Amplifier system having prioritized connections between inputs and

Amplifier system having prioritized connections between inputs and
US005 77401 6A
United States Patent [19]
[11] Patent Number:
Ketterer
[45]
5,774,016
Date of Patent:
Jun. 30, 1998
[54]
AMPLIFIER SYSTEM HAVING
PRIORITIZED CONNECTIONS BETWEEN
INPUTS AND OUTPUTS
Primary Examiner—James B. Mullins
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—McDermott, Will & Emery
[75]
Inventor:
Ernest R. Ketterer, Lincoln Park, NJ.
[73]
Assignee:
Bogen Corporation, Ramsey, NJ.
[21]
Appl NO . 633 837
_
[22]
Flled'
[51]
[52]
[58]
Int. Cl.6 ...................................................... .. HO3F 3/68
US Cl- ----------------------- -- 330/51; 330/124 R; 330/295
Fleld of Search ................................ .. 330/51, 124 R,
terminal is active, prioritizing means for prioritiZing the
connection of each of the plurality of input terminals to each
of the plurality of ampli?er Channels and Control means for
330/144, 145, 284, 295; 381/80, 81, 85
.
.
.
.
.
controlling
the sWitching
means in
accordance With
the
means for prioritiZing the connection so that for each
_
.
..
[57]
An ampli?er system is disclosed. The ampli?er system
_
_
_
_
_
includes a plurality of input terminals and a plurality of
ampli?er channels. It further discloses switching means for
selectably connecting each of the plurality of input terminals
,
Apr‘ 9’ 1996
[56]
ABSTRACT
to each of the plurality of ampli?er channels When the input
References Cited
ampli?er channel, the active input terminal With the highest
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,149,032
5,586,114
.
4/1979 Peters ............................ .. 330/124 R X
12/1996
.
.
.
.
priority is connected to the ampli?er channel. Also disclosed
are means for limiting the Output level of each ampli?er
Uhling et al. ................. .. 330/124 R X
.
.
.
.
.
channel in accordance With the input terminal that is con
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
nected to the ampli?er channel.
Brochure dated Apr. 95 for the CP62 Commercial Processor
by the Rane Corporation.
8 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets
40
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U.S. Patent
Jun. 30, 1998
Sheet 1 of4
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Jun. 30, 1998
Sheet 3 0f 4
5,774,016
70
/
KITCHEN
81
0/
/78
4/
0
0
80/
WAITING AREA
96/1;
1%
FIG. 4
U.S. Patent
Jun. 30, 1998
Sheet 4 of4
AMPLIFIER 1
AMPLIFIER 3
INPUTS
AUDIO INPUT
AUXA
JUKEBOX
2
NA
NA
AUX B
CD PLAYER
4
2
1
AUX C
TV
3
NA
NA
AUX D
BACKGROUND
NA
3
2
MIO A
PAGER
1
1
NA
NA
NA
NA
MIG B/TEL B
BAR
AMPLIFIER 2
5,774,016
FIG. 5
WAITING ROOM DINING ROOM
5,774,016
1
2
AMPLIFIER SYSTEM HAVING
PRIORITIZED CONNECTIONS BETWEEN
INPUTS AND OUTPUTS
players, tape players, jukeboxes, etc., can be connected to
each of the auxiliary input terminals AUX INPUT A—D 16
The present invention relates to sound systems. More
speci?cally, it relates to sound systems for use in public
to 19, to provide audio signals from a variety of sources.
The rear panel 12 also provides output strips 20 to 22 for
three ampli?er channels, AMP CHANNEL 1, AMP CHAN NEL 2 and AMP CHANNEL 3. Each of these output strips
20 to 22 provides an output from one of the ampli?er
channels as Well as the ability to control certain aspects of
areas having more than one room, for example, in restau
the ampli?er channel.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
rants.
Public places, such as a restaurant often have different
rooms Wherein it is desired to provide different audio tracks
and other announcements from a sound system. For
10
The rear panel 12 also provides various other standard
connection terminals and/or control devices. For example,
AUX INPUT TRIM controls, AUDIO PROCESS LINK
connectors, and an AC LINE INPUT connector are pro
vided. These are utiliZed for providing conventional func
tions.
The front panel 8 includes a control panel 30. The control
panel 30 is preferably removable and can also be controlled
via a remote infrared link. The front panel 10 also preferably
includes output level indicators 32 to 34 for the three
example, the audio requirements Will generally differ for a
bar, for a Waiting room, for the kitchen and for the dining
area. Existing sound systems, hoWever, offer limited features
and capabilities to meet the needs of the marketplace.
