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All Completed

Today I was finally put through my site inductions for the Broadcast Australia (BA). I was taken through all the normal safety stuff plus had to know how to log on and log off with the NOC (Network Operation Centre). I was also handed over the keys to the BA sites. I'm still waiting for the my Telstra EAC (Electronic Access Card) so I can have access to the BA site at the local telephone exchange.

All 3 hours of being taken through some of the things I might need to do if I'm called out to a fault and been given a run down of the equipment and what each piece of equipment does I know have a much better idea of what could go wrong. I had a note pad to write things down so I could then type up a reminder note for each site. I learnt a bit more about their sites and the equipment in them. 

One of the BA sites is apart of a BTS (Broadcast Transmission Services), which is a partnership between WIN TV and Prime 7. So accessing this site I have to be able to ring and log on and off with their NOC as well as with BA's NOC. I have been asked if I also want to join with BTS and be their FIM also. I have said yes to them, so I'm just waiting to hear back from them. Now that I've got my name in their books it should take much longer to hear back from them. I guess they have to get it passed their management first :) 

So today I had a big day but so glad I've gotten that side of things over with. Like I said I"m still waiting on my Telstra EAC to come and once that's here I'm fully ready for any type of callout. Of course it's not like there is a callout every week.

I have always wanted to work with a company like Broadcast Australia. I mean I'm not emplyeed by them, I only get paid if I get called out and like I said that might only be 2 or 3 times a year but I can still learn from this and that can only be a good thing. 

How did I get to this point? Well the guy that put my name up for the position is a fellow amateur operator, VK3OF. I meet Rex last year at my local radio clubs meet up in Swan Hill. In fact it was on my birthday last year, 2014. I got to know this Rex over the year and I was even lucky enough for him to make me my 2m (VHF) 10 element yagi. I guess he saw something in me and knew I must know a little more about radios then I let on. I feel so lucky and I could say thank you enough to Rex for, I guess, believing in me and having the trust in me to be put into such a position.

I'm now a FIM (First In Maintainer) for Broadcast Australia (BA) and could be also a FIM for Broadcast Transmission Services (BTS) in the coming months.

I'm glad something is going right in my life for a change. I won't be stuffing this up like I have with everything else in my life. I had the chance back in the 80's but I decided getting pissed was more important.



Becoming a Broadcast Australia FiM (First-in Maintainer)

As I wrote about the other week I was asked if I wanted to become a FiM (First-in Maintainer) for Broadcast Australia's (BA) Balranald sites. I received the paperwork the other week and this week I've had a couple of phone calls from BA. One of them was requesting my ABN, which at the time of the call I didn't have one. I used to have one for my company many many years ago but no more. So I've had to sign up for another one which I've now supplied to them.

Things seem to be happening very quickly now and for what I've been told it should be all completed within a week. Once I'm on their books I then need to have an induction done at their sites here in town. I need to learn the paperwork I need to fill out on site and how to ring the NOC (National Operation Centre) so they can turn alarms off and allow me to access the sites. Then I need to complete a Telstra induction so I can be given the keys to their site. So I still have a bit to do before it's fully completed. 

I'm really looking forward to doing this. I know there won't be too many times I'll be called out, about 2 or 3 times a year but it's enough for me to learn about it all and it gives me something else to put on my list of things I've done in my life. I just wished I had taken the road to the left all those years ago but stupid me tok the road to the right. You live and learn I guess.

I'm over the moon that someone has seen something in me to think I would do a good job. Liek I said to them, I'll do my best every time :) The way I see it all is I'm getting a great birthday present this year. it's not going to make me rich money wise but it's going to make me rich in knowledge and that it the best thing. 



Good News

About a month or so ago a friend of mine, well a fellow amateur radio operator I meet, helped me get a equipment cabinet so I could clean up my room a bit. He also built me a 11 element yagi antenna for use on the amateur 2 metre band (VHF). While I was picking this up he said to me that he should get some paperwork for me to fill out so I could maintain the TV sites in Balranald. I thought to myself I'll believe it when I see it type of thing. I'm not saying he was talking shit or anything but because he works for one of the big transmission companies in the country and thought I wouldn't be good enough for it.

