“I was always proud that something so small and dependable could sound so good and be so quick to get on the air!”

-Gil Garcia, Technical Director

NX Series

Learn more about Nautel’s AM transmitters with power levels ranging from 1kW to 2000kW

 

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Did you Know?

Nautel still services every model of transmitter it’s ever manufactured. Spanning over 40 years, this visibly demonstrates our commitment to our customers. A portion of Nautel engineering time is spent re-engineering assemblies where parts are no longer available, to keep these older transmitters up and running.
 

“Several people talked about how this transmitter could be left on a deserted island and it would just keep on running for years with no maintenance or off-air issues, and the best part was that it was small enough that one person could pick it up and just plug it in!”

-Gil Garcia, Technical Director

Nautel Transmitters; Quick & Easy to Install with Long-Term Service & Support

 

This is my pride and joy story; it goes back to the 80’s when I saw a small, rack mount AM transmitter from Nautel that could be placed on the air very quickly.

I had just started working as the director of engineering for multiple markets for a company that had recently purchased a station in Kerrville, Texas. It had a problematic Gates Vanguard transmitter in place. In fact the local engineer in Kerrville informed me that it was time to put the Vanguard to rest since it was having too many issues every week trying to stay on the air!

I considered many transmitters but was fascinated by a small transmitter Nautel made – the P400 – that could accommodate many power levels up to 400 watts on AM. I had seen this transmitter at the NAB convention and several people talked about how it could be left on a deserted island and it would just keep on running for years with no maintenance or off-air issues, and the best part was that it was small enough that one person could pick it up and just plug it in!

So I ordered the Nautel P400 transmitter and a couple of weeks later the local engineer, Frank, called to tell me that only one small box had arrived and that the rest of the transmitter must be lost in shipment. To him the Nautel box looked more like a rack mountable exciter! I told him that I would come down and we would install the transmitter that night in about five minutes. There was a long pause on the phone and then he said “No way, this is going to be an all-nighter” and that he hoped the rest of the transmitter arrived before we try to install whatever small part was in that box!

When I arrived that night he told me nothing else had come in so could we wait for the rest of the transmitter and do the install another night. I told him to open the box and mount the Nautel P400 in the rack next to the Vanguard. He did, and noted that just a plain Jane 110 AC plug came with it. I then connected the audio to the terminals in the back; that took one minute. Then I had to add an N connector cable to the RF output of the P400 and connect it to the big RF post sitting above the Vanguard. Once that was done I looked at my watch and five minutes had passed.

I turned to Frank as I plugged the AC in to a standard 110 outlet and turn the switch and said “It’s on.” He looked in disbelief at the meter coming up to 400 watts and said “No way!” So, we had to go out 15 miles before he would believe that this little unit was working like the big Vanguard!

Last I heard that little transmitter was still in use at that station*. I was always proud that something so small and dependable could sound so good and be so quick to get on the air!

Gil Garcia
Technical Director for 5 stations in Austin, Texas
Disaster Coordinator for all Clear Channel stations in the U.S.A.

*Postscript from Nautel: there are many P400’s still in use today and we continue to service and support every single one of them.


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