Friday, April 29, 2011

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures And Outdoor Audio Make Beautiful Music Together While Protecting The DeckTunes® Outdoor Audio System

Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures And Outdoor Audio
Make Beautiful Music Together
While Protecting The DeckTunes® Outdoor Audio System
In All Types of Weather.
Shane Mott
President; CEO
Outdoor Audio, Inc.

The Product: DeckTunes® by Outdoor Audio®
Although there are hundreds of outdoor rated speakers on the market, they typically rely on an audio source that's located indoors. This requires complicated installation procedures such as drilling holes in buildings, running wires from speakers through exterior insulation filled walls, and struggling to get wiring through multiple walls to finally reach the audio source. In most cases, even once this daunting task is complete the user will still have no control over the source unit while physically in the outdoor location.

After hearing numerous complaints from frustrated music lovers, Outdoor Audio, Inc. set out to develop a solution. In 2006, we were determined to build a complete outdoor audio system that could be easily installed without relying on any inside audio systems and could be left outdoors whatever the weather. Our goal was to eliminate the “hassle factor” involved with permanent outdoor audio installation and the inconvenience of not having localized control over the music source. Eight months, many late nights and a ton of fun later, we developed DeckTunes®.

The DeckTunes® system features a high powered 4 channel head unit; internal UL® listed watertight power supply; AM/FM stereo receiver; iPod®, iPhone®, USB and MP3 player connectivity; 1GB of on-board flash memory for digital media storage & playback; optional Sirius satellite radio receiver; waterproof media player storage drawer; internal power amplified antennal; standard 12 volt receptacle for charging portable media devices; is fan cooled and includes a remote control that operates via radio frequency, is also waterproof and actually floats for easy access in a pool or hot tub.

The Challenge: Finding a lightweight enclosure that offers reliable protection, is easy to modify, and offers pleasing aesthetics. A lot of criteria for one box to meet!

Photo Caption: The DeckTunes® lightweight enclosure help make the installation easy for any Outdoor Audio customer.

During our design phase we knew we needed to find the proper enclosure to protect the electrical components of DeckTunes® from environmental damage and from accidental contact by the user. At the same time, because it supported a consumer product, the enclosure needed to look good. For ease of installation and long-term mounting security it needed to be lightweight. Additionally, it needed to be easily modifiable. We had no shortage of requirements!

The Solution: Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures’ Classic Series

The “Classic Series” from Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures ultimately satisfied our many performance criteria.

The product family was developed for high-end electronics manufacturers who required both toughness and durability combined with modern styling, pleasing aesthetics, and smooth rounded edges. This series has a unique design due to its hidden hinge and flush fitting cover, which suits it well for the intended end use applications such as control stations and operator interface units. The series features five sizes from 7”x7” to 15”x13” and 135 configurations. It can be hinged on the long or short side and offers five methods for securing covers. For all of those reasons we selected the Classic Series and tested it in a variety of conditions. It has proven to be the right choice for our application.

Specifically: the Stahlin Classic enclosures are lightweight and easy for our customers to install. They are waterproof and UL listed. Plus the Classic Series are aesthetically pleasing and help the DeckTunes system blend into a deck, patio, boat dock or courtyard. Modifications are no problem because of the fiberglass construction of these enclosures. Consequently we can easily add elements such as antennas, the audio faceplate, a 12-volt connection and the media drawer. The availability of a back plate system enables us to position internal controls in the most space-effective way. The ability to mold in different colors to appeal to customers was a big plus as well. On top of all of this, we can benefit from actually having Stahlin use in-house expertise to perform modifications at their production facility. The enclosures arrive to us ready for final assembly of our DeckTunes units.

The Results: Stahlin's Classic Series enclosure successfully protects DeckTunes® in rain or sunshine --- hot or cold --- and looks great doing it!

In addition to being totally waterproof, the DeckTunes® system was designed to resist diverse and often extreme weather conditions. Many units have been performing successfully in deserts, near the equator, as well as in significantly wet and cold environments for 5 plus years without issue.

One reason for the success in outdoor environments is that Stahlin enclosures are molded from the most unique compounding formula available: SolarGuard® --- a patented, non-haloginated fiberglass system that outperforms all other available SMC formulations by as much as 60% in its ability in fighting UV damage to retain gloss and color. SolarGuard® meets a NFPAN. 101 Class A flame spread index. Fire retardancy meets UL 94 5V standards.

The coolest recommended "storage" temperature for any of the DeckTunes® components is -4° Fahrenheit. However, because of the insulation factor of the Stahlin Classic enclosure and lack of exposure to wind-chill, we have determined that the ambient temperature would need to drop to and remain at or below -20° for extended periods of time to actually adversely affect the internal components.

For additional information about Outdoor Audio:

For additional information about Stahlin Non-Metallic Enclosures:

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