INTO THE FALL

As if I didn't collect enough badges during the summer, ABCNEWS (and the Secret Service) figured I needed a few more when election night came around. Hopefully, now I have enough to get back out of CIA headquarters.

On election night, John Kerry, the Democratic Party candidate, decided to have a rally in Boston's Copley Square. With very little advance notice, ABCNEWS/ABSAT coordinated fourteen satellite paths for various clients. These clients included the BBC, FUJI, NHK, APTN and others from the conventions.
The facilities were primitive compared to the conventions. ABC had two trailers almost two blocks from the venue. The satellite truck was parked near the trailers. Along with running cables along the sidewalk, we had to go over a busy street that had to remain open at all times. This made for a 600 foot (200m) run to the edge of the site and a total of over 900 feet (275m) to the stand-up area.

This photo is taken from the stands. The ABC trailers were parked around the corner, just in front of the parking garage, and about a half a block further. After laying in this portion of the cable run, we had to go over a busy street.
There was a cable frame set-up shortly after we arrived. Unfortunately no one assigned riggers to string the cables until the next to last day. In addition nobody told us that Boson was having a parade for the World Series Champion Red Sox during set-up. Approximately 2.5 million people walked down Dartmouth Street (above) to see the parade on the other side of Copley Square. I think every other passerby asked why we were there.

The camera positions were on a series of bleacher style stands built up around Copley Square.

 

The ABCNEWS section included 13 camera positions on two of the middle rows. The cabling included video, audio, telephone and IFB lines for each position.While we were laying out the cable bundles, workers were setting up the stage area in front of us.

 

ELECTION NIGHT


By the time election night arrived, we were ready. As the reporters, photographers, producers and others gathered on the stands, real estate became more valuable.

During the night we stayed out on the platform and addressed any problems that arose. One of our local crew, Tom Clark, is shown below on the radio checking status with the control room.

 

Jim Alfonse, owner of Tri-Sys Designs, is a Systems Integrator with twenty-five years experience in the Broadcast Industry. He's designed, built and commissioned installations from Satellite News Vehicles to Production Suites to OB vans. Jim has been involved with several equipment manufacturers performing video standards compliance and signal integrity testing.
For more articles on various subjects visit www.tri-sysdesigns.com