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Mendenhall Opens RF Consultancy

His first client: Harris Broadcast

Geoff Mendenhall, shown in the fall of 2010. Photo by Jim Peck
Harris Broadcast has been going through some changes; and now so is Geoff Mendenhall, shifting his career into a different gear, Radio World has learned.

Mendenhall, who will turn 66 in May, officially has retired from Harris Corp. and his role as VP of transmission research and technology. He now has opened an RF systems engineering consultancy, Mendenhall Engineering LLC. “I will be providing engineering consulting services to manufacturers and/or users of broadcast and other types of RF communications systems,” he tells RW.

He likely will retain a visible industry role, in part because his first client is Harris Broadcast, his former employer and the part of Harris that was recently acquired by the Gores Group. He plans to attend the NAB Show next month and will still work the Harris Broadcast booth.

Asked about the impact of the change on Harris Broadcast, Mendenhall said he didn’t anticipate much in the near term. “Ted Korte took the leadership of the transmission R&D team several years ago, and my role has become a new technology advisor to the transmission business. I will be continuing in that role and mentoring the engineering talent in Ted’s group to take on more responsibility in the advanced technology area.” Tim Anderson, meanwhile, will now be more active with Harris Broadcast’s role at the National Radio Systems Committee. Mendenhall will continue to represent the company on the FCC Technological Advisory Council and at the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers.

Mendenhall — who was honored with the NAB Radio Engineering Achievement Award in 1999 and named an Engineering Fellow by Harris Corp. in 2008 — has played a significant role in the transition of AM and FM transmission equipment from analog modulation technology to digital.

His first two jobs after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology were in land mobile communications and wireless security systems. He joined the Gates Radio division of Harris in 1973 and made an early mark by helping develop the MS-15 exciter, then spent much of the 1980s at Broadcast Electronics before returning to Harris as VP Radio Product Line Manager in 1993.

Projects have included the BE FX-30 and FX-50 in the 1980s; the Harris DIGIT, the first all-digital FM exciter, in 1994; and the current Harris FlexStar HDx HD Radio exciter. He has done notable work in the design of high-efficiency AM, FM and COFDM transmitter power amplifiers, both tube and solid-state, for digital radio and television, and is listed as the inventor on eight U.S. patents.

A registered Professional Engineer, he also is active in the IEEE and ARRL, and he’s an ardent ham, W8GNM.