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The 4 Best Ways To Improve School Intercom Systems

A teacher uses a THUN-150 megaphone to get the attention of students outside their lockers.

This year, the US is estimated to have more than 49.9 million students in the public school system — that’s a lot of kids! With classes now back in session, it’s imperative that your educators, administrators, and staff have the tools they need to keep programs organized and safe for everyone involved. That organization depends on an effective communications network. If you’re looking for ways to update yours, ThunderPower is here to help! Check out our list of the four (4) best ways to improve school intercom systems.

1. Invest in Powerful Megaphones

Whether you’re trying to be heard over rowdy students at an auditorium meeting, or to get players and fans hyped up during an outdoor game, megaphones and bullhorns will serve you well. They’ve also been an essential component to school intercom systems for many years. Mentioning them may conjure up images of football games, pep rallies, homecoming parades, swim meets, and cheerleading squads. 

They’re equally important to the administrative and security sides of education. School crossing guards, principals, superintendents, and hall monitors can use them to get the attention of large crowds and relay information to keep those people informed and safe.

Regardless of who’s using these devices, there are a couple important questions to keep in mind when choosing the best megaphones for the job:

How many people are you talking to?

How wide of a space are you working in?

For instance, if you’re trying to get the attention of a hallway of students, you’ll probably only need the range of the THUN-150 at most. But if you’re facing a large crowd at a major school sporting event…well, you might need to bust out the “The Earthquake Maker” if you want everyone to hear you.

Regardless of their size or range, the nice part about ThunderPower megaphones is that all of them feature alerts and sirens that are clear and effective at getting people’s attention.

2. Install Wireless PA Systems

We all know how schools love to use public address (PA) systems to make daily announcements, or to send out alerts when classes start and end. But maintaining or updating your system can be both expensive and cumbersome due to the extensive wiring that is required throughout your buildings. 

Wireless PA systems are a great alternative for augmenting school intercom systems. You can make an announcement from anywhere on campus, thanks to a combination of wireless speakers and two-way radios. Speakers work anywhere that you can plug them into a power outlet. Plus, when you choose the best two-way radios in the industry, you’ll have optimum coverage and crystal-clear sound. (More on that below.)

Does this make you worry that you’ll have to gut your current PA system? Don’t sweat it. You can keep what you have and simply integrate wireless units wherever you need. The same goes for syncing them with the two-way radios you’ll use to make these announcements. 

That’s still cheaper and more convenient than updating a wired network.

3. Stock Up on Two-Way Radios

School intercom systems work better with two-way radios. Portable handheld units and compact base stations are the most convenient means of staying in touch with school faculty, custodians, security, contractors, and other officials while on campus. 

We’ll admit, we are a little biased as to what we consider the best two-way radios on the market. Our parent company, Discount Two-Way Radio, has long touted the benefits of the RCA radio brand, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend them here.

Plus, we’ve heard from many school systems that have made the switch to RCA that they appreciate the durability, sound, performance, and battery life of those units. (Need references? We’d be happy to provide them!)

4. Take Advantage of ESSER Funds

During the start of the pandemic, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) program. These ESSER funds are meant to finance school upgrades for minimizing the spread of COVID-19, from stocking up on personal protective equipment (PPE) and installing improved air filters, to updating school communications equipment and emergency response.

Megaphones, wireless PA systems, and two-way radios are generally eligible, although it’s best to check with your state board of education and school district to make sure there aren’t any limitations. The best part is that you don’t have to use these funds immediately — you just have to establish a plan for how you’re going to allocate them. 

While the first of three ESSER funds must be obligated soon (September 30th), you can still apply for ESSER II and ARP ESSER. You can find more information about each ESSER fund here. Should you choose to take advantage of these funds, ESSER II must be obligated by September 30th of next year, and ARP ESSER by September 30th of 2024.

Choosing Solutions for School Intercom Systems

If you’d like to apply any of these solutions to your own intercom system, we’re ready to help. Give us a call today at 877-782-7073 to discuss inventory and pricing, as well as any additional questions you may have.

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Bullhorn for Sale! Tips on Choosing the Right One

A woman straps a ThunderPower 1200 bullhorn over her shoulder while using its connected microphone in the middle of an outdoor festival.

