Wireless Scores with Sign Maker

The sports arena advertisement and sign business just got more profitable for a sign company in Seattle. This new wireless technology has taken off, and now the University of Washington's Husky Stadium is being equipped with these state-of-the art signs. Sports events at arenas and outdoor fields are ideal locations for product advertising.

12/15/2000


The sports arena advertisement and sign business just got more profitable for a sign company in Seattle. This new wireless technology has taken off, and now the University of Washington's Husky Stadium is being equipped with these state-of-the art signs.

Sports events at arenas and outdoor fields are ideal locations for product advertising. Advertising is commonly displayed with different media types to catch the eye of the viewing public.

The most eye-catching medium is numerous large scrolling signs. As many as 60 of these 3 x 14 ft. signs are located around the edge of the field and overhead for maximum exposure. These signs scroll individually and together to advertise products with timed intervals.

A local integrator used multiple Data-Linc Group's (Redmond, Wa.) SRM 6000 spread spectrum wireless modems to control and operate scrolling signs in this unusual application.

Freedom from control room

Such a network of signs encounters numerous challenges. The signs are linked to a master controller with hardwired electrical interconnections for programming, and control. In the past, this interconnection has been from the signs to a large PC/PLC controller and operator interface located near the press box. This has been the only location from which the signs could be reprogrammed and controlled during critical periods of the game or event.

In light of set-up and high operation costs, TubeArt Signs and Sports Displays (Seattle, Wa.), a manufacturer of custom signs, went out in search of a new and better solution. TubeArt contacted a local control systems integrator, Systems Interface Inc. (Bothell, Wa.)

A systems interface engineer evaluated the application and directed a small team to redesign and rebuild a new motion control and communication system. The new control scheme includes a wireless stand-alone touchscreen operator control console linked to a wireless motion controller module using a Parker-Hannifinstepper motor and controller in each sign. This combination of technologies allows all signs to communicate via wireless radio modems.

Less debugging required

Data-Linc'sModel SRM6000 radio modems allow the operator to use his touchscreen operator interface to control and program the scrolling signs. Thus, operation can be performed from anywhere in the arena or stadium. The wireless communication now eliminates hours of wiring and debugging between all signs and controls.

Next time you see scrolling signs at your local sports event, they may be controlled by Data-Linc wireless technology, perhaps by the person sitting next to you.

Comments? Send e-mail to: amcbride@cahners.com

For more information on Data-Linc Group, www.data-linc.com , or visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo ; on Systems Interface Inc., visit www.systems-interface.com . or visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





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