May 2008 Newsletter
SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
April 2007 Meeting Report
No Meeting due to NAB
Synopsis: According to the National Associaton of Broadcasters:
"The NAB Show has evolved over the last eight decades to continually lead this ever-changing industry. And while the solutions at your fingertips have changed to keep pace with consumer lifestyles, habits and technologies, your aspirations to produce and deliver memorable content have remained consistent. From conception through distribution, the NAB Show has proudly served as the incubator for excellence – helping to breathe life into content everywhere."
This year's NAB was marked by the departure of both Avid and Apple as major exhibitors and attendance was noticably down. The familiar battle between the adjacent booths of these competitors at the front of the South Hall lower floor stood as a memory in sharp contrast with the calm of the less boistrous manufacturers who filled the void left behind at this 2008 show.
Even without those two major players, NAB continues to be an interesting and broad show for our industry which for me at least, remains exciting. And this from someone who started going to NAB when the two anchor booths were Ampex and RCA.
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Random Radio Thoughts
Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company
Site Security Follow-Up
As a follow-up to last month’s continued narrative on the copper theft situation at one of Crawford’s Alabama AM stations, here is a peek at all the security measures we ended up installing at the tower bases.
1. A new fence was installed. The top of the fence includes razor wire and barbed wire to discourage an over-the-top entry. The bottom of the fence fabric was bonded to the ground system.
2. You’re going to love this – we took some retired tower strobe fixtures and installed them on the light pole at the tower base. When the alarm is tripped, these start flashing with 270,000 candelas in the “free run” mode, disorienting the interlopers and getting the attention of anyone within three miles, sleeping or awake.
3. Armored, fail-safe magnetic switches were installed at each tower fence gate. These drive DC relays that are in turn tied into the monitored alarm system. See the photo below.
4. Copper tubing rather than strap was used to connect the tower base and ATU to the ground ring below the base pier. The overall surface area of the 1.5” diameter tubing is greater than that of 4” strap.
5. A two-inch layer of asphalt was laid over the ground screen and all exposed copper at the site. The bottom of the fence fabric was encased in the asphalt to prevent someone from pulling up the bottom of the fence and crawling under.
The photo above was taken from one of the security cameras mounted on a pole next to the transmitter building. This camera provides us good views and resolution both day and night.
The photo to the right shows the armored magnetic switch and, if you look hard, the lower electric fence wire. Three such electric fence conductors were strung inside the fence at intervals that will discourage anyone from cutting the fabric and getting in that way. Yes, these conductors are energized by an agricultural charger to a peak potential of 10,000 volts in 10 uS pulses. It will hurt you! The electric fence can be de-energized only from inside the transmitter building. This photo, by the way, was taken with the pan-tilt-zoom camera that we can steer to virtually any point on the property.
So far, so good is all I can say. I hate to have to turn an AM array into a virtual prison yard, but this is the world we live in. I continue to hear reports and see trade press on other broadcast facility thefts all over the country. Sooner or later, we’ll be faced with this sort of thing here along the Front Range.
They said this year’s NAB convention would be lightly attended because of the economy and the downturn in the broadcasting business. A lot of radio stocks are at 10% of their historic highs, and some groups did stay home this year (CBS and Clear Channel were among those sitting this one out), but you could hardly tell from the amount of traffic at the show. NAB says that there were over 105,000 in attendance, and I believe it.
There were all sorts of new products on the show floor. As an admitted RF guy, the most impressive in my view were at the Nautel booth. That company’s 30+ member engineering team has had a very busy year, and it showed.
Nautel unveiled a new 44 kW single-cabinet solid-state FM transmitter, the NV40, which is 65”W x 32”D x 72.5”H with internal power supply and harmonic filter. The rig features a 17” touch screen and web interface with 100% of the local monitoring and control. It also features a built-in spectrum analyzer and HD Radio constellation view, and it will make 35 kW FM+HD. It’s quite the rig!
Nautel also rolled out a new 50 kW solid-state AM rig, the NX50. It fits a footprint of 38”W x 44”D x 72.5”H and has an internal power supply. It, too, has a 17” touch screen and full-function web interface, including the spectrum analyzer and HD Radio constellation view. It also features real-time load analysis with Smith chart display. That is one feature that we have been asking for! I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.
