RCA’s 2017 Technical Symposium and Annual Banquet, Pittsburgh PA, November 17 & 18

Start planning now to attend our 2017 Technical Symposium and Annual Awards Banquet in Pittsburgh! Both will take place on Friday November 17, 2017, at the William Penn Hotel.

We have a number of exciting speakers already lined up for the Technical Symposium on topics such as:  “Datacasting for Public Safety”, “Engineering Challenges of the KDKA Radio Tower”, “The New ATSC 3.0 TV Standard”, and others!

The William Penn Hotel where we will be meeting was the site of a Christmas Day broadcast in 1922, and this photo showing the studio set-up is displayed in the hotel’s lobby:

Unique for this event, we are planning an extensive tour of radio station KDKA, the first commercial radio station in the U.S.!  The tour will be open to RCA Members only, and will commence on Saturday November 18th.


About Radio Station KDKA:

KDKA is a clear channel Class A station operating at 1020 kHz on the AM radio dial.  It is a CBS affiliate with a news and talk format.  The transmitter operates at 50,000 watts, and at night can be heard over much of the eastern U.S. and into Canada, and during the day in the adjacent states and the province of Ontario.  The station also operates a TV station and an FM radio station (93.7 MHz))

KDKA has been called ‘the nation’s first broadcast radio station’ as a result of its broadcast of the presidential election results on November 2, 1920, in the Harding-Cox election (at the time it used the special amateur call sign of 8ZZ).

An extremely thorough historical  analysis of KDKA, including some of the disputes about ‘who was first’, can be found in the Wikepedia article at:  KDKA Wikipedia article


To understand what receiving KDKA meant to some people, we have an article that appeared in the New York World-Telegram Newspaper (now defunct) from May of 1958.  It was the first in a series of articles by writer John Ferris on the early days of broadcast radio.

World Telegram KDKA Article 1958



A room block is reserved at the Omni William Penn Hotel with a special RCA rate of $149/night.

 To book your room:

 The RCA rate will be available until 5:00 pm Eastern on Monday, October 23, 2017 or until the block is sold out.


Introducing Radio Club of America

Founded in 1909, the Radio Club of America is the oldest, most prestigious group of wireless communications professionals in the world, with members across the globe. Its members are dedicated to the wireless art and science for the betterment of society. The Radio Club of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all contributions made to RCA are tax exempt.

Creating the Future

The future of wireless belongs to our youth, many of whom are unaware of the importance of the wireless industry, or of the wonderful career opportunities it presents. We have two major programs:

  • Youth Activities, focused on middle and high school students
    • Annually, one or two of the best of our youth present at our Annual Technical Symposium. We have had presentations from our youth on fractal antennas, pole climbing robots, high altitude ballooning, and other innovations
  • Scholarship program, focused on college/university students. We support approximately a dozen universities whose students are studying engineering, broadcast, communications, and similar majors

We believe that our focus on youth ensures the future of the wireless industry, and sets the Radio Club of America apart from most of the other professional wireless organizations. Join with us in creating the future!

Ensuring the Present

The Radio Club of America is also focused on helping wireless professionals of all ages to advance their careers. We accomplish this in several ways:

  • Our Annual Technical Symposium features some of the best minds in wireless, presenting innovative and unique solutions in wireless. Where else will you find the likes of Professor Frank Drake of SETI fame, or such “Wireless Wow” presentations on ‘Invisibility Cloaks,’ spectrum arbitrage, virtual sensors, using RF to disable IEDs, or 3D printed antennas?
  • At our Annual Meeting you will get a chance to meet keynote speakers like Bob Heil (audio engineer), Walter Cronkite (broadcaster), Marty Cooper (inventor of the cell phone), Dr. Ted Rappaport (professor and author of many radio wireless textbooks), David Sumner (president of the American Radio Relay League), and network with industry pioneers like Andy Seybold (wireless pundit), and Ray Trott P.E. (CEO of communications engineering firm)
  • At our breakfasts at industry trade shows, and other events, you will get a chance to hear from industry notables such as Dave Weisz (Motorola) and Brian Fontes (CEO of National Emergency Number Assoc.)
  • We are planning a new series of RCA educational programs that will provide opportunities for wireless training.  STAY TUNED! 
  • Our partner organization the ETA has numerous additional opportunities for wireless training

Included among our many members are those working in the various segments of the wireless industry, including: Antennas, Broadband, Broadcast, Cellular, Ham Radio, Infrastructure, Manufacturers, Military Communications, Parts Vendors, Public Safety / Land Mobile Radio, and Satellite.

Honoring the Past

The over 100-year history of the Radio Club is the history of wireless communication. The Club keeps alive the memory and lessons of past inventors and innovators, honoring those that contributed so much to the advancement of the wireless art. Included among our previous members were such notables as Armstrong (inventor of FM and the superhetrodyne receiver), Beverage (antennas), Link (land mobile radio), Poppele (founder of Television Broadcasters Assoc., started the WOR NY radio station, director for Voice of America), and dozens of others. Share the legacy that they left us, and help create new legacies for the future!

2016 Awards Banquet Sponsors 


We are adding a new feature to the RCA Website:  a short feature on a current member, what they are doing, and what their wireless interests are.  The member that is featured will be changed regularly.  

If you are interested in being spotlighted, please send a brief summary of your wireless interests, a brief bio, your contact information, and a picture to  We cannot guarantee that every member will be spotlighted, but we will attempt to spotlight as many as we can.

Introducing RCA Member Mark Cady

I started my public safety career in 1986 as a paid-on-call firefighter in the Town of Oxford Massachusetts, and I became an EMT in 1988.  In 1991 I was hired by the City of Worcester MA as a Firefighter.  My education includes a BA in Communications from Worcester State College, AS in Fire Science from Quinsigamond Community College, and a BS in Fire Science from Anna Maria College.  I became a part-time Fire Instructor for the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in 1993, and a Hazardous Materials Technician for the State Team in 1997.  The State Team would become part of the Massachusetts State 800 MHz Motorola SmartZone System, and I had the role of part-time Communications Manager for 18 years.  

Also in 1993 I was chosen as a trainer for the implementation of Worcester’s new 800 MHz GE EDACS trunking radio system, which continued for 23 years.  I worked on capital improvements to sites, microwave links, and was the project manager for the 800 MHz rebanding effort.  

In the early 2000’s as I sat in my office with my newborn daughter sleeping in the next room, I started my own business, LB Communications.  LB Communications works on municipal projects from specifications for mobile and portable procurement, to site development, to PSAP construction and tower construction.  I partner with other consultants on larger Regional PSAP Consolidations and Municipal Communications Evaluations.

In my career, I have had the opportunity to meet two great people from the RCA group.  As a result, at IWCE this year, I decided to broaden my networking by joining the RCA family.  

My Public Safety career with the City of Worcester is 26 years strong.  I have 5 years left but I am looking forward to the next chapter which will be consulting and teaching.

Help support the Future of RCA

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Annual Banquet

The Annual Technical Symposium and Banquet is our opportunity to catch up on the latest wireless innovations, network with the movers and shakers in our industry, and honor our industry’s finest contributors. It is held every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, at alternating locations across the U.S. to ensure that all members get a chance to attend.  In 2017m we will be meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.  Included in the event will be a tour of the first radio broadcast station in the nation, KDKA, for RCA members who attend.  Stay tuned for more details.

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RCA Archives

Maintaining the history and the development of wireless communications.

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RCA History

The history of our Club is one with which every member should be familiar.

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