MECA Featured on VICE News

MECA Featured on VICE News

On Friday October 19th, Vice News featured a story about the 2017 MECA World Finals. Hours of footage was edited down to about five minutes featuring multiple MECA competitors and champions. Be sure to watch the video which is embedded with this post!

Updated [BETA] MECA Events Site

For the last few months, I (the webmaster, Jason) have been working on building a new version of the Events Site for a couple of reasons:

  1. I wanted to move the site away from asp.net to something more open-source
  2. I wanted to make the site much faster
  3. I wanted to move to the technology stack I use (well, used to use before I got promoted) every day
  4. Because it needed it...

So today, I'm happy to share the new MECA Events site that is still very much in development, and very much in beta (which means stuff is probably broken, or doesn't act like it should). If you're game, go play with it at http://mecaevents.com.

What follows is nerd speak... If you don't care about nerd stuff, you can move on now.

For the nerds among you, the technology stack behind it has changed quite a bit.

 

Old

Database: Microsoft SQL Server 2008
API Layer: ASP.NET WebAPI 2.0 (written in C#)
Front-End: DurandalJS 2.1 (with a number of helper libraries)

Database Host: WinHost
Web Host: Microsoft Azure Websites

New

Database: Microsoft SQL Server Express 2016 (will eventually move to MariaDb, having some transformation issues)
API Layer: NodeJS -> Express 4 (with multiple supporting libraries, including Auth0)
Front-End: ReactJS (using Redux and multiple open-source components)

Database and Web Host: Amazon AWS (EC2, S3, RDS, soon Elasticache and Elastic Load Balancer)

So the new Events site is using much of the framework as companies like Netflix, Facebook and AirBnB. In my testing it's CONSIDERABLY faster, especially when loading results or events pages. The layouts can still get a little wonky on mobile devices, but the card view should be much easier to use now. In the future, I'll be adding the administration area for Event Admins to upload results. I plan on adding user accounts across the board that will allow you to login, tie your MECA member number to your email address, and have it build a dashboard of your results/events. This will all take time, and to be honest, I could use some help. So if there are any Node or React Gurus out there that want to help out, please drop me a line (riceboyler@gmail.com) and we can talk about where you can help.

One final note: while I am compensated by MECA for my work, it is anything but a full-time job, and it is literally a one-man show at this point. I'll get to things as quickly as I can, but I have a family, a full-time job and other volunteer responsibilities that often have to come first in my life. Please be patient and understanding of that. I still do this as a bit of a favor to my old friend Steve, and I still have lots of love for my MECA family from when I used to be an active judge. I'm tearing up now, so it's time to stop. 

Please feel free to send feedback to me if you run into big problems on the site. Again, it's not fully-baked by any means, but I wanted to share some of the new hotness. Thanks!

Event Site Maintenance this weekend

In order to work on the database that supports the Event site (http://mecaevents.azurewebsites.net), the site will be down for a while this weekend. As much as possible the downtime will be constrained to late tonight, but there’s a possibility it will take longer. Much of this work is in preparation to switch to a new Events Site that is currently being built.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. For those attending the Team Ruckus event this weekend, details can be found in the post on this site if you need them.

Check if you’ve qualified for 2016 Unified Finals

As in years past, we have setup a way to check and see if you have qualified to compete at the 2016 Unified Car Audio Finals and to pre-register using PayPal. To check and see if you’ve qualified, go to http://www.mecaevents.com, enter your member number and see if you’ve qualified!

(For those observant members, don’t freak out about the URL resolving to an IP address. I’m (the webmaster) working on moving everything to Amazon Web Services, and this is the new server things will be hosted on.)

Welcome Back to Xstatic!

Thanks to Ray at Xstatic, the makers of the famous Batcaps, for rejoining our club for 2016. Xstatic is a very popular power source for competitors in SPL and SQL.
Xstatic is a co-sponsor for Freezefest in TN on February 21st, and we thank Team Xstatic for the continuing support!

SQL Judge Training – February 20, 2016

Our annual SQL Judge Training session in Nashville is coming up, and we have room for 7 – 8 members for each session. There have been many requests for SQL Judge Training, so we are having morning and afternoon sessions at the studio. There is a fee of $125 per member, which includes listening/training at OmegaLab Studio and a symphony ticket. Members who would like to bring a Guest to the symphony may do so, and will only have to pay for the ticket, around $65 – $75. Judges will practice scoring in vehicles. We will select judges to work at Freezefest, the next day, from the best ears in the group.

