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Title: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tom Nisbet on March 04, 2019, 12:56:12 pm
I am looking at a potential project that will require a mobile setup to primarily be used in front of crowds <10yrs old.  As a father myself I know know curious and inquisitive my little ones are and want to make sure things are as safe as possible.  My question is about speaker safety.  Are all tripods created equally?  Are there better ones I should be looking at? My other thought was possibly doing a column array speaker, as all the weight is directly on the floor.  Last thing I want is someone knocking something over and getting hurt. I know that is what I have insurance for, but I also want to make sure I donít have to use it.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Ike Zimbel on March 04, 2019, 01:03:27 pm
I am looking at a potential project that will require a mobile setup to primarily be used in front of crowds <10yrs old.  As a father myself I know know curious and inquisitive my little ones are and want to make sure things are as safe as possible.  My question is about speaker safety.  Are all tripods created equally?  Are there better ones I should be looking at? My other thought was possibly doing a column array speaker, as all the weight is directly on the floor.  Last thing I want is someone knocking something over and getting hurt. I know that is what I have insurance for, but I also want to make sure I donít have to use it.

Thanks!
I like the column/array speaker idea (presumably on a floor mounted sub, yes?). You can make tri-pods safer with sand-bags etc, but there's still lot's of places to pinch/crush hands, locking knobs to mess with, lot's of un-even floors to put them on, venues (like people's living rooms?) that don't really have enough room for the legs to be extended properly so they become a tripping hazard etc. My $.02
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tom Nisbet on March 04, 2019, 01:14:32 pm
Yes, a column speaker setup with the sub base.  My thought was keeping the weight and center of gravity low.  Thank you for pointing out the pinching hazards.  That never dawned on me.  Luckily, I donít need any type of significant volume, so my priorities are safety and portability. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Mike Pyle on March 04, 2019, 01:16:13 pm
I added some of THESE (https://produkte.k-m.de/en/Speakerlighting-and-monitor-stands-and-holders/Lighting-stands/24624-Lighting-stand-black) to my inventory for SOS setups. The flat plate is less of a trip hazard than tripods and with a 35# sandbag ziptied to the pole they are super stable. I chose the light stand version because it has a slightly larger, heavier base and taller pole compared to the similar SPEAKER STAND (https://produkte.k-m.de/en/Speakerlighting-and-monitor-stands-and-holders/Speaker-stands/26734-Speaker-stand-black). The weight rating is also less, which I'm sure is due to the extra height.

If you are covering a bigger crowd, not concerned with aesthetics, or doing an outdoor show, I'd recommend Global ST132s or similar as they are heavy enough to greatly reduce the danger of tipping.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Bob Stone on March 04, 2019, 02:43:45 pm
I'd frankly avoid anything pole mount at all...tip and trip and head bump hazards are too high. The column speaker idea sounds pretty good, especially given the age group odds are you don't need (or want) high spl output. The other option is to go with some old heavy double 15" box...they're pretty fool proof in terms of safety.

By the way, the other thing to consider is all of your cabling and anything that is pokeable with little fingers. You'll pretty much want every piece of your system to be able to have fingers stabbed randomly without risk of anyone getting hurt.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 04, 2019, 03:45:51 pm
I'd frankly avoid anything pole mount at all...tip and trip and head bump hazards are too high. The column speaker idea sounds pretty good, especially given the age group odds are you don't need (or want) high spl output. The other option is to go with some old heavy double 15" box...they're pretty fool proof in terms of safety.

By the way, the other thing to consider is all of your cabling and anything that is pokeable with little fingers. You'll pretty much want every piece of your system to be able to have fingers stabbed randomly without risk of anyone getting hurt.

