RF Shorts - Sept. 23, 2010

The article Soldiers show some ingenuity during tests of next-generation radiosdescribes how soldiers tested the new Rifleman Radio at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In the story, Major Bill Venable described some of the techniques employed. "To boost coverage, soldiers applied the simple rule that the higher an antenna, the longer its range, and they hung one of the devices from a blimp, or aerostat, and sent it up several thousand feet so it hovered over the exercise area," he said.

The Washington Post obituary for John D. Goeken described the life of this extraordinary technology entrepreneur. While the name may not be familiar to you, he first worked as a radio repairman, then--with only a high-school diploma and what he learned about microwave technology in the Army Signal Corps.--founded Microwave Communications to create an independent radio network for truckers traveling between St. Louis and Chicago. It eventually expanded into a nationwide communications network. Goeken was a co-founder of MCI and worked to dismantle AT&T's long-distance monopoly. In 1975 he founded Airfone, the first commercially successful pay telephone service for aircraft. He died Sept. 16 at the age of 80 in Joliet, Ill.

Raleigh, N.C.'s WRAL-TV and Antennas Direct held a free antenna give-away last weekend. They planned to give away about 300 free antennas, valued at about $75 each. WRAL-TV held the event at the North State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C. Events like these are a great way to let the public know free TV is still available and create interest in it.

Your comments and news items are always appreciated. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.