Reliable support from Jands was an important factor in Optical Audio’s choice of Clear-Com equipment for their communications inventory.

A boutique provider of high-end audio processing, communications and control equipment, the Melbourne-based Optical Audio began operations eight years ago by supplying backbone PA equipment such as drive gear and processing before progressing to communications to support fireworks and show control systems.

Technical Director Jason Read heads up a full time team of three employees, working with a team of regular contractors on big gigs. Optical Audio chose equipment from Clear-Com to fill their comms inventory with the relationship beginning with a fireworks assignment. When they won the contract to provide comms services to the 2010 New Year’s Eve Celebrations for the City of Melbourne, they needed to integrate all of the two-way radio channels in use across the city into a user panel at the control room.

When evaluating the quotes, specifications and advice from various suppliers, Optical Audio found Jands and Clear-Com to be the most supportive. Having used Clear-Com equipment previously, they were confident about its performance; however, what turned the decision in the brand’s favour was the ‘support on tap’ available from Jands.

By 2015, Optical Audio was firmly established as special event communications specialist. When the public tender to supply comms to the 15th Pacific Games to be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, was announced, Jason and his team went to work to put together their response. Despite competing against much larger companies, Optical’s bid was successful.

Jason attributes their success to the preparatory work done prior to making the bid, especially researching into local frequency licensing laws. This also helped them design their comms system to suit the available bandwidth in PNG.

Optical Audio put together a system with a Clear-Com Eclipse-Median matrix frame at its core. The frame was fitted with an IVC-32 card for IP connection, three MVX-A16 cards for analogue I/O, 14 FOR-22 cards to provide interface to their four-wire system and CCI-22 cards for the partyline. Twenty-two V24LDXY V-Series 24-key Lever Panels and two V12LDXY V-Series 12-key Lever Panels were connected via IP. In addition, Optical employed MS-704 master stations, 20 RS-701 series beltpacks and a two-channel Tempest wireless system with five beltpacks. All major IP links were run with fibre optic cabling, except a mustering tower in warmup field with no way to cable to it. Optical solved this problem with a microwave link to a V-Series Lever Panel, which also carried an audio announce for the audio contractor.

Jason was joined by colleague Kieran Lang for the event with the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies running smoothly on their Clear-Com backbone.