You'll want any and all controls sequestered from little grubby fingers, too.  No switches, knobs, buttons... if your products allow you to software-lock the controls with an app on your phone or a computer, by all means do so.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tom Nisbet on March 04, 2019, 06:58:36 pm
All good thoughts and suggestions.  Will most likely opt for column.  I was originally thinking of the Turbosound inspires, but the jbl eons are batttery operated. Would be nice to find a way to stream audio to those for a completely wireless setup. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Mike Pyle on March 04, 2019, 07:33:44 pm
I don't really think the columns will be a great choice. Too much gear within reach of grubby fingers and spills.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Jay Marr on March 04, 2019, 07:41:33 pm
All good thoughts and suggestions.  Will most likely opt for column.  I was originally thinking of the Turbosound inspires, but the jbl eons are batttery operated. Would be nice to find a way to stream audio to those for a completely wireless setup.

You may want to take a good look at those before purchasing.
I 'think' I saw the Turbo Inspires demoed (was a demo for a bunch of Turbosound gear) and the Inspires had a really flimsy mount into the subs.  You lean on them, the pop right out.  Like walking by, and elbow bumping into them would have pushed them right off the sub.
I would be SUPER nervous about that.  If the column does not mount securely into the sub, you're going to be worse off than with a Tripod.
Again, I think it was the Inspires....just take a look at the mounting before you purchase.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Rob Spence on March 04, 2019, 08:03:11 pm
I say a couple of passive 12 or 10 inch speakers, perhaps on shortish poles on plates? No controls on the back for the kids to play with and a speakon cable locked in securely.

A small, lightweight amp will do, placed back with the adults.


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Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Paul G. OBrien on March 04, 2019, 09:46:49 pm
You may want to take a good look at those before purchasing. If the column does not mount securely into the sub, you're going to be worse off than with a Tripod.

+1 on that, the Bose L1 compact for example is not at all kid proof, they would break the flimsy ass stick off that Fisher Price bass module without even trying hard. The Ip2000 system in comparison is built like a tank but even that may not survive a room full of typical 10yr olds. The other downside of these systems is all the controls are on the sub right down there at curious fingers level, I think a standard speaker on a tripod has a much better chance of being safe and surviving to fight another day, just position it out of the way somewhere where it won't be a trip hazard to those running around.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on March 05, 2019, 01:03:40 am
I have used powered speakers on tripod stands for many years in school situations and have never had an incident where the kids have even come close to knocking over the stands.  Properly deployed (legs spread out wide), tripod stands are really solid and it would take a big push to knock over one.  Use a shotbag on each stand and it would be extremely hard to knock over.   
Tripod stands also keep controls of powered speakers nice and high, out of the reach of curious fingers. 
I could also see the plates and poles suggested in this thread to be very useful too.  Once again, a couple of shotbags on the bottom and they will be very solid. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Len Zenith Jr on March 05, 2019, 03:13:13 am
While not always available, If you can put a safety cable tether from the speaker to a wall or ceiling or truss pretty much eliminates any risk of being tipped over.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Chris Grimshaw on March 05, 2019, 03:51:58 am
If you go for an active speaker, I'd think seriously about putting a cover over the controls. If everything's going well and then Little Timmy finds the gain knob and cranks it to 11, you'll have screaming feedback (and then screaming kids) and no obvious reason why.

Chris
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: drew gandy on March 05, 2019, 11:08:01 am
While not always available, If you can put a safety cable tether from the speaker to a wall or ceiling or truss pretty much eliminates any risk of being tipped over.

IKEA! 

I agree that a TS99 or other "real" sized speaker tripod stand is going to have a much better footprint than a top on sub type of arrangement.  I love the low profile, plate base speaker stand concept but keep in mind that it also might increase the trip hazard because the victim is less likely to see the stand base.  Taping the legs of a tripod with bright stripes makes it stand out. 

btw, be sure to lock up all the: skateboards, dirtbikes, slingshots, pocketknives, Red Ryder BB guns, superglue and magnifying glasses.  iPads are much safer and better for building life skills anyway.   ;D  (I'm just trying to make a bald social comment. No offense intended. We're all in this together.) 

Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Robert Lunceford on March 05, 2019, 12:52:23 pm
There has been a lot of concern that controls are within reach if you go with a column type speaker. This isnít so much a safety hazard but more an operational issue. It would seem that some type of cover could be fabricated to cover the controls.
With any type of speaker on a tripod there will be a cable leading to the speaker that can be yanked, possibly bringing the speaker and tripod crashing down. Solution to this would be wireless transmission to the speaker.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: David Allred on March 05, 2019, 01:18:57 pm
The trouble we go through so that improperly reared children will touch and fiddle with anything they see. 
Million dollar idea - Trained wasps.  One for each stand group.  A hand gets within 12" of any electronic controls (or mechanical safety components)... zap. 
"Hey!  A wasp just stung my kid, over there behind your speaker."
"Thanks for the warning.  I'll be on the alert when I pack up."
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Rob Spence on March 05, 2019, 01:21:42 pm
There has been a lot of concern that controls are within reach if you go with a column type speaker. This isnít so much a safety hazard but more an operational issue. It would seem that some type of cover could be fabricated to cover the controls.
With any type of speaker on a tripod there will be a cable leading to the speaker that can be yanked, possibly bringing the speaker and tripod crashing down. Solution to this would be wireless transmission to the speaker.

Yup, and wireless power too

Just Velcro the speaker wire all the way to the bottom.



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Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Dave Garoutte on March 05, 2019, 04:40:24 pm
Yeah, but when those kids start pole dancing . . . :o
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Jeremy Young on March 05, 2019, 05:05:08 pm
There is nothing funnier than watching a full grown security guard at a Fred Penner (childrens entertainer) concert try to figure out how to keep a sea of toddlers from rushing a 12" tall stage. The poor guy didn't have enough hands to stop them all.  I think the parents were all enjoying the show too much to keep their kids under any sort of control.  Sorry for the swerve. 

To keep it on topic, the speakers were Powered tops on poles over powered subs.  JBL SRX700 series.  No one got behind them, they were all more interested in Fred and his pedalboard.  All I could do was hope that none of them pressed the illuminated power button on his supplied power bar that also ran a vocal processor (I would have lost two of the four inputs for the show). Some got very close before the big arm scooped them up.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: David Allred on March 05, 2019, 06:11:09 pm
Yeah, but when those kids start pole dancing . . . :o

Not with my "Wasp Guardians", patent pending. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Chris Hindle on March 05, 2019, 07:50:37 pm

With any type of speaker on a tripod there will be a cable leading to the speaker that can be yanked, possibly bringing the speaker and tripod crashing down. Solution to this would be wireless transmission to the speaker.
That takes care of signal. What about power ?
Chris.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Robert Lunceford on March 05, 2019, 08:49:20 pm
That takes care of signal. What about power ?
Chris.
You are correct. There would still be the AC cord going to the active speaker on the tripod that could be yanked. The column speaker seems to be the safer option.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Robert Lunceford on March 05, 2019, 08:53:53 pm
Yeah, but when those kids start pole dancing . . . :o
A tripod provides a pole for dancing and climbing on as well.
 Iíd rather have a column speaker tip over versus a 40lb speaker falling from 6í
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: drew gandy on March 05, 2019, 11:15:55 pm
A tripod provides a pole for dancing and climbing on as well.
 Iíd rather have a column speaker tip over versus a 40lb speaker falling from 6í

I don't know.  I think we're going to need a long term double blind study to see which option is better in the long run. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: lindsay Dean on March 06, 2019, 02:40:54 pm
A road case that would fit the column and be able to be secured inside and some access holes for power Etc , or
Here's a crazy idea, with a little woodworking skill.
You could build a box with a locking back that just fits the column speaker with it pushed to front and secured to the bottom..
with hardware cloth across the front.
Rear lockable access for just the stuff you need to plug in and lock it back up sounds crazy but it might just work😊
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tim McCulloch on March 06, 2019, 04:55:40 pm
I think you need a sniper to shoot any person touching the speakers, stands, cables or accessories.  Nope, not joking.  The only person who can't get injured is a dead person.

Or get out of the production biz...
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Dave Garoutte on March 06, 2019, 06:59:07 pm
I think you need a sniper to shoot any person touching the speakers, stands, cables or accessories.  Nope, not joking.  The only person who can't get injured is a dead person.

Or get out of the production biz...

