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Thread: What Was It Like to Work With Dan Ingram?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjt45 View Post
    Amazing. We’re you there sir? You seem to have a hell of a lot of “knowledge” considering. Your arrogance is incredible. Thought you might like to know the facts from someone who spent 40 years as a WABC Engineer, but then you know better. I’m sure this post will disappear like some on another radio message board. Obviously, you’ve studied at the dentist school of thought. Good bye. I’m outta here!
    I'm sorry that you want to leave because someone has a contrary perspective.

    I've worked at NYC radio stations, and also at many stations that have board ops / engineers dictated by a union contract. And I personally prefer combo operations where there is a closer connection between the mouth and the board.

    And, again, most holders of first tickets could not repair any kind of electronic equipment, let alone design and build it. I've seen cases where such "engineers" tried to put a directional back in compliance and created a week-long job for the chief engineer and the consulting engineer. I have seen first ticket holders with so little knowledge that they could not tell when transmitter readings indicated a major problem developing.

    So I'd be pleased if you could indicate what "engineering" functions the "engineer" in the WABC studio did other than running the board and assisting in the execution of the format. I'm open to a clarification of what that position entailed and would be glad to know if there is something I missed in reading the union contracts of other comparable NYC radio stations.

    This is not a "pissing contest". There were plenty of qualified engineers who also got their first tickets to work in radio... but they were engineers first in the truest sense of the word. But most of the folks holding first tickets were not qualified to do anything beyond meter readings and running the board.
    Last edited by DavidEduardo; 05-10-2019 at 06:49 PM.
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  2. #12
    The role that I recall from my time at ABC NY was Studio Ops technician. So maybe not "board op," but instead studio op. It was a NABET position. Roles were very firmly defined. Studio ops was strictly that. No maintenance was permitted. No remotes. Every few years, the union contract was renegotiated, and the company got give-backs in exchange for raises or staffing numbers. At some point, an FCC license was not required for studio ops.

  3. #13

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    Sho nuff, David.

    I got my chocolate 'First' after attending REI in Sarasota. All the school did was teach you to remember the answers to the meagre few FCC exams that were used. It was a two- or three-month course there, though, not five weeks. And it was obvious that there was no one in the class who remembered even one answer after leaving the Miami test building. Ben F. Waple's stamped signature hadn't even dried fully when class broke up and every answer vanished from memory. I don't even think the instructor knew any electronics. He was this handsome guy -- looked like Glen Campbell -- who would take a break for 'lunch' with the attractive receptionist. He'd leave us alone for an hour to eat our sandwiches and smoke in class.

    My DJ buddy now in California taught some of those classes. Rodj had only a third phone!

    The aforementioned Harry 'Hugh Heavy' Mankin got his 'First' out of Elkins in Chicago. You're right, David. Those schools were meat markets.

    Another DJ pal of mine -- near genius IQ -- took the tests cold. His grade came up short. He asked me what school I went to. I told him, 'Forget the school stuff. You're smart. Go to the library, where they have files and answers on all the FCC exams, and bone up. He did. Alan passed the tests on his very next shot.

    * * * * * * *

    Lol David : This Chocolate First, two decades later, read one of those red 'wiring' pamphlets that 84 Lumber used to sell. From this $3 booklet I managed to install every foot of electrical wiring in a blank fixer-upper cave of a house I'd bought, plus put in every breaker. I wound up with electric heat, electric stove, ornate lighting, glowing wall switches and even a small sound studio in the basement. All off a 100-amp box, with yet some juice to spare.

    So I'm not electrically helpless. But don't ask me to know which stick in a two-tower AM system is the one used for non-directional hours :- )

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Green NEPA View Post
    Sho nuff, David.

    I got my chocolate 'First' after attending REI in Sarasota. All the school did was teach you to remember the answers to the meagre few FCC exams that were used. It was a two- or three-month course there, though, not five weeks. And it was obvious that there was no one in the class who remembered even one answer after leaving the Miami test building. Ben F. Waple's stamped signature hadn't even dried fully when class broke up and every answer vanished from memory. I don't even think the instructor knew any electronics. He was this handsome guy -- looked like Glen Campbell -- who would take a break for 'lunch' with the attractive receptionist. He'd leave us alone for an hour to eat our sandwiches and smoke in class.

