Another install, this time a new BE product. I am familiar with the BE FM “C” series transmitter. Those are pretty solid units and we take care of many of them.
This new version of transmitter looks like it has a little bit of Elenos in its DNA. Perhaps I am wrong about that.
The STXe exciter is an all purpose analog/digital unit that will do standard FM stereo, hybrid FM +HD radio, HD radio only, DRM+, or FM and DRM+. I like that. It gives the owner lots of options with regards to future planning. Frankly, I would love to see some DRM+ testing done in the US.
We have actually installed a couple of “C” series transmitter with the STXe exciter as well.
The rest of the transmitter consists of four RF amps and an output combiner all in a short rack. Frankly, if I were ordering one of these units, I’d order the taller rack. Not that I am getting old or anything like that, but stooping over to program the date/time, frequency and power output introduced a slight discomfort in my lower back.
Running into the antenna. At 4.1 KW, 18 watts reflected power is slightly high. This antenna has always had a little bit of reflected power.
The building I installed this in is nick named “The Chicken Coop,” likely because it used to be an actual chicken coop. I am not kidding. The site was originally just the AM station (WHUC). That station had a different transmitter building located some distance away which was fed with open transmission line. This building was put in place sometime around 1969 when the FM station signed on as WHUC-FM (now WZCR). It has seen better days, but we are working on fixing some of the issues with air conditioning and cleanliness.
The transmitter fired up without any issues and sounds much, much better than the QEI which it replaced.
The QEI transmitter had problems over the years, mostly burned out resistors in the RF combiner network. It has since been scrapped.