Tag: PowerChiton

Wireless Outdoor Audio System Blankets Five Acres of Downtown Las Vegas

Wireless Outdoor Audio System Blankets Five Acres of Downtown Las Vegas


Las Vegas, Nevada, June 7  Downtown Las Vegas has seen a major audio upgrade.  A cutting-edge installation of wirelessly networked loudspeakers and amplifiers now covers a five acre zone on 1st Street from Bridger to Boulder.  Suspended high above the pavement on 75 customized concrete light poles, the new audio system blankets the street and sidewalks with high fidelity sound streamed live from the city’s command center.

Local integrator TeleData Technologies designed and commissioned the system, while Technomad LLC of South Deerfield, Massachusetts supplied the audio equipment.  Founded in 1995, Technomad specializes in military audio and advanced commercial sound systems, with clients including the US Government, Disney, Royal Caribbean and many more.  The 1st street project uses a custom ‘AudioNode’ equipment package based on Technomad’s PowerChiton waterproof amplifiers and military-grade Vernal 15 loudspeakers.  A Technomad Schedulon audio player at the command center plays hours of audio automatically.  The Schedulon also allows a staffer to quickly play emergency messages, interrupting any music playing automatically.

Vernal White No Background

Only 9″ high, the Vernal loudspeaker used in the project freatures a horn-loaded high frequency compression driver – meaning it delivers greater projection and ‘punch’ in noisy outdoor environments than typical dome-tweeter loaded loudspeakers.  With a robust bass driver,  a unique weatherproof cabinet and multi-layer grill system, the Vernal has a life expectancy measured in decades even in harsh climates, Technomad reports.

The Vernal loudspeaker cabinets were sustainably molded by LightManufacturing in California, using a patented solar thermal molding process which eliminates the need for fossil fuel heating.


A loudspeaker is only as good as its amplification, and the 1st street loudspeakers are well served by pole-mounted ‘PowerChiton’ amplifiers.  PowerChitons were invented by Technomad in 2010.  These compact, totally waterproof amplifier modules (named after a rugged marine snail) install easily on light poles, buildings, trees, vehicles, and other challenging locations.  Importantly for city audio projects they operate from 110 or 220V AC power as is commonly found in light poles.  Result?  No need to run extra AC power for the street sound system.

The PowerChiton waterproof amplifiers have space inside their waterproof shell to house accessories, and even provide DC electricity to to power them.  This makes integrating networking and signal processing gear simple.  Technomad selected Barix codecs to bridge from wireless Ethernet data to analog audio.

“The compact size of the system and its ability to operate directly from the power already in the light poles was really important to the project” says Greg Maher of Teledata, “it allowed us to install quickly and take advantage of existing infrastructure”.

Teledata deployed a robust Wifi network over the 5 acre area, allowing the use of standards–based networking and simplifying future expansion.  As part of the continuing redevelopment of Downtown Las Vegas, the new wireless outdoor audio system will enhance the visitor experience on 1st Street in an exciting new way.  Technomad will exhibit much of the gear used for the 1st Street project at the Infocomm 2016 trade show,  June 8-10 nearby at the Las Vegas convention center.

More information
Audio Hardware: https://www.technomad.com/
System Design / Deployment:  http://teledatanv.com/
Solar Molding:  http://www.lightmanufacturingsystems.com
Audio over IP:  http://Barix.com
Infocomm 2016:  http://www.infocommshow.org/

PowerChiton: https://www.technomad.com/products/powerchiton/
Schedulon: https://www.technomad.com/products/schedulon/
Vernal 15:  https://www.technomad.com/products/vernal/

For more information contact
Rodger von Kries
Technomad LLC
1.800.464.7757 x 702

Technology, audio, sustainability, wireless, urban development, Las Vegas, loudspeakers
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Technomad used for Sonic Net, Protects Airports and Crops from Birds

A recent article in The Economist describes the use of a sonic net to repel birds from airports.  This reduces the chance of a bird hitting an aircraft – known as ‘bird-strike’ in the aviation industry – and the associated risk to passengers and equipment.

Turns out the gear used…. was Technomad.    From the original article in the scientific journal Ecological Applications we read that Technomad Berlin outdoor loudspeakers and waterproof PowerChiton amplifiers were used to create the Sonic Net.

