Of AVI’s and CODEC’s

I’m playing with some screen capture software that grabs a desktop or window over time into an AVI file. From thence – most likely I will be importing things into PowerPoint. As such I am learning about CODEC’s which seem as inscrutable as anything I have encountered.

The CODEC provided with the capture software compresses the animations (15-30 second sequences) into smallish (200-500K) AVI files, some of the other CODEC options are much, much larger. I would hope to find something to use that is more or less standard / generic (i.e. – portable).

Looks like I have some research and perhaps experimentation ahead of me. Pretty useful capability to have for presentations, training, websites, tutorials, etc.

2005 Wrap-up

Guess its that time again….

2005 was a good year for PowerLines. We reviewed data (power quality, environmental, or both) for 402 sites for one of the medical imaging OEMS. We connected with a handful of new OEM clients and continued to work with many more. Jude spent the summer working with the Connecticut Sun (WNBA) which does not have a lot to do with power quality, but was enjoyable nonetheless! And she visited a lot of states, put together a number of training programs, and in general, kept moving forward in power quality!

Thanks to all of my peers, clients, friends, customers, and collegues. December of 2005 marked 10 years in business as PowerLines. Hard to imagine….here’s to the next decade!

Safe and happy new year to all, and a most successful 2006!

Sometimes its not Power Quality

Evansville IN – an interference problem in a Cath Lab….

Checked the touch voltages, the leakage currents, tried some isolation / floating things – some issues discovered but nothing easily resolved. Fortunately, it turns out that 12 cables between high frequency motor drives and the applicable motors (lots of high frequency!) were installed with the braided shields floating.

I watched the OEM and the local service engineer reterminate things so that the shields got grounded. And the problem went away.

It’s less satisfying when its not the power, but its great that the issue has been resolved….

RSNA 2005

Back from Chicago – my 2nd RSNA in a row and probably something like my 10th overall. Thank goodness I no longer work set-up (I coordinated the electrical stuff for one of the OEM’s in a previous life) – the folks who do that and live in Chicago for two weeks are surely ridden hard and put away wet. Even when I did work the show I rarely stuck around for more than a day or two once the meeting opened. Thankfully, the weather was pretty good – balmy Sun-Mon, colder Tues-Wed, some rain in between (but no snow). I even got some Jazzercise in over at Mercy Hospital (Class #2790, and a huge thanks to Marcia for the welcome!)

Not too many power quality folks there: Staco, CAT / Activepower, and TEAL Electronics were about it. Lots of interest in the new TEALwatch power monitor – which will hopefully translate into some work for me.

To everyone I met and spoke to, hello – feel free to call or drop an email if you have power quality questions or issues. To those, I missed – there is always next year!

Flitting Around

October saw me in Massachusetts (doing a presentation at the New England Society of Clinical Engineering annual symposium), in Baltimore (presenting a paper at Power Quality 2005), and in Irvine, CA (program launch training on the new TEALwatch power analyzer).

November seems thankfully a bit less hectic….although RSNA is on the horizon.

Power Quality Conference 2005

When you go to trade show juggernauts like RSNA, its hard to take this thing seriously. The exhibit floor is small, the sessions seem to be about 50% infomercials for a particular product and 50% substance, and a lot of it is churning among insiders. I did make a few connections and get some good ideas – which are worthwhile.

I came in yesterday morning; was planning to stay two nights and leave, but I can not think of what to do locally; so I am gonna try to sneak out this evening. Yeah Southwest for having lots of direct flights to Hartford….if the travel gods are smiling I should make the 6:15 and be home by 8:00 pm.

On the plus side, yeah to Baltimore for doing the airport to downtown thing right. I jumped on the Light Rail ($1.60 except the ticket kiosk was down so it was free) at BWI and it dropped me right outside the conference or a few blocks from the hotel. The Hartford Courant needs a letter about that – we need “Scooty” (or whatever the heck Colin McEnroe was calling his light rail from BDL to downtown) to make Hartford accessible short of a $$$ cab ride, a bus, or renting a car.

Connecticut Sun – WNBA

Every so often I take off my power quality hat and put on a production support / graphics hat. This summer, I had a recurring gig working with the production team at the Mohegan Sun Casino, operating a graphics computer for the Connecticut Sun (WNBA) home games.

It’s been a lot of fun…being behind the scenes at a professional sports event, getting to watch all the home games, running into the famous and semi-famous athletes and celebs.

And now the CT Sun are into the 2nd round of the playoffs – with an upcoming series against Indiana – and after that, maybe another shot at the championship.