Project:UK Hack Camp/Candidate sites

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The biggest challenge is to find a decent site with the ability to get hold of a good (at least 100meg) internet connection.

  • it's possible to rent a connection via satellite for a reasonable price. An event I recently attended had a commercial video photographer using one, and it wasn't a big-bucks setup by any means. Afaicr he had at least 10meg but more may be possible - he considered it feasible for connecting communities, not just for single temporary use. Site equipment included a smallish dish on a trailer. Artag.
    • Satellite Internet has high latency, 10-20x that of a normal connection. Robert 07:22, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
    • I thought that was the case, but the connection was made available for use and I didn't find it a problem. Perhaps I wasn't very demanding and put any delays down to the shared use, but it was by no means as bad as I expected.
      • It definitely does - the laws of physics demand it! Also satellite tops out at about 10 meg best-case. Russ 08:30, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
    • The Multiplay events manage it (though they're held at a racecourse, but they have camping.). tomwardill.
      • Something like a racecouse/track or airbase that's geared up for events already would be a good place to start looking Ms7821 08:02, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I've sent an email to Eclipse (corporate grade ISP in Devon) to see about short term internet connections, I'll start checking out options next week for sites though itlls be hard to beat de pasheuvals! Gray Marchiori-Simpson 2.218.214.5 04:19, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Similar events

Have a chat with the organisers for their experiences

  • Barncamp
  • Dork camp
  • Maker Faire (including Brighton on 3rd September)?
  • HAR 2009
  • CCC Camp 2011
  • Multiplay

Site Requirements

Definitely Need

  • Fast net connection (probably 100meg)
  • Camping space for 500-1000 people (1-2 hectares, 2.5-5 acres)

Would be nice

  • Indoor space for lectures / NOC
  • Easy access for building the site
  • Nearby train stations/public transport routes
  • Shops and other facilities nearby
  • Mains power

Dates to consider

Bank holidays are:

  • Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th June (Diamond Jubilee)
  • 27th August

Olympics are:

  • 27th July-12th August

Possible sites

Priority is to be near/connected to a good Internet pipe.

Top Candidate Sites

Site Name Contact Assigned Interested? (Y/N) Details Internet Pros Cons
Milton Keynes Parks Trust, MK Ms7821 Y Event guide. Parks Trust very helpful, and overriding requirements are safety and sustainability of the park. Pineham, used for camping by an annual bike event, is currently our favourite candidate. Datacentres & high speed internet nearby Good transport links, near Bletchley Park itself. Very low pricing will allow us to focus on bringing stuff in. BMX track will be in use on Sunday, site spans M1

Potential Candidate Sites

Site Name Contact Assigned Interested? (Y/N) Details Internet Pros Cons
Tolmers Camp Site, EN6 4JS Alec (alecjw)/Mark (ms7821)  ? LNCUF good, O2/Be, FTTC in June, 21CN, 1.5km away Too much of a scout camp?
Royal Welsh Show Ground natm  ? In Builth Wells, decent sized site with camping and inside space. Flexible bandwidth options, 200mbit/s delivered to a site 250yrds away (see natm on irc for details). Difficult to get to by train (4 trains a day, via Swansea or Shewsbury)
Merton Farm Naxxfish/Mark (ms7821)  ? Site of Lounge on the Farm festival and Kent Beer Festival. Multiple fields, so can scale a bit (season dependant). Barn available for large lectures/performances. Other "stages" would need to be outdoors. HS1 rail link to Canterbury West from STP (approx 1 hour) standard from VIC to Canterbury East (approx 1 hour 45 minutes), shuttle bus would be required. 10Mbps WiMax connectivity from Orbital.net (possible sponsorship)? Other options available at varying cost. No existing infrastructure, toilets, power and network would be required.
Norfolk Showground, NR5 0TT EACOS reasonable, Virgin, FTTC in June, 21CN, 3km away

Data centers

  • Somewhere near The Bunker?
    • i'd say The Bunker site itself, there's plenty of green space. Newbury/Greenham Common site may be more central not sure of their acreage there tho. -- mikepea

