TASCAM's SS-CDR250N for the Minnesota Zoo

Tascam RBopp
Richard Bopp

Created by the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Zoo opened in 1978 with a mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. Cutting-edge exhibits provide exciting experiences with animals and their habitats - introducing guests to species from around the globe. As part of their educational endeavors, the zoo’s Target Learning Center is used for meetings, shows, and other activities. To capture these events for archival purposes, the Minnesota Zoo relies on recordings captured by a TASCAM SS-CDR250N 2-channel networking CD/Media recorder.

The TASCAM SS-CDR250N was deployed by Audio Logic Systems of Eden Prairie, MN, an AV design / build contractor with a strong presence in the performing arts and House of Worship market segments. Senior Engineer Richard Bopp, who worked as both the designer and programmer for the Minnesota Zoo project, discussed the installation and his experience with the TASCAM SS-CDR250N.

“The Minnesota Zoo has a theater-style space called the Target Learning Center that they use for their Bird show and a variety of larger meetings,” Bopp explained. “They run their bird show twice daily, seven days a week. The TASCAM SS-CDR250 is primarily used to record the meetings in the space. Later after the meetings, zoo staff members will pull the recording from the unit and then post it online so that those staff members who could not attend the meeting can catch up. The unit is also available to record audio of the shows, concerts, and other events from outside users that take place in the space.”

In terms of interfacing the SS-CRD250N with other equipment in the Target Learning Center, Bopp reports that the unit is connected to the zoo’s corporate network and their QSC Q-SYS control system via RS-232. Additionally, users have the ability to interact with the SS-CDR250N directly from the front panel or by using the TASCAM SS250 CONTROL app for iOS or Android.

When queried about those SS-CDR250N attributes that made the recorder a compelling choice for the Target Learning Center, Bopp offered the following thoughts, “The primary feature that was a deciding factor in selecting this unit was the recorder’s network option, so the zoo staffers could remotely access the files and download them. Secondly, the fact that the unit has both an SD card slot and a USB port for a thumb drive is especially useful. It enables staff members to use the SD card while third party people can simply plug in a USB stick and make a copy of their event.”

For many electronic recorders and related equipment, responsive customer support services can be crucial in terms of keeping a project on schedule. When asked about his experience with TASCAM’s customer support services, Bopp offered the following comments, “I am pleased to report that the SS-R250N owner manual is very clear and well organized. Everything that we needed information about was well documented. As a result, we had no reason to contact the company for assistance.”

The TASCAM SS-CDR250N was purchased and installed in July 2023. Since that time, Bopp says the unit is performing exactly as he envisioned it would. “Just like other TASCAM equipment,” he said, “it just works. As with the rest of the AV system, the user should not have to worry about the TASCAM unit working correctly. I have every confidence that it will. The room’s users can concentrate on delivering a great show for their guests - knowing that the AV system will support their efforts.”