Are you looking for a bullhorn for sale? Or perhaps the word you’re thinking of is megaphone? Both names have become practically interchangeable, because these devices perform the same function: electronically amplify users’ voices so that they’re heard over great distances. That said, not all of these are created equal. What are the factors to keep in mind when choosing a bullhorn for sale? Here’s what we recommend reading before your next purchase.

Bullhorn Ranges

How far do you want your messages to be carried? Bullhorns have different ranges to serve different crowd sizes. If you’re dealing with one on a large scale, you’ll want to be loud and clear to the people at the farthest ends of the group. Conversely, if you’re at a smaller event, you won’t need nearly as much power (and your listeners’ eardrums will thank you for it).

That’s why ThunderPower offers bullhorns with the following ranges:

  • 600 yards
  • 800 yards
  • 1200 yards
  • 1400 yards
  • 2000 yards

But how do you know what your range should be?

Here’s a quick reference guide before you choose a bullhorn for sale:

Six-hundred yards is ideal for teachers, parade operators, event organizers, and tour groups. An eight-hundred yard range is more in line with coaching, theater productions, school pickup and drop-off lots, and campus crowd control. At twelve-hundred yards, you’re into the realm of law enforcement. By fourteen-hundred yards, you’ve reached the size of political rallies, outdoor festivals, and religious congregations. Two-thousand yards is geared more toward military training, firefighters, security, and massive gatherings.

What about sporting events, you ask? These aren’t as easy to narrow down to a specific bullhorn range. With the possible exception of two-thousand yards, all of the others could apply. That being said, we can still think of a few sports venues where “The Earthquake Maker” is the only way you’ll be able to get your voice heard.

Adjustable Volume Control

Worried that your bullhorn will be too loud? That’s why these units offer adjustable volume control to meet the changing needs of the groups you’re in. As those groups may grow or disperse, so too will the amount of effort you’ll have to put forth in order to be heard. Volume control also mitigates noise levels during certain times of the day, or in locations with specific noise ordinances. 

Make sure to account for how much surrounding noise you predict you’ll end up fighting. Group marches, outdoor sporting events, stadiums, and emergency services all deal with different degrees of commotion and human-made interference that influence the effectiveness of your bullhorns.

Sirens and Alarms

Sirens and alarms are essential components of any effective bullhorn. If you need to alert people around you to potential danger, or simply get everyone’s immediate attention, these two features are invaluable. That’s why all ThunderPower bullhorns come equipped with them. 

Not sure what each of those will sound like? We think you should know. Simply click one of our available units below and scroll down to where it says “Listen to the Siren” and “Listen to the Whistle” respectively.

ThunderPower 150 (15 watts, 600-yard range)

ThunderPower 120 (15 watts, 800-yard range)

ThunderPower 250 (25 watts, 1200-yard range)

ThunderPower 450 (35 watts, 1400-yard range)

ThunderPower 1200 (45 watts, 2000-yard range)

Durability and Protection

If you’re looking for a bullhorn for sale, it probably goes without saying that the one you choose needs to be ready for a little wear and tear. Whether it’s the environment it’s being used in, or the number of people who will end up handling it, there’s always the chance for these units to be dropped, scraped, and damaged. That’s why we strongly encourage you to purchase bullhorns that are made with industrial-strength chassis. And, in spite of how ergonomic the handles on many of these bullhorns may already be, including wrist straps made of nylon webbing can be a great way to prevent how often they’re dropped or misplaced.

Measuring Bullhorn Performance

If you’re still on the fence about how loud is loud enough for your next bullhorn, we understand completely. Although we’ve provided ranges, you may still wonder what those numbers actually mean in a real-world setting.

That’s why we include helpful charts under each unit linked above that give you the decibels for that unit, as well as comparable sounds that will allow you to gauge the actual volume of each model.

Batteries for Your Bullhorns

Because bullhorn users tend to move around a lot, most of these units are battery powered. All you need for yours are a few good AA’s to get long-lasting performance. Our most powerful bullhorn, the ThunderPower 1200, also comes with a cigarette-lighter attachment to charge it from a vehicle.

Bullhorn Pro Tip: Cut down on battery costs by purchasing rechargeable ones.

Are You Concerned About the Supply Chain?

Worried that these bullhorns might get lost in the apply chain? Not a chance! If the ones you want aren’t currently in stock, it doesn’t take long for us to get replacements. In other words, you won’t be waiting months for the equipment that you need.

Bullhorn Users Who Made Us Laugh

These days, we all could probably use a little more humor in our lives. Trust us when we tell you that you can have some fun when it comes to bullhorns. 

