Master Control Panel 7700

(1983-1986) Master control panel for Beocenter 7700

Type number: 2040

Picture by Nick Jarman

Description

At the time of its introduction, the Master Control Panel 7700 was the most ambitious remote control terminal to be offered by B&O. Intended for use with the Beocenter 7700, this advanced product made use of a new technique, two-way infrared communication. In simple terms, this meant that both the terminal and the Beocenter could transmit and receive data via the IR link, allowing the terminal to display what the audio system was actually doing (not just which keys had been pressed recently). Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The reason behind this level of sophistication was that the Beocenter 7700 was intended for use as the centre of a multi-room link system, so knowing what the main system was doing without having to go and have a look was a real advantage. Using the Link 82 transceiver unit, the Master Control Panel could show, for example, which radio station was playing or confirm that a recording was taking place. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

The Master Control Panel 7700 was also the first B&O product to use LCD displays. These were similar to the types used in the watches and calculators of the day, and could only show a limited variety of simple shapes. In the case of the Master Control Panel 7700, a more flexible display was formed by using three units, one to show the volume and muting status, one to show the source selection and one for miscellaneous functions such as “record”. A disadvantage of the LCD technique was that the displays were “reflective” and could only be read in good ambient lighting. To get around this, a backlight was fitted behind each one, though to save power only the display(s) in use were lit, and then only when a built-in sensor deemed it dark enough for the backlight to be worthwhile. The light sensor was hidden behind a small green square on the display panel, next to a “transmit” indicator of identical appearance. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Unlike later two-way IR products, the Master Control Panel 7700 could function normally even if the returned data was not received. It could therefore be used with the Beocenter 7007 as well, though much of the advantage was lost. Text copyright © Beocentral. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.

Designer

Jacob Jensen

Type number

2040

Further Reading

In print:

On the web: