Audio Wizardry
21 Feb 2012
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 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.”

For more information, contact SigNET on 0844 800 1625 or visit www.signet-ac.co.uk

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Academic Acoustics
14 Jan 2012
When the voice alarm at one of Salford University’s prestigious libraries failed to make the grade, SigNET’s powerful Linx system was specified.

As the fire alarm was required to remain fully operational throughout, it was imperative that the new voice alarm be fitted as quickly as possible. The all-in-one, pre-wired and ready-to-use Linx passed the ‘easy-to-install' test with flying colours, and proved ideal for this particular project.

The 150-speaker system acts as a combined public address/voice alarm/background music system at the library. In the event of an emergency, Linx will automatically broadcast top quality pre-recorded messages.

Said Lee Tudor of Abel Alarm, the specialist installation company that completed the project: “The fact that we were working in busy occupied premises meant that we needed easy-to-install equipment and Linx enabled us to complete the project quickly and cost-effectively.”

The state-of-the-art system is certainly a dramatic improvement on the library’s old fire bells. Based around SigNET’s powerful iX LS six input prioritized mixer, the system is simple yet contains all the features of larger life safety systems such as the capacity to page and play background music.

For more information, call +44 (0) 191 417 4551 or visit www.signet-ac.co.uk
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To Shay Away
15 Nov 2011
SigNET’s highly advanced LS voice alarm system has been installed at Halifax’s newly renovated Shay Stadium.

In a project costing £4.5 million, the East Stand has been completely transformed to include 3,500 seats and a fabulous new banqueting suite overlooking the pitch. An impressive array of changing rooms, control rooms, offices, shops and classrooms has also been created beneath the stand. Linking it all together is SigNET’s powerful LS system.

Featuring a state-of-the-art LCD touch screen, the LS is a highly sophisticated and effective VA, PA and background music system. At its heart is the SS2N network station which allows the amplifiers, fire alarm interfaces, audio inputs, and manual and automatic controllers to be distributed around the stadium. In the event of an emergency, the system will evacuate the entire site. However, one of the most important end user features of the system is its use for day-to-day paging and music distribution.

Says Steve Hutchinson of Tate Security Technology Ltd, the company that installed the system: “LS is a truly exceptional product which was ideal for a complex site of this nature. The fact that SigNET’s products are all manufactured in the UK is a big selling point as we need to be confident a company can provide not just the equipment but the technical training and customer support a project of this type demands too. From initial design stage right through to installation and commissioning, SigNET handled the entire project professionally”.

Continues Steve: “Other key considerations in the specification of the LS was its high reliability factor, its compatibility with the XFP addressable fire alarm which is installed at the site, ease of front end operation and on-screen graphics via a high specification PC based touch screen. The system offers stadium security staff an ultimately simplistic fault alarm management diagnosis and there is no need for specialist bespoke software.”

The two C-TEC XFP networkable fire alarm control panels in operation at the site are installed in the main reception and stadium match safety control room. These were specified for their reliability, user-friendliness and capacity to be integrated into the stand’s PA/VA system. One of SigNET’s SigTEL disabled refuge systems has also been fitted at the stadium.
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Take Art!
15 Nov 2011
SigNET’s sophisticated Integrity voice alarm system is now in operation at Eastbourne’s famous Towner Gallery.

Established in 1923, the South East’s most celebrated art museum moved to a new state-of-the-art building adjacent to the Eastbourne Congress Theatre in 2009. With an invaluable collection of 4000 pieces of art including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, the installation of life-safety-equipment was obviously a top priority.

SigNET’s Integrity voice alarm system was specified and leading specialist acoustic installation company, Clarity UK, were awarded the contract.

Integrity is a UK-manufactured multi-purpose voice alarm/public address and background music system. In the event of an emergency, the system will evacuate the entire site. However, it is also used for day-to-day paging and to play specially recorded messages specific to the gallery’s requirements. Another very important end user feature is its capacity to play background music continuously throughout the site. Integrity provides the essential communication required to link the different areas of the gallery together.

Clarity UK’s team of acoustic experts designed, installed and commissioned the system over a period of 12 months, working closely with architects Mott MacDonald, to overcome acoustic difficulties caused by the design of the gallery. Over 200 loudspeakers are installed in the building, all of which were carefully selected by the design team due to the architectural intricacies of the building.

Said Giles Palmer of Clarity UK: ”This was a complicated installation as the structure contained vast amounts of concrete and hard surfaces. Therefore, loudspeaker types and placement required careful consideration. We also used digital signal processing devices to aid with the acoustics”.

Microphones can be connected to the system to facilitate announcements, presentations and guided tours around the building. As a precaution against interference and distortion, Clarity also installed SigNET’s Psiren 28 band graphic equaliser/ambient noise sensing processing system to automatically adjust the system’s levels depending on the ambient background noise.

Infrared assistive listening systems are also in operation throughout the site. Ideal for sites where the installation of an audio-frequency induction loop system is impractical, the system’s modulators transmit sound via invisible light beams to infrared receivers placed around the Gallery. Eight sound field systems consisting of a microphone and small speaker system have also been fitted in each of the Gallery’s education rooms to amplify the sound of the speaker’s voice in accordance with the hearing capabilities of the people in the room.

Clarity UK is currently contemplating further modifications to the system as the gallery now requires additional voice alarm zones in newly partitioned areas.
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