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Six years

That is how long it has been since I started this blog. Six years and 727 posts later, I find myself wondering how much longer I can continue this.  I have not been posting too much lately because I seem to have run out of things to say.  Posting just for the sake of posting seems to dilute the good material with mediocre stuff that has to be deleted later.

The radio business has changed little in the last six years; fewer owners, AM is still plagued with technical issues and poor programming, the FM band is getting jam packed with translators and the occasional LPFM, HD Radio is, well HD Radio.

My situation changed as well with the change in jobs, a new degree, more family responsibilities, etc.

I was thinking about ways to make this more interesting and perhaps doing more with my under utilized youtube channel would be fun.  I was called an “old timer” a few months ago as a compliment and I am not sure how I feel about that.  After a bit of reflection, I realize there is some truth to it and there are fewer and fewer of us out there that can do what we do.  Perhaps some informational things on how to trouble shoot and find problems, what a day in the life of a radio engineer is actually like, radio station people, etc.   I know that good trouble shooting is an art form.

I would need a tripod and a better camera.

In the mean time, here are a few statistics from the last six years:

  1. I have typed a total of 812 posts, of which 727 are public and there are about 30 drafts on various subjects hanging out, waiting to be finished and posted. Out date material is usually deleted when I get around to it.
  2. The blog has a decent following, with an average of 700 page views a day, approximately 120 regular readers and 185 RSS subscribers.
  3. There are 3,494 comments and the spam filter has eliminate 1,102,631 useless, fake, ridiculous or otherwise stupid machine generated garbage.
  4. There is also an international readership, with approximately 40% of visitors coming from outside of the US. According to my flag counter, these are the countries that have not visited yet:
    • British Indian Ocean Territory
    • Central African Republic
    • Christmas Island
    • Comoros
    • Guinea-Bissau
    • Mayotte
    • Nauru
    • Niue
    • Norfolk Island
    • North Korea
    • Saint Barthelemy
    • Svalbard
    • Timor-Leste
    • Tokelau
    • Tuvalu

    Everyone else has made at least one appearance.  I am a little bit disappointed that no one from North Korea has graced our presence.

  5. Top six non-US countries are Canada, UK, India, China, Germany and France.
  6. There are approximately 1,380 images of various interesting things. Most of them are my own, some are borrowed from other sites or the public domain.

I hope that I can continue this thing in some way or format.  I have certainly enjoyed meeting many people, reading comments, replies, off line emails and such.  It has been an overall positive experience and I value everyone’s input.

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15 comments to Six years

  • Patrick Neelin

    I’ve never left any comments here before, but I’d like you to know that since finding your blog about eight months ago, I’ve been a very regular reader. I’m a young man on his first chief engineer gig, and I find a lot of the stuff you post to be both useful and entertaining.

    There’s a lot of things about the radio industry that can be explained much better by someone experienced, and your blog has been a great resource for me!

  • Chuck Gennaro

    Paul, the change in the site’s tagline did not go unnoticed either.
    Heck, there are days I’m fresh out of ideas what to make for supper. I can imagine what it’s like trying to come up with fresh, interesting content on a regular basis. FWIW you have succeeded handsomely so far 😀

    Would you consider posting material others send you? I’m certain a few of your readers may have some content to offer in keeping with the Blog’s direction.

  • Bow

    I also wanted to let you know that even though I do not post comments, I enjoy reading your Blog.

    I am a radio hobbyist and am always interested in reading about the professional side of the subject, with AM my main point of interest.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and thoughts.

  • Longtime reader / can’t remember ever posting.

    Love to read your posts. Especially about the old iron.

    I was a radio fan since before I can remember – since before I got a pocket AM radio to listen to the clear channel stations at night (age 8, I think).
    I was such a fan I volunteered for DJ duty at KNTU-FM (Denton, University of North Texas) – even though it wasn’t my major!
    I was such a fan of radio I got my amateur license.
    It’s sad to see terrestrial radio fall to Internet and Satellite, but fall it will. It’s good to see the LPFM stations light up. There’s some hope.

