Wireless LAN Proposal for Community Center
Name of Project: "ChurchLAN"
- Project Sponsor: The Old Church,
- Location: 11th and Clay, Portland, OR
Original Author: SamChurchill
- Very Low Budget: $1,500,
- Low Budget: $2,500,
- Medium Budget: $3,500,
- Medium High Budget: $4,500,
- Higher Budget: $5,000,
About the Old Church
The Old Church, built in 1883 at 11th & Clay in downtown Portland is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the Pacific Northwest. No longer a "real" church, The Old Church is now a nonprofit historic site, available for a wide variety of community functions - from weddings, to concerts, to lectures, to plays.
This proposal makes "live webcasts" available at the Old Church. Five different proposals are described in general terms. Please feel free to mark up this page and make comments:
1. The $1500 Budget Webcam
There are two ways this could be done; (1) Still Digicams and (2) Live video.
- (1) Still Digicams:
Ricoh's i500 ($900), has 3 Megapixels and a wireless modem. The 19Kbps Nexcell CompactFlash CDPD modem ($300) makes it a wireless webcam. No computer. No cellphone. A GPRS CompactFlash modem might be 10 times faster and "always on". No cell phone required. Another still camera solution would link a camera to a cell phone via cable or BlueTooth. Socket's PocketPC/Bluetooth module can make a cable-free connection to Denso's 2200 phone on SprintPCS. Canon cameras and Ericsson phones link via Bluetooth. Ubinetics is working on a 3G videophone plug-in for the Handspring Visor while LightSurf allows GPRS handsets to capture and display high-quality photos and transmit them in seconds.
- (2) Live Video Webcams:
Based on an Axis 2100 or Netcam ($600) plugged directly into the ethernet port of a one-piece Linksys Wireless AccessPoint ($300) and a DSL/Cable Modem, or even a 2-way satellite dish like Starband or Wild Blue. No computer necessary. The Axis Camera is a "live" camera with 20 fps of 320x200 images and 5 fps with 640x480. The camera serves motion jpegs to any web browser but is silent. This system produces live video and costs less than $1000 with a DSL or Cable Modem. Add about $500 for installation and expertise.
2. The $2500 Axis camera switcher/server (4 wireless cameras, no wireless LAN)
This solution uses four $100 wireless (analog) X-10 video cameras ($400), connected to the Axis 2400/Server box ($800), which is wired to the DSL/Cable Modem/Router ($250 for the modem, $150 for the router). No wireless LAN is used. It's not mobile but no computers are required and it's "live". Four cameras can monitor four different rooms.
The Axis 2400 Access Point accepts 4 video cameras and serves it directly from the self-contained ($800) Linux box that's connected to the DSL line. The cameras are silent. No LAN is utilized. In the quad-mode, four different images are seen live in one, 704x480 pixel image that refreshes about 10 fps (with one viewer) or 1 fps (with 10 viewers). NTSC cameras such as tiny X-10 cameras (about $50 each) connect directly to the box. To avoid camera wires, the $100 wireless X-10 (analog video) transmission may also be used. The X-10 WILL interfer with 802.11b so the wireless X-10 precludes using wireless LAN. However, the X-10 camera line also includes a $50 camera with a 60 foot cord which would be preferable where feasible.
3. The $3500 Wireless Webcam
This webcam uses a laptop and wireless LAN connection to the DSL line. A $1400-$1800 Laptop like the one-piece Sony Picturebook, Vivo Web Tablet or Casio's tiny Fiva ($1500) which runs 8 hours on batteries. For "live" pictures (and sound) they run I-Netcam's webcasting software ($100) for live, mobile, audio and video feeds. This camera/laptop runs on batteries and can be placed anywhere. It connects to DSL wirelessly via Wireless lan card ($200), and the Wireless Access Point ($300) plugged into the DSL line. Add $600-$800 for installation and testing.
The one-piece Webtable/camera might roam anywhere within 300 feet, webcasting live via 802.11b to the DSL/AP. Only one camera is live but sound can be heard. This system might roam anywhere in the city. You just slip a 3G PC card into theVivo Web Tablet. Sprint's 3G cellular network ($70/mo) should be available later this year in Portland. Novatel's (1xRTT) PC Card works on Sprint while GSM networks like Voicesteam, AT&T and Cingular can use Novatel's GPRS PC card or Xircom's's GPRS PC Card for 56K-144Kbps cellular connections.
4. The Inetcam server ($4500) with 802.11b linked to mobile laptop with 4 analog camera)
The laptop with webcam software & cameras can be moved anywhere within 400 feet. The 4 cameras are strung off it and the laptop cameras can be switched by web viewers. They might be placed on a helmet with cameras facing N, S, E & W. The webcaster could walk around or place the 360 degree Helmetcam in the middle of the action.
Four, $100, X-10 video cameras connect to iNet's interactive video switcher which is connected to the laptop through a Hauppauge USB Video Plug. A wireless lan provides the link to the DSL and router/AP.
