|NVT's UTP cabling housed within a waterproof casing enabled video transmission across a large body of water|
Rye Meads is situated next to the River Lee on the outskirts of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire. Visitors can view the various wildlife areas including reedbeds, open water, woodland and meadow, whilst utilising the observation hides to watch the wildlife close-up.
Summer attractions include a colony of common terns that nest on specially made rafts in the lagoons, whilst kingfishers breed in an artificial sandbank. During winter, shoveler, gadwall and tufted ducks can be seen on the open water.
With this diverse wildlife resource has come increased visitor numbers and RSPB management felt a comprehensive update of their original CCTV system was called for. By taking advantage of the latest developments in CCTV technology, they aimed to increase visitors' enjoyment of the reserve, as well as providing a surveillance tool for disabled visitors to view the full array of wildlife attractions available.
To progress the upgrade, Rye Meads management turned to Ron Rigby of Aaction Electronics, whose experience of large outdoor systems would prove invaluable in the delicate installation of the reserve's CCTV system.
After a comprehensive site survey Aaction Electronics specified Dennard 2060 dome cameras to cover the sixty-acre site. These were positioned on the outside of the hides (providing visitors with a view of the site in poor weather conditions) and on the manmade rafts in the main lagoon (giving an unprecedented close-up view of the nesting birds).
Due to the geographical nature of the area, Ron was required to address many issues when specifying a transmission system to relay images from the isolated cameras. Minimal disturbance to the reserve was a priority both in the time taken to complete the installation and the civil works required. As multiple cameras were sited on the lagoon rafts, the video transmission system had to cross a large amount of water. The answer was provided utilising Network Video Technologies' (NVT) video transmission equipment and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cabling housed within a waterproof casing. As an alternative to coax cabling, this brought several advantages, Ron Rigby explains: "The hostile nature of the reserve's environment required a robust and reliable video transmission method. With NVT and UTP we were confident of its performance under these conditions. In addition, the cost savings over a coax-based system were substantial, with the additional advantage of a quick and easy installation resulting in minimal disruption to the reserves visitors and its wildlife."
Using NVT's Active Transmitters and Receivers meant Ron could draw on NVT's technical resource and support to achieve a perfect signal. As Ron explains: "NVT's expert help and technical backup was invaluable in a diverse and challenging project such as this, and their products' consistent quality of interference free image meant that we could be confident of yielding the same high standard of picture display for each and every camera."
RSPB Rye Meads now own and operate a high-tech CCTV system that provides visitors with an intimate view of the rare birds and their habitat. The high-quality images provided on NVT UTP are distributed to a central control point onsite. They can also be viewed on screens within the public areas and worldwide, via a live IP link to the RSPB website.