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Exhibitor Preview: Electronics Research at NAB Show

FM filter and combining systems will highlight its booth

Planning for the 2022 NAB Show is ramping up, and Radio World is asking exhibitors about their plans and expectations.

Bill Harland is the Vice President of Marketing at Electronics Research, Inc. (ERI), which will be found in the new West Exhibition Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend that radio professionals should be watching for at the 2022 NAB Show?

Bill Harland, Vice President of Marketing at Electronics Research, Inc.

Bill Harland: The increasing application of AI and cloud-based platforms to create content, perform playout scheduling, and improved workflows over the air and to multiple online streams.

RW: What will be your most important product news or exhibit theme?

Harland: ERI has developed several new components that are used in television and FM filter and combining systems. These improved hybrids, directional couplers, and bandpass filters have significantly improved electrical performance over the previous generation of these items built by ERI and reduced system cost and time to delivery.

RW: If you are introducing a new product or feature, how is it different from what’s available on the market?

Harland: ERI has always manufactured loop-coupled FM bandpass filters. We believe this approach is superior to the iris-coupled cavities used by other manufacturers. The filter systems can be disassembled for shipment to the site and easily reassembled and made operational. The filter design makes it easy to modify the channel combiner system for frequency changes or to add new stations to the system.

RW: Another antenna manufacturer has recently announced a pylon FM antenna. What is ERI’s take on that type of antenna?

Harland: The limited details Dielectric has released to date make evaluating the practicality of the “broadband slot” array that appears to be a new type of Master FM Antenna difficult. We can tell you that ERI’s experience [includes] building most of the large master FM antenna combiner systems in the U.S.

Master FM Antenna and combiner systems, with five or more FM stations operating with hybrid HD Radio, require significant peak voltage and a high average power handling capability. If this product is a cavity-backed slotted array scaled up to work at FM frequencies, it will not have the peak voltage handling or average power capacity required. It is also unlikely that it can be designed to be free-standing at the top of a tower to provide an actual nondirectional azimuth pattern.

ERI HY0244 High Power 3 dB FM Hybrid combiner/splitter. Available with any combination of ERI flanged connections from 3-1/8-inch through 9-3/16-inch, both “crossover” and “non-crossover” configurations. (photo via ERI)

RW: How has the lack of physical trade shows for the past three years affected your company’s clients or your own business?

Harland: ERI has been busy finishing our backlog’s last few repack projects. Our FM antenna and combiner business has returned to levels above what they were before the repack caused a significant increase in tower work costs.

RW: Anything else we should know about your products or show plans?

Harland: We are just looking forward to once again having the opportunity meet face to face with customers in the new West Exhibition Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Electronics Research booth: W6505