assistive hearing project

The Four Oaks Methodist Church is a busy community church in the heart of the UK. The main church dates from 1908 and is Grade II listed.
During an extensive refit of AV equipment at the church, Ampetronic and AV consultants Recursive jointly surveyed the site and specified a variety of Ampetronic assistive listenting solutions. Specialists audio visual installation company, AV-Tec, installed the systems into the main church, room 2, small hall and large hall which ensured equality of access to sound; enhancing the experience and participation of members of the congregation who experience hearing loss.

The main church fit-out included an existing perimeter induction loop and amplifiers but required some adjustments and upgrades. To mitigate the issue of spill from the existing church perimeter loop into adjoining spaces, two cancellation loops in opposite polarity, were installed in the chancel and hallway outside of the church entrance. The power of the cancellation loops was critical to ensure that the significant amount of overspill from the existing large main church loop was sufficiently contained.

The size of the loops were pre-determined by install limitations, so while they were both connected to the same amplifier as the main church, one of the cancellation loops was fed through a custom wound CTU (current transformer unit) to step down the amount of field strength generated in that area.
As the existing amplifier was underpowered, an Ampetronic ILD500 was installed in the church’s existing equipment rack, fed from a dedicated output of the mixing desk provided as part of the enhanced audio system designed by Recursive.

Room 2, a large part of a divisible space, was equipped with a low spill hearing loop configuration consisting of thin copper tape laid below the finished floor surface, covered with a warning tape and powered by an Ampetronic MLD5. As in all the rooms, other than the main church, the assistive listening system was fed from a line level output of a media presentation switcher dedicated to each room. The audio feed was configured such that the feed can be switched on/off as required from the rooms control pad.

Given the nature of the flooring in the Large Hall – original parquet which could not be lifted during renovation work, it wasn’t possible to install a floor level hearing loop, nor was it practical to install a loop at height given the proximity to other rooms. An Infra-Red assistive listening system was specified instead, with the IR radiator mounted at high level on the LHS of the front wall. Whilst IR does not have the performance capabilities or the discreteness of a hearing loop system, it is easy to install and offers assistive listening where it isn’t possible to specify a loop.

The Small Hall shall was equipped with a low spill induction loop. Again this loop was made from thin copper tape laid below the finished floor surface, covered with a warning tape and powered by an Ampetronic MLD5.

All three loop systems were commissioned to the IEC 60118-4 performance standard using Ampetronic Loopworks Measure app and R1 Receiver, to produce detailed reports evidencing the quality of the assistive listening provision.