Electrical System Upgrades Helps Keep Two Florida Radio Stations On-Air

June 15, 2017


Proper Grounding Techniques Keep WTMN-AM and WDVH-AM Playing Music & Avoiding Disasters

NEW YORK, NY— One lightning strike can be the difference between a radio station staying on-air or going off-air. Critical electrical equipment, thousands of dollars and precious listeners can be lost if proper lightning protection systems are not put in place. For WDVH-AM and WTMN-AM, this was reality.

CDA’s latest case study describes the steps the two radio stations took to prevent lightning strikes from causing power surges that damaged equipment and brought the stations off-air. Rather than repeatedly pay for repairs, the station owners installed an all-copper lightning protection system.

The system diverts lightning strikes away from sensitive electrical wiring and equipment and into grounding bars on the outside of the building that are connected to a ground field. The field consisting of copper wire and evenly spaced copper rods circles the building and terminates at a steel well 150 feet underground.

“Installing an all-copper grounding system can help station managers avoid costly electrical disasters from occurring and keep their stations operational 24/7,” said David Brender, the national program manager for electrical applications at the Copper Development Association (CDA).

Three levels of surge protection were also installed inside the building to prevent power surges from damaging equipment and taking them offline. The first panel sees the heaviest surge first. The second panel is used for typical house loads. And the third panel follows for the most sensitive loads.

“Since the bonding was done, the occasions for damage have drastically decreased,” said Mark Schmucker, consulting broadcast engineer for the MARC Radio Group. “The cost to repair [the equipment] far exceeded the cost of what was spent on the work that was done.”

To learn more about how WTMN was able to prevent further electrical disasters, download CDA’s newest case study.