Technomad Delivers Big Sound in Compact Package for Illinois Zoo

Visitors walking the grounds hear intelligible voice and high-quality music

Vernal and Vienna models deliver news, exhibit information and background music across seven acres in durable, weatherproof package

BOSTON, September 14, 2011 — The bird calls, primate howls and other noises coming from the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora, Illinois, are balanced with a new, high-quality audio system that delivers news, exhibit information, and background music to some 200,000 visitors each year.

Chicago-based systems integration firm AST (Advanced Systems & Technologies) installed a 70-volt system with eight weatherproof Technomad advanced audio loudspeakers to provide intelligible voice and high-quality musical reproduction throughout all seven acres of the zoo.  Seven Technomad Vernal loudspeakers discreetly cover the grounds, providing audio to visitors nearby the animal exhibits.  One Technomad Vienna loudspeaker provides long-distance audio projection to patrons at the main entrance gate and visitor center.

The compact Vernal and Vienna loudspeakers, mounted on various building eves, light poles, and fences, are part of a custom turnkey installation that replaced an outdated system scarred by time and weather.  Both models are powerful, IP56 weatherproof, two-way, full-range loudspeakers built to withstand tumultuous weather conditions, including the extreme summer heat and heavy rains often experienced while the zoo is open for business.

“We needed a more efficient way to communicate with our visitors, especially in the event of a storm or if an animal were to escape,” said Randy Johnson, manager of Phillips Park Zoo.  “The weatherproof aspect drew me to Technomad, and the sound quality of the loudspeakers has exceeded our expectations.  I recorded some WAV files and have short zoo ads randomly playing in between the music segments, and everything sounds great,” Johnson said.

Johnson enlisted the help of AST for a professional installation, and AST quickly determined that Technomad was the best choice for the project.

“The Vernal and Vienna loudspeakers were chosen for their weatherproof construction, and their throw distances perfectly matched our needs,” said Terry McCarthy, partner and design engineer at AST.

McCarthy strategically placed the loudspeakers outside the animal enclosures and above the reach of visitors.  He also took advantage of Technomad’s flexible mounting options, utilizing the company’s sophisticated yoke mount anchoring system.  McCarthy installed four runs of high-quality, 12-gauge audio cable to provide the 70-volt power distribution to all the loudspeaker locations.

“We hid the cables at Randy’s request so they weren’t visible to the public,” he said.  “This took extra time but it resulted in a great payoff for the zoo.  The loudspeakers blend perfectly into the surrounding environment, and the audio sounds great.  Once you install them, you never have to worry about them.”


AST is a national audio, video and lighting systems design and installation company celebrating 30 years of industry experience.  For help in your area, e-mail [email protected] or call 214.243.7652, or visit http://www.ast-av.com for more information.

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