Many schools now have an IP data network in place to support computers in classrooms. In some cases, the IP network already provides phones to the classrooms too. Consolidating systems like School bells, overhead paging and clocks into the IP data network offers many advantages to school management.
- School IT departments can focus on supporting one network and one infrastructure versus several.
- Flexibility – IP school bells over the data network can be easily programmed, managed and accessed from your PC.
- IP school bells can also be integrated into existing analog PA infrastructure to ensure existing investment is protected.
- Annual bell schedules can be set based on calendar for regular school days, parent teacher meets, open days etc.
- IP bell systems offer users ability to load multiple bell sounds and pre-recorded audio files for lock-down / emergency alerting.
- Music files can also be loaded to play before school bell to give children time to wind up activities before the main bell.
Setting the bell schedules in schools is much easier and less intimidating with IP based bell schedulers. Gone are the days of complex manual systems with buttons and levers. Staff simply log into the system, set the schedules on a simple web interface, and click to apply. Any changes made to the system are implemented immediately. Schedules can be established and stored for regular school days versus days with late arrivals/early releases or planned school assemblies that change the typical class schedule. When Daylight Saving Time arrives and the time shifts by an hour or two IP bell systems will synchronize automatically with Australian network based time protocol (NTP) servers over the internet.
With IP school bell system, you get an easy-to-use interface to manage the bell schedule, use a piece of music or any sound file for the bell, trigger lock down and alarms, and even play different bells and messages to different zones, or even room-by-room. Another advantage of IP bell systems is that they can work alongside conventional paging equipment and provide some useful add-ons. For example, you can keep what is working with your old system and add a bell scheduler and alarm panel interface, lock down triggers and more.
Integration between existing paging systems and new IP-based bell systems is also easy and simple to do. To retrofit to an existing paging system, a small device called a Gateway / Zone controller plugs into the IP network via a Cat 5 network cable and outputs line level audio to the PA system. The number of Gateways/ Zone controllers used depends on the number of zones that you have or want to set up in any given building. The Gateways / Zone controllers also offer the additional advantage of integrating with your IP Phone system, you can dial a code and make an announcement on certain zone / zones or the entire system.
Besides IP network bell scheduler schools now have the option of using IP-based speakers that plug directly into the IP data network as well. The IP speakers get their electricity directly from the single Cat 5 network cable that is plugged into the speaker. There’s no need to run AC power to the speaker or run additional audio cable to the speaker. The only requirement is that the switch/router in your network room has Power over Ethernet (PoE)capabilities which is common now on many of the newer network devices.If required it is easy to expand these network-based systems and add more IP speakers, or relocate IP speakers to new rooms.You can relocate a speaker to another room’s network connection and it will sync back up with the controller automatically and carry on receiving broadcasts without any extra management needed.
IP speakers also provide an additional advantage to building managers as volume can be controlled remotely via a web interface. This allows you to
set the volume levels for each speaker individually. General announcements can be broadcast at a lower volume while emergency announcements can be
configured to broadcast at a louder volume to get the attention of anyone in range of the speaker. A full range of IP-based speakers is now available including options with attached digital or analog clocks, two-way intercom systems, strobe lights and more. Indoor speakers can be placed in ceilings and on walls of classrooms or on the exterior of the building to broadcast announcements to playgrounds or athletic fields.
For more information please click on IP School Bell Paging & PA or contact us by email or phone to discuss your requirements.