The Crescent Primary School: Networked PA & Bell-timing

The Crescent Primary School in Croydon is a brand new school with many forward-thinking and innovative ideas built into the design. A fully integrated networked audio system is all part of the plan...

Location:    Croydon, UK
Client:          Croydon Council
Integrator:  Midland Communications

The Client:

Crescent Primary School features 2N Audio over IPThe Crescent Primary School in Croydon is a brand new £7.3million school project undertaking an entire redevelopment of the former Selhurst Grammar School buildings.
Though the historical external structure of the listed building remains, the interior has been completely restructured to provide a fresh and modern learning envrionment and the integrated technology within the school reflects this 21st century regeneration project.

System Requirements:

With an initial brief to provide a through-school zoned public address and bell-timing system, audio system integrators Midland Communications were contacted by the client to undertake a full system and site survery to offer the best and most efficient solution, making use of the latest technologies to future-proof the investment.

The sound system required individual distribution to a total of 13 different zones which, using conventional analogue audio technology, would have been a complicated and costly task. However, as a the school's newly installed network infrastructure had significant available bandwidth, the option of a 'networked public address system' (also known as 'audio-over-IP or 'AoIP') offered the ideal solution for the project.

The Solution:

Crescent Primary School features 2N audio over IPWorking in conjunction with CIE's System Design Team, Midland Communications developed a fully integrated Public Address and Bell Timing system based around the 2N Net Speaker Audio-over-IP system.

This server-based system allows for full control and distribution of voice and music audio signals via the school's standard Cat5e network cable infrastructure, therefore negating the need to run additional audio cables throughout the entire school.
In addition, using the 2N Net Speaker system's software control interface, any number of audio sources (such as microphones, music, tones & chimes and emergency messages) can be sent to any or all of the school's 13 individual zones, easily activated from a desktop PC or tablet device.

These different audio signals can also be sent to any or all zones througout the school from the system's 2N NetMic - an IP-connected zone-paging microphone which is positioned in the school reception office. This audio-over-IP microphone allows for zone control, live voice paging from the microphone, as well as the ability to store and replay pre-recorded messages and tones which, in the Crescent Primary School project, is used for emergency messaging and bell timing (ie, indicating start and end of each lesson, etc).

Audio over IP claa bell timing systemWith power to the system being provided by conventional 100v line amplification from CIE's InterM multi-channel professional amp range, the system is broadcast over a series of different loudspeaker types to suit each particular zone environment. Standard wall-mount cabinet speakers are used in the classrooms for voice and music, bi-directionalcolumn speakers are used in the corridors and halls for clear voice reproduction in these high ambient noise areas and the system even stretches to the school's outdoor areas (playgrounds and playing fields) using IP-rated weatherproof horn speakers for events such as school sports days, fetes and local community events.

The system also includes a Clockaudio professional UHF wireless microphone system (also known as a 'roaming mic'). As this microphone is connnected to the audio-over-ip distribution system, the microphone signal can be broadcast throughout the entire school (i.e. 'all zones') or used in individual zones; it can therefore be used for presentations and assemblies in the school hall, or even outdoors for events and activities in the playground and sports fields.

This integrated PA and bell-timing system was designed and built into a fully-wired 19" rack by CIE's in-house specialist audio technical team.

Crescent Primary School CroydonProduct:

 - 13 x 2N 914010E Net Audio Decoder
 - 2 x 2N 914075E Net Audio Encoder
 - 1 x 2N 914071E NetMic IP Zone Paging Microphone
 - 3 x InterM QD4480 4 x 120W Multi-Channel Amplifier
 - 3 x InterM OT4480 4 Channel 10v Transfomer Unit
 - 1 x InterM MA106 60W Compact 3 Input Amplifier
 - 1 x Clockaudio CW7000/38 UHF Wireless Microphone System

System Diagram:

2N NetSpeaker Classroom Audio-over-IP System


The benefits of a networked audio-over-IP system:

  • Flexible:  Seamless integration into existing networks including legacy analog wiring
  • Maintenance:  Lower installation, implementation and maintenance costs
  • Scalable:  to multiple intercoms and paging stations – locally, multi-site or regionally
  • Simplicity:  remote control and simple end-point expansion in intercom systems
  • Control:  Software based zone management in paging systems


Let the CIE audio system design team help with your next public address or bell-timing system

CIE AV Solutions is the leading UK supply partner for the 2N NetSpeaker Audio-over-IP solution and for the leading 100v line professional audio range - InterM. Our team of professional audio system designers and specifiers would be happy to assist and advise with any IP or analogue audio and PA systems; please call the team on T. 0115 9770075 or email [email protected]

Products used in this project

Inter-M - MA106 60W, Compact 3 Input Amplifier
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Inter-M - OT-4480 Transformer Unit
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Clockaudio CW7000/38 UHF Wireless Microphone System
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