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Public Address System (PA system) Block diagram power (Zero power).

Since I2R = P, or I = Root of P/R =


Root of 1x10‐3/600 = 1.291 mA.
*Masking It refers to one sound being obscured by another
so it is indistinguishable from the first sound. It is one of the
main obstacles to speech intelligibility. Typical sound systems
include a number of potential sources of masking effects.
Background noise
is the most obvious. Sound system’s normal operating level
should be at least 15–25
dB above the background noise level. High distortion level in
amplifiers, speakers, or
other sound system components, is another possible source
of masking.
Reverberation is another common source of
masking‐related intelligibility loss.
Significant reverberation occurs in a large room (i.e., church,
gymnasium, or auditorium) where repeated reflections
merge into a seemingly continuous sound with a gradual rate
of decay. Many installed sound systems are used in spaces
Acoustic defined as the iScientific Study” of Sound where there is little or no significant reverberation.
a)Intensity This relates to amplitude of acoustic force. It is *Equalization process by which the amplitude of discrete
expressed in watts per square centimeter frequency ranges is adjusted benefits of using equalization
b)Sensitivity A speaker’s sensitivity is the on‐axis loudness include improved speech intelligibility, enhanced sound
(dB SPL) measured at a specific distance that results from quality due to a better spectral balance, and increased gain
applying a specific amount of power (1 Watt @ 1 meter). without feedback.
For example: If a speaker’s sensitivity is rated at 96 dBSPL Impedance value of resistance when an alternating electric
with a 1 W input measured at 1 mt from the speaker, then current runs is called impedance,where Z = Ω.
doubling the power to 2 W raises the output 3 dB to 99 dB *Impedance matching is necessary to get optimum volume,
SPL at 1 mt. Doubling the power again to 4 W avoid wasting power,avoid excess stress & prevent damage
produces 102 dB SPL. to amplifier & speakers, reduce distortion and noise & avoid
c)Sound Pressure Level Sound Pressure Level (SPL) is the uneven sound distribution.
acoustic pressure reference for the dB. The minimum *Balanced Line A balanced line is simply one that has three
threshold of undamaged human hearing is considered to be 0 conductors wired separately. Two of these are signal wires
dB SPL. The threshold of pain for undamaged human hearing which are wired out of phase with each other and the third
is 120 dB SPL. one is ground (usually this is the shield). The big advantage of
d) Loudness: It is the intensity of the sound stimulus as a balanced cable is that it is designed to cancel many types of
perceived by the human ear and chiefly a function of sound noise.
pressure. However, it is also dependent upon the frequency *Feedback is the loud squeal that is often heard in a P.A.
and the complexity of the waveform. The extra system when a microphone is pointed too close to a speaker
high‐frequency content makes the sound seem louder. cabinet or the volume gets too loud. A squeal
Attenuation over Distance (Inverse Square Law) The lasting less than a second is generally harmless. However,
inverse square law describes how sound attenuates over keep feeding back for very long duration tweeters and/or
distance. It states that volume (SPL) decreases 6 dB each time horns will get so hot that their coils burn and they stop
the distance from the sound source is doubled. This is due to working.
the diffusion of sound radiating from the sound source over a *Dropping Most P.A. speakers can take a degree of rough
spherical area. As the radius of a sphere is doubled, its handling. However, if a cabinet takes a hard enough impact,
surface area quadruples, effectively dividing the acoustical it is possible that internal parts of the speaker can shift.
power by four. Speakers have heavy magnets hanging off the back of them
Frequency: Frequency is the number of iCycles per Secondi and momentum on a hard enough drop will cause the
and is expressed as iHzi. magnet to shift. Remember, the way a speaker creates sound
Decibel (dB) The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit that is by vibrating hundreds and even thousands of times per
indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or second – it doesn’t take much of a shift to throw the
intensity) relative to a specified reference level. A ratio in alignment of the various parts of a speaker out enough that
decibels is ten times the logarithm to base 10 of the ratio of they will rub. When a moving part on a speaker rubs, the part
two power quantities. receiving the friction eventually rubs through and causes the
Zero Voltage Level It is a voltage applied across a 600 ohm speaker to fail. Usually it is the wire in the coil that is rubbing
resistance which dissipates one milli watt and it eventually rubs so thin that it breaks or shorts, thereby
power (Zero Power). Since P = V2/R, so V = Root of PXR = causing the speaker to stop moving.