Yup,

See my tag line. >:(
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on March 06, 2019, 10:13:05 pm
With any type of speaker on a tripod there will be a cable leading to the speaker that can be yanked, possibly bringing the speaker and tripod crashing down. Solution to this would be wireless transmission to the speaker.

The solution I do every time is dress the cable onto the speaker pole, either by wrapping it around or taping it to the stand.  I have never seen anyone untape the cables and yank on them in the 11 years I've been doing school or corporate demo shows with children of all ages in the audience.  Tape down your cables, mark the tripod legs with brightly colored tape so as to minimize tripping and you should be just fine.  Rubber matting and/or carpeting over the cables that run through any walkways is a must.  I try to avoid cable ramps for small cables (XLR and single AC runs) because cable ramps are trip hazards. 
I've been to schools that own their own portable speaker systems and many of them just don't do basic cable management when deploying their systems (usually because their maintenance person or IT person is the one chosen to be in charge of the system and they have no clue how to do it), so chances are that whatever you do to dress your cables and stands will be well above and beyond what that school does with their system.

Downsides that I see with column speakers in this situation are -
- The controls are usually at or near ground level, leaving them within reach of anyone
- You don't have much, or any, control of how high you can set the speaker, thus possibly compromising your coverage
- If the column speaker must be deployed with a subwoofer as its base, someone will most likely use said subwoofer as a drink/food/trash table

FYI, it's not the toddlers that are destructive - the 13 through 18 year-olds are the worst bunch. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Mike Monte on March 07, 2019, 06:48:47 am
I am looking at a potential project that will require a mobile setup to primarily be used in front of crowds <10yrs old.  As a father myself I know know curious and inquisitive my little ones are and want to make sure things are as safe as possible.  My question is about speaker safety.  Are all tripods created equally?  Are there better ones I should be looking at? My other thought was possibly doing a column array speaker, as all the weight is directly on the floor.  Last thing I want is someone knocking something over and getting hurt. I know that is what I have insurance for, but I also want to make sure I donít have to use it.
Thanks!

I have done my share of sound work at local elementary schools, as of late it has been singer/songwriter "anti-bullying" school rallies.

On those gigs I feel that it is important to have the least amount of weight up in the air, while still covering the audience. 

I use two Bose 402 speakers w/controller, powered box mixer, 99B tripod stands (with florescent green spike tape neatly wrapped on the bottom 6" of the legs).
The 402's weight about 16lbs per cab and work quite well in school gymnasiums.   

Two years ago I used the above for a Red Grammer https://redgrammer.com/ performance at an elementary school with 500+ kids.  It worked like a charm.

I have, and could bring, way more rig, but what I have been using works well.

(Please save the Bose bashing.....)
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Bob Cap on March 07, 2019, 09:43:07 am
I am looking at a potential project that will require a mobile setup to primarily be used in front of crowds <10yrs old.  As a father myself I know know curious and inquisitive my little ones are and want to make sure things are as safe as possible.  My question is about speaker safety.  Are all tripods created equally?  Are there better ones I should be looking at? My other thought was possibly doing a column array speaker, as all the weight is directly on the floor.  Last thing I want is someone knocking something over and getting hurt. I know that is what I have insurance for, but I also want to make sure I donít have to use it.

Thanks!

I have a similar application at county fairs. Here is our solution. Battery operated, loud small, portable....https://www.technomad.com/products/dragonfly/

Give me a call if you have any questions.
Bob Cap
Advanced Audio Inc.
Gilbert, MN
218-749-4056
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Stephen Kirby on March 07, 2019, 11:56:55 pm
I try to avoid cable ramps for small cables (XLR and single AC runs) because cable ramps are trip hazards.   
A few years ago I was doing a music in the park gig in an affluent neighborhood and while patching things up I saw this RC car flying across the stage area.  Some local brat was using my cable ramps to launch his Tamiya.   ::)

I've been concerned with putting colored tape on tripod legs.  You could probably make a case for pointing out the "safety striping" after someone's tripped over it, but I prefer to wrap the base with a white table cloth when there's a possibility of people walking close to them.  Looks more substantial and people seem to walk around it more.  Not so "event coordinator approved" but if you ask them if they'd rather have folks tripping over it the alternative sounds better to them.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Robert Lunceford on March 08, 2019, 12:50:37 am
I have done my share of sound work at local elementary schools, as of late it has been singer/songwriter "anti-bullying" school rallies.

