6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

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AnabolicHippo
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6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by AnabolicHippo » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:45 am

I was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me a ballpark figure for a 6 KW FM Transmitter? I've purchased smaller low power transmitters, so I have a pretty good idea of the price but have never purchased anything more than that.

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by kkiddkkidd » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:12 am

One of my clients bought a Nautel NV7.5LT for about $36k last year.
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Dale H. Cook
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by Dale H. Cook » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:51 am

To follow up on Kevin's post, 48,812 Yugos were sold in 1997, its most successful year. A few years later Ford introduced the Explorer. How many Yugos are on the road today? I don't know, but I traded in my '91 (first model year) Explorer when it was 15 years old and had 202,000 miles on it,

There are cheap transmitters out there that are Yugos - perhaps attractively priced but basically cheap junk. If you want a transmitter that performs very well, is solidly built and conservatively rated, will be supported by the manufacturer for a long time, and will be reliable, buy a Nautel. The last six new transmitters that I have installed (four AM, two FM) were all Nautels, going back about 12 years, and I have had only one Nautel failure not attributable to lightning - that was a tantalum exciter cap that failed when the transmitter was a few months old.

I know stations that cheaped out on new transmitters several years ago and bought Energy-Onix. Some have reliability issues, and since Bernie died there is no factory support. Don't buy a Yugo.
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AnabolicHippo
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by AnabolicHippo » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:31 am

kkiddkkidd wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:12 am
One of my clients bought a Nautel NV7.5LT for about $36k last year.
Dale H. Cook wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:51 am
To follow up on Kevin's post, 48,812 Yugos were sold in 1997, its most successful year. A few years later Ford introduced the Explorer. How many Yugos are on the road today? I don't know, but I traded in my '91 (first model year) Explorer when it was 15 years old and had 202,000 miles on it,

There are cheap transmitters out there that are Yugos - perhaps attractively priced but basically cheap junk. If you want a transmitter that performs very well, is solidly built and conservatively rated, will be supported by the manufacturer for a long time, and will be reliable, buy a Nautel. The last six new transmitters that I have installed (four AM, two FM) were all Nautels, going back about 12 years, and I have had only one Nautel failure not attributable to lightning - that was a tantalum exciter cap that failed when the transmitter was a few months old.

I know stations that cheaped out on new transmitters several years ago and bought Energy-Onix. Some have reliability issues, and since Bernie died there is no factory support. Don't buy a Yugo.
I have a quote from DB Broadcast, we have been running 300w Mozart's for the last 4 years and have found them to be reliable, but the price is sitting at around 15,000 euros. Considering that I have no experience with high power installations, I was wondering if you guys would have any thoughts or experience with DB Broadcast? There's also Elenos being floated around, from my usual supplier, but the price point seems to exceed even the Nautel you are suggesting.

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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by TPT » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:41 pm

Haven't had experience with DB. Nautel will give you a 4 year warranty (last I saw) & their service is pretty good. Canadian company, but they have a shop in Bangor. I have two of them--a 10 NVlt & a VS2.5--on air, and will be putting a VS-300 back on for a translator shortly.

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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by Deep Thought » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:38 pm

It basically comes down to a choice between toilet paper roll transmitters and ones you can fix and keep running instead of throwing them away and tearing off a new one when the old one dies. In the long run you'll spend more on the throwaway option.

Gates Air was running a ridiculous sale earlier, basically 50% off. You might want to check them out before they come to their senses. I'm not really a fan of their stuff but a lot of others are and at those prices you get the best of both worlds.
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by ChuckG » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:28 pm

Elenos makes good stuff. We have a couple of their 5kW FM boxes and they, so far, just run. Not sure I want to try to fix them though, they are tightly packed.
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AnabolicHippo
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by AnabolicHippo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:13 am

Deep Thought wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:38 pm
It basically comes down to a choice between toilet paper roll transmitters and ones you can fix and keep running instead of throwing them away and tearing off a new one when the old one dies. In the long run you'll spend more on the throwaway option.

Gates Air was running a ridiculous sale earlier, basically 50% off. You might want to check them out before they come to their senses. I'm not really a fan of their stuff but a lot of others are and at those prices you get the best of both worlds.
Thanks for the advice, I'm trying to contact someone from Gates to see if I can get a quote. As for the 'toilet paper roll' transmitters, I'm not going to disagree with the sentiment but fall back on the budget as an excuse. Initial quotes that I had received, for that power output, were in the $50,000 range and my boss wasn't happy about it. Looking at a $30,000'ish transmitter, it seemed to go a long way towards solving the problem; my concern is if it is too good to be true. As silly as it is, it feels like people would rather spend less now, even if it means spending more in the future. The only other thing I can think of is to suggest financing over a couple of years; I'd still have to justify the increase in cost.

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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by TPT » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:21 am

Contact Nautel. They can be competitive --compared to Harris/BE, not to some of the Italian makers.

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by Dale H. Cook » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:46 am

AnabolicHippo wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:13 am
... it feels like people would rather spend less now, even if it means spending more in the future.
It is not only a question of spending more in the future, it is a matter of reducing future loss of listeners and revenue. There is so much competition for radio listeners from other sources (satellite radio, MP3 players, online music and information sources) that stations can ill afford to lose listeners or revenue. Buying the best quaity of transmitter doesn't prevent such future loss, but is the best insurance against it.

Bear in mind that transmitter manufacturers do fail. What if you buy a less expensive transmitter and, five years from now, the manufacturer is no longer in business? You may be SOL. Ask any Energy-Onix owner - I know some who pay me top dollar to work on theirs because there is no more factory support. Five years from now Nautel will still be in business.

If you can find a way to finance a Nautel you should do it.
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by RodeoJack » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:00 pm

Just wondering why no mention of BE?

I understand some may want to push them toward the "Yugo" pile, but I have a couple of their STX FM rigs and a whole raft of AM-X variants. Can't say I've had any more trouble with their products than anyone else's and, for the most part, they've run without a much attention... memory batteries and filter washes, mainly.

I've had one PA module and a power supply board fail over the past 5 years. They sent out repair-exchanges immediately. The only other real problem was a low-level power supply in their AM series. They sent out a replacement, which is available off-the-shelf.

I know a couple of engineers who like Harris gear. They say it runs as well as anything else. I'm relatively near a DAX-1, which has given no problems, once the owners were convinced they really did need to wash the dirt off the filters now and then. Can't say I'm a big fan of all the surface-mounted components on their newer controller boards though.

As far as keeping older rigs running... Harris has recently been helpful with a DX-10 frequency change. Continental did a nice job, helping me through figuring out I had a bad fiber-optic sender in an old Power Rock (they also have updated, non-proprietary parts for that), and Nautel (good as gold) has helped keep some very old Ampfet 10s going without so much as a nudge toward their newer transmitters.

Support-wise, I wouldn't say it's a total wasteland out there...

AnabolicHippo
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by AnabolicHippo » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:59 am

Dale H. Cook wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:46 am
AnabolicHippo wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:13 am
... it feels like people would rather spend less now, even if it means spending more in the future.
It is not only a question of spending more in the future, it is a matter of reducing future loss of listeners and revenue. There is so much competition for radio listeners from other sources (satellite radio, MP3 players, online music and information sources) that stations can ill afford to lose listeners or revenue. Buying the best quaity of transmitter doesn't prevent such future loss, but is the best insurance against it.

Bear in mind that transmitter manufacturers do fail. What if you buy a less expensive transmitter and, five years from now, the manufacturer is no longer in business? You may be SOL. Ask any Energy-Onix owner - I know some who pay me top dollar to work on theirs because there is no more factory support. Five years from now Nautel will still be in business.

If you can find a way to finance a Nautel you should do it.
Thanks for the response, I've contacted Nautel and will be including their price, as well as a Gates Air, within my proposal. Because of how our network is put together, this transmitter failing would not mean going off air for a long period of time, but your point is still a good one. I'll try to make the pitch that, given the size of the expense, we should be looking for something that can be maintained in the long run; to avoid having to run into another $30,000+ expense in the near future. Hopefully, the powers at be will see the wisdom in this approach.

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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by kkiddkkidd » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 am

Dale H. Cook wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:46 am

Bear in mind that transmitter manufacturers do fail. What if you buy a less expensive transmitter and, five years from now, the manufacturer is no longer in business?
One of my clients was leaning toward Brand G a while back but after researching the companies (he is after all a financial advisor) became concerned with the financial strength and stability of both Brands G & B at the time and went with Nautel. I hear that GatesAir is more stable now but haven't heard much about BE's situation in a while.

I still have a couple EO transmitters in service and cringe every time one of them hickups... I did that even when Bernie was still around but it's just worse now.
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:03 am

AnabolicHippo wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:59 am
Try to hammer that point home - you will likely be able to use a Nautel significantly longer than any brand other than perhaps Gates and BE (see Kevin's remarks on those brands and my response).
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Re: 6 KW Transmitter Ballpark price

Post by Dale H. Cook » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:21 am

kkiddkkidd wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 am
I hear that GatesAir is more stable now ...
I haven't dealt with any of their product since the split from Harris. I will always recommend Nautel but having some solid competition will keep Hackett's Cove on their toes.
kkiddkkidd wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 am
... but haven't heard much about BE's situation in a while.
I haven't either - I haven't had my hands on one of their products in recent years.
kkiddkkidd wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:46 am
I still have a couple EO transmitters in service and cringe every time one of them hickups... I did that even when Bernie was still around but it's just worse now.
I worked on a one gallon Pulsar a few years ago for a station without a regular engineer, just an on-call tech who could keep most hardware going. When the Pulsar failed he got a mutual friend to look at it who lives about 50 miles from the station (I live about 100 miles away). Although the friend who looked at it is a superb engineer, his 60-hour-a-week day job did not afford him time to fix it so he called me. Although I had not not worked on a Pulsar before I downloaded a manual scan and talked to my fellow engineer about his observations and thoughts. I suspected a bad filter cap in the B+ supply, but my fellow engineer was sure it was something else.

Sure enough, when I got there I checked that cap, and it was bad. When Bernie put that box into production it had a 72 volt brute-force supply with a 100 volt cap. Bernie must have had problems with those boxes not making power, because the one I was working on had a 95 volt supply, but it still had a 100 volt cap. Of course, any significant lightning-induced power-line surge can push the voltage across that cap to breakdown. I ordered and installed a 200 volt cap which should last.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
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