A new intercom approach to serve the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at 125,000-square-foot NRG Stadium, developed by comms A1 Jason Martin and comms A2 Dave Cheramie, is based upon Pliant Technologies CrewCom wireless intercom systems.
“When searching for a comms system for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, no other solution compared to CrewCom,” says Martin. “It was a no-brainer to deploy the Pliant system as other systems we tested failed to perform in the large stadium with its high, domed ceiling. The competing systems also presented multipath interference issues, so they couldn’t provide the range we require for this large-scale event, only CrewCom could handle the job.”
Martin and Cheramie deploy a combination of 27 two-channel and four-channel Radio Packs (RPs), 14 transceivers, two copper hubs and three fiber paths to provide a reliable coverage zone. Additionally, they utilized two four-channel bases in a primary-secondary configuration with a total of 10 party lines (eight four-wire and dual two-wire). For the upcoming 2020 season, which will take place from March 3 to 22, they will be integrating Pliant’s CrewCom 8-port fiber hub, expanding capabilities and allowing for additional coverage zones via fiber optic connections.
“The integration of CrewCom has allowed us to expand our coverage zone greatly,” adds Martin. “Compared to our previous intercom system, we were able to use four additional radio packs and one additional party line thanks to the flexibility of CrewCom. Now, with the addition of Pliant’s CrewCom Fiber Hub, we have the ability to grow the system out even further to reach places via fiber optics that cannot be reached via copper. The addition of the fiber hub is a big deal — it allows us to easily put transceivers anywhere we need them.”
With a multitude of staff members utilizing the system, including audio engineers, camera operators, stage managers, producers, executives, scoring, and stock contractors, it was essential for Martin to equip it with a simple interface. “Not only is the system easy to operate, but it’s also easily explainable, which helps me a great deal when deploying such a large system with so many users,” he concludes.