OLLI AV Support Committee - aka - The "Tom Swift Squad"


The AV Support Committee serves as an adjunct to OLLI's staff, in assisting instructors with classroom audiovisual and computer equipment. Membership is open to any OLLI member, at all our locations, who has an interest in helping our teachers and staff with classroom technology. You don't need to be a tech guru to be a member of the committee. Like everything at OLLI, your commitment to lifelong learning is paramount - we'll teach you what you need to know! The committee's goal is "A Swiftie in every classroom, supporting OLLI staff in providing AV excellence for all our members."

Road Show Equipment Setup
April 9, 2010 - Equipment setup for OLLI Recorder Consort. Photo by Dan Feighery

The committee chair is appointed by OLLI's President, and reports to the Executive Director. Reports of committee activities are provided to the OLLI Board on a regular basis, and are published in the document section of the OLLI Member Portal.


Committee chair: Paul Howard
Vice chair: Bill Walsh
Contact: Paul Howard
Link to: Equipment Reference Web Page



Committee Members (as of July, 2019):

John Acton, Tom Appich, Larry Cereghino, Garrett Cochran, Terri Feldmayer, Don Ferrett, Lisa Ferrett, Mel Goldfarb, Paul Howard, John Lax, Dave Lynch, Pat McGinty, Ernestine Meyer, Mel Mikosinski, Michael Nephew, Dave Osterman, Brenda Soares, Dan Soares, Russell Stone, Bill Walsh, Nick Wenri.



Accomplishments of the Committee:

Since its conception in the summer of 2007, OLLI's AV Support Committee, also known as "The Tom Swift Squad," has assumed a primary mission of having comparable AV and computer resources available in every OLLI classroom. Our efforts have resulted in the following major improvements to OLLI's instructional resources:

