About 5 months ago I had the wonderful idea to remove the fence blocking our view of the ocean. During the construction of the house they had the wonderful idea of putting up a 6 foot high fence along the beach side of the property effectively blocking the view. Earlier in the year I had the great idea of getting Surfline to install a live HD webcam on said fence. When my workers showed up to demo the fence they were given strict instructions not to injure the camera: they put a bag over it and a towel and then they ‘surgically’ demolished the fence opening up the view. After which the camera no longer worked.
Issue #1: POWER SUPPLY- apparently you cannot buy a 24volt power supply in Nicaragua, believe me I looked. I had a power supply brought down by a guests and within a few week I was able to plug it in and test the camera. The new power supply burnt out. At this point we really had Surfline’s attention because the camera was down and so they sent two more power supplies. I opened up the camera and found the connections had been pulled out, the power leads crossed burning out the power supply and the other connections had to be repaired. This confirmed that the cables to the camera had been yanked on with great force…probably a chunk of concrete.
Issue#2: COAX CABLE- the coaxial cable that got yanked out had a crimped on connector. You cannot find a crimp on quick connect BNC connector in Nicaragua, believe me I looked. Surfline was nice enough to send another and I hooked the cables up and still no video.
Issue #3: THE CAMERA CARD- with no video we thought the power issue might have burnt out the motherboard for the camera. I happened to be going home to California about this time (October), so I took the camera home with me, had it brought up to L.A. where they sent an intern to swap it out. I brought the new camera home to Nicaragua and installed it…’no video’ ?!?&&&*^*^&^*^
Issue#3: IBW- THE SHITTIEST (NON) INTERNET PROVIDER- It was about at that time…sometime in December that the internet service went down. It was impossible to troubleshoot the camera problem with the internet down. After about a month I got techies out here to trouble shoot the problem and about two weeks after that we got internet service again. It must have been around the new year at this point, but whose counting now?
Issue #4: COAX CABLE (AGAIN)- With no video coming through and the power on we were back to trouble shooting the signal. We tried tracing the 200′ of cable, but it ran through trees and along a barbed wire fence and for $60 it made sense to replace the cable. This was after our guide Matt was attached by ants protecting the mango tree…his first experience with the ants here that are voracious blood thirsty little devils. Finding the coax ,cable was easy enough, but finding quick connect BNC connectors wasn’t. They don’t’ sell them in Nicaragua, believe me I tried. Luckily I did find a box of goodies that Surfline had sent me and in it were the threaded quick connect BNC connectors I needed. I prepped the new cable and connected it and guess what ….”no video”?!$#%%^&^%$ It was at this point, more than sufficiently perplexed that we inspected the connections a little closer. It turns out that when the camera was swapped, Surfline had included a BNC quick connect barrel adapter instead of a coax/rca BNC quick connect. So only one of the two signals was getting through. As you may guess, they don’t sell quick connect BNC coax female to female barrel adaptors in Nicaragua, believe me I tried. Luckily another guest showing up got one to me pretty quickly and we hooked it up.
It was about 18 hours before I got an email from Surfline saying that they saw the video signal on their server. Of course we had the camera unmounted from its position so the image was a sideways view of the plastic Adirondack beach chair it was sitting in. We quickly mounted the camera and voila…we’re back on the line! It only took like 5 months, but at least when you want to torture yourself looking at live images of Punta Miramar and Pipes you can.