“I did the research, and I chose Nautel for my HD Radio Installation.”
-Andy Armstrong, Portland Radio Group
Portland Radio Group had several requirements for their installation:
Why Nautel was chosen for FM and AM operations at WYNZ and WGAN:
Learn more about Nautel transmitters
Portland Radio Group chooses Nautel for FM and AM operations at WYNZ and WGAN
When Andy Armstrong of the Portland Radio Group started looking for HD-capable transmitters, he did a lot of research prior to making his decision:
We needed something that was not only reliable, but energy efficient. With most transmitter technologies we investigated, there is a concern of power consumption and dissipated heat. Another concern was that WYNZ-FM is a directional station co-located with WGAN, a directional AM also serving the Portland metropolitan area. To protect the existing directional installation, Armstrong could not work with dual antennas, interleaving or dual-input antenna options or anything having to do with hanging additional equipment on the towers. RFI was also a concern due to the stations’ proximity to residential housing in the area. The signal needed to be very clean, and able to adapt to varying antenna icing conditions without additional spectral regrowth.
Armstrong’s research led him to Nautel, and the choice of the V15d transmitter for WYNZ. He cites a number of reasons for choosing Nautel:
The Nautel V15d includes their M50 digital exciter with integrated Exgine and active pre-correction, SC1 controller, Exporter, digital audio interface (EASU) and UPS, which means everything we needed for our HD upgrade was there in the one product. WYNZ is operating the V15d in common mode amplification, which carries analog and digital signals simultaneously from one transmitter.
We were also interested in Nautel’s patented Secure HD Protocol for delivering HD data from the Exporter to the tower site over our existing Moseley Starlink STL system. Secure HD repackages the data stream from the iBiquity software and exports it in a way that is more robust over low bandwidth asynchronous links.
Also, the physical size of the transmitter was a factor. We desired something that was compact enough to fit in our existing plant without extensive modifications to the RF, electrical or cooling infrastructure.
I asked Nautel whether I could join the NUG – Nautel User’s Group – in advance of my purchase and to my delight, was told “Of course!” This gave me a chance to see how the company’s customer service area works. I was able to review postings, technical service bulletins, equipment manuals etc., which gave me a high comfort level on how Nautel solves product issues and other problems.
Armstrong’s comfort level with Nautel led to another decision:
We knew HD was inevitable and, after our experience in choosing the V15d, we thought we might as well make the entire site a Nautel plant and bought their XR-6 for WGAN with a plan to install both transmitters at the same time. The big deciding factor on the XR-6 was the option to add a second 6kW power module for automatic backup in addition to its dual exciter switching. If either a PA or exciter fails the other is automatically selected, which allows full power operation even if there’s a PA failure. The PA modules are also hot swappable if necessary. This added a level of redundancy in a single transmitter that was over and above anything else I had researched.
My experience with Nautel was further enhanced when I received the V15d transmitter. The transmitter was delivered to us unscarred in any way. Nautel’s documentation was great as well – it was personalized for both stations at this installation and other than our own mistakes, the documentation was flawless. The V15 installation seemed complicated at the beginning but once we read through the documentation and followed the steps, it became very simple, very fast.
We had the V15 up and running within a day of getting the final installation work done. I would absolutely choose Nautel again. My advice to other stations is – do the research and the best option for your migration to HD Radio will appear.