Why we like Nautel Transmitters

Because they work.  The old adage is, you get what you pay for.  There are many transmitter manufactures.  There are plenty of transmitters out there that are less expensive.  Those less expensive transmitters sound fine on the air, their AC/RF efficiencies are great, they look snazzy in the sales brochure.  I am sure the RF sales guy can spout out ten reasons why they are this or they are that.

And that is great.

Their parts count is intentionally kept low, so gone are the redundant power supplies, fans, RF amps and controller cards.  Gone are the extra heavy output capacitors, combiners, LC connectors on the RF stages.  Gone is the heavy grounding buss, the shielded covers on the controller, etc.

So, ask the slick RF sales guy if he is going to be available to answer the phone after the 2 am lightning strike.  Of course, he’ll lie… whisper sweet nothings in your ear…

To avoid all that, behold:  The Nautel V40 FM transmitter.  This is four V-10 transmitters into a magic T combiner.  The V-10 already has good redundancies.  Four of these things ganged together should be nearly bullet proof (and over the last three years, it has been).

WHUD Nautel V-40 Transmitters
WHUD Nautel V-40 Transmitters

This site has been fraught with power problems because it is at the end of a very long utility company feeder line. We also installed a LEA series surge suppressor.  We like the LEA unit, it has saved our bacon many times over.

Inside view of LEA surge supressor
Inside view of LEA surge suppressor

These transmitters normally run at about 7 KW each.  I can turn any one transmitter completely off and the others will automatically adjust their output powers keeping the station at full power.   That means daytime maintenance!  We like not having to drive to the transmitter site at night to vacuum.   It is really cool.

Therefore, to recap (in case you missed the major points of the story), we like the Nautel transmitter because:

  1. It does not go off the air
  2. If something breaks, I can turn off an individual transmitter and fix it
  3. I can clean them and do everything I need to during normal working hours
  4. They sound great on the air
  5. Nautel has excellent customer service
  6. They look cool

There you have it.

2 thoughts on “Why we like Nautel Transmitters”

  1. The power grid these days is fraught with huge transients, power dips, and all kinds of other noise. The best protection is to have series inductance in each lead of the power feed. Most “surge suppressors” today are simple parallel devices with either silicon carbide disks and/or metal oxide varistors parallel to ground. These do little to protect equipment from big spikes such as lightning striking a power line. A truly excellent surge-suppressor would have to have series inductance with low internal resistance making the unit more expensive than the parallel suppressors. Somebody told me that BE isn’t using any isolation transformer at all in their newer transmitters. The 3-phase 120/208V WYE from the utility (through circuit breaker protection per NEC) goes directly into the transmitter switching power supplies!
    WOW, is that asking for trouble!

  2. And you forgot #7, Nautels are boringly reliable. Keep em’ clean and fed with good clean power and a great 50j0 load, you get mucho dependable. I swear by Nautel equipment. Nautel support is the very best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *