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Electronics Research Inc. (ERI) — Thomas B. Silliman, P.E.

The implementation of HD Radio operations in the major markets has been a significant source of orders for ERI for the past four years.

(click thumbnail)Thomas B. SillimanQ. What new products or services does ERI plan to promote at the fall Radio Show?

A. We will be showing ERI’s new ULTRA guy anchor rod, which provides for nondestructive testing for guy anchor corrosion or other damage without any requirement for temporary guying or anchor excavation. ERI will also have on display the improved ACS-100 antenna control system, which includes RF monitoring in order to provide automated backup transmitter to air in the event of main transmitter failure.

Q. You’ve added some familiar names to your staff lately, Ted Nahil and Bob Groome. What do their arrivals mean?

A. Our radio broadcast systems sales force, consisting of Peter Acquaviva (Eastern Region Account Manager) along with new arrivals Ted Nahil (Central Region Account Manager) and Bob Groome (Western Region Account Manager), continue to provide our customers with the high quality of attention and support the industry has always received from ERI. Our current staff, both inside and outside sales professionals, has positioned ERI at the top of the industry in terms of experience, applications knowledge, technical support, and customer service. This high level of industry-renowned competence assembled at Electronics Research is invaluable to our customers and truly sets ERI apart from the competition.

Q. How has the HD Radio rollout affected your company? Where do you see that going next?

A. The implementation of HD Radio operations in the major markets has been a significant source of orders for ERI for the past four years. We believe that the FCC’s adoption of final rules for digital radio services removes significant barriers that have impeded rolling out HD Radio in mid-sized and small markets. The elimination of the STA requirement for separate FM antenna operations, the authorization of nighttime HD Radio by AM broadcast stations, and allowing FM stations to operate in extended hybrid mode should provide a great deal of encouragement for more broadcasters to invest the necessary capital to commence HD Radio operations.

Q. What are the most notable trends affecting radio buyers in your part of the business, or new directions ahead for ERI?

A. In addition to the adoption of the final rules for digital radio services, we believe the FCC’s adoption, in November 2006, of the order to streamline the FM table of allotment and the AM community of license procedures is very significant. We believe the provisions of this order and its changes to the FCC rules will allow a number of stations to improve their transmission facilities and expand the size of the populations they serve. We are also very pleased that the FCC is opening a window for new noncommercial FM applications.

Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?

A. Electronics Research corporate headquarters and main manufacturing facility is located in Chandler, Indiana. Our Midwest location provides the benefit of the most convenient, cost-effective, product transportation to any part of North America. The ERI facility is located on 100 acres and includes a total of 210,000 square feet of indoor manufacturing, laboratory, and office space. The company takes full advantage of innovative technology, which includes the latest computer modeling, design, and drafting tools, as well as the latest computer controlled machining and milling equipment. ERI’s main manufacturing facility also includes an advanced acid cleaning facility and an in-house silver-plating operation. This high degree of vertical integration allows control of product quality at every step during fabrication and final assembly.

Near the main factory complex is ERI’s 70-acre test range, capable of full-scale antenna/tower pattern measurements. The company has decades of research and experience at full-scale testing and the company’s unique blend of individuals educated and trained in antenna and structural design result in systems that offer superior performance and reliability. The test range is equipped with the latest in computerized test equipment and also has the latest computer software to measure and predict antenna performance and coverage.

ERI also operates a 25,000-square-foot facility for the design and manufacture of RF components and systems outside of Portland, Maine. This area of the country is a center of RF product design and manufacturing for a broad range of military, telecommunications, and broadcast applications. This facility allows ERI access to the unique talent pool available in this area and the focus of this facility is to design and manufacture RF components including motorized coaxial and waveguide switches, NTSC and DTV television RF systems, channel and power combiners, filters, hybrid, directional couplers, and many other components used in television and radio transmission systems.