View Full Version : Suggestions with football field speaker system
05-07-2009, 10:24 AM
I have been commissioned by my daughter's school (we'll really we suggested and they agreed) to build/replace the junk full range metal PA horn system at their football field. I'm thinking high output horn loaded setup for the lows. Anyone with suggestions/experience please jump in. Considering building the University Classic bass module and maybe a wooden custom built mid and horn tweeters. I know Bill Fitzmaurice has valuable knowledge in this area and I've reviewed his website. These would probably be mounted 30 to 50 feet apart and would be exposed to Arkansas weather. Don't know what equipment they have to run the system so any thoughts on necessary equipment would be appreciated. Any thoughts appreciated. TIA
05-07-2009, 10:42 AM
These applications are completely different than music sound reinforcement. You'll most likely have to go with a 70v system.
Also, remember that this system will be used primarily for announcements so vocal coverage and intellegibility is your primary concern. I really wouldn't worry about anything lower than 150 Hz.
Here's something I don't think we've addressed before: liability. If a speaker YOU hung falls, then you're liable. If it hurts someone, well; they'll eventually own everything that was once yours.
Getting business insurance to cover the installation & post install liabilities is a prudent idea. That's a primary reason these types of sysytems are installed by bonded & insured professional sound contractors.
Also, make sure the announcers are using microphones worthy of an upgraded sound system. If they're using ratshack specials, all of your work will be for naught.
05-07-2009, 11:34 AM
These would probably be mounted 30 to 50 feet apart-1. Line array is unmatched in large areas, especially outdoors. Ask for opinions on specific models on my forum at http://billfitzmaurice.net/phpBB3/
05-07-2009, 12:30 PM
My experience, I would avoid DIYing outdoor speakers
Weatherproofing the speakers is the biggest challenge, if you have expertise in this area then you have the hard part of this project covered. You must have a small school district for this idea to be entertained, as Mips pointed out the liability and warranty concerns etc., all issues the purchasing department will be curious about. Even if its a pet project of the Principle.
Be aware this is a very risky proposition for you unless you're donating the gear and not installing it, then some of the pressure's off. I don't wish to discourage you but you need to be aware that things can go wrong. So dot your I's and cross your t's and have a clear scope of work in your contract (even if your donating the speakers) so that all parties are clear on the details on what you are and aren't doing.
Since I do this for a living I can tell you that when you say "replace the speakers", your client hears replace the PA and install it. I know it seems crazy but details like working microphones, training, you hook your new speakers up and the old amplifier breaksdown and destroys your speakers, theft. On and on all the pitfalls to avoid on the simple task of putting some speakers in at the football stadium.
If you want to reduce your hassles and unknowns for this project use the Community speakers, they work very well and seem to last a very long time permanently installed outside.
You should have a Community dealer in Arkansas, the engineers at Community can and will model your fields/Stadiums layout and your needs to assure the design will work. So your local dealer does not have to be a genius, Community will do it for him/her.
It is hard enough to just install an outside system let alone be installing a custom one of a kind speaker system you have no idea how it will behave and withstand the elements week to week, month to month.
I've only designed 6 stadium type systems and on the third one I started getting it right. I started using Community's resources for help too.
Designing and installing a working durable system for the field is DIY enough for someone who doesn't have the resources of an AV integration company.
05-07-2009, 03:09 PM
One more point on the liability issues:
Even if you simply build the speakers and donate them, and they happen to fall and hurt due to a 'hang point' failing, or any other mechanical failure....you, as the builder will be a party in the resulting lawsuit. It'll cost you between 5K$ & 10K$ in legal fees simply to defend yourself.
An award resulting from a determination of fault may be covered by the business insurance I recommended, but chances are the legal fees will most likely be borne by you.
I've come to the conclusion that this is NOT an appropriate project for the DIY community. There are pros that do this commercially and there's are good reasons for that. On a similar note, if someone posted that the Rolling Stones were playing their town and they've been tapped to DIY a SR system for the show...my answer would be the same: hire a pro.
05-07-2009, 09:40 PM
Hi Guys. Thanks for the responses. Believe me I'm well aware of the liability issues since I defend people and companies who are sued when accidents happen. I can handle that end of it if I decide to proceed. My thought is to for the school to hire an installation company to install the speakers without any provision for hanging the speakers. The school is a christian school who can actually hire the installer as an independent contractor and would be immune except to the extent of liability insurance.
Back to the speakers. A buddy of mine has some Klipsch 18" subs with 15"/mid horns that might work so we may just purchase the speakers and donate to school as a gift with the school to arrange for and contract for installation. Bill F I'll check your link. Thanks.
05-25-2009, 12:07 PM
You're missing several points here. Those Klipsch speakers are not weatherproof, and won't survive two weeks if they get rained on even once. The Community speakers that were recommended are designed to be weatherproof and can be left in place without risking damage. They are on the expensive side, but that's because they are well-designed and well-made. Things cost money for a reason.
I think it's time for you to step aside and recognize you can't provide the level of product, service, or support that the school needs. Any project you do will end up being done again by someone else, costing the school more money in the process, and taking more time to arrive at the best solution for them.
Call a professional.
05-25-2009, 01:23 PM
Since this thread has been re-opened; could you let us know how many subwoofers it takes to make an audible impact at a football field.
Also, could you give us "your reasoning" for subwoofers being integrated into an outdoor public adress system?
I ask this for my own edification as little of this is making sense in a "here's what they need but here's what we're going to do" way.
Maybe I'M missing something.
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