Over on the audio side of things, Wheatstone caught up to and passed Axia with its new E2 (“E Squared”) Ethernet audio system. It works much like the Axia LiveWire “node” system (Wheatstone calls their “nodes” “squares” – thus the name), and it communicates over CAT-5E/6 cables and standard layer 3 Ethernet switches. In my view, this system surpasses the Axia system because it includes 12 universal logic ports per square, and each square includes an integral profanity delay. It’s a building block system in which a facility can ease into the all-Ethernet audio world one square at a time for about $3k per square. You can also add Wheatstone E-series control surfaces when it’s time to replace those old analog boards. As with Nautel, it was apparent that Wheatstone engineers have been busy over the past year.
Ibiquity was back at the show this year after being absent for a couple (they had hospitality suites at recent shows, but no booth). Their booth included an impressive display of auto, portable and home HD Radio consumer products. Every time I walked by, there was a big crowd.
I can’t begin to detail all the sights and sounds of NAB2008. Suffice it to say that it was quite a show with lots of new implementations of technology. It was certainly worth attending.
Crossed Field Antenna
Many of you may remember some trade press over a revolutionary device called the Crossed Field Antenna a few years back. There was a paper given at NAB a number of years ago by one of the inventors, and several of these unusual, low-profile MW antennas have been operating in Egypt for a number of years. There was early interest in the U.S., but that died off when no data was ever produced substantiating the inverse distance field per kW (i.e. the efficiency) of the antenna.
We may get our chance to see one of these unusual antennas in action here in Colorado. Tim Cutforth is reportedly in possession of one such antenna and he intends to tune it up and test it at a site east of Pueblo this summer. Tim is looking for interested parties to help him “proof” the CFA, so if you’re interested, drop him a note at email@example.com.
If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The KE0VH Hamshack
My company, Entercom is a founding partner in this group of eight leading radio companies that have formed a new joint venture, the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, LLC (BTC), to build a first-of-its-kind nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology. Partnering with NAVTEQ, a world leader in digital map data, BTC will use RDS and HD Radio technology to send real-time traffic and other location-based information directly to portable navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems, so consumers have up-to-date information on traffic flows and points of interest when they need those most. This is the RDS work I mentioned that we have had going on in the past couple of months, upgrading the old Audemat-Aztec (now simply Audemat) FMB-10 units with the new FMB80’s that are capable of integrating this new traffic. The analog portion of this feature is completed, with the HD side of things being completed during the month of May. Many new capabilities and features of broadcasting are arriving for us as engineers and technical people to devour and understand as the face of broadcasting is changing from the days of simple stand alone radio stations. With audio streaming, RDS, and various HD channels being broadcast to generate new revenue streams, the broadcaster is becoming much more diverse, and the technology is LEAPING ahead with new ventures and possibilities opening up. We also have a new satellite program being delivered via ABC New York Starguide to several Entercom stations being originated at the Entercom stations in Austin Texas. This airs here in Denver on our KALC FM, and is interesting from the standpoint that the show is on from 7p-12mid Eastern, and we have a local afternoon show on until 7pm mountain. So, we must delay the first two hours of the show, take it live from 7p-10p, then replay the first two recorded hours from 10p-12mid. Our AudioVault system essentially had to be set up in a new way to do this, with a machine to do the recording, and we had help locally from our company AudioVault expert in Indianapolis, who flew out here to assist us with the setup.
Well, this year I did not get to work one of the Titanic special event stations I mentioned in the last months offering. We had a project going on at home that did not allow time spent in front of the HF rig to chase them down. But, I wanted to share with everyone a really great story of the camaraderie and good will that exists among the amateur radio fraternity. So, since the story is too long for the newsletter here with the pictures I have, I have posted it on a separate webpage. You can see it in its entirety at www.qsl.net.ke0vh/bestqso.html . Please click here and check it out.