    Another DJ pal of mine -- near genius IQ -- took the tests cold. His grade came up short. He asked me what school I went to. I told him, 'Forget the school stuff. You're smart. Go to the library, where they have files and answers on all the FCC exams, and bone up. He did. Alan passed the tests on his very next shot.
    I was in DC after a radio convention outside Philly in '69. Went over to the FCC in DC, and asked if I could take the test. The "proctor" who was the classic nice older lady of some government offices back then told me I could only go for the second class at one time. I explained I only had one day in DC and she said to take the second, and if I did OK, she'd approve the part for the first..

    I got the second class test done, and they graded it with one of those perforated overlays. Got a smile from the lady and given the papers for the first. Passed it.

    But I'd been my own CE for ten stations for a number of years, and got a degree in EE in Ecuador... so it seemed simple. Really basic stuff, plus the rules. But there was a bunch of guys that all came in together, obviously a school. Half of them failed.

    But based on the stuff on the test, I would not let anyone with a 1st near the insides of a cart machine, let alone a transmitter, if that was their only training. I preferred a kid who had built ham radios and knew the theory top to bottom...
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post
    But based on the stuff on the test, I would not let anyone with a 1st near the insides of a cart machine, let alone a transmitter, if that was their only training. I preferred a kid who had built ham radios and knew the theory top to bottom...
    I've read of several DJs who got the ticket just so they could get a job and tell the owner they were getting two functions for the price of one.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by rjt45 View Post
    Amazing. We’re you there sir? You seem to have a hell of a lot of “knowledge” considering. Your arrogance is incredible. Thought you might like to know the facts from someone who spent 40 years as a WABC Engineer, but then you know better. I’m sure this post will disappear like some on another radio message board. Obviously, you’ve studied at the dentist school of thought. Good bye. I’m outta here!
    Every guy with a First wasn't necessarily a transmitter/RF guy. I'm guessing you have no idea what type of expertise is needed to properly engineer a RF plant. Don't feel alone...most others have no idea what guys like us do.
    David has been around the block a time or two. Every one of us who post here has been corrected at least once by this guy. The fact is...he's usually right. He has an encyclopedic mind and memory.

  7. #17

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    @ Big A :

    >> 'I've read of several DJs who got the ticket just so they could get a job and tell the owner they were getting two functions for the price of one.' <<

    Yes indeed. I was one of those juvenile delinquent mercenaries, but out of survival, not prestige. IIrc, a Third-phone peon could not be on the AM transmitter log during directional hours. Someone of higher-licensed caste -- a First phone -- had to be.
    And again. iIrc, a third phone waif was not allowed to take readings at a 50,000 watt station -- either an AM 50,000 watt omni or an FM 50,000 watter. Folks on board here would remember better than I would.

    Having passed a mere Third phone test held little more stature than having passed the written test for a driver's license permit. The Second and First exams were the true 'road tests'.

    I wonder how many (if any) FCC commissioners in these days even know what an FCC license was, or even has one. Or even what those diplomas looked like.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Green NEPA View Post

    I wonder how many (if any) FCC commissioners in these days even know what an FCC license was, or even has one. Or even what those diplomas looked like.
    I wonder how many of them knew what they were THEN, when they were required. I know they were thrilled to get rid of the entire licensing process, because it ate up a lot of real estate.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    I was in DC after a radio convention outside Philly in '69. Went over to the FCC in DC, and asked if I could take the test. The "proctor" who was the classic nice older lady of some government offices back then told me I could only go for the second class at one time. I explained I only had one day in DC and she said to take the second, and if I did OK, she'd approve the part for the first..
    Maybe the Atlanta FCC district office did things somewhat differently, perhaps for road trips?

    It may have been 1965 or so, and I remember seeing an announcement on one of the Augusta (GA) TV stations that the FCC was giving commercial radiotelephone exams at Augusta Tech. A high school friend of mine and I decided to do some cramming and try for them.

    I am thinking that for the first phone, an applicant had to pass elements one, two, three and four. For the second phone, passing elements one, two and three did it. Third phone - required passing only elements one and two.

    At the time, we could take all four elements. I failed element four, so I received a second phone. My buddy passed elements one, two and four, so that gave him only the third phone, but he had credit for element four. Later, maybe I went to the Savannah office, I passed element four, so I had my first phone before I graduated from high school in 1966. Somewhere along the line, I went to Atlanta and passed the ship radar endorsement.

  10. #20
    LOL! LOL! LOL!!! The title of this thread is "What Was It Like to Work With Dan Ingram?" hahahaha

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