Tag: Schedulon

Technomad Announces New Products and Upgrades for InfoComm 2009

New loudspeakers, upgrades to 2008 product introductions steer Technomad into new territory

 

Technomad LLC, a leader in weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995, comes to InfoComm 2009 (June 18-20, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Booth #5940) with renewed momentum as the company expands into new territory based on game-changing products for the general AV, systems integration, education and commercial security markets.

 

New this year is the Berlin range of narrow dispersion loudspeakers, available in two configurations (90×40 and 60×40).The new models retain the outstanding durability, voice intelligibility musical audio quality and long-distance output of traditional 120×120 Berlin loudspeakers; while giving design engineers, contractors and consultants seeking a more controlled output pattern.Ideal for tightly controlled acoustic environments indoors or in outdoor installations where long distance projection is required — especially large stadiums — the Berlin narrow dispersion loudspeakers will be displayed at InfoComm 2009 for the first time.

 

The Technomad range of narrow dispersion loudspeakers will receive their public debut at InfoComm 2009
The Technomad range of narrow dispersion loudspeakers will receive their public debut at InfoComm 2009

 

 

 

At InfoComm 2008, the company introduced two products that saw the company build on its traditional product range:  The Schedulon, an automatic mp3 player and recording system; and the PowerChiton range of compact, durable and weatherproof NEMA power amplifier modules.Now shipping worldwide, Technomad announces a series of upgrades to both products that will appeal to new and traditional markets that the company has served for nearly 15 years.

 

The Schedulon™ is ideal for use in themed entertainment, high-quality music playback, simulated environments, sports, schools and universities, and commercial security applications.The Schedulon provides instant, manual playback of up to 99 knob-assigned, user-loaded audio files from a front-panel screen, and allows automatic playback on a user-defined schedule based on an internal clock or synchronized network time server.

 

For InfoComm 2009, Technomad announces a new internal power backup option that provides redundancy in the event of power loss.The new internal power backup option provides a battery for up to 20 minutes of audio.The battery also keeps any scheduled playback events on target for approximately 75 minutes.The Schedulon immediately ‘wakes up’ at the current time to resume playback of all scheduled content after battery power expires and the unit is restarted.

 

PowerChiton modules unite a high-performance, passively-cooled amplifier with an IP66 rated, low-profile enclosure.The powerful combination offers system designers and installers a flexible solution for the many challenges of distributed outdoor audio system design.For InfoComm 2009, Technomad has added a series of new upgrades that includes IP and RF networking options, an internal mixer and additional input options.

 

New networking options include:

  • Widespread wireless networking using FM audio distribution technology, suitable for facility-wide audio distribution that requires only local AC power to operate the unit.
  • Ethernet networking capabilities can be used for wide-area distribution on a campus or facility LAN with options for zone control.
  • Traditional twisted-pair networking can be implemented for very long-distance distribution over copper cabling with minimal signal loss or noise.

 

Technomad has also added two standard inputs to all three power levels of PowerChiton modules: a high-quality line level input for improved site-wide audio that is ideal for both voice (paging) and musical output; and a second input that can be used for local audio or as a secondary audio source.An internal mixer has also been added to balance, improve and maintain audio levels out of the amplifier modules en route to loudspeakers.

 

“Technomad continues to refine existing products that offer proven value to design engineers, systems integrators and end users in our traditional markets,” said Rodger von Kries, vice president of Technomad.“At the same time, the company is adding key new products and upgrades that provide a more well-rounded Technomad portfolio, and appeal to both our traditional customers and allow for growth in new markets.”

 

Technomad Makes Pro AV “Green Issue”

Pro AV’s March edition, “The Green Issue”, recently shipped to readers.  Dan Tynan, a freelance journalist and author, contributed a feature article called “Shades of Green”.  The story includes an introduction about the benefits of manufacturers’ green efforts, with comments from Project Green AV, a grassroots organization focused on news for sustainable practices and green products.


