Nautel NV10LT

FM does it with frequency!
JustMe
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Nautel NV10LT

Post by JustMe » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:56 pm

Gentlemen, what is your opinion of the Nautel NV10LT? We recently installed one. So far, so good. Thru software, the thing seems to monitor every conceivable parameter there is and then some, plus Nautel can remotely bring up the transmitter and help in the trouble shooting process. On air sound is great. So far, tech support has been outstanding and the techs seem to know their product.. Up until recently, I was pretty much a Gates/Harris fan. However, since the new outfit took over the Gates transmitter line, I have had a couple of bad experiences parts wise and tech support wise.

taylorengineer
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by taylorengineer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:05 pm

I have two GV40s and I love them! The first has been on for around two years, it was one of the first, and the second for around 3 months.
The user interface is the best out there. Compare the Nautel GUI to the Flexiva...it's not even close!! The Nautel interface gives you practically every operational parameter imaginable. I save screenshots weekly of the controller page...the exciter pages...the RF section...and Nautel is supposedly collecting this information on a big server somewhere if you have the "Call Home" feature enabled.
Nautel is THE cutting edge transmitter manufacturer today and I'm glad I have their boxes. The stations I work for full time have Flexivas and I have to say those beasties have been trouble free, too! You really can't go wrong with either choice.

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Deep Thought
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by Deep Thought » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:24 pm

Not a fan of the front panel myself, but someone in Nova Scotia cost-engineered it down to the same Crystalfontz display module they use on the VS series FMs, their IBOC "HD" products and soon to be on the lower power AMs. You shouldn't have to hook up a computer to easily control and monitor a transmitter. They've also had a bunch of power supply failures on the GV series boxes and since that part is shared with the NVs expect trouble.

Tech support has been hit and miss. I get tired of arguing with their end when I need parts and they want to start at "is it plugged in?" :roll:
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

TPT
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by TPT » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:29 pm

We've had a Nautel NV10LT for a little less than a year and a half. One Pa module (actually one of the amps inside) failure. Pulled the module out, un-soldered five wires, dropped in the new amp, soldered it up, plugged the module back in. Transmitter? Dropped down to 5 KW when I slid out the module, grunted and came back up when returned the repaired module. Oh--everything under warranty. 4 year warranty.

We have a combined site, heating/cooling heat pump. But we still noticed an immediate reduction in the electric bills after replacing our old Harris 10K with the Nautel. And--while certainly not recommended--it will even run with a missing phase in the three phase!

I wasn't there--former business partner, who is retired but still part of the company--usually stops by around lunch time most days. He heard the (single phase) generator running--transfer panel showed we were fed by the generator. So he went out to the transmitter building & found our three-phase NV10Lt happily purring along at around 5 kw with one phase missing. I talked him through getting our 1 kw back-up on, which then opens the interlock on the main transmitter.

Front panel: I just put an old computer in the bottom of the rack, and mounted a small monitor and keyboard on a rack shelf. Can't see spending extra $$$ for a built in touch-screen monitor that will just become a maintenance headache down the road. If the old computer dies, I can find another to take its place. Same with the little LCD monitor. Since we are a combined site, I can also pull up the transmitter on our house network.

Main gripe? Those plastic twist do-hickies that hold the front and back panels on. I have to use a pair of needle nose pliers to get them back in place.

Harris? Helped another station install a 5 kw Flexiva. The installation manual was a joke--the three phase instructions were written for three phase 440 hookup. Once it ran for a while, the controller decided it didn't trust the forward sample, so it kept trying to ramp up power until the transmitter would dump. Harris decided the exciter software needed to be updated--they had to send the exciter back to Quincy. Unfortunately, the exciter is so integrated into the transmitter, the only substitute was to kluge in a 20 year old Digit exciter from a HT-10.

Wouldn't touch a Harris after working with the Nautel.

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RFWarrior
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by RFWarrior » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:15 am

Deep Thought wrote:They've also had a bunch of power supply failures on the GV series boxes and since that part is shared with the NVs expect trouble.

Tech support has been hit and miss. I get tired of arguing with their end when I need parts and they want to start at "is it plugged in?" :roll:
I'm not familiar with power supply failures on the GV series boxes. Any NVLT power supply issues I've seen have almost always (not 100%, but mostly) been site related. We did have lots of issues with the Tectrol supplies used in the original NV series, but the Lineage(GE) supplies in the GV and NVLT have been pretty darned solid. Where are you getting this info, Mark?

Tech support follows the industry - we're finding we have to work a lot harder at not letting our customers fry themselves, so the conversations tend to get dumbed down a lot and customers who do know what they're doing get frustrated. I apologize for that - but having spent three hours on the phone with an engineer who should have known better, only to discover the exciter was unplugged (old AMPFET 50 transmitter, with separate power supply for the exciter), I'm not sure that "is it plugged in" isn't a good place to start. :)
Jeff Welton
Regional Sales Manager - Central U.S.
Nautel
Toll free: 1-877-662-8835, ext. 5127
Halifax Number: 902-823-5127
Quincy Number: 217-919-0189
Cell: 902-489-1635
jwelton@nautel.com

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Deep Thought
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by Deep Thought » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:45 pm

RFWarrior wrote:Where are you getting this info, Mark?
Two separate clients separated by two time zones. But this was a year ago so maybe things have gotten better.
RFWarrior wrote:I'm not sure that "is it plugged in" isn't a good place to start. :)
When I'm standing there looking at a clearly misconfigured or dead power supply or inoperable front panel buttons I don't need someone who can barely speak English refusing to just send me the damn part without going through 20 minutes of questions he doesn't even know the answer to himself. I've said it before...you folks need some kind of 'frequent user number' which bypasses this nonsense and just gets us to the bottom line, which is: we have already done the troubleshooting and need to have Nautel send what we need to get the transmitter back on the air. You're better than that.
Mark Mueller • Mueller Broadcast Design • La Grange, IL • http://www.muellerbroadcastdesign.com

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Dale H. Cook
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by Dale H. Cook » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:29 am

Deep Thought wrote:...you folks need some kind of 'frequent user number' which bypasses this nonsense and just gets us to the bottom line ...
It sometimes helps to know who to ask for. I have a number of ND and XL series transmitters in the field, and since Jeff moved to sales I have learned to ask for Steve Braley when I need help with those series. In general the younger Nautel techs have little to no practical experience with those series, which have long been out of production. I occasionally get called in to work on those series when a station has 1) a young engineer with little experience with those series (I have been working with those series for about 25 years) and 2) that young engineer has a day job that prevents his being on site to call during Steve's working hours (this is my day job so I can be there to call Steve).

For later series yes, it might be nice to have a way to deal with Nautel techs that informs them that they are dealing with an experienced engineer, and not, say, a station manager or PD.
Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA
http://plymouthcolony.net/starcityeng/index.html

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RFWarrior
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by RFWarrior » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:10 pm

Deep Thought wrote:I've said it before...you folks need some kind of 'frequent user number'
I'm thinking "Shibboleet" - but wait, that's been done... http://xkcd.com/806/.

I do get your point, though - back when it was just me, it was easier, because I spoke to everybody, so I was able to learn who knew how much (or didn't) and adjust future responses whenever I heard from them. Now, with 10+ techs handling nearly 20 times the calls - and the trend shifting in a major way to IT folks (or non-engineers), that's getting to be a much bigger challenge. Having a "frequent frier number" would be a useful thing.
Jeff Welton
Regional Sales Manager - Central U.S.
Nautel
Toll free: 1-877-662-8835, ext. 5127
Halifax Number: 902-823-5127
Quincy Number: 217-919-0189
Cell: 902-489-1635
jwelton@nautel.com

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davek
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by davek » Wed May 17, 2017 5:56 am

Sorry to revive an old topic (and this is mostly directed at Jeff) .. is there any service information available for the old Tectrol power supplies used in the NV series? I've been repairing and modifying a bunch of them (replacing the awful green semiconductor insulators with proper silicon pads), and it would be nice to have any information available.

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RFWarrior
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by RFWarrior » Fri May 19, 2017 10:16 am

davek wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 5:56 am
.. is there any service information available for the old Tectrol power supplies used in the NV series?
From us, no - it was part of the agreement with the former Tectrol that service information wasn't part of the deal. I assume they didn't want us to start building them ourselves! However, CUI (current owners of Tectrol) do a flat rate repair for the UG69 - NV series power supplies - for around 150.00 (this is the number that was floated by me, but I haven't seen anything in writing, so can't guarantee it). Not sure if they'll provide service info to end users or not, but that still makes a pretty good deal compared to our 450.00 replacement price.
Jeff Welton
Regional Sales Manager - Central U.S.
Nautel
Toll free: 1-877-662-8835, ext. 5127
Halifax Number: 902-823-5127
Quincy Number: 217-919-0189
Cell: 902-489-1635
jwelton@nautel.com

