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Harris Assists Oregon Digital Transition

Dennis Hunt

EUGENE, ORE.:—Chambers Communications Corp. is the parent company of four Oregon television stations, and we’ve been working for some time to make a July 2012 deadline for transitioning our 12 translator sites from analog to digital.

Chambers is seeking an NTIA grant to upgrade the sites, ensuring that the majority of viewers in each of these areas that we serve can receive DTV signals, with equipment having to be purchased, installed and licensed before the grant can be made. We selected Harris to help us meet this challenging deadline, and they came through, delivering 14 DTV transmitters within 30 days of our order.

We’ve been a long-time Harris customer, beginning with a 30 kW analog transmitter in 1978, and have long been impressed with Harris’ customer support. And we were eagerly awaiting their entry into the low-power market.

We selected a mix of 10 100-Watt Maxiva UAX models for our UHF sites, along with two Platinum VAX models for the VHF sites. Maxiva Compact Class UAX gap-filler transmitters were also added to a couple of our locations.

It’s important to note that these are actual transmitters, not translators. The UAX and VAX models are outfitted with Harris Apex exciter technology, with full autocorrection capabilities for linear and nonlinear distortion to maximize the power and quality of our off-air signals. This was very important, as the cleaner the signal from the transmitter site, the better the reception will be for our viewers.

Reception quality is always a concern on the outer edges of the market with DTV transmission. Every additional dB of signal that I can gain at the transmitter in signalto- noise ratio gives our viewers a better chance of cleanly receiving our broadcasts with their rabbit ears and 20-year-old outdoor antenna system.

The transmitters purchased for this project feature an air-cooled design, which is ideal for our sites with their remote locations and compact shelters. To make cooling system maintenance easier, units are equipped with replaceable fans that can be quickly serviced in the field.

Serviceability is a big benefit of the Maxiva and Platinum design. The power amplifier modules are all hot-swappable, and the designs use the same driver modules. This means I can carry a single module as a spare that can be used across the systems.

The Harris Compact Class was perfect for two of our remote locations, due to site power and cooling limitations. The Compact Class UAX models operate reliably, require less power and space, and still provide all the performance features of the Maxiva line. The transmitters incorporate Harris’s PowerSmart architecture for maximum operating efficiency.

Harris supplied not only our transmitters, but a complete turnkey transmission solution, including antennas and transmission line, as well as receivers to convert primary station ATSC signals into ASI for exciter processing.

We are benefitting from the serviceability, reliability and technical support—three areas where Harris really excels. They are there for us when we need them.

Dennis Hunt has been with Chambers Communications for 38 years. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Harris North America sales at 800-231- 9673 or