I again had problems with electronics at the last office visit with my son. It was Wednesday, last Wednesday and I had my voice recorder going, which is permitted and not banned.
So I was recording everything and the batteries were brand new, and then at about 10:00 a.m., a half hour after showing up, the voice recorder malfunctioned.
This never happens except when I'm trying to record visits with my son.
The batteries drain at an abnormally fast rate, and then the electronics quit, or, I have the equipment turning off on its own, without my touching any buttons.
The visitation monitor has heard this happen when I was trying to use the videocamera.
I thought it could be something wrong with an individual recorder, but then when I had THREE different recording devices (voice, videocamera, and another recording device) shutting off at exactly the same time, I knew it didn't have anything to do with the batteries being bad or a glitch.
I had some people make fun of my telling them this, saying "The State doesn't have "jamming devices." I never SAID the state had "jamming devices" and I didn't know that might be the terminology one would use to describe what could cause this to happen.
But two different things occur:
1. The batteries drain abnormally fast.
This has happened repeatedly while I'm trying to record footage of me and my son, when I was able to do it legally and it's happened with the voice recorder too. When I use this equipment outside of this setting, I don't have any problems at all.
This is the same way this happened in Maryland at the Hyattsville hospital when I was using my voice recorder and the nurses were trying to hook me up for a blood transfusion with a blood transfusion machine that was running on batteries. At exactly the same time, both my voice recorder, which I'd fitted with brand new batteries, AND the blood transfusion machine said the batteries were too low. The nurses couldn't understand because the machine had been charged recently. I could have died if this hadn't been fixed. I had to call another hospital and let them know what was going on and only then did the nurses call in a doctor and get the machine plugged in or fitted with new batteries. After I made a call to an outside hospital, it was suddenly working again. And when I replaced my batteries, they didn't drain in the same way. I had come to the hospital with a huge pack of batteries.
2. The electronics shut off, with or without any sound accompanying.
When the voice recorder shuts off on it's own, there is no noise. I just notice the red light goes off and then I can see it's been turned off but no one has touched it. So I'll turn it on and then it will shut off on it's own again.
Then, I used the voice recorder, with a digital camera, with a videorecorder and had all THREE turned on and they were shutting off altogether, at exactly the same time. I could hear the turn off noise from the videocamera so I knew and then the next time I went to a visit, the same thing happened repeatedly, except for some reason, without the noise indicating the videocam was turning off or on.
3. Either the batteries drain all the way down really fast, and with the videocam, I AM using lithium batteries, and they are supposed to last for at least 2 hours when I have the videocam on the lowest resolution setting. It works fine outside of the office visits with my son, but not when I'm there.
When the batteries drain, I can't even turn it back on.
ON the other hand, what's happened is that the batteries are FINE and do not drain, but the machines just keep turning off. I will turn them on and they'll turn right back off, and the battery indicator shows the batteries are fine.
This is still happening. It did NOT happen 2 weeks ago, on a Monday, at all, but on last Wednesday it did, from about 10 a.m. and on. I'll look at a calendar and write down exact dates.
I'm sure anyone who knows anything about electronics and what could cause this, will have some ideas.
UPDATE: I found out more about what was happening when it was sometimes shutting off on its own. I took it in to a Radioshack guy and asked him what this one symbol was and how to get rid of it so it would keep recording. He said it was a symbol that the "memory is full". He said there was almost an hour of footage already on the videocam. The thing is, the videocam holds more than 2 hours. Closer to 3 hours of video footage. So having the thing quit working and indicate it is that the memory is full is odd. I tried at least 2 or 3 different ones and they were all the same one, and brand and this only happens at the state office. That is, happens when it shouldn't, when the memory is not full.