Not just a memory


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Not a memory for some

I had to laugh when I saw the Do You Remember? article on the A.E.L. transmitter [January 2002, Sign Off]. We are presently using an A.E.L. FM-25KD on KINT-FM “La Caliente.” It's a rock solid, no problem transmitter. While parts for it are little hard to find, they are available if you look hard enough.

We have nearly completed installing a new Harris HT-30 CD transmitter and will make it our main transmitter, but the A.E.L. will remain as our Auxiliary.

The article title asked, “Do you remember?” Yes, we remember the American Electronics Laboratories FM-25KD transmitter. Every time we are on the mountain site we come up to it, pat the chassis and say, “Hang in there!”
Jim Lotspeich, CBRE
chief engineer
KINT-FM
El Paso, Texas

I have a slight correction to the info on the A.E.L. FM-25KD regarding the driver tube.

For many years I had a pair of FM-25KD transmitters at KIQQ in Los Angeles. They were supplied with a 4CX1000K tetrode driver stage, which was the transmitter's Achilles' heel. (Another weakness was the terrible A.E.L.-made exciter, which A.E.L. replaced immediately after purchase at no charge, with a McMartin B-910. One of these is still on the air in Adelaide, Australia. I sold it to a friend several years ago.)

The problem with the 4CX1000K tube was that it could not take the extremely high voltage that the transmitter applied to both the plate and the screen. The voltages were beyond Eimac's tube ratings. As a result, the transmitter always arced, blowing the tubes and the sockets. We mounted external dropping resistors on top of the transmitter and kept it going that way. After Eimac created the 5CX1500A tube, A.E.L. produced the FM-25KG transmitter.

An FM-25KD upgrade kit with a 5CX1500A and parts was made available. I bought two of the kits and modified our transmitters, after which I never had another problem with them.

A couple years ago I gave both A.E.L.s to a group that was planning to use them to fight AIDS through education in Africa.
Lyle Henry, CPBE
contract engineer
Los Angeles

Image: Jan 2002 cover

Good on sound

Excellent editorial in the January 2002 issue, Chriss. I agree with you. I have had XM for four months now and I am satisfied. I wish the audio quality were just a bit better, but it ain't bad. It seems to have trouble when it is heavily processed. The sibilance can get bad.

Otherwise it is quite good. Generally, XM sounds better than FM. The best thing I can say about XM is that I seldom listen to FM or AM anymore. XM and Sirius should take a clue from Directv and offer special deals on receivers, and discounts for those who have more than one receiver. I think this may happen.

I think a person will be hooked once he/she listens to XM. Once it is available as standard equipment in cars, it will really catch on. I listen in the car and at home. I like the commercial-free channels, but the load is light on the commercial channels.

This is a pretty exciting new business. XM certainly has the lead right now, but I wouldn't sell Sirius short. There is no longer any doubt in my mind that both companies can make money. How much of the radio market they can take is anybody's guess.

This is a wakeup call to terrestrial broadcasters for sure. The choice is programming is absolutely great, and these guys answer e-mails right away. All in all, XM is a class act!
Jim Somich
Microcon Systems
Broadview Hts., OH




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