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LBA is your dependable source for radio frequency insulators such as tower base insulators and guy wire insulators for use in medium wave AM broadcast antennas. Our systems utilize high quality ceramic and fiberglass insulators. Our selection of insulators includes products of LBA and the most noted manufacturers.
Insulators and their installation are major cost components of medium wave (AM) and low frequency transmitting tower systems. These insulators also are a major cost for those constructing towers near such transmission systems, who need to isolate those towers from impacting the adjacent system. As transmission power and tower height increase, these costs escalate rapidly.
Our new SmartGuy™ design service allows LBA to computer model your entire guy system and to recommend the most cost effective selection and spacing of insulators for your specific case.
In addition to insulators, we offer many related products, including lightning protection systems, guy insulator static drains, tower lighting transformers, corona shields, and rain shields.
You can save money on guyed towers!
Guy wires on AM towers, or towers near them, must be broken up with multiple insulators to prevent reradiation of AM energy and other bad impacts on AM operation. This can hit construction budgets hard. Our new SmartGuy™ guy wire insulator design service controls these costs and can save big money!
Many of the insulators installed in guyed tower systems are simply unnecessary in the real world! But, every year, many thousands of dollars are spent needlessly on guy wire insulators for lack of adequate analysis alternatives.
Conventional designs specify guy wire insulators adjacent to the tower, at the guy anchor, and at intervals of 1/8 wavelength or less. This does not present a problem on electrically small towers or very lightweight towers with few insulators and small diameter guy wires. However, it is a significant problem on larger towers from both an expense and a mechanical standpoint.
Guy wire diameters for typical 300 to 400-foot cellular towers can range between 1/2 and 7/8 inch. On tall towers, as for FM and TV, guy diameters can range upward to 3 inches or so. Conventionally, from 20 to 100 guy wire insulators may be required. The installed cost of high quality insulators can range from $100 to thousands of dollars each. Thus, typical costs to insulate a tower may range from under $10,000 to over several hundred thousand dollars!
Failure to install guy wire insulators can be very expensive!
A number of cell towers have been installed near AM stations without proper analysis of AM protection requirements. When caught by the AM stations, complete replacement of uninsulated guy systems was required – a costly and time-consuming remedy.
Every tower should be evaluated for AM protection regulatory compliance at the design stage. LBA offers complete AM protection services, including free site screening tools.
The requirement for insulators is a function primarily of tower height, frequency and operating environment. By properly identifying these factors and applying modern numerical analysis techniques to them, LBA can identify the actual types and spacings of insulators needed, providing the required performance. We call this analysis, and the customer service, “SmartGuy ™”.
SmartGuy ™ results in a recommendation of the type and location of guy wire insulators for the approval of the customer’s structural engineer. Our convenient service can also furnish all insulators and hardware that will be needed to install the designed guy wire insulator system.
Two recent analyses demonstrate the savings potential. Two 300-foot cell towers were analysized to achieve protection of nearby AM stations operating on 640 kHz and 1490 kHz, respectively. Including analysis costs, the net savings at 640 kHz was about $1,000. For the 1490 kHz case, the saving was about $5,000. Another study of a 1200-foot tower indicated savings of nearly $300,000!
Feedthrough insulators are designed for either cabinet or building wall mounting, and are fabricated of melamine and Lexan polycarbonate resin. Both materials are very rugged and have exceptional RF properties. Melamine feedthrough insulators are flat plates that can be supplied to large sizes. Lexan units are fabricated as a machined insulator with deep grooves to increase arc path length. For high RF voltage applications, the two insulators are frequently combined for maximum power handling capability. Traditional steatite ceramic feedthrough insulators are also available.
Standoff insulators are manufactured in several standard lengths and diameters, and are supplied in a choice of Lexan, ceramic, or by special order Lexan/ceramic composite.
Composite Lexan/ceramic insulators are a proprietary LBA development which combines the best features of both insulation systems into a superior high voltage insulator. In these components, a ceramic insulator is fixed with epoxy into a Lexan base. Full advantage is made of the anti-tracking properties of the ceramic, while the slight flexibility of the Lexan prevents fracture of the ceramic insulator. This insulator may be used in the most critical applications.
Lexan insulators are recommended for general-purpose use. These heavy-duty insulators are furnished with brass thread inserts to sustain repeated connection stresses and to reduce voltage gradients at the screw.
Lexan insulators are very durable, and have the advantage over traditional ceramic insulators of not cracking under stress.
Custom standoff insulators are available to six feet long and two inches diameter. Corona rings, termination assemblies, and other accessories are available.
Standard Standoff insulatorsThe following lengths are available for 3/4" (19mm), 1" (25.4mm), and 1 1/4"(32mm) diameters:
*Specifications subject to change without notice.
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3400 Tupper Drive, Greenville, NC 27834, USAlbagrp@lbagroup.comTel: (252) 757-0279
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