Root of 1x10‐3 x 600 =0.775 volts or 775 mV Bad Cables Oscillations can occur in a P.A. system when
Zero Current Level It is equal to current flowing in a the ground has come off in a cable. Everything may seem to
600 ohm resistance which dissipates one milli watt
be working alright but a missing ground can cause a high Disadv Freq resp not good as copm to dynamic. Sensitive to
frequency (high pitched) sound that is so high that you moisture, fragile. Advantage is o/p is high.
cannot hear it, but it is, nonetheless, causing the tweeter to Dynamic Microphone versatile and ideal for
burn out. general‐purpose use. When a magnet is moved near a coil of
Microphones wire an electrical current is generated in the wire. Using this
Moving Coil Microphone robust construction electromagnet principle, the dynamic microphone uses a
reducing acoustic feedback wire coil and magnet to create the audio signal.
Condenser Microphone smaller size Condenser Microphone: A capacitor has two plates with a
1.5 V battery to power electret condenser cartridge voltage between them. In the condenser microphone, one of
higher sensitivity compared to moving coil microphones. these plates is made of very light material and acts as the
Sensitivity of the microphone shall be of the order of ‐55dB diaphragm. The diaphragm vibrates when struck by sound
relative to 0.0002 dyne/cm for an impedance of 50 ohms. waves, changing the distance between the two plates and
Frequency response microphone chosen should have therefore changing the capacitance.
uniform frequency response within ± 3.0 dB from 100 to They are not ideal for high‐volume work, as their sensitivity
10000 Hz. makes them prone to distort. The required voltage across the
Sitting of microphone and loudspeaker capacitor is supplied either by a battery in the microphone or
(a) Sound distribution system, especially in a closed hall, has by external phantom power.
the risk of acoustic feedback from the loudspeaker to the Ribbon Microphone A ribbon (velocity) microphone is a
microphone causing singing. Siting of microphones and type of microphone that uses a thin aluminum, duraluminum
loudspeakers should be such that there is good pick‐up of or nanofilm ribbon placed between the poles of a magnet to
speaker's voice without abnormal rise in bass and good generate voltages by electromagnetic induction. Pressure
distribution with uniform coverage without acoustic feed waves cause the ribbon to vibrate in the magnetic field
back. The microphone should be sited normally in an acoustic generating voltage corresponding to the particle velocity of
shadow. the pressure wave.
(b) It is also desirable to create the illusion that sound is Advantages bidirectional, meaning they pick up sounds
being heard directly. There should not be cases of sound equally well from either side of the microphone. Designed to
from the loudspeaker, or reflected sound from the walls, have a wide frequency range, good sensitivity, low distortion,
reaching the audience after the sound from the speaker has and low internal noise
reached directly. Jack Plug
(c) Microphone should be, as far as possible, behind the
loudspeaker in order to minimize the acoustic feed back. The
correct distance between microphone and
source should be predetermined and arranged to be constant
as far as possible. It is important to see that if the level of
reverberant sound or the surrounding noise near the
microphone is high, the distance between microphone and
XLR PLUG
source shall be reduced. The sound source should be directly
towards the microphone, as otherwise the high notes, which
are highly directional, would not be satisfactorily picked up
by the microphone and thereby the clarity of the speech
sound reproduced by the system will be poor.
(d) In 25 KV AC electrified area, the microphone siting should Loudspeakers
aim at avoiding the electrostatic or electromagnetic induction Amplifier Sensitivity input voltages required to be
either in the equipment or in the lead from the microphone amplified may range from 0.5 mili volt to 1.5 V
to the amplifier. *The output transformer of the amplifier should
TYPES of microphone have impedance tapping of 4,8 & 16ohms to
Carbon mic consisting of two metal plates separated by
enable operation with loudspeakers of these
granules of carbon. One plate faces outward and acts as a
diaphragm. When sound waves strike this plate, the pressure standard impedances. For constant voltage
on the granules changes, which in turn changes the electrical working, the transformer should be provided with
resistance between the plates. 70 to 100 volts constant voltage tapings.
disadvantages of the carbon microphone is that it has Speaker Connection Installed sound systems commonly
continuous high frequency hiss caused by the changing use either a direct connection (also called low impedance) or
contact resistance between the carbon granules. constant voltage (also called high impedance)
Crystal Microphone uses a thin strip of piezoelectric amplifier/speaker interface.
material attached to a diaphragm. The two sides of the Connect Master Amp to Booster Amp
crystal acquire opposite charges when the crystal is deflected Connect Line‐Out of the Master Amplifier to the input jack of
by the diaphragm. The charges are proportional to the the first Booster A
amount of deformation and disappear when the stress on the Connect the output jack of Booster A to the input jack of
crystal disappears. second Booster B.
through all the in built speakers to get attention. In this
period only chairman can speak.
