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Introducing the Radio Club of America

Founded in 1909, the Radio Club of America is the oldest, most prestigious group of wireless communications professionals in the world, with members across the globe. Its members are dedicated to the wireless art and science for the betterment of society. The Radio Club of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all contributions made to RCA are tax exempt.

Learn more about RCA’s three exciting major initiatives:  Creating the Future, Ensuring the Present, Honoring the Past


SAVE THE DATE:  RCA’S 2020 AWARDS BANQUET AND TECHNICAL SYMPOSIUM

FRIDAY NOV. 20TH IN PITTSBURGH

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

 

Note:  RCA will be holding this event in-person.   We are planning for the Technical Symposium to offer a mix of in-person and virtual presentations, and all presentations will be live-streamed on Facebook Live as in the past.

Pittsburgh is taking a number of steps to ensure the safety of all visitors:  click HERE for more details.

HONORING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF BROADCASTING IN THE U.S. –  STATION KDKA

Our Keynote Speaker this year will be Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, Assistant Professor in the Physics and Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Scranton PA.  Dr. Frissell’s keynote topic will be announced in future.

For our annual Technical Symposium we are lining up a number of exciting presentations on topics including broadcasting technology, KDKA, large scale ionospheric disturbances, railroad communications, army squad radios from WW2 to Vietnam, and others to be announced soon.


RCA will return to Pittsburgh on Friday, November 20, 2020 to help celebrate KDKA’s 100th anniversary.

Registration is NOW OPEN! Click HERE to register.

The Broadcast industry has moved beyond the simple AM radio broadcasts of the 1920s.  RCA’s Technical Symposium will feature many speakers on the current hot issues in broadcasting including DTV (digital TV),  DTV channel repacking, experts from broadcast manufacturers, and some interesting facets of KDKA’s various AM broadcast towers. 

RCA’s Annual Awards Banquet will feature Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF.  Dr. Frissell is a Space Physicist and Electrical Engineer who came to Scranton University from the New Jersey Institute of Technology Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (NJIT CSTR).  Dr. Frissell has a passion for radio science and remote sensing of the ionosphere, the electrically charged layer of the upper atmosphere that extends from ~50 to 600 km above the Earth’s surface.  The ionosphere is responsible for long distance radio propagation on the high frequency (HF, 3 – 30 MHz) bands, errors in Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) measurements, and drag on low Earth orbiting satellites.  Dr. Frissell recently won a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the ionosphere using the amateur radio service.  You can read more about it HERE.

Another tour of the KDKA facilities, which was so successful in 2017, is being planned, as well as several other historic activities for Saturday.   RCA is working in conjunction with a number of other organizations to make this a “don’t miss” event.  

Pittsburgh hotels and restaurants are less expensive than NYC, so this is another reason to plan now to attend our Technical Symposium and Banquet on Friday November 20th.  The KDKA special events are planned to be on Saturday November 21st.

The History:

The first commercial broadcast in the U.S. took place on Nov. 2, 1920.  Pittsburgh radio station KDKA broadcast the presidential election results of the Harding-Cox election , making this the first commercial broadcast.

In the meantime, you may be interested in several historical links about KDKA:

NEW!  Interesting videos on KDKA history

NEW!  Pittsburgh Amateur Radio Club’s KDKA 100th Plans

NEW!  ARRL’s Special Event for Radio Amateurs for KDKA;s 100th

3 minute YouTube clip on KDKA history

Detailed excerpt from a broadcasting book, plus bios on key KDKA persons

Audio clip on the Harding-Cox broadcast on Nov. 2, 1920

A short early history of wireless including KDKA

 

A Preview of what our KDKA Tour will be like this Year:

(from our 2017 tour)

  • AM Modulation transformer

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APCO 2020 In August in Orlando is Cancelled!

Click HERE for more information

 

Dayton 2020 Hamvention Cancelled!

Click HERE for more information


IWCE Is Going Virtual!

THE VIRTUAL IWCE SHOW WILL TAKE PLACE THE WEEK OF AUGUST 24, 2020. 

 

All registered attendees of the previous in-person event wll automatically have their pass transferred to the March 22-25, 2021 IWCE. They will also receive a comparable level of access to sessions, booths, trainings, etc. for the IWCE Virtual event this August. 

IWCE Virtual will deliver robust, high-quality content including world-renowned keynotes, conference tracks, trainings, workshops, roundtables, and working groups that we were all looking forward to at this year’s in person event. The Virtual event will also provide for new networking opportunities through data driven networking engagements across various new virtual formats.


 

RCA’s 2019 Awards Banquet and

Technical Symposium 

 

For details on RCA’s 2019 Fellows click HERE.

2019 Technical Symposium:  Attendees said this was the best Tech Symposium ever!  We had presentations on hot topics including Massive MIMO, Network Virtualization, and Connected Vehicles.   We saw a series of interesting presentations on space including the Explorer I story from Dr. Henry Richter who oversaw it all; the Apollo 11 TV broadcast from the moon; AMSAT’s cubesat; and the current state of space from a young Ph.D. candidate.   Click HERE for the details.

Check out the photos from the 2019 Technical Symposium and Banquet on our Shutterfly Page HERE.


Thanks to our 2019 Technical Symposium and Banquet sponsors!


