Tim Oakes, Nautel's Supervisor of Final Test

Tim Oakes, Supervisor of Final Test has been with Nautel since June, 1997. He spent over 10 years as a Customer Service Engineer before becoming Supervisor of Final Test in February, 2009.

“Having a Nautel is like having a Bentley and everything else is a Yugo!”

-Ken Kuenzie, President of Viper Communications, Inc. talking about his Nautel transmitters, August 2010.

Read Ken’s winning story Nautel quickly delivers exceptional power and price post KMYK fire.



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How Nautel Tests a Transmitter


Ken Kuenzie of Viper Communications says in this issue’s customer story “Having a Nautel is like having a Bentley and everything else is a Yugo!” But just what is it about having a Nautel transmitter that inspires such comments?

We think it’s a combination of factors, the advanced design and features and superior performance to be sure, but without a fanatical focus on quality, we don’t think we’d be where we are today.

Quality means many things to different people. To some, it’s ISO 9001-2008 certification. To others, it’s the look and feel of our products. To Tim Oakes, Supervisor of Final Test, it means meeting and exceeding performance in hundreds of tests his team makes on each transmitter that ships. Tim is uniquely qualified for his role; after spending 10 years as a customer service engineer he knows very well what it means when a problem makes it to a customer’s site.

What’s special about Nautel’s testing procedure?


Tim Oakes: At Nautel, we verify throughout the manufacturing process, many of our boards and assemblies are inspected and tested before they’re even installed in the final transmitter. Then the transmitter is assembled and inspected again. In Final Test, the transmitter is connected to AC power, test load, and specialized computerized test equipment that thoroughly test all performance specifications and features of the unit. Even with automated test equipment, this can be a time-consuming process; a typical NV transmitter can take 12-18 hours of testing.

Nautel Transmitter-Testing-NV-Series-NV5

NV5 transmitter being tested at the Nautel facility

Any problems that are found are not simply corrected but are studied to ensure they aren’t symptoms of larger problems which might affect other customers. They are corrected at the source of the problem, whether it is a design fault, or a production problem. In a recent example, a defective batch of memory chips was detected and replaced in all affected units, before they left the factory.

Following successful testing, Nautel “burns-in” each transmitter at 110% of rated power for a minimum of 24 hours, and then tests again, and creates a document which includes all critical measurements, spectral plots, and configuration data, which is stored in a database for future reference.

And, our devotion to quality doesn’t end when the transmitter is installed. Months afterwards, our customers are polled on a variety of qualitative and quantitative questions about their experience and Nautel’s Quality Review Board tracks and reviews the feedback frequently for any indications of subtle problems.

We’re not always perfect, but we strive every day for perfection, so that our customers will continue to feel about Nautel and its products the way that Ken Kuenzie does.

Read Ken Kuenzie’s winning customer story about how Nautel quickly delivered exceptional power and price after a fire at his KMYK facility more>>

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