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Technical Training

Dtg8

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Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
6
Hi all,

Long time lurker on the site, been working with public safety radio for the past 6 years and this site has been nothing but helpful! I was wondering if anyone had any leads on classes for ETA certifications. The company I'm working for would like for me to get my GCT1 and BDA/DAS certs. I had a friend who went through the GCT1 and said it was a real tough course, so if I can get into a class as opposed to just self studying I think that would be my best bet. I've done a bunch of googling and haven't found anything.

Thanks!
 

Dtg8

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
6
Thanks for the quick reply! I am in the US and GROL is another one on the list. As well as line sweep. Most of this stuff I've done or worked on, just never got the certifications due to always being balls to the wall with work.
 

prcguy

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I have a GROL but otherwise never needed any certifications working in the 2-way radio or satellite broadcast industry. I worked with a lot of people that did and it didn't show in their actual knowledge or work ethic. I also interviewed people for our company and within a few minutes you can tell if their resume is real or a bunch of lies, which is the case with about 90% of the people I interviewed. I would much rather see someone who is really good at their job and not at collecting certificates.

I think more employers need to understand a certificate or license has little to do with the person having a clue on how to do their job.
 

mmckenna

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I think more employers need to understand a certificate or license has little to do with the person having a clue on how to do their job.
^^^this.
Some of my fellow managers go completely ga-ga over a Cisco certification. Never understood why. Manufacturer specific certifications usually result in very narrow minded individuals.
 

prcguy

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Yup, during an interview its much better to quiz the applicant by someone well versed in whatever is needed in that position. For a technical job I like to put them in front of the equipment they will maintain and supposedly know, like talk me through what you see in front of you and describe every piece and its function. Or if this thing stops working and does this, what might you expect is wrong and why and how would you get it back on air?

I like to do the same thing around review time to see if employees actually understand their job and have gained knowledge since the last time we chatted.

^^^this.
Some of my fellow managers go completely ga-ga over a Cisco certification. Never understood why. Manufacturer specific certifications usually result in very narrow minded individuals.
 

mmckenna

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Yes, they did that to me when I hired on almost 25 years ago. "Here's a router, a couple of hubs and some patch cords. Make it go…" Also had to walk through various tasks. Very common question was "what color is pair 23 on a twisted pair cable.

Required competitive bidding makes the one brand wonders sort of useless.

Sometimes less training makes for a better applicant.
 

Dtg8

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
6
Have you checked the ETA web site? They usually have a list of class offerings. Good luck on your certifications from a retired ETA department chairman.
Bill - CETma
I did take a look, just didn't know if anyone knew of anything I wasn't able to find in a search. Looks like TX is the only place that does GCT 1, DAS and LAS classes all in the same place. I'll dig down a little deeper there to see what I can find.
 

Dtg8

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
6
I have a GROL but otherwise never needed any certifications working in the 2-way radio or satellite broadcast industry. I worked with a lot of people that did and it didn't show in their actual knowledge or work ethic. I also interviewed people for our company and within a few minutes you can tell if their resume is real or a bunch of lies, which is the case with about 90% of the people I interviewed. I would much rather see someone who is really good at their job and not at collecting certificates.

I think more employers need to understand a certificate or license has little to do with the person having a clue on how to do their job.
Oh man I'm well aware. I've had new guys brought to me that the boss was all excited about because they had certs but they were clueless. I've worked on everything from mobile installs to R56 equipment installs, DAS testing and installs, to the more technical side of configuring moto K cores from the ground up (a little less experience doing that) but shy of a few certs I got when I first started working for my old company, it was more about knowing how to do the job over cert hunting.
 
Last edited:

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
My conversations at my last job were "here's the video compression racks, the modulators, the 70MHz line amps, the upconverters, the Klystron amplifiers, the combiners taking in eight amplifiers onto one wave guide polarity, the wave guide runs to the antenna, the antenna, its servo system, the receive path and amplifiers, block down converters, beacon receivers, uplink power control, monitor and control computer system and that was just one small portion of the facility. Job applicants ideally understood all this and could walk in the door understanding everything and hopefully the only thing you had to tell them is where the bathroom is.

Out of probably a hundred job applicants only two really knew this stuff and even some people that had worked there for years never really understood everything.

Yes, they did that to me when I hired on almost 25 years ago. "Here's a router, a couple of hubs and some patch cords. Make it go…" Also had to walk through various tasks. Very common question was "what color is pair 23 on a twisted pair cable.