Thus, neW sound systems for use in public places are
needed.
ampli?er channels, AMP CHANNEL 1, AMP CHANNEL 2
and AMP CHANNEL 3.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a neW and improved ampli?er
system. The ampli?er system includes a plurality of input
terminals and a plurality of ampli?er channels. It also
includes sWitching means for selectably connecting each of
the plurality of input terminals to each of the plurality of
ampli?er channels When the input terminal is active, means
for prioritiZing the connection of each of the plurality of
25
and 42 Which can connect any sWitch input to any sWitch
output.
In particular, the input terminals 14 and 15 are connected
to the tWo inputs to the 2x3 crosspoint sWitch 40. The three
outputs from the crosspoint sWitch 40 are connected to
digital attenuators 44 to 46. The digital attenuator 44 is
input terminals to each of the plurality of ampli?er channels
and control means for controlling the sWitching means in
accordance With the means for prioritiZing the connection so
that for each ampli?er channel, the active input terminal
With the highest priority is connected to the ampli?er
connected to the ?rst ampli?er channel, AMP CHANNEL 1,
that includes the folloWing components: a summer 48, a
digital tone control circuit 49, a link circuit 50 and a 100 Watt
channel. The present invention also includes means for
limiting the output level of each ampli?er channel in accor
dance With the input terminal that is connected to the
Referring noW to FIG. 3, the circuitry in accordance With
a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illus
trated. The input terminals 14 to 19, including the MIC A
input, the MIC B/TEL B input, and the AUX INPUT A—D
lines, are all connected to inputs on crosspoint sWitches 40
35
ampli?er channel.
poWer ampli?er circuit 51. The digital attenuator 45 is
connected to the second ampli?er channel, AMP CHAN
NEL 2, that includes the folloWing components: a summer
The invention Will noW be further described in connection
52, a digital tone control circuit 53, a link circuit 54 and a
With certain illustrated embodiments; hoWever, it should be
60 Watt poWer ampli?er circuit 55. The digital attenuator 46
is connected to the third ampli?er channel, AMP CHANNEL
3, that includes the folloWing components: a summer 56, a
clear to those skilled in the art that various modi?cations,
additions and subtractions can be made Without departing
from the spirit and scope of the claims.
40
digital tone control circuit 57, a link circuit 58 and a 20 Watt
poWer ampli?er circuit 59. Since the poWer ampli?ers 51, 55
and 59 provide outputs at ampli?er output terminals 10 to
12, respectively, it is apparent that the input terminals 14 and
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the front and rear panels,
respectively, of the ampli?er system of the present inven
45
tion;
The input terminals 16 to 19 are connected to the four
FIG. 3 illustrates the circuitry of the ampli?er system in
inputs in the 4x3 crosspoint sWitch 42. The three outputs
accordance With a preferred embodiment of the present
invention; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the use of the ampli?er system of
the present invention to prioritiZe a typical set of audio
signals in a restaurant environment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENT
55
from the crosspoint sWitch 20 are connected to digital
attenuators 60 to 62. The digital attenuator 60 is connected
to the ?rst ampli?er channel, AMP CHANNEL 1, that, as
previously explained, includes the summer 48, the tone
control circuit 49, the link circuit 50 and the poWer ampli?er
circuit 51 and that provides an output at terminal 10. The
digital attenuator 61 is connected to the second ampli?er
channel, AMP CHANNEL 2, that, as previously explained,
includes the summer 52, the tone control circuit 53, the link
circuit 54 and the poWer ampli?er circuit 55 and that
provides an output at the terminal 11. The digital attenuator
62 is connected to the third ampli?er channel, AMP CHAN NEL 3, that, as previously described, includes the summer
56, the tone control circuit 57, the link circuit 58 and the
poWer ampli?er circuit 59 and that provides an output at the
terminal 12. Thus, the input terminals 16 to 19 can be
In FIGS. 1 and 2, the front 8 and rear 12 panels,
respectively, of the ampli?er system of the present invention
are illustrated. The rear panel 12 provides the folloWing
input terminals: MIC A 14, MIC B/TEL B 15, AUX INPUT
A 16, AUX INPUT B 17, AUX INPUT C 18 and AUX
INPUT D 19. Various sources of audio signals can be
connected to these input terminals. For example, a micro
phone from a paging system can be connected to the MIC A
input terminal 14 so that announcements can be made
through the ampli?er system. A second microphone or a
telephone can be connected to the MIC B/TEL B input
terminal. A variety of audio components, such as CD
15 can be connected to all three poWer ampli?ers 51, 55 and
59 and, then, to all three output terminals 10 to 12.
