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Posted by: Steve Lampen on August 26, 2014

If you saw my previous blog, you'll know we're going through my old blogs and giving you a chance to re-visit some of these subjects. In the case of 2013, I really revved up my blog production and churned out 38 of them. We have reviewed them, looking at how many hits each one got, and listing the Top Ten for your re-viewing pleasure.

From now on, at the end of each year, the last blog will be a review of all the blogs for that year, with the Top Ten noted.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on August 12, 2014

About ten years ago, I was attending a talk given by the famous cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deer Hunter, Heaven's Gate, Deliverance and on and on). He was recently voted one of the Ten Most Influential Cinematographers in history by the International Cinematographers Guild.

Someone asked him when he would switch from film to video. His response was direct: "When 8K video arrives." This might be the first time I ever heard the term '8K' mentioned in public. I barely knew what he was talking about. But now we're almost there. We're working hard on 4K, and 8K is next up to bat. At a standard TV viewing distance, the resolution of 8K is better than the human eye, so this might be a good place to stop for a while and allow the rest of the world to catch up. However, we're deep into getting to 4K first.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on August 05, 2014

This week's blog is about the past. It occurred to me that a lot of time, and a lot of blogs, have gone by that you might not know. I've been doing this for over two years now and as I rapidly approach my 100th blog, a lot of people come up to me at tradeshows or seminars or engineering gatherings to talk to me about subjects I have blogged about. Some of the more popular blogs can pass 8,000 views. It certainly wasn't like that at the beginning. A few hundred was a very popular blog. So it occurred to me that you might be interested in the subjects from yesteryear.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Noah Montena on August 01, 2014

We all know that water in an electrical system is bad news. And we do our best to keep it out by specifying waterproof cable and connectors, and following industry best practices for installation and maintenance.

So, what if water does get into a coaxial radio frequency (RF) network? Unfortunately, its presence is not always obvious and its impact can be elusive and difficult to manage. Here are some tips to help you trouble-shoot a persistent moisture problem:

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on July 22, 2014

Just watch a crowd anywhere, at the beach, at a county fair, at a ballgame and what are people wearing?

Branded merchandise…t-shirts, baseball caps, jackets, all sorts of things. If it's a game, half the crowd is probably in the team colors and team logo to show support.

But it's amazing how we now pay for the privilege of advertising for our favorite brands, Coca-Cola, Nike, not to mention rock groups, concert tours and thousands of other products or events.

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Tags: Brands, Broadcast

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on June 10, 2014

Remember that song "Travellin' Man'" by Rickey Nelson. It made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The flip side was "Hello, Mary Lou" on this 1961 classic. How do I know so much? Am I an expert on 60's rock? Nope. Just took a quick look at Google. The only difference is that I did it here on my flight from Denver to San Francisco. Wi-fi at 35,000 feet! What will they think of next? Of course, this is not exactly new but that's the thing about technology. It creeps up on you. Now I'm thinking about the new Google car. No steering wheel, no pedals. I have talked about self-driving cars for twenty years but didn't expect to see one for a couple of decades.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on June 03, 2014

It was probably 50 years ago that I first walked into my local electronics distributor, Zack Electronics. Summer vacation in 1964 started in June, and I had a friend, Dick Garretson, who hired me (for the princely sum of $1 an hour) to do some electronic assemblies for him. Somewhere I have a paycheck stub to prove it.

Someone told me that he was building a radio station, and I was immediately interested. Turned out he wasn't building a radio station, but he was doing sound reinforcement jobs. My first job was soldering Canon XLR's (that's real Cannon XLR's) on Belden 8412 mic cable. I know now why that cable is difficult to work with because it is rubber inside and out. That means it won't shrink back when you're soldering it. But, it is hard to strip off the jacket, unwind the braid, strip off the ends of the twisted pair, tin everything and put them into the three pins of the XLR. Dick taught me how to do it right. We even used heat shrink, especially on the ground wire (PIn 1). That was the newest stuff…didn't work so well. Of course, I had to use a kitchen toaster to do the heating and shrinking, which wasn't very precise either.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on May 30, 2014

I get 200 emails a day, sometimes more. If I am on an airplane, or otherwise beyond reach, I will have 400 or more the next day. I've had a few days in the last couple of years where I got 1,000 emails in one day. Part of my problem is that I am not good at prioritizing, and I often start the day with those emails. If I am really in a hurry, I might scan down the list and quickly read emails from real customers, co-workers and, of course, my boss.

I have only myself to blame for these huge numbers. I pass out around 1,000 business cards per month and encourage my audience to send me an email if they have questions or comments. I often tell them "Just don't put 'LOSE WEIGHT NOW' in the subject line." If you've ever seen me, I am not a small guy. I always get a laugh.

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