Bob Cole at the equipment rack
Green Cove Springs, FL â€“ October 2011â€¦ Situated roughly 15 miles due south of Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs is a charming town of roughly 7,000 people that sits along the St. Johns River and serves as the county seat of Clay County, FL. It is also the home of the Clay County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), whose mission is to protect the lives and property of the local citizens and visitors from the adverse effects of fire, medical, environmental, and other emergenciesâ€”both natural and manmadeâ€”while providing a safe and healthy work environment. The new EOC commenced operation in May and, to manage a wide range of audio signals inherent in a facility of this nature, a Lectrosonics ASPEN SPN1624 16 input / 24 output audio processor was placed into service.
Jacksonville, FL-based Florida Sound Engineering Company, Inc., a commercial A/V design-build firm serving the greater North Florida and South Georgia region, was contracted to handle the design and deployment of the EOCâ€™s new audiovisual system. Robert A. Cole, the firmâ€™s president and owner, and project manager Kevin Schnarr, selected the Lectrosonics ASPEN processor over a competing system during the design stage of the project. Cole discussed those attributes that made the ASPEN processor the best choice.
â€œFor the system we designed,â€? explained Cole, â€œthe mixer must service the entire facility, which is separated into eleven audio zones. This mixer needed to accommodate eight computer audio inputs, three wireless microphone inputs, two cable TV receiver inputs, two BluRay player inputs, and an input for telephone paging. Control of the system is handled by a Crestron Rack2 controller with two wireless touch panels and four wall-mounted wired touch panels. Given all that we had to pull together, we were very impressed with the fact that the Lectrosonics ASPEN processor integrates mixing, signal routing, audio processing, and control into a single unit. This was a distinct advantage over the primary competing system we looked at that would have required more of a â€˜system assemblyâ€™ approach.â€?
The Clay County EOC is a two story building consisting of 75 rooms on the first floor and 36 rooms on the second floor. Housed in the building is an office for the Clay County Fire Chief, an office for the Clay County Communications Director, a twelve station Communications/Dispatch Center, and a 36 seat Incident Command Center, along with offices for support staff. The main control center measures roughly 60 feet by 120 feet and consists of two large screen projectors and six large tables with computers and ancillary equipment. In addition to managing all the audio and signal processing for the command center room, the ASPEN processor handles paging and audio routing throughout the entire complex.
Beyond the ASPEN processorâ€™s all-in-one, comprehensive design, Cole was equally impressed with Lectrosonicsâ€™ customer and technical support services. â€œDuring the programming stage,â€? said Cole, â€œwe encountered some challenges in terms of controlling the ASPEN over RS-232 via the Crestron in the manner we had originally envisioned. Our programmers contacted Lectrosonicsâ€™ technical support staff, who worked with our team to help them gain the control we were looking for. They also helped us write some macros for a few routines we wanted to incorporate. The Lectrosonics support team was extremely helpful and responsive. I was very impressed with their ability to quickly understand what we were looking to accomplish and provide the guidance we sought.â€?
With the Clay County EOC fully operational, Cole reports that his client has been extremely complimentary of the overall A/V system design and its ability to manage the wide range of audio sources. â€œOur client has been very pleased with the new system,â€? Cole reports. â€œBeing under the control of the Crestron, the ASPEN processor is essentially transparent to the end userâ€”and therein lies its true strength. The ASPEN is managing a lot of signals flawlessly. In this type of environment, there is no room for intermittent operation of any sort. Every piece of equipment must function consistently. The ASPEN processor delivers great audio quality, robust performance, and does all this without every attracting attention to itself. Thatâ€™s precisely why we selected Lectrosonics.â€?
For additional information about Florida Sound Engineering Company, Inc., visit the firm online at www.floridasound.com.
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theatre technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company’s dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Visit the company online at www.lectrosonics.com.
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