The PL1 Portable Loop Kit is a compact audio-frequency induction-loop amplifier, according to Signet 'suitable for counter, table or desktop use' and 'ideal for restricted person to person contact in areas such as banks, post offices, small meeting rooms, reception desks, open plan offices and ticket booths'. The portable, lightweight design means the system can be moved easily from location to location; it has 'simple, one-button operation' and has an 'integral high performance microphone'.
Audio frequency induction loop systems (AFILS) work by transmitting amplified sound to hearing aids. Most hearing aids have a switch which allows them to pick up the electromagnetic signal generated by an induction loop system. The PL1 models are capable of generating a loop-listening field of more than 100mA/M, the level required by BS 7594, the code of practice for audio-frequency induction loop systems, at distances greater than 1m from the unit itself, and 'meets and exceeds the requirements of BS7594 and EN60118-4'.
The actual loop is mounted in a vertical housing which also forms a carrying handle and an area to display the sticker advising that an induction loop system is in operation. All of the amplifier’s indicators and controls can be found on its rear, mounted on the enclosure containing the battery and circuitry. Operating the on-off button turns the unit on, the 'AFILS on' indicator lights green when the amplifier is ready to use.
The PL1 contains an internal microphone and a 'internal speech compressor / automatic gain control and, as such, the user does not have to direct his or her voice directly towards this microphone'. This allows the PL1 to be positioned slightly to one side of the user. Optimum performance is achieved at speaking distances of approximately half a metre. A 3.5mm socket provides for connection of optional equipment such as a tie-clip or desk microphone, inserting ancillary equipment into this socket will disable the internal microphone. The 'AFILS Working indicator gauge' consists of three LEDs. When the user speaks, these indicators illuminate to confirm the system is working correctly. They follow the user’s speech pattern and measure the electrical current in the induction loop.
To prevent the system being left on for extended periods of time and flattening the battery, the amplifier is set to operate for a default on time of 10 minutes. 10 seconds before the 10 minutes expires, a beeper will sound to indicate that shut off is imminent. Pressing the 'On/Off' button again, before the 10 seconds elapse, will extend the on time. If required, the system default on time can be extended to 30 or 60 minutes. A 'Battery status' indicator Illuminates yellow when the battery is low and in need of recharging and flashes yellow when the unit is recharging. This is accomplished by means of the charger socket and included plug-top battery charger. The amplifier will still operate when its battery is charging. The internal 12V VRSLA (Valve Regulated Sealed Lead Acid) battery is monitored against deep discharge, giving an expected battery life of five years under normal operating/charging conditions.
Response: 100Hz-5kHz. Compressor: up to 5:1. Distortion: Better than 1% THD at 1kHz, 1metre, 100mA/m field strength. Operating range: 1 metre nominal, 1kHz, providing an AFILS field strength of greater than 100mA/m.Dimensions: 250 x 300 x 100(w x h x d)mm approximately. Weight: 1.7kg.
Included accessories: There are two models, both containing a PL1 amplifier, complete with battery and internal microphone and plug-in charger. The PL1/K1 is packaged with a 'robust' wall-mounting storage shelf and supplied in a cardboard picture box, while the PL1/K3 does not include the wall-mounting shelf, but is supplied in a plastic transport case.
Optional accessories: Alternative microphones. See Signet AFILS Loop Amplifier Systems - Accessories - Microphones.