Van Damme For Norway’s Voss Gondola

Photo credit: Jon Hunnålvatn

The small town of Voss is fast becoming one of the biggest centres of tourism in Norway. Pristine mountainous views, undisturbed nature and picturesque fjords all come together here, with Voss as the natural starting point for any expedition or event. Voss is also the go-to place for extreme sports athletes, hosting the biggest extreme sports festival in the world “Ekstremsportveko” every year in June.

Voss Gondol is a brand new gondola that transports up to 1100 people an hour from street level to 820 metres above sea level in just 5 minutes. From the top you can enjoy a 360 degree view of snowy mountaintops and deep green valleys while breathing the cleanest air your lungs have ever seen. At the top end of the gondola you’ll also find a restaurant, bar and conference centre, all with spectacular panoramic windows to the outside views. The gondola was built as an extension to one of the biggest and most popular ski resorts in western Norway.

The restaurant, bars and conference facilities were all equipped with sound- and AV systems delivered by Voss Lyd, Van Damme Norway Distributor. New building codes in Norway enforced use of LSZH cabling throughout,so Van Damme was the obvious choice, carrying a full range of high-quality LSZH cables. The building has been equipped with 60+ BOSE™ speakers, all wired for individual amplification with Van Damme White Line 1,5 mm and 2,5 mm speaker cables. Signal distribution from all endpoints, through processing and amplification is digital and running on a Dante™ network. Van Damme Purple Series 8 pair multi was used to implement an independent, fail safe signal distribution system between the most critical components in case of network failure.

In case of thunderstorms, which happen frequently in the western part of Norway during spring and autumn, the gondola needs to shut down as a safety precaution. “This makes for an interesting case in terms of techincal support”, says Yngve Hoeyland from Voss Lyd, the lead project manager for the gondola install. “When the gondola doesn’t run, getting to the top of that mountain becomes a three hour hike – that’s just not fast enough to deliver the kind of hands-on-in-no-time support that we offer to our most important customers”.

“As a solution to the problem, we set up a networked control system as part of the gondola system that lets us operate all the installed equipment remotely over the internet” says Yngve. “The remote system lets us go in and address the issue directly rather than trying to remote control a staff member over the phone. We log in, find the issue, click a few buttons and that’s it. We doubled up on infrastructure to make sure that we had all bases covered, with redundant networks, analog fail safes for inter-rack signals and an analog patch as a worst-case quick fix in case some of the most critical processing went offline. Van Damme supplied all the cables we
needed, kept us well within fire code regulation and of course delivering the best possible sound quality to guests at one of the most exclusive locations on the map”

Products used: 1150 m of White Line speaker; 900 m of TourCat Cat 6 U/UTP, 280 m of Purple Series 8 pair and 700 m of White Line AES/Analogue 1 Pair.