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4 Activities You Forgot Actually Depend on Rechargeable Megaphones

A target board from the Winter Olympics rests in the snow beside a ski flag and a ThunderPower megaphone.

You may have seen our earlier discussion about why fall is a great time of year to purchase new megaphones, and some of the venues where they’re particularly helpful. We’ve talked about protests and sporting events, music venues and festivals. We’ve even shown how important these models can be as part of a disaster kit. But the reality is that rechargeable megaphones are important to have at any point in the year — either for activities you perform, or the ones you watch for entertainment.

What exactly do we mean by that? 

Check out our list of the four activities you may have forgotten actually depend on these megaphones.

Boating

Whether you already live by a body of water, or you’re traveling to one around the holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy time out on it (even if it’s too cold to swim). Boating has been a popular pastime as far back as the 1600s, notes Rightboat.com. Fast forward to today, and it’s only become more widespread, thanks to better technology and affordability. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted more people to look for outdoor activities, making this a logical solution.

That said, all activities carry some degree of risk. What better way to alert your fellow boaters and those along the shore that you’re experiencing an emergency than the crystal-clear audio from a ThunderPower megaphone?

The Olympics

We’ve talked before about how beneficial megaphones are for sporting events, and the Olympics — showcasing the prowess of the best of the best — is clearly no exception. When in doubt, check out these black-and-white images shared by NPR from the Games held in London back in 1908. If you scroll through, you’ll catch a shot of the master of ceremonies with an acoustic model, followed shortly by another man holding one as he assists an ailing runner at the end of a race.

The only difference between then and now is the use of rechargeable megaphones. We know because ThunderPower has had the honor of filling that need — specifically, at the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Rowing

After covering recreational boating and sports, it only makes sense that rechargeable megaphones would also work well when these activities are combined. Right before the pandemic, we had the opportunity to supply a youth rowing club with ThunderPower megaphones and RCA two-way radios. Their trainers loved how our equipment made it effortless for them to communicate key instructions with their teams on how to maintain precise formation, coordination, and power. Choosing long-life, lithium-battery-operated units like ours allowed these trainers to stay in contact with each other and their students at all times.

Note: Rowing teams aren’t the only groups to benefit from combining megaphones and two-way radios. Schools across the US have done the same. In our experience, RCA industrial radios are the best options for improving communication networks and student safety.

Film Production

The idea of megaphones being used for film and television probably conjures up images of directors sitting in tall, wooden chairs, shouting stage instructions right before clapperboards snap and cameras roll.

As for today? While a lot of films may go the CGI route, either to fill in large crowds or add in multiple layers to a single frame, there are still plenty of directors who choose authentic, on-location shoots. These can sometimes be in large areas and require coordinating an army of extras, all of which depends on durable, high-powered megaphones.

Conversely, we’ve also seen how smaller sets can use them to their advantage. We’ve highlighted before how our megaphones ended up on Kirstie Alley’s reality TV series, as well as Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

How To Choose the Right Rechargeable Megaphone

The bottom line: megaphones are still used for many of the same reasons they once were, and they’ve only gotten better with age. Now they’re able to reach greater distances, offer better sound clarity, and withstand more on-the-job wear and tear. But it’s worth noting that this kind of consistent, reliable performance all depends on ample battery power. Below you’ll find a full list of our megaphone models, how many batteries each one requires, as well as their ranges and decibel (dB) levels. Clicking the link to each will give you further information about that unit, including key features like adjustable volume and pistol grip, along with the sound of its siren alarm.

Note: If you consider our most powerful model, the THUN-1200 — otherwise known as “The Earthquake Maker” — you’ll see that it offers a car charger accessory in addition to battery power.

THUN-150

Power: 15 watts.
Range: up to 600 yards.
Voice amplification: up to 98 dB, with siren up to 112 dB.
Number of batteries: eight (8) AAs.
Recommended for: teachers; parade operators; event organizers; tour groups; daycare operators; sporting events; cheerleading.

THUN-120

Power: 15 watts.
Range: up to 800 yards.
Voice amplification: up to 100 dB, with siren up to 112 dB.
Number of batteries: eight (8) AAs.
Recommended for: coaching; cheerleading; theater productions; school pickup and drop-off lots; campus crowd control; parades; fairs; farmers’ markets.

THUN-250

Power: 25 watts.
Range: up to 1200 yards.
Voice amplification: up to 102 dB, with siren up to 118 dB.
Number of batteries: six (6) Cs.
Recommended for: teachers; coaching; demonstrators; law enforcement; preachers.

THUN-450

Power: 35 watts.
Range: up to 1400 yards.
Voice amplification: up to 108 dB, with siren up to 120 dB.
Number of batteries: eight (8) Cs.
Recommended for: political rallies; outdoor festivals; religious congregations; sporting events.

