Crawford Installs Two New Nautel Rigs

Transmitters are for Chicago, Denver
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Crawford Broadcasting provided details of two transmitter installations.

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Amanda Alexander is shown with the new NX50 in Denver, one of two new transmitters in service for Crawford Broadcasting.

WYCA(FM) in Chicago has a new Nautel 2.5 kW VS2.5. “This is one of the new BYOR (‘Bring Your Own Rack’) transmitters that Nautel is offering these days,” CBC Chicago CE Art Reis wrote in a recent engineering newsletter article. “It has an integral digital exciter, HD exgine, IP audio I/O and USB backup audio automation. Provided we keep the internal library up to date, should we lose the STL to that site, the transmitter can continue to play the hits all by itself.”

He said the aux transmitter is a 1960s vintage Gates FM-5 that functions but for which Crawford can no longer get parts. “That old beast is coming out of service and going to the scrap yard,” with a new Middle Atlantic rack going in to house the new transmitter. “That arrangement will provide us with a brand-new main transmitter and a full-power digital aux system (Nautel FM-4 and BE FMi73 high-level combined).”

Separately, Crawford station KLTT(AM) in Denver just received a new Nautel NX50. They’ve removed a Nautel ND2.5, which once served the station at night but is no longer active.

That project involved removing 7/8-inch transmission line from the ND2.5, enlarging the hole in a phasor to accommodate a 3-1/8-inch EIA flange and moving the current main transmitter output to the aux port in the phasor. The engineers also reworked and added remote control wiring. The new transmitter features a remotely accessible GUI user interface, connected via IP to the studio network.

Director of Engineering Cris Alexander said Crawford is employing MDCL on the new transmitter to take advantage of the “considerable power savings that offers.”

Alexander (who also is a contributor to Radio World) recalls putting in the previous KLTT transmitter 17 years ago. “I clearly remember unloading that thing off the truck, uncrating and installing it — and the tower crew lived in the empty crate during the rest of the project!”

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