Credit for most of this issue’s column goes to Mike Payne, with Townsquare Media’s Twin Falls, ID stations. After reading last issue’s article on the need for heating as well as cooling, Mike wrote the following…
“We have a variety of transmitters here, and even have two units of the same model at one location (neither one mirrors the other, by the way). Anyway, at the end of summer we had our HVAC guy come in and service our two roof top units. I ‘assumed’ that he had gone through the whole system and we were ready for winter. Not even close. We had two weeks of below freezing temperatures and toward the end of the second week one of the ‘same model transmitters’ decided to drop to 40% power out (the other unit thought 107% would work). Of course, I went up to the Butte to check things out.
It was 25 degrees at the site, and I opened the door to 34 degrees (inside temp). The fluorescent lights had a sign that said come back in the summer (i.e. they refused to light). The one transmitter was flat getting down the road at high power, and the other was feeling weak and puny. First thing was to find out why the HVAC was not heating the building. It seems our guy didn’t bother to reset the controllers. At that point, I just kicked both roof top units to full heating mode.
Right around the 50 to 52 degree point the first transmitter hit 110% and the broken/frozen one dumped into recycle mode, screamed, and came up to 95% power. The sound reminded me of a old G.E. television transmitter I used to babysit. I did become worried at this point. I did, however, get lucky, as no real damage had been done. What had happened was the solid state IPA had gotten so cold it went into parasitic mode. It’s just by pure luck that it didn’t self-destruct.
Once it got warm, it settled down and became an amplifier again. I am happy to report that this one unit is still alive and well, and operating as it should. While keeping a eye on it, I went through the setup on both HVAC systems and made sure they cycled properly. I could have made the set point 60 degrees, but opted for 63 degree startup and 65 degree cutoff, with the A/C start point at 74 degrees.
Next spring, I will roll the heat back to a new point and bring the A/C down to what we normally run it; but for now, as you pointed out, the goal is to keep the building warm.
I had a similar issue in Wyoming, but since it was an all tube rig, only the control circuits died. That meant pulling the boards and putting them in the pickup to get them warm enough to run.
Anyway, that’s my stories of cold vs. electronics.” – Mike Payne, Twin Falls, ID
This is similar to several stories and situations I’ve encountered over the years – keeping things warm enough is as important as keeping them cool enough. Thanks for the story, Mike – we’ll make sure to put something in the mail for you!
Come to the NUG Session at NAB
With NAB coming on us like a freight train (the marketing folks are running around with that “deer in the headlights” look), I figured I’d take a moment to offer a shameless plug – our annual Nautel Users’ Group session is being held on April 15th at the Riviera, starting at 9:00 am and running until 1:00 pm.
There will be sessions on everything from what we’ve got up our sleeves, to how to work on the stuff you already have. Plus, a bonus session for AUI users to be held right after a hot lunch served compliments of Nautel.
If you’re going to be in Vegas with nothing to do on Sunday morning and you’ve never been to the NUG at NAB, sign up – we’d love to see you there!
Jeff Welton, has worked with Nautel for 25+ years. He is currently the Nautel Sales Manager for U.S. Central Region but previously he spent 16.5 years as a Nautel Customer Service Technician.
Submissions for this Tips ‘n Tricks column are encouraged and if published you’ll receive a Nautel T-shirt. Submissions should be typed and emailed, with high resolution photos, to [email protected] using the subject line Tips ‘n Tricks.