Freelance Broadcast Television Engineer / Technical Director, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tel (011) 976-1750 / 082 372-1750
I was born on April 11, 1959 in Paarl, Cape, South Africa. I have two brothers, Guido and Carlo, and a sister, Ines. I grew up on the family olive farm, working here until called up for military service in January 1977.
A Panorama of the Paarl Valley
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Sports, Hobbies and interests:
When we go out into the country, I sometimes take my 8" Celestron Schmitt-Cassegrain reflector telescope along and observe some of the vastness of the creation. We are blessed with clear skies and good weather and from our latitude we have great views of Southern Hemisphere objects like Omega Centauri and 47 Tucanae. I will be posting some stunningly detailed moon shots as soon as I have my CCD camera linked to the video frame grabber on the PC.
I completed a course in programming the PIC range of microprocessors, and subsequently also the advanced PIC programmer's course. (Both of these at FARSOFT COMPUTERS). I am also fluent in Visual Basic, market a range of Analog-to-Digital converters for data-acquisition. The software was originally written in QuickBasic, then in VB, and featured in "Abacus" computer magazine. I also created an instant sound effects device for use in live TV applications: "WinFX" is currently in use at M-NET as well as e-TV and is an easy-to-use but powerful touchscreen-driven system for instant live sound-effect playout.
Go to download page.
I converted an outside room into a workshop in which I do my electronics and metalwork. There I have a milling machine, a tiny "Simat" modeller's lathe, and a fairly new Emco Maximat 1m screwcutting lathe.
Click on the image to get more detail.
I restored this pre-war South Bend lathe and used it for 3 years until I replaced it with my Emco Maximat.
My Nikon FG-20 served me well and I now use a Canon AF-M SLR with a 35-80mm zoom lens. These are mostly pictures of places that I've visited. I also own and operate a Canon XL1 DV Camcorder kit. Visit my Canon XL1 page
I have built various projects for our own, as well as other television facilities, under the trade name of "XcentroniX" such as high power multi-channel dimmers, machine controllers, etc.
Follow this link to my hiking page.
After completing my studies I remained in Johannesburg, marrying Linda in 1994, and "inheriting" 2 stepdaughters, Candy (now 21) and Siân (now 16): Here is a "family snap", taken about six years ago.
Paarl Boys High 1972-1976:
English Higher grade 1st Language
Afrikaans Higher Grade 2nd Language
Physical Science (Higher Grade) (Achieved Distinction)
Mathematics (Higher Grade)
Biology (Higher Grade)
Accountancy (Higher Grade)
Extracurricular School Activities:
Member of Editorial Committee of School magazine
Member of Library Committee
Cross-country running, Water-skiing
Cape Technikon 1979 - 1980 (NDT Electrical Engineering T1, T2)
Technikon Witwatersrand 1980 - 1981 (NDT Electrical Engineering T3, T4)
Farsoft Computing 1995 (PIC programming)
Farsoft Computing 1997 (Advanced PIC programming)
2 Years Compulsory service completed in S. A. Air Force as Radar Operator. Underwent training in Navigation, Meteorology, etc., at Air Defence School in Waterkloof, Pretoria. Transferred to Devon, then Ellisras.
After completing my studies at Technikon Witwatersrand, I joined the National Broadcaster as a Learner Technician, initially in the Monitors section, and then in Production Studios. Here we maintained broadcast studio equipment such as studio television camera chains (Thomson CSF), Vision mixing desks (EMI), Audio desks (Rupert Neve), etc.
After commencing night shift work, I was promoted to Technician, but was attracted to smaller, less bureaucratic, dynamic, independent TV stations.
Video RSA (1983-1989)
I approached Video RSA in Northcliff and was adopted as Operations Engineer, where I performed a combination of technical and creative work, which suited me perfectly. My responsibilities here included operating Rank Cintel Telecine, VT machines (1" VPR2's), maintaining these, and other equipment. The business then moved to Highlands North, into purpose-built premises. I was involved with the installation and interconnection of the entire station, which utilized over 35 km of video cabling!
Unlike their CCD counterparts of today, the old LDK25 cameras still needed registration adjustments every morning. This picture was taken in 1983.
Video RSA became one of the biggest TV facilities in the country, and when it merged with its main rival, The Video Lab, I felt it was becoming too big, so I started looking elsewhere.
Telerama Rediffusion (1989-1990)
Telerama Rediffusion at that stage were looking for a R & D Engineer, and here I became involved in image intensification, optics, PCB design for closed-circuit television monitoring as well as the design and construction of multi-unit and hotel television and radio distribution systems.
Performing final adjustments on a night-vision camera system before hoisting the support pole upright.
Trilion Video (1990-1998)
Invited to join Trilion Video as Engineer in January 1990. Wired video edit suites, audio suites, and outside broadcast units. Promoted to Chief Engineer in 1993. Responsible for maintaining all station equipment. Helped to establish analog satellite TV channel. Recently (January 1998) moved facility to Hyde Park, renaming it The Finishing Post.
Audio 1 at Finishing Post uses a YAMAHA O2R Mixing desk with all the outboard gear "Chopper" Kietzmann could think of. I configured it for both analog and digital, with the help of Andy Holloway, who also builds broadcast-related electronic equipment.
MNET's impressive 12-camera digital outside production vehicle, used for live sports transmissions.
Freelance Broadcast engineer (1998-Present)
Entered freelance market as from August, 1998. Worked on numerous local and international commercials as well as live sport broadcasts. Went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to work on Aquatics venue for 1998 Commonwealth Games. Also worked at Sydney 2000 Olympics, also at Aquatics centre, for ARD/ZDF (German Television) as engineer.
Other skills and abilities:
Outside Broadcast Engineer / Vision controller / Technical Director (Regularly freelance for M-NET, e-TV, The Wave Factory, Videosport, Star Media, and other famous television facilities).
Own and operate teleprompter ("Autocue")
Code 9 (Truck) drivers license.
Julio Costa: 74 Oleander Ave., Edleen Kempton Park.
Tel. (011) 976-1750 / 082 372-1750
Look at my guestbook