Oh boy. This is an early Armstrong Solid state FM Transmitter.  Closing in on 20 years service. 

These units were built by RVR in Italy and badged, (and fortunately still supported) by Armstrong.   

A 100W exciter feeds 5- 1kW amplifier modules through a splitter.  The amplifier modules come back into a 5 port wilkinson combiner and then out to the antenna.  Simple, simple. 

This one however has issues. 


  This transmitter is showing 296 watts into the reject load, with no input power applied.


The amplifier modules have shut down due to excessive reflected power. 

The combiner is the likely failure.  Remove  the many, many screws and open the splitter/combiner  chassis for a look. 


This is the Splitter portion.  It takes roughly 65 watts from the exciter and divides it between the five PA amplifiers.   Wilkinson design with some metering and ceramic reject load resistors.

It was working fine, so we’ll leave it alone. 


Here’s the PA combiner.  Not much to see here. 


Five metering and reject load assemblies on the underside.  Each of these resistors is capable of dissipating 500W.  Two in parallel should  then be able to handle the entire amplifier output.   

Until this happens.


 Instead of reading  100 ohms, this one read zero. Armstrong had the resistors in stock. 


There. That’s better. 


Plenty of fan capacity in the combiner to cool those reject loads.   They look much better cleaned up. 

Under normal conditions they only dissipate a few watts.  This unit is back up running  with 7W reject (4500W out).

 Like most solid state modular transmitters, this one will still run at reduced power with a failed amplifier, but the combiner unbalances and the fans have more work to do. 



These 1kW amplifier modules are heavy, largely due to the two large transformers.   About 100# each.   They won’t be going back in the rack without a helper. 

To the right is the main switching supply,  an all-day recap project as there are five of these boards in the transmitter. 



Armstrong/RVR uses these fuses everywhere.  Each amplifier has Six of them, in addition to two mains breakers each.   They are easy to replace, right on the back panel.  About $7 each.