Success Stories

Rocket Launch Facility - Airport - Manufacturing - Military/Government - Health Care

Rocket Launch Facility

A rocket launch facility at Cape Canaveral is a challenging environment for a public address system. Three locations, separated by miles of snake and alligator-infested landscape, must be served. Several access sources with different levels of priority must be accommodated. Outdoor areas more than a quarter mile away from horn loudspeakers must be covered. Few places on earth are subject to the environmental extremes of a rocket blasting off into space.

The public address system for one such facility provides paging, signaling and audio distribution using state-of-the-art digital technology. Valcom Voice over IP (VoIP) provides the communication links between the Operations Center, the Vertical Integration Facility (where the rocket is assembled and loaded), and the Launch Pad. The  VCS Communication System is the central control.

The microprocessor-controlled, PC-programmable VCS, with remote programming and diagnostics capabilities, provides multiple talk paths. Employing state-of-the-art digital technology, it connects to both centrally amplified (70-volt) and distributed amplified (24-volt) components, with expansion capabilities for 360 zones, 7 inputs, and eight talkpaths.


An Airport Crash Phone System is an integral part of the Emergency Communications at an airport. By lifting the handset of a dedicated telephone, it provides ringdown, conference and broadcast announcement to first responders at multiple locations in the event of an emergency.

A large Southwestern International Airport needed to update their aging Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Crash Phone System with additional features. They required additional origination and 2 way conference points, system fault monitoring and a special function tone to be heard over crash phone handsets and public address speakers. This tone verified that all required parties were off-hook on the conference. One of the required parties was staffed only from 6AM to midnight so the system had to be programmed for their exception to the system from midnight to 6AM.

Valcom Services designed and provided a Valcom VoIP solution that connects the Airport Tower, ARFF Fire Station, Harbor Police, County Emergency Response Center, Remote Ramp and Terminal areas with expansion capability for future locations. System activity and fault monitoring is provided by Syslog messages to an airport Syslog Server. An additional panel in the main rack provides audible and visual indication of a network problem. The system interfaced with new and existing red analog crash telephones and the relay controls at the ARFF for activating bay doors, lights, etc. The system was installed in parallel with the old system so that cutover time was minimal.


A large Midwest manufacturing facility needed ways to increase productivity in order fulfillment. The work flow was being interrupted when employees ran out of product. They needed a way to be re-supplied quickly, which required better communication between order fulfillment and stockroom employees. Valcom Services designed a system that allowed order fulfillment to signal when stock ran low. Signaling provided a digital readout that identified the employee's location and opened an immediate handsfree communications channel allowing verbal instruction as to what product was needed. The system could be reprogrammed instantly from a PC when necessary.

The system provided 288 communication paths between employees and operators. Special speakers hung from chains—adjustable to height—were installed over the conveyor belts. The system also provided background music, with programming chosen daily by the employees.


When it comes to paging, military bases are full of challenges. They are spread over many buildings, and need lots of zones. They need coverage to many large outdoor areas. They need the ability to broadcast paging, signal tones, and prerecorded announcements. They must be able to send different messages to different zones simultaneously, without interrupting broadcasts in other zones. They are highly secure, and must be fail safe in an emergency.

Valcom Services met all these challenges, and others, at an Air Force Base in the western US.

A legacy Valcom paging system installed in 1985 was extended to more than 50 buildings, using fiber optic cable that had recently been installed between the buildings. Horns on the base perimeter were tied into the system also. The final configuration included hundreds of speakers and horns, and more than 200 zones.

The Valcom VCS Communication System was installed as the system central control. The modular, microprocessor-controlled VCS can be expanded to 360 zones, and is programmable (on site or remotely) with a PC. It has a serial output for system activity reporting, so that system traffic information can be used to make updates and changes instantly.

Health care

In big city hospitals, things change with incredible speed. Keeping up with the changes can be overwhelming, and a hospital values any tool that makes it easier.

At a large hospital in Houston, the paging system can be updated with a few mouse clicks on a PC. Zones, group zones, priorities, alert tones, music programs and several other functions can be changed in an instant by trained hospital personnel. Programming can also be done remotely.

The hospital’s VCS Communication System controls more than 2000 speakers on dozens of zones. It can also control desktop administrative stations and digital visual message displays. All wire runs are electronically monitored, so there is never a danger that an emergency message will not be heard. A wire break or short triggers an alarm on a digital display that identifies the area of trouble.

The modular, microprocessor-controlled VCS provides both one way and talkback paging in up to 360 zones. Multiple announcements (live or pre-recorded) can be broadcast to different zones simultaneously, without interrupting signal tones or music broadcasts in other zones.