Another important requirement was compatibility with the legacy IBOC transmitter equipment. We wanted to retain the current transmitter as an auxiliary and be able to utilize the same common STL. Nautel demonstrated on site that their Exporter and Reliable HD Transport system was indeed compatible with both their exciter and our legacy equipment. Check that box.
The NV40 had met all of WYSO's basic requirements, but the evaluation wasn't complete. This transmitter acquisition was likely going to have to last the station for many years, so product support is critical. Tech support is available 24/7/365 on the phone, and on-site service available if required.
So after extensive evaluations, I selected the Nautel NV-40 for this client's application and the order was placed. Delivery this past fall was made on schedule, and the crew placed the cabinet exactly where we wanted it. I had anticipated a few issues with purchasing or delivery from Canada, but there were none. Installation was straightforward with no surprises. They even supplied a special conduit transition box to accommodate the large ac feed cables. The only complaint I had was limited access to the connections on the rear of the exciter(s). An interface panel for external connections would be a better solution.
The start-up and commissioning were uneventful, except for the inordinate amount of fun we had playing with - I mean working with the AUI. Gary Liebisch from Nautel stopped in to assist with the Reliable HD Transport setup and ensure all was well. The Advanced User Interface (AUI) is awesome. Instrument-grade RF and audio spectrum analyzers are built-in. So even though we used test equipment to initially verify proper operation, it is reassuring to know the display is an accurate instrument for future diagnoses and verifying mask compliance. The AUI is 100 percent remote accessible with any Web-enabled device, including shared screen support with Nautel's engineers and email notification. Add conventional integration with the Burk remote control via the phone line, we have complete control and monitoring redundancy. And speaking of backup and redundancy, each module has its own IPA and dedicated power supplies, so there is no single point of failure. The transmitter can run with several failed modules, and they are hot swappable for seamless maintenance.
I am extremely satisfied with the Nautel NV40. There have been no problems to report, and the station is looking forward to better coverage with lower utility bills compliments of the 0.99 power factor.
Stitt is the president of JMS & Associates, a consulting and contract engineering firm in Cincinnati.