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Semi-official Rochelle webcam discussion thread

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Semi-official Rochelle webcam discussion thread
Posted by Brian Schmidt on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:19 AM

Link: Rochelle Web Cam

Trains Magazine has upgraded the Rochelle, Ill., webcam with a bigger picture and sound. The webcam is free for registered users. See something cool on the video feed? Post about it here!

And don't forget our Rochelle railfan guide for when you visit the Hub City!

Brian Schmidt, Assistant Editor Trains magazine

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Posted by OhiocoalRR on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 11:55 AM

Not working for me today?  Is upgrade complete?  I have black screen with distances to Porviso etc, but no cam feeds nor past pictures available??

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Posted by DennisHeld on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:53 PM

It has been working for me.  I am a bit disappointed in the evening video.  The camera cannot make out a thing.  Great sound, though.

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:30 PM

Very nice high-resolution camera, but the compression ratio sort of negates the HD.  I understand the desire/need to keep the bandwidth down, but a lower resolution camera with less compression could provide a better image at about the same bandwidth, one where detail is not lost due to the blending of pixels in the compression algorithm.

I do like the addition of sound.  But I sometimes have the window open and then get distracted and forget it is running... then I hear a train horn and can't figure out where it is coming from!  Left me totally befuddled earlier this morning!  But once I figured it out, I quickly reverted to the viewing window and watched a train!  FUN.  THANKS!

I will be doing some measuring on Google Earth to determine perspective distances between some landmarks so I can measure the speed of trains in the area.  So far, timing cars of known length I have seen a train headed to Aurora at close to 35 MPH this morning and just now a UP bound for Clinton at about 25 MPH.

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by caldreamer on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:33 PM

NOT working form me.  All I get is a blank white screen where the picture should be.  It is still broken.

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:41 PM

I just tried it and it loaded both automatically and quickly.  Waited a breathless two minutes and I heard the horn.  BNSF coming from SW with what I think was an SD70 on the head.

Some people may need to update media or flash players.

I would place the experience on a par with the Norfolk cam, except that the sound is a welcome enhancement.  Haven't yet compared the two after dark.  The Norfolk cam gets the benefit of proximal street lighting.

-Crandell

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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 2:47 PM

caldreamer

NOT working form me.  All I get is a blank white screen where the picture should be.  It is still broken.

What computer system are you using?  Operating system and browser and revision levels? 

It works for me on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 11.

Semper Vaporo

Pkgs.

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:33 PM

Great to see the webcam back and improved.  I had to wait 3 full minutes after I opened it for a train (UP west, mixed freight) to appear.  One thing that could be improved is if the microphone for the sound could be moved closer to the speakers that carry the radio feeds - but that might mean picking up all the conversations in the deer stand itself, some of which can be pretty inane (not to mention the crying babies).

Some of us geezers remember the old railfan park in Rochelle which was right at the diamond crossing on the right hand corner of the screen near a utility pole.  Sometimes you still see guys park there for the improved camera angles at certain times of day.  There was parking, a picnic table, a garbage can, and someone planted flowers.  The trains were BN and C&NW.   At the time I thought it was the last word in friendly railfan treatment!  Some guys who parked there had speakers attached to their scanners, too.  The area of the current railroad park was somewhat brushy and overgrown, and the folks were still living in their house if memory serves.  An interchange track from BN to UP was right in front of us, rarely used (and gone now) but sometimes used for MOW and car setouts at the time. 

Some years ago the Chicago & North Western Historical Society held its annual meet in Rochelle -- it was a great meeting -- and one pleasant night after the last slide show someone said, let's go to the railroad park.  By that time it was probably 10:30 pm so the cameras were left at home.  Daytime railfanning is great there but at night the action was nonstop and just incredible.  I have never seen the volume of trains I did that night from 10:30 pm to about 1 am.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by csxns on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 6:19 PM
Works for me and it is great.

Russell

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Posted by CShaveRR on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:03 PM

Semper V, both railroads allow their trains to cross the diamonds at 35 m.p.h.  Some UP trains have a tendency to go more slowly because of the proximity of Global 3 (first train I saw on the new cam was an eastbound on UP--moving slowly but had picked up appreciably by the time it was done crossing).

If you catch one going faster than 35...shhhh! 

Carl

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Posted by tree68 on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:10 PM

Nice!  Looked at it after dark, so there's a lot to be desired, although I'm sure the neighbors would complain about any sort of lighting.

The autofocus is a bit of an issue at night - since there's not much light, it hunts a lot.

I also like the sound.  Haven't run the Netherlands cam together with the Rochelle cam, but that will make for a noisy computer!

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Semper Vaporo on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:57 PM

Most of the cameras (multiple brands) that I have in my ad-hoc home video surveillance system have an auto-focus feature, but they also have a method of turning that feature off and setting the focal distance manually.  I set them to infinity and they work well... Anything over 15 ft. is essentially infinity!

Well... they work fine until there is a power glitch and then they reset to autofocus ON, and it drives my motion detection software nuts as the cameras hunt for focus at night, until I manually turn autofocus off again.

Semper Vaporo

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Posted by Deggesty on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:21 PM

Ah, yes, these marvelous toys that want to do all the work for you, except click the shutter!

I still like my Canon that I bought 36 years ago, but it is a little more bulky than the Canon my wife bought a few years ago.

Johnny

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 10:52 PM

Great quality! Sound is exciting. Train just recently dimmed headlights coming through to avoid blinding people at the park...Thumbs Up

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Posted by STEVEL on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:04 AM

just brought up new cam at Rochelle at 0100 am and find it a disappointment. at night you see less than the old cam.   I hope it looks better in daylight.

