Monday, 28 May 2018

100V Line System Expansion - Remote Paging Mic

Paging microphones are very simple, but the proper ones are very clever too.
They have a talk button which activates the priority circuit on your 100V line amplifier, which mutes the music for you automatically, without you having to utilise the somewhat temperamental vox mute feature.
Paging microphones are terminated usually as a 5 pin din connector, or to bare ends. The ones I use are TOA PM600D microphones, which do have the din jack. 3 of the pins are for balanced audio, like in an XLR connector, and the other two are your priority connectors.
However, I want to get the paging microphone to work downstairs, which would be impractical in some ways as you would at first glance have to run a 5 pin DIN extender cable, however there is a much better way of doing this. The other issue too is that 100V line amplifiers only have one 5 pin DIN paging mic input - which means unless you use a splitter, you can only get a single microphone on the system, and when you start using splitters things can get very messy very quickly because you are not only wiring all the mics to one channel, which causes impedance issues from the start, you can also get faults on the mic line, such as hum or excessive hiss, and when they are all wired together on a splitter it is very difficult to troubleshoot the source of the issue.

But, as there is only one DIN input, you might be lead to believe this is the only way of doing this.
As all your working with is balanced audio and 2 priority wires, you can run two separate leads. What I chose to do was to install a female 5 pin DIN wall plate connector, so the paging mic can connect cleanly downstairs where it is going to be installed on the living room table. Then, from behind of the wall plate, all I need to do is run two wires. The first being the balanced audio, which you can run with normal 2 core semi screened cable to reduce the noise. Then, you can use realistically any cable type of your choice for the two priority wires, such as single wire or even more two core semi if you wanted to. The audio lead will terminate at the amplifier end to a male XLR, but if you were only to do this, you would not be able to get the priority function to work. Then what you need to do is take to the amp the two priority single wires, and run them into the phoenix connectors onto your amp for the priority circuit. This creates an as good as connection as the DIN jack will give you on the amp, and it is actually wiring it in exactly the same manner and to exactly the same place! In addition this way, you reap the benefits of running the microphone on a separate mic channel.
This is the solution I am going to install in my living room in order to get a paging mic into there - I will still have one upstairs so it will in a way be a method of two way communication, just a very cool way of doing so!

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