Ron Nott was known by many in the broadcast industry as one of the foremost experts on designing systems to prevent lightning damage to radio transmission facilities. Broadcast engineers respected Nott’s intuitiveness when it came to protecting their precious antennas, transmission lines and transmitter components from lightning and power surges.
Nott, founder of Nott Ltd., passed away Friday in Farmington, N.M. He was 82.
The veteran broadcast engineer, also known for his work with AM unipoles, began his career in electronic communications in the United States Army in 1958. Following training, Nott was assigned as an electronics instructor in the Ordinance Missile School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. He joined two radio stations in Baton Rouge, La., in 1960 and a few years later entered TV broadcasting as an engineer.
Nott, a contributor to numerous trade journals and magazines, went to work for Collins Radio Co. as a test control designer and broadcast service field engineer in 1965. He established a broadcast contract engineering business in Albuquerque in 1970, which he later relocated to Farmington, N.M.
He founded Cortana Corp., which sold Static Cat static dissipaters and AM unipoles, and in 1982 opened Nott Ltd., offering design, engineering and consulting services. He continued to sell AM unipoles and Gila-Stat dissipaters.
Radio World contributor Mark Persons called Nott a true American inventor who could always think up solutions to problems. “Ron freely shared information and taught me a lot about static dissipaters as well as unipoles for AM stations. No smoke and mirrors, just good science and we have Ron to thank for that. Ron Nott will be missed,” Persons wrote in an email.
Michael Wm. Bach told Radio World, ”Ron was a wonderful, friendly, giving guy, always interested in talking about his favorite subject, Antennas. … Ron was also a member of the Ham Radio fraternity, his call was K5YNR.He was an Extra class and one of the few who really deserved that classification.”
Lee Reisinger with Cumulus Media recalls accompanying Nott to Lee’s first NAB convention in Vegas. “Ron used to like to ‘play’ with our station, KENN, which was using his folded-unipole antennas in a three-tower directional array. We also had a mutual interest in railroading. He built and co-owned a scale model live-steam railroad which ran on 18-inch rails. Among his railroad memorabilia was a living room coffee which was consisted of a scale flatcar on a wooden trestle, both made from scratch. I have many fond memories of listening to Ron discuss how lighting really worked and helping him ‘proof’ some of the articles he wrote on the subject. Ron was a huge influence on my life.”
Jim Burt, owner and general manager of Nott Ltd. since 2010, wrote: “He was truly an amazing man, scientist, engineer and more.” Burt said Nott remained involved in the business even after retirement and often answered questions from clients. Nott still lived in a house on the grounds of the manufacturing facility in Farmington.
Funeral services for Nott will be held this Friday, April 7, at 11 a.m. at Bethany Christian Church, 711 E. 30th St., in Farmington, N.M.
Post memories of Ron Nott below or email [email protected].