Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tech Tip - November 19th

Great tech tip from Michael Pettersen at Shure about the DDS 5900:

Shure Apps Tech Tip #163: DDS 5900 Modes of Operation

The Shure/DIS DDS 5900 is a Digital Discussion System employed at meetings where attendees (seated at tables) need to hear each other. Each person, or delegate, has a console that contains a microphone, a loudspeaker, and associated electronics. The delegate consoles are interconnected in a “daisy-chain” using shielded data cables with Ethernet connectors. The DDS 5900 has four modes of operation.

Mode #1: AUTO

Auto: The delegate (talker) can activate the microphone immediately by touching the “SPEAK” button on the console. A red LED next to “SPEAK” will illuminate, as will the red LED ring near the tip of the GM gooseneck microphone. Touch the “SPEAK” button again to deactivate the microphone.

Mode #2: MANUAL

Manual: The meeting chairman must activate a specific microphone based upon a “request to speak” queue. A delegate requests to speak by touching the “SPEAK” button. A green LED illuminates on the delegate’s console to confirm that the request has been added to the queue. (Touch the “SPEAK” button again to cancel “request to speak”.) The chairman selects the next delegate to speak from the queue. The queue is viewed / controlled by using a control system – such as AMX or Crestron, or by using a web browser interface on a PC or an iPad. Once the chairman has activated a mic, the delegate’s console LED changes from green to red. The delegate can touch the “SPEAK” button to deactivate the mic.

Mode #3: FIFO

FIFO: First In – First Out. The first delegate to touch the “SPEAK” button will activate the microphone. If other delegates touch their “SPEAK” button while the first delegate is talking, they are added to the FIFO queue. The green “REQUEST” LED will illuminate for all delegates in the FIFO queue. When a delegate is the next to speak, the green LED will begin to slowly flash on/off. For FIFO operation, the main DDS 5900 Control Unit should be set for “Maximum Number of Delegate Speakers = 1″. Note: If the chairman desires to activate her mic at any time, the main Control Unit should be set to “Maximum Number of Total Speakers = 2.”

Mode #4: VOX

VOX: Voice Activation Mode. A delegate microphone is activated whenever she speaks (or touches the “SPEAK” button.) Once the delegate stops speaking, the microphone is deactivated after 4 seconds; this time can be adjusted from 1 second to 10 seconds. There is another adjustment for the activation threshold; the range is -12 to +8 with the default setting of 0. Setting the threshold to a lower number makes the mic activate with softer sounds.

Related links:

Arcana – mysterious or specialized knowledge

The red LED ring, located near the tip of the microphone, was developed in Europe as a visual indication of who was speaking. A red light means “On The Air” at a broadcast studio and “Recording In Progress” at a recording studio. However, having a red LED for “I Am the Talker” is often confusing to United States delegates as the color red typically indicates “Mute” or “Stop.” This author’s hypothesis: a red LED was chosen for this European indicator because, for years, red LEDs were the only color available at a reasonable cost and having the visual indicator was more important than the color of the LED.

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