Consistent Lifelong Learning

Radio magazine includes not only a variety of topics and authors, but articles aimed at engineers in different stages of their careers and with different degrees of interest
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I hope you�ve noticed over the last year (and more) that Radio magazine includes not only a variety of topics and authors, but articles aimed at engineers in different stages of their careers and with different degrees of interest. Whether you�re new to the job and want to learn the basics, or if retirement is just around the corner and you want to dig deeper, we have an article for you every month.

Our regular contributors are always here, discussing topics known to all of us but which are constantly evolving.

Lee Petro follows up his June 2015 FCC Update on foreign ownership of U.S. radio stations. It seems an Australian couple wants to increase their stake in a small radio group here in the U.S. � to 100 percent. A new precedent could be set, and soon. Does this sound like the natural evolution of media ownership?

Jeremy Ruck�s RF Engineering column is back this month. If you are tasked with maintaining an AM radio station, read Jeremy�s advice and take it to heart. There aren�t too many AM mentors out there, and I�m happy to give you an opportunity to learn from Jeremy.

From our final page: Sign Off. As usual, the Wandering Engineer has something to say about radio and the state of our industry. Streaming media in the car has come a long way � it wasn�t that long ago that an EVDO card and a jumper from the headphone out of a laptop provided �streaming� for your car. Has the digital dash gone forward or backwards since that time?

We also always showcase a facility because engineers are interested in seeing how the other guy did it.

Not long ago I was at one of our transmitter sites in the high desert of southern California, studying a newly built facility of a new neighbor, Educational Media Foundation. Rather than a collection of gear jammed into a rack and wired without planing or clear purpose, the EMF installation was designed and engineered in a fashion that is impressive and made me want to learn more about it. This month we�re telling you all about what is on the other end of that far-flung system.

And of course, lifelong learners can read up on other subjects that aren�t necessarily in the typical radio engineer�s wheelhouse. We offer several articles that will hopefully inspire you to think out-of-the-box and to learn something new.

First, I present ideas on how to build a short-hop communications system to carry remote control data and/or serial data when the site is just out of reach of wire and conduits.

Second, we have an article on VPN: What it is, what it does, and how to implement it.

And third, where you will be farthest outside of the broadcast box, Dennis Sloatman is back with the second in a series on learning to use programmable logic controllers. Colleagues, put down the Raspberry Pi and Arduino for broadcast applications. PLCs are the way to go and are meant to be installed in the kind of environments many of us call �home.�

One final thing: Next time you�re online, please take 10 minutes to fill out our annual, anonymous Salary Survey, located here ( The results always enlighten us about the state of our industry � and the more you tell us about your experiences, the better information we�ll be able to share.