System in the Slammer

System in the Slammer

Pro Sound Alliance Takes Ashly’s Pema Processor To Prison


The system covers thirty-plus zones with one Ashly Pema 8250.70 and six Pema 4250.70s powering over 600 Lowell 805-T72 loudspeakers.

YAPHANK, NY—Although the universe of institutions that require professional sound reinforcement includes churches, schools, and other places that can make an integrator feel warm and fuzzy at the end of the day, it is also populated by places like the Yaphank Correctional Facility (YCF) on Long Island, NY . The new $133-million building will house 650 inmates when it is commissioned for operation in the spring of 2012. To deliver both routine and safety-related information, Pro Sound Alliance, a division of Live Sound of Troy, NY , provided a three-tiered redundant paging system centered on the Ashly Pema powered processor.

Pro Sound Alliance general manager Dominick Campana served as project engineer at YCF. “It was a little bit complicated, as we were a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a prime contractor for the owner, Suffolk County Department of Public Works,” he laughed. “They were counting on our expertise to design and install a system that would deliver the functionality and performance required by the Sheriff’s department together with the architect and engineer’s specifications and concept drawing.”

The system covers 30-plus zones with one Ashly Pema 8250.70 and six Pema 4250.70s powering over 600 Lowell 805-T72 loudspeakers. Both Pema models provide full-blooded 8x8 DS P together with eight (8250) or four (4250) 250-watt amplifier channels in just two rack spaces. Three redundant paging systems at different priority levels provide input.

An industrial-grade Black Creek security intercom system provides top-priority paging: any Black Creek handset or computer-controlled announcement or alarm will immediately take control of the PA system. The most commonly used paging source occupies the second level—a comprehensive Stentofon IP telephone paging system with sixteen microphone stations located throughout the facility. Finally, built-in microphones and program sources at each of seven head ends provides the third-level input.

“We were introduced to the Ashly Pema through our extensive use of the Ashly ne24.24M modular DS P,” said Campana. “We love the flexibility, simplicity, and power of the Protea software platform. Moreover, Ashly’s ‘network-enabled’ equipment is vastly easier to use than other equipment in its class. Instead of opening up control panels, messing with ‘COMM-this’ and ‘PORT-that’ for two hours, the Ashly equipment plugs into the computer and just works.” While Campana says he welcomes that speed and simplicity at any job, it was especially important at YCF. “Getting in there for any changes will not be easy,” he laughed. “The process can take quite awhile! With the Ashly Pema in place, I was able to make efficient use of my time. It will be even trickier to go back for any updates or a service call when the inmates are in residence, so I’m glad, first, that the Ashly gear is so solid, and, second, that it’s so quick to work with in case I have to go back.”