Video Interactives - II

Construction of the first video interactive was started today. An existing pedestal was first lightly sanded, then, using a printed mock-up, the hole position was determined for button/switch placement.

Pedestal with post holes. The box is hollow underneath the button holes and will house the DV-66, controllers and wiring.

Using a Forstner bit, I cut matching holes into a piece of 1/8" acrylic to cover the final printed text/grapic panel.

Each switch came equipped with a locking notch, so each corresponding hole was also given a notch using a 1/4" drill bit, thus locking the buttons from turning and twisting the wires.

Acrylic sheet, complete with notched post holes.

Test fitting.

Mock-up of final pedestal. The buttons will have red LEDs and the final graphic panel with describe each video, have a run time and small thumbnail in English and French.



Lighting Installation - I

Lighting begins...

Lighting installation began today. We are using "fake" track lighting with 4 halogen bulbs. The lights came stock with 50W bulbs, but we will most likely be installing dimmers and new bulbs.

Once placement was determined, holes were sawed into the ceiling tile to fit the lighting boxes. After the lights were set up, it was much quicker & easy for the Electrician to wire them up.

Light boxes were installed using existing ceiling channels (a Diefenbunker speciality), welded bolts and collars and threaded rod cut to length.

View of threaded rod and lighting box from above the ceiling tiles.

Head in the ceiling! Be extremely careful when working in old structures. I wore a respirator, goggles and long sleeves to ensure that I didn't inhale or come into contact with any dust, insulation or asbestos.

Ceiling inserts using custom hardward and existing channels in the ceiling.

Lights up! Currently, the installation is complete but the lights are not aimed or balanced.

Sign Vinyl & Stencils - IV

Weeding out 180 feet of vinyl barb-wire. It was drawn with an illustrator brush (CS3), rasterized and then livetrace-d using "simple trace". We could safely fit 18' of barb-wire onto one 3' x 24" piece of sign-vinyl.

Ready to go - We found out that transfer tape can be used and re-used many, many, many times.

Applying the barb-wire border took approximately 4 person-hours.
***forgot to change the camera's white balance - we installed the halogen "track" lighting today! see tomorrow night's post for details!

Mount Construction - I

Each and every one of our exhibition artifacts requires a custom mount, both to provide proper support and protection, and to work with our existing cases in a functional and aesthetic way.

We chose to work in acrylic and keep the mounts simple. Acrylic sheet was cut to size based on individual artifact needs, and bends were created using a heating element and wooden jig cut to 45 degrees. Additional supports are provided by mylar banding, the addition of support posts and shelves, and padded, and carved extruded polystyrene and muslin mounts.

Simple supports and common bends allowed for ease of production as all artifacts require a custom mount for display.

Custom carved mount for military cap. Construction of carved extruded polystyrene, unbleached polyester batten and unbleached muslin.

Mount and label examples.


A quick snap of what has been done so far. A mannequin is still required for the display of a military uniform, but this was a big step to put a check beside.

The interior of each case is lined with colourfast cotton muslin.

A quick mock-up of one of our case displays.


Video Interactives - I

We began assembling our digital video interactives this week. 2 video kiosks will be a part of the exhibit with 16 videos, 8 per interactive, available at each station. The videos will be displayed on 22" LCD screens wall mounted above the information/selection stations.
To store, play and control the video there are 4 simple and essential components:

The DV66 playback device is a simple and economical solution to meet museum video needs. 2 of the biggest advantages are that it does not use any moving parts as it is designed to playback 24/7, the other being that playback resumes automatically upon power-up. It is capable of playing up t0 99 files in sequence. The DV66 can be plugged into a/v, s-video and vga plugs.

On the inside several limited options are selectable through 6 Dip switches: NTSC/Pal, Aspect ratio, Looping the first file/playing in sequence and a few others.

Video is stored on a seperatly bought Compact Flash card up to 4 Gigabytes. After some trial and error we found that using DVD MPEG-2 with AC3 audio in letterbox format gave the most reliable and best results.

The DV66 can run on its own simply scrolling through the files on the CF card, or an external controller can be connected to it. We used the DV66K, however it has been discontinued and the more versatile TV-66K is available for the same function and more.

The DV66K has 8 push buttons onboard or external switches can be wired into the screw ports for remote control of the video files, which is what we need for our interactive illuminating switches.

The switches have LED lights inside which will have to be wired up to a separate power supply.

The exposed posts on the bottom-side of the switches are the available connections to the LEDs

Once the switches are connected the white (common ground) wire must be separated and wired into terminal "0" the coloured wire is then screwed into the appropriatly numbered terminal: switch # 1,2,3,4....

If there is insufficient space in terminal "0" (like we have run into here, an adaptation will have to be made to accommodate the 8 wires.