Press release Podules
iKON Podule System – pre-programmed for simplicity June 2008
One of the leading UK based manufacturers, iKON AVS, have steadily been making a name for themselves designing and manufacturing the Podule control system. The Podule range of products comprises a number of button panels in four, six, eight or sixteen button combinations that all fit standard electrical socket boxes and can be used for direct device control using on board RS 232 and IR as well as modular add on units that include relays, video, computer and audio switchers, system monitoring units, timing devices and touch screen interfaces.
The Wall Podules are self contained units, programmed via iKON’s own Podflow software, (although many customers buy their units already programmed) and do not require any additional processors. Other units may be used for stand alone functions such as computer, video and audio switching or integrated with other products in the Podule family using a Podnet network bus. The Podnet port on each Podule product allows for data and power sharing between the modular Podule units and keeps free all of the RS232 ports for use with non Podule products such as display and switch devices. This enables the Podule system to be completely flexible and allows for both affordability and system expansion.
iKON MD David Tyas explains: “We have developed the Podule range of products from customer led requirements. The simplest units control devices such as projectors directly using an RS232 bi directional interface (the bi-directionality is very important for reliability – particularly with the latest generation of projectors where the processing power has been reduced to save costs). These panels are sold as cost effective and reliable solutions – they even leave the factory pre-programmed so the installer only has to fit them. Many users have a standard setup for their rooms and the Wall pod is ideal for the ‘one room at a time’ as budget allows approach. They are easy to reprogram if a new projector is added by uploading a new program supplied by us, through the programming port via a laptop or PC – or if customers want to send the units back to us we will upload the changes for the cost of postage. Moving on with added control we also produce a new 8 button unit with additional IR, a 2 gang sixteen button unit with additional Infra red output for DVD, amplifier control plus open collectors for relay control etc. To accompany these we have a range of add-on units such as the Screen Podule that, integrated through the Podnet port, enables electric screens, curtains and blinds to be operated from the panels.
Podnet is the key to the Podule systems flexibility: If you need an additional RS232 port just plug in a Chrono Pod, need to add an XVGA switcher? Plug in an XVGA Pod, add an audio pod to give audio switching, level and EQ, add system control from a PC using a Pod Gateway, integrate a third party infra red handset using the IR Pod. Need a touch screen for more advanced control? Add a 6.4” or 10” TouchPod. The sky is really the limit as you can add many devices to the Podule network (also covering security aspects by integrating to alarm systems).”
The latest innovations from iKON include the diminutive Euro8 Podule. This unit takes the success of the 8 button Wall pod and adds additional IR functions. The unit is designed to fit any Euro panel style frame so they can be stylised to match any interior décor. In addition the Euro8 Podule can be integrated with any of the iKON EuroPanel adapters to give connectivity and control in one unit.
Another recent addition to the Podule family is the XVGA Podule. This is a four by one (dual output) switcher with useful features such as auto switch functions, bi directional RS232 port for additional device control and the ubiquitous Podnet interface.
With the iKON Wall Podule 8 price at £260.00 list this is really an economical but flexible system that the world is starting to take notice of.
Current users of the Podule system include The University of Ulster who have over two hundred 1 gang Wall Podules controlling projectors in their classrooms. These are supplied by various AV companies who are all able to buy pre-programmed units from iKON to fit the Universities requirements. ‘The installer gives us the projector model, buttons required and we send the unit ready to go – we even add an automatic shutdown function whereby the unit powers down the projector after a given period (usually 3-5 hours) after the last button press on the panel.’ David Tyas states.
Harper Adams University College
Harper Adams were introduced to the Podule system via Drake Audio Visual. They began with two eight button panels, linked with a Screen Podule to lower and raise the electric screens, in refurbished classrooms. The units were supplied pre-programmed by iKON and installed by Drake’s own engineers. The units proved a real hit with AV manager John Pick who has now installed ten units in all. John was also very impressed with the new Euro8 Podule and has ordered a number of these for the ‘prestige rooms’.
The Metropolitan Police
The Metropolitan Police whose briefing rooms at Scotland Yard, restaurants and training rooms at Hendon are equipped with the iKON products.
David Tyas: ‘The Metropolitan Police are an excellent example of how the Podule system can be utilised in many ways. They are using Wall Podules for instant control as the room is entered to switch on the lights and projectors or screens. They also have input control available from these panels but the “power users” can operate the system from a lectern mounted touch screen that accesses full DVD / VCR / screen control functions.’