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Alcorn McBride show control updates interactive museum exhibits

Alcorn McBride audio, video and show control equipment has been selected to replace the aging systems at Mill City Museum and the Minnesota History Center.

The museums offer visitors the chance to experience Minneapolis and St. Paul’s history through interpretive and interactive exhibits driven by Alcorn McBride equipment.

“We have been using Alcorn McBride equipment since 2006,” said Jesse Heinzen, multimedia director at the Minnesota Historical Society.

Mill City Museum is located on the Mississippi Riverfront, built from the ruins of the Wasburn A. Mill. The museum teaches visitors about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river and the city. The featured experience is a Flour Tower interpretive ride, which takes visitors on an eight-story freight elevator ride through the recreated flour mill. Historic still photos and film clips are projected in the sets and are accompanied by the oral histories of the millers who worked there.

The show control system in the Flour Tower ride was recently replaced with Alcorn McBride’s V16 PRO with AMI/O to easily connect large amounts of field I/O with a single Ethernet cable, interfacing with the elevator control and the machine motors on the show sets. A ShowTouch touch panel interface was retrofitted in the elevator cab for the use of museum interpreters. A new Alcorn McBride LightCue DMX recorder/player was also installed to replace the previous lighting system.

“Since we programmed the systems in early December they’ve been running just fine,” reported Heinzen. “Any questions that arose during programming were quickly responded to by Alcorn McBride staff; they were very helpful.”

Minnesota History Center is an interactive museum, home to both permanent and changing exhibits, features an array of long-running Alcorn McBride kit. “Our first Alcorn McBride installation was a V4 show control system in 2006,” stated Heinzen. “It’s the brains of the exhibit ‘Open House: If These Walls Could Talk.’ The exhibit tells the 150-year history of a real house in St. Paul with each room portraying a different era and a different family. Our original V4 is still running along with a DMX Machine and an 8TraXX audio player.”

“This Must Be Hell,” a signature experience in the ‘Minnesota’s Greatest Generation’ exhibit, ushers visitors inside the fuselage of a C-47 SkyTrain military transport plane where they hear about paratroopers who participated in the D-Day invasion. Projections on the inside of the fuselage shows posters, photos and archive footage of paratroopers, and blended projections outside the windows enhance the story with visual effects.

“We’ve used an Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop in that exhibit since 2009,” added Heinzen. “We chose the system because we needed frame-accurate synch among four channels of video and 16 channels of audio.”

Alcorn McBride show control