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Backyard Safe and Sound Thanks to IP Music & Robust Security

By Arlen Schweiger
Pennsylvania home had pool area outfitted with easily controllable audio, intercom, security and lighting.


Having basic audio in the backyard that you can set up from inside and leave alone is fine for most. Being able to fully control it, and integrate other important controls back there (like security and intercom) is another ball of wax.


At first, this pool area in the backyard was just going to have rock speakers around it. The homeowners could program from inside the house what music will be played on it.




That was fine, but they really wanted to be able to control the entire Digilinx music feature as well as the intercom capabilities from the pool area, says Gregg Butala of Erie, Pa.-based custom electronics pro Whitetail Electronics, which installed a full NetStreams system. The problem was the keypads are not weather proof, nor will they work in below freezing temps. Erie's winter can be harsh!


Whitetail's solution was to install burial-rated Cat5 enhanced wire in conduit from the house to one of the pillars (see photo below) located around the pool. The homeowner did not want to see any conduit along side the pillar, so Whitetail managed to run the wire inside the fence post and attach an adapted weather proof enclosure to fit the keypad.


That wasn't the only problem. There was also a wire distance problem that we had to overcome, says Butala. We had to move the IP-addressable amps [of NetStream's IP-based audio system] to another location to cut down the distance. At winter time, the homeowners can simply un-plug the wire connecting the amp to the pool area keypad.

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