Digital magazine of the broadcast and audiovisual market
LaON Technology LT750 expert. Not just a Wireless Intercom
Our profession is nourished and benefits not only from the great and spectacular equipment and systems that often catch our attention but also from other elements that decisively contribute to our professional performance and enable us to carry through our projects with the comfort, efficiency and guarantee to which we are accustomed. Like intercom systems, always discreet on the equipment list but often indispensable in our day to day action. Today, our laboratory offers the wireless intercom system brought to you by the new Korean manufacturer, LaON.
Author: Luis Pavia
The constant evolution of technology and the globalisation of markets make it easier for new competitors to emerge in virtually all areas. Plus, in any aspect related to technology, we are accustomed to the fact that it is more of a constant revolution than a simple evolution. So, today, we, along with its distributor, Broadcast Solutions, bring a new wireless digital intercom system with state-of-the-art technology developed in Korea to these pages. Korea was nothing but an emerging market a few years ago, but today, we can confirm it is a genuinely consolidated one with excellent price/performance balances in virtually every product it launches.
The concept of the intercom system is straightforward: it involves having a permanent line of communication within a working group. The reality of today’s needs is much more sophisticated and complex than before with some particular characteristics, such as:
One or two-way communication
Number of terminals in the same communication network
The possibility of managing different working groups, so that not all teams receive all the information, and thus avoiding unnecessary distractions
Reach, mobility and performance
No interference in radio-saturated environments
Clarity, privacy and communication security
Modularity, expandability, and compatibility with other systems
Although this list is not exhaustive, it includes the primary parameters that make up the main decision criteria when selecting an equipment, and that we will be sketching along these lines. So, let’s do this! Let’s start with the description of the components of the set that we have had the opportunity to test.
This time it was the top-of-the-range model currently available from LaON, the LT750 expert, which offers stable wireless communications in the 5 GHz band, with a 7.2 kHz voice bandwidth, comparable to wired systems, and with a latency of less than 23 milliseconds. The system is open and has an auxiliary input and output interfaces, and 4-wire protocol, to make it compatible with other intercom systems and external audio devices.
Our test unit consists of a base station with the optional 19″ rack unit accessory, a repeater, four belt units with their corresponding earphones and a multi-charger. It is worth noting that the equipment came with a single recommendation: “assemble the antennas before you turn it on”.
The base station, the nerve centre of the system, is a small box to which power and two antennas are connected. It can also be mounted as part of the rack accessory, becoming a one-height unit, which gives it additional functionalities, such as the possibility of mounting the antennas at the rear. It can provide remote power to the repeaters via PoE (Power over Ethernet), which has the interfaces for connection with other intercom equipment of different manufacturers and protocols. It has an OLED screen and a small number of buttons, some for direct control of some functions and others to navigate the menu.
Repeaters are devices that extend coverage areas, simple and compact boxes to which you will necessarily connect your antenna pair and Ethernet cable to communicate with your base station. You can connect a maximum of ten repeaters to each base station. If you need more repeaters to configure your coverage area, just add a second base station. These repeaters can be powered by their own batteries, an external power supply or by using the Ethernet cable if you have the rack accessory for the base station we mentioned above.
At this point in time, we think it is important to highlight that Ethernet connectivity can be done by relying on the switch, router and wiring infrastructure that you have in the installation, without having to creating a separate network. You can use this same infrastructure to distribute the repeaters that are necessary to ensure coverage in the appropriate areas of the installation, which, as you will see below, does not have to be adjacent.
As for the belt units, powered by their own rechargeable battery, they simply need to be connected to the earphones. The battery is easily removable and can be charged either inside or outside the remote unit. This makes it easier to use a spare battery if need be. Bearing in mind that a 4-hour charge allows 8 hours of work, it seems unlikely that you would need this spare battery. Even so, and for the extreme cases in which you may find yourselves in a location without the possibility of recharging your batteries, we also have a bracket for conventional batteries. This would make it possible to use them repeatedly in locations with no electricity supply. Parameters such as sideband for extended coverage or microphone gain can be configured via the menu to suit the user and environment needs.
Headphones or earplugs are available in a variety of configurations: open or closed, with one or two earmuffs, and with condenser or electret microphones. There is a sufficient variety to cover all needs and tastes. The earphones supplied with our unit are of the closed, earmuff type with a condenser microphone. We found it lightweight, comfortable and adaptable as regards the headband height and micro length, with good insulation and excellent sound quality.