Thank you 2024 Education Forum Attendees!

Mark your calendars! ETA will be returning to Las Vegas, NV for the 2025 Education Forum.


What is Education Forum?

The ETA Education Forum event offers individuals the opportunity to network, collaborate, and train. Event participants are given an opportunity to discuss training demands, recent developments in emerging technologies, and industry trends. Those attending the available training sessions will have the opportunity to become certified as part of the class. Certification is important in this competitive job market, and remains a vital part of electronics-related industries.

Co-Hosted with

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Who attends Education Forum?

Attendees at the ETA Education Forum include: faculty in technology programs who want to gain knowledge about new technologies, and how to expand existing programs; college representatives, program development specialists, and counselors who are interested in creating and maintaining electronics programs and in developing strategies for recruiting students; industry trainers and managers who want to gain insight from educators; workforce development personnel from government, labor, business, and education who are involved in shaping electronics programs; individuals concerned with current industry trends, emerging technologies and educational programs.

Why attend the Education Forum at IWCE?


Need a justification letter to convince your boss? Try this one!




2022 Education Forum

March 17-25, 2025
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV



2024 Technical Training

ETA International is proud to provide training through outside vendors in popular technology areas leading to ETA certification. ETA will provide opportunities to test in each area during Education Forum/IWCE, and will also offer a series of Short Courses. Training courses must be purchased separately and are not part of any IWCE conference package. Please check back often for updates.


Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa)

Presenter: Christopher Miller, CETsr, Heartland Community College
Date: Wednesday, 3/27 & Thursday, 3/28
Time: 8:00am–4:30pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

Important:

Due to the similarities in both certification programs, ETA does not recommend taking both the Associate CET (CETa) and General Communications Technician – Level 1 (GCT1). The Associate CET is the foundational electronics certification for ETA’s Journeyman program. The General Communications Technician – Level 1 is similar to the Associate CET, but with a more communications focus. The General Communications Technician – Level 1 is only accepted as a substitute for the Associate CET for those Journeyman options in the Communications category. You can read more about ETA’s Certification Pathway here.


The Associate certification is designed for technicians who have less than two years of experience or trade school training for electronics technicians. Topics covered include: DC Electronics, AC Electronics, Components & Semiconductors, Analog Circuits, Re-cabling & Telecommunications, Digital Circuits & Microprocessors, Troubleshooting, Test Equipment & Repair, Shop & Service Management. Every Certified Electronics Technician (CET) candidate must pass the Associate exam before they can qualify to sit for the full Journeyman certification. Once a technician has completed the two-year term, they should specialize and take a Journeyman option. It is strongly encouraged to have CETa study guide for this training.

ETA's Associate CET study guide


The Associate CET Study Guide
is included in the fee.

CETa

Course Cost: $699 or $799 onsite | Test only option $65

Certification: ETA's Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Distributed Antenna Systems Installer (DASI)

Presenter: Ira Wiesenfeld, PE, CETms(RF) and Joseph Delio, CETma, CETms(RF), IWA Technical Services, Inc.
Date: Monday, 3/25 & Tuesday, 3/26
Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

This hands-on Training Hosted by ETA Focuses on the installation of Active and Passive Bi-Directional Amplifiers used in Today's Distributed Antenna Systems. This two-day course is for anyone interested in learning the fundamental theories, components, installation, and pre-optimization of in-building DAS. Each attendee will participate in a hands-on training lab concentrating on connector installation, a simple install, a simple antenna design, and how to identify cabling problems. Exposure to RF energy and related safety subjects will also be addressed.

Discussions will include:

• Antenna Types • Mounting Techniques • Propagation • Gain and Losses • Decibels • Pattern Distortions • Return Loss • Distance-to-Fault • Range • Impedance Matching • Bandwidth • Efficiency • Power Levels • Types of BDAs - Active/Passive • Polarization • Transmission Line Installation • Fiber Optic Connectivity • Antenna Diversity • Splitters, Couplers and Tags • Lightening Protection • Isolation

Hands-on demonstrations will include:

Testing Fundamentals • Calibration • Spectrum Analyzers • Connectorization • Reflectometers • RF Wattmeters • Determining Problems • System Sweeps • Distance-to-Fault Measurements • Fiber Optic Test Equipment • Troubleshooting the Installation

DASI

Course Cost: $999 or $1,099 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's Distributed Antenna Systems Installer (DASI)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Fiber Optics 1-2-3 (FOI) **UPDATE** SOLD OUT!

Presenter: John Dron, FOT-OSP, FOI Light Brigade
Date: Monday, 3/25 - Thursday, 3/28
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm (Mon/Tues) & 8:00am–4:00pm (Wed/Thurs)
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

This instructor-led course provides a fundamental understanding of fiber optics, coupled with the practical hands-on skills training required to install and maintain fiber optic networks. Perfect for those new to fiber or those looking to enhance their current skill set. Two days of classroom time are dedicated to the understanding of fiber technology and network components, followed by two days of hands-on skills training to develop cable preparation, termination, splicing, and testing skills.

