Yesterday Antonio and I moved 37 monitors and related gubbins from the upper basement in the middle of the Central Library (approximately underneath the Weatherspoon’s pub) up to the first floor, through the lending library and down to the space beneath the business centre where I’ll be constructing my… thingy… over the next 8 days. Epic thanks Antonio - he’s a star.
Today I started playing around. Here’s what I built first.
It was great to actually start building, seeing what worked and what didn’t. One thing that really didn’t work was letting the signal degrade into quarters using the chains of 1:2 splitters. In the basement it might have been just about okay but in the bright light of day they might as well be switched off. But splitting the signal once wasn’t too bad, so I formulated a new plan.
A 1:8 box with eight 1:2 splitter cables will power 16 monitors at half signal strength from one computer, like so:
By next week I’ll have 4 boxes and enough splitters to power 58 monitors, which is a pretty healthy amount. Here’s how I plan to distribute them.
The Strip is a line of 30 monitors across the whole length of the window showing a single animation from one PC. These will be as visible to passers by as possible, depending on how the light works. More on them in a bit.
The Plinth, which I started today, will house 16 monitors from 1 PC. These will have long viewfinders and hopefully form a dramatic sculpture of gaffer-taped tubes.
The Viewfinders will be stand-alone monitors with viewfinders, probably positioned behind The Strip along the rest of the window. I’m still figuring this part out but they’ll be powered by at least one PC.
Having done a quick test of The Plinth I started thinking about The Strip, helped by the fact that I’d dumped the larger monitors roughly in a row along the window. I plugged a couple in and ran a video on them. The result wasn’t so good…
So I’m going to try something similar to the viewfinders but which leaves the screens open to catch folk’s eyes. I’m calling it a cowl.
And that’s pretty much what I did on Wednesday.