Required competitive bidding makes the one brand wonders sort of useless.

Sometimes less training makes for a better applicant.
 

wwhitby

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Autauga County, Alabama
I think more employers need to understand a certificate or license has little to do with the person having a clue on how to do their job.
I agree completely. The best and most knowledgeable people were the ones that had experience, not certificates. Certificates only state that people have passed a class.

Beware of people with certification acronyms after their names.....
 

mmckenna

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Sort of unrelated, but I used to get called by the next county south of us. Their HR manual required that they have someone on the interview committee that was from outside the department. Since we ran a lot of the same stuff, they'd call me up to help them do interviews. I'd usually score a free lunch out of it.
They were hiring new radio techs. Amazing how many 'radio techs' experience consisted of putting a CB radio in their buddy's truck.

Nice part was that I could periodically snipe some of the guys they didn't hire. I picked up a retired Pacific Bell guy for our group about 10 years ago, and he's still working for us. Unfortunately he was one of the last good bell system guys in the area. At least I've got him on our team.

Even more unrelated,
Most fun I ever had on an interview committee was when I got sucked into being on the team to hire some new customer service reps.
Was interviewing one lady in particular. About half way through the interview I realized that she was about 10 times more relaxed than I was. No drugs, just a genuine nice lady that knew her stuff and knew that getting uptight at the interview wasn't going to make it any easier We hired her and she did a great job.

One other person we were hiring was a young lady fresh out of college. We were working through the routine questions while I was looking at her application. I noticed that it had Burmese as a secondary language. Now, I know precisely zero Burmese and wouldn't have known what she was saying, but I stopped, looked at her, and said "OK, Say something in Burmese". She got wide eyed! Sort of looked at me for a second, then rattled something off. I told her I had no idea what she was saying, but just wanted to check. I asked her what she did say. She said "It's what my grandmother always said to me, "You look hungry."." We had a good laugh about that. She relaxed after that and finished the interview. We hired her as a customer service rep. That was probably 12 years ago. She's now in upper management and doing a great job, and pretty much liked by everyone in the department. Honestly one of the nicest people I know.

Important take away was that people get nervous in the interviews. Getting them to loosen up and relax does wonders. That's usually when the real person comes out.
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I had one applicant that the department manager had flown in from NJ to interview and we were in CA. This guy knew his stuff and technically could have run the place. I had to take him to lunch and knowing he did well and would probably be hired he started asking if we can accommodate him as a "state citizen" as far as not taking out any federal income taxes from his paycheck. I've dealt with so called state citizens before and told him that's up to HR or some other group.

Then I had to take him to lunch, which runs through some rough neighborhoods to get to the nice restaurants. He asked how the neighborhoods were around here to live in. I mentioned we were passing through a "rough" one and as he looked out the window at the people in the neighborhood he made a comment about a particular race using a word that is very uncomfortable to repeat and how they seem to multiply like cockroaches. We went to lunch and as soon as we got back to the facility I informed the hiring manager that this guy isn't going to make it due to some things he said. The manager insisted he's hiring and I took it to HR. With the hiring manager present HR asked what did he say, so I told them. Eyes went big, mouths wide open, manager now with his head in his hands. Guy got sent back home with no explanation.

Another time the hiring manager was a very difficult person that should never been placed in that position and he went way out of his way to promote his race and everyone else was just raciest. He gave me a person to interview, of his race of course and the person was very knowledgeable but had some very bizarre social problems. They wouldn't really look you in the eye, very nervous, extremely feminine and it appeared to be a male but with a very soft female voice for a large male.

After the interview I goggle searched their name and found reference to them thanking some TV show about a makeover as they were making the transition from a male to a female. Very interesting and sad at the same time. I informed the hiring manager of this, not as a reason to not hire the person but just as a heads up. The manager started screaming no way, I'm not doing that to my guys, I'll never hire that, bla bla bla. I had to inform him he can't discriminate and he/she is the best candidate so far. More screaming. I told him if that's the only reason he doesn't hire the person we would be discussing this with HR to protect the company. Eventually another candidate more qualified was interviewed and was hired.

None of this has anything to do with training or certificates, but it is a real part of the hiring process and keeping your job. And hopefully it was fun to read.

Sort of unrelated, but I used to get called by the next county south of us. Their HR manual required that they have someone on the interview committee that was from outside the department. Since we ran a lot of the same stuff, they'd call me up to help them do interviews. I'd usually score a free lunch out of it.
They were hiring new radio techs. Amazing how many 'radio techs' experience consisted of putting a CB radio in their buddy's truck.

