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Audio System Designer Kelly Epperson Employs Clear-Com's HelixNet® Partyline at the 2013 John Deere Event


Epperson Gives HelixNet a Rave Review after Pushing the System to its Limits and Beyond

Clear-Com® is pleased to announce that its HelixNet® Partyline was a proven intercom solution at this summer’s John Deere Annual Event in Columbus, OH. Even after being pushed beyond its limits, HelixNet rose to the challenge and enabled Kelly Epperson and his production team to deliver a successful and cost-effective show for John Deere.

Epperson, audio system designer and A1 for the event, was hired by the production company, See Our Solutions in St. Louis, MO, to specify the audio and communication equipment for this year’s program. As part of the design and specification process, Epperson selected Clear-Com’s HelixNet as the wired communication solution for this challenging production.

“The John Deere launch meeting is an event at which the company showcases, launches and demonstrates new products across their entire line from commercial lawn equipment to their largest machinery like tractors, combines and sprayers,” says Epperson. “Because the show floor is essentially the stage, and due to the sheer size of the products, the backstage area is quite large. There are long cable runs across the expansive show floor. Scenic entrances and exits utilize extensive show control automation. Safety for crew and drivers is paramount. All these were factors for deciding which system(s) were best for communications.

“At this event, I needed a digital solution that could run a distance of more than 600 feet from Front of House to the operator positions using copper, and I needed to do so without the cross-talk and noise issues that I have experienced with two-wire systems. Because I had a positive experience with the Clear-Com HelixNet system at the 2012 Presidential Debate, I had full confidence this was the best system for this application. Configuring the system for all 15 beltpacks was easy and didn’t take long. Each channel was labeled as either ‘production,’ ‘video,’ ‘lighting,’ ‘driver’ or ‘audio.’ Once I fired up HelixNet, it immediately displayed strong signals across the system. Each of the two channels on the beltpacks showed any one of the four labels. I never had to pick up the manual for reference.”

In addition, Epperson was also impressed that he could operate the four-channel system and all 15 wired beltpacks over one XLR cable. With other digital partyline systems on the market, he would have had to lay down new wires or special cabling. HelixNet saved him significant shop-prep time and saved his client the cost of having to rewire the show site.

Furthermore, HelixNet interface modules allowed him to easily link two wireless intercom systems. HelixNet comes with built-in interface module options. Therefore, connecting the system with any external two-wire or four-wire system, as well as linking multiple HelixNet systems over fiber or Ethernet, can be simply achieved with these modules.

“At this event, HelixNet proved to me that it is a solidly developed digital intercom system. It delivers great value—economically and technically—both as a system designer and production member,” says Epperson.

“We are extremely glad that HelixNet was able to help Kelly Epperson and his team deliver a great show for his client,” said Judy Cheng, Director of Marketing, Clear-Com. “To many users’ surprise, HelixNet gives them the same features and functions as a traditional partyline system; but its performance, capabilities, and extensibility are similar to its digital counterparts in the matrix family. HelixNet users do get a lot out of the compact 1RU unit, and users like Kelly Epperson continue to give us this positive feedback.”