WOLE-DT Recovers Quickly from Hurricane Maria by Virtue of Rohde & Schwarz Transmitter

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Columbia, MD — Premier transmitter, test and measurement and studio equipment manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz USA, Inc. announced today that WOLE-DT, the Univision affiliate based in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, suffered no damage to its R&S THV9 VHF transmitter when Hurricane Maria struck the island on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm. According to Osvaldo Torres, Station Manager and Engineering Director, WOLE was back on the air on the afternoon of Sept. 23 and was the only TV station able to broadcast in its coverage area at that time.

“I had a concern with the transmitter’s cooling fans and how they would react and behave with winds over 100 mph working on them,” Torres explained, “On the second day after the hurricane, during the on-site inspection, we saw the system was intact and working perfectly. The transmitter never actually stopped working – we just needed to realign the microwave path and work on some technical damages on the microwave system.”

Torres admitted it has been stressful maintaining station operations after Maria because of poor communication, as well as difficulties with fuel distribution. However, despite massive destruction on the island, including the loss of its electrical grid, viewers continue to watch WOLE.

“Thousands of people have generators and are watching free, over-the-air TV,” said Torres. “With our local newscast, we were able to be very supportive to viewers, especially to those viewers on the half west side of the island. People are grateful for the local newscast and thank us for the support we are giving, as we are providing all kinds of information on day-to-day issues after the hurricane.”

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Puerto Rico’s WOLE-TV used large belts to provide extra support to its Rohde & Schwarz THV9 VHF transmitter during Hurricane Maria. The transmitter suffered no damage during the storm. 

WOLE’s liquid-cooled 7.7kW transmitter was installed in May 2016. The R&S THV9 VHF family of high-power transmitters for TV combines high energy, configuration flexibility, and operating convenience in a very small footprint. With its liquid cooling system and modern design, the THV9 VHF transmitter delivers the highest efficiency (50 percent) and highest power density on the market with 15kW per cabinet in both ATSC and ATSC 3.0 (COFDM) standards. In Doherty mode, the R&S THV9 can save up to 50 percent of energy costs compared with conventional transmitters.

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