For example…

  1. Back when sports teams were playing to empty seats, one diehard baseball fan decided to use nearby office space to his advantage and deliver a message of disapproval to the Houston Astros. The fan’s goal was to be heard as far as the batter’s box. Kudos to his use of grade-school math to determine the range he needed on his horn. And we certainly can’t fault him for his choice of megaphone brand that he knew would get that job done.
  1. Have you ever had someone disrespect your lawn by letting their dog use it as a bathroom? If they have, and if it’s bothered you enough, you’d probably appreciate the methods this megaphone user went to when he caught his neighbor’s dog in the act: an air horn to startle them first, followed by a megaphone to tell them (and the neighbor) off.

Where Should You Get a Bullhorn for Sale?

Before you may default to the “let’s buy everything from Amazon” approach, we’d encourage you to take a look at our full lineup of available units. ThunderPower has been a long-standing brand name that has demonstrated time and again why it is the definitive choice for bullhorns (or megaphones). Not only do we carry the best models on the market, we offer US-based customer support that will pick up the phone as soon as you call. No more getting stuck navigating a phone tree in order to get a live person to help you with your order.

Do you have questions about a bullhorn for sale on our website? Our reps are ready to answer them, learn about your business, and give you the best options to meet your needs. 

If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at the reviews others have left us about why they love the ThunderPower brand.

When you’re ready, give us a call at 877-782-7073 to talk about your next order.

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Hollywood Continues to Love ThunderPower Megaphones and Bullhorns

One of Hollywood’s most vivid images is of a director sitting in a folding canvas chair holding a heavy-duty megaphone in front of his mouth and yelling, “Lights, Camera, Action!”  Believe it or not, while very few of those quintessential romantic images still occur on a Hollywood set, the ThunderPower megaphone continues to play a big part of movie sets, television talent competitions, reality TV shows, and even as stage props.

Hollywood Producer Robert Koster recalls vividly how his megaphone was critical while shooting a film on Hawaii’s North Shore.

“We were filming in a house on the North Shore, several acres of property. The AD’s (assistant directors) had to operate with bullhorns, hand signals, signal mirrors, anything that could help us communicate. I personally loved the megaphone because the crew could easily hear the command to ‘Roll it!,” said Koster in his memoir Adventures in Hollywood.

The fact is, ThunderPower megaphones are the loudest and most durable megaphones in the world, making them a popular addition to movie and television sets across the country. Not only are they perfect for a tight budget, they also are durable enough to survive even the most rugged location conditions or on-set abuse. 

“Celebrities like to be seen. But when they want to be heard, they use ThunderPower Megaphones,” said Ben Burns, CEO and Founder of Discount Two-Way Radio, the parent company of ThunderPower Megaphones.

Megaphone to the Stars

Because megaphones are incredibly popular for the entertainment industry, it’s not surprising to learn that ThunderPower is often seen on the sets and in the hands of celebrities.

Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol, recently used the ThunderPower 450 to generate energy among 10,000 American Idol contestants and even leveraged the bullhorn’s powerful 35 watts of power and decibel strength to garner a sing along among the crowd. This scenario also underscored how the ThunderPower megaphone works incredibly well when needing to engage in crowd control.

When Kirstie Alley was filming her reality TV show, “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” the actress used a ThunderPower heavy-duty megaphone to direct her family members through an emergency preparedness drill. The scene punctuated how megaphones can be excellent tools to navigate family members toward safety in case of a fire, earthquake, tornado, and many more.  

Fiery celebrity cook Gordon Ramsey also used a ThunderPower megaphone to loudly direct his cooks on “Hell’s Kitchen” while 80’s rocker Cyndi Lauper used one on her show “Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual.”

Our megaphones have helped other celebrities communicate on TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Master Chef,” “Monk,” “Last Comic Standing,” and “Sharknado.”

But don’t get the impression that these lightweight and powerful megaphones are only used by movie and television stars. The ThunderPower megaphone also gets red-carpet treatment from these important stars as well:

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marines
  • U.S. Navy
  • NASA
  • Churches
  • Schools

“ThunderPower is the premier megaphone supplier to Hollywood, the military and everyone from the Pop Warner coach to the school principal. ThunderPower has earned a reputation for quality and power,” said Burns.

To find out more about ThunderPower megaphones, call one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives at 866-927-7955.