Boot Camp: Tips and Tricks For New, Veteran Engineers

Designed for radio broadcast professionals, today’s AM Radio Boot Camp addresses the important elements of an AM transmission facility and offers advice on when to call in the experts for RF-related issues.

The boot camp, which runs 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m., is part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference and is sponsored by NAB Labs.

Session moderator Alan Jurison, senior operations engineer at iHeart Media, has assembled industry experts to present sessions that will give attendees basic principles as well as advanced and practical items engineers should know about AM stations.

“It’s rare to have a very talented group of engineers, each with decades of AM engineering experience, all in one place sharing their knowledge and expertise,” said Jurison.

According to Jurison, the NAB Broadcast Engineering Committee felt the interest in AM revitalization was an impetus for the Boot Camp session.

“Many of the RF engineers with extensive AM knowledge have retired, or will be retiring shortly,” Jurison said, “and that has [resulted in] many bright people with engineering experience in other areas (IT, audio/studio, FM) having an AM station or more under their responsibility. We wanted to provide a workshop for these engineers to perhaps [review] some of the basic concepts of AM engineering.”

Among the topics to be discussed in the boot camp sessions are ground systems, monitoring, FCC rules, re-radiating elements (such as a cell tower, etc.), AM proofs including the new Method of Moments rules and safety.

Jurison hopes the attendees who are not familiar with AM operations will be able to take away “a well-rounded sense of what it takes to maintain and keep an AM station on the air and compliant with FCC rules; and establish the knowledge to know when they run into deeper problems who they can ask for help.”

Jurison also hopes those who deal with AM facilities every day will learn from the sessions, and be reminded of areas they may not deal with in their everyday duties.

While many of the presentations will deal with the analog transmission of AM, digital topics will be discussed in the final session of the day.

Panelists for the boot camp include Cris Alexander, Crawford Broadcasting Co.; Alan Alsobrook, Alsobrook Electronics; Benjamin Dawson, Hatfield and Dawson Consulting Engineers LLC; Tom King, Kintronic Labs; Ronald Rackley, duTriel, Lundin and Rackley Inc.; Tom Ray, Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting; Glynn Walden, CBS Radio; and John Warner,iHeartMedia.

Members of the Society of Broadcast Engineers will qualify for recertification credit.