How can we assist those confined to their houses to have a share in the meeting?..... At a Glance
Meeting Tie-in.....Connect to a remote location.
Some congregations / churches / organisations have a problem where members are physically unable to attend important meetings because of health, disability or other conditions (ie weather) and as a consequence, either miss the event entirely or rely upon incomplete or late recordings of each meeting to be taken to them. This is not an ideal solution and leads to feelings of isolation which can be made even worse where a number of delegates have to share tapes and delays due to organising collection and delivery give the information an "out of date" feel. What is needed is a reliable, easy to operate live link that will allow callers to listen to the meeting in 'real time' i.e. as it happens and not miss any of the program.
The Telephone Dialup System (TDS) is now available and works by using the telephone line(s) at the venue to provide a dial in/out service during the program. Installation is very easy and can be done by anyone with basic electrical skills who can follow a simple set of instructions supplied with the unit or available online. A normal telephone socket will be required and a lead (supplied) simply connects from the Dialup unit to this socket. Connection to the sound system can be either direct to the speaker output (100V line i.e. Electronic Services Amplifier), or via a line level (i.e. recording) output. The most expensive unit, the TDS2 double line Dialup is likely to cost LESS than the plastic plants supplied as part of a typical "simplified package" type of new building!
The single line (TDS1), single line send and receive (TDS1S/R) and Double Line (TDS2) Dialup systems allow audio (analogue or digital) to be sent / received over a normal telephone line. This can be completely automatic (auto answer on dial in) or manually controlled by a switch (can be remotely wired). Outputs are provided for remote start and signalling purposes. The TDS2 has two completely independant circuits that can be configured to work together or seperately i.e. audio can be received on one circuit and transmitted on the other. Thus the Dialup can be used for a multitude of purposes including: remote monitoring of broadcast land lines at the transmitter site, monitoring alarms at remote process plant locations, remote listening to meetings / conferences, telephone hookup of sound systems, remote switching etc. etc..
Fitting any TDS system is very easy and if you can answer the following three questions then you can DIY it!
Some venues find it useful to have a small indicator lamp fitted high up at the rear of the hall to show the lecturer when the Dialup is in use. This allows full inclusion of the listener in comments from the platform and can be of real benefit. The indicator is a single red (or green) LED fitted in a bezel and mounted on a small white plastic facia. No resistor or other components are needed and the LED can be wired straight back to the Dialup unit. A TDS2 will need two LEDS - one for each circuit. Maplin Electronics can supply suitable parts. The LED is like a battery and needs to be wired the correct way round. However, no damage will result if it is fitted backwards (it will not light up though). Note also that this output can be used as a buffered positive voltage switched output and can be used to switch or signal other equipment. Refer to the facilities diagram for additional information.
This is a switch output that can be used to start / stop or signal other equipment when the Dialup answers a call. It is a switched ground connection ie the switch line is normally open circuit but is connected to 0V on answer. See the facilities diagram for more. The technical section in the product handbook gives the latest switching specification. However, as a rule of thumb, you can switch up to a maximum of 600mW. This allows you to switch 50mA at 12Vdc or 12mA at 50Vdc, or somewhere inbetween. Exceeding these values is likely to destroy the internal switching transistor. If using the switch to control a remote relay, we suggest fitting a diode (IN4004 type) across the relay coil (damps transient spike voltages). Fit with the banded end pointing towards the positive power supply source.
Multiple Listeners.....Back to Top
A TDS1 works like a normal telephone and allows a single caller to use the system. To connect multiple listeners, you will need to subscribe to a call conferencing service. New and cheaper telephone conferencing packages are being released almost daily. In the UK, ConferenceGenie is possibly the cheapest / best, whilst in the USA, A+ Conferencing offers a similar service. Do some research to find the best combination of call quality verses cost. It is possible for over 100 callers to dial into a single telephone number and listen to the same program using the conferencing system. Using the multiple access service does not remove the need for a two line Dialup if maximum flexibility is required. More information here.
Another option to double up the number of listeners is to use the "Three way caller" service that connects two listeners to each telephone line. There may be a subscription charge for this "star service". Up to four callers can listen via a TDS2 Dialup by using this method. This can be a valuable connection method for highly confidential or restricted meetings.
The sequence in practice is:
Dial first number, make connection to first listener
Repeat for second line to connect callers three and four
Hi-Fi Connector.....Back to Top
Many have enquired about the possibility of connecting additional sound amplification facilities at the receiving end. Not only would this allow the sound to be set as loud as required but could also be used to adjust the tonal quality and balance of the signal. A prototype was prepared but it was found that the cost of parts alone was more than most enquirers were prepared to pay and a different strategy was needed. Many catalogues now stock a wide range of standard telephones with a headphone out jack socket which can easily be used to connect to the stand alone sound system. The only negative about this is that the basic quality of signal produced by the telephone circuitry itself cannot be guaranteed. If anyone IS still interested in a stand alone Hi-Fi connection system with optimised frequency response, please e-mail us and we will be happy to discuss options.