THUN-1200

Power: 45 watts.
Range: up to 2000 yards.
Voice amplification: up to 112 dB, with siren up to 122 dB.
Number of batteries: eight (8) Cs.
Recommended for: military training; law enforcement; firefighters; security professionals; massive gatherings (demonstrations, presentations, etc.).

Pro Tip: Want to cut down on battery replacement? Consider purchasing rechargeable batteries instead.

Our Rechargeable Megaphones Are Currently on Sale!

Are you ready to purchase your next megaphone? Call us today to talk about which models are ideal for your specific needs. Plus, take advantage of the current sales discounts we’re offering on all ThunderPower units, which you can review on our website or discuss with one of our megaphone specialists.

Did our mention of two-way radios also get your attention? Head over to our friends at Discount Two-Way Radio to learn more about the best industrial units on the market!

A note on the supply chain: while many suppliers have had delays due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re happy to report that we have plenty of megaphones in stock that are available to ship — often the same day they’re ordered. That means that if you still have money left to spend from your communications budget, now is the perfect time to put it toward purchasing the most effective megaphones on the market.

When you’re ready, give us a call at 877-782-7073.

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Why a Megaphone Is Essential to Your Disaster Kit

A THUN-1200 megaphone is set beside a first aid kit as part of a disaster kit.

You don’t have to be a doomsday prepper to understand the value of a good disaster kit. Whether you’re in an area that’s prone to dangerous weather, fires, or other extreme acts of nature, you may already have one assembled. Even if you don’t, read on to learn why we think you should add a megaphone to that survival kit, and which models are ideal. First, let’s do a quick review of the other items you’ll want to make sure to include.

Don’t Forget the Basics

All disaster kits should contain plenty of water (one gallon per person per day) and food (several days’ worth of nonperishables), according to Ready.gov. As for other essentials, FEMA has you covered. Their outline for a basic disaster kit includes flashlights, batteries, first aid, dust masks, plastic sheeting, wrenches and pliers, a manual can opener, and local maps. 

So what about communication? It probably won’t come as a surprise that Ready.gov recommends having a cellphone, preferably with a backup battery. The same goes for a whistle that you can use to signal for help. In our opinion, though, a megaphone would be more reliable than both of these combined. 

Here’s why.

1. Cellphones Can Be Unreliable

Whether we’re talking about older “brick” phones, or the latest smart devices, mobile phones aren’t the most reliable options in an extreme emergency. Cell towers can get overwhelmed when too many users try to connect, which can end up dropping or denying a lot of calls. Plus, if the disaster damages that tower, you’ll be left without any reception.

2. Whistles Are Loud, but Megaphones Are Versatile

We’d like to clarify that we aren’t discouraging you from using whistles. You may already own one that easily competes with the decibel level and range of a megaphone. But whistles only make one sound, and megaphones can carry your voice, so you be the judge of which one is more versatile when you need to get people’s attention for help.

Honorable Mention: Handheld Two-Way Radios

FEMA also mentions having either a battery-powered or hand crank radio. Our friends over at Discount Two-Way Radio would certainly agree. If you want the most durable, cost-effective models on the market, make sure to ask them about RCA.

Which Megaphones Are Ideal

If you’re looking for the best megaphones for your emergency kit, you want models that are easy to carry, and that offer the farthest range, clearest sound quality, and longest battery life. Our top two recommendations are the THUN-450 and THUN-1200.

Operating at 35 watts of power and effective up to 1400 yards, THUN-450s offer voice amplification up to 108 decibels (dB) and sirens at 120 dB. They’re normally recommended for political rallies, outdoor festivals, and religious congregations.

Rocking 45 watts of power and effective up to 2000 yards, THUN-1200s (AKA “Earthquake Makers”) easily reach 112 dB for voice and 122 dB for sirens. They’re normally recommended for military training, firefighters, security, and massive gatherings.

Business, or Personal Use?

We suggest the loudest megaphones because we assume you’ll want to be heard as far away as possible, but there are also less powerful options that are just as durable and reliable, depending on the needs of your situation. Whether you’re ordering these models on behalf of a business or for personal use, all ThunderPower megaphones guarantee that your voice will be heard. And, if you’re part of an on-the-ground relief effort instead of those seeking aid, we have options that are ideal for coordinating emergency response.

Are You Prepared?

Don’t risk being caught unprepared without a proper disaster kit. As the saying goes, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Take a look at some of the megaphone models that are currently in stock and available to ship as soon as today, then let us know if you have any questions. 

Looking for additional resources? The Red Cross has a helpful quiz to test your emergency preparedness, and Discount Two-Way Radio offers the most powerful commercial radios on the market.

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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.