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WZIP-FM is on the Right Track
I wanted a Harris HD Link to be a drop-in replacement for our old CD Link, but I also wanted full IP network capability at the transmitter site since I can't seem to even get DSL there. I decided a set of Mosley Lanlinks, with diplexers to add the full-duplex IP traffic onto the 950MHz signal, would fit the bill. The HD Link came in first, so I started to bench test it into a 20W load. While moving the receive unit to the bench I heard something rolling around in the case. This usually is not good news, and it wasn't. The culprit was a small, stray nut, but there was no screw to be found. On power up I could set the frequency/bandwidth, but the unit would not lock onto a good signal. It was stuck in the acquiring mode. A call to Harris tech support and a new unit fixed the issue, but I'm sure glad I did the bench test. I was able to get them set up in just a few minutes using the on-screen menus and the Web access pages to check errors etc. One thing I really like is the ability to set levels inside the units, something the older units couldn't do.
When I received the Mosley Lanlinks I went through the serial port setup. I was able to set the power level and static IP and pop them in the rack. For the final install I had to wait for some help from my friend Rick Kent, who handles the School of Communication engineering. Once we were set at both ends I switched the program feed to the Tielines and traded out the cables. On power up they both booted and worked fine. I still had to get some settings right for the RBDS system, but the audio was great. The LanLink's speed was good enough for email at the transmitter site but seemed a little slow loading Web pages. I ran a speed test from my laptop and it came up with 550kb/s for download speed and 375kb/s for uploads. That is comparable to low-grade DSL service and quite acceptable for my needs.
To the transmitter
The transmitter required a full bid process, and we sent them to the three largest manufacturers. The Nautel NV-5 came back as the low bidder, which was my first choice anyway. I scheduled the removal of the old QEI backup to be placed on the roof for later use as an aux site. The crew arrived with a forklift on a second truck and the QEI was moved without much trouble at all. The Nautel came in crated, and the crew had a lift gate and pallet truck to move the crate. I was fortunate to have Gary Liebisch of Nautel on hand to assist with the un-crating and installation.
I had the ac power lines ready to go, but had to change some of the RF plumbing to get to the NV-5 outlet. At the end, Liebisch and I were both pushing with all we had to get that last nut past the flange and tightened down. We connected the composite from the Omnia One and powered it into the dummy load while I had my training. The touchscreen interface is really great, and I see why it won awards when introduced a few years ago. We run a radio reading service on 67 kHz and I could see just where the insertion level was relative to the pilot and RDS.
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