5. The $5000 Axis Bluetooth (4 wireless cameras using Bluetooth)
This solution uses the Axis Bluetooth Access Point ($500) and four ($500) BT cameras. This system is in Beta with the viability of live webcasting software and hardware purely speculative.
The $500 BT access point is connected to a DSL/Router ($500). The Axis Bluetooth Access Point pressrelease is slow at 720 down, 56K upstream but the advantage of a Bluetooth Access Point is mainly in potential that low cost wireless cameras will use less juice with Bluetooth. It seems unlikely that $250 cameras will have built-in 802.11b but $250 cameras probably WILL have Bluetooth. Positioning of Bluetooth-enabled cameras would be fast and easy.
6. Atomic Bluetooth: (3 wireless handhelds with Bluetooth phone)
I envision The Palm 505 ($450) with Kodak's PalmPix camera module ($200) and a Bluetooth module ($100) linking to an Ericsson 3G Bluetooth Phone. Other small, low-power handhelds that could be enabled by BlueTooth include the Sony Clie, Compaq's iPaq, and Microsoft's PocketPC, line. Sony's Bluetooth Infostick for example slips into the Clie as well as their video and still cameras. They could swarm around Ericsson's 3G 520 Phone or Microsoft's 3G Stinger phone like Sendo's triband GSM "Stinger" phone.
A BlueTooth server might handle multiple Bluetooth cameras and devices. Portland's Cerulic has expertise. Bluetooth "hot spots" use Red-M Servers and Axis 9010 "hot spots' could link PDAs to a Casio's laptop server running Pocit's BlueTalk (P2P) software. The Old Church could be an interesting beta-test site.
Other CDMA Smart Phones include Motorola's triband-GSM 7389i, Nokia models and Kyocera's CDMA 1X handset and InfoComm's TM-910, a 1-X handset with CDMA/Bluetooth. Nokia and Fuji have tested a Bluetooth-enabled phone linking to a Fuji digital camera although it lacks "webcam" funtionality. The New Smart Phones will probably provide webcam funtionality and connectivity.
With Sprint and Voicestream going to 144Kbps in 2001, cellular speed for mobile video appears to be close at hand. But it will be expensive at $70/mo plus connection speed. Therefore, a Wireless Lan link to DSL will generally provide a better alternative in a limited space environment.
This proposal provides live audio and video "webcasts" from the Old Church, 24 hours a day. Anyone with a browser can see (and hear) events in Portland. Webcams can add a press to talk button. These free services allow anyone to "chat" with voice.
A laptop or a self-contained webcam/server is linked to the cable modem/DSL. It requires no operators. The wireless lan provides a mobile, wireless feed that can be moved 300-500 feet from the wireless hub.
Webcast cameras could monitor the main concert/chapel space, reception area or a separate teleconferencing room/thrift store space. Users would include wedding parties, security monitoring, concerts, and community groups who wish to webcast. No public access videoconferencing system exists in Portland. All current videoconferencing systems require specialized skills and equipment. No special software is required to view this webcast.
The live webcam can be seen on the Old Church Website. A "press to talk" button on the website can even provide listener/viewer "talkback".
Expenses are low because the cameras are always "on". Off the shelf hardware, software & and hosting services are utilized. No special skills are needed to use or view the webcast. Revenue from fees (perhaps $250 per 2 hour webcast) or for community meetings pay for the service. With an average supplimental income of $250 per week, this facility would pay for itself in as little as 6 weeks. With an average of $500/week revenue, this live webcasting facility could add $25,000/year in additional income to The Old Church.
A budget of $6,000 provides a turnkey installation covering all costs and a one year service contract with on-call maintainence at no cost (typically $65/hr).
Alternative Mobile Ideas
To go beyond the Old Church grounds, high-speed cellular connections would be necessary for updated still camera images:
Ricoh's i500 Camera is one-piece camera ($900) needs no cell phone. It has a built-in card slot and can use a CF slot (i500) or PC card (i700) modem like those available from Sierrawireless Novatel or Xircom. Novatel's PC Cards use Sprint CDMA including a 56K cellular modem. This year, 2.5G service will transmit 64Kbps with Novatel's GPRS PC Card and soon 144Kbps with Novatel's 3G (1xRTT) PC Card. GPRS PC Card It will automatically update your webpage. Speed will depend on what kind of wireless connection you can establish.
Digital Cameras running dial-up scriptsFlashpoint's wireless software ($200) runs on a Kodak 290 Still Digital Camera ($650) connected to a Sprint PCS phone ($100). You hook a Kodak 290 to the Sprint phone, then set it to automatically download pictures every few minutes. Sanyo and Flashpoint have a wireless digicam with a similar settup. Flashpoint's camera scripts enable cameras like the Minolta EX1500 accessories , Kodak's DC220 FAQ and other 3 Megapixel cameras like HP's new DigiCams to connect directly with GSM Phones http://digitacamera.comscripts.