

The blast of snow we were getting yesterday while I watched two championship high school hockey games made it look like I hadn’t plowed in weeks. Guess what I will be doing today. The snow was falling so fast when I went out to feed horses the last time, my tracks were filling in just moments after I made them.

Good thing I got all the hockey games out of the way yesterday. After the State Tournament games ended, I switched over to the University of Minnesota Gopher men and then the NHL Minnesota Wild games. The Wild were on the west coast so the game started late.

Boy that sheet of ice at Mariucci Arena looks huge compared to the NHL rinks with larger professional bodies filling the tv view.

Since the change to Daylight Saving Time happened last night, I didn’t stay up late enough to see the completion of either the Gophers or the Wild. It’s like changing to Eastern time zone without doing any traveling.

On a sad note, I took a break from all that hockey yesterday to watch several tributes to my favorite NFL head coach ever, Bud Grant, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95.

In the most impressionable years of my youth, Bud made a huge impact on my sense of order and propriety. He was a great leader of professional athletes and they entertained me immensely in the 1970s, despite failing to win the big prize in four Super Bowl appearances.

Rest in Peace, Harry Peter Grant Jr. (1927-2023).



Got View

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Despite a day-long spitting snowfall making work a challenge of really cold hands, the camera is up and running and I now have a live view available on my phone or our computers.

[mic drop]



Written by johnwhays

March 10, 2023 at 7:00 am

Sad Outcome

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After two days in a row of above-freezing temperatures, the trees have finally shed a majority of the giant globs of snow that were caught in their branches. Unfortunately, it has revealed some of the damage caused by the heavy loads of snow.

That is some ugly pruning. Those aren’t the branches I would have chosen to remove.

As sad as it is to find damage like this, it brings a feeling of admiration for the large number of other trees that survived the hazardous weather unscathed. I haven’t trekked through the woods to do a full assessment yet, but of the trees along the driveway, the one pictured above looked the worst and I noticed only one other tree sporting a single broken branch.

Meanwhile, I tested the camera down at the barn for picking up the WiFi signal from our house and got a not-so-sad result. It wasn’t a complete success but I learned the cameral worked outside the front door of the barn but not inside or under the overhang on the backside of the barn.

If we decide to follow through on the idea of adding a camera that will cover the paddocks, it will likely require the addition of a signal booster or repeater of some sort. Having a camera at the barn is not something we urgently need so the level of a priority compared to a few other projects will probably move this down on our list of things to do.

It’s nice to learn how far the functional WiFi signal from the house can reach, at least. Think about all the “How-To” videos I will be able to consult in the shop/garage during my impersonations of a person who works on power equipment.

It sure is great finally having the fiber-optic cable bringing us the connectivity we’ve been longing for over the past ten years.

It feels like we’ve joined the 21st century.



Written by johnwhays

December 30, 2022 at 7:00 am

Continued Cleanup

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Picking up on the opposite end of the backside of our house from where I left off shoveling on Tuesday, yesterday I decided to work from front to back in removing the piles of snow that I raked off the roof.

The temperature climbed up above freezing as predicted but we didn’t see a lot of sunshine which would have made a difference in the amount of melting that occurred. Still, the trees began losing some of the globs of snow stuck in their branches. To my dismay, it meant repeatedly getting splotches of sticky snow slapping down onto the walkway I had just cleared.

Every time I start to feel too much satisfaction over finishing a portion of the shoveling, there’d be one of those unhappy surprises of a new dump of snow on places I just cleaned. In truth, I am gaining on the overall snow-clearing job. I’m getting more areas finished than are getting re-trashed.

In the morning I got the drifts on the driveway and in front of the barn plowed away again. From there, I went directly to the spot in the photo above and then forged ahead onto the deck until only a small portion was left to go. I took a break when our kids arrived for a visit and helped carry in groceries they picked up in River Falls for us. Cyndie being able to shop for groceries online is saving me from one of my least favorite pastimes during these months of doing all the walking and driving chores for her.

Julian helped me figure out the workings of getting the new surveillance camera he gifted us connected through WiFi. We needed to troubleshoot some squirrelly operations where it worked intermittently. Once we figured out the camera could only communicate on 2.4 GHz frequency and our router was auto-choosing between 2.4 and 5.0, we started making good progress.

We changed the router to stop auto-choosing frequencies and separated them to allow for the selection of one or the other. The kids saved me another trip in the afternoon by agreeing to give Cyndie a ride to an appointment, but that meant they had to go before we made it to the biggest test of the camera away from the house.

Alas, it was easy for me to do on my own because we had already solved all the other issues. I walked down to the shop, plugged the camera into power, and brought up the app on my phone.


WiFi signal from the house reaches the shop/garage.

Now I need to figure out a precise location to mount it where I can see as much of the driveway as possible and secure a more permanent power cable. Actually, before I do that, I will be interested in seeing if it will be possible for the WiFi signal to reach the back side of the barn. Being able to see the horses under the overhang would be a real bonus.

It will also drive the need to purchase the next camera that will further our vision of improving surveillance of our property from within the house or remotely on my phone.



Written by johnwhays

December 29, 2022 at 7:00 am