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Dielectric to Highlight Manifold Combining at NAB Show

Its new offering is reconfigurable, which brings benefits for multi-station RF facilities

Concept drawing of a Dielectric reconfigurable manifold combiner
Concept drawing of a Dielectric reconfigurable manifold combiner

At the NAB Show, Dielectric will introduce reconfigurable manifold combiners for multi-station RF facilities, a product line for FM radio and UHF TV contexts.

The company has been making manifold combiners for years but says the new offering introduces system expandability. Manifold designs in the past would be expanded by adding constant impedance filter units.

“This offers an attractive option for sites installing new master broadcast antennas that can quickly add new tenants in the future, without the space constraints and assembly labor that CIF-based expansion requires,” according to the announcement.

The combiners are essentially modular fixed units built to specification. “For example, a site owner with five broadcasters today and a goal of seven total tenants can specify a manifold combiner with seven ports. Dielectric builds the initial system with five filters and protects the two open slots with shorted ports, or ‘shorts.’”

Those shorts are removed as filters for new tenants are added to the manifold combiner. Dielectric can build those filters in advance if desired.

The company can provide calculations that consider how a site owner can add broadcast frequencies in various combinations. “Importantly, these calculations even look beyond what the site owner may have originally envisioned as the maximum number of tenants,” it said.

The analysis can show how many potential stations in a market can join the master antenna system later. Dielectric uses its High Frequency Simulation Software tools to calculate how each possible frequency will affect the combiner’s output splines. New tenants are added by removing a shorted port, adding a filter and changing transmission line.

The company said that its market analysis covers all possible frequency combinations, so unexpected additions later can be accommodated after the open ports are filled.

Dielectric highlighted the consistent electrical specifications of manifold combiners, as well as their smaller footprint compared to alternatives including CIF systems.

NAB Booth: W3601