Improved Grounding Means Reliability for Radio Stations

May 11, 2017


Radio Group Turns to Copper Grounding to Maintain Uptime

NEW YORK, NY— Florida’s storm season can cause considerable damage to a radio station’s sensitive equipment. However, with proper grounding techniques in place, lightning damage and off-air time can be prevented.  

CDA’s latest case study documents the recent electrical upgrades made at the MARC Radio Group headquarters and studios in Gainesville, Florida. From here the company sends programming to their several radio stations. They frequently suffered power surges and electrical damages due to lightning strikes, causing their stations to go dark and costing the group thousands of dollars in repairs.

“We would have outages almost every other week,” said Frank Garcia, the former chief information officer of the MARC Radio Group.  “We would have listeners tuning to other stations, and we’d have to work hard to get them back. It was a nightmare.”

Garcia contacted a local electrical consultant, who advised him to re-ground and re-bond all his equipment to new copper ground paths in order to direct the lightning away from the sensitive equipment. Because antenna towers naturally invite lightning strikes, it is important to equip the towers with robust, correctly designed and properly installed copper grounding systems to direct lightning energy away from sensitive equipment and harmlessly into the earth before it damages equipment. The newly installed grounding connects the tower and the chassis grounds of all the sensitive equipment they hold. There has not been a significant event since the installation.

“Proper all-copper wiring and grounding can significantly reduce costly electrical repairs and down time”, said David Brender, the national program manager for electrical applications at the Copper Development Association (CDA). “Facility managers can trust copper to keep their station operational and on-air.”