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Franken-cam VI retirement photo #1

An experiment born of frustration with audio problems: wind noise, easily-overloaded, horrible distortion.

Franken-cam I: analog, grafting of Polaroid 95B rollfilm camera front onto a poplar box to accommodate 5"x7" sheet film, stained with wood-tone markers. 130 mm lens was extended with a negative diopter adapter (front cell of Polaroid Rodenstock-Ysarex lens). My math was faulty, based on projection of like that bulb images so it wouldn't focus at a useful distance...start over) (no audio!).

Franken-cam II-V were different surgical operations on the internal electret microphone system. I, II: Linkwitz modification of 4 mm diam. ECM from common-source JFET TO source-follower, guessing what the internal circuitry was. Took two attempts. Usable but Omni pattern picked up everyone in the room.

III: repeated camera disassembly/reassembly was asking for disaster. Extracted the reinstalled ECM from the front to try a 'larger' one- 6 mm diam ! Supposedly lower noise. Omni pickup pattern still frustratingly unusable .

IV-VI: eventually added XLR jack & whatever-worked hardware to mount a cardioid-pattern snare drum mic mounted in the camera tripod socket. Good mic choice: relatively deaf, resistant to overload, very directional pattern ignored environmental & audience noise.

Unfortunately, mounting directly on camera produced handheld sounds, and point&shoot camera audio was somewhat lo-fi.

Camera still worked, but (auto)focussed poorly in low light and under stage-lights which had substantial red content. Audio was relatively good for an abomino-concept.

Li batteries wore out & I now use the same mic with a phone with external preamp on a tripod.
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