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Letters: Ethics, AM Albatross, EV635

Readers comment on our recent feature articles

Here are several of the recent letters to the editor published by our Opinion section.

Show Some Trust

compass with needle pointing the word ethics. Conceptual 3d illustration of business integrity and moral
Getty Images/Olivier Le Moal

Dear Editor:

Kudos to Chris Imlay’s commentary in the Feb. 3 issue, “The Integrity & Ethics of Broadcast Engineers.”

His letter seems apropos given the description of the case. Shouldn’t the FCC itself have made measurements?

Might I add a note to the FCC: If you insist on concluding all broadcast engineer interference investigations are inherently biased, why did you scale back the FCC field offices?

It sounds like the commission wants to have it both ways: no engineering presence but rejecting consulting engineers’ findings.

Rolf Taylor, Rocket Engineering and Consulting


A Mic Under Fire

Re the article “In Appreciation of the EV635A” in the Feb. 3 issue:

My appreciation for the 635A was on Feb. 12, 1974. A Delaware & Hudson freight train that had left Binghamton, N.Y. earlier that afternoon derailed four miles north of Oneonta. It had been traveling at 32 mph when the brakes were applied. Eight bulk propane tank cars were involved in the derailment.

I ran into my station in town, grabbed an EV635A to which I had added a coiled cord and cassette tape deck, and bolted to the site.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a propane car buried underneath the others blew. I was doing a take when the force of the explosion threw me into the air, dislodging the 635 from the cassette deck.

1974 photo by Timothy Braddock after Delaware & Hudson train wreck and explosion.
A photo of the train wreck, post-explosion.

My clothes were burned and I was semi-conscious. The tape deck rolled until the cassette ran out.

The EV? It stayed wrapped around my arm, its coil burned into my coat. It was unharmed, if a bit soot covered!

A copy of the tape exists today and is still somewhat chilling to hear.

Timothy Braddock, Oneonta, N.Y.


AM Is No Albatross

I’m sure many of us have witnessed the practice of branding an FM translator as “Big 93 FM” or some such while pretending the supporting AM signal does not exist.

Ponder this: Your FM translator has a serious failure and you are off for three days (or longer, if you have an overseas sourced transmitter or an antenna failure in winter).

If you had continued to mention your AM frequency, at least your more alert listeners would know they could still find you on AM. The opportunity to promote the AM as having a wider listening area is another value-added tool.

Adding “… and on 1090 AM” costs nothing.

The goal of AM revitalization is to strengthen and invigorate AM, but it appears that just the opposite is happening as owners actually discourage AM listenership by pretending it is an albatross.

I don’t know who is feeding you this bad advice, but please stop listening to it.

Bob Hawkins, Contract Engineer, Edinburgh, Ind.

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