It’s officially midsummer, my favorite time of the year. The snow is gone, the streams are down, and the days are long.
When I think of July my mind turns to vacation. Getting away from the day-to-day grind of the job is still important, even when you love the work you do.
I suppose the case could be made that I’m one of the lucky ones. I work with a staff who will continue to “mind the store” in my absence. I know you may not be that fortunate. It’s one of the things that make this career difficult for so many — you can never really, truly get away from the job because your mobile phone effectively tethers you to the station.
If you find yourself in this position, I suggest, when the time comes for a raise, ask for more vacation time, as well. If you can’t get the pay bump, you may be able to get a little more time off instead. Make sure you add a line to the budget if you need to pay someone to keep an eye on the station while you are gone.
Escaping the US in the summer makes for a great vacation, so we’re doing just that in this month’s issue. The July Facility Showcase features Alouette, a regional commercial broadcaster in western France. They recently updated their program distribution method to 43 stations around the country in an interesting way.
About three years ago we covered the topic of electronic newsgathering, and we’re updating it this month. Is it fair to say the mobile phone is now the most common way to get news actualities for radio? Likely so. Check out some specifics in the Trends in Technology column.
This month, we present the 2017 Best of Show winners, selected at the NAB Show. The products were chosen by working engineers, and each winner is worthy of your attention.
Ground systems are of vital importance to those maintaining AM radio stations. Jeremy Ruck shares some of his wisdom on this topic. Out of sight, out of mind is not a philosophy you should follow in your AM work.
Many of us have means by which we record shows for later playback, or alternatively, downloading them (say via FTP) for later use. Our Field Report is all about using DJB’s Radio Spider for just that purpose. The fact that you can automate much of this process is bound to make your job a bit easier.
Lee Petro is our expert on FCC matters, and in this issue, he discusses details that you’ll want to know in the event you plan on participating in the next translator window, coming up July 26.
In this month’s Tech Tips, we share some ideas for how to minimize the risk of using UPSs at the transmitter site.
And finally, the Wandering Engineer gets in the last word with his Sign Off column. What does it mean when recruiters begin to show up at the annual NAB Show Ham radio reception? (Maybe you might get that raise after all.)
Here’s wishing you a great summer!