GatesAir Chooses 95th Anniversary Contest Winners

GatesAir, a global provider of wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, capped its year-long 95th anniversary celebration with the announcement of the Grand Prize Winner of its What’s Your Story? contest.

Jason Ornellas, market chief engineer, Sacramento at Bonneville International, was selected as the winner from hundreds of TV and radio customer entries worldwide. The entries covered new and old installations, interesting case studies, and compelling aesthetic modifications that empowered stations, improved performance or added new efficiencies to simplify operations.

Selected from a list of nine finalists, the story showcased a case study on the marriage of a new solid-state transmitter with a tube model in the same RF system, with the goal of reducing heat, freeing space and streamlining maintenance. To achieve this, Ornellas and his team installed a Flexiva FAX40 air-cooled solid-state transmitter as its main transmitter, putting a GatesAir HPX tube transmitter into backup service and retiring a much older tube transmitter from another supplier.

“That was an aging transmitter that had served us well, but the plate voltage cabinet and three transmitter cabinets were beginning to cause some operational challenges,” said Ornellas. “The GatesAir HPX is less than 10 years old, much more compact and we haven’t even had to change the tube yet. In came the FAX40, which solved the heat and space issues, and just makes working inside the building that much easier. The efficiency is also raised significantly thanks to the modular transmitter design. Everything is hot-swappable, which makes it really easy to maintain. And if one of the 10 kilowatt blocks go offline, the FAX40 keeps on running without any noticeable difference to the audience.”

For his winning submission, Ornellas will receive a trip to GatesAir’s manufacturing center in Quincy, Ill.,with all travel and lodging expenses paid, along with a complete tour, training sessions and a 95th anniversary custom-engraved plaque to commemorate his visit.

“While we fully expected to receive interesting submissions, we were pleasantly surprised at the broad diversity of projects and installations that dated decades in many cases,” said Joseph Mack, VP of sales, Americas for GatesAir. “The stories of longevity, as well as outstanding performance in challenging situations, were often inspirational and always compelling. We’re thankful for the enthusiastic response from our TV and radio customers around the world, and congratulate our finalists and Grand Prize Winner.”


The other finalists with particularly intriguing stories included Jim Davies of Titan Broadcasting, recognized for two entries that highlighted aesthetic modifications of legacy transmitters; and George Butch of MRBI, who detailed a Christmas Eve disaster recovery story saved by an overnight transmitter shipment.

Other winners, most of which focused on Still Going Strong stories of installations dating up to six decades include: Carlos Jacobs of Peneiado in Guatemala; David Morgan of Sinclair Telecable; Lemont Bryant of WHEO-AM; Brady Dreasler of Quincy Media; Isabirye Dan of Uganda Broadcasting Corp; and Michael Cote, who still uses a more-than 50-year old Gates Ambassador console in his private recording studio.

A video of Cote’s studio with the console can be viewed at A list of winning submissions and various honorable mentions, including stories and images, can be found at:

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AZObserver says:

May 3, 2018 at 1:48 pm

That’s funny. Savvy radio and TV operators don’t consider GatesAir as their first choice anymore.

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