Tom Osenkowsky
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by Tom Osenkowsky » Wed May 31, 2017 6:54 pm

My post is going to be about Nautel in general, not specifically the NV10LT with which I have no experience. Some years ago I had to replace a Harris FM3.5K at a University station. I had planned to purchase a Harris solid state transmitter. Due to the physical configuration of the transmitter and the size and orientation of the small transmitter room I would have to knock down a wall with telephone cabling distribution boxes attached. This would have been costly and time consuming. I went to the NAB Show and noticed Nautel debuted the V5d transmitter. Yes it was more expensive but size mattered. I recommended the purchase based on the fact that the wall could remain, the transmitter would fit into the slot occupied by a defunct 1 KW transmitter and it was approved.
I did notice some cracked resistors in the PA modules which Nautel replaced at no charge post warranty. I did have a power supply failure which was cured by replacement. I was impressed with the quality and speed of service. I had another station which added an FM translator for an AM station. I purchased a VS300. I had a question regarding the interface which was immediately answered by Tech Support and the box has been very reliable and sounds great.

I agree with Jeff in that you never know the competence, experience and judgement of the person requesting technical assistance. In tech support there is the technical side and the business/liability side of the equation. I had one owner who I did not know actually thank me for refusing to tell him how to bypass door interlocks so he could measure internal voltages. I did not wish to be responsible for any injury or worse. It's a different world out there.

I cannot speak with experience on the newer Harris offerings. OTOH I do see in another post that another manufacturer's tech support does not have schematics or parts list for one of their products. Am I inclined to purchase or recommend purchase? You be the judge of that!

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davek
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by davek » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:50 am

RFWarrior wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 10:16 am
davek wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 5:56 am
.. is there any service information available for the old Tectrol power supplies used in the NV series?
From us, no - it was part of the agreement with the former Tectrol that service information wasn't part of the deal. I assume they didn't want us to start building them ourselves! However, CUI (current owners of Tectrol) do a flat rate repair for the UG69 - NV series power supplies - for around 150.00 (this is the number that was floated by me, but I haven't seen anything in writing, so can't guarantee it). Not sure if they'll provide service info to end users or not, but that still makes a pretty good deal compared to our 450.00 replacement price.
Thanks for the response Jeff. I'm having good success repairing these supplies without any service info .. which is good because I have quite a pile of them to get through. 8)
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Pile o' PSUs

Lefty
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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by Lefty » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:51 pm

For reliability and for customer service you cant go past Nautel

I have a NV5LT and I put a VS300 as an exciter into our BE 5C and got rid of the horrid FXI250

Nautel's motto should be "It just works"

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Re: Nautel NV10LT

Post by mbrockm » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:22 pm

We have had an NV30 for about 7 years. Had a problem at first blowing PA module 7. After we installed a shorting stub next to the output that problem ended. Now we just go thru a power supply or two a year. Fixed a couple by cleaning the bug juice out of the fan. If anyone (davek) has any tips on repairing them would save some $$. Mine seem to be blowing the power supply line fuses. Is there a common part which fails in these supplies causing the fuse to blow.
The NV30 transmitter has been overall very reliable. The remote interface is great. Nice when you can look at the screen and id the failure. Pretty to close to PHD (push here dummy) technology. I have heard Nautel is working on a mobile app. Which would be nice to get around the flash player problem with android browsers.
I have had pretty good response from support. I normally use support email. Usually I get a response withing a few hours of sending.
I was a Harris and Collins person for years. Starting with MW1 and FM25K. Great boxes back then. Nautel has a good rating from me so far.
Mark Brockmeyer
KMA Engineering

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RGORJANCE
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Re: Nautel NV10LT P/S FUSES

Post by RGORJANCE » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:01 pm

Going out on a limb here, but I dun that many times.

Had more than a couple instances where I had recurring fuses getting blown. I traced them to the fuse clips that they sat it. I would suggest you test the tensions of the clips by exercising them with a fuse to insure they are pretty snug. Second thing is if these are the clips that bolt in, make sure the hardware is snugged up tight. The clip has a slight bump in the center by the bolt hole that provides additional tension when tight.

I inherited a DX-10 that had a history of blowing a particular fuse associated with a module. When it happened to me, I discovered that the clip was really loose. After snugging it up, the problem went away.

Fossil

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