There has been a lot of interest in the Hydraport family of connectivity products since the release of our cable retractor modules.
The University of Canterbury has installed quite a number and we recently asked Nathan Gardiner for a report card on his experiences to date.
AMX to Nathan: What attracted you to the Hydraport product?
Nathan: We had been searching for a more efficient cabling solution for our users which would provide a robust and tidy finish for VGA, HDMI, Network, USB, and Power cables within our lecterns and meeting tables. The solution we were looking for had to be modular, scalable, and easy to use. Once we came across the Hydraport 1200 with retractable cables, it was obvious that this was our answer.
AMX: What problems were you trying to address?
Nathan: The three biggest problems we had with our previous fly lead cables on campus were 1) Lack of consistency in our fly lead cable brands and how they were installed,
2) Cables would be stretched out all over the lectern, would clutter the space, and over time would damage the cables more,
3) Meeting table cable solutions would be messy and cumbersome. The Hydraport modular systems solved all three of these issues for us.
AMX: Did you find the units easy to install?
Nathan: The Hydraport 1200 unit itself was incredibly easy to install and uninstall with the built-in self catching screw holders that would grip the underside of the table or bench where were installing them into. The modules that go into the Hydraport are designed to be tightly fitted so there was a bit of extra work in sliding these in and out, however once we became skilled in this we could easily install or uninstall these modules within 15 minutes.
AMX: Now that you have a number in service, what do you think are the real benefits of the solution?
Nathan: For us it is standardising on a cabling solution right throughout our campus, and providing a consistent and clean experience for our users. By standardising on this solution it ensures that we will be able to provide superior installation consistency, more robust troubleshooting detection, and better user experiences for our staff and students.
AMX: What has been the user feedback to date?
Nathan: We have been using the Hydraport with retractable cable solution for well over a year now in some key teaching spaces on campus and have received really positive feedback from users we have approached. A key sign for us really is the lack of feedback meaning that we only really get feedback if something is not working as opposed to ‘working fine’. We haven’t received any negative feedback at all and users have easily picked up how to use the retractable cables and replace them when finished.
Nathan Gardiner is Space and Systems Technical Architect at the University of Canterbury based in Christchurch, New Zealand