Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Helping out an NGO

My Partner works for a local Non Government Organisation (NGO) that is involved in community/social work in the local area.  They needed to setup a room that they could use for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy PCIT on a very tight budget. They asked me to have a look at what we could do.

Initially I contacted a Security firm that specialised in supplying CCTV solutions. This looked good as we would be able to take care of the video as well as audio requirements with one integrated solution. However this came at a price, and it was well over budget. I met with the team and they were able to get some information from the training that they did in Sydney, and I read through some specifications  from The OU Medicine Centre.

We finally decided on purchasing a basic Sony DCR-SX65E camcorder with a amall tripod, extra 16G memory card and a VCL-HGA07B wide angel conversion lens to enable us to record more of the room.

That took care of the video. This would enable all the activity and audio in the room to be recorded. The workers would set the camera up in the corner of the room and start recording. They should be able to get about 4 hours per memory module. The good thing about the handycam is that the screen can be tilted to the front of the camera making it easier to setup, as the camera would be in the corner of the room, against a wall.

The next problem was to enable the worker in the viewing room  to talk to the parent in the activity room without being heard by the child.  We solved this problem using a set of Callpod Dragon V2 Bluetooth Headsets from  Amazon. These units have the ability to be paired together and used as an intercom.

The final problem was how to record the audio of the Callpods. We simply decided to use the Sound Recorder on the new Windows 7 laptops to record the speech. We would place the laptop on the desk in front of the worker and it would pickup everything the worker said.

The final hurdle is to put together the audio recorded with the laptop with the Audio/Video from the camcorder, but there is plenty of software out there that does this, I just have to find it.

We are still waiting on all the equipment to arrive so we can test it, but everyone is happy and the total cost was much more acceptable.

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