Greetings From the Top of the Mountain

During my tenure as technical editor, I’ve had many people ask me how I find time for both my full-time job and editing Radio magazine January 11, 2017

During my tenure as technical editor, I’ve had many people ask me how I find time for both my full-time job and editing Radio magazine.

Generally speaking, it hasn’t been too difficult — I find time after work and on weekends. Today, though, things are different. Like many of you have had to do, I’m stuck at the transmitter site with a tower crew disassembling a damaged antenna (and this isn’t my first time by a long shot). As I write this, they’re up on the tower still.

It’s important to note that all of the Radio magazine authors work in this field; many of us are out “in the trenches” daily (or up on a mountain regularly), and so we know exactly what this job is all about. We live it every day. Normally, I’d be composing this article from the comfort of home, but today, no such luck.

January means turning over the calendar and planning the year ahead. Budgets are in place, and it’s time to get started. During the holiday season, we’ve been diligently assembling this issue of Radio, and I think you’ll find it very interesting.

First, we have a great Facility Showcase featuring the new Cumulus Chicago cluster. This is a start-of-the-art facility in every way, from its studios to the furniture, to the STL type. The photos are outstanding. Keep this one around to show people how it’s really done.

Jeremy Ruck returns this month with another detailed article about where the industry stands with translators. More windows are coming up this calendar year — at least in theory. Jeremy also explains the pitfalls of the design/ licensing/ building part of the process.

This month’s Trends in Technology doesn’t cover big ticket items, as is so often the case. This month, it’s “smalls” or perhaps “gadgets,” if you will. These don’t cost much but can make a big impact around the station. It’s amazing how convenient a small, portable power source is; or how a swift little handheld Ethernet tester can make your life easier. That’s just about all you need to test new wiring these days, right?

It seems to me it’s been years since I heard anything about synchronous AM boosters, but the topic is back in the trade news. Lee Petro’s FCC Update will get you up to date.

Our Tech Tips column is meant for beginners, generally. At the start of your career, one thing you will learn to do is to troubleshoot. Your eventual ability to succeed will likely influence how far you go in this business. After all, this is a job in which we fix things, among many other duties. This issue’s Tech Tips has some ideas for those of you just at the threshold of your radio career. Check it out.

Finally, on the revered final page, we find Sign Off. The Wandering Engineer ponders whether it’s time to consider using medium wave as a special way to reach a huge area with a small population, especially when internet access is poor or non-existent there. The Wandering Engineer thinks so and also proposes that Digital Radio Mondiale might be the best technical approach. Give it a read and see if you agree.

Thanks for starting the New Year with this issue of Radio and our best wishes for the year ahead! Now, let me get out there to see how the riggers are doing...

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