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Timely and Meticulous Tech Support gets VS300LP On-Air after Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma knocked out a ton of radio stations in Florida, some with serious issues keeping them off the air for going on a week after the storm. My little FM survived quite well by comparison, but did go off the air for what was initially an audio loss. It was accompanied by the internet connection at the transmitter site shutting down, and remaining down until five days after mother nature spent her fury in Florida.

Unfortunately, without internet, the remote-control capability of the Nautel VS300LP transmitter was lost, as was any control over programming and studio transmitter link (STL). An alternate method of streaming program content from the studio was implemented on day two of the recovery process, but the audio problem with the transmitter remained unknown for three more days.

WMTB-LP Nautel VS Transmitter Troubleshooting

An engineer was not available, and so late on September 13, 2017 I called the 24/7 Nautel Support line for help. An understanding of how to approach the troubleshooting process was carefully and meticulously laid out by Nautel Tech Support specialist, Joey Kloss, in a telephone consultation, eventually leading to successful navigation of transmitter presets and a return to air. The internet followed the next day, and now Irma and her wrath is history for this low power non-profit operator. It can only be wished the same for the rest of the radio community here so savagely attacked by a cruel storm.

On Friday, September 15, 2017, I wrote the following note of thanks to the folks at Nautel...

Just a word of thanks for your timely and helpful telephone support helping me to restore my LPFM in St Petersburg, Florida back to normal broadcast operations following Hurricane Irma. My conversation with your tech support rep, Joey Kloss, gave me just the information I needed to track down the problem that had knocked us off the air, and to implement a solution. Without his carefully thought out advice and suggestions, I doubt if I would have been able to successfully recover from the storm damage anytime soon.


Rick Crandall, WMTB-LP
St Petersburg, FL, USA

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