Meet Dan Wolski, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Always busy at his work station, Dan Wolski has fixed radios, accessories, televisions, and security equipment for Chicago Communications since 1994.

Originally from the Chicago land area, Dan grew up interested in electronics and their functions after a friend introduced him to radios. He ultimately decided to make it his career. He attended a technical school in Indiana, in the vicinity of Valparaiso College.

Dan’s career in radios began in a small CB store his friend owned, located in Kankakee, IL. There, he would repair all sorts of radios, ranging from small hand held two way radios to entire radio systems installed in vehicles. He decided to then move back up to the Chicago area, where he landed a position within ChiComm.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Meet our Technicians, Employee Spotlight

Meet John Marquardt, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Meet John Marquardt, a low key kind of guy with a big impact here at Chicago Communications. A man with many talents and very few words, John’s stomping ground is a work bench and toolbox at our Chicago Loop location. He is one of our valued technicians who has put in 29 years of hard work and dedication into fixing two way radios and other communication system accessories.

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Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet Ernie Chisholm, Technician At ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spotlight on the Technicians: The Experience Behind ChiComm

     Ernie’s career has taken him around the world a time or two before finally landing him at Chicago Communications. He may have only joined ChiComm's service team two and a half years ago, but combined with his other previous work he has 30 years of expertise in the communications & technology field.

     Ernie's training started when he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1983, right after he graduated from high school. Beyond several weeks of Basic Training he also attended many different technical training programs while in the military that were specific for the assignments he worked on (electronic development, air traffic controls, and ground launch cruise missiles are some examples of subjects he studied). Ernie's official role was as a ground radio maintenance technician in the Air Force and he served this position for 10 years. This is where most of his 'globetrotting' comes in. As part of different military assignments he spent years living in foreign countries like Korea and Turkey, while spending other extended periods of time in Japan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Spain, England and several states across the United States. Most of his work in the Air Force involved tactical mobile communications which translates to being “the radio guy” in simple terms--and that's how he was known to the others he served with. As a technician in ground radio maintenance he worked on: satellite communications, LMR (two way land mobile radio communications similar to the equipment used at ChiComm), long range and high frequency communications and the encryption that makes all of those communications secure. 

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Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Safety Solutions, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet Chris Young, Technician At ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spotlight on the Technicians; Experience Behind ChiComm

     Chris has been interested in electronics ever since he was a toddler. After he learned how to say mom and dad, the next word he learned to say was 'electricity'. At age 11 he was already heavily into CB (citizen’s band) radios and by the time he was in high school he got into building car stereos and installing equipment into cars. So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that as an adult Chris was able to successfully build a 100% battery run electric vehicle, in his free time!   This project took 3 years for Chris and his dad to complete from start to finish, all within his garage. The truck (pictured below) has a 50 mile range depending on driving speed and conditions, takes 4-5 hours to gain complete charge and can reach a top speed of 75mph. Like other vehicles of its kind, it can be charged anywhere with an electrical outlet. The truck is used for short trips and errands around town and the 2,000 mile mark was recently crossed without having yet run into any major problems.

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Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Experience Behind ChiComm: Spotlight on Lester Dixon

Posted by Jill McNamara

Friday, December 21, 2012

     Lester started at ChiComm in October of 1983, and upon his retirement next week he'll have put in just over 29 years here. He has primarily been a mobile installer for ChiComm but he’s done a little bit of everything throughout his years here (base installs, microphone repairs, squad builds, responding to service calls). At the time he started the cellular business was booming in full swing so he jumped right in to learning how to install mobile cellular units in cars. Besides the skills he learned from some electronic courses he learned everything he knows on the job.   His job description includes: installing a wide range of equipment in vehicles and repairing equipment when necessary, whether in the shop or on location at a customer site. A majority of the jobs he's worked on have been for government agencies, including dozens and dozens of squad cars and undercover vehicles. He has been working on vehicle solutions for as many years as he can remember.      

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Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Employee Spotlight

Simple Installations Gone Wrong

Posted by Jill McNamara

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

 The Importance of a Proper Installation 

     What happens when you attempt to install high tech equipment on your own or by inexperienced technicians? Installations can go wrong and end up costing more than you bargained for. There are 2 common scenarios I've seen happen more than once that are worth sharing.

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Tags: Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet The Three Musketeers of 80 years

Posted by Jill McNamara

Friday, August 17, 2012

 Meet Our Technicians: The Experience behind ChiComm

Darrin + Larry + Ken= 80 years of experience!    

      Between these three guys alone, there's 80 years of service spent at Chicago Communications! Ken leads with 34 years, while Larry has 28 and Darrin, 18. That's quite a few years of valuable experience. Although each of their careers with Chicago Comm has varied in specialties, they have several foundational qualities in common. They are always in the field where no day is the same, every job is in a different place. They both face the same challenges such as working with public safety customers where the communication systems operating tie to critical situation response times that can result in life and death. "Working with public safety systems can definitely put more pressure on you... and it can be challenging," says Larry. "Most people don’t really know what we do. They may see a glimpse of a dispatch center or see antennas on top of a building and not realize how those work. All of our work is behind the scenes. People think the police vehicles come from the manufacturer ready to use but it's our mobile installers that put in the radios, light bars, cages, and computers; and it's our technicians that go out to help when these systems have problems."

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Tags: Meet our Technicians, Antenna System, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet Rich Watts, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 The Experience Behind ChiComm

      I recently asked Rich what  he thought was ChiComm’s greatest strength. He answered, “It has to be the combination of younger and older generations benefiting from each other. A lot of the old guys have RF and component expertise while the new guys are experienced with networking and computers, so we all learn from each other. The younger guys come in very eager to learn from us and when the team gets to hear the old way of doing something vs. hearing a newer different perspective, everyone’s helping each other find the best solution.” Rich hits his 29 years of working with Chicago Comm this November. By this measure that qualifies him as one of the “older guys” around the shop. He started back when cellular had just launched commercially.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet John Syron, Technician at ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

     John Syron started working at Chicago Comm in March of 2011, so he may be considered a rookie around here. But he could certainly fool you into thinking he’s been doing tech work for much longer. If the Chicago Comm technician's were a baseball team, he’d probably get rookie of the year with his track record so far.

     John graduated high school in 2008, and immediately enrolled in DeVry’s networking and communication management program (going on to earn his bachelor’s in just 2 ½ years). His ambition and eagerness to get started in the industry led him to a career fair before concluding his time there. Ever heard the saying: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity? John's luck must have paid off at the fair because he received 4 job offers! Ultimately though, John chose Chicago Communications and the company was thrilled to bring him on board.

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Tags: MOTOTRBO, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Meet Curt Rockcastle, Installer for ChiComm

Posted by Jill McNamara

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meet Our Techs: The Experience Behind ChiComm

   Curt graduated high school in 1978, back when gas was $0.63 a gallon and “Grease” & “Saturday Night Fever” were most popular on the big screen. That same year, Illinois Bell Company introduced the first ever Cellular Mobile Phone System; something that Curt probably didn’t realize he’d be tied to in the future. So at this time, he stuck to his trade as a mechanic. Curt had been a mechanic since age 13 because his dad owned 5 gas stations and he was always exposed to the automotive field.

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Tags: Chicago Communications, Meet our Technicians, Maintenance/Installation/Service