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The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in
Sound & Video Contractor

May 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

Security! Security!


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CCTV: Security Technology and Design was the topic of the month back in May '86. Barry Levine (who conveniently happened to be Sound & Video Contractor's CCTV security and design technical consultant) kicked it off with “Marketing and Selling Security Systems,” providing some important whys and wherefores surrounding security system sales.

In “The MOS Camera Up Close,” John W. Schulte looked at some of the misconceptions about the technical specifications and use of the MOS camera. Schulte was in charge of the industrial products division of Javelin Electronics, Torrance, Calif.

Neil Heller, video security consultant with Gyyr Products, addressed the practical aspects of CCTV in his article “When it All Comes Together,” profiling the CCTV installation in the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, Calif.

Carl Bentz got all technical in “The Video Signal,” examining the chain of technical events that enables images to be displayed on the TV screen. Bentz did double duty as Sound & Video Contractor's video editor and Broadcast Engineering's TV technical editor.

Fiber and coax duked it out in Irwin Math's “Fiber Optics vs. Coax in Video,” which covered the growing use of fiber in closed-circuit video transmission. Math was president of Math Associates, a manufacturer of fiber transmission systems and hardware. For a more updated industry view, check out Bennett Liles' “Fiber vs. Copper” roundtable (August 2005) at svconline.com.

Fred B. McGregor Jr. of McGregor Communications diverted from the issue focus and provided “The Logistics of Military Contracting,” debunking some of the rumors about the difficulty of obtaining military government contracts.

Brad Dick highlighted the advantages of SCA (Subsidiary Communications Authorization), which allowed broadcast facilities to transmit additional signals that required special equipment for reception. Dick espoused SCA as a cost-effective method of distributing audio and digital signals over a wide area. In '86, Dick was the radio technical editor for Broadcast Engineering. Presently, Dick is the editorial director for Broadcast Engineering and Broadcast Engineering World.

Thomas P. Leach, then an audio engineer with GMF Sound, contributed “An Active Hotel Ballroom Combining System,” detailing the design of a system that can adapt to the changes in sound system requirements when hotel ballrooms are reconfigured.

Fred Ampel's editorial discussed the fact that the user could often be left behind by advancing technology and promoted the need for customer training, education, and information on the systems installed for their use. In “Reinforced Audio,” David Scheirman reviewed electronic techniques for live sound system operation, including automatic level control; complex mixing systems (programmable high-capacity consoles); special signal processing, including noise gates and compressor/limiters; and DSP effect units. He also discussed developments in stage sound that led to musicians being responsible for their own submixes.

In business news, DDA (Dearden Davies Associates) became a wholly owned subsidiary of Klark-Teknik. And Apogee Sound was formed in Petaluma, Calif.

Fostex Pro Sound Division promoted systems ranging from small self-contained vocal PAs to large-scale custom systems. Philips (which was distributed in the United States by AKG) advertised its Industrial Strength microphones: the BPE 41, 42, and 43 series mics. EAW provided “More Ceiling Speaker for Your Money” with its EAW/RCF L12/CX2 12in. coax ceiling speaker.

The 80th AES convention, held in Montreux, Switzerland, was covered in association news. E-V used the occasion to introduce its Manifold Technology low-frequency system. The French company SAJE exhibited a digitally controlled mixing console (I remember trying one out at the AES convention in Paris and being surprised at how easy it was to operate). And Yamaha introduced the SPX 90 digital multi-effects processor.

Products featured in “What's new” included a line of power amplifiers from Dukane, the CA 160/L portable sound lectern from Paso Sound Products, and the BPA-60 and BPA-125 amplifiers from Bogen. HM Electronics introduced the BH720 and BH721 belt packs for use with its HME 700 series intercoms.


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