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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on May 09, 2013

Just before NAB we issued a blog post Telescopic Shields PART 1 – Looking at Different Shield Options. I know you've all been holding your breath waiting for part 2 and here it is!

Last time we left this off we had been looking at various kinds of shields, starting with foil shields and the different kinds of braid shields, serve/spiral, French Braid and a full braid. None of these are effective below 1,000 Hz. There is only one kind of shield that has any significant effect at those low frequencies, such as 50 Hz/60 Hz power frequencies, and that is metal conduit. A perfect metal conduit is around 30 dB shield effectiveness at 60 Hz. That's not a lot. In fact, those twisted pairs, run as balanced lines, are your only effective way to get rid of low-frequency noise. And our Bonded-Pairs and starquad cables are the best at those low frequencies. (I'll refer again to my blog on Balanced Lines.)

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 07, 2013

Here is just a short blog post to whet your appetite for the opening of NAB. In just a matter of hours now, the doors will open to the start of the largest show of its kind, and every year I am equally excited about what we will see.

If you are lucky enough to be able to get to Vegas for the show, we hope that you will drop by the booth and meet with the Belden and Miranda teams. The really great thing about all of us being in the same booth is that customers will see the nice fit we have together. All Miranda equipment needs to be connected with cable and connectivity, or mounted into racks, which is a perfect fit with Belden's traditional and evolving product lines.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on April 05, 2013

If you come to NAB, the one thing you might remember about the Belden booth is our magician, Dick Stoner. And no wonder, because Dick has been doing magic in our booth at NAB for FORTY-SEVEN years. This year, as I mentioned in a previous blog, we have a lot going with all of us being in the Miranda booth, and that meant no room for the magician. So I thought I would give him a little tribute here in my blog.

By coincidence, last NAB was Dick's 65th anniversary as a professional magician, and we had a cake for the occasion.

Dick Stoner is now 83 and still doing tradeshows (just not this NAB). He also has a magic store in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. But there is so much more to the Dick Stoner story. I think the most amazing part is that he found something he loved, magic, and has been doing this one thing his entire life. How many of us can say that?

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on March 22, 2013

If you install audio cables, more than likely you use shielded cables. If it's a balanced line (see previous blog Balanced Lines) then you will use shielded twisted pairs. In that case, the twisted pair is carrying the signal and the shield is ONLY shielding that pair. Shielding helps keep the signal on that pair inside the cable, and not interfere with other cables around it. It also prevents outside signals from getting in to the pair and interfering. At least that's what you've been told. And, like many things, this is not entirely true.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on March 15, 2013

Boy, are things changing with Belden. And you won't find a better example than at the upcoming NAB. Yes, it's NAB time again; feels like last year's was just a few days ago! (I think that's the penalty of Old Age.)

The first big change is that Belden continues to grow at NAB! For the past several years Belden has been actively focused on transforming from a "Wire & Cable" company to a "Signal Transmission Solutions" company. Because of the trust you have given to Belden over the years (Belden is THE most trusted brand for Broadcast cables!), it became part of our strategy to invest and grow in this space; and have we ever delivered on this commitment! A few years ago Belden acquired Telecast Fiber Systems. After that is was several coax connectivity companies and product lines. And new since last NAB, we have acquired Miranda Technologies. We are excited to be showing the new, bigger Belden family at NAB this year.

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on February 28, 2013

I have my dream job: I travel around the world talking to customers and end-users. I am a perfect example of the maxim Be Careful What You Wish For (because the corollary is, You Just Might Get It!). Well, I did. Talk to my wife, if you're ever in San Francisco, and she'll tell you about her absentee husband. Sure she could probably travel with me, but she wants someone to go sightseeing with her, and I'm off working, giving a presentation. After seventeen years of marriage, I’m sure she's tired of Mr. Ego telling her when I get home, "Hey, I just gave a presentation to 2,000 people!"

"That's nice," she says. "Now go take out the garbage."

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on February 14, 2013

I'm sure at some point you have thought, "Boy, if I only had a few feet of cable like this...." So how do you get it? Or, more precisely, how do you get Belden to make it for you?

I remember talking to a broadcaster about 20 years ago. He was trying to repair a nice Japanese camera and the one thing he needed was some teeny tiny triax cable. Our regular stuff was way too big. I convinced my team at Belden that this was a huge opportunity and would lead to great things, so we made up a thousand feet of the stuff, called a "first article", and sold it to him. He probably used five feet of it, repaired his camera, and I looked like the Hero of the Hour. But I didn't do Belden any favors! We probably lost money on the deal and I learned a serious lesson: we can't make a profit if we only ever sell 1,000 feet of a custom cable. So these days I would tell the customer, "We make 6,000 kinds of wire and cable. If one of those won't fit your requirements, we'll make you a 'special'."

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Blog Category: Broadcast AV

Posted by: Steve Lampen on February 06, 2013

Being in this industry, you know what cable does in an electrical sense; it is a pathway between devices. Many people visualize electricity running up and down the conductors. Of course, we're talking about electrons carrying this signal, and not just any electrons. We're talking about valence electrons, the ones in the outer layers of certain atoms. And those certain atoms that have lots of valence electrons are called conductors. This is why a piece of wood or plastic is a poor conductor, because the atoms that make it up have very few valence electrons and so wood or plastic doesn't conduct very well. Then there are substances that don't conduct until you push a few electrons into them then they really conduct. These are called semiconductors and are the basis for all solid-state devices like transistors and integrated circuits. It works like a switch: you push some electrons in and the device conducts. You stop pushing and the device stops conducting. This is why, in its most basic sense, all our digital devices work with only two numbers, zero and one, because that's the total number of states they can have; off and on. Of course, we can do some pretty amazing things with a few billion devices turning on and off, but that's another story. For signals that vary, such as audio as an example, the charge will vary and the output of that transistor will be a copy of the original audio, only made larger or "amplified".

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