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Realtime Reporter's Toolbox — Part II

December 16, 2010

"Hope for the best and prepare for the worst" is an axiom that pertains to successfully troubleshooting realtime hookups. Preparations begin and end with a complete "Realtime Reporter’s Toolbox" with the necessary tools of the trade. Do not be swayed to think you will never encounter a problem. It is not a question of if a problem will happen, but merely a matter of time until a problem does occur. So be prepared. Maintaining your toolbox will ensure successful troubleshooting as well as give you additional peace of mind.

Reporters are faced with a decision in the modern-day, interactive, realtime environment: using cables versus being wireless. In Part II, we will cover the Wireless Realtime Toolbox. Last October in Part II, we addressed the Cabled Realtime Toolbox.

Wireless Realtime Toolbox

  • Long extension cord
  • Electrical adapters (available at any hardware store)
    • Grounding plug (two-prong to three-prong)
    • Three-prong to two-prong adapter
  • Power strip/surge protector
  • Extension cord
  • Safety strip/tape to cover electrical cords
  • Realtime software for counsel to load on their computer
  • Extra computers to use as Receive Laptops
    • Netbooks work best as they are compact , light, and inexpensive.
  • Ethernet cables (minimum of two – preferably one that is at least six feet in length)
  • Paper clips
  • Eraser (clean copper connections on thumb drive)
  • Small flashlight
  • Serial cables and USB-to-serial adapters (in the event all else fails)
  • Extra StenoCast EZ Receivers (if used)
  • Extra cable from writer to CAT Laptop
  • Reporter thumb drive containing:
    • Free version of Interactive Realtime Viewer (in unzipped format)
    • Driver for your USB-to-serial adapter
    • Driver for StenoCast (if used)
  • Attorney thumb drives (have two or more)
    • Realtime Viewer software in unzipped format (to run the Realtime Viewer  off of thumb drive)
  • If traveling internationally
    • Power adapters for country
    • Extra power supply for CAT Laptop

This information is contained in the Realtime Systems Administrator Manual that is provided to the attendees of the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop that is held at both the NCRA Midyear Conference and the NCRA Annual Convention.