Live Broadcast at FIRST Robotics Competition in Manchester

Imagine the most exciting sports event combined with innovative technology designed by high-school students and you’ve got a vague idea of what the upcoming FIRST competition is all about.

We’re going to be covering the FIRST competition live in Manchester, NH on Saturday the 6th of March. For more visit BAE System’s FIRST Regional Web Site We’ll also be carrying our live play-by-play online at WGIR AM

We’re scheduled to talk with the Presidents of BAE Systems, the host of the event, both national and regional. Lots of engineers, teams and of course politicians.  Even the Governor has asked to be on the show.

Fun for the whole family, free to attend and it’s even educational. Join us on Saturday from Noon to 4 or 5pm as we cover the event at the Verizon Wireless arena in Manchester, NH.

FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – designs accessible and innovative programs for young people to help build their self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. The programs motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering.

The Granite State Regional, sponsored by BAE Systems, brings more than 1,500 students and their mentors together in a competition that emphasizes teamwork, innovation and strategy. In early January, teams received a challenge to design, develop and build a robot in six weeks using a common parts list. The robots compete in randomly selected alliances, performing a variety of tasks for scoring points.

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Looking for Volunteers to Help with FIRST Robotics Granite State Regionals

As you probably know, our coverage of the BAE Granite State Regionals on WGIR and WGIN is an effort of love.  Since we got the final go-ahead today to do the live coverage of the event, we’re trying to get everything planned.  We’d like to make this the best event ever, so we’re looking for some more volunteers to help with everything from taking some pictures and video through helping with on-the-air coverage of play-by-play action.  We’re approaching FIRST and BAE to get some volunteers, but I thought I’d throw it out to our community.

Historically we’ve had some trouble finding volunteers to:

– Help with the play-by-play on-air.  This needs to be someone who is very familiar with the game and the teams and who is great on-air with me.  Usually we’re on the floor talking about the teams and the game during the finals.  They also need to bring noise-resistant headphones and/or ear buds with sound deadening headphones that can plug into our wireless receiver that they wear on their belt to be able to hear me, the station and other hosts that I’ve invited.

– Someone to track the score and put together playoff charts down on the floor (as well as before the finals, but it’s a little less urgent).  As we’re doing the play-by-play during the finals we need to know instantly what the score is, who the contenders are, what the current round is and who’s moving on to the next round.  It’s difficult to track all that while we’re on the air.

– Pre-show research.  We need to have background information about every team along with some interesting tidbits that we can use to talk about while we’re on the air.  Karen (my wife) has been putting some of this together over the past few years by scraping information from the teams’ web sites she’s found, but it’s not ideal.  Ideally this volunteer would contact the teams and get some cool information from them, too.

If they really wanted to go above-and-beyond it would be great to get pre-recorded “Hello!” messages from the teams.  If they co-ordinated it with Karen we could set up a telephone patch before the regional, have the team get around a speakerphone and say something like “Hello!  This is team 1590, Mechanical Meyhem from Milford, NH” or something similar.  This would be fun to air when the team goes to the floor for competition.  It would be difficult to get this type of information the day of the event.

– A volunteer to rustle up a team member from time-to-time to talk about what just happened on the floor.

That’s the main stuff.  We’ve got volunteers from the radio station who will get everything set up for us…

If you’re interested in helping out, post me a comment.

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Saturday February 13th’s Radio Show

On Tech Talk With Craig Peterson, Tomorrow on WGIR:

Steve Hudson, Omnilink Location Aware Devices;
Andrew Hansen, InStoreSolutions from noon to 12:30

Abbas Mehdi, Iolo PC Tuneup;
Aaron Patzer, Intuit Mint;
Tom Adams, Rosetta Stone from 12:30 to 1:20

Just Sabeti, PeerlessMounts on TV Mounts;
Richard Surace, PlumChoice on Tech Support from 1:20pm to 1:45

Bill Nguyen, IoGear Wireless Solutions;
Janice Mahon, UniversalDisplay;
James Bak, Ford Sync at 2pm

Oz Zimmerman, DSP Group;
Max Safari, Neato Robotics;
Pete Janssen, Wellcore Senior Monitoring starting at 2:15pm

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Radio Broadcast of the FIRST Regional Competition in Manchester

We’ve made arrangements with the Verizon Wireless Arena, WGIR and WGIN to broadcast the Granite State FIRST Robotics Regionals from Manchester, NH live!  There’s a couple more hurdles to jump, but it shouldn’t be too hard.  I guess that means — we’re on.

You’ll be able to listen live from anywhere in the world at and we’ll try and post a recording of the regionals a week or so after they air.  In years past we’ve had people in Iraq and Afghanistan listening (my guess is it’s some of our troops) and from a couple of dozen other countries.

Pass this information around as widely as possible.  Let Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and friends know that they can listen live to the coverage of the event along with commentary and interviews with teams, officials and sponsors of the event.

Also, don’t forget to thank WGIR and WGIN for carrying the event and for their technicians and on-the-air talent for volunteering their time.  We hope to have Charlie Sherman, Angela Anderson and Erin Boss helping out me, Craig Peterson, again this year!

This is going to be a great game this year.  You can find out more by going to

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Should We Cover the FIRST Robotics Regional in Manchester?

The BAE Granite State Regionals is scheduled to take place at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH March 4th to 6th.  This is the oldest and deepest regional in the world, and we’ve covered it live for the past 4 or 5 years.  But, it’s an effort of love.

We’re thinking that we’ll cover it again this year, but we’ll have to find volunteers to help with the broadcast and get our local affiliate radio station (WGIR AM) to provide us with the equipment and airtime.

Do you think it’s worth it?  Let me know.  Producer at

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