Austin transformer

Austin ring transformer at the base of the WMCA and WNYC transmitter tower in Kearny, New Jersey. The two interlocking rings are the primary and secondary transformer windings.

An Austin transformer is a special type of an Isolation transformer used for feeding the aircraft warning lights and other devices on a mast radiator antenna insulated from ground. As the electrical potential difference between the antenna and ground is high (up to 300 kV[citation needed]), feeding the lamps directly is impossible. The transformer consists of two toroidal (ring-like) windings with a large air space between the winding and the magnetic core. The large spacing provides both isolation from high voltage and low inter-winding coupling capacitance.[1] A spark ball gap may be mounted across the transformer windings for protection against lightning strikes.[2]

The Austin transformer is named after its inventor, Arthur O. Austin, who graduated from Stanford University in 1903 and who obtained 225 patents in his career.[3]


  1. ^ Griffith, B. Whitfield (2000). Radio-electronic transmission fundamentals. Sci Tech Publishing. p. 367,. ISBN 1-884932-13-4.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Mehla, Ishwar Singh (2018). AM Radio Tower Antennas. Chennai, India: Notion Press. Section 4.3.1(a). ISBN 978-1-64429-518-2.
  3. ^ Austin insulators history, retrieved 2010 Nov 1

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