  • Hitachi / Maxell WU5603 Laser Video Projectors installed in TA1, TA3- full HD, 20K hour light source life (Fall, 2019)
  • New screens with 16 X 9 aspect ratio and 123" diagonal image size placed in TA1, TA2, TA3 (Fall, 2019)
  • Lenovo All-in-One computer placed in TA2' providing 24" confidence screen for instructors (July, 2019)
  • Yamaha RX-V485 Multimedia Amplifiers (2) Installed in UCP Reston AV Cabinets to allow HDMI video and sound connections (Spring 2019)
  • Audio Technica Gen3 Series3000 C Band wireless mic systems installed in Loudoun (2) and Reston (3), replacing D band units (Spring, 2019)
  • Lumens PS752 Document Cameras, replacing older models in TA1, TA2, TA3 (Spring 2019)
  • Lumens PS751 Document Camera moved from TA1 to Tallwood Annex (Spring 2019)
  • Audio Technica 14 Gen4 Series 3000 replacement wireless mic systems for Tallwood classrooms, 'Road Show' cases - Caused by FCC UHF channel repack (Winter 2019)
  • Lenovo All in One computer for TA3 trial of touch screen computer for classroom use in TA3 (Fall 2018)
  • Hitachi CP-WU8461 Projector installed in TA1 with 16X9 aspect ratio and full HD resolution (Feb, 2018)
  • Hitachi CP-SX8350 Projector moved from TA1 to TA2 (Feb 2018)
  • Six Dell Laptops - classroom replacements in Tallwood, Reston, COGS, LofL Fairfax (Winter 2018)
  • Two Asus Laptops for backup service in classroom and offsite locations (Winter 2018)
  • Asus Laptop replacement for TA2 classroom (Fall 2017)
  • Onkyo TX-NR676 Multimedia Receiver installed in TA3, replacing Sony with overheat issues ( August, 2017)
  • Ashly MX-406 Stereo Mixer, w/ EQ added to Road Show 2 Kit, replacing defective Rolls unit (April 2017)
  • Audio Technica wireless mic system added to TA3 (Relocated from Cottage classroom, March 2017)
  • Samsung BD-6500 BluRay player donated by Rod Zumbro installed in TA3 (March 2017)
  • Barco Clickshare 200CSE Wireless Presentation System for devices without video output ports (Winter 2017)
  • TA3 Multimedia sound system upgraded to 5.1 channel with two speakers and sub-woofer. (Fall 2016)
  • Yamaha Multi-media amplifiers installed in TA2 to allow HDMI Video / Audio connections (Fall 2016).
  • Samsung BluRay player acquired and installed in TA2 (Fall, 2016)
  • Lumens PS 660 document camera moved to TA2 from Cottage classroom (Fall 2016)
  • Lumens PS 751 document camera acquired for LofL FFX (August 2016)
  • Lumens PS 660 document camera moved to LofL Clifton (August 2016)
  • BluRay players acquired for use at Lord of Life Locations (2) and (1) for Reston (August 2015)
  • Toshiba DVR620 DVD / VHS Combo Players (2) acquired for use in Reston Classrooms (May / July 2015)
  • Audio Technica wireless microphone systems (2) acquired for use in TA1 (May 2015)
  • Hitachi video projector upgraded in Lord Of Life-Fairfax for greater brightness (May 2015)
  • Rolls RM219 mixers swapped into Road Show Kits I & II; Phonic RM801 mixers moved to RS kits III & IV (April 2015)
  • Road Show IV Kit for Lord of Life - Fairfax: Two AT C Band wireless mic systems (April 2015)
  • Road Show III Kit for Lord of Life-Clifton: Two AT C Band wireless mic systems; Anchor Audio Powered & Passive Speakers, Phonic mixer (March 2015)
  • Toshiba Laptops (two) for 2nd classrooms at LofL locations (March 2015)
  • Audio Technica portable wireless microphone system acquired for use as needed at Tallwood or remote locations (November 2014)
  • Toshiba Laptops with BluRay optical drives for TA2, TA3, and 'Road Show' kit. (June 2014)
  • Lumens PS 751 document camera for Reston (June 2014)
  • Lumens PS 751 document camera with HDMI switching and 1080P resolution added to TA1. Replaced docucam moved to Cottage. (February 2014)
  • LifeSize 10X Camera added to TA1 as 'audience cam' acquired from generosity of anonymous donor (January 2014)
  • Audio Technica portable wireless microphone system acquired for use in Reston locations (December 2013)
  • LG Flat panel display, permanent camera mountings added to TA1 for videoconferencing (December 2013)
  • Allen&Heath MixWizard3 audio mixer added to TA1 for videoconferencing & advanced audio capability (October 2013)
  • LAN and Telephone connections added to Tallwood Social Rm Annex for origination of audio & videoconferences (August 2013)
  • LifeSize Express 220 videoconferencing system acquired for eventual deployment in Reston. (August 2013)
  • Hitachi video projectors upgraded in Tallwood classrooms for better resolution and/or HDMI input capability (June 2013)
  • Sound Advance stereo speakers and Sony amplifier installed at UCP Reston, Rms 113/114. (April 2013)
  • Toshiba Laptops (3) for Reston and TA1, with upspec'd processors, BluRay optical drive, HDMI. (March 2013)
  • Zyzel Router and LAN wiring upgrades for video teleconferencing infrastructure and security improvements. (Feb. & March 2013)
  • Rolls Audio Mixers and Key Digital Video Processors added to UCP Reston equipment suites. (Dec. 2012)
  • Audio Technica wireless microphone systems added to largest classroom at each campus. (Dec. 2012)
  • Sound Advance loudspeakers relocated from WPBC, Reston to TA1 for 7.1 channel surround sound operation. (Nov. 2012)
  • LifeSize Room 220 Video Conferencing System aquired for sharing classes and meeting between locations. (Nov. 2012)
  • Two Toshiba Laptop computers - upspec'd w/ I5 processors, 8 Gig RAM, HDMI output, for Video Teleconferencing. (Oct. 2012)
  • Anchor Audio Powered / Remote (unpowered) speakers for Road Show II - used at churches, Woodlands, etc. (Oct. 2012)
  • Onkyo surround-sound receiver / multimedia amplifier, resulting in 5.1 channel sound in TA1 (July, 2012)
  • Polycomm Soundstation VTX1000 speakerphone for remote attendees to board meetings, classes (March 2012)
  • Infinity Interlude speakers and subwoofer in TA1, acquired with directed donation to Friends of OLLI (February 2012)
  • Docucam added to TA2 equipment suite. (January 2012)
  • Four Toshiba Laptop computers acquired for instructional use in Tallwood Cottage. (2011)
  • Three speakers added to Instructor Speech / PA system in TA1. (October, 2011)
  • Seven Toshiba Laptop computers acquired for instructional / classroom use in Tallwood Cottage. (2011)
  • "Bus Tour" portable pa system (Spring 2011)
  • New Instructor Speech / PA Bogen system for Loudoun Rm 232 (Spring, 2011).
  • Upgraded LAN at Tallwood from 10BaseT to Gigabit ethernet electronics. (Spring 2011)
  • Upgraded Hitachi Video Projector, TA1; Move of Projectors for TA2 and Tallwood Cottage (Winter 2011)
  • AV equipment suite in Tallwood Cottage room 101 classroom (Winter 2011)
  • Lumens Docucams added to Tallwood and Reston classrooms. (2010, 2011)
  • Updated laptop computers in all Reston and Tallwood classrooms, with Office 2007 available on each.
  • Two "Road Show" portable equipment packages of wireless microphone systems and audio mixers, for use when classes are held in remote locations, panel discusions, or performance opportunities for OLLI groups, such as the Recorder Consort, and drama activities. (Spring, 2010)
  • Upgraded wireless microphone systems in TA2, TA3. (Fall, 2009)
  • Wired Internet service in all classrooms in Tallwood and Reston, and in the sanctuary of Washington Plaza Baptist Church.
  • Permanently mounted music quality and PA speakers in Reston and Tallwood.
  • Two complete equipment suites in Reston, functionally equivalent to Tallwood classrooms. (Sep 2009)
  • Hitachi Video projectors of enhanced resolution and high brightness in all Tallwood and Reston classrooms.
  • Quality Audio Technica wireless microphone systems in each classroom (Loudoun, Reston, Tallwood) for instructor use.
The support of OLLI's Board of Directors, Finance Committee, generous member financial contributions to the "Friends of OLLI", and the foresight of OLLI's Executive Directors have been vital to these efforts.


History of "The Tom Swift Squad"

During the summer of 2007, Paul Howard proposed that a group of volunteers be assembled to assist the OLLI staff with AV problems the staff was wrestling with during classes. At that time, these primarily centered around audio quality for enhancing the instructor's voice. Paul declared, "There are two kinds of sound at OLLI - 'feedback' and 'none' !"

Dick Chobot, OLLI's Executive Director, was finding some of the member grousing about AV issues a tad frustrating. A military history buff, Dick suggested that the new group should perhaps be called "The Forlorn Hope" - after the cannon-fodder assemblage of misfits and criminals, thrown at seemingly-impregnable strongpoints, and led by a junior officer without money or influence to gain a higher rank, since success yielded promotion.

Paul thought that perhaps the sound issues weren't quite as bleak as that, and suggested "Tom Swift Squad" as an appropriate name for the group, after the series of boy's fiction books highlighting technology and invention, dating to 1910. OLLI's Tallwood Administrator and Registrar, Ann Hartmann, took to calling the volunteers "the Swifties" and so the name continues.


Link to the OLLI Board Handbook: Audiovisual Support Committee
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Link to: OLLI Home Page


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