Monday, 28 May 2018

100V Line System Expansion - Remote Volume Control

I have already installed speakers in most rooms of the house, except from the living room.
The reason they were never installed in the living room was because A, I ran out of zones on my 100 volt amp, and B, people downstairs in the living room would get annoyed with the background music as due to running out of zones, I would have no way remotely of turning the living room speakers off upstairs.
However, as the main reason lied with not bothering people downstairs, I have come up with a slightly complicated yet clever solution to resolve this issue.
Although for the reasons explained above I cannot control the speakers downstairs in there, I can however hand the control of the speakers over to downstairs, which does result in a few issues, but these can be resolved.
APart Audio and a whole host of other installed sound manufacturers make 100V line volume controls. These enable you to essentially mute or adjust the volume for a certain set of speakers only, the ones that will be wired off your 100V line volume control. However, the issue this poses is that the users almost have too much control over the speakers. Yes, they can mute the music, but by doing so it will also mute any announcements, say this was in a professional setting and emergency announcements didn't get through thanks to the user settings on the volume controls, it would be a fundamental flaw in your 100V line system. This however is still an issue with my system, as I utilise one paging mic upstairs, soon to be two as I am adding one downstairs, and if I announce something over it, I still want people in the living room to be able to hear it as clear as day.
However, this is an issue that has been thought of in both the design of the volume controls and the 100V line amplifiers. There is something called a 24 volt priority, this ultimately connects from your amplifier to all the volume controls. What this allows you to do is pass the 100V signal of the lets say microphone announcement at full volume, as this activates a relay on the volume control when the amplifiers priority circuit is active, which would happen if for instance you engage one of the paging microphones. Once the priority circuit is inactive, for example when an announcement is finished, the relay will open again on the remote volume control, which will result in the user set volume to be resumed, which may even be set to mute. So if you put this into perspective, I can let downstairs listen to the music at any volume level they want, including complete muting, but I can still get my announcements across on the microphones, all thanks to the priority systems. The volume control I have selected for this application is the APart Audio EVOL60. It's important to consider how many speakers you intend to wire off the volume control, because like 100V amplifiers, volume controls also have a maximum amount of speakers you can wire to them because they have a wattage rating that you cannot exceed. This isn't an issue for the living room though as I am only going to be using two speakers in there, both of which are set to a power rating of 15 watts on the transformers.

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