WC Blair Pool
WC Blair Pool / August 2015
The existing sound system was about 11 years old. Improper equipment and poor installation caused poor and intermittent sound throughout the pool area.
Replace the sound system with an easy-to-use system designed to withstand a harsh pool environment.
November 2011: During our initial site visit to WC Blair Pool, we found the main original speakers that were installed were of good quality, but were never designed to withstand the harsh environments of a pool. The foam surrounds on each woofer had deteriorated and the horns had opened up, resulting in low bass and muffled sound:
The rack wiring of the original system left a bit to be desired, and the amplifiers were subject to frequent overheating and as a result were intermittent.
The decision was made to replace the entire sound system.
The new sound system utilized the same metal rack as the existing system. The old nonfunctioning cassette deck and CD player were removed, and a new CD player, MP3 player dock and a smartphone cable were installed.
Two new types of keypads were installed into the pool area. Two pushbutton keypads were installed to select the various music zones: one for the public hallways and change room areas, the other for the pool area. And of course we labeled the keypads so anyone can use it. Two controls between the keypads act as volume controls for each area.
The second keypad is a water resistant Xantech Waterpad that is programmed to control various music and amplifier sources. We programmed the keypad with the aquatic instructors in mind, so they can change the music (switch source, skip tracks, etc) right from the pool deck or the guard room. The old sound system had these Waterpads installed, and even though the lettering was all worn off due to use, they still worked fine.
The heart of the sound system is a Lectrosonics DM812 digital signal processor, which controls the routing of all audio signals, including mic paging override from the front desk and tower in the pool. The digital signal processor outputs are routed to two amplifiers, which controls the pool area, and the public and change room areas.
The music and paging signals, as well as functions such as volume limiting, equalization and overall signal gain are controlled and processed by custom programming in the digital signal processor, which eliminates someone accidently changing these settings.
Eight Community R.5 weatherproof speakers replaced the existing worn-out speakers. The speakers were arranged so each pair of speakers covered a small portion of the pool and kept the three zones of shallow, middle and deep ends of the pool. The speakers were fine-tuned to the pool acoustics via the internal equalizer of the digital signal processor.
Finally, we cleaned up the rack wiring as we assembled the new system with AC wiring on one side of the rack, and the audio lines on the other side. This minimizes hum and noise pickup, and makes servicing easy.
The wiring to the Xantech Waterpads is carefully labeled to make future programming changes easy, should the source equipment change.