Field Report: Avateq Analyzer to Remotely Monitor Transmitter Operations at WLVT-TV

We were looking for a spectral monitor for our transmitter site. In particular, we required a product that would allow our master control operators to remotely monitor the RF performance of the DTV transmitter.

I preferred an analyzer that would simply transfer RF measurements by way of its embedded webpage vs a remote desktop client, mainly for IT security purposes. The second major requirement was simple operation as not all master control operators are deeply technical by training.

What we found was the Avateq AVQ1020. This product complemented our transmitter monitoring tools comprised of web based remote control system and transmitter webpage perfectly. The Avateq provides exact RF data to help trouble shoot system performance from our studio facility’s master control room.

Figure 1. Basic measurements are on the Signal Statistical page.

Figure 1. Basic measurements are on the Signal Statistical page.

We connected the Avateq to our roof-top antenna, in order to verify over-the-air performance. We have another RF analyzer that was purchased with the transmitter and connected directly to the mask filter. However this product is 5 or 6 years old and does not have any remote access. The first task was to verify the monitoring information provided by the AVQ1020 to ensure it correlated to the older analyzer. Sure enough the measurements were exact or within ≤ 0.1%, not having the older analyzer calibrated in a few years; we were uncertain of the difference.

Figure 2. The Spectral display.

Figure 2. The Spectral display.

Now knowing that the remote monitoring tool correlated to our reference, we connected to the network. The basic measurements of SNR, Shoulder attenuation, Frequency offset and much more are presented in a simple to understand Signal Statistical page (Figure 1). This is perfect for mastcon operators. During periods of inclement weather (specifically winter) we have an immediate indication of any degradation in our signal, we can now be pro-active.

Being able to see the Spectral and Constellation display remotely is a true asset of this machine (Figures 2 & 3). The flexibility provided by the AVQ1020 allows my engineering and master control teams to be on top of any problem, and proactively; for example monitoring degradation over time.

Figure 3. The Constellation display.

Figure 3. The Constellation display.

The AVQ1020 is feature rich, including alarm logging and reports; alarms are completely user configurable. Other displays of this powerful monitoring tool include CCDF, Eye Diagram, Echo Profile, SFN Drift, Am-Am & Am-Pm, LUT, Group Delay, LP Filter, and Channel Response. Its a lot of power from a web based monitoring product that exactly meets all of our requirements and then some.

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