Please contact Steve Stern at mecacaraudio@comcast.net or call 615-851-7428 to make reservations and arrangements. Click the image below for more details about the Nashville Symphony performance scheduled for that evening (or click here).

nso-logo

 

Paid Reservations

  • Tony Horton – PA
  • Brian Howell – TN
  • Allan Shaffer – TN
  • Wes Strickland – TN
  • Lumel Valadez – TX
  • Greg Weckerly – IN

New MECA SQL CD – Completely Custom

MECA, the car audio club and sound-off sanctioning organization, is releasing it’s first independent Sound Quality League test CD to celebrate it’s 18th year. There are 17 music tracks from the Chesky Records catalog, and 4 specific test tracks (mono pick noise, stereo pink noise, zero-bit, and phase balance pulse test).

This is an official competition test source to be enjoyed and used by sound-off competitors to tune their systems, and judges for listening material for the Sound Quality contests. There are some tracks that are already included on the official MECA SQL list in the Rule Book, and some news tracks that are being added to the list.


The CD is dedicated to all audiophiles who spend hours listening and tuning their systems. These are high resolution recordings from one of the most prestigious music labels in the business. MECA members will contribute to “track notes” that will dissect the recordings, with focus on balanced tonality, realism, and staging characteristics. Those will be available on-line in the SQL section of the web site, along with quick reference sheets on classes and the score sheet.

MECA Retail Members will sell the CD’s for $20 at their stores, CD’s will be available at events and from the MECA Store at www.mecacaraudio.com. It will be available in late January.
Event and contest information inquiries should be directed to Commissioner Steve Stern at mecacaraudio@comcast.net or 615-851-7428.

New SPL Classifications – TermLab Magnum

MECA’s Sound Pressure League will be using the TermLab Magnum system for 2016 as our Official SPL Meter. It monitors the actual, live, RMS wattage being applied to the speakers via an Amperage Clamp and a set of Voltage Probes and does the calculations simultaneously along with the score to place the competitor in the correct class.

The Pressure Class formula that is exclusive to MECA SPL contests, has been modified to plug in the actual wattage plus cone surface area to determine class assignment. Previously, the (fusing X 10) determined power in the formula. This new method of calculating true power will make the MECA SPL classes the most fair in MECA’s 17 year history.

The lowest type classes, determined by complexity of design and the “potential to make bass” (Pressure Class Formula #) will normally spec to a real-world audio system, with 2 12″ woofers and approximately 520 watts. 

Divisions have been adjusted with 2 Amateur Street classes being removed, and, with Street having 4 classes with no unlimited class. A new Division, Modified Street or MS, will have 3 classes, and is for the more competitive vehicles with no back seats like 2-seat hatchbacks, and extended cab trucks, and will have a no-wall build allowance, to the B-pillars and as high as the bottom of the side windows. MS3 will be unlimited. Any class that is unlimited will not be clamped, like MS3, M5, X, and DB5.

Some flexibility will be allowed for 2016 for points. 40 points will still be the requirement for Finals invitation. At least half of those points must be in the declared class for Finals. This is for 2016 only and done to make sure members make it to Finals, given new system and some of the uncertainty that might develop.

These are the classes. Subtract the cone surface area from the top bracket # to get allowed wattage to stay in the class. For example, for Street 1, with 2 12″ woofers being 226 square inches, the maximum wattage allowed is 524 watts.

Trunk
T1 0-4000
T2 4001-7500
7501+ competes in MS3

Street
S1 0-750
S2 751-2000
S3 2001-4000
S4 4001-7500
7501+ competes in MS3

Modified Street
MS1 0-4000
MS2 4001-7500
MS3 7501+

Modified
M1 0-1000
M2 1001-2000
M3 2001-4000
M4 4001-7500
M5 7501+

Park & Pound
DB1 0-1000
DB2 1001-2000
DB3 2001-4000
DB4 4001-7500
DB5 7501+

We will have the 2016 Rule Book posted soon. This gives everyone a real heads-up about what is coming up. There will be issues we have not foreseen, and we will deal with them in a fair and sensible manner.

Thanks to our Rules & Ethics Members who have been working through this, especially SPL Co-ordinator Rick Washabaugh, and Joe Ault and Bud Ballinger.