I have new pictures up on my techham site (www.qsl.net/ke0vh/techham.html). There are pictures taken by Scott, WØKU of the new HDTV antenna tower on Lookout and all the others. Great pictures taken on a beautiful Colorado day. And there is a picture of the new beam installation by Kenny, K4KR, who is a regular here on the WA2YZT repeater in Denver via the IRLP from Chickamauga Georgia. I grew up and got into ham radio living just a few miles away in Chattanooga Valley, just south of Chattanooga. Kenny and I have been friends for a few years now, almost all via ham radio, with just one “eyeball QSO”. The IRLP is a great way to keep in touch with friends around the world via the internet connecting repeaters together. And, it helps to facilitate the SBE IRLP Hamnet, again details as always at www.qsl.net/ke0vh/SBEhamnet.html. Please join us.
The second lunch get together of the WA2YZT repeater group was held this past April 21st at the Country Buffet restaurant in Denver, and was a great amount of fun and fellowship for those who were able to make it. If you are local to Denver and would like to join us sometimes, we plan on making this a fairly regular event, so please email me at email@example.com and I will be glad to let you know when this will occur next time.
73’ for this month
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Amateur Radio News
Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
From Chapter 24 - Madison
Amateur Radio exempt from California’s new "Hands Free" law
On July 1, California will have new laws on the books to deal with the use of wireless telephones while driving. There has been some confusion as to whether California amateurs who operate in their car will be affected by the new law. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov/cellularphonelaws/dl208_03cell_phone.pdf), "the use of dedicated two-way radios such as walkie-talkies or Citizen Band (CB) radios is not affected by the new law" for drivers 18 or older.
FCC fixes typos in Rules
On March 12, in an effort to correct typographical errors in the Commission’s Rules (including rules affecting Part 97, the Amateur Radio Service), the FCC released a Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-530A1.pdf.
According to the FCC, these changes in the MOO are "non-substantive editorial revisions" and do not introduce new rules or change old rules applicable to Amateur Radio operators.
The FCC is updating the Allocation Table and service rules for the Amateur Radio Service for the band 75.5-81 GHz. In 2003, the Commission released a Report & Order (R&O) that adopted a transition plan for the amateur use of the segment 75.5-76 GHz. On January 1, 2006, the band segment was no longer available for use by the Amateur Service.
In October 2006, the FCC released another Report & Order (R&O), the "Amateur Phone Band Expansion R&O," that expanded the high-frequency phone bands. With the release of the MOO, the FCC is making two changes.
The first change is a correction of a typographical error in the Rules for the General phone allocation on 15 meters. The Commission revised 21.30-21.45 MHz to read 21.275-21.45 MHz, but the current rule does not reflect this change. The second change fixed an omission in the Novice/Technician allocation on 40 meters in ITU Regions 1 and 3 (basically outside the continental United States).
The FCC also took the opportunity to remove a double negative from Section 97.303(b). Before the release of the MOO, this Section read: "No amateur station transmitting in the (...various band segments...) SHALL NOT cause harmful interference to, nor is protected from interference due to the operation of, the Federal radiolocation service." The FCC chose to take out the word "NOT" to bring the rule’s words in line with the spirit of the rule.
Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s Web site, arrl.org
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Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16
For those of us that have to go to West Tiger Mt the question on everyone’s mind is – Will Winter ever end. In the 21 years that I have been going to this site, this winter has been the worst. Our standard unit of measurement is – Can you drive to the site with a conventional 4x4 with chains on all four, or are we snowed out, translation, do we have to use an over-the-snow vehicle, as in snow cat. In years past, we have been snowed out for perhaps a month at a time…This year has set a new record. Just yesterday (April 25th) I had to go to the site to repair a gizmo, transportation…..Snow cat again. Between you and I…..I’ve been thinking about Al Gore of late…
Many of us made the trek to Las Vegas for the annual NAB Convention. Attendance was off a bit from last year, with just over 105,000. Some 28,000+ were from other countries. Whereas I am in the Radio biz…my floor-time was pretty much confined to the North Hall. As usual, lots of hand-shaking, greeting old friends… and looking at new toys. A lot of folks agree with me that Nautel was one of the stars of the snow as they introduced a number of new products. Among them – A really small 50Kw transmitter with a snazzy display and an industry first, a 44Kw FM transmitter that’s less than half the size of a conventional tube-rig and priced competitively. Reports are that sales were brisk.
