New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

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W2XJ
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by W2XJ » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:58 pm

My issue with BW is their analog design. Sooner rather than later you will need a real engineer to put it back together.

Gatesair and BE may or may not be around for long. If support is an issue, be wary.

As I said earlier, Nautel or Ecreso (Crown E). Let your spreadsheet decide.

Dewey
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Dewey » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:31 pm

Well, looks like Nautel is out of the running. I sent them a message several days ago with 3 simple questions about the VS300 and no one responded. Simply unacceptable. If they can't service me before the sale, I have to question how they will service me after.

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Dale H. Cook » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:02 pm

Dewey wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:31 pm
If they can't service me before the sale, I have to question how they will service me after.
(Sung to the tune of the Car 54 theme...)
R - F - Warrior, where are you?
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html

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Deep Thought
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Deep Thought » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:44 pm

Dewey wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:31 pm
I sent them a message several days ago with 3 simple questions about the VS300 and no one responded.
How did you send them a message?
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

Dewey
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Dewey » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:10 am

Deep Thought wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:44 pm
Dewey wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:31 pm
I sent them a message several days ago with 3 simple questions about the VS300 and no one responded.
How did you send them a message?
Using the email form on their website.

BigRed
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by BigRed » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:54 pm

W2XJ wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:58 pm
My issue with BW is their analog design. Sooner rather than later you will need a real engineer to put it back together.

Gatesair and BE may or may not be around for long. If support is an issue, be wary.

As I said earlier, Nautel or Ecreso (Crown E). Let your spreadsheet decide.
Just curious, but what issues do you have with BW's analog designs? Their gear looks pretty straightforward to me. And the proof is in the pudding. Their equipment just runs and runs. If you add to that the consideration that digital designs are probably going to need not only a real engineer to repair but also the factory's service facilities due to things like "custom" coding for FPGA's. (Got a Harris Digit CD exciter sitting here on the bench that needs a "custom" logic device for the regulator board (exciter's final amplifier won't turn on) and a "patented" 100-mHz filter for which there's no factory documentation readily available.) But at this power level the equipment is disposable anyhow, or should be considered as such. Unless it's a minor problem that can be troubleshot in the field the cost of sending it back for repairs can approach the cost of a new unit if it's out of warranty.

Agree that BE may soon be on the rocks if not already. I don't think that GatesAir is as close to the edge as you seem to think though although I wouldn't be surprised if the investment house that owns them doesn't spin them off after the TV repack. But they're selling quite a few FM rigs. I just finished the installation of a 10-kW Flexiva air-cooled FM and am finishing up the installation of a 30-kW Flexiva liquid-cooled rig. Got a 20-kW Flexiva air-cooled on the radar for this fall.

Still, I know at least one operator that are installing a new "Brand G" as their main transmitter and will be installing a "Brand N" as their alternate main just to hedge their bets because the future of all the transmitter manufacturers seems to be tenuous at best these days.

BigRed
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by BigRed » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:32 pm

Dewey wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:31 pm
Well, looks like Nautel is out of the running. I sent them a message several days ago with 3 simple questions about the VS300 and no one responded. Simply unacceptable. If they can't service me before the sale, I have to question how they will service me after.
Before you give up on Nautel completely you might want to contact a member of this BB that calls himself RF Warrior. He works for Nautel. (Dale Cook made a humorous back-handed reference to him with the Car 54 remark.) I've never met him but he seems like one of the good guys. You can go to the bottom of the page and click on members. I think he shows up on the second page. Just drop him a private message and I'll bet he gets back to you quickly. It's worth a shot. And while you may not end up buying from them you owe it to yourself to at least give their gear a look.

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Dale H. Cook » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:15 am

BigRed wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:32 pm
Dale Cook made a humorous back-handed reference to him with the Car 54 remark.
His name is Jeff Welton. He was their top technician for years, and during those years I installed several Nautels. He is now the central US sales manager for Nautel, and so is very familiar with both sales and support at Nautel.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html

Ray
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Ray » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:36 am

I've always thought Nautel really goes the extra mile for customer service. They were one of the few vendors that came down for our state broadcasting convention last month. Jeff has always answered my emails in a matter of hours (at most). They have webinars several times a year that are really helpful.

A big different for me is the software interface (for remote control. I also wanted AES digital input. I don't think you would go wrong either way however. My BW transmitter (backup) sounds great also (I'm using analog audio into it).

Ray

W2XJ
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by W2XJ » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:40 pm

I think in the situation originally described that the search should be limited to either a Nautel VS 300 or a Crown E series. The reason is that the both have phone home factory support. In an operation with limited technical capabilities having the factory constantly monitoring the transmitter and sometimes fix things before they really break can off load a lot of work.

Dewey
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Dewey » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 pm

W2XJ wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:40 pm
I think in the situation originally described that the search should be limited to either a Nautel VS 300 or a Crown E series. The reason is that the both have phone home factory support. In an operation with limited technical capabilities having the factory constantly monitoring the transmitter and sometimes fix things before they really break can off load a lot of work.
We have decided on the Ecreso FM 300 W. This is the exact same box as the Crown you mentioned. Ecreso makes them for Crown, but are now selling them direct in the US for about $1000 cheaper. I found their pre sales service and response to my requests to be outstanding, and they have all the features of the Crown. Under $4000 from BSW with the optional 10 year warranty and built in 5 band audio processor.

Thanks to all of you for you feedback and input. It was extremely valuable in our decision making process! I'll say it again - this is a great forum!

awsherrill
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by awsherrill » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:31 am

I'm glad you were able to find a transmitter that suits your needs.

If you please, do report back after you have installed the box and lived with it for awhile.

Ray
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Ray » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:20 am

The older Crowns have a reputation for being very robust. The Crown story is very interesting and they are very good folks.

I assume that this unit is LPFM certified by the FCC? I don't see this specifically listed on the brochure. LPFM transmitters have to be sent into the FCC to be certified unlike full power stations. I'm sure BSW would not have sold you one unless it was certified for LPFM use.

We recently had a station in our city get a NOV due to using a non-compliant transmitter with their translator so this is something the FCC looks at.

Ray

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Deep Thought
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Deep Thought » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:25 pm

Ray wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:20 am
We recently had a station in our city get a NOV due to using a non-compliant transmitter with their translator so this is something the FCC looks at.
Translator transmitters only have to be type approved which is a different process. I would suspect that translator was spewing garbage which is why they got the hook.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

Ray
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Re: New member - LPFM transmitter recommendations

Post by Ray » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:52 pm

Your right as usual. I heard they were using a Chinese transmitter (no FCC certification at all) and had a spur in the aviation band.
Why anyone would try this for any period of time is beyond me. I have heard of folks using them in an emergency for less that 24 hours.
Nothing gets action faster from the FCC than interference in the aviation band. The LPFM transmitters actually have to be sent to the FCC for certification and have a placard attached I'm told. More involved than just the manufacture running the tests and certifying it. I'm sure anything that Crown is associated with is top quality however, I'd just make sure it has the label attached

Ray

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