Pondcam turned off for the Winter
11 Nov 2001
This weekend is the pond cleanout weekend. The camera is out
of the pond, to return in the spring. It turns out that there is a
small water leak as there was about a teaspoonful of water
inside the housing. Happily it hadn't reached the camera module
This year we have too many plants to fit in the bottom of
the pond, so some will have to overwinter in the basement.
We are going to leave the baby fish (now up to three inches)
in the top pond. This means that I need to get another pump
and airstone for it. Unfortunately Tetra have stopped making
the TetraLuft pump that I use for the bottom pond.
Update: I got a Tetra DW96 and hooked it up, and it seems to work.
I can't take the waterfall pump out as one of the valves doesn't
fully close any more. I need to visit Home Depot to get more
What a lot of hits!
28 Oct 2001
Somebody added a link to this page from a pond chat bulletin board.
The number of hits that I got was about 10 times my daily
1-Wire Barometer woes
5 Oct 2001 (Updated 28 Oct 2001)
I'm in the process of building a 1-wire barometer to add to the weather station.
However, it isn't going very well. See the progress page for the full story.
Update: I'm going to add an instrumentation amplifier to do the level shifting, provide some gain and buffer the input to the A/D.
Update: It now works much better with the instrumentation amp. I'm leaving it running overnight to see if it
really works (i.e. measures the pressure)!
Lots of Salamanders
26 Sep 2001
I received 28 Northern Two-lined Salamanders from a friend who
scooped them out of his swimming pool. We added them to the
top pond and they promptly vanished. Some of them climbed out
and hid under the rocks around the edge. Some of them
climbed up plants. Some hid under rocks on the bottom.
I guess that this is more than enough for one pond. We will
see in the spring whether they return to breed!
Picture gallery working again
19 Sep 2001
It turned out that the fish gallery stopped working when
the unix time rolled over to 1000000000. I was using alphabetic sorting to find the most recent image (the image names contain the unix timestamp). This doesn't work as I didn't have leading zeros on the old 999999000 numbers. I wonder how many other people have been bitten in the same way.
The Pondcam is BACK!
27 Aug 2001
I finally got around to replacing the pond cam. I'm using
a small NTSC camera mounted inside the old housing. I'll update the
camera construction web page over the next few days
with more details.
The focus doesn't appear to be quite
right, and the water is rather cloudy so the image is not
all that it might be. I also haven't yet added the anti-fouling
circuitry. I am using a glass view port rather than the
pexiglass one which was starting to cloud up.
One of the frogs is in the newspaper
14 Aug 2001
As you may recall (if you are a frequent visitor here), we evicted
a number of bullfrogs earlier in the year. The recipient of
one of them wrote up her experiences for the local paper --
the Framingham Tab. You can read the article here.
Code Red Worms!
3 Aug 2001
This is not really a pond issue, but I stuck up a page to
monitor the progress of the
Code Red worm. If you don't know, this is a computer worm
that infects Microsoft IIS servers and replicates quite
virulently (for the first 20 days of each month).
3 Aug 2001
This weekend should see the pondcam reactivated. I bought
a CMOS 640x480 camera that seems to work nicely, and I was
also given a piece of coated glass to use as the front window. By passing a small current from the glass and another electrode, the idea is to prevent algal growth.
Apparently this scheme works in the ocean, but according to
the literature, nobody seems to use it in freshwater.
A Salamander arrives
16 Jul 2001
OK -- the salamander arrived by car from a friend's
swimming pool where it had fallen in. You can see a picture
of it on the Pond life page. I stuck
it in the top pond as I suspect that the big fish might
eat it. We will see whether the frogs eat it anyway.