 

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Posted by The Butler on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 4:52 AM

I have watched  the Web Cam both yesterday and today.  I was able to catch one of the last unpatched C&NW painted locos leading a west bound train.

I agree that the night view is not so good.  I watched a train at 03:00 CDT and could only see the lights on the locomotives and the reflectors on the trailers/cargo containers.

I am not complaining as I live in a town that got rid of its railroad long before I was born.

James


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Posted by Norm48327 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 7:22 AM

It needs a volume control so I don't get blasted out of my chair when they blow the horn. Big Smile

Norm


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Posted by CNW 6000 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1:31 PM

A nice improvement over the old one.  Thanks for doing this!

Dan

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:12 AM

Finally got a chance to "daylight" the cam and, of course, two MW guys are inspecting the diamonds.  No jeweler's loupe needed there, but no trains either.  

Also saw a lot of foraging birds in the BNSF ROW near the picnic area; I guess the grain hoppers are leaking a little bit.  That sort of reminded me of the squirrel activity along the BNSF branch running alongside the I-215 route across from March AFB (when it was still an AFB).

Did hear a train last night and saw the lights of the DP unit on the tail end go by on UP.  Those wheels definitely make a racket going over the diamonds, don't they.

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Posted by Deggesty on Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:44 AM

Ah, yes, Chuck, wheels going over any frog make a noticeable noise. When I lived in Wesson, Mississippi, the IC was right across the street in front of my house--with a crossover between the two mains there. If I wanted to, I could count the cars on a train that went by during the night. Sad to say, there is only one track there now.

Johnny

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Posted by NorthWest on Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:59 AM

UP train recently crossed with former Amtrak Material Handling Cars (still in their colors)- are these being used by someone as box cars? Couldn't catch the reporting marks.

Also, a yellowbonnet geep just went down the spur to the left of the diamonds and dropped off an empty centerbeam flatcar, and returned.

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Posted by blhanel on Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:47 PM

I love the fact that there's audio now- I can leave a tab open monitoring the webcam and go off and do other things.  Train horns alert me to impending traffic, and the loss of all sound alerts me to the need to go hit the play arrow again.  Thanks to that, I was able to catch the following very interesting sequence of events this morning:

Southbound tank train on BNSF Track 2 (?, furthest from the camera).

As soon as he cleared, heard horns blowing for grade crossing, assumed to be on UP, but nothing appears, and background noise returns to normal.

A couple of minutes later, a northbound BNSF mixed manifest crosses on Track 1.

As soon as he clears, I hear two shorts on a train horn, and not one but TWO eastbounds come into view on UP.  The nearest on Track 2 is an intermodal with two engines, the second being the Olympic 2012 unit, and the other a grain train (near as I could tell with the intermodal blocking the view) with two engines as well.  They both ran neck-and-neck until they were gone; I'm assuming they're still racing each other into Chicago.

Immediately after they cleared, another southbound BNSF train comes through.

I wish I would've been there in person to get pictures.

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Posted by ChuckCobleigh on Sunday, July 27, 2014 1:34 PM

Have caught some eastbound UP intermodals that come in pretty slow, so I am guessing they have just left the yard to the east.  A couple of them gained speed during the passing.  Pretty windy today, though.  The visitors' clothing and the trees are quite in motion.

Brian, I agree on the sound helping out.  Last night it was quiet enough that I could hear the hum of an air conditioner somewhere nearby.

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Posted by tree68 on Sunday, July 27, 2014 8:07 PM

ChuckCobleigh
Last night it was quiet enough that I could hear the hum of an air conditioner somewhere nearby.

There's actually some sort of plant just to the east of the diamond.  Don't know what it is, but I'm sure that someone can enlighten us.  It would probably come across as an air conditioner...

LarryWhistling
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Posted by Mookie on Sunday, July 27, 2014 9:14 PM

I will stab at it - I think someone told me it is Global III for UP? 

 

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

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Posted by blhanel on Sunday, July 27, 2014 10:34 PM

Global III is approximately 2000' southwest of the diamonds, just out of sight along the UP behind the trees to the left.  I think there's probably some power equipment somewhere in the field of view or on the power poles that's contributing the noise- either that, or a window air unit in one of the homes close by.

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Posted by tree68 on Monday, July 28, 2014 4:18 PM

Hit a dry spell this afternoon.  No big deal for me - I was home and watching on my tablet (worked great, by the way).  I kinda felt for that family that was hanging out at the park, though.  I don't know if they left, or were just off-camera, when a BNSF and three UP trains (including an intermodal and a coal train at the same time) came through...

LarryWhistling
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Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
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Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

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Posted by alpinemike on Monday, July 28, 2014 5:10 PM
love upgrade but don't like refresh after awhile as it stops and you need to hit play again
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Posted by DennisHeld on Monday, July 28, 2014 6:28 PM

There is, indeed, a plant just to the east of the camera's location.  I don't remember hearing it 'hum', though.  Global III is SW of the camera.  But it is far enough away to be an unlikely source of a humming.  I hear a 'buzzing' noise in my feed.  Sounds like feedback.  Or an electronic sourced noise from the camera itself.  

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Posted by Great Western on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:04 AM

I like this new webcam, as for background noise I don't really notice it. - I just like to hear the locos and train.   Some of the other cams, railroad and non-railroad, have more noise.

I looked at this web site some time ago but was not enticed to watchWink, this is much better.  Thanks Kalmbach.

Alan, Oliver & North Fork Railroad

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If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. Lewis Carroll English author & recreational mathematician (1832 - 1898)

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