Selecting a PA system can be confusing, which is why Technomad is happy to help you with your PA system design. If you answer the following list of questions, we’ll be able to quickly and accurately quote the perfect PA package and accessories to fit your mission.
When you’ve collected the answers, please use the contact form to send us your info, or just give us a call.
Basic Mission Profile
• Please describe what you need an audio system to do for you, and how it will be used.
Mobile / Permanent / Manpack
• Do you intend to move this PA system around – i.e. set it up, use it, take it down – OR permanently install it at a location?
• Is it important that this system by VERY small and lightweight (i.e. pick it up with one hand, put it in a backpack)?
Area to Be Covered
|Good idea: send us a screenshot of Google Maps of the area you want to cover. Click here for Google Maps.
Amazing Idea: (for technically-inclined folks) Draw and send us the area you want to cover and requirements using free SketchUp software. Click here for SketchUp.
• What are the dimensions of the area you need covered with sound?
Good answers: “a rectangle 1000 yards long on one side, 500 yards long on the other”, “a circular area .7 miles in radius”, “a parade ground the size of a US football field”
• Is the terrain flat, or are there hills / obstacles in it?
A flat grassy or desert area is easy to cover from a central cluster, but a mountainous area will likely require multiple PA systems to cover it.
• Are there buildings in the area?
If yes, how tall are they, and where are they located?
• Is there a tall building or structure near the CENTER of the area?
(we might want to locate a loudspeaker cluster on this building or structure?
Audio to Be Played
• What kind of audio do you need in this area?
Good answers: “we need to make live voice announcements throughout the day, and to play sirens and warning tones as needed”, “we need to schedule base operations with recorded sounds”, “guards need to be able to speak live voice warnings”, “we need to play ceremonial music with very good sound quality”, “we need to play realistic sound effects (explosions, vehicle sounds) for training”.
Competing Noise / Weather
• Are there any loud noise sources in the area you want to cover? These would include runways, helicopter landing pads, firing ranges, powerful generators, and similar sources. Please describe noise sources and locations.
• Does this location experience high winds or other weather on a regular basis? Please describe.
• Do you intend to control the PA system from a location near the louspeakers, or do you need to control the PA system remotely (i.e. from a command center some distance from the PA system?
• Do you need to control the PA system from multiple locations (i.e. a command center AND a guard post)?
• Do you need to allow Land Mobile Radios (walkie-talkies) to speak through the PA system?
• Do you need to connect the PA system to a telephone line, so that callers can ‘dial into’ the PA system and make announcements?
Warning Tones / Scheduling
• Do you need to play siren tones, recorded voice announcements, music, or sound effects?
• Do you need to play sounds (i.e. bells, music, voice announcements) on a pre-determined schedule?
• Do you need to record sounds for later use?
• How many microphones does the system need (how many simultaneously-used mics?)
• How many wired mics vs how many wireless mics?
• Do the wireless mics need to be handheld, headset, or lapel (note that lapel mics are less ideal – can feed back, and can be sensitive to wind noise).
• Do you have AC power available at the PA location(s)?
• IF YES, is it US Power (110-120 VAC, 60HZ) or International Power (220-240 VAC, 50 or 60Hz)?
• If you DON’T have AC power available, do you plan to run the PA system from a Vehicle (ie. 12V or 24V DC?)
Network / Wireless
Answer only if you need to cover a very large area, or if you need to have the PA system controlled from a remote location.
• Is it possible to run standard ‘telephone wire’ (twisted-pair copper wire) between the control and PA location(s)?
(Twisted pair audio distribution is often the best blend of moderate cost, ease of installation, and audio quality)
• Is there an ETHERNET network at your facility? IF YES – Can we connect to it as needed? Does it reach the control and PA location(s)?
• Do you feel that wireless audio distribution is necessary for your location? If so, why? How far would each wireless ‘hop’ have to be?
Training / Support
• Do you have a plan for training the PA system operators? How will the system be supported in the future?