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).
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.
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:
- It does not go off the air
- If something breaks, I can turn off an individual transmitter and fix it
- I can clean them and do everything I need to during normal working hours
- They sound great on the air
- Nautel has excellent customer service
- They look cool
There you have it.