Non-LLU Internet providers to check

... please add more

Point-to-point providers to check

... please add more

Rejected sites

Site Name Contact Assigned Interested? (Y/N) Details Internet Pros Cons
The Observatory Science Centre Jonty (jontyw) No Only one event per year
Bovingdon Airfield Paul (Paul2) No Contact not interested in our event. Cable in surrounding area
Essex University Martin (Crypt) No Don't want large public festivals
Whitcurch, RG28 7LZ Mark (ms7821) Yes Not available. FTTC in surrounding area by the time we arrive.
Mersea Youth Camp Martin (Crypt) No Visited. Too small, and they're not keen. Youth camp with wood cabin for those not hardy enough for tents probably smaller than we'd like (about 350 max) but has net power Seaside, log cabins, some net/power Access to site
Biggleswade AdrianG No No free dates. https://groups.google.com/group/uk-hack-camp/browse_thread/thread/fc7de8c0b0c56b2d?hl=en
Charvil Mark (ms7821) N In contact, doesn't seem to have fibre, though.
Moreton-in-Marsh Fire College Beeny Yes Old airfield, now used for fire training. They have a conference centre with accommodation, canteen and two bars. Station nearby. SMMM poor <= ADSL Max, 2km away. Hoping they have better, given their conference centre. Inside space, power, swimming pool Maybe a bit corporate? No internet.
Long Marston Airfield Beeny, Martin (Crypt) Yes Beeny to visit? CMPEB poor <= ADSL Max, 1.5km away Remote access, lots of existing users, liscensing issues in past? No internet.
Donington Jasper (Jasperw) Yes Probably too expensive, atm waiting for full quote. EMCASTL reasonable, ADSL2+, no cable, 2.6km away, possibly EMNET Wireless The location is well-connected. Their main hall is too big for us. Too expensive.
Newbury West, RG20 0HA Mark (ms7821) Y Definitely a farm, poor access, next to A34. THNU good. FTTC and Newbury Racecourse in surrounding area, 3.42km away. Right next to A34, is a farm with cows. Rail access 1 mile walk by road away. May need long link for Internet
Upper Heyford Beeny  ? Old airfield, now used for offices. No reply yet.. SMUH poor <= ADSL Max, 0-2km away (depending on site).
Newbury Showground, RG18 9QC May not even do hires Probably none, but should check
Eastnor castle, HR8 1RL WNLED fairly poor, TalkTalk, 2.5km away
Bent Waters Parks, IP12 2TW EAEYK poor, <= ADSL Max, 4.5km away. Looking into a 100Mbps fibre link, to be finished in August?
Telford International Centre New site of Multiplay. No idea if suitable. Yes, 1Gbps/100Mbps
Greenham? RG19 6HN Good area to look for sites (but no camping on the common). Datacenter & Newbury Racecourse nearby
Matterley Bowl, SO21 1HW Mark (ms7821)  ? They have plenty of space and good facilities, concerns were raised about the venue's limited number of licenses per year, however Peveril Bruce the owner is happy to talk about hosting us. Also they usually have people driving around in tanks on Saturdays. Fully booked this year. STWINCH good exchange, FTTC, but distance may be a problem, 5km away
Hainault Forest Country Park, IG7 4QN Mark (ms7821) Y Offset festival is held here (although that setup isn't possible any more). Site plan, Streetview. £5000/day, £500/set-up day, initial non-refundable deposit 20%, and 40% more 3 months before the event. Probably available August Bank holiday weekend or any weekend in September, but need to confirm. Not available this year due to Olympics. LNHAI good. FTTC in surrounding area, 4km away. Good transport links and very near London but in the countryside. May be simultaneous with another event. Possibly long link to Internet
Debden House Martin (Crypt), Paul (Paul2) Yes Needs visit. They have a very large campsite with power hookup for tents (relaxed rules), an in door conference centre, easy to drive to, but just outside of London with good public transport links. Seem interested to meet us. Good potential site. Willing to collaborate on supplying internet. Pricing £20,500 (we think this is too high). LNLOU good, FTTC, 2.5km away Power (caravan hookups) in 2 fields, easy transport, shower blocks etc Getting booked up with Olympics etc.
Newbury racecourse Martin (Crypt) Yes Waiting for confirmation for visit... Multiplay have used them in the past, had camping, lots of interior space, and fast internets. Sent email, waiting for reply. ~£1-1.5k/field/day, we need to visit. Pricing actually too high: >£20k (£7k/day for the building alone) and mostly indoors. THNU very good internet. 100Mbps/1Gbps for Multiplay. Probably good access to power General public/horse racing?