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Update on Transmitters
At least once every year we take a look at new features in transmitters. LPFM is in our industry news quite a bit as of late, so we'll look at some equipment that could be used for LPFM as well: small, stand-alone transmitters, and some low-power antennas.
Nautel is introducing its newest transmitter line, the GV series. This is an evolution of the NV design, which (according to Nautel) provides better analog and digital efficiency than its predecessor. Power levels range from 3.5kW to 80kW, and it has some very interesting (and more importantly, useful) features, with respect to RF generation:
■ HD PowerBoost is a standard feature
■ Asymmetrical digital sideband support
■ Adaptive pre-correction
■ Hot-swappable RF amp modules and power supply modules
■ Integrated digital exciter, optional backup exciter
■ No IPA
■ Field-repairable amplifier pallets
Of course in this day and age we all look beyond just the RF-generation aspects of a transmitter, to its monitor and control capabilities; as the number of functions around the radio station increases for the average broadcast engineer, it's important that each and every one of them is made as easy and efficient as possible. Remote access and control of a transmitter is one of the most important of these tasks. Toward that end the GV series offers the following features:
■ The Nautel AUI (Advanced User Interface), which provides local control (via a 17" touchscreen monitor) and remote access with definable security and access levels on a per-user basis
■ MER and a full suite of HD Radio instrumentation with spectrum analyzer and constellation view
■ UPS support for control electronics and loss-of-ac-power recovery speed
■ SNMP support
Nautel has been adding non-traditional features to transmitters as well. Program sources can be traditional composite or AES; or IP, USB or Livewire. Orban inside is an optional feature for processing; the exciter also supports MPX over AES from Omnia, Orban and Wheatstone. Nautel Phone Home is a system that pro-actively collects data from the transmitter and forwards it to Nautel for later analysis should a problem arise.
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