Skip to main content

e2v IOT Keeps WSLS-TV at Full Strength

- This IOT is one of the many power tubes that e2v stocks for overnight delivery.
WSLS-TV operates with a Harris Sigma UHF two-cabinet transmitter that was installed in 2005. Last fall, one of the IOTs failed after some 40,000 hours of service, forcing us operate at half power just before the November sweeps period.

To save money, we decided to try a rebuilt replacement tube which, hopefully, would suffice until a new one could be purchased. However, we couldn't get the rebuilt tube to work. We hired a consultant who couldn't find any problems with the installation, but we still couldn't get the tube to do anything but constantly "crowbar."

We requested a replacement tube, but the company had none that fit our transmitter.

I then called Mark Strohecker, broadcast and sitcom sales manager for e2v, explained our situation to him, and how close we were getting to the November sweeps. He was very understanding, and made arrangements to get a new tube delivered to us overnight.

Unlike our experience with the first replacement tube, this IOT worked right out of the crate and we were once again operating at full licensed power in just about an hour. Needless to say, everyone at the station was very pleased.

My experiences with e2v proved quite educational. I found that their technicians test all tubes at full power after they're constructed and any tubes that have been in storage are always gas checked prior to shipping.

Another lesson learned is that it's extremely important to have a qualified individual such as an OEM transmitter engineer, consultant, or e2v engineer on-site to help install power tubes unless you've had special training and do this on a regular basis. The IOT that failed came with the transmitter and really hadn't been touched in the five years since it was installed. There are many details that could be missed when installing a tube if someone doesn't work at this full time.

Out new e2v IOT has worked flawlessly since we put it in service and I'm very thankful the decision was made to call e2v's Mark. e2v stocks many spare tubes and is almost always able to meet customer demands for overnight delivery. Making sure stations remain on the air is a top priority for the company and they offer a 24-hour technical support hotline to assist station personnel whenever it's needed. Our other original five-year-old IOT is still hanging in there, but when it does decide to call it quits, you can be sure I'll be on the phone with e2v to order a replacement.

Ricky Williams has been with WSLS-TV since 1997. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact e2v at 800-342-5338 or