R.I.P. Paul Hurd

TK41C@aol.com TK41C@aol.com
Wed Dec 29 10:51:28 EST 2010

I,too, worked briefly for Paul eons ago.  Indeed, he was a true gentleman, 
and a hands on, competent engineer-from AM to analog TV.  He kept the 
Needham TX plant running at top performance, even though most of the gear was 
vacuum tube.

He once said that directional AM engineering could be as difficult as 
TV-Very true.

A few Paul stories-

When working for RCA Service Co, he was commissioning a new transmitter 
plant in OK, and before performing the proof, the RCA crew decided to break for 
lunch, and let the TX stabilize.  The rig was running into a water cooled 
dummy load.

During lunch, there was a backhoe fade, dropping water pressure to zero.  
No fail safe at the time, the dummy load blew its top, and sent gel goo all 
over the equipt. The goo hardened like volcanic rock. RCA had to replace it 

While at WHDH, I was taking tower base current readings at the AM site one 
day.  One had to descend into the doghouses, stand on a wooden box, and 
reach over a large loading coil to open the shunt.  Then wait for no modulation 
during Jess Cain's show-they were plentiful.  Also, there was water in the 

When I explained my safety concerns to Paul, he dismissed them, noting that 
they never had an incident.  Several weeks later, he had to perform the 
same task, and took an RF burn.  When I asked about the hole in his jacket, 
Paul said that he had a "little incident" at the AM site.  We all knew what had 

The old WHDH group was a classy bunch-Phil Baldwin, Geo St Andre, and Paul, 
plus the technicians.   I believe George is still vertically polarized.

Good days.  RIP, Paul. Tnx.

J Ballard

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