TV and Radio transmitters are often subject to harsh operating conditions. Although GatesAir transmitters are designed to withstand AC power line surges induced by lightning, or other sources, there can be occasions where the built-in protection is just not enough. With the Summer lightning season already upon us, now would be an excellent time to evaluate your transmitter protection.
We always recommend adding good quality AC line transient voltage protection ahead of the transmitter. There are a wide variety of technologies available and many manufacturers have vast experience in dealing with protecting broadcast equipment.
One of the first items to check is the station ground (Earth ground). If there is no ground, or a poor ground path, no amount of protection can completely protect your transmitter. We recommend getting the station Earth ground checked by a competent technician, and taking any steps needed to satisfy his recommendations. A ground impedance of 5 ohms or less is recommended.
Once the station ground has been verified/updated, check if the existing transient/surge protection device is sized and rated appropriately for the equipment that it is protecting. Some older units may not meet current standards and/or may not perform as well as expected. New transient protection devices should meet UL1449, 4th edition. When shopping for a new transient/surge protection device, make sure that it not only meets UL1449 4th edition and is UL listed, but also has the capability of handling surge currents of at least 200kA. If in doubt, contact one of the major suppliers of such equipment and discuss your specific needs.
What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard/experienced about lightning strikes? Electrify us in the comments section below!
Tip from Martyn Horspool, TV Product Manager
Main support number: +1 217 222 8200