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Nautel Begins Delivery of Major DRM Transmitter Project

All India Radio’s digital transition involves 4.9 MW transmission power

Engineers from All India Radio along with Indian broadcast facilities integrator Comcon with Nautel personnel at the testing of the first Nautel transmitters to be used for AIR’s DRM project. Shown (L-R) are Steve Farley (Nautel), Rajiv Kapoor (AIR), Tim Hardy (Nautel), Vijay Baleja (AIR), Peter Conlon (Nautel), Rakesh Aggarwal (Comcon), Chuck Kelly (Nautel) and Trinian Ayangoswami (Comcon).

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Transmitter maker Nautel has begun to deploy the first of 27 medium-wave AM transmitters and associated equipment for India’s Prasar Bharati, the public broadcaster which comprises All India Radio and Doordarshan television. 

The orders for 100 kW, 200 kW and 300 kW DRM-enabled transmitters are being configured for DRM30 transmission and will be used in 27 locations.

Engineers from AIR were at the Nautel factory (pictured) in early August to begin factory acceptance testing of the order. Three 300 kW NX300 and one 200 kW NX200 transmitters were accepted in early August. Four 100 kW NX100 transmitters are scheduled for testing at the end of the month.

The NX200 is shipping Aug. 27 to be installed in Delhi, beginning in late October. Nautel Customer Service Technician Bachar Dib will lead the installation, according to a release. The NX300 transmitters will be installed in Jammu, Jalandhar and Lucknow.

AIR serves India via analog broadcasts in a range of languages and dialects. The transition to digital broadcasting will enable AIR to use alternate platforms, such as podcasting, SMS, Webcasting and mobile services, as well as a new 24-hour news channel. Additional services such as Interactive Text Transmission and disaster warning are also planned.

“[This project] represents a major change in the number of potential listeners for DRM and reinvigorates medium-wave transmission which has been languishing over recent years,” said Nautel President and CEO Peter Conlon.

Working with Nautel on the deployment are Comcon, Nautel’s in-country partner, and Altronic, providing RF test loads; Digidia, providing DRM modulators/content servers and Kintronic Labs, supplying matching systems for the project. The project includes six Nautel NX300 (300 kW), 10 NX200 (200 kW) and 11 NX100 (100 kW) transmitters.

Nautel NX Series medium-wave transmitters were first introduced in 2007. The company says the high-power transmitters occupy a small footprint for their power and offer 90% efficiency, along with AM precorrection, linearity and Nautel’s Advanced User Interface.