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Learning Something New Every Day

Learning something new every day increases your abilities to perform a wider spectrum of services for your clients.

Framing example of a 1:12 miniature home

Since we wear a closet full of hats to perform new and interesting services for our clients, it’s absolutely necessary to keep on top of the newest technology and standards that separate us from the competition. We want to be sure our clients are confident that we have experience in all areas of ‘Marketing Mechanics‘ and new digital media concepts.

However, this doesn’t mean that we limit ourselves to areas that are only related to digital media and marketing. We sometimes come across requests that have little to do with our core services at CaddisArt, Inc. Our company is based on the mantra that learning one or two things every day will increase your abilities to ‘think outside the box’ when approaching concepts that are created by our clients.

Really? Dollhouses and Model Railroading? What gives?

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. As a young child through my teenage years I had been very interested in miniatures and model railroading. The creative members of my family were very involved with Z and N-Scale train sets as was I. It was an extremely fun and creative way to spend our (very limited) free time with each other. Trips to the Hobby Store in those days was most certainly a childhood highlight. In addition, my high school years included 4 years of drafting and architecture classes. These classes ended with building a scale model of the house I designed in my third year. Although the class only required that the framing of the house be completed, I took the project home and completed every aspect of the house including wallpaper, window dressings, electricity, roof shingles and furniture. The final result was a beautiful 1/12 scale dollhouse that was to be given to my younger sister, who later destroyed the project by sitting on it and destroying it. Oh well, *bleep* happens.

Greenleaf Fairfield Dollhouse, a 1:24 scale dollhouse

A family member recently purchased a Greenleaf Fairfield 1/24th scale dollhouse kit. It’s a beautiful Victorian-style home with 6-8 rooms (depending on how you configure it). Of course, it’s very plain out of the box, leaving you to dress the house as you see fit. I was asked to electrify the house with custom LED lighting based on the layout chosen. With my tech and electronics background,  I shrugged my shoulders and just assumed this would be an easy task. Oh how very wrong I was.

Let the Math Begin
Since the standard dollhouse lighting kits were not going to accomplish what needed to be done, I set off to learn about the inner workings of how to wire LED lighting using inexpensive 3mm LEDs and resistors that are cheap on Amazon. I quickly learned that OHM’s law was going to take effect here, along with purchasing correct resistors, copper tape, a new soldering iron and more. Needless to say, my son has the math gene, while I certainly do not. Electrical engineering is in his blood. However, with his busy schedule, I didn’t want to bother him. I set off to learn more.

Off to YouTube I Go
I really think there should be a YouTube University. You can learn so many things in YouTube your brain will spin. I spent hours scouring the different methods of wiring a dollhouse, but not a single video was going the custom route that I had in mind. I began clicking through the basic electronics and DC wiring for LEDs by themselves by electrical engineers and found a few gentlemen demonstrating how to wire LEDs in series and parallel, using a variable DC Power supply unit. They explained the do’s and dont’s of LEDs, how to calculate the current for  “Forward Voltage” and other aspects of this simple diode that I now understand. Sort of.

How Does this Help Digital Media?

A DIY Frequency Analyzer Project

With all the equipment, computers and cameras in our studio, I felt this was related. I intend on building a mini frequency spectrum analyzer for my camera gear to get a clear visualization of the audio going into the camera from the microphones using multi-colored LEDs. It’s a tall order that I will take on after the task of creating the dimmable LEDs in the dollhouse. Maybe I’ll even build a replica of our studio. Who knows.

The Inspiration Behind it All

As I’ve stated many times before, I love technology and consider myself a techno-junkie. There is a channel on YouTube that I follow religiously called “Linus Tech Tips” ran by Linus Sebastian. Linus is a young and energetic techie who runs a multi-million dollar facility called “Linus Media Group.” His videos, albeit not always related to what we do, is an extremely entertaining channel to watch and learn from. From reviewing new products, to building projects that have never been accomplished before, this guy is a bit on the crazy side. Right up my alley.

Conclusion

Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips

The point here is that learning a new skill – or in my case, mathematical formulas, will stay in this overcrowded jumble of semi-useful information for the future that will spark new and creative ideas for clients that require an unusual request that may very well be a part of a larger project that is needed to accomplish their goals. So I highly recommend hopping on the ‘net and picking a topic that is related to your business and learning something you didn’t think you needed to learn.

 

This guest blog was written by Robert Blanda of CaddisArt Digital Media Production Studios