The weather was unbelievably gorgeous on Saturday — better than I could have hoped for. An army* of intrepid beta-testers for the Guerilla Drive-In arrived, prepared to go to any extreme to work the kinks out of the hardware. Fortunately, the extreme turned out to be nothing worse than a chilly evening and a shortage of side dishes for the hamburgers.
For the most part, projecting Ferris Bueller outdoors went off without a hitch: the Navy tripod was rock-steady, the gas generator was adequate, quiet, and lasted through the movie on one tank of gas. The film didn’t break, and at no time did the projector erupt in evil-smelling flames. It turns out that my dad had never seen Ferris Bueller(!), so that was an added bonus.
The FM transmitter was a big disappointment — it only had a range of about 10 feet when hooked up to my ipod (even with fresh batteries.) It didn’t seem to work at all when accepting sound from the projector . Wrong kind of sound output? RF interference from the unshielded projector motor? I’d love to hear from anybody who knows how to make FM transmitters put out a signal in not-strictly-approved wattages. Kate’s dad also suggested an AM transmitter, which is a splendid idea seeing as how the sound is mono already.
But I think everything’s a go for next month. For that, I have three mysterious words for you: Cato’s Freezer Attack.
* Dear Nicole and Dave: now that you have seen what I have described as an “army” of intrepid beta-testers, I am afraid that you have a quantitative metric by which to adjust the grandiose claims made in other parts of this blog. Oh, well, I knew this day was coming.
UPDATE: A quick Google search on “AM transmitters” yielded instant results. Problem solved. Check out these links for the build-it-yourself “Li’l 7” transmitter: Oh, yes. Hell, yes. I have to order a glowing tube from a place called “Antique Electronic Supply“? Better and better. Attention, nerd world: I now have a reasonable excuse to attach a rubber whip antenna and glowing vacuum tubes to an ammo can.