Harris Z16HD

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Harris Z16HD

Post by jcaravella »

My station has a chance to purchase an 05 Harris Z16HD (replacing an HT25.) It's increasingly difficult to find tubes for the HT25 and we'd like to see some power savings, plus the chance to move towards HD.

This is the first time I've had to replace a transmitter and was looking for any advice on things to be aware of in this unit and a general idea of the price point on it given the age.
Town to town, up and down the dial.
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Re: Harris Z16HD

Post by Kelly »

They're pretty solid transmitters. A couple things to consider with the installation:

1. All the Z-series transmitters have a blow-through cooling system, where a big fan in the rear door flows air through the Power supplies, IPA, PA, and combiner out the top. The air volume is high, but the pressure is fairly low. If your existing tube transmitter is ducted over the PA cavity to outdoors, you likely would have to enlarge the duct size with a wide-to-tapered hood over the transmitter to reduce flow restrictions, or install a scavenger fan in the duct to help carry heat out of the duct to outside.

2. Make sure your new-to-you transmitter has had all the firmware updates installed. If not, then make sure those are completed before putting it on the air. One of the updates may involve a replacement processor chip.

3. If the transmitter is shipped with the power supply outside the cabinet, you will be connecting the main DC lines as you slide the supply tray into the transmitter. It's REALLY heavy, so you'll only want to connect it once. Another suggestion related to the power supply: Use some blue Locktite on the big DC supply lug nuts. Don't get Locktite on the mated surfaces, just a little on the nut threads. The vibration has been known to loosen those nuts on the Z16.

4. If you don't have it already, a good surge arrestor on your AC incoming lines is a must. If you can afford a Silicone Avalanche Diode-style unit, even better. MOV's will work, but ultimately sacrifice themselves in a single surge, rendering them ineffective during consecutive surges. This is especially important if you have a backup generator. Switching from generator back to utility is a pretty substantial voltage spike.

Other than those little items, it's pretty straightforward.
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Re: Harris Z16HD

Post by DaveSt »

I am not sure how you would ship one of these beasts with the power supply crate installed! As Kelly says, you only want to install it once, so it is worth checking for tap faults. Hopefully you will be able to see it operating before it is moved. Have a look in the fault log for PS Tap faults. Note the details of any that do show. You can then check/replace any faulty SCR's and fuses on the crate before it is re-installed. You can usually measure with a meter and compare with adjacent devices to find the faulty one. There could be more than one faulty, so check the lot. Apart from that, replace exciter fans if possible and check the airflow calibration. These are good transmitters and can still have a long life expectancy with a bit of care.
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Re: Harris Z16HD

Post by W9PXZ »

One thing to be aware of in the Z series is that the compression connectors on the ends of its MANY ribbon cables can start to go intermittent with age. The IDC pins tend to develop a touch of corrosion and undesired things happen.

Just something to keep in mind if you get a wonky problem that makes no sense. They are a solid transmitter otherwise.
Mike Dinger
Wilmington, NC
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