The system projects approximately 80 dB of broad spectrum sound over the target area, and dramatically reduces the presence of many species of bird.  The authors speculate that the reason the sound repels birds is not by scaring them (as with ‘startle’ systems that occasionally play loud surprising sounds) but rather by making it hard for them to communicate.  The Sonic Net makes birds unable to make out each other’s calls, so they move away to an area where they CAN communicate.

The research by Dr John Swaddle suggests that broad spectrum sound masking may be very effective at reducing dangerous bird populations near airports, and may also be effective at reducing crop losses.

With our line of waterproof, field deployable amplifiers, broad spectrum waterproof loudspeakers, and automatic audio playback devices, Technomad is well positions to support these efforts.





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Our favorite PowerChiton outdoor amplifier installations

Technomad introduced our PowerChiton IP66 weatherproof amplifiers over 5 years ago.  Starting with a single model, we now have power options from 100 to 1500 watts, and several models of BreakoutBox waterproof front-end mixer systems.

We thought it’d be fun to share some of our favorite PowerChiton application articles, so you can see the different ways these weatherproof problem-solvers are used.  Have a PowerChiton installation story of your own?  Tell us about it!

Song 1, Hirshhorn Smithsonian NY
Remarkable multi-media art installation, powered by surface-mounted PowerChiton amplifiers.  Seamless audio and video wrapped around this iconic structure in New York City.  Click for photos and video.
Tornado Recovery Project, Union University, TN
Interesting view of the aftermath of a powerful tornado, and the reconstruction project in which we played a small part.  Click for before and after photos.
Greenwood Community Theater
Outdoor performance space cleverly linked to multiple concert spaces, extending the venue as needed.  Click for satellite photos and equipment close-ups.
Excelsior Springs High School Scorebord
No space for amplifier racks?  No problem.  In this upgrade, PowerChitons were installed right inside the scoreboard, replacing rusted and insect damaged legacy amps.
Tacoma Washington Historic Stadium
PowerChitons driving HighQ Berlins.  Installed right on the salt water of the Sound. Click for photos, a map, and more.



Technomad at Greenwood Community Theatre: PowerChiton, Breakout Box, Noho C


Here’s a great installation our dealer Custom Audio in Abbeville, SC shared.   This project highlights how PowerChiton weatherproof amplifiers  combined with Technomad’s weatherproof loudspeakers make challenging outdoor installations a snap.

Over to Jon Lee (Custom Audio Sales):

“Here are some partial pictures of a rectangular Courtyard between GCT (Greenwood Community Theatre) and The Federal Building/Arts Center, in “Uptown” Greenwood, SC. Technomad Noho Speakers are installed for “short throw” application, due to entrances/exits and small stage placement. The audio system is designed for spoken word reinforcement, background music reinforcement and small-format (acoustic singles/duos) musical group reinforcement/tie-in.”

“The Breakout Box XL gives users a weatherproof mixer and “front-end” to the PowerChiton outdoor amplifier system.
The audio system, designed by JL with help from the Custom Audio & Lighting team and Technomad, was designed to operate as a free-standing audio system for single acoustic musical acts, singer/acoustic guitarists, or similar duos, or to tie-in to a larger installed audio system. This public space also hosts storytelling presentations,  kids shows (animals, clowns,etc.) and wedding ceremonies and receptions.”

“The system can be used as an ‘overflow’ space  for GCT and the Arts Center Gallery space.  Each of those spaces is linked from their respective audio mixers to the PowerChiton outdoor amplifier and Breakout Box XL via wireless transmitters and receivers, in order to prevent anticipated buzzes/hums/ground loops.  This way the program material occurring in either indoor space can be “piped” into the Technomad-powered outdoor overflow space, with a simple turn of a knob. Both interior spaces are wired very simply, so nothing has to be done inside, to transmit outside.”

“With Technomad’s easy-to-use integrated mixer operation by multiple operators is smooth. The larger new Breakout Box XL  allows for in-box storage of Handheld wireless mic., a pouch with bodypack and lav/lapel mic., and spare batteries, as well as iPod cables with adaptors. I tethered the iPod interface cables and adaptors to the inside of Breakout Boxes with trick line, in order to prevent accidental misplacement. I also siliconed in a foam-core barrier/lip to prevent microphone rolling out, etc.  The Breakout Box XL is just the right size for  accessory/microphone storage and easy use by multiple operators.”


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.”


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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