Broadcast Engineering

Since 2003, I’ve been Chief Engineer for WRTC FM at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where I am also webmaster. I’m available for additional local broadcast engineering & audio production work, especially for noncommercial stations.

I was Chief Engineer at WHUS FM, University of Connecticut, Storrs, from 1997 to 2005.

Broadcast engineering involves the design, implementation, installation, maintenance, and repair of all broadcast facilities including studios, computers, transmitters, antennas, etc. I also train new student and community member DJs, write training materials & technical documentation, produce training & web videos, keep up with industry technological & regulatory changes, keep logs, keep necessary parts & materials in stock, and am responsible for most of a station’s FCC (ie, Federal) regulatory compliance. A broadcast engineer must be a jack of all trades, from electronic design to IT, audio to RF, from acoustics to HVAC. To all the tech skills must be added good writing, design, communication, and people skills. Phew!

New Studio

In spring 2024, I completed a new main broadcast studio for WRTC. I conceived the project, wrote the functional specs, and participated in selecting and working with the contractors who did the room renovations, acoustical design, electrical, and HVAC. I then designed and built the custom furniture, lighting system, sound system, interior decorating, and low-voltage wiring, and selected, purchased, and configured the digital Wheatstone IP-based console system and other equipment.

The purpose was to give us a new and bigger main studio, with an exterior window, and relatively sound-proofed to protect the students who live in the dorm rooms above from some of our volume-loving DJs! Switchover was accomplished in a marathon 7-1/2 hour session while we broadcast from the Production studio. We never went off the air and our staff all seem to be enjoying the result.

Completed studio
The (nearly) completed studio

Building the Studio

Computer model
First, I built a computer model to propose the design to the students. Note the “sound proofed” room-within-a-room construction. (The ceiling truss idea was abandoned.)
The under-used (and messy) office I proposed converting into the new broadcast studio
Cleaned out
Under construction by the General Contractor, Acoustics, Inc.
Room construction completed. Now my real work begins, outfitting the room!
My overall furniture design. (The final design is slightly different.) A rounded table, supported by fold-in triangular 2×4 brackets, accommodates three on-air guests and folds down out of the way to make room for live musicians.
Specifications for the custom countertop
Building the furniture – which includes 19″ equipment racks and IKEA cabinets as part of the support structure. Every part is stong enough to sit or stand on.
Installing the countertop. I contracted with the local JV&S Custom Laminates to make the countertop.
Completed studio
The (nearly) completed studio