Who: John Ahern
From: Davicom/Comlab
What: SNMP & Networking at the Transmitter Site
When: February 10, 2016 6:30 PM
Sponsor: Davicom/Comlab

Our February 10, 2016 meeting featured a presentation by John Ahern from Davicom/Comlab on the use of simple network monitoring protocol (SNMP) at transmitter sites. With this goal in mind, he gave some background on SNMP and how he feels it is the way of the future for machine-to-machine interconnection, control & monitoring. He also explained and demonstrated how the Davicom Transmitter Remote Control units fit into this SNMP “picture.”

His presentation discussed:

  • IP networking
  • TCP vs UDP
  • Why SNMP isn’t a “message in a bottle”.
  • SNMP MIB’s and OID’s
  • Data types
  • SNMP Agents and Managers
  • Examples of equipment interconnections

The presentation started with a quick overview of IP networking at the transmitter site. How most devices now come with embedded mini-web servers, but more and more also now come with SNMP agents. Basic SNMP background was covered (TCP vs UDP, MIB’s & OID’s, GET, SET, TRAP, Agents and Managers). To finish-off and demystify the concept, a live example was presented with a Davicom DV-Mini unit connected to an APC Power Strip.

Following the presentation, John fielded many questions about SNMP and practical implementation of Davicom products in a broadcast setting.  John brought a door prize that was given to our own John Reiser, who was chosen by the random number generator in Mike Benonis' cell phone.  John also provided Davicom desk calanders to those in attendance.

John also provided a copy of his PowerPoint presentation (see PDF, below) for future reference and for those who could not attend the meeting. Some of the links in the presentation won’t work unless the MIB Browser and DavLink files installed. Those can be downloaded at:


and by registering at:


John Ahern has been involved with radio and RF since the late 1970’s when he obtained his ham radio ticket (VE2DBV) and began connecting early microcomputers to his Heathkit and Drake radios. He obtained his BEE and MEE degrees in 1980 and 1984 (respectively) from Laval University where he worked as a research engineer until 1992. That year he made the jump into private industry when he became DOE and then CEO of Comlab Inc.

Comlab started out by working on the design and development of state-of-the-art telecommunications training systems for a partner named Lab-Volt, now part of the Festo Didactic family. In 1993, following a request from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and also from a public safety agency, Comlab developed a complete line of remote monitoring, alarm & control systems for radio, TV and wireless transmission sites. These systems, which are manufactured under the Davicom brand name, have been sold to prestigious clients like the CBC, Bell Mobility, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Univision, Canada's National Weather-Radio network, American Family Radio (AFR) and many stations of the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS), among others.

Over the years, new capabilities have been added to maintain the product's position as an industry innovator. From initial VT-100 terminal communications, through the addition of fax & voice capabilities, the units have evolved to the present secure-Internet version with SNMP V3 functionality and iOS/Android App support.

Thanks to our friends at WMAL who hosted our meeting at their studio facility in Northwest Washington and provided a detailed and thorough facility tour.  Thanks also for Davicom/Comlab for the delicious bite to eat. 

Meeting Attendees

Mr. John Ahern
Mr. Mike Benonis
Mr. Richard Fleeson
Mr. David Garner
Mr. J. Eric Hoehn
Mr. David Kolesar
Mr. Kent Kramer
Mr. Rick Marquez
Mr. Marquis McCants
Mr. Horace Murray
Mr. Tim Popham
Mr. Ilir Prifti
Mr. John Reiser
Mr. Art Rose
Mr. Daniel Ryson
Mr. Thomas Shedlick
Mr. Mike Sica
Mr. Julius Suyat
Dr. Ted Tait
Mr. Russell Taylor
Mr. Fred Willard