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Does Your Transmitter Run on 66 Vac?

October 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Friday and my family was in L.A. I was planning on taking the train up to meet with them as it as Grandma’s birthday, but it was contingent on how the week was heading. South, that is where it was heading!
Sitting at the my desk doing a couple of things the the silence alarm goes off.  Not just one, but two stations collocated.  For that to happen their are only two things that will cause that, main STL to the site or power.  I quickly switch one to the our Aux site, the other I poke at and switch STLs.  Back on.  Off to the site I go.  Mind you I get a low power warning, and both transmitters were on at about 3kW each.  Each transmitter is a Nautel NV20, the very ones that I have posted about before.  In addition a get an high room temperature alarm, so HVAC is down.

I get to the site.  Sure enough the TV station’s generator is running.  I open my door and greeted with hot air.  My lights work, but two of 3 UPSs are beeping away running on battery.  Looking at my surge suppressors, two phases are missing!  Yes, two, and one NV20 was on.  I had turned one off earlier when I switched that station to an Aux site.  Out comes the Fluke and I start measuring the phases.  One is running fine at 120V, the other two are running 66V.  One rack is powered while the other two are on battery.  I make provisions to route power to equipment in a backed up rack preparing for the batteries to die.  I look at the transmitter running.  3.6kW TPO and the status tells me 2 phases are missing.  All I can say is, “wow.”  I had a similar incident years ago with a single phase loss, but this time 2!

Once I had my stuff stable, I noticed the power company, SDG&E, was already outside on the street.  Ah, they were doing something and it went wrong.  Of course the guy in the truck had no update nor did he know where the issue was.  The guys at the fire station, following protocol, had moved their trucks out and were talking with another SDG&E person.  Eventually 3 trucks were up the street.  Within about 45 minutes of being on site, power was restored.

Chalk another one up to Nautel.  The power distribution and fold-back on the NV20s worked flawless.  Needless to say, my HVAC recovered and all other equipment survived the trauma.  Let’s see if the rest of the weekend remains quiet.

 

Cheers!

Categories: Equipment, Nautel, NV20 Tags: , , ,

NV20 Modification

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

As we have the first NVs here, we did a modification yesterday on the NV20s which will allow for a quick reset of the embedded AUI computer.  We found that on occasion we need to reboot the AUI due to some quirk of nature.  It is a PC after all.  NO, this does NOT effect the operation of the transmitter.  Don’t be scared.  We added a toggle switch!  Basically this switch will turn power off to the AUI.  We chose to switch power instead of doing a reset because you never know when you need to shut her down without turning the transmitter off.

We mounted the switch to the cover.  Yes, that means we need to be careful when removing the cover for service, but how often would we need to do this.  The only time we ever remove the cover is to reset the AUI!  You can find a picture of the mod here:  NV-Switch Modification

The installation was simple.  We have also considered connecting a switch to our remote control for the super rare case that we cannot access the AUI remotely.  We have never had this situation, so we tossed the idea.

Happy modifications!

Categories: Equipment, NV20

Friday Update: 9/17/2010 (For lack of a better title!)

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I figured I would update all on the workings that occurred while we were concentrated on our Studio M build.  As of today, Studio M is a big success.  I think I’ll post some progress pictures on the website as soon as I can.  (I have an issue at work with FTP uploads, damn firewall.)  Today is the first day with live audience in the studio.  They squeezed 20 people in the room.  HVAC is holding up.  They are loving it.  Comfort level is good.  He’s commenting on it as I write.

While we were working on this thing there has been other items that needed taking care of.  One is our Nautel V1-D.  Believe it or not, our front panel overlay, which has the buttons for On/Off and LED display indications seemed to cause mysterious Off commands resulting in shutting the transmitter off.  In reviewing the schematic and doing the troubleshooting with our friends at Nautel, the Off switch is paralleled with the remote Off command.  This makes sense in terms of being able to override the remote and shut the transmitter down if necessary.  Do to what I believe was thermal expansion and contraction we had random off-air situations do to the transmitter receiving an Off command.  We eliminated the remote control as the cause leaving the overlay.  Once the overlay was bypassed, the issue went away.  A new overlay has been installed and all is well now.

