At the 2009 ProLight+Sound and Musikmesse in Frankfurt, ASL Intercom BV (Utrecht, Netherlands) unveiled a flexible new digital intercom system designed for critical performance applications, made up of components that include the Master Matrix (DS 4000 M), the 16-channel Speaker Station (DS 1640) and the 2-channel Beltpack (DS 290).
By implementing recent advances in core networking technologies, the ASL Digital Intercom System enables greater configuration flexibility while at the same time offering exclusive new features. For example, ASL Digital Intercom networks can be configured using star, in-line, or daisy-chain topologies, all on standard Cat-5 cabling, to simplify installation and reduce costs.
Also, because each user station is individually addressable by its unique ID number, person-to-person (PTP) voice communication is available to all users without tying up a channel. And, for the first time, brief text messages can be sent from any speaker station to OLED displays on the speaker stations or beltpacks of any other users or user groups.
To accommodate expansion, up to six Matrix units can be linked via copper or fiber optic lines to create scalable systems serving from 40 to 240 users. System set-up and reconfiguration are easily accomplished through ASL Digital Intercom’s proprietary software, a refreshingly user-friendly Linux-based utility.
“The ASL Digital Intercom concept looks elegantly simple on the surface, yet the advanced technology allows us to offer capabilities unavailable on other intercoms,” remarks Susan McLohon, ASL Intercom’s director of sales and marketing. “And, perhaps more importantly, no special training is needed to get a system up and running.”
Using ASL Digital Intercom’s propriety software, system configuration is a “plug-and-play” proposition: each user station automatically appears in the GUI following detection of its pre-set ID. All stations can be named (or renamed) by location or user, with different designations allowed for each preset configuration.
Each compact (1 U) ASL Digital Intercom Master or Slave Matrix accommodates up to 40 user stations in five ‘strings’ of eight users each, with up to six units linked for as many as 240 users.
The Master Matrix includes a front panel USB connector (for storing settings or connecting keyboard or mouse), Ethernet port for connecting to external computer, redundant universal power supplies, and two interface card slots. Interfaces in development include analog party line, 4-wire, paging, IFB, telephone, cell phone, VoIP, and emergency announce.
The DS 1640 Speaker Station features 16 dedicated TALK and LISTEN buttons, a separate MIC ON button, and eight “soft” function keys for various talk, remote mic kill, buzzer kill, PTP and stage announce functions.
The stylish DS 290 2-Channel Beltpack eliminates potential potentiometer problems by using iPod-like iN-Touch touch-sensitive volume controls. A high-contrast backlit OLED display shows connected groups, menu items, the PTP menu, and any received text messages. Separate CALL and TALK buttons are provided for instant access to each channel.
ASL Digital beltpacks and user stations can be factory configured for use with binaural headphones. All components incorporate an auto-restore feature that maintains current configurations and user settings through power failures for up to 10 minutes.
Availability of the ASL Digital Intercom components is expected end of May 2009. Additional components scheduled for introduction later in the year include proprietary hubs, desktop speaker stations, and a wide range of interfaces.
Because the ASL Digital Intercom network utilizes Cat-5 cabling, any existing spare Cat-5 capacity can be utilized. However, because the system employs propriety networking protocols to assure reliability and security, ASL Digital intercoms cannot “piggyback” on existing active LANs.
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