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The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Hibernia Baptist Church, Fleming Island, Fla.

Jan 1, 2008 12:00 PM, Staff Report

Multifunctional Evolution


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On Fleming Island, Fla., just south of Jacksonville, the congregation of Hibernia Baptist Church is in the process of building a new state-of-the-art worship facility. However, moving from an antiquated structure to the planned space will be a three-phase, multiyear project. During the first phase, the Hibernia Baptist congregation held temporary services in a nearby school cafeteria. Most recently, as part of phase one, the Hibernia congregation moved to a new, multi-use space that will serve as its temporary home until the final facility is complete.

Audio Visual Innovations (AVI), in Jacksonville, Fla., designed and installed the new high-powered AV system for the 600-seat facility that will serve as that temporary home. Hibernia chose AVI because it needed a large contractor able to handle a project of this size that will run over the next few years. Phase two began in late 2007 when the church broke ground on its new 1,200-seat facility.

The AV equipment selected for phase one was installed with the intent of later moving it into the phase-two building, with the ability to later expand it at the new church. Therefore, tight integration with built-in scalability was the key requirement. The AV investment the church had already made in phase one would need to be carefully integrated and protected so that it could be manageably transferred to the new venue.

The audio system at the current home of the Hibernia Baptist Church features six JBL VRX932LA portable line arrays, supplemented with four VRX918S portable line-array subwoofers. A Soundcraft MH3 56-channel mixing console performs front-of-house duties. Crown Audio CTs series amplifiers power the system. Video is provided by a comprehensive projection system featuring two Sharp PG-MB56X 2500-lumen DLP projectors, shooting imagery onto Da-Lite Screen Company model 79438 projection screens.

Additionally, effective thermal management was required to ensure system longevity, proper cable management was needed for easy maintenance and upgrade, and finally, enclosure quality and sturdiness was important to ensure the integrity of the active systems.

“This is an event-driven church that often hosts concerts and very large events,” says Keith Thompson, sales engineer for AVI. “So we knew going in that we would need to select from the best components and ensure that all of these impressive — not to mention expensive — components were properly integrated and protected from a power standpoint. For our racking needs, we decided on a Middle Atlantic Products ERK rack, outfitted with the company's MPR raceways and USC-series keylocks. These are products that meet our current needs, but also give us the flexibility to scale up once we move into the second and third phases of the project.”

In the first-phase building, portability of the outboard equipment was also a key issue. The temporary church has to take into consideration the number of different events that it hosts in addition to Sunday services. Therefore, AVI installed the AV equipment in two rack locations. The first is a dedicated rack room that contains a single Middle Atlantic ERK enclosure, which was chosen for its size and versatility. The second is under the FOH mixing position.

“Everything I need to put in the ERK rack fit perfectly,” Thompson says. “The rack provides cable-management features that make our job so much easier when installing. ERK enclosures also give us a number of different configuration options, such as side panels and front and/or rear doors that will become extremely valuable once we begin ganging additional enclosures in future phases. The ERK is also a very economical rack for the functionality it provides. If I can save money on a single rack, and then do that on 12 pieces of equipment over the course of the whole project, that becomes a substantial savings.”

AVI also installed Middle Atlantic power and sequencing products in the ERK enclosure to ensure that the system is easy to turn on and off without the possibility of a power spike. To do this, Thompson and his team installed a Middle Atlantic USC-6R universal sequencing controller to provide six-step sequencing.

A single Middle Atlantic MPR-6 six-circuit raceway and six RLM-20 20-amp power modules are mounted in the ERK rack to provide sufficient power for the amps that reside in it. With the ability of the RLM modules to exist inside the rack, the six separate circuits provide a shorter path from the power source to the amp. This makes the job of the electrician much easier, Thompson says.

“[The electrician] just wires the six sets of cables in the J-box in the bottom of the rack,” Thompson says. “The MPR provides six discrete circuits that I could locate directly inside of the rack. That was a huge benefit of using the MPR.”

“By using the MPR, I'm able to put six circuits in one housing, the electrician runs one piece of conduit over and connects all six circuits,” Thompson says. “When you get ready to disconnect it, the electrician literally takes off 18-wire nuts from one location and we take the whole thing out.”

Not only can Hibernia order power separately for the MPR, but the raceway is also modular. “We can order it and install it however we want,” Thompson says. “The advantage is that I install only the amount of power I currently need when the next phase begins. This rack goes in the new building, and there's going to be another one sent in with another MPR and another USC-6R, but we will be able link the two of them together. One will trigger the next. The system can be expanded almost infinitely.”

At the FOH location, AVI installed a Middle Atlantic USC-KL key switch that can be used to remotely activate the Middle Atlantic USC-6R in the rack room.

“All of the outboard equipment and wireless microphones, including the Soundcraft MH3 56-channel console that is used on Sundays and for larger events, are set up to mimic a rack being used in a live road show,” Thompson says.

The sequencing system is part of the interconnect cabling, which is fed together with the audio lines.

“When you insert the key into the USC-KL and click it, you start up the whole audio system,” Thompson says. “Without the keylock at the FOH position, a user is unable to turn on the amps. It's a small security measure so that only trained church employees can turn the system on and off. From the client's standpoint, it's one key. They don't know how many circuits they're turning on, or where those circuits are located. They just know, ‘I turn this key and the whole system works. I turn it again and the whole system turns off.’ ”

There are two additional RLM 20-1C 20-amp modules at the FOH location to power the FOH system once it has been turned on by the main key switch.

Portability was a key consideration when choosing which products to install, according to Thompson. “All the power modules could be mounted right into the rack, and when they move into another building, the electrician disconnects the power, and we take it all over as one unit,” Thompson says. “The rack and the power sequencing are all integral.”


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