These findings made the whole trip worth while. We now know that we can connect across the world and transfer live photo, video and VoIP data to give anyone on the Internet remote access to field locations.
A clip showing of the effect of downloading a photo during an active VoIP call (Video - 15.8MB).(video capture from screen)
The final test we did with Paul at the volcano yesterday was to download a photo while talking on the VoIP phone at the same time. The router currently gives no priority (or Quality of Service preferences) to audio data – all data gets treated with equal priority. As a result while we’re filling the bandwidth with photo information the audio drops out. This could be solved by setting a Quality of Service preference for audio data. The image would then download slower, but the audio conversation would be maintained. Another option is to self regulate the conversation and keep quiet while waiting for downloads or other priority data.
Photo download video clip (5.4MB) - showing the time taken to download a new thumbnail page and a new photo.
On Saturday Paul went back up to Masaya volcano for a couple of hours in the morning. Again we used the BGAN terminal to connect to the Internet. As before, we used Skype text chat throughout as our back channel for communication. The Ricoh WiFi camera worked well for taking pictures and sending them over the local WiFi network to the Asus server, where I could then access them from the UK. This time I managed to get a video of the process to show the performance of the service (see clip). The thumbnail images came down in about 11 seconds and a full picture took about 23 seconds. This is certainly usable for getting live photos from the field.
The first data to come from Nicaragua over the BGAN - thumbnail images of photos.
Yesterday as well as talking on Skype, Paul and Carlos set up the BGAN terminal on the hotel roof and sent us back the first set of photos.
Paul’s Asus Eee PC 901 was running as a web server (using LAMPP). The Linksys WRT54GL he was using as a router gave him a local wireless network and registered the IP address it was given by the BGAN terminal (operating on modem mode) with our DynDNS service.
Yesterday and today I have been testing the procedures for connecting over wired and wireless networks to live video streaming and static image transfer. Below are details of my journey starting with live video streaming over a wired network without 3G and then over 3G.
Wired Network (no 3G)
The equipment being used is a Billion wireless-N/3G ADSL Router, two Eee PC netbooks, a MacBook Pro and a an EDIMax IC-3010WG dual mode camera.