Built‐in PA Amplifier In certain situations additional sound
reinforcement through external speakers may be required.
The central amplifier has been provided with a built‐in 59W
PA amplifier for powering these external speakers.
Maintenance of PAS
General conditions of wiring and components of the entire
system to be checked once every year
The frequency response and the noise level of the amplifier
shall be checked annually and relevant parameters are to be
recorded in tables as shown below.
The earthing arrangement shall be maintained properly and
Loudspeaker connections to each of the five amplifiers shall inspected once in a quarter. Alternating current induction
be done independantly. hum at 50 Hz and its harmonics also should be checked.
During operation of the system any adjustment in the total Standard Cabling
quality of the sound if required can be made from the Master Cable Distance Cable Size
Amplifier. Less than 600m 1.0 mm2
Now the inputs connected to the master amplifier will feed 600m to 1200m 1.5 mm2
all the five amplifiers creating 350+500+500+500+500=2350 More than1200m 2.5 mm2
Watt output system. Fault Finding 1. Noise is a very common, and
Audio Mixer Pre‐Amplifier main amplifier system has sometimes a very difficult problem to solve. Noise comes
limitation of accommodating more number of input from many sources. Some of the most common are:
devices therefore there is a device called audio mixer
pre‐amplifier, which accommodates more number of input
 Poor wiring in the location where the P.A. is being used
devices with more no. of individual controls. The combined  Fluorescent lights
output of all individual channels will be connected to Aux.
 Dimmers
 Poor design (particularly shielding and location of the
input to the main amplifier section. Applicationis COnference

mixer's power transformer)


 Magnetic fields induced by other nearby components
(particularly power amplifiers)
 Radio stations or other transmitters in the area
 Large motors near by
 Grounding problems (particularly when using equipment
manufactured by different companies)
 Noise in the input signal (particularly guitar pickups)
Coference System mainly consists of one Chairman Unit,
 Poor cables (particularly on the inputs)
REMEDIES Most of these can be reduced or even eliminated
one secretary unit, delegate units as required, central
by using high quality cables and balanced lines. To check the
amplifier with connecting chords and loudspeaker system.
source of the noise, unplug all inputs from the
1.Chairman unit It consists of built‐in loudspeaker and
mixer/amplifier input jacks and observe noise. If noise is
highly sensitive electrets condenser microphone mounted on
disappeared then it is clear that the noise was definitely
flexible gooseneck arrangement.
coming from something that are plugging into the input
Priority SW By pressing it, chairman can suppress voice of all
of the mixer/amplifier and not from the P.A. itself. Now start
delegate units
plugging the sources back into the mixer/amplifier, one by
2.Delegate units: similar to chairman unit with the
one. Observe for noisy input. Take steps to replace the noisy
exception of the priority switch not being provided.
input such as microphone, cassette recorder, guitar etc.
3.Secretary unit: enables proceedings to be recorded
If noise is still there than follow following few suggestions:
through a cassette recorder
4.Central Amplifier: connecting conference system  Change your cables to better quality ones with a high
consisting of chairman, secretary and delegate units. degree of shielding.
Special Features
Auto Microphone Off If a delegate unit keeps ON without
 Wherever possible, use balanced sources (some
manufacturers have both balanced and unbalanced outputs
making speech in to it, the microphone is automatically got
on their products. If they do, change to balanced.)
switched off after approximately 75 seconds
Priority Function When priority switch is pressed, all active  Use of a balanced cable will even improve noise in
microphones get muted and a single tone chime is relayed unbalanced sources as long as the mixer inputs are balanced.
 Use direct boxes where possible for instruments being powered equipment are connected via an audio cable (e.g.
jack plug).
plugged into the mixer. This isolates the signal, converts any
For example, mains powered monitors connected to the
high impedance instruments to be balanced low impedance
mixer. If there is a mains hum problem then first identify
and allows you to ilifti the grounds on these devices. We will
which piece of equipment is causing the problem. Disconnect
able to reduce or eliminate many radio signals, buzzes and
all the equipment from the mains and also all the connecting
ground hums with this method.
 Reduce the length of the cables. signal cables between the equipment. Now start introducing
the equipment piece by piece until the problem is notice.
 Make sure the input cables are not lying too close to a Never, ever remove an earth wire from a mains plug to avoid
transformer, motor, amplifier or other source of magnetic the problem.
radiation. Feedback Acoustic feedback will occur when the
 Plugging the components of a P.A. system into different microphone picks up audio from the loudspeaker and
transmits it back into the amplifier. A iloopi of sound occurs
electrical outlets can sometimes cause problems. Wherever
which builds in intensity to a piercing scream. This is usually
possible, try to connect all parts of the P.A. into the same
due to the volume being too high or the microphone too near
circuit, even if you have to run extension cords to accomplish
to the speaker. The scream won't stop until the loop of sound
this.
