Thursday, December 13, 2018

State of the Harborcams 2019

With only a few weeks left in 2018, I thought I would update you on the "State of the Harborcams" as we go into 2019. First off, I would like to thank all of you for helping me keep the cameras maintained and operating. While I enjoy watching the cams, I enjoy the fact that many people like yourself have a chance to look into their screen and have a bit of enjoyment watching the view of the Northland each day.

2018 - In 2018 we added Wisconsin Point Cam and replaced the GLA Cam, Hillside Cam and Harbor Cam ( I snuck that one in). We also installed a new weather station at the Marine Museum and installed a new marine scanner.

2019 - In 2019, we will be installing two cams at the Silver Bay Marina. The cameras have been purchased and programmed, however, there is some underground wiring that needs to be done first so we might have to wait until the ground thaws in the spring.

There was some discussion about doing something at the Soo Locks, however, we will not be involved. It will be nice to see what they come up with.

Canal Cam  - This is a newer camera, however, it takes the brunt of bad weather. At some point, I would like to upgrade this camera to a more hardy version.

Bridge Cam - Working fine.

These two cams are located on top of the Lake Superior Marine Museum.  The internet connection sometimes gets bogged down when the waves and light conditions overload that camera streams -- hopefully, the internet bandwidth can be increased soon.

Hillside, Bayfront, and Harborcam - Hillside and Harborcam are new cams with zoom and pan capabilities.  Bayfront cam is now the oldest of all the cams ( 5 yrs). However, Hillside and Harborcam easily cover the Bayfront area.  I will keep the Bayfront cam as a backup, but may not run it all the time. This should relieve some bandwidth congestion at the Harbor  Hub. Right now 6 cams must share the internet connection and sometimes it gets bogged down.

GLA Cam - Working fine - no changes anticipated.

Pier B Cam - Working fine, no changes anticipated.

Wisconsin Point - While the location of this camera is not ideal, it is the only location on Wisconsin Point with power so there won't be any upgrades until there are more options for relocation.  Actually, the camera itself takes a tremendous beating from the weather and has held up very well (knock-on-wood). This camera provides a view very few people get a chance to see and enjoy.

Two Harbors - Two Harbors continues to be a great place to view the beautiful harbor and Lake Superior.
   Depot cam - While the Depot Cam gives a great perspective, I may look at moving its location in 2019 closer to the Harbor.
   Boat Launch - no changes anticipated.

Silver Bay - Similar to Two Harbors, this should be a great location to watch small boat activity as well as large boat traffic into North Shore Mining.

Summary - as with any new technology, there are always compromises on internet speed, image quality, and video transmission. The good thing is that there is always tweaking and component upgrades that come along that help.  So, the Good Lord willing, I plan to keep at this for 2019 - Enjoy the scenery!

p.s. Most the time I don't really know what I'm doing with all this stuff so I just kinda stumble through it.


  1. Right Dennis, dont mess with the TH Depot cam! With the new ice season coming up I am looking forward to chapter 2 of Sven and Ole's ice breaking/fishing adventures.

  2. Don't forget about those other two locations I mentioned to you in the Soo if the Government shuts you down. Mission point and West Pier are great locations for ships and salutes, West Pier with ships salutes and trains. I think West Pier would be the better location for both cameras. Great Job with all you do

  3. Thanks for the update, Dennis
    Really appreciate all the time and effort you put into this project. Happy to hear about the additional cameras.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
    Ingo-London, Ontario

  4. Oops, if I said Depot cam, I meant Boat Launch cam.

  5. I've enjoyed your Lake Superior webcams for years from Texas and enjoy seeing the seasons on the Big Lake through the cameras' lenses. Thank you providing these great views and for your hard work keeping them in working order.

  6. Great year-end recap Dennis! Thanks again for all you do. Can’t wait for Sven and Ole to return.

  7. Thanks for the update. You explained some issues I didn't realize contribute to the sometimes poor reception of the cams. I love the TH boat launch cam as you never know when you'll see a fishing boat come and when there's ice all around. Cameras at the Soo would be so awesome but is understandable if it's not possible. Keep up with your "stumbling through" as the love of this site brings joy to many

  8. Thanks and know all your work is appreciated by this old seaman and Affluent Poor of Park Point... A donation is in order after I post his...

  9. Thank you for a great 2018 boat watching season! I agree with David on the places at the Soo. Also with John about the TH boat launch cam. It is interesting to see different ideas on small boat launching. Also to see the different captains maneuver in the harbor. Silver Bay will be super! Keep up the great work! Isn't retirement fun?

  10. I have an older desk top computer which may contribute to my problem. I can access all of the cameras just fine, but I can't do so with the bridge cam. I keep getting the message "Oops. Download error occurred" or something to that effect. Any idea what may be going on? I enjoy and appreciate all your efforts to post videos and to keep the cams updated and running.

  11. Dennis I can't thank you enough for all you do with this website to keep it going. I watch it every day. I really enjoy it. I love Duluth and these cameras keep me connected. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  12. Guess I wouldn't do much with the depot cam. With the location now you get great views of boats making their approach to the breakwall/Agate Bay, plus their turns into dock #2.

  13. Dennis, just wanted to say thank you for your selfless efforts. You are a real asset to the Duluth community and those of us online who enjoy daily the fruit of your efforts. Again, thank you!

  14. Thanks, thanks, thanks....for all you do and your leadership on this...being over 6 hours away from one of my favorite places, your cameras help....

  15. I want to add my "thank you" for making this possible. I never know what the cams will show - it's a daily gift!

  16. What I do love about the Bayfront cam, Dennis, is the view of boats at anchor wait, especially when they're closer to the Superior entrance. And sometimes you'll get a distant view of boats departing/arriving Superior. Would be great to have Bayfront view early and late in the season when there are more ships out likely to be at wait and/or beyond the ice; perhaps an upgrade at some point for you to zoom in and take more wonderful pics. Many thanks for all you do. Grammie Pat, West St. Paul, MN

  17. Thanks for your work on these cams. At any point in future may we see cams aimed at some of the docks where ships load/unload?
    Thanks again, enjoy this site several times a day...
    Don Liberty MO

  18. Dennis, I want to say how much I appreciate how much work you put into his site. The cameras, pics and extra features you put into this labor of love show that it is just that. Your pictures do show the grandeur of God's Creation and even though I have always been blown away by the beauty of the Mountain West, I have found in the last couple of years that the area of Gitche Gumee is every bit as lovely as the West. We have made the 12 hour drive to Duluth twice since August and this site on my 40" TV monitor keeps me involved every day at home. Thanks again and Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

    1. Thank you Tom for your kind remarks. I'm going to have to pick up one of the big TV's one of these days.