Classroom Topics (Monday/Tuesday):

  • Fiber Basics
  • Fiber Optic Transmission Theory
  • Multimode and Single-mode Fibers
  • Fiber Optic Cables
  • Connectors and Connector Endfaces
  • Splicing
  • Fiber and Cable Management
  • Installation
  • Test Equipment
  • Testing Best Practices
  • Restoration
  • Active and Passive Devices
  • Loss Budgets
  • Safety

Hands-On Skills Lab (Wednesday/Thursday):

  • Connectors
  • Prepare Fibers for Termination
  • Hand-polished Anaerobic Connectors
  • Cleaning and Inspection
  • Mechanical Splice-on Connectors
  • Identify Nearby Bends and Breaks
  • Assemble an ETA-compliant Patchcord
  • *Cable Preparation for Termination
  • Prepare Stranded Cable for Panel Installation
  • Prepare Buffer Tube for a Splice Tray
  • Prepare a Fanout Kit
  • Splicing and OTDRs
  • Modify Typical OTDR Settings
  • Recognize and Interpret Events
  • Use a Launch Box
  • Modify Typical Splicer Settings
  • Perform Arc Calibration
  • Fusion and Mechanical Splicing
  • Optical Loss Testing
  • Wet and Dry Cleaning Methods
  • One-, Two- and Three-cord Reference Testing
  • Create a Sample Loss Budget
  • Detect Active Fibers
FOI

Course Cost: $1,300 Two-Day Lecture/Classroom OR $2,400 Four-Day Lecture/Classroom and Hands-On (includes testing fees)

Certification: ETA's Fiber Optics Intaller (FOI)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the Four-Day workshop

General Communications Technician Training - Level 1 (GCT1)

Presenter: Chris Miller, CETsr, Heartland Community College & AJ Wiesenfeld, PE, IWA Technical Services, Inc.
Date: Monday, 3/25 & Tuesday, 3/26
Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

Important:

Due to the similarities in both certification programs, ETA does not recommend taking both the Associate CET (CETa) and General Communications Technician – Level 1 (GCT1). The Associate CET is the foundational electronics certification for ETA’s Journeyman program. The General Communications Technician – Level 1 is similar to the Associate CET, but with a more communications focus. The General Communications Technician – Level 1 is only accepted as a substitute for the Associate CET for those Journeyman options in the Communications category. You can read more about ETA’s Certification Pathway here.


The General Communications Technician-Level 1 certification program introduces the attendee to basic elements of various communications concepts and technologies. This includes basic electronics, fundamentals of radio, tools, test equipment, power systems, cabling and installations, environmental systems, antennas, transmission lines, operating principles and details on radios and radio systems, serial data and IP networks, basics of fiber optic lines and systems, telephony, satellite communications, physical plant considerations, site procedures and safety practices. LMR communications, satellite, telephone, data, and computer technologies used in incident response and planned events.

General Communications Technician-Level 1 trains technicians on the practices and procedures common to radio communication technicians. This course will help communications technicians work within the Incident Command System (ICS) organizational structure. It is intended for novice technicians or anyone that needs a basic technical understanding of communications systems. This course is ideal for federal, state, local, and tribal emergency response professionals and coordination/support personnel with communications backgrounds. Individuals who are responsible for managing a Strategic Technology Reserve (radio cache, mobile communications vehicle, or other deployable communications assets) are encouraged to attend. GCT1 is modeled after the US Department of Homeland Security's COM-T program.

The General Commmunications Technician Study Guide - Level 1 is included in the fee.

GCT1

Course Cost: $999 or $1,099 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's General Communications Technician-Level 1 (GCT1)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Line and Antenna Sweep (LAS)

Presenter: Jay Thompson, CETsr, TACtical RF
Date: Monday, 3/25 & Tuesday, 3/26
Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

REQUIRED: Students should bring their FDR or VNA, calibration kit (w/ phase stable cable), and a laptop for the manual.

Line and Antenna Sweep (LAS) testing has been with us for years but now test equipment size and cost have dropped dramatically. Handheld units now bring line sweeping into the field at a technician level. Carrier and equipment manufacturers develop installation Methods of Procedures to ensure every decibel of signal strength is maximized in the increasingly crowded RF spectrum. Line and antenna sweeping are critical tests for the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of antenna components and networks. The course is about moving beyond a simple wattmeter test when installing or maintaining any antenna system.

A review of decibels, Return Loss, and VSWR along with the standard tests used for LAS will be covered. Many examples will be presented and hands-on exercises will be conducted to ensure students are prepared to better understand antenna systems. The ETA LAS certification test will be available upon completion of this course.