You ask, “Overlay?”  Yes.  It is an interesting design in that the switch is not a big, square switch, but something similar to a keyboard micro-switch, for lack of a better description.  As it is part of the physical front panel, there is no way to replace or fix the switch.  I am curious now if this issue will begin to surface again as the box ages.

As if we had nothing else to do, we did a software upgrade on the NV20s.  We moved from version 2.7 to version 2.8.3.  We had no issue with 2.7, per se.  We did have one, just one, occurrence where one, and only one, NV20 had an off-air situation.  We took a data hit on our T-1 STL which caused a loss of AES audio briefly.  The exciter did not recover, so we had a transmitter on the air with no audio.  Very weird.  After an exciter reboot, all was good.  This issue would probably never occur again, but as a precaution we updated the software as there is a fix for this rare situation.  Only three known occurrences of this from what I have heard, and of course I would be one of them!

Update on the Harris Flexstar issue.  We’ve been running the beta firmware for months now without incident.  Our diversity delay drifts a bit, still.  Our center frequency drifts a bit (last measurement was +270Hz).  The real thing is we have not been off the air due to an exciter lock.  No RF muting.  I would say we have made significant progress on that one.  As things slow down, I will request the release version of the firmware and complete the cycle.  At this time, if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it.

Last, be assured I will post some details on our Studio M build.  What we use and how we overcame some situations.  The final decision is whether I write it up for a trade.  If this is the case, then I cannot have a previous post on that that.  Stay tuned.  Hope you all are enjoying updates as I file them.

Cheers!

Categories: Equipment, Management, Nautel, NV20

All Is Well with Nautel NV20’s

Without getting into the details of version information as that is proprietary with Nautel, I will say we discovered a little issue with the controller on the NV20’s. Needless to say the issue did not cause much of an problem as more of an annoyance. It was a controller reset with no explanation. Random with no warning this reset would occur. I can say now that we worked this out as Nautel works on the next major release of NV software.

It is quite interesting to work through these issues and provide the information necessary to catch it and fix it. I feel good that we got it as quickly as we did. Tech support on Nautel’s side was awesome. If you find your NV series transmitter randomly dropping you off the air for 2 seconds and cannot find the explanation you better give Nautel a call. The fix is there. Get it.

I did drive our friends nuts as I was able to corrupt the AUI software on the transmitter itself. The fix was to ship me a new compact flash card with the “good” files in tact. Did the NV20 operate in this “mode”? You betcha. We had full remote control through the our remote control and we had full control via IP. If you are worried about such things as this with software based systems, you should be relieved to know that the important information is contained on the controller and does not fully rely on the computer running the AUI .

Great job Nautel. I look forward to the next major release so I can break that!

PS- Look forward to a Field Report coming to a trade near you.

Categories: Equipment, Nautel, NV20 Tags: , ,

Nautel NV20 On The Air

January 29, 2009 Leave a comment

We officially put the first NV20 on the air today, FM + HD. After cleaning up the air chain wiring we capitalized on the things we learned this week. It is amazing the engineering it takes to make a solid state transmitter run IBOC. Linearity is the key and on these boxes it is taken to an extreme. The mask is amazing.

I plan on having the second NV20 on by tomorrow afternoon. A slightly more complex chain and a bit more cleaning up. We will see how this goes.

And one question that may be in your head: yes, the exciter is brand new, built from the ground up. Bright and clean. Nice full bass. You may say it is transparent. Exciters should not color audio.

Categories: Equipment, NV20 Tags: ,

Nautels have arrived

December 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Finally the NV20s arrived. I must say Nautel packs them very nicely.
They fit in place pretty well. I hope to have the FM-Only on by 12/31.
The local delivery crew could have done better. Seems no one knows how to deliver transmitters.
Have a Merry Christmas!

Categories: Nautel, NV20
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