CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom – As a designer and manufacturer of digital mobile radio products for businesses in the public safety, industrial, commercial and military sectors, Sepura Plc is a market leader in radio terminals with distribution in over 100 countries worldwide. A development team in the company’s Cambridge facility recently purchased a HARMAN Soundcraft Si Expression 1 digital console to improve and streamline processes during product testing stages.
The Si Expression 1 is situated next to an acoustic testing chamber with a head and torso simulator, to test against specifications in typical usage scenarios, including background noise testing using surround sound. This system is set up to accommodate a binary goal: the automatic verification of products during late development stages and the manual acoustic testing during early development stages of software, terminals and accessories.
“These two activities have conflicting requirements and this is why we purchased the Si Expression,” said Edmund Elsey, Senior Acoustic Engineer at Sepura Plc. “Our automated tests are run with in-house software that control our terminals remotely, which requires the signals to be routed to and from different equipment, depending on the test. We used a switching unit to route the signals, which not only introduced noise and ground loops, but also prevented easy monitoring. For manual testing, we needed to partially dismantle and reconfigure the system, as well as adjust signal levels and EQ.”
“However, the Si Expression allows for automated routing, monitoring of any input, and GEQ functions all in one,” Elsey said. “I now have all the equipment permanently connected because I can control routing from any input to any output using MIDI control messages sent directly from our software. For manual measurements, I can route any signal anywhere I like.”
The Soundcraft Si Expression is a flexible digital console that provides a tremendous value at its price range, with intuitive features such as Soundcraft FaderGlow™, which illuminates the faders with color coded LED lighting. Workflow is taken to new heights, as monitoring, functions and effects are designed to be efficient and hassle-free. For example, Elsey found that he could use the GEQ to implement correction functions at any time through the bypass feature and customize the fader layout.
“I worked with a Soundcraft analog console before, and tried a demo of the Si Expression at HARMAN’s UK distributor Sound Technology Ltd, so I know that Soundcraft lives up to its name by manufacturing high-quality mixing desks,” Elsey said. “We also made sure that our high-powered digital radios would not interfere with the desk, as to not introduce TDMA noise onto the signals. In fact, I was impressed that Soundcraft sent me a copy of their EMC report when I enquired about RF immunity.”
“The Si Expression massively improved productivity in our test environment, because now the whole system can be configured at the touch of a button for different use cases,” Elsey concluded. “The THD and noise floor are also great and have been verified to be more than adequate for our needs.”
For more information on Sepura Plc, please visit http://www.sepura.com
HARMAN designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 14,800 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.7 billion for the last twelve months ended December 31, 2013.