The Technomad Noho C Series of Weatherproof Loudspeakers
The Technomad Noho C Series of Weatherproof Loudspeakers


Technomad was one of several manufacturers featured in the article, with an emphasis on the company’s recent switch to recycled plastic for loudspeakers; and its new RoHS-compliant manufacturing process.  Products mentioned include the PowerChiton series of networkable amplifier modules; the Schedulon mp3 player and recorder; and the Noho C series of weatherproof loudspeakers.

Pro Audio Manufacturing a Successful Niche in a Challenging Industry

Technomad Centralizes Green Manufacturing Operations at New England Facility, Contributes to Local and U.S. Economy

 

Headlines around the world continue to broadcast the dire state of the U.S. economy, along with the associated business closings and job losses.  Manufacturing is one such industry that has been hit hard across the country, with seemingly new announcements every day about another company closing its doors for good.

 

While the big picture seems challenging at best, plenty of manufacturers large and small are reporting success in a variety of different businesses.  One needs to look no further than New England to discover a thriving local manufacturing scene among the professional audio industry, a niche business that has shown vitality in these challenging economic times thanks to creative, high-quality products and engineering.  Pro audio manufacturers are moving loudspeakers, signal processing equipment and other gear to a variety of customers; cruise ships, theme parks, and stadiums and arenas are among the more active segments.  Sales are steady-to-brisk both in the U.S. and internationally, further helping the bottom line for many companies.

 

Middle Tennessee University special ordered two blue Technomad Berlin loudspeakers to blend in with stadium and team colors.  The company offers 14 custom colors that do not fade in sunlight, one of many Technomad design features that keep customers coming back.
Middle Tennessee University special ordered two blue Technomad Berlin loudspeakers to blend in with stadium and team colors. The company offers 14 custom colors that do not fade in sunlight, one of many Technomad design features that keep customers coming back.

 

 

Technomad, a leading manufacturer of weatherproof outdoor loudspeakers and Turnkey PA systems since 1995, is one of these companies contributing to the success of the pro audio industry as well as the economy.  The company recently celebrated its 13th anniversary of boutique manufacturing in the U.S.A., and has shipped more than 23,700loudspeakers from its manufacturing facility in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  And in a market where many firms are reducing product innovations and cutting budgets for research and development, Technomad recently introduced two game-changing new products: Schedulon, a new automatic mp3 player and recording system for pro audio and commercial security applications; and PowerChiton, a series of compact weatherproof outdoor amplifier modules that allows system designers to place amplifiers closer to the loudspeaker in challenging indoor/outdoor installations.

 

“Technomad is proud to contribute to the long-standing tradition of New England manufacturing.  New England has long been recognized as a prominent region for the production and export of electronics including pro audio equipment, and Technomad is just one of many companies that play a role in this ongoing success,” said Rodger Von Kries, Vice President of Technomad.  “We’re also committed to manufacturing all of our products in the U.S.A. to ensure the careful craftsmanship of all Technomad loudspeakers and pro audio products is centralized in our Massachusetts facility, while also contributing to the local, regional and national economy.”

 

The manufacturing side of the business employs small teams to work on the same hand-built loudspeaker from start to finish, with multiple quality checks along the way.  This process creates a highly consistent production environment that ultimately reflects the cost and quality of the loudspeakers.  Performance data for each loudspeaker is recorded, which consultants and design engineers often use to plan installation points and audio directivity throughout a new venue.  This includes the new GLL (Generic Loudspeaker Library) format, of which Technomad is an early adopter.  GLL format data gives design engineers, consultants and contractors more options in positioning and simulating loudspeakers in large sports, entertainment and other venues that require array or clustered installations.

 

The new Berlin HiQ models, offering a narrower dispersion pattern in 90x60 and 60x60 versions.
A close-up of the latest loudspeaker product introduction from Technomad: The new Berlin HiQ models, offering a narrower dispersion pattern in 90x60 and 60x60 versions.

