College Rings Changes with Q-SYS
Geelong College has been around a while — almost 160 years, in fact. The first bell system isn’t much younger. The infrastructure is still in situ — AC power gives the bell clapper a blast; racket ensues. As the 20th century progressed the system became a little more sophisticated but until recently it still involved a keypad and a dial to program the times for each day — Day 1, Time 1, Set… repeat. Forget about zoning or easily programming an ad hoc bell.
After some fruitful system design conversations with audiovisual experts, Corporate Initiatives, Geelong College’s AV team worked with MultiTek Solutions on the installation and choice of additional equipment, to help the school to improve the quality of its audio and announcement systems. At its heart is Q-SYS hardware, controlled by a highly flexible Q-SYS control interface.
Meanwhile, in the back office, the school had been working on its evacuation and lock-in policies.
The school’s AV department wondered aloud: ‘Is there any way we can use Q-SYS to modernise our bells system and take care of our evacuation and lock-in measures?’.
The short answer is: ‘yes’. Q-SYS is more than capable of managing the programming and zoning of all the school alerts.
Within the last 12 months, the AV department and MultiTek have engaged its Q-SYS Core 110f (now with a redundant second core in place) to take care of full campus-wide paging; an electronic class bell with zone control and full timetable management; lockdown control with door access system; full monitoring via SMS and email from both Q-SYS and the school network; emergency management notifications (text and email) to all staff; and fire panel monitoring for six existing fire panels, wired via GPIO inputs on Q-SYS devices. What’s more, during an emergency, the classroom Vivi panels will be automatically taken over (and will soon be automatically turned on via HDMI-CEC).
Geelong College’s AV department is continuing to eye off anything that can be turned off/on via GPIO, and bring it into the Q-SYS fold: windows, blinds, air conditioning, gates and more.
All new speaker installs feature fire-rated speaker cable and all Q-SYS peripherals are connected to a separate UPS in case of power failure.
After an evacuation, the warden can speak to the school in the evacuation meeting point through three TOA horns. A Shure ULX-D mic is on charge waiting to go, with wireless paddles on the oval to ensure quality of reception. Shure-branded batteries and chargers have now also been purchased to monitor battery life via the network.
The flexibility of the Q-SYS system isn’t lost on department heads who are requesting bespoke iPad interfaces to manage their local audio (and bells) needs. Q-SYS can even manage the footy scoreboard countdown and siren.
Geelong College will no doubt continue to surprise many with what it’s using Q-SYS to manage and schedule.