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Daktronics Expands University's AV Capability, Part 1

Mar 9, 2011 2:23 PM, with Bennett Liles

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Well that’s great with the fiber optic transmission then since you don’t have to worry about ground loops and hum from things getting power from different places.
Exactly that’s why we go with the fiber optic transmission and if anything were to happen to take down that fiber optic transmission we can quickly switch over to an analog back up which is just a simply twisted pair copper cable that goes out there. [Timestamp: 5:04]

And when you’ve got a system this complex and physically spread out you’ve got to have some way of spotting trouble very quickly and enabling you to be proactive and watching everything. I understand there’s some hefty diagnostic features on the control end of this system.
Yes each one of the self-powered speakers itself has an amplifier and those amplifiers being connected with the Ethernet cable all the way to the front end they give us the opportunity to actually diagnose each amplifier and we can even program the amplifiers if need be from the front end. Also on the front end we have diagnostics over each one of our wireless receivers. We also have full-link functionality over our mixer and we have full link over our digital signal processor on the front end and the computer that’s actually connected to all this on the backbone of the front end actually has a touchscreen with a custom interface panel I created to control that signal processor which is actually located on the front end. [Timestamp: 6:03]

So a lot going on behind the scenes but very easy to operate on the user interface.
It’s extremely easy to operate for as complex as it sounds but the operator there is a professional operator so he fully understands and utilizes the full potential of the system. [Timestamp: 6:18]

What kind of amplifier do you have running all this stuff?
These are a proprietary amplifier designed and manufactured for Daktronics by an outside supplier but they are outdoor-weather rated and self-powered units for each one of the speaker boxes. [Timestamp: 6:32]

You’re using CobraNet conveyance for this but on the mixer what’s the actual interface? Do you have slide in cards or is the CobraNet interface external?
The mixer itself is sending an analog signal into a London BLU-80 signal processor and that processor has output CobraNet cards on it that go out to this system. [Timestamp: 6:53]

What was the cable running phase of this project like? Did you have any special…say architectural problems?
As far as running cable for this system is was all pretty simple by the time I got to the job all of the details were worked out. We were fortunate enough as Daktronics we installed the new video board and the sound system so all the cabling from the actual sound system to the control room was easy because it was mostly a new installation. As far as within the building we were able to utilize some of the existing cabling which was actually good and install a couple of new cables to the new equipment that was installed to make this systems complete. [Timestamp: 7:3]

So any problem with the control room layout? What actually goes into installing the mixer for a sports venue of this size?
Well I wouldn’t say there was any problems. It was exactly clean but that goes with the job so our biggest task here was to take what they had for a control room and clean it up. So we ended up removing the rack that they had there and taking all of the existing cabling that we would be reusing and rerouting it to our new control rack. We also replaced their mixer with our new mixer, which was much larger, but it ended up giving the operator much more space underneath the counter and also on top of the counter and there was no cables or rats' nests on top of the counter or behind it. We actually utilized on this mixer a custom-made mixer snake that took all the inputs and outputs and directed them directly over into the control rack. That way interfacing could be done within the control rack to keep it neat on top of the countertop. [Timestamp: 8:28]

OK always a good idea to plan for later expansion and make it quick and easy. In a stadium of this size how important is it for the audio operator to have a clear sight line to the field? I don’t know how much you can really see from that distance.
Well with this system when I first came into the project it looked like the operator had almost no clear visibility of the field or the board itself but with us being able to move around objects in this control room and clear it up he was able to have a full view of the field and a full view of the display although the operator does not clearly need this because he does have an intercom system right there at his disposal and all the announcing is done by somebody else. He can actually run the entire system just off vocal commands. [Timestamp: 9:12]

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