September 2010
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What happens next

It’s the middle of the night and the phone is ringing.  That is never good.  The transmitter is off the air.  You call the remote control and try to put the main transmitter back on the air.  No good.  The backup comes up, no problem.   Shaking off the sluggishness, you get dressed and head out the door.  The transmitter is about 30 miles away, but it’s the middle of the night, so there is no traffic.  While driving, you are thinking of all the things that could be wrong.  The blower motor was sounding a little loud last trip.  The exciter has some reflected power.  The PA tube is two and a half years old.

Upon arrival, there are several overload lights lit, including the driver plate.  An investigation is in order.  You turn everything off and open the doors.  The trouble seems to be a bad IPA power supply.  There are spares on the parts shelf, so you put one in.  Put the transmitter into the dummy load.  You turn on the filament and the transmitter comes to life again.  Reset the overloads.

Broadcast Electronics FM35A transmitter ready to be turned on

Broadcast Electronics FM35A transmitter ready to be turned on

Now you are standing there looking at the plate on button.  Was it really only the IPA or was that just a symptom?  Was there something else that took out the IPA power supply?  What will happen when I press the plate on button?  Will it come on normally or go BANG!  I hate BANG!  By the way, my tradition in a situation like this, if on a mountain top somewhere, I go outside and pee.  I give the situation one more run through the mental checklist, then come back inside and press the button.

Broadcast Electronics FM35A transmitter high voltage on button

Broadcast Electronics FM35A transmitter high voltage on button

Please excuse the blurry picture, it is hard to take a picture of yourself turning on a transmitter…


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

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