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Remembering a Communications Legend

Jan. 19, 2023
Lou Frenzel had a way with words that brought technology insights to millions.

I’m sad to say that my friend and colleague, Lou Frenzel, Jr., has passed away. Lou was a long-time contributor and editor at Electronic Design and Microwaves & RF. You can still read his Communiqué blog entries on Electronic Design that covered a range of topics from software-defined radio (SDR) to his time with Heathkit, as well as his blogs and assorted articles on Microwaves & RF.

Lou is one of the few editors that had both the technical background and the chops to write well. He’s in the same class as another Electronic Design alum, Bob Pease.

Readers of both publications will be familiar with Lou as he only recently retired from writing for us. More engineers will know him from his most significant book offering, Principles of Electronic Communication Systems. Sadly, the fifth edition will be the last of the series.

The book is likely to remain a fixture in college courses for many years to come. It’s an exhaustive tome starting with electronic fundamentals and modulation techniques all the way through to optical and wireless communication methods. If you don’t have a copy, it’s worth investing in.

Lou picked up his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and received a master’s degree from the University of Maryland. He worked in industries including aerospace, geophysics, and consumer electronics, moving up to engineering management along the way in addition to being a freelance writer.

Lou held vice-president-level positions with Heathkit, Longman Crown, McGraw Hill, and Technovate, and he taught communication and electronics college classes for nine years. It’s an impressive résumé, yet Lou also was a warm and engaging person willing to help out new engineers and writers.

Along the way, he joined up with Electronic Design and eventually Microwaves & RF. He was a part-time contributing editor and full-time editor at various times, writing articles on RF and communication topics. His Communiqué and Microwaves & RF blogs touched on any subject he found interesting, much to the enjoyment of readers.

Lou was a long-time amateur radio operator (W5LEF) and electronic hobbyist. It was fun working with Lou—he was always asking me about software and microcontrollers, and I took advantage of his encyclopedic knowledge of RF and IoT communication technology. For those wishing to follow in his footsteps, get a good engineering degree and check out his article “10 Tips for Writing Your First Technical Book.”

About the Author

William G. Wong | Senior Content Director

I am Editor of Electronic Design focusing on embedded, software, and systems. As Senior Content Director, I also manage Microwaves & RF and I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, programmers, developers and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.>

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our template and send to me along with a signed release form. 

Check out my blog, AltEmbedded on Electronic Design, as well as his latest articles on this site that are listed below. 

You can my social media via these links:

I earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters in Computer Science from Rutgers University. I still do a bit of programming using everything from C and C++ to Rust and Ada/SPARK. I do a bit of PHP programming for Drupal websites. I have posted a few Drupal modules.  

I still get a hand on software and electronic hardware. Some of this can be found on our Kit Close-Up video series. You can also see me on many of our TechXchange Talk videos. I am interested in a range of projects from robotics to artificial intelligence. 

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