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Carl T. Jones, Longtime Broadcast Engineering Consultant, Dead at 92

Carl T. Jones, a Washington, D.C. area-based consulting engineer, died Jan. 10, 2016 at a medical facility near his home in Solomons, Md.

Carl T. Jones, a Washington, D.C. area-based consulting engineer, died Jan. 10, 2016 at a medical facility near his home in Solomons, Md. He was 92 and was past owner and president of the Carl T. Jones Corp. Jones had worked in the broadcast consulting business since the 1940s and was an industry figure.

Carl T. Jones, center, is shown in a Radio World photograph visiting the NAB Show floor in 2012. He was in the Kintronic Labs booth with Tom King, left, of Kintronic and with son Tom Jones, current president of Carl T. Jones Corp. Photo by Paul McLane

He began his career while a student at Catholic University in 1946, working part-time and during summers for John Barron Consulting Radio Engineers in Washington. He began work with the Federal Communications Commission in 1949 after earning his professional engineering certificate, and was with that agency for some two years. During that time, he was heavily involved in working out plans for VHF TV station channel reassignments which had become necessary due to co-channel interference problems that developed during the television “boom” period after the end of World War II. (This interference situation had resulted in enactment of a four-year “freeze” in 1948 on the granting of new construction permits. The FCC reassigned broadcasting frequencies for many stations already on the air and eventually opened up UHF television spectrum to help alleviate the problem.) During his FCC career, Jones was also involved in FCC hearings being held to establish a color television broadcasting standard.

Jones moved from the FCC in 1951 to the Federal Civil Defense Administration and was involved in site selection for a remotely-located facility that would serve as headquarters for certain branches of the U.S. government in the event of an enemy attack on Washington. As part of the work, he was responsible for the design of a multi-hop microwave system for connecting the site with the White House.

Jones’ next career move occurred in 1953 when he left government employment to partner with a D.C. area engineering consultant, George Gautney, to form the firm of Gautney & Jones Communications Engineers. It was there that he became a recognized specialist in the field of directional antenna design, adjustment and licensing, as well as in the design of radio and television transmission systems.

After his partner’s retirement in 1976, Jones headed up operations and the business was renamed Carl T. Jones Associates. (It later became the Carl T. Jones Corp.) Jones retired in 1985, but continued his lifelong interest in broadcast engineering. His accomplishments include the design of the Washington Area Warning System, the design of a monitoring and reporting system for radiological threats to the public, and design of the DIDS (Decision Information Distribution System)nationwide radio warning system. He also owned and operated radio stations in Maryland and California, and was part-owner of a Las Vegas, Nev. 50 kW AM station.

Jones served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy during World War II and saw combat at Guadalcanal and in the Marshall-Gilbert Island chains. He was a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the state of Nevada, and at the time of his death was a Life Member of the IEEE and a Member Emeritus of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE). He had also served as president of the AFCCE organization

Jones is survived by daughters Sharon Lester and Donna Fabian, and a son, Carl T. (Tom) Jones, Jr. and their respective spouses. Survivors also include six grandchildren and a several great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Doris Frances Jones.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

Memorial donations may be made in Carl’s name to Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Solomons, Md. and to the AFCCE scholarship fund.