Anyhow last Thursday 8th of October I received an email from him about this subject and telling me to fill out the attached forms. These forms was for me to become a FIM (First In Maintainer) for Broadcast Australia (BA). The sites I would have to look after, when I'm called out, would be the three sites in Balranald. These sites are the ABC DTV and radio sites and SBS TV site. I have completed all the forms and no waiting on my induction that needs to be done at one or all of the sites here and then keys can be given. I will also need to complete a Telstra induction as one of the BA sites is at the Telstra exchange here. I might even get to help out at other sites in Hay and Ivanhoe. There is also a chance I might get signed up by BTS (WIN TV) to look after their site here but I won't hold my breath as they already have a person here to look after the site.

This is big news for me and will allow me to learn more stuff. I have done some broadcast stuff before back in the early 80's but nothing ever since. I guess I'm not an idiot like some people think I am. So in the coming months I'll have to do a bit of work and I guess more paperwork. I've also wanted to work for a company like Broadcast Australia. Their sites here in Balranald are not high powered sites, in fact the highest power from their transmitters is 100 watts. No more than what my amateur station transmits. The DTV (digital TV) transmitters here are only about 10 watts, so nothing super high power.

So thank you Rex, VK3OF for seeing something in me and putting my name up for this position. 



Site Changes

Sitting here watching TV I thought I would look over my website to make sure everything was fine and I noticed there was some things that needed updating and changing. I haven't done this for a while now and it was well overdue. 

So I've done the changes, mostly just wording on some of the pages. Nothing like a big change but big enough that needed doing. 

Not a long post this time I'm sorry. I have a few things in mind to change down the track thou. I live a broing life and not much happens. I did end up hearing from an old friend the other night. It's been many many years since I've heard from this person. Hopefully it won't be the last time. 

Anyhow time to call it a night. Oh thank god for spell check :) I can't beleive how many mistakes I made on such a small post lol


TV Streaming Services

Ever since the American video streaming service, Netflix, came to Australia I've been a member. In fact it was a couple of weeks after they came to Australia I signed up.

I used to have Foxtel via my Play Station 3. It wasn't really super cheap but the streaming version of Foxtel had the channels I wanted. I signed up for there free month offer to try it out. I kept it for about 6 months. One thing I found with it was it would be buffering a lot. Some times it was fine and other times it was bad. While watching Foxtel you really couldn't do much else on the internet at the same time. I thought this was a little crazy and knowing it wasn't even HD video I finely said enough is enough, I cancelled the service.

When Netflix came along it too was available on my PS3 but it was also available on my Apple TV, something Foxtel wasn't on it. So I thought I would try Netflix for a month and see how it goes. I signed up on my laptop and then logged onto my account via my Apple TV. I signed up for the 2 devices plus HD for $11.99. Of course there was a cheaper plan but it was only for SD video and not HD. 

I have not had any issues with buffering, well it's only happened once and that was the other night but any other time it's been streaming fine. In fact I've been able to have others in the house be streaming Vevo (music video channel) on the Apple TV in HD and also being able to watch Netflix in HD without a problem. I was even able to surf the internet at the same time. Now this got me thinking, why wasn't I able to stream Foxtel without it buffering and that's not even HD quality video but I can stream Netflix which is in HD and it doesn't buffer. Is it that the Apple TV is much better at streaming video? Or is it the Netflix has much better bandwidth than what Foxtel has? It would be good it Foxtel made available their Foxtel streaming product was available on the Apple TV just so I could see if it works better then it did on my PS3. I guess it's something we'll never know

It would be great if Foxtel did bring it's service to the Apple TV, it might even coem to the new Apple TV? Would I get it? I would try it again if they give a free trail of it but I would have to really think about it. The thing is for the months I had the Foxtel streaming service I only watched it a few times a week. In the time I've had Netflix I've watched Netflix almost daily. In fact I've watched Netflix much more and when I was having issues with my ADSL service and couldn't watch Netflix I was missing it. This is something I did feel when I got rid of Foxtel.

Foxtel is just too costly when you can pay for a service liek Netflix or Stan for about $12 per month, much much cheaper then Foxtel.

I can say that even thou Netflix are still adding titles to their Australian version of their service I must say I'm very happy with it.

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