In general, most Public Address / Paging Systems use dedicated microphones (for example – desktop paging microphones or zone microphones) for making voice paging announcements.
These are extremely reliable and will provide years of service if maintained and looked after properly. However, developments in technology have made it possible to use utilise standard telephone systems to make announcements rather than dedicated microphones, meaning a saving on cost and desk space with a reduction of devices being required.
In it's most simple terms, a standard public address or paging system consists of a microphone, amplifier and loudspeakers (though in reality, most systems are far more complex than this of course!).
But the complexitiy of zone paging and paging from multiple locations can make the use of standard microphones quite complex.
However, in most buildings you're likely to find very handy microphones readily available in most rooms (or at least close-by) in the form of a telelephone! Therefore, telephone paging systems replace standard paging mics with standard desktop phones either via a telephone paging interface or, in many cases, via the 'telephone input', often found in professional PA amplifiers.
There are many benefits to using telephone paging systems including:
There are several techniques and technologies for connecting a telephone system into a paging system. The way to set up a Telephone Paging System will depend on the existing telephone system and the facilities required.
The most cost effective way is to use the paging port output on the telephone. This output is usually an audio line level signal that can be wired into an audio input on the PA amplifier via a low cost barrier interface unit. The barrier interface unit provides electrical isolation of the two systems; this is beneficial as an electrical fault on one system will not cause any damage to the other. The user can simply pick up the telephone handset and dial a facility code on the system which is normally a star command. A paging announcement can be made live; then the PA call can be ended by hanging up on the telephone.
Another method of connecting a telephone system into a paging system is by using a telephone paging extension interface. This is a device that can be plugged into an interface phone extension and then connect to a public address system. The user can dial the designated extension number for the paging interface and then make the announcement as soon as the call has been picked up by the telephone paging extension interface device.
There are several advantages for using a telephone paging interface rather than a paging port output including:
There are a wide range of professional products available on the market to enable telephone paging and PA system integration.
CIE is a multi-award winning distributor of professional audio equipment and public address systems. As well as supplying audio equipment to the UK installation sector, our dedicated systems architecture team design, specify and build many of the UK's blue-chip and most complex public address and background music systems for our installer customers.
If you would like help with design, specification or rack build for your next audio, PA or background music project, then please call the CIE team on T. 0115 9770075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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