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CDA Presents at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference

May 16th, 2011

By David Brender, CDA National Program Manager

The NAB Show brought together  broadcasting professionals from the cable, online, mobile, enterprise, telecom, and Hollywood industries looking for the latest video and audio solutions.  The event is the largest of its kind and brought to Las Vegas  15,000-20,000 exhibitors and approximately 150,000 attendees.

The Copper Development Association was invited to present a seminar and exhibit at the event.  Our presentation highlighted case histories in lighting protection, bonding and grounding – specifically in broadcast facilities and emergency communication industries.  Because grounding and bonding are fundamental components of power quality, our emphasis was on recommending a robust layout and cost effective retrofits before stations did anything else.

3D Sports in the Content Theater at NAB

For those not familiar, bonding is the intentional connection of normally non-energized parts of equipment to facilitate safety and fast tripping in case of a fault.  Grounding is the act of intentionally connecting the electric systems to the earth through a conductor.

In one of the exhibited case studies, we described the retrofitting of the Orange County 911 system.  The center experienced approximately $1-2 million in equipment loss  every year.  After having a power quality audit and corrections by a knowledgeable professional, the system has greatly reduced its losses and recouped it’s costs within a 6 month time-span.

For additional information on the Orange County 911 Center, check out the full report at http://www.copper.org/applications/electrical/pq/casestudy/florida911.html

Many attendees at the exhibit were radio and TV broadcast engineers who are currently adding HD formats to their stations.  As High Definition expands and stations transition to Digital, proper grounding becomes even more critical.

For this group, we presented another example with KPTM-TV Studios in Omaha, NE.  KPTM experienced many lightning strikes, damaging thousands of dollars of equipment and resulting in the station going off the air.  Among other deficiencies, the satellite dishes were not properly bonded to studio equipment.  To resolve this and other problems, the station re-bonded all interior and exterior equipment, equipment racks, satellite dishes and towers, and enhanced the grounding system.  Since the retrofit, the station hasn’t experienced any downtime nor any equipment damage.

For additional information on KPTM-TV, check out the video at http://www.copper.org/applications/electrical/pq/homepage.html

NAB Show - Exhibit Floor

Our key message highlighted the importance of investing in the grounding and bonding infrastructures  in the beginning or ensuring the retrofitting investment is done properly.  It’s the foundation of everything .  Keep in mind these (3) guidelines going forward:   (1) Ensure a robust grounding and bonding system, using only listed components, (2) Check effectiveness annually and have a written procedures (3) Utilize professional assistance if needed

A complimentary DVD is available for those looking for additional information on Grounding and Bonding Communications Facilities, and we are always seeking additional case histories.  Please email me at dbrender@cda.copper.org for a copy.


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