LAS

Course Cost: $999 or $1,049 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's Line and Antenna Sweep (LAS)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Microwave Fundamentals - Microwave Radio Technician (MRT)

Presenter: Bill Bailey, PhD
Date: Wednesday, 3/27 & Thursday, 3/28
Time: 8:00am–4:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

With the explosion of new digital applications in today’s communication networks microwave radio offers many advantages. They are capable of carrying large amounts of information (voice, video, and data); they require smaller antennas than other RF communication bands; microwaves signal easily propagate around objects; and microwave equipment has proven very reliable. The microwave spectrum is generally described as running between 500 MHz and 300 GHz. At these frequencies, wavelengths become relatively short, and measure between 1 cm and 60 cm in length. Microwave systems have proven capable of effectively processing and transmitting both analog and digital intelligence. Microwave technicians, therefore, must be equally versed in frequency modulation (FM) and digital modulation techniques. In this course we will take a system approach in our examination and analysis of microwave radio communication.

Participants will be exposed to: RF safety fundamentals; RF spectrum and frequency concepts; microwave radio system configurations; RF modulation schemes (CW, AM, FM,& PW) ; digital microwave coding/decoding techniques; principles of Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and Phase Shift Keying (QPSK); microwave radio equipment (TX & RX block diagrams, microwave/digital interfaces, performance indicators, bit error rates (BIT), microwave timing and synchronization schemes, and radio protection configurations); microwave propagation characteristics (line-of-sight restrictions, electromagnetic waves, path-related anomalies, and Fresnel zone clearance); microwave antenna systems; and common microwave test equipment and procedures. Upon successfully passing ETA’s microwave radio technician (MRT) examination participants will be awarded ETA certification.

MRT

Course Cost: $999 and $1,049 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's Microwave Radio Technician (MRT)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Practical Antenna Basics (PAB) - Making Sense of RF Propagation in Everyday Communication Systems

Presenter: Bill Bailey, PhD
Date: Monday, 3/25 & Tuesday, 3/26
Time: 9:00am–5:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

In this course participants will be introduced to basic antenna theory. We will examine the fundamental principles of RF propagation and explore the antenna’s critical role in wireless communication systems. A major problem in any wireless communication system is the efficient transformation of internal circuit voltage and current into electromagnetic energy. Encoded and modulated with analog intelligence or digital data, electromagnetic radiation can then be propagated though space. The transformational complexity often results in an over-simplified explanation of an antenna as just a passive device with strange and magical abilities. Those attending this course will learn to dispel any mystical nature and develop a sound practical understanding of how antennas work.

Topics addressed will include: the evolution of antenna theory (Maxwell’s equations, Faraday’s law, Ampere’s law, Marconi and Hertz); electrical to electromagnetic conversion (E and H field interaction, polarization, wave-fronts); characteristics of RF propagation (refraction, diffraction, fading, and travel path); half-wave dipole antenna development (effects of impedance, radiation and induction); antenna power ratios (dB’s and dBm’s); antenna performance (gain, directivity, reciprocity, radiation fields, beam-width, directionality); antenna feed lines (resonant and non-resonant); antenna design considerations (monopole antennas, antenna arrays, and electrical vs. physical length); specialized antennas (log-periodic, small-loop, folded di-pole, and slot antenna); microwave antennas (horn, parabolic reflector, lens and patch antennas); and common non-proprietary antenna installation, alignment, and maintenance practices. Upon successfully passing ETA’s antenna competency examination participants will be awarded ETA’s practical antenna basics (PAB) certification.

PAB

Course Cost: $999 or $1,049 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's Practical Antenna Basics (PAB)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop

Radio Frequency Interference Mitigation (RFIM)

Presenters: Tom Brinkoetter, LAS, Radio Site Test & Jay Thompson, CETsr, TACtical RF
Date: Wednesday, 3/27 & Thursday, 3/28
Time: 8:00am–4:00pm
Room: TBD

Course Description Certification

This course will provide a background in the frequency spectrum and RF technology and review causes and sources of interference. Spectrum analyzers will be covered in detail along with software functions and tools to support interference hunting. Many interference hunting cases will be presented.

Students will have hands-on time with a variety of modern commercial spectrum analyzers. A “Tiny SA” spectrum analyzer will be given to the students for use during the labs.

The content will include:

  • Basic RF Signal Theory
  • Frequency Spectrum
  • Decibels
  • Unlicensed vs. Licensed
  • Modulation
  • Radio Propagation
  • What is interference?
  • Sources of Interference
  • Interference Examples
  • Antennas
  • Spectrum Analyzers
  • Key specifications
  • Real Time vs. Swept
  • Spectrum Analyzer Measurements
  • Interference Hunting Tools
  • Field Measurements

RFIM

Course Cost: $1,099 or $1,149 onsite | Test only option $105

Certification: ETA's Radio Frequency Interference Mitigation (RFIM)

Certification Cost: included in the price of the workshop