Tag: zoo

Clearwing Productions Chooses Technomad for Phoenix Zoo Audio Improvements

Technomad loudspeakers enliven “water lagoon experience” for visitors while giving zoo long-term outdoor audio solution

BOSTON, October 16, 2013 – The systems design and integration experts at Clearwing Productions last year overhauled the Phoenix Zoo’s annual seasonal spectacular “ZooLights,” transforming a linear roadside display into an immersive, 360-degree audio and lighting experience that encircled the zoo’s central water lagoon.  The advanced audio system from Technomad performed so well that zoo officials opted to use the system year round, delivering multi-zone background and event music to visitors across the lagoon area.

The Phoenix Zoo initially hired Clearwing Productions to increase the production value of the annual lighting show, though the two teams quickly determined that the audio system was underperforming ­– not to mention falling apart.

“The Phoenix area is inundated with sun and UV rays, which is very tough on outdoor products,” said Nick Pitman, service and systems engineer, Clearwing Productions.  “The previous speakers were dry rotted or full of water, and most had cracks from UV rays.  They wanted something that would produce great audio and last more than a year.  That’s when we looked at Technomad.”

Technomad delivered an advanced outdoor audio solution comprising 24 loudspeakers, 12 subwoofers and multiple wired power amplifiers, all fully weatherproof to protect against UV rays and other outdoor elements.  The Clearwing design included 12 speaker poles surrounding the lagoon, each with two Paris weatherproof loudspeakers pointing in opposite directions from a height of 16 feet.  One Technomad Chicago subwoofer and two PowerChiton amplifiers were added to the base of the pole.

The PowerChiton amplifier modules simplified the installation for the Clearwing team and ultimately reduced project costs for the Phoenix Zoo, eliminating lengthy complex underwater wiring jobs to connect traditional indoor amplifiers to outdoor loudspeakers.

“We knew that we wanted an outdoor amplifier that was simple in design but offered longevity,” said Pitman.  “This solution gives us 120 volts and a speaker line output in a compact, outdoor-rated package.  One PowerChiton feeds the Paris loudspeakers and another feeds the subwoofer on each pole.  Most importantly, the PowerChiton design has no fans, eliminating any heat-related performance problems. They just keep working.”

The end-to-end distributed audio architecture includes Harman or BSS equipment to route, zone and delay signals for everyday use or special events as required.  Network protocol signals are converted back to balanced audio en route to the PowerChitons.  From there, the Paris loudspeakers deliver full-range musical reproduction with broad dispersion across the entire lagoon, with the Chicago subwoofers filling in the low end with additional bass output.

“The zoo had previously used rock speakers, and after the lighting upgrade they made it clear they wanted to add real audio,” said Pitman.  “The Paris loudspeakers cover the area thoroughly, while the subs emphasize specific points in the music or dramatic show scenes without pushing the bass to nightclub levels.  Everyone involved agrees that this was the most effective outdoor audio solution for the job.”

ABOUT TECHNOMAD

Technomad LLC, founded in 1995, designs and manufactures loudspeaker systems for the professional audio and security/military technology industries.  The company invented the first reliable full-range weatherproof loudspeaker and now offers nine models ranging in power from 60-watt loudspeakers to 1250-watt subwoofers — most available in Turnkey PA System packages featuring amplifiers, mixers and other signal processing equipment in pre-wired racks.  The company also manufactures a variety of audio infrastructure and communications equipment including playback and recording systems, weatherproof power amplifiers and turnkey remote audio systems.  Contact Technomad at 617-275-8898 or visit http://www.technomad.com for more information.

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Technomad Delivers Big Sound in Compact Package for Illinois Zoo

Vernal and Vienna models deliver news, exhibit information and background music across seven acres in durable, weatherproof package

BOSTON, September 14, 2011 — The bird calls, primate howls and other noises coming from the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora, Illinois, are balanced with a new, high-quality audio system that delivers news, exhibit information, and background music to some 200,000 visitors each year.

Chicago-based systems integration firm AST (Advanced Systems & Technologies) installed a 70-volt system with eight weatherproof Technomad advanced audio loudspeakers to provide intelligible voice and high-quality musical reproduction throughout all seven acres of the zoo.  Seven Technomad Vernal loudspeakers discreetly cover the grounds, providing audio to visitors nearby the animal exhibits.  One Technomad Vienna loudspeaker provides long-distance audio projection to patrons at the main entrance gate and visitor center.

The compact Vernal and Vienna loudspeakers, mounted on various building eves, light poles, and fences, are part of a custom turnkey installation that replaced an outdated system scarred by time and weather.  Both models are powerful, IP56 weatherproof, two-way, full-range loudspeakers built to withstand tumultuous weather conditions, including the extreme summer heat and heavy rains often experienced while the zoo is open for business.

“We needed a more efficient way to communicate with our visitors, especially in the event of a storm or if an animal were to escape,” said Randy Johnson, manager of Phillips Park Zoo.  “The weatherproof aspect drew me to Technomad, and the sound quality of the loudspeakers has exceeded our expectations.  I recorded some WAV files and have short zoo ads randomly playing in between the music segments, and everything sounds great,” Johnson said.

Johnson enlisted the help of AST for a professional installation, and AST quickly determined that Technomad was the best choice for the project.

“The Vernal and Vienna loudspeakers were chosen for their weatherproof construction, and their throw distances perfectly matched our needs,” said Terry McCarthy, partner and design engineer at AST.

McCarthy strategically placed the loudspeakers outside the animal enclosures and above the reach of visitors.  He also took advantage of Technomad’s flexible mounting options, utilizing the company’s sophisticated yoke mount anchoring system.  McCarthy installed four runs of high-quality, 12-gauge audio cable to provide the 70-volt power distribution to all the loudspeaker locations.

“We hid the cables at Randy’s request so they weren’t visible to the public,” he said.  “This took extra time but it resulted in a great payoff for the zoo.  The loudspeakers blend perfectly into the surrounding environment, and the audio sounds great.  Once you install them, you never have to worry about them.”

ABOUT AST

AST is a national audio, video and lighting systems design and installation company celebrating 30 years of industry experience.  For help in your area, e-mail [email protected] or call 214.243.7652, or visit http://www.ast-av.com for more information.