LBA Group Inc. has completed the first shipment of an ongoing project to supply antenna tuning units to the Republic of India.

The government of the world’s largest democracy has begun a massive digital upgrade of its All India Radio (AIR) facilities across the subcontinent. The upgrade will include converting all AIR broadcast facilities, AM/FM radio, shortwave, and television systems to handle digital transmission of program material.

The first six DRM digital-ready 20 kilowatt medium wave tuning unit systems went out the door this winter for air-freighting from Greenville to India. The units were to be installed at various locations as quickly as they arrived in India and be in operation by July.

First All India Radio ATU shipment
Sendoff for the first All India Radio ATU-20F digital DRM antenna tuning units: (l-r) K. G. Vyan, Jerry Brown, Betty Perez, Lawrence Behr, Nitan Deodhar, and Chris Horne.

The LBA Technology unit of LBA Group became the preferred supplier for the system overhaul after discussions with 20-year-old, privately held Indian company; Arraycom, Ltd. Arraycom is a leading integrator in India of broadcast and telecommunications systems, and an upgrade prime contractor. LBA President Jerry Brown led those talks.

Two Arraycom executives traveled to LBA’s Greenville headquarters to personally meet with LBA executives and engineers to chart future deliveries and to view the completed antenna tuning units prior to shipment. K.G. Vyas, the company’s lead technical representative in the field, said he was “impressed with the measured performance of the systems.”

Following discussions with Brown, LBA CEO Lawrence Behr, and other project engineers, Arraycom Vice President Nitin R. Deodhar expressed delight “with the depth of experience and knowledge of the LBA Group.”

In India, it is common practice for multiple medium wave services to share one site, imposing difficult requirements on antenna tuning systems. The LBA antenna tuning units, however, are fitted with high performance, specialized filters to permit simultaneous operation with nearby transmission towers. As AIR India wanted to reuse existing open-wire transmission lines, LBA fabricated unique RF window insulators to let the output of each transmitter connect through its transmitter building wall to an open-wire transmission line carrying its signal to the LBA ATU at the transmission tower base.

Arraycom and LBA engineers checkout an ATU-20F digital DRM antenna tuning unit bound for Chenai, India.
Arraycom and LBA engineers checkout an ATU-20F digital DRM antenna tuning unit bound for Chenai, India.

Supplying foreign broadcast engineering projects is not something new for LBA. Its medium wave antenna systems for years have been shipped to sites on all continents around the world. As well, the company has a pervasive presence in the broadcast industry throughout Latin America.

All LBA Technology products are custom-designed, engineered, and manufactured, but product lines are standardized, so LBA can respond efficiently to individual project needs. Its engineers have decades of experience to draw upon in finding engineered solutions… wherever in the world they come to light.

About The Author

LBA Group, Inc. has 50 years of experience in providing RF asset solutions and risk management for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. The company is comprised of LBA Technology, a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection, and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial, and government users worldwide; the professional engineering consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates, and LBA University, providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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