Tom Bisanti, Vice President, National Accounts of Bogen Communications, visited the ACE Hardware warehouse and then described the acoustic challenges to Al Gessman, Systems Design Engineer for Bogen Communications. Bisanti gave his full attention to the ACE Hardware installation, providing coordination between the installation team and the Bogen team, technical and design support and education. Honea had also sent blueprints and a completed site survey form to Gessman. Bogen offers a Free Design Service to help customers install the right sound components for the customers’ needs and do it right the first time to exactly satisfy those needs cost-effectively. Bogen Communications provided design service free for the entire installation. Gessman discussed these recommendations with Clark and after the details were understood and considered, they decided on a specific plan for which components would be needed, where they would be mounted and how they would connect. “When there are special requirements, I discuss in detail design and sound components,” said Clark. “It’s easy to work with Bogen because the engineers are intelligent, they have years of experience and they’re not dogmatic,” he added.
Because this warehouse serves as a storage and distribution center (60,000 SKUs) for about 350 retail stores in eight states, the warehouse relies on 22 dock doors for inbound product and 20 dock doors for outbound items. With all the products entering the warehouse, and repackaging for retail stores, it was necessary to install the new amplifiers and speakers during weekends and some evenings. The size and complexity of this installation dictated that a 70-volt, distributed audio system would be the best approach. The Bogen M-Class Power Amplifier (M450) provides up to 900 watts of 70-volt power needed for long wire runs, massive power toroid and heat sinks, patented Back-Slope™ AC voltage stabilization, clip limiters, DC voltage, over-current, and thermal protection circuits.
The installation occurred in phases. During the first two weekends, a five-man crew installed the new wiring, the next two weekends, the Bogen Horn Loudspeakers (SPT15A), Bogen Bi-Directional Horns (BDT30A), Metal Box Speakers (MB8TSL), a Foreground Speaker (FG15), and other equipment were installed. During the last two weekends, adjustments were made to ensure that no matter where in the warehouse a person was working, he or she could hear announcements, pages and music.
The Horn Loudspeakers (SPT15A) in the main warehouse were attached near the ceiling or 30 feet from the floor. In the upper part of the mezzanine, the speakers were located about 18 feet above the floor. Underneath the mezzanine, the speakers were put about 7.5 feet above the floor.
In the office areas, 41 Drop-In Ceiling Speakers (CSD1X2) allowed fast and simple installation, saving time, effort and cost. They easily fit into the existing suspended ceiling grid. In addition, these speakers meet the requirements of UL standard 2043 for smoke and heat release.
The project required emergency paging with tones, prerecorded messages and microphone announcements; plus time tones for shift change and break times. Four priority levels in the Bogen Power Vector Mixer (VMIX) can be set between the input modules in the VMIX. This lets different input sources, like a microphone and the Multiple Digital Message Unit (MDMU) override other less important input sources during emergencies. The versatility of the VMIX and its associated modules helps ACE Hardware meet its emergency paging requirements. The input sources include a microphone (MBS1000A), a Bogen CD player (CDC3), a Bogen Tuner (TP30D), a MDMU and satellite radio.
The Relay Input/Output Module (RIO1S) is an all-purpose interface module for external equipment. In this application, its ability to activate an override condition in the Single-Zone Universal Telephone Interface (UTI1) units when a module with a certain priority level or higher becomes active helps the customer make an emergency announcement immediately. These units are transformer-isolated and provide balanced line level input.
“We used an Avaya Multiple Digital Message Unit (MDMU) with pre recorded announcements in Spanish and English for the emergency messages (fire and weather),” said Clark. Rather than look for a translator or have someone stand at a microphone and make the message live, ACE Hardware uses the pre recorded announcement to deliver the message.
Each message (up to 99 can be ready for playback) has a maximum length of almost four minutes. To prevent failure during power outages, this unit includes memory backup and battery backup of up to two hours.
Regarding sound system design, “Bogen Communications and Black Box did a great job,” said Honea. After completing the installation, Bogen Communications and Clark offered training, manuals and user-friendly files for reference. More than just a product catalog, Bogen’s System Design & Buying Guide provides an easy to understand system design guide.