Webcam Help

The camera control system - Explained

Hi there folks, as you may have noticed, we have fairly fancy control system on the Paignton Webcam website, as the demand for the website has steadily grown over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to have multiple people controlling one camera at the same time, as a result, the control system is made in a program called Java, Java is something that can run a lot of things, from applications on Mobile Phones to games on the web, but I won't go into too much technical info here!

Please select a situation:


No controls appearing at all?

As I have seen on some computers, no controls appear at all, in this situation, Downloading Java should solve things, please click the following link to install Java:


Internet Explorer users

If you're seeing a grey box with a red X inside of it then Java is most likely not installed on your computer, this particularly applies to Windows XP users as Windows XP never came with Java pre-installed, Windows 98, ME and 2000 Professional came with Java pre-installed and should work first time, however, if you do encounter problems, download and install the latest version of Java, as a lot of things have been updated since!

To download the latest version of Java, please click the following link:


Firefox Users

If you see a white box with an icon of a jigsaw piece, with text saying "Install missing plug-in", after learning from experience, don't click the install missing plug-in button as it didn't seem to work too well when I tried it, instead, visit the Java download site and install the latest version:


Other Browsers and operating systems

We are interested in hearing from other people with other computer systems and what they have done to make the new control system work on their applet.

Macintosh users can visit to obtain a version of Java for Mac.


Information about the new control system

The Java camera controller enables multiple users to use the webcam simultaneously, by means of people being placed in a queue until their turn comes around, you get a certain amount of time in control, this will range from 1 to 3 minutes when your turn comes around, No more fighting over the cameras view!

As an added bonus to this system, we have also implemented full control of the camera, allowing you to control the cameras pan, tilt, and zoom, to look where you like.  Unfortunately when there are lots of people around the camera, we may restrict the camera control to presets only, for privacy reasons. You'll soon know whether the applet has full control or preset control, as you'll see when you load the webpage, if the full control buttons are not present then it's only running in preset mode.

Here's an example image of what the control applet looks like, and what things mean:


You may see this Java logo while the controls are loading, if you are running Sun Java:


Then you'll be queued for control (if people are in the queue infront of you), you can see your queue position. Remember to keep an eye on the countdown timer, users infront of you can leave the queue at any time by leaving the site, and you will move up the queue, and maybe straight into control to fill their spot!


As you get granted control, you'll notice the buttons come out of their disabled state, allowing you to click them and move the camera around.  It's worth noting that the camera moves in steps, so it's no use holding the mouse button down on the controls to move the camera, just perform a complete Click on them!

The Small to Large vertical slider adjusts the movement step size for the Pan, Tilt and Zoom, a larger step size will result in the camera moving or zooming in more of a leap than a step, on the other hand, a smaller step size is useful for when you are zooming in on detail and require more precise movements.

The status area counts down your time in control.


If we are not cycling the userlist (due to volume of users), then you'll have to join the queue by clicking the "Queue for control" button after your turn has ended.  If we are cycling the userlist, you will automatically be placed at the back of the queue to await your turn.


An example of the controller when we are running in preset only mode, we may run in this mode when there are a lot of people along the seafront, in respect of privacy for others.


That concludes the help page, if you are unsure about anything, please feel free to contact us via the Forums, or contact me by e-mail, details are here

Enjoy the view!

Back to the WebCam


-David Matthews

Webcam Administrator