  • D.

    I first read your blog a year or more ago, and it was definitely a standout from the others I’d seen. Just some real radio nitty gritty. So I bookmarked your site for safe keeping.

    I’m about to start my first real radio engineer job, and have since RSS`ed your blog updates to ensure that none of your quality old school (ie REAL) radio education doesn’t slip by me.

    Thank you being so generous with your time and knowledge.

  • TP Reitzel

    Paul,

    Look at the number of youngsters that your blog inspires! I’m not nearly as pessimistic about radio’s future for numerous reasons as some other people. The global spynet will slowly lose its appeal. Don’t concern yourself with a schedule. Just post as you feel appropriate.

  • Es

    Hi, I’ve been reading for about a year. I’m an EE student with an addiction to college radio and broadcast engineering. Your blog has been a great resource as well as very entertaining. Serving as the GM of a college FM in Philly as well as part-timing at a professional cluster has exposed me to a lot of interesting experiences, and while radio may not be my primary career choice, it’s been a wonderful way to indulge my creative side while using my engineering knowledge. When it comes to content, though, quality over quantity, always. You do a great job.

  • R Redmond

    Paul,

    I enjoy the posts, in some cases we have covered the same stations, so the photos are always interesting. The coverage of your projects, and in some cases repairs are very educational. Thanks for taking the time to post these useful pieces of information.

  • Do not “force” yourself to post stuff, or even feel you have to do so. Blogs,
    as the old radio formats, are slowly dying down, as well, but you still have
    pros (such as yourself) with a significant knowledge base. And when willing
    to share such information, there will always be grateful readers for it!
    I appreciate the time you take in making the posts….

    73

  • Elliot

    Hi Paul,
    As an old timer and former Hudson Valley insider,( I still have some old keys to some of those goat trails somewhere)I truly appreciate you keeping me informed on the many changes in the area and American broadcasting in general.You’ve also had the balls to say what so many in your position have dared not even think in mixed company,now that’s an old timer at most any age,be proud of that!
    For people like me,I would just love to see a “data dump” of all the site photos you’ve been sitting on .
    I know that could be a bit touchy in some cases but I’m sure many here would be fascinated or even reminded of their old haunts back in the good old days when the Lessners were a phonecall away and a ops.manager would actually phone in if you missed a commercial on the 1 KW AM station on the overnight shift!!!
    Your efforts are truly appreciated!
    Thank you.
    Elliot

  • Congrats on the milestone, Paul. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog as well as your adventures in radio engineering along with some of the additional material you’ve shared with your readers. Looking forward to reading the ongoing saga of radio engineering.

  • Bob Roe

    Please keep writing!. Your blog is great and I check this site everyday for updates!. You are a excellent engineer and keep up the great work…

  • Robert - DL3RR

    I haven’t commented before either, but I am an avid reader having discovered your blog a few months ago.

    What is probably boring day to day stuff for you is fascinating to me. Please keep blogging – there are precious few actively updated engineering blogs out there.

    I would be proud of the title old timer! They have knowledge and appreciate simplicity. I have been called a dinosaur, which is worse.

  • Taylor

    Don’t stop blogging Paul! It’s always an interesting read. I’m a broadcast engineer in Edmonton, Canada and I’ve been reading your posts for a year or more now. Blogs like these are few and far between.

  • Paul Thurst

    Well, thank you for the kind words. I have said in the past, so long as people are reading this, I will continue to post. I have, I think, self censored some of my material because certain owners have not approved of the message. I like to call things as I see them, I have also invited anyone who disagrees with me to to say something, if not in the post comments then an off line email. I get surprisingly few such comments or emails. Perhaps it is the echo chamber effect? I don’t know, but last year, when I posted something that I didn’t even think was controversial, my managing associate got a shit storm over it.

    There is a lot more that can be said, but after all, I still need to pay my mortgage…

    Also, people like to leave interesting links in the comments, I always look at those and I appreciate everyone who comments and leaves interesting bits for others to look at.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

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...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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