How much difference can an ATU upgrade make for a station’s performance? A LOT, when you look at this case in point, WPLI-AM in Lynchburg, VA. Owned by Mel Wheeler, Inc., WPLI was in desperate need of a replacement for their old Raytheon ATU (that information alone says how old it is). For some background, WPLI operates on 1390kHz at 5kW carrier power. Kintronic was able to provide a great ATU package to match a Rohn 25 base insulated series fed tower that is 160 feet tall. The ATU package included a painted, weatherproof, all-aluminum housing with with key-locked hinged doors, static drain, arc gap, high quality mica capacitors, silver-plated inductors and interconnecting tubing, a Delta Electronics TCA-20-EXR meter and pre-factory tuning to the theoretical settings prior to shipment.
Not only was the physical improvement dramatic, but according to station engineer Josh Arritt, “the station coverage distance difference before and after is just as dramatic.”
The ATU y’all built for Wheeler’s 1390 WPLI(AM) in Lynchburg has been absolutely stable since we installed it in October. It’s cleared up some transmitter issues for which the previous ATU apparently was to blame. The efficiency gain realized in this new ATU is appreciably noticeable when listening in the field. I’m now able to clearly detect the station in places where before it was just noise. It’s a stellar instrument as we knew it would be. Many thanks to you and your crew for helping us quickly and effectively fix that station!
-Josh Arritt, WPLI Contract Engineer