 Turn any lights on dimmers off, or if this is not possible, is not break physically. Every venue has a point where
feedback cannot be avoided. However following points to be
turn them fully on. noted:
 Reduce the volume output on the Amplifiers an increase  Is the microphone is being use correctly.
the output on your mixer.  If microphone is far away from the mouth.
This sometimes solves the problem.
Fault‐Finding in Live Productions  Are using microphones are cheap as they may more prone
leads can get pulled loose, batteries (even new ones!) can die to feedback.
unexpectedly, and amplifiers can overheat and shut down.  Are your speakers positioned far enough in front of the
Our first reactions shall be as given below: line of your microphones. Try moving them forward a little at
i. Stay calm! Panicking or losing your temper with people or a time.
equipment will not make the problem solve.
ii. Focus your attention in understanding that the signal is
 Change the angle of PA speakers. Even slightly changing
the angle of the speakers can affect feedback enormously.
reaching to its destination or not. If not, why?
iii. Be methodical. Don't change connections, leads and  Feedback occurs at varying frequencies. You may be able
components at random. Start diagnoses the problem along to adjust the EQ on the mixer to cut down the feedback.
the signal path. Eliminate the possible causes of failure.. If a Precautions During Operation
microphone isn't working, replace it with one you know to be
OK. If it still doesn't work, replace the lead with one you
 If found following irregularity during operation,
immediately switch off the power, disconnect the power
know to be OK.
supply plug from the AC outlet. Make no further attempt to
iv. Be safe. Electricity kills. Never take the covers off live
operate the unit in this condition as this may cause fire or
equipment (always disconnect from the mains before you
electric shock:
take the cover off anything). Never replace fuses with any
other conductor (wire, nails, and screws). If fuses keep  If you detect smoke or a strange smell coming from the
blowing, the equipment is faulty and potentially dangerous. unit.
Never attempt repairs that need both hands while If water or any metallic object gets into the unit
you are hanging off a ladder.
v. Mark faulty equipment. If you find a lead is faulty, don't If the unit falls, or the unit case breaks
just put it back in the bag. Mark it faulty in some obvious way If the power supply cord is damaged (exposure of the core,
& put it to one side, and don't take it out again until it has disconnection)
been repaired and tested. The same goes for everything else,
If it is malfunctioning (no tone sounds.)
 To prevent a fire or electric shock, never open or remove
from microphone to mixer to monitor.
vi. Most of actual system faults are caused by faulty cables.
Cables may fail at the solder points (bad soldering and poor the unit case as there are high voltage components inside the
strain‐relief are the most common causes of this: cheap unit.
cables and connectors are a false economy), and although
this normally results in loss of continuity, sometimes a loose
 Do not place cups, bowls, or other containers of liquid or
metallic objects on top of the unit. If they accidentally spill
end can make contact with one of the other conductors,
into the unit, this may cause a fire or electric shock.
causing short‐circuit conditions. In the worst case, this can
cause failure of the preamplifier or amplifier stage driving it.  Do not insert or drop metallic objects or flammable
Mains hum is a low frequency hum or buzz which increases materials in the ventilation slots of the unit’s cover, as this
in volume as the PA system is turned up louder. The most may result in fire or electric shock.
common reasons for mains hum is when two pieces of mains
 Do not place heavy objects on the unit as this may cause it
to fall or break which may result in personal injury and/or
property damage. In addition, the object itselfmay fall off and
cause injury and/or damage.
 Make sure that the volume control is set to minimum
position before power is switched on. Loud noise produced at
high volume when power is switched on cans the sound
distorting. This is an indication of a malfunction, which in turn
can cause heat to generate and result in a fire.
 Remove the dust accumulated in the unit over a long
period of time, a fire or damage to the unit may result.
 If dust accumulates on the power supply plug or in the
wall AC outlet, a fire may result. Clean it periodically. In
addition, insert the plug in the wall outlet securely.
 Switch off the power, and unplug the power supply plug
from the AC outlet for safety purposes when cleaning or
leaving the unit unused for 10 days or more. Doing otherwise
may cause a fire or electric shock.
 Avoid jointing of microphone cables. If it is un‐avoidable,
make sure a good screened connector is used.
 Ensure that all loudspeakers are in phase there is no short
circuit on the loudspeaker line before connecting to the
amplifier.