Nautel q20 questions

FM does it with frequency!
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Nathaniel Steele
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Nautel q20 questions

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

So in my continuing search for a used solid state 15-20KW transmitter for one of our other markets, a Nautel Q20 has possibly come availible. I am told it worked when removed 15 years ago, and could probably use some power supply re-capping. its on 90.1 and I need to go to 91.9, I'm told there is a procedure for retuning these, not just a front panel frequency change. WE also would like to dump our phase converter and run on single phase, this q20 is currently on three phase so I'd need to know if it can be converted.

I do intend to call nautel once I get a seriel number, but I know jeff is on this board often and maybe some of you know as well.

Also the question of Fair market value needs to be answered...I know about waht people want for used tube TX in this range, but I see so few solid states come up I'm not sure. I know what a new GV20 would cost.....

As always, Thank you!
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davek
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Re: Nautel q20 questions

Post by davek »

You're right. The frequency change procedure is rather involved according to Nautel's published information sheet IS04019.
It also appears conversion from 3-phase to single phase is not very straight forward either, requiring changing the power supply modules (3-phase and single phase are different part numbers), also you'd need to find a NASR109 external choke assembly module. Seems it might be easier to retain the phase converter.

Also, in addition to getting the serial number also ask for the "NARF" number as it will help identify the hardware revision/variant.
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Re: Nautel q20 questions

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

Dave you are correct, different PSU's. Nautel has none in stock, and said it would cost more than anew transmitter to purchase the 18 new PSU's required for single phase operation. so either the phase converters stays (or is replaced by a new one) or the POCO gets three phase out to the building (Not sure if this is feasible).

Also nautel wanted a $500 deposit to provide a quote for retuning, and said it could not be done in the field that I'd have to send the combiner to them. I get that there is probably some work to be done to get an accurate quote, but $500 is no trivial amount in this current economic climate. I'm trying to see if they can give me a ballpark range to see if it's worth going any further.

Thanks for the info Dave.
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Re: Nautel q20 questions

Post by Kelly »

Unfortunately that's one of the sucky things I ran across trying to source replacement switching power supplies. The manufacturer of the supplies won't sell direct to end users because of an agreement with Nautel. Otherwise, the cost would be 50% less. I get it, Nautel is a business, but most other manufacturers don't mind if I source a power supply from Newark or Digikey.
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RFWarrior
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Re: Nautel q20 questions

Post by RFWarrior »

Sorry for jumping in so late on this - you'd think with no travel, I'd have more time available... I thought that, anyway! Nope, not so. :)

A couple things - yeah, the Q series was the last fixed tuned FM product line we built. They can be tuned in the field - but it takes a lot of fairly precise test equipment and parts that I haven't yet encountered all together at once outside our facilities. Support tends to resist folks doing it themselves and the success rate is really low and the support costs really high.

The same reasoning is applied to frequency changes - for example, there's an AMPFET50 in local storage that came out of a Halifax station that flipped to FM. It's owned by a used equipment broker and we have been contact 15 times - no exaggeration - to quote frequency changes. Each time, somebody goes through the procedure, tallies up the parts required, verifies against the transmitter version, checks current pricing, going out for quote if in house prices are more than 3 months old, then prepares and sends the quote. Total time, 4-6 hours. Response - 95% of the time, crickets. Until the next call. So the quote fee was put in place. It is applied against the parts order if the quote is accepted and parts ordered. For what it's worth, and I'm throwing a dart at a board here, with the frequency sensitive cables, in house tuning of the combiner, etc., it wouldn't surprise me if a quote came in well over 10k, possibly edging toward 15 or so. Again, that's a wild guess.

On the supplies themselves, that's a fairly common restriction... although I'd be surprised if we put the clause in there, most of the restrictions are set by the OEMs. It's why we're not able to provide parts lists or schematics for outsourced power supplies - because we don't have them. Not my choice, but part of the ongoing juggling act between serviceability, cost, and availability. I've learned more about that since moving to sales than I ever wanted to know!

Best,
Jeff
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Deep Thought (Mon May 10, 2021 9:15 am) • Nathaniel Steele (Mon May 17, 2021 4:02 pm)
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Nathaniel Steele
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Re: Nautel q20 questions

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

Thanks Jeff,

I Made a guess and came up with a total to get on the air. It made the owner re-consider new. Last I heard he got a quote from Gates-Air, already had one from Nautel. I, and the market engineer, would both prefer the new Nautel. Owner is more likely to buy whichever is cheaper....
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