Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lights, camera, CABLES!

I am not sure I can do justice to my day. It felt like I was in an escape room and had a time limit to figure the puzzle out!

Let's say there were a few surprises along the way. I have done countless live Zoom presentations, and I have used two cameras and my laptop camera. No problem. However, we use a different platform for live streaming to Facebook, and the camera from the laptop will not work. Yikes! 

My initial thought was, "No problem," I have a video conferencing camera and my document camera, and I'll purchase a handicap to make it all happen. 

I've been struggling to connect the darn switch box to my computer. 

The switch box

So, I called support yesterday to get some help. I learned a valuable lesson (that should have been passed to me but wasn't). The switch box will ONLY take HDMI to HDMI connections. No USB-C or USB allowed. 

What? How well do you know your cables? 


There are HDMI, MINI-HDMI, and MICRO-HDMI. Of course, those big HDMI cables will not work on small devices, hence the mini and the micro. There are USB and USB-C. And there are other random connections as well. I'm getting pretty good at knowing which is which. 

The fact that the switch box would only take HDMI eliminated my video conference camera, so I didn't have a camera to show my face, and I could NOT get the document camera to work, even though it has HDMI capabilities. 

This resulted in a mad dash to look through my collection of camera stuff. I have a DSLR camera, and I thought I would be able to use it. It was a little dusty and needed to be charged. 

My DSLR camera

I pulled everything off the shelf to see what I had and if I had a cable to connect the camera to the switch box. 

Good grief, but there is a TON of junk on that shelf. 

Half of my camera crap

And the other half

But I found a MINI-HDMI to HDMI cable in the crap (why I bought it - no idea). Maybe it came with the camera. One less cable to purchase!

AHA -- there's the necessary cable

Imagine my surprise when I opened one of the camera bags to find a HANDI-CAM!! Shoot -- I could have been using that for my Zooms for the last couple of years! 

A handi-cam!!!

I had no idea I had that and was not even sure when or why I bought it. So everything was put on chargers, and I went off to buy a MICRO-HDMI to HDMI, and I needed two tripods. 

Charing the handi-cam

It took me a few minutes to remember where the charger for the DSLR camera was, but I found it. 

Charing the DSLR battery

Then I was back (I had to buy dog food for Little Bear anyway), and the camera shop was close by. They had two tripods (a really good sale on one, but they only had one) and no cable, but the cable was at the other location, which was close by. Thank goodness for living in a big city. 

We arrived home with a cable and two tripods, and now it was time to get back to work. But not before I went through some of the crap I had removed from the camera shelf. 

The camera shelf is empty and washed

All this paper went into the recycling. I know -- it was JUNK and outdated - a digital photography magazine from 2002!!!! 

Paper crap from the camera shelf

I found THREE old digital cameras. Those are going in the electronic waste. Who wants an old camera like this when you have a cell phone? 

OLD digital cameras

I found two plastic containers to put the smaller stuff into and put everything back on the shelf. It still needs to be tidied up more, but in the essence of time, this was going to have to do. Let's just say that it looks MUCH better than it did. 

The camera shelf

And I found this little stand for a cell phone that I had been looking for!! Who knew it was with the camera stuff? 

A stand for a cell phone

Let's say that when I'm done with this event, I'll evaluate which of the cameras I can use for Zoom and get a bit better organized. What I don't use is going to be carefully put away, with all the necessary cables in a bag and labeled for that camera!!!

And I need a bag with "like" cables. One for HDMI - HDMI, one for mini-HDMI- HDMI and so on. They WILL be labeled. This is crazy!! I have "hundreds" of USB to USB-C. 

I was struggling to get the DSLR camera connected to the switch box. Just not happening, so more research and another call to support to find out that you can live stream from a DSLR, but only on USB (perhaps on HDMI as well), but it won't work through a switch box! It wants a direct link to the computer. OK -- so that's not going to happen. Now I'm down to the two handi-cams and a document camera that I can't get to work. 

Then DUH -- I realized that I need a separate cord (USB-C to USB) to POWER that document camera - it won't work on the HDMI connection alone. Crap -- I've been caught with that before. Needless to say, I got all three cameras working. The only thing I need now is a USB-to-USB cable because I need a USB hub to handle the USB connections.  

What??? OH yes -- get this, I couldn't get my computer to recognize the switch box. Despite all the HDMI stuff, it needs a USB connection to the laptop. That's ridiculous!!!

And NOWHERE in all the literature or support videos online did anyone say that. Nope --- all these people with their "helpful" videos, and NONE of them solved my BASIC problems. I think they need some help in writing their technical documents. Plug in the USB isn't sufficient. You need to tell me what output is on the switch box (what cable end or label) and then where the other end needs to go. It should be cable by cable, not just plug in the USB. 

Well, since I wasn't going to be able to use the DSLR camera, I only needed one tripod. So I'll return the other one later this week. The one on sale (half price) is a really good tripod. I didn't like the other one, which was more expensive because it wasn't on sale. I'll return that one and keep the more expensive one, but cheaper because on sale! 

And this is what the "studio" looks like this morning. I had to move the tables to get enough reach for the main camera. I need to change the background (it's a very tight field) so you don't see much background. And I need to organize and run through the content and prepare for some live action on the serger! I also hope to make a tote bag! 

The "live" studio

I had given myself all day to get those cameras organized, and it took most of the day, and I did some decluttering at the same time!!

The Facebook Live is all about the Husqvarna Viking Amber Air S600 and QUILTING. It's on the Husqvarna Viking North America Facebook page, and it starts at 3:00 PM EST. 

OH -- I had to laugh because, at about 4:30, when I was still on the support call with Canon, I could hear my name eminating from the laptop. WHAT????  OH -- that was my "producer" for the Facebook Live as she checked the open channel I was playing with to see how things were going. That was hilarious, and it was good she popped in as I was going to ask her to pop in this morning. But all is good!!!! 

I swear, the entire day seemed like ONE GIANT EXIT game puzzle! If one thing doesn't work, then try another!!!

On that note, I'm off to spin class!!!

Have a great day!!!


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