Outdoor Scoreboards and Off-season Preventive Maintenance

By: James Knight

An excellent way of insuring that your institution avoids the unpleasantness of scoreboard problems is to take care of the internal electronic components during the OFF Season.
Outdoor displays in particular, such as football and baseball scoreboards are constructed to withstand normal environmental conditions if installed properly. The operative words here are, installed properly. Correct installation will be the subject of a future article because it should be considered as a separate topic to do it justice. Nevertheless, scoreboards are subject to damage by severe weather patterns, lightning and vandalism. There are, each year, a number of season openers compromised because these displays were not cared for properly prior to game time.

Sign Technicians usually recommend that an off-season preventive maintenance program be established.

This should include the following procedures:
1)Always close the signs operating system before disconnecting power from the sign. This will avoid your data from becoming corrupt or your operating system locking up.
2)Service should only be performed after the display is disconnected from its power source.
3)Manually clean the display exterior by using a soft brush with water and mild non-abrasive liquid detergent such as a liquid glass cleaner.
4)Wipe the sign dry with a cloth working from top to bottom.
5)Unplug connectors and be sure each is clearly marked with tape or a number to indicate its correct socket position.
6)If it is not practical to remove the processor, its power and control connectors should be unplugged and isolated from external electrical sources.
7)All controls should be placed in a dry location of moderate temperatures and placed in their carrying cases.
8)Small and portable scoreboards may be disconnected, removed from their supports and stored, preferably in an indoor location.
9)Well before the first game of the season, the scoreboard equipment should be inspected, reassembled and tested to allow ample time for the return and repair of any malfunctioning parts.

Athletic Directors or Facilities Managers should direct someone to follow these recommended procedures every year to prolong the life of the scoreboard and reduce unscheduled service calls.

Recreation and Sports
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