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  • Writer's pictureGerry

Ceci n'est pas un gun

With apologies to Magritte...

November 3rd Meeting report....There were 9 members - well, 8 plus one potential member - at the face-to-face meeting at Higham Lane school on November 3rd, while 5 other members, well, 4 plus one guest - were at home watching the evening’s proceedings on Zoom via a set up devised and constructed by Joe. The five on Zoom were Nigel, Jackie, Jim, Geoff D and Julian @ Bristol, while those in the schoolroom were Alan, Michael, Geoff P, Gerry, Terry, Patrick, Gordon, Joe, and newcomer, Roy. The first club member to give a talk/demonstration using this novel method was Terry, who showed his newly edited film, ‘Size Matters’ which had been filmed about a month before. He followed that with a talk on director Alfred Hitchcock’s battle with the censors during the making of ‘Psycho’...More on this later on page 4. Later in the evening, Patrick showed a film made using his i-Phone 13 about a building collapse in Coleshill Road, Atherstone. (It turns out that Joe lost one of his drones when that too crashed during the filming). Patrick’s film had a synthetic narration, using a program similar to that used by Merlin in some of his projects.

Joe explains about the set-up at the previous meeting at Higham Lane.

“Keeping things simple for our first try at a mixed mode meeting, we decided to stay with Zoom. I installed the Zoom app on my mobile phone, a Samsung Galaxy M33 running Android 12, connected to a full 5G signal for the entire evening. I wasn't sure if the built-in speaker would be loud enough, so I thought I'd try my spare set of Samsung "Creative A60" stereo speakers which use a 3.5mm plug, - perfect for the headphone socket on my phone. Along with an extension cord, a small tripod and my phone charger, I hoped I had everything I would need for the night.

Upon arrival at the meeting, my first thought was where to place everything. I quickly concluded that having the phone at standing head height would give a better view of the evening. So I put a chair on one of the tables, set up my phone and tripod to see how it would look. Then I opened the Zoom meeting app and started the meeting to test the camera angle. Luckily for me, Julian in Bristol joined the Zoom meeting a few minutes early and gave some great feedback on my placement and sound. Jim, Nigel, Jackie and Geoffrey were the others on Zoom. Thanks to all of you for your patience throughout the evening.

The free Zoom only allows 40 minutes per session, meaning you all had to keep reconnecting, but you all were fantastic at getting right back in and keeping the flow going. The only other issue we had, was the built-in microphone wasn't quite strong enough at times. So in future we will have to look at configuring an external microphone and speakers. On the positive side, that used a lot less of my mobile data allowance than I expected - I used less than 2Gb of data for the entire evening. So using the correct app on a mobile device is a great way to optimise the stream. Overall I feel the evening went well. I hope everyone found our first attempt helpful. I'd appreciate any feedback and thoughts you have”....Regards Joe

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