Nautel VS1: Big Features, Budget Box
     

COSHOCTON, Ohio — My name is Gene Sharp and it is my pleasure to help with all things technical at WHVT(FM) in Clyde, Ohio and at WHVY(FM) in Coshocton. Both stations are owned and operated by Clyde Educational Broadcasting Foundation, which is a ministry of my home church, Harvest Baptist Temple.

The two stations and our translator 94.1 FM in Findlay make up what we call the Clean Air Radio Network (www.cleanair.fm). It airs a mix of sacred and southern Gospel music and traditional Bible teaching programs.

Gene Sharp monitors his transmitter from the studio via Nautel’s Advanced User Interface remote monitoring system.

Also heard on Clean Air is news (local and national), weather and several live call-in programs. I was the manager of WHVT about 13 years ago, but since that time I have transitioned into an international ministry that establishes radio stations for missionaries overseas called “Independent Baptist Media.”

We have helped establish Christian radio stations in Papua, New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Philippines, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia and Iraq. In addition to radio, our small group of “technical missionaries” also helps local churches with audio, video and graphics. We are blessed in between our extensive travels to help out at home on the Clean Air Radio Network’s projects.

Complete package

I was placed in charge of organizing, purchasing and installing the new equipment for the newest outlet of Clean Air. In early 2011 we were about to purchase the equipment for our brand-new station in Coshocton, Ohio, WHVY 89.5 FM. The hunt for a transmitter was in full swing when I stumbled across the Nautel offerings.

In this tight economy, considerations for new equipment seem to start with the budget and from there we try and “squeeze” as many features in as possible. Some of the features that we needed on a transmitter were new to our small but growing radio network.

First, we needed remote control of some kind. Second, we were looking for multiple layers of backup audio sources. Being 100 miles from our main studio and with a limited staff, these features were supercritical for us. We half-expected to be forced to use multiple devices to accomplish all of this control and backup, but then we heard about the new Nautel VS Series. We wondered if so many features could be built into such a small box.

WHNY’s Nautel VS transmitter installed in the rack.

Well it was true and to top it off the Nautel VS Series was more affordable than several contenders in our decision-making process. After investigating Nautel’s reputation we made the decision to purchase a VS1 transmitter in early 2011. Kandice Kerstin at Broadcasters General Store made the process a breeze.

We opted for the “Orban Inside” processing feature and we are glad that we did. Nautel’s optional Orban Inside Optimod processor card offers a simple, cost-effective means for broadcasters to incorporate the industry’s best pre-transmission processing into stations and offer a big, punchy “Optimod sound” at an affordable price.

Installation was pretty much as you would expect. The transmitter came with straightforward instructions and everything was included, from screws, to sliding rails, to connectors, and ferrite toroids. The VS1 transmitter fits nicely in our rack and has been rock-solid since we flipped the switch.

What about those critical “big transmitter” features that we were looking for? They work flawlessly. I have seen some remote control GUIs that look like they’re from somewhere between 1979 and 1985, but not the Nautel Advanced User Interface. The AUI looks and performs wonderfully and intuitively. The layout is logical and in a few minutes of logging on to the interface you will feel at home. In fact we think it is so cool that we have been showing it off to our friends around the world.

Also impressive is the backup audio from the USB. It sounds crystal clear and the transmitter can fail-safe to it automatically. What a blessing to a small group with an even smaller budget and staff. Our few questions were answered in expert form by Nautel’s helpful and knowledgeable technical support staff.

In short, we have been evangelistically telling all of our friends about the new VS Series by Nautel.

Gene Sharp is a technician with WHVT(FM)/WHVY(FM).

For information, contact Chuck Kelly at Nautel in Nova Scotia at (902) 823-2233 or visit www.nautel.com.


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