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Why Is Fall a Great Time To Buy a Megaphone?

Students in blue school colors celebrate on the sidelines at a sports event.

It’s almost fall, and you know what that means. School’s back in session, and football is kicking into high gear. Here’s one thing they have in common: the need for powerful megaphones. In fact, there are a lot of seasonal events where these devices are essential for maintaining an effective communications network. Check out our full list below to learn why now is a great time to buy a megaphone.

Venues That Are Perfect for Megaphones

It only seems fair that we start with the two we already mentioned.

Football and Cheerleading. As excited and loud as crowds often get to show their team spirit on game day, it’s no surprise when we get a call from a cheerleader who wants to buy a megaphone. These devices have played a key role on the sidelines for a long time. How far back, you ask? Cheerleaders at the University of Michigan claim that their squad was the first to incorporate acoustic megaphones in 1898!

School. Public schools are still adjusting to in-person teaching since the COVID-19 pandemic. That, coupled with safety concerns and large numbers of students, means that it’s important to have the right communications equipment to stay organized and keep everyone safe. Whether it’s relaying information down a crowded hallway in between class, delivering news to a full auditorium, or walking students through safety drills, you want to buy a megaphone that will guarantee your voice is heard. Similar to football, megaphones come in handy for school-related sporting events like track and field, rowing, swimming, and more.

Did You Know? School systems can apply ESSER funds toward new communications equipment, including megaphones and two-way radios.

Outdoor Festivals and Parking. Outdoor festivals are more common in the fall as the temperatures ease and the leaves start to change. They often require coordinated parking and announcers for special attractions that may take place across festival grounds. Megaphones are ideal for organizers because of how convenient and portable they are, thanks to long-lasting batteries, or — in the case of our heftiest model, the THUN-1200 — a car adaptor cable.

Theme Parks and Carnivals. Falling somewhere between sporting events and festivals, theme parks and carnivals are also great for seasonal entertainment. While many of them rely on powerful PA systems to alert visitors to important information, megaphones are still vital for crowd control.

So You Want To Buy a Megaphone — But Which One Should You Choose?

Megaphones come in a variety of models, each developed for a specific range of activity. Here’s what you can expect from those under the ThunderPower brand.

THUN-150: 15 watts of power and effective up to 600 yards, with voice amplification up to 98 decibels (dB) and siren at 112 dB. These are recommended for teachers, parade operators, event organizers, and tour groups.

THUN-120: 15 watts of power and effective up to 800 yards, with voice amplification up to 100 dB and siren at 112 dB. These are recommended for coaching, theater productions, school pickup and dropoff lots, as well as campus crowd control.

THUN-250: 25 watts of power and effective up to 1200 yards, with voice amplification up to 102 dB and siren at 118 dB. These are recommended for law enforcement.

THUN-450: 35 watts of power and effective up to 1400 yards, with voice amplification up to 108 dB and siren at 120 dB. These are recommended for political rallies, outdoor festivals, and religious congregations.

THUN-1200: a whopping 45 watts of power and effective up to 2000 yards, with a voice amplification up to 112 dB and siren at 122 dB. These are recommended for military training, firefighters, security, and massive gatherings.

Ready To Buy a Megaphone? Tell Us Which Ones You Need!

Give us a call today to talk immediately with one of our award-winning customer support representatives. Many of our models are currently in stock and available, and those that aren’t will ship quickly upon order.

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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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ThunderPower Megaphones and Cheerleading Have a Great History

Megaphones and cheerleading have gone together for years. Both are used to energize crowds during sporting events.

When it comes to cheerleading, the ThunderPower Megaphone has been a visible tool on the sidelines of hundreds of sporting events for decades. Whether it’s a cheering for a football team, basketball team, or even roller derby, ThunderPower Bullhorns are the number one choice for majorettes across the country.

The megaphone is a portable handheld, cone-shaped device used to amplify the human voice in any direction and is most often used at events involving large audiences. There are two kinds of megaphones, acoustic and powered. The acoustic kind is shaped like a funnel where the voice can be projected from the wide end or “bell”. These days, most people use battery powered electric megaphone like the ThunderPower 250 because it is so much easier to use when wanting to project your voice for sporting events, rallies, or cheerleading events.

ThunderPower Megaphone Works Great for All Sporting and Cheerleading Events

The ThunderPower Megaphone is considered one of the most powerful and well-made bullhorns anywhere and is especially popular for cheerleading squads. Because ThunderPower bullhorns come in a variety of sizes and power options, they can be used at every playing field configuration, pool or waterway, and hardwood or concrete court. But what really makes ThunderPower megaphones so popular is that they are all constructed from industrial grade materials and designed for maximum comfort and ergonomic appeal. The hardware, attached parts, and the lightweight chassis allows the ThunderPower megaphone to pack plenty of power in a lightweight, easy-to-handle design. Most ThunderPower megaphones come with a combination of standard talk speaker mode and a built-in siren and whistle component for maximum attention getting ability.

The specific models of ThunderPower megaphones available include:

  • ThunderPower 120 – 15 Watts, and a 700 Yard Range for $49.00
  • ThunderPower 150 (Ultra compact) – 15 Watts and a 600 Yard Range for $59.00
  • ThunderPower 250 – 25 Watts and a 800 Yard Range for $79.00
  • ThunderPower 450 (Palm Mic) – 35 Watts and a 1200 Yard Range for $109.00
  • ThunderPower 1200 – 45 Watts and a 2000 Yard Range for $189.00

The History of the Megaphone and Cheerleading

The origin of the megaphone can be traced back to seventeenth century England when a religious scholar began exploring ways to amplify his voice. He found that by forming a funnel shaped cone, his voice could be both directed and amplified dramatically. Throughout the centuries, the megaphone continued to be leveraged by athletes, actors, and activists. However, it was in the 1880’s when the megaphone started playing a big part of cheerleading teams. Although women currently dominate the world of cheerleading, the original cheering concept was started by men. In 1884 Princeton University got the idea that crowd chanting at football games would boost school spirit so they came up with a catchy cheer. The University of Minnesota heard about the novel idea for arousing spirit, and so in 1898 the university cheer club created their own catchy cheer:

 “Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-U-Mah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-E-So-Tah!”

Inventor Henry C. Dalrymple developed and patented the first electric voice amplifier using a microphone.

Modern Electronics Magazine

That same year, the University of Minnesota organized the first official cheerleading fraternity, and before long other colleges caught on making organized cheers yelled through a megaphone a common addition to many sporting events. By the 1920s women joined the sport of cheerleading, but the men’s voices were the ones that were projected through the megaphone.

Obviously, the earlier, funnel-shaped megaphones were totally acoustic, absent of any electricity. However, by the nineteenth century Thomas Edison had invented the phonograph, and recognizing the potential, inventor Henry C. Dalrymple developed and patented the first electric voice amplifier using a microphone.

Today, the modern megaphone like ThunderPower bullhorns are used for the modern era of cheerleading, where it is less about eliciting audience participation, and more about entertaining spectators with flashy moves and dance routines. But regardless of how cheerleading advances and evolves, the ThunderPower Megaphone will always be home on the sidelines.

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