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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Chris Cronin

A Device to Determine Sound System Polarity

Maintaining the same polarity among several speakers is absolutely critical to the successful performance of large-scale public address systems, musical reinforcement systems, page/monitor systems, and the like. The circuit described in Figure 1 provides a reference signal to the input of a sound system, and the circuit described in Figure 3 decodes that signal as it comes from a speaker, indicating whether polarity through the system has been maintained or reversed. Commercial devices cost upwards of $350, but this device can be built for around $30.

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FIGURE 1: THE IMPULSE GENERATOR

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