That being said, for local communications via radio, ham radio isn’t a necessity – other services such as MURS, CB, and FRS work for some distance. They’re all good to have around in general – it can be a refreshingly simple way of talking to someone else in the neighborhood.
* I’m sorry to use such nonsense sensational language, but I think it’s true at this point – the US is about thiiiiis close to having Ma Bell reformed via a few rapid fire corporate buyouts and mergers that will be rubber-stamp approved by federal agencies and make access to electronic communication highly selective, expensive, and genuinely impossible in some communities, and the net neutrality rules that would have forbidden them from deciding to filter out communications that were not in compliance with their business plans and offerings are gone.
In case you’re wondering why I cannot really see myself working in the South Florida area again —
This was a posting I saw a couple months back recruiting for one of my old jobs. Yes, the one where I had to kick the Z-BOLA out of the transmitter every few days.
Post Date: 01/08/2018
– Radio Station – Non-commercial
Job Title: Broadcast Engineer
Location: Miami, FL
As the Broadcast Engineer, the Candidate will be responsible for all technical issues deemed necessary for the full and complete operation of the Station. That means the Candidate will oversee and ensure that the station is fully functional on a 24-hour basis.
Salary: $25,000 to $35,000
Send cover letter and resume to: (some circle of hell with a parking lot the engineer is also called upon to guard in the evening)
The sad part is, it’s not on that board anymore and the station’s staff page seems to indicate someone filled the position! This doesn’t surprise me – just about everyone I knew doing any sort of broadcast engineering work in Florida has asked me recently if anyone’s hiring over here in California, as the stations there have been downsizing positions like mad, treating remaining fulltime staff like trash, and bringing in random unqualified contractors based on personal friendships instead of actual skills.
Then again I just checked the same job board’s current results for California and this stupid gem appeared from the local TV station that Sinclair Broadcasting is doing their damn finest to run into the ground at high velocity with nitroglycerin in its pockets. Everyone involved and my own freaking DREAMS have warned me about this place.
Post Date: 04/06/2018 Organization Type:
– Television Station – Commercial Job Title: Director of Engineering Company Sinclair Broadcasting Location: CA Job Description:
We are currently seeking a Director of Engineering. A qualified candidate will coordinate or perform maintenance of computer and broadcast equipment of the television broadcasting stations.
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Oversee engineering staff in separate locations.
• Plan, manage, train, and coordinate technician’s activities
• Oversee Station Master Control operations and supervise the master control operators.
• Operate the station in compliance with all FCC rules and regulations
• Assist and advise in planning of future equipment installations, requirements, and budgetary recommendations
• Supervise maintenance of computer software, hardware, and local area network applications on systems throughout the stations
• Establish procedures to ensure that all IT equipment is operational and secure
• Keep software versions up to date and follow software license compliance, including all corporate directives for IT security
• Supervise preventive maintenance and/or troubleshooting on almost any electronic device or support electronics whether in-house or installed at transmitter; including but not limited to: cameras, video equipment and/or audio switching equipment, processing and monitoring equipment, microwave transmitters and receivers, satellite receivers, and computing equipment
• Supervise and/or perform transmitter maintenance of all transmitters, translators, and microwave systems
• Respond to trouble calls with broadcast or computer equipment (sometimes after regular hours and weekends)
• Other duties as assigned
• A minimum of 10 years’ experience in broadcast television engineering, preferably with prior engineering management experience.
• 21st century skill set, a great team-oriented attitude and a dedication to quality.
• Strong leadership skills and exceptional communication are absolutely essential for the successful candidate to possess.
• A strong IT background.
• A college degree, SBE certification, and A+ certification are preferred.
• Hold a valid driver’s license.
I just received two new 4CX250B / 7203 tubes for one of our transmitters, an old Continental Electronics with the tube intermediate power amplifier (IPA).
I’m already wondering just how they’re going to fail. Not IF they’re going to fail, more like, how, and how much collateral damage will occur.
The sad story: These tubes used to be produced by Eimac and were perfectly fine. At some point, Eimac got sucked into some giant ugly conglomerate that consolidated their tube manufacturing and made some awful changes, then hacked and slashed at their product line. That effectively led to a quality fade then discontinuation of the tubes.
I’ve been pretty much informed that the way to get GOOD 4CX250B tubes is to either go back to 1981 and stockpile them, or find someone who has them sitting around from back then and hope that they’re not gassy or badly manufactured tubes from Eimac’s Salt Lake City facility.
So now, what do you get when you try to buy a 4CX250B?
….this. this is the dumpshit you get. alibaba.com’s finest, I’m sure.
These are “National Electronics” marketed by Richardson Electronics. Richardson’s website only mentions the Eimac tubes that they were a dealer for, and when these were ordered, there was a week’s delay in getting them shipped. National Electronics used to be a perfectly legitimate tube dealer or manufacturer – I think they went with contract manufacturing back in the day, as you’d see a really wide variety of their tubes out there, everywhere from receiving valves to power tubes and even indicators like Nixie tubes. Now, my best guess is it’s just a shell being kicked around via brand name necrophilia.
I don’t know if these even work at all, and won’t until I can get to a mile-high transmitter site whose means of access are currently buried in snow and ice.
So, for now, let me compare them to a new old stock Eimac tube. This is a 3CX800A7, a different tube entirely, but using the same sort of package and plate structure.
Immediately the bright silver plate finish becomes apparent, along with a far different cooling structure. The fins are brazed or soldered to the plate. This is important as the outside of the plate cooler is usually used as the electrical connection via a clamp around the tube. You do not want a bad connection in there.
And now, the Richardson/Alibaba Special – they just… lovingly shoved it down in there with a press and called it a day.
No signs of soldering or brazing are visible.
All in all, it looks like it was just smashed together using the same tooling one would use to make cheap and nasty refrigerator coils.
Now, about that gray mystery metal….
I looked at the socket pins and saw no marks on them at all, just a uniform gray coating of… whatever.
On the Eimac? There are marks in the silver plating from where the tube was put in a socket for factory testing.
Did they even——??? Is there any factory testing??
How’d this Oddish get in my transmitter?
So yeah— I’m NOT convinced these are even going to work, but I guess that’s what I can get now. Thanks, Crapitalism!