Sound-dampening Basketball Backboard

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Sound-dampening Basketball Backboard

Postby Athanatsius » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:36 pm

I realize this is a spin-off from the purpose behind this website, but I hope no one will mind. I have some kids who love to play basketball. Our basketball goal is in a cul-de-sac. A neighbor just complained about the noise - the thumping of the ball and the sound of the backboard. I want to be a good neighbor and accomodate him some, but there is no way I am going to make my kids give up playing at home. After searching online, I found a regulation size, foam filled baketball made by Champion called "Rhino-Skin" with a realistic bounce that I think may reduce the bouncing noise, but if anyone has any ideas about how to modify a regular ball to reduce the noise, I would appreciate any ideas.

Now for the backboard. Our old one needs replacement so I am planning to make one that has sound-dampening characteristics but a normal bounce.

Any suggestions as to how I can go about constructing it?
Athanatsius
 
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Postby Brian Dayton » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:21 pm

that's a very interesting question.

I haven't a clue about modifying an existing basketball, except putting a cushion all around the ball (a thin foam layer), but i'm not sure how to ercommend going about taht, either.


To get a quiet backboard, you could try damping it.  Ever seen Dynamat demos where there is one bell with no dynamat and another with dynamat?  same thing.

but do damp a backboard would mean adding damping material + another layer of some material or other, and that might stiffen the backboard.  maybe that would be a bad thing?  you could also paint a damping material onto a backboard, but this would require quite a thick alyer, as typically backboard are acrylic of 1/8 or 1/4" thickness, are they not?  I suppose some are fiberglass?

maybe we could get an idea about how much stiffness matters for an application like this by seeing what backboards are sold.  1/8" fiberglass would be many times stiffer than 1/8" acrylic, and similar to 1/4" acrylic, etc.
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Postby Ido » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:25 pm

if you do something straight on the board, without an additional "out" board add on, it will effect the bounce characteristics.
if this is not an issue, I think the simplest thing would be to cover the entire board with some sort of dense rubber fiber material.
f.e., do you guys know these pavement tiles that are from such material, and have a cousheny effect?
they are very durable, yet suitable for playgrounds etc. they may be made from shredded recycled tires or such.
there is also the issue if the structure itself (not just the board) is generating significant noise.
Ido
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Postby Bob » Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:36 pm

Ido:
If you're going to do that, then why not just some outdoor carpet (I'm thinking impact noise solutions).

It might not be the board itself, it could be what's holding it up that's contributing to the noise.
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Thanks for the great ideas!

Postby Athanatsius » Fri Mar 10, 2006 10:16 pm

Thanks for the great ideas! I placed a similar post on a mechanical acoustics forum and got some additional ideas, too. Here is the plan I am envisioning, so far:

1. Cutting the backbard from laminate treated plywood.
2. Gluing a rubberized or composite sheet to the front of it that wraps around the edges.
3. Screwing it to a stiffening frame of treated 2"x2"s, tucking the sheet under the frame.
4. Spraying the back of it with an automotive underhood spray.
5. Mounting it to the pole with elastomeric mounts.

Any other ideas, please let me know. Once I build it, I will let you know how well it works and will post a picture when I am done.
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Postby Brian Dayton » Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:09 am

i wish i knew something to say, but i'm afraid i can't offer any improvements to your plan
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:31 am

Since the compaint is not about a bouncing ball [which is constantly ongoing - but not bothersome - apparently] then the irritant must be the back boards contribution to the noise made when the ball rebounds from that location.

So make the BB more massive?  Take it down - use it as a template - make a few layers of wonderboard or other high mass cementicious material in the same shape - glue the layers together with some roll roofing between the layers and bolt it back up with longer bolts.  Pretty cheap to try anyway.

PS: don't let it fall on anyone.
SRF
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