Congratulations to RCA’s New Officers and Directors for 2019-2020

 

Click here for the press release


NEW!!  MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

We are adding a new feature to the RCA Website:  a short feature on a current member, what they are doing, and what their wireless interests are.  The member that is featured will be changed regularly.  

If you are interested in being spotlighted, please send a brief summary of your wireless interests, a brief bio, your contact information, and a picture to info@radioclubofamerica.org.  We cannot guarantee that every member will be spotlighted, but we will attempt to spotlight as many as we can.

Introducing RCA Member

Dominic (Nick) Tusa

Dominic (Nick) Tusa is a principal radio communications consultant and founder of Tusa Consulting Services. Tusa has, for over forty-two years, provided technical services involving the design, implementation, and maintenance of land mobile radio and microwave communications systems for both public safety and private industry.

Tusa received his electrical engineering degree from Tulane University in 1975 and holds both FCC Amateur Extra Class (K5EF) and General Radio Telephone Licenses. His professional radio career commenced in 1978 as an associate telecommunications engineer and by 1980 as a Senior Staff Engineer with Exxon Company, USA. In 1984, Tusa founded his first company, Crescent Radio Electronics, which manufactured radio devices and one-way radio paying equipment.

Tusa’s career gradually transitioned toward public safety radio consulting practice with the formation of Tusa Consulting Services (TUSA). Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Covington, Louisiana, the firm has key personnel located in Kansas City and – most notably – New Orleans.

 

  1. How long have you been in the wireless industry?

I became interested in Radio as an incredibly young person  … eight years old … while exploring the HF radio bands via my uncle’s Hallicrafters shortwave radio.  I was spellbound by the unusual sounds: Morse Code, evenly spaced beacon “beeps”, numbers stations (for spies, of course), Ham Radio conversations and, of course, foreign broadcast stations from distant lands.  In the early 1960s, communications beyond one’s town was a big thing for kids – long distance telephone calls were uncommon, so the lure of Radio and how it worked bugged many young minds, of which mine was ripe for mystery.

Eventually, I likewise became a Ham Radio operator myself (now K5EF) which lead to a degree in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University.  My professional start in Radio began with Exxon Company USA in 1978 as an associate engineer and rapidly accelerated to the position of Senior Staff Engineer when I left in 1980 to join an independent startup consulting firm, Communications System Management.  In 1984 I founded my first company, Crescent Radio Electronics, which manufactured radio devices for the petrochemical and one-way radio paging industry. 

As cellular telephony was poised to gradually replace paging, and tiring of helicopter rides to oil production platforms throughout the Gulf of Mexico, in 1992 I formed a new company – Tusa Consulting Services (TUSA) whose sole focus has been in public safety land mobile communications.  The firm is now in its 28th year and has established itself as a solid, reliable contributor to the Industry.

 

  1. What are your specific interests or wireless areas of expertise?

In a professional sense, my interests remain with land mobile communication networks and the design of mission-critical radio coverage solutions.  Yet, my fascination with high frequency signal propagation remains.  I was fortunate to have as my mentor, Mr. Wesley R. Schum (W9DYV) who was an early pioneer in the development of single-sideband (SSB) technology which gained the attention of the Zenith Radio Corporation.  So, it is natural for me as a hobbyist to continue to experiment with HF linear amplifier, ssb exciter and receiver design — but using electron tubes.  To do otherwise using solid state devices would be too much like “work”!

 

  1. How many years have you been an RCA member?

I first joined RCA in 1979 while employed by Exxon Company USA.

 

  1. What caused you to join RCA?

I was encouraged to join RCA by several of my Exxon communications peers, but principally by Ron Amox and Bob Black – both long-time communications engineering managers within Exxon and themselves RCA members.  These two felt it was important for my professional growth as a then-young engineer to become familiar with others in the Industry.  They were, of course, correct as joining opened opportunities to meet individuals who had made key, important technical contributions to the art and science of Radio. 

 

  1. Where do you live and work?

I am a life long South Louisiana resident.  Born in New Orleans, educated there and now live in Covington, Louisiana -approximately 40 miles north of New Orleans.  Tusa Consulting Services has its main office building on my 10-acre property.  This 10-acre site also does double-duty as my HF antenna farm with an array of towers, large Telrex yagis for 7-28MHz (old timers will remember those) and low-noise Beverage receiving antennas.

The bulk of TUSA’s staff is now centrally located in Kansas City, Missouri where air travel is far more convenient than via New Orleans.

 

  1. Is there a specific benefit from the RCA “Member Spotlight” that you are hoping for? (e.g. ‘to meet other members with an interest in X’, or ‘to meet other members in my area’, etc.)

There comes a point in every radio engineer’s career when the importance of mentoring those new to the Industry gathers steam.  My mentor was unselfish while instilling his knowledge, insight, and steady guidance to me.  His efforts allowed me to fulfil my youth’s dream of a wonderful, satisfying career in Radio.  It is only right to do the same for others.  So, I would hope that this Member Spotlight would open the door for those interested in forming a new radio-centric business to seek out guys like me.  We “gray hairs” have many insights and lessons-learned to share – much of which is beyond what a textbook or piece of software can adequately convey.

 

 

 

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Maintaining the history and the development of wireless communications.

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The history of our Club is one with which every member should be familiar.

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