Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Match Game Loves eBay

As some of you know, I have obtained a new prop for use with Match Game SF

This is an honest-to-goodness genuine Sony ECM-51A microphone, the same type used by (and invented and patented by, I understand) Gene Rayburn. It's shown here at its maximum extension, ideal for pointing microphones into contestants' faces without having to lean over them.

This is the same microphone in the retracted position, the way Bob Barker uses his.

This detail of the base shows that it is "No. 607," which I think might be a serial number, but I'm not sure.

The head of this microphone screws off. This is not quite the same head as the one Rayburn uses, although I think what we see on TV is a screen over the head of the microphone. I've seen pictures of the ECM-51A in a carrying case with accessories, including the microphone screen, but the person selling this one did not include those extras.

I've not been able to find a pre-made foam pop screen that is the right size for this microphone and have been forced to rough one out of foam rubber. It, unfortunately, doesn't look all that great. I thought of spray-painting it silver, but the paint would almost certainly flake off. I may not use it at all on the day; we'll have to find out during sound checks under realistic conditions whether it works or not.

When I first tried to test the microphone, I was concerned that it was a dud -- ECM-51As are reportedly very delicate due to the wiring inside the extending part -- but a bit of trial and error led me to discover that the mike unscrews to reveal this battery compartment for a type "N" battery. I replaced the battery, but it still didn't work. Then I realized I had the battery in upside-down; when I fixed this, it seemed to work okay.

I expected this microphone to come with an XLR connector, and was surprised to find it instead had a 3.5 mm (1/8") jack instead. This may cause problems, as most microphone cabling we're likely to have a shows is professional XLR. The BayCon tech team members with whom I spoke think they can get a 3.5 mm to XLR adapter.

If we can overcome the potential technical hurdle, we'll use this at BayCon. If not, it's okay; we can use ordinary equipment, and given how tight the timeframe for setup is, we may have to do that. But I do hope I get to use the new toy.
Tags: baycon, match game
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