St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Hanover, PA has a new sound system. A JBL VRX system was installed in a center cluster earlier this year, vastly improving the church’s overall sound and especially the intelligibility of the spoken word in the 400-seat sanctuary. With that, St. Paul’s joins the trend of houses of worship that are improving and enhancing their audio, part of an effort to more effectively spread their message. However, St. Paul’s also has something that more churches should consider: comprehensive protection for their new sound system from power surges in their electrical system and from circuit overloads as systems are powered on. At St. Paul’s, that was accomplished by the integration of a Furman CN-1800S SmartSequencer™ 15-amp bidirectional power sequencer, installed by Lancaster, PA-based systems designer and integrator B&B Communications. They also installed Furman CN15MP MiniPort for amplifiers that power audio to overflow areas, such as the Fellowship Hall, extending the benefits of SmartSequencing to electronics outside of the main equipment rack.
“We spent the better part of three years working on this project, and we stressed to the church how important it is to include surge protection and sequential power-on capability,” explains Jeff Tate, Sales Engineer at B&B Communications. “The new sound system addresses all of the issues that the previous one couldn’t, such as speech intelligibility and even coverage of the seating areas. But as good as the new sound system is, a single power surge could damage or even destroy it. That’s not a chance worth taking.”
One of the reasons that the project stretched over three years was that, like most churches, St. Paul’s has to manage its budget carefully. B&B Communications helped them with that, for instance by utilizing existing speakers in the distributed sound system that extends out to the overflow areas and adding new mixer-amplifiers to power and control them, all of which use the Furman PL-8C power conditioner. “In addition to the dangers of power surges and circuit overloads, leaving surge suppression and sequential power-on capability out of the system can also shorten the life of critical components such as speakers, when components like amplifiers all come on at once,” Tate cautions. “It can damage the drivers, for instance. But with products like the CN-1800S SmartSequencer and the CN15MP MiniPorts are used together, we can build a smarter network for power, one that conditions, sequences and protects. That’s why Furman is our go-to for anything that has to do with power. They’re simply the best.”