With FME-350FS, We Are Royals
LOW, Ariz. —
Having worked in radio broadcasting for 26 years, I have dealt with a
fair number of manufacturers. Particularly when it comes to
mission-critical purchases such as a transmitter, I have learned to
value suppliers who provide reliable products backed by efficient
For an FM
transmitter for KVSL(AM/FM) in Show Low, Ariz., I recommended the
I run Peak
Broadcasting, providing engineering services to many AM, FM and TV
stations in northeastern Arizona; and I serve as chief engineer for
the New Directions Media organization, which owns KVSL(AM), 1450 kHz.
recently purchased KVSL, and with the recent changes that allow AMs
to use FM translators, KVSL now simulcasts with a translator (K300CL)
on 107.9 MHz. My role was to recommend and implement the best
transmitter for the new translator.
owner of New Directions Media, asked my opinion. Two factors came to
mind: durability and simplicity. You want a unit built to
withstand the environment of a transmitter site (lightning and power
surges top the concerns), a unit that gives you what you need
without time-consuming complexity.
Also, you want a
company that provides good support when needed. All units put
out an RF signal and have similar audio specs; but Crown gives
you neat features like the Web interface and proven reliability.
Years ago, I
purchased a Crown 250-watt transmitter for use in my business. When
a station’s exciter or main transmitter would fail, I would use
this transmitter as a temporary backup. The transmitter has
worked flawlessly at many places, appreciated for its good sound and
I can see that the
FME-350FS is an even better unit, with more features and the same
rock-solid design. The newer unit is built around a direct-to-channel
digital modulator; it’s the newest technology and should deliver
even greater audio quality and reliability.
provides a greater level of control and information than I have seen.
T∑he translator is on top of Porter Mountain, five miles southeast
of Show Low. Since Internet is available there, we access the
unit via the Web interface. Telemetry and control functions can
be accessed easily.
With the TCP/IP
option, we received the system’s Advanced Measurement Interface.
Although I have not yet explored this to the full, it seems to be a
comprehensive overview of the transmitter operation, with a display
of detailed analysis of the RF spectrum, MPX spectrum, audio spectrum
and peak meters.
We selected a year’s
subscription to the EMR service for maintenance reporting. EMR gives
me online access to key parameters and sends regular reports so that
I am kept informed of maintenance issues that should be addressed.
Let’s face it, most of us can do with an extra set of eyes and
With a one-year EMR
subscription, we receive a 10-year warranty on the FM-E350FS system,
a sign of a manufacturer with confidence in their design and one of
these things that helps me sleep a little easier.
The unit was
installed Oct. 25, 2013. We utilize a two-bay
circularly-polarized antenna operating with a TPO of 200 watts, well
within the transmitter rating of 350 watts. The station
is collocated with another FM and many low-power users.
I initially tried to
set up the unit from the front panel, but found the Web
interface method simpler and less time-consuming. If you
need to make changes to the unit and do not have your computer with
you, the front-panel access is convenient.
set the standard when it comes to quality, reliability, and
effortless interface and control. The company has always
been a phone call away when needed, providing excellent customer
information, contact Kent Koselke at Crown Broadcast in Indiana at
(866) 262-8972 or visit www.crownbroadcast.com.