65
connected to all three poWer ampli?ers 51, 55 and 59 and,
then, to all three output terminals 10 to 12.
The embodiment of FIG. 3 uses tWo crosspoint sWitches
40 and 42 to provide the capability of connecting each input
5,774,016
3
4
terminal to each ampli?er circuit, necessitating the use of
summers 28, 32 and 36. If a single crosspoint sWitch that is
large enough to handle the connection of all inputs to all
outputs and that has the necessary ratings can be used, it is
terminals 14 to 19 to each of the ampli?er output terminals
system 82 accesses the control panel 30. Each combination
of input and output can be selected via the buttons on the
apparent that the summers can be eliminated.
control panel 30. For example, to assign the priority for the
Amicrocontroller based circuit 66 is provided. The micro
controller circuit 66 receives inputs from the input terminals
audio input on the AUX INPUTA line on the ?rst ampli?er
channel output 10, the AUX A button 100 and the AMP 1
14 to 19, from microphone precedence inputs 68 and from
button 102 are selected. Then the NEXT and BACK buttons
104 and 106 are used to set the priority level.
In a similar manner, the priority of any input on any
the control panel 30 and the infrared receivers 67. The
microcontroller circuit 66 controls the operation of various
components in FIG. 3 based on these inputs.
10 to 12 can be prioritiZed. To do so, a user of the ampli?er
10
For example, the microcontroller circuit 66 provides
outputs to the crosspoint sWitches 40 and 42 to control the
input to output connections that are made in each sWitch 40
and 42. The microcontroller circuit 66 also provides outputs
to the digital attenuators 44 to 46 and 60 to 61 to control the
attenuation levels of each of these devices. The microcon
15
troller 66 also provides control signals to the digital tone
control circuits 49, 53 and 57. The microcontroller circuit 66
also controls the link circuits 50, 54 and 58. These link
circuits 50, 54 and 58 function as a sWitch to internally
connect or disconnect the front end audio processing cir
microcontroller circuit 66 then accesses the priority table to
determine the appropriate connections to be made in the
crosspoint sWitches 40 and 42. Thus, for each ampli?er
cuitry from the poWer ampli?er circuitry. Connectors, not
shoWn in FIG. 3, are preferably provided to alloW external
access to the front end processing signal outputs and poWer
ampli?er inputs. So, for example, the front end signal
output can be set by accessing the appropriate combination
of the input control buttons AUX A 100, AUX B 108, AUX
C 110, AUX D 112, MIC A 114 and MIC B 116 and of the
output control buttons AMP 1 102, AMP 2 118 and AMP 3
120 and then using the NEXT and BACK buttons 104 and
106.
This priority information is sent to the microcontroller
circuit 66 and is preferably stored in a priority table. The
25
processing circuits can be connected to external poWer
ampli?ers, if desired.
Referring noW to FIGS. 4 and 5, one typical use of the
ampli?er system in a restaurant setting is illustrated. In FIG.
4, a restaurant 70 has a greeting area 72, a Waiting area 74,
a bar area 76, a kitchen 78 and a dining area 80 that includes
a plurality of tables 81. The ampli?er system 82 of the
present invention is preferably, but not necessarily, located
channel, AMP CHANNEL 1, AMP CHANNEL 2 and AMP
CHANNEL 3, the input With the highest priority on that
channel is connected.
The microcontroller circuit 66 also receives inputs from
the input terminals 14 to 19. These inputs alloW the micro
controller circuit 66 to determine Which input terminals have
active audio signals on them. Conventional circuitry, using
op amps, recti?ers, ?lters and comparators, is utiliZed to
perform this function. The microcontroller circuit 66, before
connecting an input to an output in accordance With the
priority table, ensures that there is an active signal an the
input terminal.
near the greeting area 72. Note that FIG. 4 exaggerates the
Referring noW to FIG. 5, a chart illustrating the use of the
space consumed by the ampli?er system 82—ordinarily it
ampli?er system 82 to control the presentation of various the
Will be built into a hidden closet.
A microphone 84 from a paging system, a jukebox 86, a
CD player 88, a TV 90 and a source of background music 92
are connected to the inputs of the ampli?er system 82.
