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Oregon Museum of Science and Industry



WHERE: Portland, Oregon

WHEN: January 2014

WHAT: FSR FLEX Control System

WHO: Mr. Tracy Riddell, AV Design Specialist, LLC


• To design and deliver a user-friendly, cost-effective control solution in a theater environment


• An FSR FLEX-LT self-contained control system with customized programming capabilities


• An operator-friendly system designed to control a wide range of equipment including microphones, scalers, and digital sound systems.

Mr. Tracy Riddell was confronted with a particularly daunting project recently. An installer/programmer with AV Design Specialist, LLC, Riddell is very experienced with control systems. But since AV Design Specialist works mainly with private schools, universities, churches, and corporate/conference/ training centers, delivering a solution specifically designed for a theater space presented a whole different set of challenges.

Riddell and AV Design Specialist were tasked with designing and installing an up-to-the-minute AV system for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as part of a global renovation that included a movie screen and over-the-top audio system. Riddell knew right away that FSR’s FLEX-LT would be a perfect fit – he had installed FLEX in numerous other projects – but had never integrated the award-winning control panel with theater equipment before. The theater, which seats 300, is used as a multi-purpose room for presentations and movies, but the space is frequently rented out to schools and businesses thus requiring the technology to be intuitive and the user-interface easy to learn and operate.

“My goal with every project is to provide the end user with a solution that includes a clear cut interface and consistently delivers without a hitch,” says Riddell. “The OMSI staff is extremely helpful and their input is priceless since they are the ones using the system. We only had to revise the original programming twice which has kept training to a minimum. The equipment is working perfectly with FLEX.”

The FSR configuration, comprised of two FLEX-LT300 units and two FLEX-LT150s, is driving four wireless and four wired microphones, controlling a Cinema Server, running the Blue Ray via IR, and operating a Kramer Scaler and a Soundweb London BLU-160 Digital Sound Processor via RS232, and a Dolby Atmos surround system via RS-232. The FLEX also interfaces with the theater’s automation system to control its dual 3d and 4k Christie digital cinema projectors.

Riddell adds: “The FLEX is an ideal choice for OMSI, not only because of the price point and robust features, but also because its simplistic interface is understandable for the programmer as well as the end user.” Riddell was able to keep layers of programming to a minimum reducing the possibility of problems and user errors.  The FLEX system can be controlled remotely via an app on a mobile device. And when changing equipment, the FLEX makes it easy to modify programming, keeping costs to a minimum for AV Design Specialist and OMSI.


• Phase 2 plans include integration with a legacy lighting system for direct control via the FLEX panel and an automatic diming feature.


The Flex-LT is a self-contained control system that has a vast number of features and a price point that everyone can afford. The Flex-LT mounts in a wall or sits on a desk and presents the an easy-to-use and understand color touch screen. Through the touch screen the user can choose what source is being displayed, change the volume, control the various sources, turn lights on and off, raise or lower the shades or screen and much more!

Using the built in scheduler, the Flex-LT can automatically shut off displays that have been accidentally left on and also alert the support staff if there is an issue in the room such as the lamp life getting too high in order to reduce the down time of the room.

The Flex-Able configuration utility features an easy to use method to get the most out of the system. The contractor is presented with an easy to follow drag ‘n drop programming methodology; no need to learn another programming language. Flex-Able eases device control by offering IR libraries or if a library is not available, the Flex-IR learner is a snap to use.

 FLEX-LT 300 is a specialty member of the FLEX family. The LT300 can be mounted in a rack or Ceiling Box and connected to all of the devices that need to be controlled. The user interface is provided by the LT150.


OMSI currently has five exhibit halls with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. Today, the museum serves over 1 million visitors at the museum and through off-site education programs. OMSI is ranked as one of the top science centers in the United States and has an international reputation for its innovative exhibits and educational programs.


FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of products for the audio / video, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including AV floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless switchers and CAT-5 solutions.

The company is an Energy Star Partner and complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to demonstrate its deep commitment to preserving the planet. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information:


AV Design Specialist is a company providing audio, video, and stage lighting systems consultation, design, equipment sales and service.

From classrooms to churches, boardrooms to concert halls, the Company offers the expertise, experience, and equipment that will meet every need and budget.

AV Design Specialist also offers trouble shooting, diagnostics, and tuning of existing systems, along with recommendations that will make them more effective and user friendly.

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