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PiliPili FM Mambo Moto Moto

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PiliPili Media Chooses Nautel VS Series Transmitters: Here's Why…

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The story of PiliPili began about a year back when the PiliPili media board directors sought a systems integration company to set up their proposed studios and transmission facilities in the port town of Mombasa, Kenya. The search led to the appointment of Frame x Frame Productions - a Nairobi based audio Systems Integration company as system contractors one chilly June morning in 2011 and the wheels of the project began to grind in earnest… resulting in a big switch on to PILIPILI FM 99.5 in Mombasa and 92.5 in Malindi in early March 2012. Both went on air with Nautel transmitter units from the VS Series, a 2.5 kW for Mombasa and a 1.0 kW for Malindi…both feeding Shively Antenna model 6812B HP Systems.

Asked why he chose Nautel transmitters over other big name brands that are well represented in the Kenyan market, Karani Andrew, Frame x Frame Technical Projects Director says, "Nautel represents the best of many worlds: traditional solid build and reliability, tomorrow’s future proof connectivity and today's affordability in a rapidly expanding FM radio market."

Two PiliPili FM engineers, Salim Shatry and Ebrahim Abaker, viewing the AUI of the Nautel VS2.5 transmitter (installed right) on their laptop at the Mombasa transmitter site.

He goes on to state, “Nautel is the only transmitter manufacturer I know that will offer you a 5U 2.5 kW TX unit that will connect up to a composite (MPX) feed, a L+R baseband feed and take audio from an internet streaming source or a back up flash drive…all straight out of the box for a price that makes system integrators nod with relief as they explain the deal to their clients."

"The internet connectivity was an especially important feature for our set up: for via this facility a back up studio link was established to a remote transmitter site, the VS2.5 and VS1 transmitter units acquired can be interrogated and adjusted via its easy to use user interface and the back up flash disk can be updated as well."

"Add to that the fact that representation in Africa came from the partnership with MSG Afrika Technologies (Pty) Ltd, and Vaughan Taylor, an RF engineer/project manager with over two decades experience installing TX units in the ruggedness of Africa and the RF solutions package was complete for us."

The remote Malindi transmitter site, where the Nautel VS1 transmitter is located inside a shipping container, in an extremely rural part of the Kenyan coastline.

It's interesting to note that the name "PiliPili" is the Kiswahili word for pepper and was chosen to position PiliPili FM as the latest and hottest addition to the Mombasa FM radio landscape; hot music, hot topical debates, hot news and hot presenters. The station's on air strap "mambo moto moto" translates roughly to "things are HOT around here" or "this is HOT stuff!" and used to present the station as a source of "current, catchy and relevant" themes in music and talk.

Andrew's concludes, "Those who have heard PiliPili FM on the air comment on the loud, consistent signal – a dial dominance that is hard to beat for the money and a definite credit and selling point for the PiliPili brand. How do I get to sound like that? That is almost always the follow-up question."

Karani Andrew
Technical Projects Director
Frame x Frame Productions
Nairobi, Kenya

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