If I Was In Connecticut

If I was in Connecticut tonight I’d be going a little crazy about Monday. It looks to be a big storm, but the distance between big storm and miss isn’t very much!

School superintendents will make the call before the first flakes fall. That’s a decision best left until the very last second.

It’s likely the snow won’t start until late morning or afternoon. Just a few inches by going home time. By then it will be falling faster than plows can keep up.

This snow will feature gusty northeast winds over the later stages of its 24 hours over the state.

A footish. On the high side of a moderate New England snowstorm.

You won’t get exactly twelve inches, but the effect will be as if you did. Eight or ten hours after the storm you’ll be good to go.

Connecticut will be beautiful, but tough to deal with.

It Works End-To-End

This is a first. No one else is doing this. It looks like it will work exactly as planned. I’m really excited.

IMAG2208-w1200-h1200Let me cut to the chase. High definition video streamed from my garage/studio to KMIR tonight. The camera was on a step ladder pointing at a box. Hallelujah.

Except for the tripod, my studio is in place. This afternoon I started connecting cables.

There’s no wiring diagram. I have a flowchart. Don’t use it. It’s committed to memory.

I ordered all the right stuff. My converters convert. Audio’s good. I’ve got enough cables in the right lengths. I bought a few redundant pieces. That’s OK.

IMAG2207-w1200-h1200It’s still an unholy mess. Nothing’s neat yet.

It’s still not ready to go. The manual for the control room system is 500+ pages long! It’s not a totally intuitive system. It will have to be speed mastered.

I went through the less voluminous manual for the Dejero VSET and configured it. Around 5mbps via the Internet to send video and audio. The station receives it in .8 seconds! That means conversations can still happen live.

Still to come, lighting, learning to program the Tricaster, syncing audio and video, getting the maps to come here and integrating them. A lot.

This is a first. No one else is doing this. It looks like it will work exactly as planned. I’m really excited.

The Very Long Day

“No problem,” I said… lying through my teeth. All of a sudden sleep had become a logistics problem.

hotel bed

For those just joining us, I’m in Palm Springs (actually Palm Desert) working here while I await the final piece of gear for my home studio. I had an early call today for promos–10:00 AM.

I know. 10:00 AM doesn’t sound bad. Remember, I usually don’t go to bed until 4:00 AM.

I did my lines in Downtown Palm Springs, then headed to the hotel for a little more rest.

I was back at the TV station at 2:30 PM for our early shows. My boss and bosses boss were waiting. That’s never good.

Soumada, our morning weather person, has taken ill. Could I be in Friday for the news at 5:00AM? “No problem,” I said… lying through my teeth.

All of a sudden sleep had become a logistics problem. Our news ended at 6:30 pm. I headed back to the hotel to try and nap again.

Is it possible to store sleep before it’s needed? That’s what I’m attempting. Fool’s errand, right?

After the 11:00 PM newscast I’ll head back for one more nap. My alarm is already set for 3:30 AM so I can be in by 4:00 AM. And, of course, I’ll be here until 11:35 PM tomorrow.

I guess I really won’t feel it until my drive home Friday night. More naps to come.

Tonight’s Nerdy Accomplishment

As you might already know, I host space oriented webcasts for Slooh.com. As shows approach I also produce promos. They’re done one man band style: research, write, find video, voice and edit. That’s fun.

Video editing is done at home where my computer is beefy. Tonight I’m in a hotel with a laptop. Editing changes have been requested! Wrong gear for the job. Time to improvise.

I tunneled in with remote control software and operated my home computer from here. It worked better than expected! I heard sound and saw video.

There was lag when pressing keys. Because of that it isn’t a good method for delicate, highly accurate edits. I just needed to modify fonts and resize graphics.

Is it OK that I did it, but was still amazed it could be done–and easily?

The file has been uploaded for Slooh’s producer to see. Mission accomplished.

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Meeting An Old Friend For The First Time

bob hardt and geoff fox at lunch

I had lunch with Bob Hardt today. Bob and I have so many friends in common it’s amazing we hadn’t met until today.

It’s funny how age difference shrinks as you get older. Back when I was finishing high school, Bob came to New York City where he anchored news on WABC Radio and later the ABC Contemporary Network.

I’m not sure he knew it at the time, but he came to what was America’s most influential radio station. WABC was a blowtorch. There will never be another station like it.

He sounds exactly the same. Based on the on-air kidding he used to get about being thin, his shape hasn’t changed either.

We swapped stories and commiserated about radio’s death at the hand of corporations. That part’s sad. We both love what radio was. It was a huge part of our lives.

Mostly it was a good time… a chance to connect with someone I should have known for years. And, I now have a new friend in Palm Springs.

It’s Starting To Look Like A Studio

I was just in the garage. It’s more studio now. Boxes still litter the floor. The rugs we ordered haven’t yet released their folds. The lights aren’t properly pointed. But there are signs it’s not for cars anymore.

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I was just in the garage. It’s more studio now. Boxes still litter the floor. The rugs we ordered haven’t yet released their folds. The lights aren’t properly pointed. But there are signs it’s not for cars anymore.

The sideview monitors are mounted. That’s how I’ll see the maps while on-air. There’s another monitor in the TelePrompter.

I’ve also erected a sound baffle/equipment room from an old cubicle KMIR let me have. Inside are utility shelves I brought home from Lowes. Equipment sits on them, waiting.

My Blackmagic Studio Camera has arrived, as has its zoom lens. The focal length was a guess. The camera itself is as cool as can be with a large flat monitor on the back.

The size and cost of cameras and everything electronic has dramatically plunged. This seems a good time to get in.

There are just two pieces missing. I am praying they arrive this week. Hey, NewTek, I’m talking to you. Pretty please. Seriously.

NewTek makes the Tricaster Mini. It’s the brains of the operation, acting as a full broadcast control room. Without it there is nothing.

I’ll be directing my own segment while on-the-air with its assistance. Yes, that is totally crazy!

The other missing item is the tripod. It will hold the very light camera and the much heavier Teleprompter.

I went to Fry’s and bought some cable last night–75 ohm coax with bnc connectors on each end in varying lengths. Even the nerd at Fry’s didn’t know where it was. These will be used to tie equipment together. I overbought. It’s inexpensive enough to consider an insurance buy.

I ordered a few 50 foot lengths of HDMI cable today. These will be used on the sideview monitors. 25 foot lengths were originally ordered. Oops.

Once the studio’s complete I’ll need to test with the station and make sure everything’s perfect. A week from today would be nice. It’s my goal.

I think I’ll call it Studio 5E, after the apartment I grew up in. I’m living the dream.