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

NEW! Join RCA As A New Member for Three Years For Just $150!

 – This promotion also valid for lapsed members from 2018 and earlier – 



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.


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 have lined up 10 exciting presentations including:  Modern AM Modulation Techniques, Westinghouse Radio History and KDKA, The KDKA Tower, Observing Large Scale Ionospheric Disturbances, Railroad Communications, Army Squad Radios from WW2 to Vietnam, Citizen Science Tracking Weather Stations. and a presentation from a KDKA engineer.

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)

  • Neatly laced wiring in the back of Westinghouse transmitter

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Congratulations to our 2020 Fellows and Awards Recipients!

Click HERE for more information


IWCE Is Going Virtual!



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


The Member Spotlight is 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

Donn Dengel

As a member of many product development teams, Donn Dengel helped bring many ‘firsts’ to market during his engineering career.

After earning his degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Donn’s career in wireless began in 1983. with the E. F. Johnson Company, where he helped develop one of the first-generation (AMPS) mobile cellular telephones.

Relocating to northern Illinois, Donn began his long Motorola career in their automotive electronics business. He worked on early keyless-entry products, digital instrumentation and the first networked vehicle electronic system.

In Motorola’s land mobile business, Mr. Dengel helped deveop the world’s first Bluetooth push-to-talk (cordless) speaker microphone accessory for portable and mobile radio systems. Later in his corporate role, he helped develop a dual-mode 802.11a/GSM handheld mobile telephone with seamless call handoff between the 5 GHz LAN and the public GSM network. Transferring into Moto’s Smartphone business he worked on the first 3G GSM phone with multibands, Bluetooth, and GPS. 

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

Active in amateur radio since his teens, Donn holds an Amateur Extra Class license W9TOC. He also holds a General Radiotelephone Operator License (formerly First Class Radiotelephone). In college, he served as Treasurer of the Badger Amateur Radio Society (W9YT). Donn is also a Life Member of American Radio Relay League, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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

Specific interests include short-distance wireless, 802.11 and Bluetooth protocols, GPS satellite reception, land mobile communications, and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).

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

Donn joined RCA in 2015.

4.  What caused you to join RCA?

I was recruited by former RCA president Sandra Black.

5.  Where do you live and work?

Donn now works at Liquid Controls, LLC, a manufacturer of precision fluid metering equipment in Lake Bluff, Illinois. He lives in Palatine, Illinois, northwest of Chicago.

6.  Is there a specific benefit from the RCA “Member Spotlight” that you are hoping for? 

He wants to network with fellow professionals in the wireless industry.

By sharing Member Profiles, I hope our younger members can see that teamwork and ‘stretching yourself’ professionally will help your career. It may not seem exciting doing the day-to-day duties, but it will be when you look back on the experience. Many of the projects I worked on broke new ground in their day, and each experience opened more doors in my career.


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RCA Archives

Maintaining the history and the development of wireless communications.

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RCA History

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

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Upcoming Events
all-day APCO
Aug 2 – Aug 5 all-day
all-day QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo
Aug 8 – Aug 9 all-day
QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo
Join other hams at the first ever QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo on August 8-9, 2020. Attendance is free and registration is now open at https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/ with early bird prize incentives for registering by July[...]
all-day Antique Wireless Associaton @ RIT Conference Center and Inn
Antique Wireless Associaton @ RIT Conference Center and Inn
Aug 11 – Aug 15 all-day
CANCELLED for 2020