October 30


Miovision Growing Pains

By Mike Spack

October 30, 2008

We are working on a counting project in Waverly, Iowa for Snyder & Associates this week.  Part of their motivation for hiring us was to see the Miovision camera system in action.  I drove down Monday afternoon to set up the camera system to perform a 7 am to 6 pm turning movement count on Tuesday (we also have a crew of four people doing manual counts all week in addition to a few pneumatic tube counts). 

I was a little nervous going into the project because we currently have just one video  camera system.  It worked great for an eight hour count a few weeks ago, but the engineer in me knew I was tempting fate by not having redundancy.  Of course the system didn't work when I started setting it up at about 6 pm.  To Miovision's credit, Curtis was in the office for some tech support.  Our quick field checks didn't get us anywhere, I went to the hardware store to get a few more tools, and called Curtis on his cell phone at 7:15 from my hotel room.  We figured out power wasn't getting to the camera.  Either the camera or one of the power connections was broken in transit.  In the process of testing I irreparably ripped apart a cable connection (I didn't having soldering equipment on me).

Tony at Snyder & Associates has been very understanding and is ok with us doing the counts manually instead of with the Miovision equipment.  Ultimately, they just need the data.  I was able to get one of my guys down to Waverly in about 5 hours from calling him and we'll finish the project on time.

Miovision is having me send them the camera and the whole cabeling system.  They'll either fix it or send me a new setup.

The last time I felt like this, I was a teenager fishing with my dad and the motor died.  It took us about an hour to row back.  He got it fixed, but that motor died on him one more time.  Dad bought a new motor instead of getting it fixed again.  He told me he didn't trust the old motor and he didn't want to row anymore. 

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Mike Spack

My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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