Over a standard IP network, multiple Model 348 units can be used in party-line (PL) intercom applications with help from an external Dante-enabled audio matrix such as the Studio Technologies Model 5422 Dante Intercom Audio Engine. Units can also be used "point-to-point" or interfaced with Dante-compatible matrix intercom systems. The unit includes two Neutrik etherCON RJ45 connectors for redundant network connections. The primary network connection can provide power to the unit using standard Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) network switches. It can also be DC powered using a 10-18 volt source that is connected with a broadcast-standard 4-pin XLR connector. If both the PoE and DC power sources are connected the unit will be powered by the PoE supply only.
The Model 348 can be used with intercom-style and personal-computer gaming headsets with dynamic or electret microphones through the 5-pin female XLR headset connector or with a dynamic gooseneck-style microphone through the 1/4" gooseneck connector. A low-noise microphone preamplifier and associated voltage-controlled-amplifier (VCA) dynamics controller (compressor) ensures that mic input audio quality is preserved while minimizing the chance of signal overload. The user can monitor the Dante audio inputs on either the headset output or the built-in, high-quality speaker. A modern class-D speaker amplifier IC is used for maximum fidelity.
The front panel includes eight RGB illuminated rotary controls which are used to control the level of the Dante signal sources. Two more rotary controls are used to mute/un-mute and control the output level to the headset and speaker. Each illuminated control can show if signal is present on the associated audio channel or if the channel is muted. Eight illuminated pushbutton switches allow the user control of the eight Dante outputs as well as show the presence of a 20 kHz call signal.
All Model 348 operating parameters are configured using the STcontroller software application. Compatible with the Windows® operating system, the easy-to-use program allows a unit to be configured in just minutes. General features include adjustment of the microphone preamplifier gain, sidetone audio level and activity, and LED intensity. The real power of the Model 348 is in its ability to be configured for a combination of intercom (talk/listen), talent cueing (program audio w/interrupt audio), REMI/At-Home (talk w/tone signaling), or general audio monitoring applications. Each of the eight channels can be independently configured, allowing support for contemporary applications where needs are never "standard."
When the Model 348 is combined with other Dante-supporting products from Studio Technologies, a wide range of intercom, talent cueing, and audio monitoring applications can be supported. These devices include intercom and listen-only user beltpacks, announcer's consoles, and Dante-to-analog party-line (PL) interfaces. And by utilizing the Model 5422 Dante Intercom Audio Engine it's a simple matter to create customized PL and private point-to-point intercom circuits or talent cue (IFB) channels. In all cases users can expect the audio quality will be excellent and features simple to operate.
The Model 348's main application firmware can be udpated using the USB port on the back of the unit; the Dante firmware can be updated via Ethernet.