The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in Sound & Video Contractor

Fire and life safety and church acoustics were the featured topics of the January 1985 issue. The issue focus however, concentrated on life safety issues,
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The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in Sound & Video Contractor

Jan 1, 2005 12:00 PM

Fire and life safety and church acoustics were the featured topics of the January 1985 issue. The issue focus however, concentrated on life safety issues, with nine articles covering security and safety subject matter.

The first article up was on “Church Acoustics” by David Klepper. Klepper, principal of Klepper Marshall King Associates, was also a technical consultant for Sound & Video Contractor. The need for thorough planning was stressed for best system design and implementation.

“Loudness and Brightness of Warning Systems” by Rein Haus discussed assessing subjective loudness and brightness to determine the effectiveness of audible and visual signaling devices. Rein was manager of life safety products at Wheelock in Long Branch, N.J. Around since 1922, Wheelock is still located in Long Branch. In the 1970s, the company introduced a patented horn strobe combination audible-visual alert, which became a life safety industry standard.

Barry Levine provided “Marketing Security Systems.” He discussed installing CCTV and alarm systems as a potential market expansion for contractors. On the nuts and bolts side, Joseph J. Carey's “Fire-Resistant Wire and Cable” offered KYNAR (a polyvinylidene fluoride or PVDV jacket) as an alternative to PVC in conduit for fire resistant cabling.

“Low-risk Fire Protection” by David Domeshek looked at Halon fire protection systems that would not harm expensive AV equipment. Domeshek was representing Fenwal, which was renamed Kidde-Fenwal in 1991 after a 1989 merger. Betty Fiden, then in marketing communications at Dukane, authored “Voice Evacuation/Alert Systems,” which examined an evacuation system for a high-rise building.

Proper notification of facility patrons and how this contributes to safe evacuation was the topic of “Emergency Education” by Mark Koller. Koller was the vice president of engineering for the Bogen division of Lear Siegler. Presently, Bogen Communications International provides sound systems and telephone peripherals for commercial and industrial applications via companies such as Avaya and Apogee Sound.

Roland Nutter submitted an update on infrared hearing assistance technology, highlighting some of the benefits of infrared systems, including the ability to easily install and operate multiple systems in a facility. Also, Nutter touched on regulations and resulting opportunities for contractors.

Louis Valente offered “Fire and Alarm Cabling,” discussing cable types required and application information for installing alarm systems. Valente, a longtime employee of West Penn Wire, is now member relations advisor for NSCA.

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In the world of advertising, Shure introduced the SM91 boundary mic. Touted as the first unidirectional surface mounted condenser mic, I remember we got quite a few of them at the theme park where I worked. Discontinued in 1991 and succeeded by the SM91A (which was discontinued in 1997), the SM91 could be found in everything from a boardroom to a kick-drum.

TOA defined quality and flexibility with its 900 Series of commercial sound and background music systems. TOA provided a number of options, including mixers, amps, and 22 different input modules. Panasonic introduced a line of amplification/paging products (the WA series), which comprised Mixer Power Amps available in five-input models ranging from 30W to 120W, and four-input versions available in 15W and 30W. Yamaha promoted the M1500 series mixing console, which included 16-, 24-, and 32-input versions.

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