Audio Wizardry
13 May 2014
A collection of SigNET’s PDA-range induction loop amplifiers are conjuring up magic at the new Harry Potter set at Warner Bros studios.

The legendary set in Leavesden, Surrey, now plays host to the “Harry Potter Studio Tour”, a magical three-hour behind the scenes walk around the wonders of one of the most famous and successful film series of all time. Two of SigNET’s PDA1000/2 and three PDA500/2 induction loop amplifiers are in operation to ensure that the tour, which includes the actual Great Hall of Hogwarts School and the treasures of Headmaster Dumbledore’s office, is accessible to the hard of hearing.

Top audio-installation company, Clarity UK, employed some acoustic wizardry using designs drawn up by SigNET’s induction loop expert, Tremayne Crossley. SigNET’s APSS Phase Shifter was utilized to combat overspill from the loop (so people with hearing aids outside a room cannot pick up conversation) and to ensure consistent coverage throughout the site thus avoiding those dreaded ‘dead spots’ (the areas directly above or below the loop cable where the signal suddenly drops to zero and cuts out sound altogether).

Said Giles Palmer of Clarity: “By taking the signal from the studio’s in-house audio system, the APSS produces two signals 90 degrees out of phase with each other. These signals are fed into two identical loop amplifiers, which are, in turn, connected to two loops laid out in a special overlapping pattern. As a result, the magnetic field is evenly spread within the covered area but the strength falls off much more quickly than normal outside the loop thus minimising overspill.”

When it came to installing induction loop cable in the Great Hall, Clarity needed to take into consideration the effects of the genuine York-stone floor.

Explains Giles: “Normally flooring does not pose a problem when installing induction loop cable but the heavy stone in the Great Hall complicated matters as it threatened to crush the cable. The solution was to specify a specially tough cable and house it within three layers of insulating material.”

UL-listed versions of SigNET's PDA200/2, PDA500/2 and PDA1000/2 professional induction loop amplifiers are now also available for the US and Canadian market.

For more information, contact SigNET on +44 (0) 191 417 4551.

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A Towering Success
12 May 2014
SigNET’s induction loop amplifiers have been installed at the breathtaking new Giant’s Causeway Visitors Centre in Northern Ireland.

Located on the North Antrim coast, Giant’s Causeway is a weird and wonderful area of about 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt stones, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The National Trust’s new £18.5M state-of-the-art Visitors Centre has been designed to highlight the history of the Causeway and the legendary stories of the Giants, Finn McCool and Benandonner, associated with the World Heritage Site.

Visitors use multi-lingual audio guides to listen to conflicting accounts by scientists and creationists of how the strange landscape came to be and SigNET’s ML1 induction loops ensure that the interactive exhibits, tours, exhibition areas are also accessible to the hard of hearing.

Said Kevin Byrne of Niavac, the specialist audio-visual company that completed the project with the assistance of SigNET: “We specified SigNET’s ML1 induction loops as they are designed for applications requiring restricted coverage and, as such, were ideal for placing behind the touch screens in the many other audio-visual and digital interactive exhibits such as Dynamic Earth, Cliffs and Bird Song and Boat Journeys. SigNET’s advice regarding loop design, positioning and coverage was invaluable and saved us a lot of time”.

Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction and walks and trails around the site have also been recently upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff-top walk for families and people with disabilities.
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In The Loop
10 May 2014
SigNET’s PDA200E induction loop amplifiers have been installed at Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Rainforest Ward as part of a rolling £30M refurbishment.

Facilities for the hard of hearing are legally required in all public buildings and SigNET’s very cost-effective PDA200E induction loop amplifiers have been specified in all newly refurbished areas of the hospital.

Rainforest Ward, the long stay Gastroenterology Ward for children with digestive and metabolic problems, was first to be fitted with induction loop systems in its three reception areas/nurse stations. However, rather than the cable being fitted around the reception desk as is normal practice, it is contained within the suspended ceiling due to hospital specifications stating that wiring must be encased and not exposed. Microphones have also been neatly situated on the walls alongside each nurse station/reception desk rather than on workspace.

The steel structure of Great Ormond Street also needed to be taken into consideration in the planning of the system. Large amounts of metal work can significantly affect the performance of induction loops and, therefore, measures need to be taken to combat the problem. The solution in this case was to increase the power to the induction loop amplifier from a standard 1.5A power supply to a 3A PSU to ensure full coverage for each reception desk.

Says Kevin Rydon of Capri Mechanical Services Ltd, the company responsible for the project: “Demand for induction loops is definitely on the increase as communication aids for the hearing impaired are mandatory in many public buildings. SigNET’s equipment is ideal for this kind of installation as it is very easy-to-install and cost-effective. The company’s after-sales service is also excellent as there is always someone on hand to provide technical guidance”.

Founded in London in 1852, Great Ormond Street specialises in the care of children, working with the UCL Institute for Child Health and its medical school. The Hospital is the largest centre for research into childhood illness outside the USA.
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Wired For Sound
09 May 2014
A series of SigNET’s powerful PDA200E induction loop amplifiers are now in operation at a new ‘super library’ in London.

Costing over £14m to construct, Canada Water Library in Southwark has 40,000 books, a café and a collection of computers and laptops available for hire. The unique pyramid shaped state-of-the-art building also houses a purpose-built 150-seater theatre.

Six PDA200E induction loop amplifiers are now in operation in the building’s libraries, learning facilities rooms and café to ensure that visitors who are hard of hearing can access the facilities. Two of SigNET’s APSS Phase Shifters have also been used to prevent ‘dead spots’ (the areas directly above or below the loop cable where the signal suddenly drops to zero and cuts out sound altogether) and ‘overspill’ so people with hearing aids outside the rooms cannot pick up conversation.

Said Mark Bez, System Designer at ProAV, the specialist audio company that completed the installation: “Making provision for the hard of hearing in public buildings is essential. We used SigNET’s PDA200Es because they are reliable, easy-to-install and specifically designed for areas up to 200m2.”
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