Summer Webcam & AWS Upgrade

update 3/06/09: The SSC Hut AWS is up and running with temperature, humidity and air pressure at this time.  Replacement connectors for the wind sensor and rain gauge are on order, but not in stock with the suppliers. A full service will be restored as soon as possible.

With fresh drifts lying on CairnGorm Mountain, there was a distinct nip in the air this evening while walking up to the Scottish Ski Club Hut at 2500ft by the foot of the White Lady.

Saturday’s trip was undertaken to move the SSC Hut webcams to their summer positions, this is partly to give a more interesting wider view from the mountain outwith the Snowsports Season, but also to reduce camera exposure to direct sunlight looking Southwards up the White Lady during Summer.

The Lady Camera looks out the opposite end of the hut during Summer giving a view over the Kassbohrer garage and lower slopes towards Aviemore. Around dawn and dusk the lights of Aviemore can be seen centre picture when visibility is good, while the partly hidden Loch Morlich is visible to the middle right of the image.

Newly upgraded Balcony Cam

The SSC Hut Balcony Cam has been upgraded to a higher resolution 2mp auto focus camera, from the older fixed focus camera that has served us well the past 2 winters. The higher resolution and auto focus will give crisper images, but due to very limited bandwidth it’s not possible to increase image sizes just now. (But this is being looked at for the future).

During Summer the balcony camera is turned round by approximately 90 degrees to give a partially uphill view, since the other camera is looking downhill.

Weather Station Upgrade & Repairs

During winter the wind sensor array at the SSC hut suffered from an intermittent fault, which only occurred in thaw conditions following on from a cold spell with powdery snow. The anemometer then functioned when either temps went back below freezing or it became warmer and drier, suggestive that water ingress into the AWS unit from drifting snow accumulating inside the thermometer’s radiation shield then subsequently melting was a contributing factor.

On inspection the internal connector plugs in the AWS are starting to corrode and the wind vane cable has been damaged during winter. The main sensor array unit has been taken off site to have the connector modules replaced and this will be carried out during the coming week. A new cup anemometer unit was installed on Saturday afternoon, ready for the return of the main AWS Unit and it is hoped to have the weather station along with the upgraded aneometer back online by mid May for Summer.