What a whirlwind the last couple of months have been here we are Mid August 2011 here’s another of a couple of posts about projects that I have been involved with since October 2010,
By far the highlight of my summer was been asked to be involved with the Wimbledon 2011 tennis championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Wimbledon. Working as part of the RG Jones team who are responsible for the PA installation across the sight my remit was to look after the Riedel comms temporary installation for the championships. The main areas of deployment were in the Hawk Eye commentary/viewing booths. This is to facilitate the necessary conversations between the umpire in the chair, Hawk Eye operative and officials in the commentary/viewing booths. A little bit of low level security and facilitation of wireless duplex comms from the stadium/show courts back to the remote sound control position.
The PA across the Wimbledon site is controlled by a fairly extensive SoundWeb network this can all be controlled from a number of locations all of which have few windows and no direct sound from the spaces of primary importance. So all the mixing is effectively done by brail, using other operatives in the space to give instructions back to the operator. This is all on top of providing lines of communications with various people in different areas working for SISLive (the BBC).
So armed with a rather confusing array of spread sheets a photo of a whiteboard sketch a fairly large consignment from Riedel comprising of a Artist 64 crate, a large number of desk top panels a handful of rack panels and a Telex BTR set for every stadium court, oh and a plethora of fibre to cat5 fibre to coax converters I set about making it all work across the site. Thankfully there is a fairly extensive cable installation already on the site so with the aid of some new friends who look after that bit I was able to plug it all in to wall sockets never more than 5 meters away.
My crate or node was linked into the other 5 nodes in the SISlive main patching room, and in the trucks meaning I could call any of the stations sat on those networks and like wise all those connected to my node were then available to the other networks. It does all sound frightfully complicated and it is a chunk more involved than a simple 2 wire comms ring but the principals are the same audio in audio out just make sure it’s going the right way, there a just a frighting number of possibilities. The whole system is programmed from a computer using Riedel’s Director software and is fairly intuitive and straight forward to use.
Having got it all disseminated and operational there was a few days of finessing who wanted to have who available and wither their buttons latched or not, then it was time to watch a little bit of the tennis. We had a rather damp couple of days in the middle of the champs, the forecast was the worst I’ve ever seen on my Met office app. But on the whole it was a great experience it’s a great atmosphere at the championships a little bit away from what I normally do if it is possible to define what i ‘normally’ do, I had a great time and I hope to be invited back next year.