Speci?cally, as indicated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the microphone
84 is connected to the MIC A input terminal 14 on the line
I5, the jukebox 86 is connected to the AUX INPUT A
terminal 16 on the line I1, the CD player 88 is connected to
the AUX INPUT B terminal 17 on the line I2, the TV is
connected to the AUX INPUT C terminal 18 on the line I3,
and the background audio source 92 is connected to the
AUX INPUT D terminal 19 on the line I4.
Audio is provided to the restaurant rooms via a set of
35 audio sources in the different rooms of the restaurant 70 is
shoWn. The priorities on the ampli?er outputs 10 to 12 are
set by accessing the buttons on the control panel 30, as
previously discussed.
In FIG. 5, the priorities on the ?rst ampli?er 51 (in AMP
40
84 has highest priority, the jukebox 86 has the second
highest priority, the TV 90 has the third highest priority and
the CD player 88 has the loWest priority. The background
music source 92 is not enabled on the ?rst ampli?er 51.
45
terminal 11 on the ampli?er system 82 via a line A3. Of
course, these connections can be modi?ed to take advantage
Thus, in the bar 76, the CD player 88 Will be broadcast on
the speaker system 94 only if the jukebox 86, the TV 90 and
the pager 84 are not active. If the TV 90 is turned on and the
jukebox 86 and the pager 84 are not active, then the TV
audio signal Will be broadcast instead of the CD player, as
it has a higher priority. If the jukebox 86 is selected by a
patron but the pager 84 is not active, then the audio from the
speaker systems 94 to 96. For example, in FIG. 4, speaker
systems 94, 95 and 96 are provided for the bar 76, the dining
area 80 and the Waiting room 74, respectively. The speaker
system 94 is connected to the ?rst ampli?er output terminal
10 on the ampli?er system 82 via a line A1. The speaker
system 95 is connected to the third ampli?er output terminal
12 on the ampli?er system 82 via a line A2. The speaker
system 96 is connected to the second ampli?er output
CHANNEL 1) are shoWn to have been set so that the pager
jukebox 86 is broadcast instead of the loWer priority audio
sources. Lastly, When the pager 84 is enabled, presumably to
announce that a table is ready, the audio signal from the
pager 84 is broadcast, regardless of the status of the other
55 audio sources.
of the different poWer ranges of the ampli?er channels.
The priorities on the third ampli?er channel 59 in AMP
CHANNEL 3, Which provides service to the speaker circuit
Note that the kitchen area 78 is not provided With a
speaker system. If it is desired to do so, either one of the
95 in the dining room 80, are set so that the audio from the
background music source 92 is broadcast over the speaker
speaker systems already described can be installed in the
kitchen area 78 or, alternatively, the ampli?er system 82
could be modi?ed Within the boundaries of the present
invention to provide a fourth ampli?er channel Which could
handle a fourth speaker system. Additional ampli?er chan
nels can also be easily added.
In accordance With one aspect of the present invention,
the connection of each of the audio signals on the input
circuit 95 if the CD player 88 is inactive. If, hoWever, the CD
player 88 is enabled, then its audio is broadcast instead, as
it has a higher priority.
The priorities on the second ampli?er channel 55, Which
provides service for the Waiting room 74, are similar to those
for the dining room 80, except the pager 84 is given the
65
highest priority. Thus, When enabled, the pager 84 audio Will
be broadcast on the speaker system 96. When the pager 94
5,774,016
6
5
is not enabled, the CD player 88 audio is broadcast if the CD
player 88 is enabled. If the pager 94 and the CD player 88
control means for controlling the sWitching means in
accordance With the means for prioritiZing the connec
are not enabled, then the audio from the background source
92 is broadcast.
Referring back to FIG. 3, the microcontroller circuit 66
can also control the output level of each of the ampli?er
channels 51, 55 and 59 in accordance With the input terminal
14 to 19 that is connected to the ampli?er channel 51, 55,
and 59. The operator of the ampli?er 82 can assign a volume
setting for each combination of input terminals 14 to 19 and
tion so that for each ampli?er channel, the active input
terminal With the highest priority is connected to the
ampli?er channel outputs 10 to 12 by using the buttons on
ampli?er channel.
10
the control panel 30, including the input and ampli?er
buttons previously discussed and the VOL button 122. The
plurality of ampli?er channels, comprising the steps of:
microcontroller circuit 66 stores this information in a look
up table for use as connections betWeen the various inputs
and the various outputs are being made.
