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An AV System to Train Firemen, Part 2

Jun 22, 2012 11:21 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

Training firemen isn’t just about stacking hoses and running up stairs. A modern AV system can be a big advantage and Circle City Audio installed one while the fire station was operating and responding to emergency calls. Andrew Van Veld is here to give us the lowdown on how they did it, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Andrew Van Veld from Circle City Audio, thanks for being back with me for Part 2 on the SVC Podcast and outfitting a fire station, that’s an unusual AV project with some special considerations for a fire station install. One being that you don’t get in the way. We talked in Part 1 about the audio ducking where you have all these audio sources coming in and when there’s an emergency call you want all those brought down. I know they have some other things in there that they use for their training. There’s a Sony EVI-D70 camera, that’s obviously a proven model; lots of those around. How do they use the Sony camera?

The camera is ceiling mounted in the rear of the training room and it is used to capture basically the front of the room, either the podium or the document camera which is on the other side of the front of the room or possibly a wide shot to show what’s going on in the room itself. That is one of the things that we ended up actually using infrared for because it was relatively simple and a pretty short cable run so using the Xantech touch panel and the handheld infrared remote that comes with the Sony camera we were able to learn the IR codes for camera movement and presets so then on the touch panel there are just preset recalls for where do I want the camera to point. One of the nice things we did was with the streaming server when you select the document camera, for example, as your input the camera automatically points to the document camera side of the room so the instructor will be on camera as when they walk over there. [Timestamp: 2:19]

In most cases, that might involve watching some of their training sessions to see what they need and how it should work.

Well in this case it was more off a, oddly, a last minute kind of thing because this is a brand new room so it had never been used for training so we kept getting, “Oh can you do this? Oh can you do this?” from the customer and thankfully all of the, oh can you do this we were able to say yes sir. [Timestamp: 2:43]

Well, that’s great when you can deliver like that for a client and since their specialty is putting out fires rather than setting up and operating an AV control systems, they probably got some ideas just by watching your people work. I know they have a BenQ, what is it an MX764 projector in there?

Yes, it’s also ceiling mounted and that actually is the other device that’s infrared there we again short wire all we needed to do was turn the projector on and off. The input to the projector is switched at the video switcher so there was very little reason to control it. I did replicate all the menu commands that cursor control in the touch panel so if they ever lose their remote they can run the projector and get to the menu and all that stuff from inside the touch panel and the little website but it’s basically projecting either the document camera image or the laptop and a podium or there’s a computer in the rack that’s in the control room it’s kind of a static computer that’s always there so if an instructor shows up with a PowerPoint file on a thumb drive there’s a computer there they can run. [Timestamp: 3:52]

Big advantage and less outside gear brought in. I think that projector is 4000 lumens so that must be a fairly sizable room.

It’s a decent size room. I don’t know what the seating count is, but the table allocation is probably 30 people. [Timestamp: 4:07]

And since everybody’s on rotating schedules I guess it would be nice to be able to record training sessions for playback for the people on the other shift. Now they’re using an Ncast PR720R I think it is. Why did you decide to go with that particular one to record and playback all of this stuff?

Ncast was a wonderful solution that we found to be able to do this especially at the cost from a reasonable amount of money prospective it does live streaming, it records, it lets you do set ups and nice defaults and things, it’s relatively simple to learn because that’s one of those things like you mentioned they’re firemen, they are not AV professionals and even their main trainer as it were had to be able to learn to do things that are outside of his normal work so the Ncast worked pretty well for that. The camera plugs directly into the Ncast everything else it gets those from the video switcher or the wireless mic that’s in there and it’s…we use the RS, the rack mount version so it can be tucked away with everything else. It’s a smooth box, we looked at a couple other alternatives they were dramatically more expensive and still not as functional. [Timestamp: 5:16]

Looks like it’s multifunctional in terms of the formats it can handle and I think that’s just a single rack space unit, too.

It’s tiny.

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