Friday, 15 April 2011

A problem solved.

Today started out like any other news day, a sports job at Newbury racecourse. The Queen was in attendance, and I couldn't be late. My reporter had travelled from London after a breakfast news shift, he had been on the go for about 7 hours already. Time to film the news. Except I couldn't. My camera, with brand new PAG batteries, decided that this was the day to go gaga, and not respond to my on switch and pathetic pleadings. I begged, I caressed, I gently spoke to my camera to no avail. It was dead.

So there I was, sweating and swearing a lot. I could see the Queen tapping her toes and looking at her watch, thinking "is that twat ready or not?" alas, your Majesty, I was not. So, the Queen decided that enough was enough, and got on with the day. Me..? I phoned in to the news desk to report my embarrassing foibles. Another cameraman was now on his way.

I, on the other hand, trudged back to my truck, wondering what the hell was going on. Anyhoo... To cut a long story short, the replacement cameraman tested my new batteries on his camera. No problem. I tested his batteries on my camera. No problem. My camera at least was not the problem. Seems that my new batteries were not at one with my old camera. A few phone calls later and I found myself off to PAG UK, with a lot of questions and a burning desire to find out why I had just lost a good payday as a freelancer.

On turning up at PAG UK, I was pleasantly surprised to see not only a company rep, who was as miffed as I was that his product was causing problems, but the battery designer himself, a man who I suspect spends a lot of time on an electrical workbench, poring over technical drawings and scratching his head a lot. They disappeared into the workshop. I was made a cup of tea by the delightful receptionist, and left to ponder my failings.

No sooner had I supped my first gobfull of hot and wet, the boffins from the workshop returned. Turns out that their new batteries think that my camera has shorted, due to it drawing fifty Amps on firing up, and settling down to a lower amperage at working speed. The batteries however, are designed with a little doodah that thinks fifty Amps is too much, and cuts out after forty Amps, in two or three milliseconds. Hence, a refusal to let go of it's life giving juice to fire up my camera.

So there you have it. Everything works fine, but for a tiny little doodah, that decided that I would not work today, due to my camera start up amperage. And the Queen..? Well, she sent a footman over to tell me that since I had kept her Majesty waiting, I would not be hired to film the upcoming wedding video for her Grandson. Ahh well, such is life.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter