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Factory Direct: Inside The Powered By Crown Monitoring & Control Solution

Amplifier monitoring and control made possible with iOS native Apps.

By Eric Friedlander May 13, 2011

The digital revolution roars ahead at a mind-boggling pace.

Ten years ago, few of us would have imagined that, by 2011, comprehensive power amplifier monitoring and control would be so easy, robust, portable, and almost ridiculously inexpensive.

We sought to extend this capability even further, leveraging the recent developments in mobile device technology to create a new iOS native app called Powered by Crown.

It allows the operator of networked Crown amplifiers to control settings and monitor performance from anywhere in range of the connected WiFi access point, using an iPad, iPhone, or even an iPod Touch.

Available from the Apple App Store (at a cost of $3.99), Powered by Crown can be installed from a computer via iTunes, or with newer versions of iOS, downloaded directly to the iDevice.

It’s important to emphasize that this is not merely a VNC remote desktop for a computer; the iDevice is exchanging real-time data directly with amplifiers on the network.

Although a computer running HiQnet System Architect can connect to the same network, it’s not needed. All networked amplifiers can be controlled and monitored directly by the iDevice.

Forward-Looking Foundation
Fast-track development of Powered by Crown was possible largely because the foundation was already in place.

Nearly a decade ago, Crown made the transition to Ethernet-based monitoring and control systems, which means that all data traffic is carried by standard, off-the-shelf networking components.

Click to enlarge.

No “two-step” translation process was required: all we had to do was plug Apple’s iOS framework into our compatible TCP/IP-based protocols.

From there, it was an intuitive step for Bruce Vander Werf, a senior software engineer at Crown. Earlier, he had developed similar functionality for Crown IQwic on Windows Mobile, a platform that (for various reasons) never found widespread professional use.

The user friendliness of the iPhone immediately captured his imagination, and he was well underway with a proof of concept using iOS when Apple introduced the iPad.

Although the concept worked smoothly on an iPhone, the limited screen real estate required scrolling from one panel to another.

With iPad, multiple panels could be viewed simultaneously, making it a far more useful tool.

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