David Fort and one of the Linear transmitters used by the Daystar Television Network INDIANAPOLIS—Daystar Television Network is an international ministry employing satellite, cable, terrestrial broadcasting and streaming video to convey its message worldwide. We operate some 100 television stations in the United States alone.
In 2006 Daystar received a production prototype AT7200 digital transmitter from Linear Industries which was used for about four months as a market reference test unit. We’d agreed to this plan knowing that Linear would replace and update the transmitter if the purchase was approved. After a satisfactory trial, Linear replaced it with its first production DTV transmitter sold in the United States. We operated this transmitter under an STA until November 2008 and the completion of a new transmitter site.
In 2007, WDTI replaced its tube-type analog transmitter with a Linear 1 kW unit. WDTI’s previous owner had been operating at the minimum power level for a full-power license, and as the station’s pre-transition assignment was Channel 69, our power increase application was caught in an FCC freeze, so the 1 kW transmitter remained in service until the transition was finished.
CAN’T KEEP A GOOD TRANSMITTER DOWN
As a testimony to the technical support offered by the Linear team, when this analog transmitter was severely damaged by a utility company power surge that followed a lightning strike and power outage (miraculously the digital unit wasn’t affected), Linear technicians were able to restore the unit to full power within 18 hours after calling for help. The cause of the power surge was never determined, but it was so severe that the building’s surge protectors had to be replaced and a co-located station lost a good deal of its equipment.
This repaired transmitter was later retuned for service in the post-transition channel allotments and placed into service at a Daystar low-power television station.
Since these initial experiences with Linear equipment, I’ve installed three additional Linear transmitters, with power levels ranging from 500 Watts to 2 kW for the Daystar Television Network. All of these installations have gone smoothly.
A big plus is Linear’s use of a password-protected Web interface, which allows us to conveniently monitor all transmitter parameters. We’ve found the transmitters to be well constructed and extremely reliable. Their automatic precorrection algorithms and circuitry is fast and accurate. Technical support has been readily available and Linear personnel have a solid understanding of the company’s products. Daystar now has some 30 Linear transmitters in service at its U.S. stations.
EXCITERS EXCEL TOO
In addition, Daystar has retrofitted Linear exciters into 30 of its existing transmitters. These exciters have provided excellent performance with both IOT and solid-state transmitters from various manufacturers. In addition to being very easy to set up and maintain, the measurement software provided with the exciters provides confidence monitoring of 8-VSB parameters, saving us the cost of purchasing expensive test equipment for each site.
Daystar is also using Linear’s LEX2410 encoder in connection with our broadcast operations and now have approximately 60 installed. These are as easy to set up and maintain as the company’s transmitter products.
All of our Linear installations are providing a reliable and cost-effective way to reach our viewers, and helping Daystar fulfill its mission in spreading the Gospel throughout the world.
David Fort is chief engineer at Daystar Television Network’s WDTI Television and has been involved in broadcasting since 1968. He may be contacted at David.Fort@Daystar.com.
For additional information, contact Linear Industries—Hitachi Komusai Electric America, Ltd. at 847-428 5793 or visithttp://linear-tv.com.