Nice part was that I could periodically snipe some of the guys they didn't hire. I picked up a retired Pacific Bell guy for our group about 10 years ago, and he's still working for us. Unfortunately he was one of the last good bell system guys in the area. At least I've got him on our team.

Even more unrelated,
Most fun I ever had on an interview committee was when I got sucked into being on the team to hire some new customer service reps.
Was interviewing one lady in particular. About half way through the interview I realized that she was about 10 times more relaxed than I was. No drugs, just a genuine nice lady that knew her stuff and knew that getting uptight at the interview wasn't going to make it any easier We hired her and she did a great job.

One other person we were hiring was a young lady fresh out of college. We were working through the routine questions while I was looking at her application. I noticed that it had Burmese as a secondary language. Now, I know precisely zero Burmese and wouldn't have known what she was saying, but I stopped, looked at her, and said "OK, Say something in Burmese". She got wide eyed! Sort of looked at me for a second, then rattled something off. I told her I had no idea what she was saying, but just wanted to check. I asked her what she did say. She said "It's what my grandmother always said to me, "You look hungry."." We had a good laugh about that. She relaxed after that and finished the interview. We hired her as a customer service rep. That was probably 12 years ago. She's now in upper management and doing a great job, and pretty much liked by everyone in the department. Honestly one of the nicest people I know.

Important take away was that people get nervous in the interviews. Getting them to loosen up and relax does wonders. That's usually when the real person comes out.
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, I've had a few cases where if applicants had just kept their mouths shut, they would have landed a job.
 
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Messages
864
I'm teaching the ETA antenna line sweep class at IWCE provided it really happens. I'm also teamed up with Dover Training solutions, we do GCT1 and 2 and DAS. Last time we did a live class was in the spring of 2019, most passed 1 but over half failed 2.
It's not that difficult but we were limited to 2 days each with no time in between and 90 min lunches shortened our training time.
DAS is undergoing some changes, the ETA has been talking about making it 3 certs.
Let me know how we can help
 
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Messages
864
When I did my first interview for a 2 way install spot I was in the owner's office. It was a mess, books and papers strewn all over the place. He had to clean stuff off a chair for me to sit on for my interview. One of his questions was 'are you a neat and orderly person?'

I said yes and then said 'does that disqualify me?'
He asked me what I meant, I said 'it looks like world war 3 went off in here, it's a mess'.
I got the job.
 

iMONITOR

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Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,024
^^^this.
Some of my fellow managers go completely ga-ga over a Cisco certification. Never understood why. Manufacturer specific certifications usually result in very narrow minded individuals.
It's because the people doing the interviews are usally clueless and rely on name dropping big names like Cisco, and Microsoft are an indication of knowledge and experience.
 

Dtg8

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
6
I'm teaching the ETA antenna line sweep class at IWCE provided it really happens. I'm also teamed up with Dover Training solutions, we do GCT1 and 2 and DAS. Last time we did a live class was in the spring of 2019, most passed 1 but over half failed 2.
It's not that difficult but we were limited to 2 days each with no time in between and 90 min lunches shortened our training time.
DAS is undergoing some changes, the ETA has been talking about making it 3 certs.
Let me know how we can help

I'm guessing that means no online options for those classes at this point? I've been going through the GCT1 book in my free time but I definitely do better in a classroom setting for what that's worth. Is there a time frame for when ETA will have those changes out? The area I'm in right now is blowing up with public safety BDA installs and both the company and a lot of the building contractors/fire code people want the installers to be *BDA Certified*

Thanks for the reply by the way, I've been banging my head against the wall the past week or so trying to find training, googling to no avail. If there is anything coming up for any of those certs I'm going to push it up the chain to get scheduled for it ASAP.
 
Joined
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Messages
864
email me, my first name at tacticalrf.com
We are capable of doing online training, Tom and I both have home studios with ATEM mini pro video switchers so we can use any of 4 HDMI inputs to switch from PC display to us to whiteboard for quick drawings to make it seem more personal and interactive.
Actually we bought them because they are cool tech guy toys but we needed an excuse to write them off our taxes.

We usually ask for 5 or more students if we travel to your site, otherwise travel costs make it hard to make a profit.

I am working on doing LAS online, the hard part is the hands on testing. I'm putting a kit together with antennas and coax with known VNA responses so I can send it to you and do a zoom interaction to verify you get the results you should.
 
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