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White House Communications Agency Upgrades to Technomad

UPDATE: ª See Technomad military PA systems in use during President Bush’s speech on board the USS Abraham Lincoln

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Technomad loudspeakers are now used for the most advanced, complex, highly coordinated, and technical ‘international touring act’ in the world; The Office of the President of the United States of America.

The White House Communications Agency recently took delivery of 50 Technomad loudspeakers. The highly portable, self-casing Technomad loudspeakers are used, primarily, for public events by the President of the United States of America. The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) is the preeminent provider of information systems to the President, Vice President, White House Senior Staff, National Security Council, U.S. Secret Service and others as directed by the White House Military Office. This support includes non-secure voice, secure voice, record communications, audio/visual services, automated data processing support and photographic and drafting services both in Washington, D.C. and trip sites worldwide.

The 50 Technomad speakers used by the WHCA agency consist of 26 Pismo loudspeakers and 24 of the Omaha loudspeakers. Multiple Technomad loudspeaker systems, each consisting of four Omaha loudspeakers or four Pismoloud speakers – or a combination of both -are called upon for ten or more public appearances per day, during Presidential visits. These Technomad loudspeakers are stationed at the Anacostia Naval Station and are flown all over the world on the President’s support transport planes. Wherever in the world the President visits and makes a public appearance, 90%of the time he will speak through Technomad loudspeakers. Reliability, ruggedness, military-specification construction, and durability make the Technomad loudspeakers the best choice for an application that would destroy any other loudspeaker in a matter of weeks.

Aside from Technomad’s Military Specification-810E durability, audio performance was ultimately the deciding factor in the WHCA’s choice to purchase the Technomad speakers as a massive upgrade to “The Boss’s” portable loudspeaker system.

Rob Davis is Pro Audio Manager of Markertek, a leading pro audio and broadcast equipment provider, based in Saugerties, New York. As the dealer of record, Rob states, “For high-performance applications, where durability and reliability are of paramount concerns, nothing comes close to Technomad.” Continuing, Rob notes, “The Technomad loudspeakers were designed for those audio applications where the equipment is going to be subjected to extreme road use and abuse. When we were approached by WHCA technical staff for recommendations on the most durable and best sounding mobile loudspeaker for the President’s sound system, I simply advised them, there are no alternatives to Technomad. Personally and professionally, I have mixed on Technomad sound systems, and aside from the fact they are the most road-worthy loudspeaker in the world, they also sound extraordinary.”

Technomad loudspeakers are extremely EQ compliant and offer the user unrivaled control over every type of program material, through the entire frequency spectrum. Technomad full-range loudspeakers deliver pitched musically relevant response to 30 Hz and below. All Technomad loudspeakers are inherently free of cabinet resonance, wall flex, vibration, imperfections in Thiele tuning, as well as other self-generated masking noises and anomalies. A Technomad loudspeaker’s extremely low self-noise floor, along with its forward, detailed and articulate acoustic center, and faster transient response produces 3-D-like, musical performance. A Technomad loudspeaker’s ‘quiet cabinet’ design does not mask vocal, musical, and other subliminal cues from program material, thereby offering greater detail and intelligibility through-out the entire frequency range.

Technomad loudspeakers feature a unique cabinet manufacturing technology, called roto-molding, that was developed and first put into service in 1954. Technomad produces one-piece loudspeaker cabinets with 1/2 inch thick linear walls and 3/4 inch thick corners that are free of imperfections, such as air bubbles, stress areas and other ‘built-in’ weaknesses. A Technomad loudspeaker’s one piece, ATAIII-rated cabinet has no joints or seams joining multiple parts. Technomad’s manufacturing technique makes for a very strong, cabinet, especially in the corner areas where impact is likely to occur. The corrugation that is designed into the cabinet walls provides incredible rigidity to the entire cabinet structure, without the need for additional internal cross-bracing, supports or structure.

Technomad full-range loudspeakers feature a unique, five position, internal Passive Processor EQ System. The Passive Processor reduces the need for outboard processors, thereby eliminating expense and system complexity. The EQ contour of a Technomad full-range loudspeaker is ‘shaped’ by the Passive Processor, providing maximum efficiency and fidelity, for any indoor or outdoor event or program material.

These audio innovations also allow the Technomad loudspeaker to perform with greater detail, intelligibility, and articulation in highly reverberant and high-ambient noise environments. All Technomad loudspeakers are also designed to Military Specification-810E, and are impervious to water, sand, salt, temperature, mold, mildew, condensation, chemical, insect, UV radiation, acids and other damage.

The Technomad loudspeaker systems, referred to as ‘PA Packs’ by WHCA personnel, are powered by two Mackie1400i power amps, and mixes are handled by a Sony MX-P61VU 12 channel mixing console. The other equipment in each ‘PA Pack’ signal chain consists of an ART PD3 Delay, DOD Real Time Analyzer Series 2, DOD SR431 31-band graphic equalizer, DBX 266XL Dual Compressor Gate, and ETA Power Distribution provides clean AC power. A multitude of microphone models, for an assortment of applications, are from Shure, Senneheiser, and Crown.

>> Click here to see Technomad loudspeakers on CNN

The WHCA’s 50 new Technomad Omaha and Pismo loudspeakers augment 50+ Technomad loudspeakers already stationed at various Air Force bases through-out the United States. These additional Technomad speakers are used by the President, Ambassadors, Military Officials, and visiting Heads of State.

The White House Communications Agency (WHCA), originally known as the White House Signal Detachment (WHSD), was officially formed by the War Departmenton25 March 1942 during the Roosevelt Administration. The detachment was activated under the Military District of Washington to provide normal and emergency communications requirements in support of the President of the United States. WHSD provided mobile radio, teletype, telephone, and cryptographic aids in the White House and at Shangri-La, now known as Camp David.

In 1954, during the Eisenhower Administration, WHSD was reorganized under the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, Army Signal Corps as a Class II unit and renamed the White House Army Signal Agency (WHASA). In 1962 WHASA was discontinued by order of the Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy, transferred to the auspices of the Defense Communications Agency under operational control of the White House Military Office, and reestablished as the White House Communications Agency.

WHCA played silent, significant roles in many historical events to include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Panama and Guatemala, Operation Just Cause, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. WHCA was also a key player in documenting the assassination of President Kennedy and the attempt on the lives of Presidents Ford and Reagan.

The Agency evolved over the past 50 years from a small team of 32 personnel working out of the basement of the White House to a self-supporting joint service command. Headquarters for WHCA is at Anacostia Navy Yard and consists of six staff elements and seven organizational units. WHCA also has five supporting detachments in Washington, D.C. and various locations throughout the United States. WHCA is organized into functional areas each with its own mission in support of the total WHCA mission of Presidential support.

ª See Technomad Military PA Products