Oct 28, 2006

More on the Canucks new video scoreboard

The Vancouver Canucks unveiled their new video scoreboard last night at GM Place:

It weighs 49,000 pounds and its four large HD-ready light emitting diode (LED) screens (13.5 feet by 24 feet) display 4.4 trillion colours. Up close at full power it’s like standing on a Tahitian beach.

“It’s not so bad up here,” says Daktronics project manager Jacob Frein, the engineer in charge of lighting the behemoth. “Down south in Texas they need air conditioning for each panel just to keep it cool.”

But could you cook an egg on it if you dropped one on it midway through the third?

“No, probably not that hot,” says the lanky Frein, screwdriver in hand.

Still, it’s an impressive beast. And no, don’t try the egg test. A 12 by 12 inch panel costs about $1,000.

In all, the eight computers and 1.2 million pixels spread over eight screens draw as much power as your average house – which isn’t too bad considering it’s roughly equivalent to 80 big-screen televisions.

It’s the absolute largest clock they could get.


The ceremony for the old clock was a private affair, cut gently from the rafters with blow torches after more than 10 years of solid service.

The old clock’s reign came to an end on Tuesday, October 17th, less than a day after the Canucks defeated the Oilers 2-1.

Maintaining the Mark IV’s outdated cathode ray tube (CRT) system had become a burden — to say the least. Orca Bay engineers have scoured the technological dust-piles of North America and Asia for the past three years in search of extra light-cubes.

“We bought up all the spares in the world,” explains Jones. “We basically had a scavenger hunt through North America and Japan, and we acquired all the spares that were available. We were running out and we weren’t going to be able to keep all the little cubes lit through this year.”

Simply put, it was time for all 50,000 pounds of the old scoreclock to go unceremoniously the way of Betamax and Laser Video Discs — to the scrapheap. It took ten workers two full days to lower and dismantle.

Read the full article (with lots of photos)...


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