20
Aug 14

It’s still going…until 2034?

In an era when electronics have come to be regarded as expendable commodities that are replaced annually whenever the next version comes out, at Alcorn McBride we do things a bit differently. Our products are designed to last a really long time — as evidenced by our unprecedented five year warranty. But we often support them far beyond that time frame. It’s not unusual for us to see products that have been in service for more than twenty years. And our customers tend to become attached to them. So we’re always happy to upgrade them as long as we can.

Recently our support department received a unit that has been in use for more than twenty years — so long, in fact, that some of our staff had never seen that version of the front panel (and some of our team members were in diapers when it was released!). It was a V16/DMX, the predecessor to our DMX Machine lighting controller. The unit was returned to us because although it still worked, it rattled. It turned out a screw holding down the circuit had fallen out.
photo(22)
After replacing the screw, our engineer noted that the unit’s programmable devices were rated to store their programming for twenty years. He checked the manual, discovered they could be updated for another twenty years, and just to be on the safe side reprogrammed them with the newest code. That should get the box to 2034. Stay tuned to find out if we can still support it once everyone is driving flying cars.
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08
Aug 14

Alcorn McBride on the Web — in 1996!

Microsoft is celebrating 20 years on the world wide web by recreating its site from 1994.

MicrosoftWebsite1994

While Microsoft.com was one of the first commercial sites on the web, Alcorn McBride wasn’t far behind. Here’s our web page from 1996. While a lot has changed, many other things haven’t. And unlike Microsoft, we still support all the products we were making in 1996!

AlcornMcBrideWesite1996

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04
Jun 14

Our controllers know where you are!

We’re introducing a new feature for our controllers at InfoComm14 – location based control at your fingertips!  By adding iBeacons, our ShowTouch for iOS app can detect where you are and automatically bring up predetermined screens when you approach the area.

Joy Burke, the Lead Engineer on the project, tells you how to make it happen.

What is an iBeacon?

iBeacon is an indoor low-powered proximity system that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of its presence. While many different brands of iBeacons can be supported, we recommend using Estimote beacons for your application with our Touch screen. iBeacon technology only works on iPad 2+, and iPhone 4S+, and Bluetooth must be enabled for it to work. iBeacon functionality built into iOS uses the same “location services” feature as GPS – so the arrow will appear in the menu bar of your iPad or iPhone during use. You also may be prompted to enable location services. These services must be enabled for iBeacon apps to work correctly.

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30
May 14

We’ve increased our Product Warranty!

5yr_warrantyWe believe in taking care of our customers and standing behind our products.  Our standard two-year “no-questions-asked” warranty was already top notch.  But we’ve decided that five is better than two.

Steve says it best:

“The Alcorn McBride brand is known for rock-solid reliability and unsurpassed customer support,” says CEO Steve Alcorn.  “We’ve always had a two-year product warranty and the industry’s most customer-friendly support policies.  Now we’ve decided to increase that to an unprecedented five-year product warranty.”

“Frankly, our existing customers have always known they can expect that level of support from us, so we’ve decided to make sure the rest of the world knows, too.”

You can read our policy HERE.

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28
Feb 14

Controller Status Information: We Share!

v16frontIt’s great that our controller products work together and speak Alcorn McBride’s protocols. What’s even better is that we openly share these protocols so that your custom applications can communicate and receive data just like our software!

We’ve recently updated our manual to include a bit more about the V16Pro, V4Pro and VCore’s “Live Mode” protocol. Using this protocol allows for applications to easily get status of hundreds of variables and all of the controller’s sequence status information. You can read more about this in our Knowledge Base or in this section from our Manual.

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21
Feb 14

What’s on the Line?

In an existing attraction, it sometimes seems like the ethernet cable
coming from your V16Pro is a magical mystical wire that controls all
of the equipment. When equipment is re-arranged or removed, this
sometimes leaves the person trying to debug the system scratching
their head and staring at this single wire.
Fortunately, WinScriptLive has some tools to help see what’s going on.
You can go online with the V16Pro and easily pull the script. Going to
the “devices” screen reveals information like IP addresses and type of
connection. You can see the messages going to and from the V16Pro by
going to the “Live Log”. To do this, click on the “Watch” button. Then
add the device’s name (by itself) to the “watch” list. All traffic for
this device will now be reported in the log. Of course, if the  TCP
device isn’t there at all any more, you can see the connection status
by adding the device’s “TCPStatus” variable to the “Watch” list. This
will show information like “Connected” or “Waiting for Response.”
If the device is serial or MIDI, you can always see what message the
V16Pro is trying to send to the device, even if the device doesn’t
exist. But then, if it was serial or MIDI instead of ethernet, Jim
would be giving you a hug, and you probably wouldn’t need to read this
post. :)

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13
Feb 14

Lincoln Heritage Museum Selects Alcorn McBride

lincolnheritagemuseum

The life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln will come alive in the new home of the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the campus of Lincoln College when it reopens in April 2014 in Lincoln, Illinois.  The museum will use Alcorn McBride’s Digital Binloop, A/V Binloop HD, ProTraXX, DMX Machines and V16 Pro to interpret the world in which the 16th president lived, particularly as it pertained to Illinois.

The life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln will come alive in the new home of the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the campus of Lincoln College when it reopens in April 2014 in Lincoln, Illinois.  The museum will use Alcorn McBride’s Digital Binloop, A/V Binloop HD, ProTraXX, DMX Machines and V16 Pro to interpret the world in which the 16th president lived, particularly as it pertained to Illinois.

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18
Sep 13

The Best Synchronized Video Player

by Loren Barrows with an excerpt from Scott Harkless

Alcorn McBride’s Binloops are the best synchronized A/V players on the market.  OK, that’s quite a claim, and yes, I am an Alcorn McBride employee. So saying “Alcorn McBride has the best synchronized video players on the market” may sound a little like “my son is the best football player on the team” (well, he is quite talented). “Proud parent” boasting? Yes. Marketing hype? Perhaps a little. BUT, this is a claim I can back up with sound engineering practices. And since I am not an engineer, let’s turn to an expert who is.

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18
Sep 13

A/V Synchronization Explained

by Scott Harkless

Why Should I Care about Synchronized A/V?

As A/V projects become more extravagant, the ability to synchronize multiple channels of audio and video is becoming critical to the industry.  For companies that are pushing the envelope of technology, it’s not enough to just throw an LCD panel on a wall and call it a day.  Today’s modern A/V projects can involve entire areas covered in flat-panels, LED surfaces, or projection.  With so many display devices side-by-side, it’s critical for the guest experience to ensure that the content being shown on these displays is high-quality and coherent across the display devices.

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26
Jun 13

Cart before the horse? Neigh. Just the leader in the race.

InfoComm is always a high point in the year for us.  We have face to face meetings with our customers and show what our Engineers have been up to for the past year.  So when I read Chuck Ansbacher’s post on 4K I too was left scratching my head.  If you haven’t read it, his article was on the questions surrounding 4K at InfoComm.

Here’s the intro…

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