 

 

The company also employs a green approach to its manufacturing approach, using 100-percent recycled plastic for its black loudspeakers and eliminating lead from the soldering process to comply with strict RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) regulations in Europe.  RoHS compliance has raised Technomad’s profile in Europe and elsewhere overseas, and the company has begun to stock its products overseas to enable faster response times to European orders, and more cost- and time-efficient deliveries.

 

Technomad’s use of recycled plastic and localized manufacturing operation has led to an increase in LEED-certified projects in recent months.  Functional Devices, a MUZAK affiliate in upstate New York, is one example; the company recently ordered 42 Technomad Vernal loudspeakers for a LEED-certified installation. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

 

Technomad was the first professional loudspeaker manufacturer to introduce Mil-Spec weatherproof loudspeaker systems with exceptional voice intelligibility and superior musical output for the professional audio industry.  All Technomad loudspeakers also have an IP56 rating from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for maximum protection against hazardous materials, shock, and dirt and water ingression — meaning it can survive outdoor elements in the harshest of conditions.

 

“Pro audio manufacturers in general put a large amount of care into product development, which has allowed our industry to persevere through economic downturns,” said Von Kries.  “Technomad has always been careful to support research and development efforts, and maintain a specific production process that results in a consistent product.  This careful attention to detail is important to our growth as a company, and niche manufacturers such as Technomad, although not household names, are working hard to contribute positively to the economy — in New England and beyond.”

 

Technomad Schedulon Product Test

Technomad Schedulon
Product tests
by Devy Breda

We must thank the consumer electronics (PCs included) people who have developed cost-effective technologies that us pro audio folks can benefit from. Case in point is the advent of portable digital audio players (MP3 players). In the pro audio world, there is a number of manufactures that have developed and bring to market cost-effective digital or solid state audio recorders/players which have gained acceptance in many applications for field recording broadcast, sound reinforcement, and public address systems. It is not unusual now to hear these devices in use in many public spaces such as department stores, where a customer can press a call button on a pillar, which triggers a pre-produced announcement over the PA system alerting staff that “a customer requires service in the sports department,” or an announcement at the airport reminding us that the airport is a non- smoking environment.

There are many environments where a message has to be communicated to the masses either by immediate command through the push of a button, or triggered by a third-party control or by some internal scheduler. There is a number of fruitful choices from a number of manufacturers (TOA, Nel-Tech Labs, Raicom, TASCAM, Stop & Listen, etc.) that have developed products for common commercial audio applications. A recent addition to this arena of digital audio players is the Schedulon from Technomad (check out http://www.technomad. com). Yes, the folks who bring us military/ weatherproof-grade loudspeakers.


The Technomad Schedulon a rackmount (1U) MP3 player/recorder with a built-in scheduler that can be used in a variety of pro audio and commerical security applications.
The Technomad Schedulon a rackmount (1U) MP3 player/recorder with a built-in scheduler that can be used in a variety of pro audio and commercial security applications.


The Schedulon is a rackmount (1U) MP3 player/recorder with a built-in scheduler. With the use of a web browser or by navigating via a front panel knob and display, the Schedulon offers the ability to upload audio files, schedule playback of audio files, and automate playback of audio files.  The unit utilizes flash-RAM memory, which makes this unit more dependable than a PC-based solution. Although the unit has an onboard clock, audio files can also be triggered by an external clock server.

The Schedulon can record audio from its stereo line-in jacks   audio is encoded as high-quality (192 kbps) MP3 sound files and assigned to any desired knob location for playback. The better option is to upload the audio file using the browser application or to upload files to Schedulon’s USB memory drive from your computer.

The applications for the Schedulon and many similar units are numerous: repeat messaging at airports, department stores, malls, training facility scheduling (schools, airports, hospitals), corporate audio (no CDs to misplace), training, sports facilities (load team music or special effects for instant playback), automatic safety announcements, theme park audio, sound effects, pool-side music or DJ applications, and much more. Upon evaluation, it did not take much time to connect the unit and navigate through the browser.

