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Field Report: Nautel NV20
Up to two NVE300 exciters fit inside beside the power supply bays. In our installation we feed AES audio to the exciter, and we feed the RBDS and subcarrier client separately via the SCA 2 and SCA 3 BNC jacks, but the exciter also provides SCA, RBDS and analog audio inputs on a DB connector configured through the AUI. The exciter interfaces with the controller and AUI through a standard CAT-5 cable. A pilot/MPX sample port is provided on a BNC.
A Web server is built in for monitoring and rare configuration changes. If a second exciter is installed, the transmitter will recognize it as soon as it is connected and powered. The AUI can be configured to run from either exciter or failover automatically. An RS-232 connection is provided for troubleshooting to a deeper level.
More on the AUI
Welcome to a fully software-controlled transmitter. The display is intuitive and took little coaching to navigate the main parameters. The main display shows the power settings, modulation metering, a group of instrumentation panels, user-configurable real-time meters, and a row of control and menu buttons. The status button is multicolored depending on the state of certain parameters with green being normal, yellow a warning, and red as trouble.
The menu button provides a graphical list of options to access the presets, hardware configuration, software configurations, remote input/output configuration and change-over configurations. The AUI can be configured with user accounts allowing for different levels of access to the system. Event logging is phenomenal.
The presets are where all the station-specific parameters are entered. Much of this information is preconfigured and other presets can be built on.
After the learning curve and the excellent support Nautel has provided I have been quite satisfied by the operation and very confident the transmitters will hold their own.
We needed a box to fit our small space. With that, we also have the issue of heat generated by a solid-state transmitter running in hybrid mode. As I write, an improvement to the efficiency of the transmitter is one of Nautel's concerns. As these boxes are so new, a couple of minor issues were found with the controller. There are things to be said about a software-controlled transmitter, and the fixes were all software-based. I could not have asked for a better transmitter for our application.
Eisenhamer is the chief engineer of Lincoln Financial Media Co. of CA.
Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.
These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.
It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.
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