Sierra H: The Transmitter Goes Over the Mountain

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The Flexiva itself offers several additional monitoring options, including front panel visuals and an IP connection with a richer graphical representation. We also interface with Burk ArcPlus remote controls so I can call in by telephone when necessary. An SNMP interface opens up an entirely different monitoring universe that we have just started to explore.

The transmitters have been stable, with just one glitch related to an air conditioning problem -- and the main reason we're adding the third AC unit this spring. The APC setting had inadvertently been turned off in one of the transmitters, and when an AC unit locked up the transmitter didn't fold back power to compensate.

The transmitters and equipment racks installed and in-place

The transmitters and equipment racks installed and in-place

Eventually, a piece of transmission line failed, with minor damage to the directional coupler and controller board. The backup was put immediately into service and repairs to the main were quick and easy to perform.

Operational efficiencies

An emerging benefit of the transmitter installation correlates with the monthly operating costs. We initially couldn't tell much difference between the Flexivas and the Nautel, but with two transmitters running for several months everyone is quite pleased with the electrical draw. They don't jump around or spike and keep very consistent output power. This results in stable draw, which results in predictable monthly bills. The lack of fluctuations in power is especially helpful for the in-line surge suppressors. Additionally we have not experienced a single power supply or PA module failure to date.

As of press time we have made it through the rainy autumn season, which brings an assortment of storm-related electrical activity. With winter passing in the rearview mirror, it's time to look forward to getting our HD Link on the air -- and hopefully dodging any repeat forest fires this spring and summer.

Equipment List

Andrew dehydrator
APC AP7752
Belkin monitor rackmount w/built in KVM
Bird BPME display panel, power sample section
Broadcast Tools DMS-III, Silence Sentinel Basic
Burk ArcPlus, Plus-X AC-8, Plus-X ICRU, Plus-X IIU
Cummins 800A, Cummins/Onan propane genset
DaySequerra M2A-FM
Dielectric 3-1/8" four-port motorized coaxial switch, dual switch controller
ERI six-cavity T combiner
Fostex RM-1
Harris Flexiva, Intraplex STL HD T1
Henry Engineering Powerswitch
LEA DS30S, Powervantage surge suppressor
Liebert GXT2 UPS
Middle Atlantic PD-815
Myat, Shivley, Dielectric 3-1/8" rigid line and components
Orban 6300, 8600FM

White is president of Klein White Broadcast Engineering. He can be reached at

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