Have you ever had that big box of electronics sitting in a corner of your garage, and thought that someday you might build something cool with it? Normally such stuff just sits there until you tire of it and then sell it in a garage sale. But sometimes, you realize it could be useful and push it into service. That's at least part of the story behind our recent upgrade from 19 kW to our maximum allowed output of 45 kW.
Nine years ago—before I started here—the station discovered that, after placing an order for a transmitter system upgrade, our transmitter building lacked the necessary space for the system. Rather than pay cancellation fees, management went ahead with the purchase and the gear went into storage.
When we de-commissioned our analog transmitter last year, this created space for the second transmitter the station had hoped to install in 2001. And that meant someone would have to rummage through those big crates and assemble and tune all of the components to create the more powerful transmission system.
That someone turned out to be s2one's Mark Hills, a specialist in installing transmission equipment, and someone to whom we've entrusted our projects for the past 10 years.
ASSEMBLING THE 'KIT'
This turned out to be a very complex project. When Hills first arrived, I showed him the large stack of unlabeled and untested pieces that were gathering dust. The RF system manufacturer said that they had "little confidence that these pieces can be assembled and made to work in the field." However, Hills is not just your average transmitter guy.
From start to finish, he demonstrated a high-level of expertise and professionalism coupled with determination to overcome numerous obstacles in helping us install and tune the combiner to work with a second transmitter. By tuning and optimizing the combining system in the field instead of having to ship it back to the manufacturer, Hills saved us both time and money. He also checked out our new antenna and optimized it for our system. In addition, he supplied and installed a new IOT, replacing the tube that he had installed about nine years ago.
Another reason we like working with s2one is that they not only bring along knowledge and expertise, but they have strong industry relationships. We had an arcing problem in going from 19 to 22.5 kW, and Hills, in talking with one of his friends, learned that our socket needed a redesigned loop. Because of his relationship with e2v, they did a special run for us on this out-of-stock item and express shipped it from England.
For the last few years, our customer service folks have fielded a daily call from a viewer at the edge of our coverage area inquiring about the status of our power upgrade. Now that we have a one megawatt ERP, I'm happy to report that she's no longer calling us—instead she's now calling a couple of the other stations in town.
Paul Caryl is the director of engineering at KHQ-TV in Spokane, Washington. He may be contacted email@example.com.
For additional information, contact s2one at 800-270-7050 or visitwww.s2one.com.
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