60 seconds with Radio Links Communications' Bill Pugh
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:
Bill Pugh, senior consultant engineer at Radio Links Communications

Bill Pugh, senior consultant engineer at Radio Links Communications, discusses his career in the two-way radio industry

How do you spend most of your time at work?

Mainly finding and designing ways to allow manufacturers’ equipment to perform in a way that our customers would like them to. Bespoke interfaces are a speciality – if it can’t be done with software, it can be done with hardware. Oh, and customer visits; it’s always enjoyable translating their expectations into reality.

Describe your most unforgettable project.

The installation of a DMR radio system with a DAS into a major London hotel. Trying to provide the required 100 per cent RF coverage was interesting and never to be forgotten.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen while working in the radio sector?

A very intimate couple among the heather close to a hilltop radio site in North Wales!

Over your career, what has most tested your patience?

One of our hire customers demanded I travel 50 miles to fix their radio base station that had failed. They would not listen to my advice over the phone, so I drove to the site, turned the mains switch on the distribution panel that they had fitted to ON, and left.

What advice would you give to a young engineer who’s starting their first job in the radio industry?

Although good IT skills are now required, an equally good knowledge of RF is also essential. It’s all too easy to forget that once you have created a marvellous system, it still needs to be propagated through the ether.

How has your role changed since you started working within the radio industry?

Dramatically! The most obvious is radio programming that used to be done with wire links and tuning tools can now be done by a press of a PC key.

What do you do in your free time to relax?

I have an interest in amateur radio, but I try to add a bit of variety with gardening and general DIY. I also seem to have gained a reputation with a local school of being the go-to person for fixing their electronic teaching aids.

After a couple of years at a marine college in Liverpool, Bill migrated south to Cambridge and spent some years working for Pye Telecom, which was a great grounding in the industry. Shortly after that he joined Radio Links Communications, where he has now been for 39 years.


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