Once connected and logged to the unit, you will discover six tabs (Status, Settings, Control, MP3 Upload, Knob Set, Scheduler) allowing you to view and enter values via drop-down selection. All but the Status tabs permit entering and adjustments to the unit. Without the use of a computer, you can navigate through the functions with the front knob and display, but this makes it taxing.

Different play modes can be assigned to each knob position: play forever/unit stopped by user (for sirens); play once, then stop automatically (for songs like the national anthem); and play while button held in (for sound effects). The fact that each knob position can store a different audio file AND play behavior is unique in the marketplace, I believe. The evaluation unit had 50 or so preloaded audio files, most of which, to no surprise, had military applications. One surprise that happened when I logged on was that the unit announced its IP address, which could inadvertently be announced over the PA system for all to hear. 
Generally, the unit worked to expectation, and can be recommended for applications as previously noted.

The unit we evaluated did not offer any contact closure or RS232 port for interconnectivity to other control systems. The audio outputs are unbalanced (not-so-pro audio), and the device’s “current time” is found at the Status tab; however, the current time should also be at the Scheduler tab for ease of reference during programming. Additionally, the unit data port is found in the front panel, something I would not expect if this unit is to be driven by external IP-based timer or clock. Projects or systems requiring additional features may not find this unit appropriate, but overall, the Schedulon is a good performer and is basic in operation and functionality.

Devy Breda, CET, CTS, is an Audio Visual Systems Designer at Mulvey & Banani A/V, a division of Mulvey & Banani International Inc. ( http://www.mbii.com ).


Manufacturer’s Comment

The announcement of IP address can be turned off as an option. The unit can have sounds triggered by CGI commands via Ethernet/LAN, and  the unit can automatically synch itself to an external time server 
These are two different things. Both use the network. The time-server synch is critical if you need things to happen exactly on time, for years at a time. The Data Port (Ethernet port) can be located on the rear if requested at time of order. – Technomad LLP

This review appeared in the December 2008 issue of Professional Sound.

Technomad in RoHS Compliance Move

Technomad Associates has altered its manufacturing process to ensure RoHS compliance for sales into the EU, writes David Davies. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Technomad has been producing weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995.

Now, to comply with EU regulations, Technomad has switched to RoHS-compliant driver and network components for deployment inside its loudspeakers, and eliminated the use of lead within the soldering process.


All Technomad loudspeakers, including the Noho C (pictured here) are now RoHS compliant for shipping into Europe
All Technomad loudspeakers, including the Noho C (pictured here) are now RoHS compliant for shipping into Europe


The new move on RoHS encompasses the entire Technomad product range, which includes IP56-rated weatherproof loudspeakers, the Schedulon automatic MP3 player and recording system, and the PowerChiton series of networkable weatherpoof powered amplifiers.

The RoHS announcement follows Technomad’s recent decision to convert to recycled plastic within its loudspeaker manufacturing process.

Rodger Von Kries, vice president of Technomad, told II: “Technomad is making a concerted effort to expand its presence in the EU marketplace. To that end, we’ve switched all of our manufacturing processes and components to be RoHS compatible. To offset the high import costs for smaller shipments, Technomad now stores a variety of our core products in a warehouse in the EU. This allows customers to purchase products at much lower costs than goods imported from the US and also decreases lead times.”

Technomad has also been working to enhance its appeal to the European market in other ways. “With an eye to EU sales, Technomad is also offering all of its electronic products – the Schedulon MP3 player/recorder (pictured), PowerChiton weatherproof outdoor amplifier modules and our Turnkey PA systems – all configured to run off 220V AC power. We feel that the weatherproof audio product market in the EU is under-served and that there are a lot of exciting opportunities for our product line in this region. We are actively working with a sale outreach firm in the EU to increase our dealer base and are currently looking for sales channel partners.”

This story initially appeared in the January 5 e-newsletter from Installation Europe.