What: Cavell, Mertz, & Davis, Inc – Consulting Today
When: January 16, 2001 7:00 PM

Our guest speaker was Richard Mertz of Cavell, Mertz, & Davis, Inc.

Richard Mertz spoke using a modified PowerPoint Presentation, that had been presented at the NAB. The focus of the presentation was to acquaint Program Directors, General Managers, and other relatively non-technical people with the kind of services available through consulting engineers today.

It was an informative presentation, because it reminded us of the changes we have all experienced in the last ten or so years. In the past, consulting engineers were mostly the technical interface with the FCC. They would do pattern studies, help design directional arrays, and even hand carry applications through the FCC when necessary. Many consulting engineering firms still do limit themselves primarily to those areas. CMD Consulting has broadened their scope to include many of the day-to-day activities that typical engineers deal with.

Richard had a number of "battle stories" that were interesting. CMD Consulting was the first to apply for and get FCC approval on a full-time (non experimental) DTV facility. They have been asked to analyze personnel issues between engineering and management, besides many of the more usual activities expected of consulting engineers.

Part 2 of the presentation was a demo of a Network Analyzer. Using a 4.5 scale (frequency, not dimensions) Shively model, Richard demonstrated some of the measurements that can be made with a Network Analyzer. He also used a 2-meter (440) dual band whip mag-mount antenna as a receiver to show how the network analyzer could characterize the entire path through both antennas.

A Network Analyzer is useful at initial installations to proof and tune an antenna. It can be used later to troubleshoot any part of the transmission system from the output of the transmitter to the antenna. It can locate shorts or opens in transmission lines, and even identify bad bullets.