Avista Stadium, home to the Spokane ((Washington) Indians of the Class A Northwest League, an affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, recently implemented a complete system protection solution utilizing a variety of technology from Furman.
The stadium, built in 1958, has seen several minor (and a few major) renovations over the years as annual budgets allow. Cary Cummings, systems designer at Spokane-based Hoffman Pro Systems, which has been tending to the stadium’s audio system’s needs for over two decades, points out that the budget for audio system upgrades typically, for various reasons, ends up as a lower priority.
However, a major renovation came in under budget last year so the audio system was able to get a well-deserved upgrade. “Due to these limited budgets, we’ve had to do incremental upgrades over the years, but last year we were able to upgrade the sound system’s front end —a new Peavey Media Matrix NION processor and Crown amplifiers,” says Cummings. “It was a substantial upgrade; we replaced the analog mixer, EQ and delays with all digital signal processing via the Media Matrix.”
Hoffman Pro Systems included another, equally critical piece of equipment: a Furman F-1500 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backup battery and power conditioner.
It’s the core of an entire Furman solution of protection for the entire sound system that includes a CN-1800S SmartSequencer 15-amp bidirectional power sequencer, an ASD-120 AC sequenced power distribution unit that can address six 20-amp circuits, a CN-20MP MiniPort switch, and a PS-REL relay that detects the presence of AC power and, in response, closes relay contacts that are wired to a terminal strip.
In this installation, it’s wired to one of the GPIO (general-purpose input/output) ports on the Media Matrix, which then signals a warning to the operator and also logs the event.
The F-1500 UPS is critical to keeping Avista Stadium running efficiently and cost-effectively, says Cummings. “That’s the first line of defense, really,” he says. “It’s the best way to protect every part of the sound system, new or old.”
The Furman F1500-UPS delivers battery backup designed exclusively for audio/video applications. For decades, traditional audio/video components were analog devices designed to easily weather power outages of well over two seconds. Later, as computer and microprocessor based components gained in popularity, their extra sensitivity to even a fraction of a second power loss was managed with traditional UPS (uninterruptible power supply) technology.
Unfortunately, these units were solely designed for the IT professional. The Furman F1500-UPS more than fills this void, and offers customers battery back-up technology, created from the ground up to meet the specific demands of audio, video and control systems.
The CN-1800S SmartSequencer offers another kind of AC protection, allowing the various major components it provides power for to power on at programmable intervals, preventing any risk of surge or overload. “We have the CN-1800S set to a fairly slow sequence, with the Media Matrix processor turning on first followed by the ASD-120 100-amp distro, then the wall controller at the audio control station, because the main processor has to be turned on first in order for all the systems to ‘see’ each other,” Cummings explains.
Cummings adds the protection that the Furman products offer provides very necessary confidence for stadium personnel in an aging venue. “Systems like the new processor we added last year are not cheap, and Furman is an investment in protecting them. What’s also great is that in the process, the Furman UPS is protecting itself, too, because it does its job in a non-sacrificial way — the UPS will continue to be there, working, even after it encounters an AC glitch.”
The CN-1800S and CN-2400S are outfitted with proprietary SmartSequencing technology, which allows large, complex A/V systems to be powered on and off safely with the simple press of a button or turn of a key, even by nontechnical personnel. The SmartSequencer’s bidirectional communications between installed units enables a primary unit to control and sequence multiple secondary units, ensuring that multi-zone electronic systems are powered on and off safely and dependably from a single control point across an entire installation. Units can be connected via current loop at runs of more than 1,000 feet, with backwards compatibility with Furman’s legacy sequencers and/or third-party products.
Both are equipped with RS-232 ports and command sets for PC control or integration with control systems. An optional RS-232-to-Ethernet adaptor — sold separately — adds full IP-addressability to the unit so it may be controlled, programmed, and monitored from any Web-enabled device with Panamax/Furman’s cloud-based BlueBOLT platform.