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Old May 16, 2003, 10:47 AM   #1
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Lost and looking for help! I am needing any information about a way to transmit pictures instantly from my guys in the field to our support staff here in the office. I need to be able to review photos, correct any problems, and instruct my foremen on course of actions. Currently we are using digital cameras and Fed-Ex, which is not meeting my needs. Is there a product on the market that could handle my needs within a reasonable cost? Please Help!!
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Old May 16, 2003, 11:05 AM   #2
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Digicam/laptop/internet via dialup modem. Or dial in to company server. Dial up needs pics re-sampled to smaller sizes (use the laptop). For low res pics is a cam wap-phone any good? Some mobile phones have adaptors for emailing. Speeds can be real slow and a pic size would need to be reduced and heavily compressed. Still do-able if pics viewed on a pc are good enough and the guys at the other end can do the cropping/zoom/re-size compression to only send the photo area of interest.

This is one of the few situations when the lower resolution option of a digicam could be useful, as the guys would do less fiddling on the laptop. So, they shoot one pic at low res for transmission, and a second at hi res as the copy to bring back. More of a 'system' solution than a product (unless you can use he WAP-cam phone.)
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Old May 16, 2003, 6:42 PM   #3
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Maybe a job for Pocket Phojo ?

http://www.steves-digicams.com/digin...2.html#phojo11

-Steve
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Old May 16, 2003, 7:34 PM   #4
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Here are a couple of options:

1) Laptop w/cellular modem w/external USB card 6-1 reader.

Then, assuming you have good cellular coverage you could
transmit the photo.

2) New Cellphone w/photo taking capabilities. Note: best resolution currently about 1.3 megapixels.

3) Take to any photojournalist working for major paper.
How do they do transmit from field to meet deadlines?

4) Almost any city library in the land has net access.
Upload from a library if you do not have cellular modem
with your laptop.

5) Talk to a tech-weenie whiz kid...A few burgers later and they
will probably come up an elegant solution.

Good luck
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Old May 18, 2003, 7:18 AM   #5
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Greetings,

For a handheld solution, some of the new photo-enabled cellphones MIGHT do the job. It really depends on how much detail you need in the photos.

The package Steve points to is likely to be a high resolution solution for professional journalists...not cheap, but I don't really know whether that's the kind of quality resolution you need.

Also, you didn't say where your crews are working...is this an urban environment or rural?

Do the work crews have access to hard-wired telephone connections where they could access the internet and attach photos to e-mail or even upload to a ftp server?

With a dial-up connection available, you should be able to send almost anything down the line. Cellphones connected to a laptop would take a little longer, but they work, too.

The system is pretty clear. 1) Take digital photos 2) load photos from camera to laptop 3) connect laptop to internet via hardwire or cellphone connection and transmit photos via e-mail or file transfer protocol.

reader

P.S. I do this all the time using a laptop and satellite telephone. Thrane and Thrane makes a $2500 Inmarsat portable satellite phone (mini-M) that runs about $3 a minute and will transmit data at 19.2k bps. http://www.smart-telecom.com/sat/ or check out http://www.outfittersatellite.com/thrane.htm

You connect a serial cable from the laptop to the Mini-M and use the telephone's built-in modem.

The satellite phone can be battery operated and are about the size of a laptop computer, weighing 4 1/2 pounds. Your crews would have to learn how to point the flat panel antenna using a compass, but once learned, it's really EASY.
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Old May 18, 2003, 7:34 AM   #6
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There's a slighly faster one here: :lol: :lol: :lol:

http://www.hns.com/default.asp?Curre...t/inmarsat.htm
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Old May 18, 2003, 7:48 AM   #7
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I haven't used the Hughes model. Thrane also makes a faster version with a three-panel antenna...but data is $7 a minute. The Hughes is using BGAN, a new offering for Inmarsat...but it doesn't cover North America...just Europe, North/Central Africa and Central Asia.

I've used the mini-M all over the world. Since there's no monthly fee, I've even thought of buying one for personal use.

cc cov, you can explore what the operational costs. I would avoid anything with a monthly fee, even if it means paying a little more by the minute.

Maybe satellite isn't needed...but if you get out beyond cellphone reach on any of these projects, I can guarantee that Inmarsat will do the job.
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Old May 19, 2003, 12:32 PM   #8
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FYI BGAN @ work: http://sdweb/inmarsat/pictures/eet_in_iraq_2.jpg
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Old May 19, 2003, 3:30 PM   #9
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Take a look at some of the new cell phones that have a camera built-in. Likely they are low resolution, not good in low light, ... but even the most ham handed work crew should be able to deal with them.
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