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Amsterdam School Modernizes Bell System with AtlasIED Atmosphere

School bells that signal the beginning and end of class or school-day are a nearly universal and fundamental need of a school, including Lyceum Amsterdams. A ‘lyceum’ is a Dutch secondary school, and Lyceum Amsterdams, founded in 1917, is the oldest in the Netherlands and focuses on preparing nearly 1,100 students for university.

Over the years, the four-story, red Dutch brick Lyceum Amsterdams school has undergone several expansions and updates. When it was time to upgrade the technology it used to schedule and activate the school bell system, the school chose AtlasIED’s Atmosphere to modernize its system and overall approach to management.

Lyceum Amsterdams used a centralized electronic bell system for several decades that was complicated to service and manage. If the school needed to change a bell schedule in the old system, the IT team and administration had to wait an hour to check if it played on the scheduled time. While the school administration theoretically could change the older system themselves, the IT team still needed to be involved in opening the equipment rack. Because the system was so dated and posed continual operational issues, the school’s personnel were ready for a change and turned to the van Brienen AV integration company for help.

Harry Scheringa, Senior Account Manager for Amsterdam-based van Brienen AV, was well acquainted with AtlasIED’s Atmosphere, typically installing them in hospitality venues to provide background music or sound masking. Scheringa recalled Atmosphere’s bell scheduling capabilities, and although it’s not something hotels frequently need, he recognized that it could fit the school’s needs perfectly. Scheringa recommended the commercial-grade Atmosphere AZM4 digital signal processor (DSP) to upgrade and manage the school’s bell system.

“The school administration was looking to modernize the equipment, as the team was having difficulties managing or servicing it due to its age,” said Scheringa. “We installed the AZM4 primarily to make it easier for the school’s IT staff to service the system and the school administration to make adjustments whenever they needed. The initial setup of Atmosphere AZM was easy for everyone to understand, and they quickly started using the system.”

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The school installed the AZM4 in the school’s first-floor closet. Providing select staff members of IT and administration with access to the system, they can now change the system from a tablet or laptop computer wherever they are, like from the school’s fourth-floor administration offices or even from home. Additionally, Scheringa and his team could access the system to troubleshoot if the need arose.

The AZM4 bell scheduling feature allows school staff to create multiple bells, ring lists, and schedules to support both pre-planned schedules and planned and unplanned exceptions. The school staff even had some fun with the ability to change the sound types. “Our client is even finding it fun to operate and play different audio files, like funny sounds or songs, instead of the traditional bell. The school can get more creative with the students to keep things fun.”

Today, the school is pleased with the new capabilities and operational improvements Atmosphere provides. In the future, with the Atmosphere platform in place by way of the AZM4, the school can now take advantage of a multitude of accessories for control and volume changes. With built-in background music capabilities, the school could play music throughout the school for special occasions and days when they wish to modify the routine for students.

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