Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recently at KCUR

Even though I haven't been posting as much of late, I'm still active at KCUR. Two weeks ago Robin and I installed a fix to the HD transmitter to prevent RF interference from the power supply. I'll note that Robin never mentioned noticing any kind of RF interference coming from the HD transmitter, but it's still a good precautionary measure to take.

This fix involved putting a ferrite choke around an internal power cable1. The linked article discusses chokes in depth, but basically the point of a choke is to present a high impedance to RF currents. Any such currents that are generated along the cable will either be reflected up the cable or will be absorbed by the ferrite choke and dissipated as a negligible amount of heat. Also, we attached a grounding strap (a braided strip of wire) to the outside of the crossover pipe (rigid coax - where the generated RF signal comes out). Since the outside of the crossover pipe acts as a shield, I think this means that any stray currents on the outside of the pipe will be shorted to ground and won't get outside the transmitter cabinet.

This whole business took something like 15 - 20 minutes. The rest of the day was spent helping Robin out with various things around the station, including installing a T-1 surge protector in the TOC. Last week I did the same thing at the transmitter.

1 Looking at the manual, the purpose of the cable is "current share", and I'm not sure what that means. If there's the potential for RF interference, I think it must have AC on it.