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Q & A: Audio System Speakers

My customer has requested an audio system with loudspeakers that can be permanently installed in an outdoor environment near the ocean in the Northeast United States. This makes most of the manufacturers I've talked to very nervous.

Q: My customer has requested an audio system with loudspeakers that can be permanently installed in an outdoor environment near the ocean in the Northeast United States. This makes most of the manufacturers I've talked to very nervous. They refuse to use the term “weatherproof” and have various disclaimers about product performance over a period of time. Are there any products or installation methods for solving this problem?

A: It depends on your application (voice only, music, or both, and required SPL). For voice-only, paging horns are pretty indestructible. For full-range audio, companies such as Technomad will market their loudspeakers as “weatherproof.” If a company uses that term, you're pretty safe. The name of the new WET Series from Community speaks for itself. In any outdoor installation it's also always a good idea to coat wire connections and plug any open mounting holes with silicone sealant to protect them from rust and corrosion. And don't forget to put weatherproof wire mesh over any exposed ports or vents to discourage small animals from moving in.

Next month's question: We have 11 tension motor screens in our auditorium. Four of them have started to stick to themselves and wrap backward as the screen is coming down. I've heard others have this problem, but no solutions were offered. Anybody have one? We've had to disable our room control from them and revert to manual switches.

— Dennis Schaller, chief, Logistics Services Division U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Command



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