Salmon Ponds: Video Projection Solution
Our client was looking for a reliable, visually captivating video projection solution to be housed within the Hatchery Building at the Salmon Ponds. The intention is to use these images to add to the interpretive nature of the Hatchery display area and give visitors an insight into the history of the site. The Salmon Ponds, circa 1861, is the oldest trout hatchery in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the birthplace of trout in Australia and the origin of Tasmania’s legendary trout fishery.
The vision is to help convey to the many visitors from around the world just how much change has taken place at the Salmon Ponds as a site of historical significance over the past 150 years, as well as to increase awareness of how Tasmania's now world renowned wild fishery has become what it is today because of the work carried out here.
The Challenges and Our Solution
The solution had to be reliable, and at the same time visually appealing. The system needed to operate from 9am though to 5pm, 7 days a week, with minimal interaction from staff.
A 100” premium quality fixed projection screen was installed due to its brilliant contrast and commanding size. Coupled with a high quality Panasonic projector and solid state media player, this solution requires virtually no maintenance.
Many visitors have commented on how much more these images add to their experience at the Salmon Ponds. They now leave with a clearer understanding of how much work has gone into this site over the years, and a better appreciation of its historical value.
Our client is extremely happy with the way the solution breathes new life into the display area and draws people into the building to look more closely at the various displays. The system's ease of use and strong reliability make life very easy for staff, and the large screen and clear images simply cannot be overlooked.
Based on the success of this installation, additional projects are now being considered to continue improving visitor experiences at the Salmon Ponds.
Port Arthur: Separate Prison Building: Sound Scapes
Our client was looking for a unique sound scape solution for the 'A' Wing Cells, 'A' Wing Corridor, Central Hall and Orientation Corridor areas of the Separate Prison building at Port Arthur as the first stage of a multi-stage project. These sound scapes capture the emotion of what would have been a bleak existence, giving the site a sense of life and adding depth to the visitor's experience.
The sound scape speakers and head-end equipment needed to be installed into a highly sensitive historical building, so great care needed to be taken. Furthermore, the challenging environmental conditions (cold, damp, and dusty) required a robust, reliable system that could operate in such a climate with minimal system down time.
The Port Arthur Separate Prison sound delivery system needed to be completely autonomous requiring no user intervention while this system was performing within the original specified operational parameters, with the following additional functionality:
- 8am – 6pm Automated sound delivery
- 6pm – 8am Automated silence
- Adjustment for daylight savings time
- Triggered sound delivery of Rules and sound effects in the Orientation Corridor
- Randomised sound delivery in A-wing Cells, A-wing Corridor and Central Corridor areas.
- Ability for manual operator intervention to provide a temporary silencing of the system
- Ability for manual operator intervention to provide a temporary animating of the system (outside operating hours).
- Ability for manual operator intervention to indefinitely silence system.
- Ability for manual operator intervention to indefinitely invert inside/outside hours operation.
The Challenges and Our Solution
Port Arthur is one of Tasmania's most popular tourist destinations, so it was essential the solution we provided continued to operate no matter what the environment and the general public could throw at it. In order to increase reliability and reduce down time, our solution hinged on components that were suitably rated (environmentally), but more importantly devoid of moving parts such as cooling fans and hard drives. We also designed a system that maximised the use of discrete parts, reducing impact on the system should there be any equipment failures and allowing for temporary workarounds should such an event occur.
Critical to a successful outcome was the need to install the equipment such that it had minimal visual impact. Speakers had to be concealed wherever possible, and when not possible installed so as to blend into the surroundings. A further challenge was to ensure that the performance of the speakers was not compromised by the need to minimise visual impact, so a carefully considered solution was imperative. A well thought out selection of high quality speakers were chosen so as to ensure this delicate balance was achieved to great affect.
It was also critical to factor in the need to expand the system as the various stages of the project unravelled. Our system solution allowed for ease of expansion as additional sound scapes were added by allowing for extra capacity on the controller and sufficient rack space to accommodate additional hardware.
Port Arthur: Dockyards Precinct: Sound Scapes
Develop an integrated network of interpretive sound installations across the Dockyards Precinct to give impressions of life, industry and activity. Strategic locations for sounds include:
- Entry to Precinct
- Blacksith's Shop
- Large Boat Shed
- Master Shipwright's House
- Behind Master Shipwright's House
Sound installations could be triggered by individual visitor movements at various locations on site, or looped, depending on the sound. The volume of sounds should reflect the activity invoked, so that softer sounds such as sawing and digging would only be heard in specific locations, while hammering and shouting would be heard at a distance – perhaps even beyond the Precinct.
The preference is for a digital system that is user friendly and will run automatically once it is commissioned.
All the sensors and speakers would be located outside and in close proximity to the sea and will need to be totally weatherproof.
All external wiring to the remote sensors and speakers need to be 12v.
The Challenges and our Solution
Being located in close proximity to the sea raises all manner of issues. The sound scape network needed to be designed such that it would survive the elements, in particular water, corrosion, and extreme temperatures.
The key to this design was to keep it simple, and build it tough.
It was also a requirement that the system be subject to minimal maintenance and automated such that no matter what the conditions at the site, the sound scape would continue to perform reliably.
The equipment was then installed with these challenges in mind. Solid state hardware was utilised and IP rated speakers positioned within specially designed underground pits so as to ensure water ingress and corrosion would not deteriorate the equipment and stop it functioning.
Many of the sound scape audio sources were produced in-house to meet the site's requirements and instil the “impressions of life, industry and activity”, giving the visitor an aural insight into a busy working waterfront precinct.
Since installation the sound scapes for the Dockyards Precinct have performed perfectly. Even a flood didn't stop the system performing! Visitors now have a sense of what life in the Dockyards would have been like, with the sounds of hammering, sawing and hard labour bringing the site to life and enhancing the visitor's experience.