As the microcontroller circuit 66 is connecting the input
terminals 14 to 19 to the ampli?er channels 51, 55 and 59,
it also looks up the desired volume settings as set from the
control panel 30. If no setting is found, a default setting Will
be used. The microcontroller circuit 66 Will set the attenu
15
ation in the attenuators 44 to 46 and 60 to 62 in accordance
When the microcontroller circuit 66 changes from a loWer
to a higher priority input on any given ampli?er channel, any
user preset volume differences betWeen the loWer and the
25
the microcontroller circuit 66 determines that a change from
a higher priority input to a loWer priority input needs to be
sWitching means for selectably connecting each of the
plurality of input terminals to each of the plurality of
loWer priority input, the microcontroller circuit 66 Waits a
preset amount of time to ensure that the higher priority input
ampli?er channels; and
is truly inactive, thereby avoiding unWanted sWitching dur
the microcontroller 66 decides to make the change to a loWer
control means for controlling the output level of each of
the ampli?er channels in accordance With the input
35
40
audio source to Zero and then ramps or fades the volume
outputs;
45
sWitch;
an ampli?er circuit connected to an output of each attenu
ator;
to control the microphone inputs and the auXiliary inputs
a microcontroller that controls the operation of the cros
auXiliary input (With music on it) and miX the auXiliary input
With the microphone input at one of the summers 48, 52 or
56. Thus, a page from a microphone input can be broadcast
55
spoint sWitch Wherein the microcontroller receives
inputs from the plurality of input terminals so that it can
determine Which input terminals have an active audio
signal, Wherein the microcontroller maintains a table
indicative of the priority each input terminal has on
each ampli?er circuit and Wherein the microcontroller
connects input terminals With active audio signals to
the ampli?er circuits in accordance With the priority
table.
I claim:
7. The claim of claim 6, further comprising:
1. An ampli?er system, comprising:
a plurality of input terminals;
a plurality of ampli?er channels;
the microcontroller controls the attenuation in the attenu
ators and the connections made by the crosspoint
sWitch.
8. The claim of claim 7, Wherein the attenuation in each
sWitching means for selectably connecting each of the
plurality of input terminals to each of the plurality of
ampli?er channels When the input terminal is active;
means for prioritiZing the connection of each of the
a plurality of input terminals;
a crosspoint sWitch having a plurality of inputs and
outputs, each of the input terminals being connected to
an input on the crosspoint sWitch, the crosspoint sWitch
being able to connect each of its inputs to each of its
an attenuator connected to each output of the crosspoint
permits the microcontroller 66 to loWer the volume of an
While music from an auXiliary input continues to play.
It is understood that changes may be made in the above
description Without departing from the scope of the inven
tion. It is accordingly intended that all matter contained in
the above description and in the draWings be interpreted as
illustrative rather than limiting.
terminal that is connected to the ampli?er channel.
6. An ampli?er circuit, comprising:
priority audio source, it sets the volume of the loWer priority
level back to its previous level or its preselected level.
The circuit of the present invention can also provide a
“page over music” feature. Referring to FIG. 3, the use of a
separate bank of digital attenuators (44 to 46 versus 60 to 62)
4. The claim of claim 3, further comprising the step of:
limiting the output level of each ampli?er channel in
accordance With the input terminal that is connected to
the ampli?er channel.
5. An ampli?er system, comprising:
a plurality of input terminals;
a plurality of ampli?er channels;
made, for example, When the higher priority input becomes
inactive, the microcontroller circuit 66 implements slightly
different processing steps. First, before sWitching to the
ing a transient silent period on the higher priority audio
source. It is preferred to Wait eight seconds before sWitching
from a higher priority source on the auXiliary inputs and
three seconds before sWitching from a higher priority source
on the microphone inputs. Although these times are pres
ently hardcoded, in an alternate embodiment, these times
can be changed by the user through the front panel 30. Once
prioritiZing the connection of each of the plurality of input
terminals to each of the plurality of ampli?er channels;
controlling the connection of each of the plurality of input
terminals to each of the plurality of ampli?er channels
in accordance With the priority from the previous step,
so that for each ampli?er channel, the active input
terminal With the highest priority is connected to the
ampli?er channel.
With the desired volume settings.
higher priority inputs are changed immediately. If, hoWever,
2. The claim of claim 1, further comprising:
means for limiting the output level of each ampli?er
channel in accordance With the input terminal that is
connected to the ampli?er channel.
3. Amethod of providing audio signals through an ampli
?er system having a plurality of input terminals and a
attenuator is assigned by the microcontroller in accordance
With the input terminal that is being connected through the
65
crosspoint sWitch to the attenuator.
plurality of input terminals to each of the plurality of
ampli?er channels; and
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