At a major racetrack like the famed Barber Motorsports Park, reliable race-control
communications are essential. The 740 acre park, located just east of Birmingham,
features a 16-turn, 2.38-mile car and motorcycle racetrack where patrons enjoy
Grand-Am, NASCAR, AMA Superbike, and other exciting races. The Indy Grand Prix
of Alabama is a major attraction.

The track features 25 curves, each with a corner station where volunteers post flags
when issues arise, and it’s crucial that the people staffing these stations be in touch
with each other and with Race Control. To ensure clear, properly prioritized
communications in an extremely noisy environment, system integrators Data Plus
Security of Hueytown, Alabama, installed a customized system based on a Symetrix
Prism 8×8 DSP unit.

“The track used to have a jury-rigged system made out of telephone parts, and it
was a disaster,” recounts Data Plus owner Jonathan Curelar. “They also had two-
way radios but only one person could talk at a time. They have 30 people on a
conference who each need to talk. It was a big issue.”

Curelar’s team designed custom weather-resistant enclosures to house the gear and
selected the connectors, amps, and noise-cancelling microphones and headphones.
Then they took advantage of pre-existing CAT6 wiring between Race Control and the
corner stations to implement a Dante-based digital communications system,
managed with the Symetrix Prism 8×8.

“We use Symetrix DSPs in a lot of projects,” Curelar explains. “We’ve installed
Symetrix-based conferencing systems in a variety of courthouses, for instance.
Symetrix has awesome products and continuously improves them. I knew Prism had
everything I needed to tie together and manage the track’s station

Curelar’s team used Symetrix Composer to create the controls and showed the
track staff how to monitor and control each station. They created different paths
and priorities, including a ducking routine that lowers all microphones except Race
Control. “We are there live with the Composer software on race day, too, so we can
do on-the-fly adjustments as the race goes on,” Curelar confirms.

Although the quality and features of the Prism 8×8 were major reasons Curelar
chose Symetrix, he also cites his experiences with the manufacturer’s staff. “The
people at Symetrix are some of the best I’ve ever worked with,” he enthuses. “We
are not a big company but when I approached Symetrix about becoming a dealer,
they did not ask how much I was going to sell; they just cared that their product
was going to work for me. The customer support is awesome, and the guys in tech
support are phenomenal. So I feel comfortable with Symetrix, and I’m not going to
anybody else.”