Some additional thoughts here:
On Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 2:19 PM, wpio-fm <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
If you were asking this over on BC you'd be getting responses that include other brands along with Nautel.
Not so sure about that. I hang around both and suspect the overwhelming response would be about the same, mostly Nautel with a few GatesAir fans chiming in, and everybody else "also ran".
I'm a fan of Nautel too, (bought NV15, 3ea NV10's and numerous VS1's) but they fail like all brands. Service and warranty is tops, but it's likely that Harris/Gates and others have equal reputations.
Just had my first dealings with Nautel over a failed power supply in an NV20LT. Only problem was somehow they shipped two power supplies instead of one. Not sure how that happened but we got the part we needed. The transmitter has been on the air about eighteen months with zero issues.
One of my regional colleagues uses strictly GatesAir, and has put in several of the new Flexiva boxes. He really likes them and considers the GatesAir support to be top notch.
I have a Bext/RVR 5kW transmitter at one of my sites that was a warehoused purchase on the pre-owned market. The transmitter was apparently an NAB show floor model that was purchased by a customer in Texas and never installed. It sat in the original shipping crate for over five years. We knew there was some risk involved but it has turned out to be more heartburn than we anticipated. The current RVR is basically the same transmitter, and my transmitter just plain does not run at any power level. The 80V power supply just shuts down after you press the button and the contactors pull in.
I've been working with RVR support to sort it out but each time I've called we've gotten to the end of our call without a resolution. It's a good thing the old box runs OK. It had a failed IPA module and the exciter was questionable so I asked the owner to replace the thirty year old box. In the interim, we ended up with an Elenos 150 that is driving the tube section of the old transmitter nicely to full power while I continue to get a day here and a day there to work on the Bext/RVR box. There is a bit of a language barrier that makes these support sessions difficult in a noisy transmitter room environment. I'm sure we'll get it conquered but it's taking much more time than any of us expected. If the supply was not all microprocessor managed maybe it would be easier to troubleshoot, but it's just not intuitive and the documentation isn't quite as good as I expect from our US manufacturers.
I think this experience falls under "you get what you pay for" but this was a transmitter with fifteen hours on it. I've had a total of 30 minutes at 1kW of success. The rest of the time it's been a non-stop fight with the transmitter winning every round, and the support, while enthusiastic and hopeful, has not been effective in reaching the solution. I wonder what they would do if a NEW transmitter purchaser called with my issues? The controller and power supply are the same today as the box I have that is several years old.
A suggestion I have for Nautel, next time I'm asked, is that the Network Adapter be a separate replaceable module instead of embedded into the motherboard. If you get lightening (not Nautel's fault of course) on your cat 5/6 you'll be doing your Nautel settings from the front panel.
Second this. Seems like a lot of risk, but I've been fortunate so far. Maybe my new site with fresh grounds has been helpful compared with retrofitting into an older site.
I've got only two of the Nautel boxes, both NVLT series. I'm really a fan so far as my two stations with the boxes have only ever been off the air when the power has gone out (or I've had to do a major software update).