PA system tested, updated


Ela Or

The PA system was not working at the start of February, but these problems have been fixed now.

Ava Arcona, Assistant News Editor

The Public Address (PA) system has undergone maintenance and is working regularly after a brief period of network-related technical difficulties.

Beginning in early February, the audio quality over the loudspeakers began to noticeably worsen; announcements would frequently be interrupted by static and the bells sounded faintly or not at all. Tests were conducted over the PA system throughout the week of Feb. 4 in an effort to correct the sporadic behavior. 

According to Principal Sean Bevan, the source of the complications was initially unclear.

“We started to hear some poor quality audio coming from our bells, and that was something we were looking into,” Bevan said. “We started to test the PA and the bells to find out what was contributing to that, and [at first] it was very puzzling.”

After continued testing, the problem was attributed to unstable Wi-Fi connection.

“It was an issue where some of those systems, which are all digital, were housed on our network,” Bevan said. “[The way] the services communicated with each other just needed some updating, and to be examined and rectified.”

The digital PA system, which is standard for public buildings such as schools and hospitals, transports sound waves from a microphone through an equalizer and amplifier before broadcasting through the main speakers. Consistent Wi-Fi connection is necessary for the wireless system to transmit messages.

The focus of testing was on the quality of the audio, while Bevan also recognizes the importance of using the loudspeakers to broadcast urgent messages.

“[My staff and I] felt a concern to make sure our PA could be used in the case of an emergency,” Bevan said. “It’s such a valuable communication tool that we had to rely on our walkie talkies [to stay in contact].”

The PA system is currently working at full capacity, providing reliable means of communication for everyday announcements as well as in cases of emergency.