On those gigs I feel that it is important to have the least amount of weight up in the air, while still covering the audience. 

I use two Bose 402 speakers w/controller, powered box mixer, 99B tripod stands (with florescent green spike tape neatly wrapped on the bottom 6" of the legs).
The 402's weight about 16lbs per cab and work quite well in school gymnasiums.   

Two years ago I used the above for a Red Grammer https://redgrammer.com/ performance at an elementary school with 500+ kids.  It worked like a charm.

I have, and could bring, way more rig, but what I have been using works well.

(Please save the Bose bashing.....)
I owned and used Bose 402 in the past. I was always pleased with their performance. I used mine with a 502BP subwoofer.
They are light for a speaker at 16lbs and feel very stable on a tripod. They would be less likely to tip over compared to most other speakers on a tripod. Even though 16lbs sound light, if they did come down, imagine being hit on the head by a bowling ball falling six feet. There is inherent risk with any speaker deployment be it a sos or a column speaker. Just the nature of the beast.
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Douglas R. Allen on March 08, 2019, 05:47:37 am
I am looking at a potential project that will require a mobile setup to primarily be used in front of crowds <10yrs old.  As a father myself I know know curious and inquisitive my little ones are and want to make sure things are as safe as possible.  My question is about speaker safety.  Are all tripods created equally?  Are there better ones I should be looking at? My other thought was possibly doing a column array speaker, as all the weight is directly on the floor.  Last thing I want is someone knocking something over and getting hurt. I know that is what I have insurance for, but I also want to make sure I donít have to use it.

Thanks!

Sub with top works well. In this case a 40lb speaker on a 140+ lb sub that can't be move by a 10 year old. 

Douglas R. Allen
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: David Allred on March 08, 2019, 01:55:24 pm

FYI, it's not the toddlers that are destructive - the 13 through 18 year-olds are the worst bunch.

You mean the "I bet I can touch the very top of that speaker of there."  "That's nothing.  I bet I can touch the top with both hands flat." crowd?
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Rob Spence on March 08, 2019, 09:34:35 pm
A few years ago I was doing a music in the park gig in an affluent neighborhood and while patching things up I saw this RC car flying across the stage area.  Some local brat was using my cable ramps to launch his Tamiya.   ::)

I've been concerned with putting colored tape on tripod legs.  You could probably make a case for pointing out the "safety striping" after someone's tripped over it, but I prefer to wrap the base with a white table cloth when there's a possibility of people walking close to them.  Looks more substantial and people seem to walk around it more.  Not so "event coordinator approved" but if you ask them if they'd rather have folks tripping over it the alternative sounds better to them.

I use a white (or black) Lycra skirt on my tripods. Same effect as tablecloth but a little classier. Also, I put a rgb mini par in and can light it up.



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Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on March 10, 2019, 12:44:18 am
You mean the "I bet I can touch the very top of that speaker of there."  "That's nothing.  I bet I can touch the top with both hands flat." crowd?

Exactly.  The internet is full of fail videos from this particular age group. 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Tom Nisbet on March 11, 2019, 02:14:20 pm
Thank you for all the thoughts and suggestions.  Stopped by our local av house today and we are going to try and come up with a good solution.  Definitely leaning towards a tripod system now.  I just wish they stocked snipers
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Stephen Beatty on March 11, 2019, 03:52:08 pm
 Don't they make a spray for that? Like Deer-away or Cat-not-scratch?

 Maybe scented like a school book or soap to drive them away.
 
Title: Re: Safe Speakers
Post by: Dave Garoutte on March 11, 2019, 04:43:45 pm
Don't they make a spray for that? Like Deer-away or Cat-not-scratch?

 Maybe scented like a school book or soap to drive them away.

'Teen-be-gone'?
With the scent of chores.