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Conference bridges to backup webcasting for stake conference

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:03 pm
by nognielsen
I've loved this forum so far! Great things here. I've been reading the recent threads on backup phone connections if webcasting goes down.... So the church doesn't have a single Conference bridge service that units can use? It appears that from the wiki each stake needs to find and pay for this on their own? Is this the kind of thing you just pay for twice a year (2 months I assume) when you have stake conference or is it a pay as you use kinda of thing? We have AT&T as our provider.

Another thought occurred to me as I was going through the specifics using the crab boxes and phones... I'm only broadcasting to two local buildings (local phone call) can I use 3-way calling some how if the stake-center has it to call the other two buildings? Maybe it's not possible. Just thought I'd ask people thoughts on the matter.

My worst fear is for the internet to go down during stake conference and not have a suitable backup!

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:27 am
by rbeede
3-way calling would be an option. You'd have to work with the stake president and FM group to have it setup by the phone company since the FM group usually manages the phone account.

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:10 am
by ksolsen
The Church does not have a worldwide conference bridge service for field use, so it is up to the stakes to come up with a solution. There are so many solutions out there; hopefully it's not too difficult to find something that works for you. There are a number of free conference service providers that don't charge anything for their service, but make their money from long-distance tolls (so the number you are calling would be long-distance, so there is potentially some cost there).

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:24 am
by nognielsen
Couple of items... So I found that there's a verizon bridge that units in the US can sign up and use supposedly...

Also, I wanted to explorer the option of using a cell phone instead, I can easily do 3 way calling with that and most smart phones have a head phone/headset 3.5mm jack

So here's my question, has anybody done this already? I assume on the receiving side, all that needs to be done is connect a 3.5mm jack to the phone then to a crab box and then into the MIC system and you'll hear what ever is on the phone.

However, on the broad cast side, what kind of cable do I need to send out audio? I was thinking I would just connect in the library at the satellite box and that it would be a line level out (composite) and convert that to maybe a 3way 3.5 mm and plug that into the smart phone's headset/headphone jac? (old style camcorder cable) would this work? I'm probably missing something.

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:34 am
by johnshaw
I setup a PVC call on my laptop. I tried getting the sound in through the Roxio VHS/DVD USB device I use for the software version of the Meetinghouse Webcast, but that just didn't work well for PVC. I have an alternate USB/mic input from my work video conferencing solution - it is a platronics... it's meant to take a headset with the old style mic/headphone jacks to plug into a computer and convert them to a laptop that doesn't have a mic input anymore... Anyway, it worked out really well. I had the sound from the building coming into the room, then if the need arises (it didn't for us) but I could call out from the room to a mobile phone as you've described above, mute their side of the conversation and have them plug into the crab again as you describe above.

My biggest challenge is that my Internet Connection will never support this in a real emergency, if more than 1 or 2 sites had issues.... but that is a local Internet Connection problem and not the solution.

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:43 am
by michaelfish

I assume on the receiving side, all that needs to be done is connect a 3.5mm jack to the phone then to a crab box and then into the MIC system and you'll hear whatever is on the phone
As far as my experience goes, smart-phones are not designed for line level audio inputs. Any external audio in for a smart-phone requires either through a plug-in mic or blue-tooth device, neither of which provide the capability to simply plug in an external audio feed. The only option I can think of is to cut the wires from the microphone of the blue-tooth device or plug-in microphone, and match the impedance of the audio feed to match the mic's.

Like you said, receiving the audio from a smart-phone is simple. I prefer taking the smart-phone headphone output and to plug it directly into the building's line input jack. When I need to connect using a microphone jack, I use a direct box ($20) instead of the crab. The crab attenuates the signal so much that barely any audio can be heard.

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:38 am
by nognielsen
I think I found something that might work...

to come directly from a mic

to come from line level output (the box in the library/materials center)

I'll give it a try and report back what happens.

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:15 pm
by michaelfish
Excellent find!

Please check on one thing for me. I am assuming you will use the attenuating version to take the signal from line level down to the phone mic level. If so, I am wondering if the impedance is close enough for good fidelity. Even though the signal may be attenuated to the proper voltage, if the impedance is way off, you will probably notice the sound being very "tinny". A good test of this would be to play a song with full range (low bass, clear vocals, clean highs) through the phone and observe the sound fidelity at the other end. Also note how much volume you can get before distortion creeps in.

Please write back with your results.

I just found a version with XLR to phone-mic (link)

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:35 am
by bfromm
I buy a lot of my cables from Their cables are very high quality, prices are cheap, and shipping is fast.

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:32 am
by nognielsen
I used the cable for a test, and it worked just fine. I could adjust levels on mixer I had. So I went from the building audio out (rca line level) to this cable referenced 3 posts above then directly into my iphone. I had to adjust the volume a little, and the receivers adjusted their volume, but then they plugged into a crab box and fed their respective PA systems... Worked pretty good!