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Nautel Simplifies FEBC Operations

Transmitters bring efficiency, flexibility and potential for 24-hour-operation to Filipino broadcaster

The author is chief technician for Far East Broadcasting Company in the Philippines.

Noel Ubod pictured with FEBC’s most recent acquisition, a Nautel GV10 transmitter.

MANILA  — Far East Broadcasting Company has a long history with Nautel. Almost all our transmitters are Nautel (except for some shortwave systems).

Starting with the ND Series in the early 1990s we’ve since purchased XL Series, XR Series, NV Series, VS Series, NVLT Series and GV Series.

We choose Nautel transmitters because of their track record of reliability and high efficiency.

Our most recent acquisition, a GV10 transmitter, was commissioned in March 2019. The installation was both simple and easy. Currently we are in the process of acquiring an NX50 transmitter to replace an XL50. 

Documentation, Resources

Prior to working with Nautel transmitters I had maintained an analog vacuum tube transmitter, so the thought of working with a Nautel solid-state transmitter was exciting. But it was a combination of excitement and fear as I was concerned whether I could adjust to this new technology I wasn’t used to. I had maintained the analog transmitter for more than 20 years, so I had to study how such state-of-the-art transmitters operate.

I am very impressed with the Nautel transmitter manuals. There is everything I need. They are very extensive from pre-installation to installation then operation and lastly troubleshooting manuals. I have never seen such an extensive set of manuals before.

Other points that have caught my attention are Nautel’s helpful webinars, videos and tutorials on their website and the Tips and Tricks from Jeff Welton (thanks, Jeff!) All these resources are very practical and helpful for us maintenance crew.

[Read: Nautel Names Schmid as CTO]

Another thing which I recently experienced is Nautel’s great customer service. They provide very good support to customers. Several times I’ve asked for assistance and Nautel Tech Support was there to help me every time. Very impressive. Although the information is there in the manuals, asking for help from Nautel customer service is faster than re-reading the manuals — my apologies for that! My sincere thanks to Scott MacLeod who is always patient enough to assist me.

I cannot water down the importance of good customer service. If I’m evaluating equipment to buy, my highest criteria is customer support. Does the equipment company have good customer support? Nautel has that.

Built-In Features

In the Philippines one of our dilemmas is that there are very few technicians available to maintain broadcast equipment. Because of this there were times when we had to cut our on-air broadcasting hours because of lack of personnel to man the (vacuum tube) transmitter.

With Nautel transmitters lack of personnel is no longer a problem. We started operating our new GV10 transmitter automatically using the built-in features; it will turn on/off at the specified time without human intervention. Again, thanks to Scott who helped with this set up.

The transmitter AUI metering is also very extensive. Everything an engineer needs for evaluating the operation of the transmitter is available on the touchscreen. Currently I am working with the AUI’s web-based remote monitoring and control (using port forwarding on the router) as we are contemplating 24-hour operation.

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Our potential for 24-hour operation is only possible given the transmitter’s high efficiency. This gives us a lower electric bill compared with our previous vacuum tube transmitter which had very low efficiency. This lower electric cost enables us to consider expanding our hours of on-air broadcasting. Thank you, Nautel!

Nautel transmitters are reliable, highly efficient and versatile. There are many features to accommodate your broadcasting needs. Thanks to the engineers at Nautel who are behind this great design, you did an excellent job. Kudos to all of you.

Congratulations Nautel for 50 years of service!

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