On the HD Radio front, Harris, BE and Nautel all rolled out their new Exporter. This long awaited device was anxiously awaited by many who had become frustrated with the reliability issues presented by the PC based, first generation, IBOC equipment.
The annual Technology Luncheon was great as usual. This year Tony Uyttendaele received the Engineering Achievement Aware for TV and Tom Silliman for Radio.
In addition to me SBE Responsibilities, I had a number of events involving EAS. One or the panels that I moderated dealt with the question of what is now called – NextGen EAS. In this we learned that the Feds really have not made much progress.
Our own Jim Dalke presented a paper dealing with a new means for AM broadcasters to connect their antenna monitor to their directional array. Jim recently presented this information at a local chapter meeting.
If you did not know. The NAB convention is a multi-faceted event and includes what is known as the Broadcast Engineering Conference. SBE is very involved with this process with some 44 SBE Members involved this year.
Certainly one of the big items on everyone’s mind in LV was Localism. One of the panels I was on was devoted to unattended operation during local emergencies. Sitting next to me was an FCC employ who made some very interesting comments. Bottom line is that the Commish is looking for information that will support broadcasters contention that by again having all station be manned 24/7 will not equate to better performance in this area. This is an outgrowth of the various meetings the FCC has had on this issue around the country and perhaps the issue in the Dakota’s where local officials claimed they could not reach anyone at their local broadcast station when they had an emergency. If you recall the Commission got an ear-full when they were in Seattle. Broadcasters are fighting back and being aided by their associations NAB and NASBA. One of the suggestions I made at this meeting was for stations to review their participation level with EAS. Certainly a station that only does what is required (minimum participation) by the FCC with EAS is not going to be viewed in the best light. The fact is Broadcasters can choose to ignore Tornado or other severe weather warnings, civil-emergency messages etc if they choose to, however they may be shooting themselves in the foot along the way.
For those of you that go to Vegas for this annual event, I am sure that you are like me…amazed as how fast they can tear down an old hotel and put up a new one. These are not little construction projects with many of them costing multiple billions of dollars (Yes with a B). One of the reasons they are able to do this so quickly is the fact that, once it starts, construction never stops. Unlike this area where the building of a big tall building make take years, where work pretty much goes on Monday-Friday during the day…in LV, construction is a 24/7 situation. You’d think that over 130,000 hotel rooms would be enough….but apparently not. The convention center is about to undergo some rather extensive upgrades with a new front-end that will mean that you can get between the main exhibit halls without having to go outside. The size of the LVCC is also mind-blowing. When this new phase is completed, the facility will be at 3.8 million Sq Feet or as big as 15 super WalMarts or about 19 Costco’s. By comparison, the Boeing plant in Everett is only 4.3 million Square Feet….Gee we have something bigger than Vegas.
I have learned that 1090 AM is now operating with a new Day Pattern that is designed to provide more RF toward more people. Arne Skoog and Tom McGinley with assistance from Jim Tharp and the crew at H&D were able to tweak just a little more from what used to be called KING-AM.
So just how many Radio Stations are in this area? According to Radio World the answer to that question is – 37 AM’s and 40 FM’s and if you want to count the FM’s running HD-2’s – Add 18 to that. That’s some 95 sources of audio. Wow ! This is almost equal to the number of TV channels available on Cable or via Satellite .
To help get the EAS ball rolling the FCC is having an EAS Summit of their own on May 19th. I will be on one of the panels representing SBE which has been, historically, significantly involved with EAS. Hopefully, after this event we will be able to give you a better picture as to what to expect in the way of changes. If you want to keep up on EAS, I invite you to subscribe to a couple of Remailers – 1) The Washington State system at eas-wa@broadcast net and 2) The SBE EAS Exchange at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FCC has fined retailers such as Sears, Circuit City and Wal-Mart for selling TV sets that will not work after next years turn-off of analog TV. Could it be that these folks are just trying to unload some inventory of analog sets before they can’t move them? Fines ranged from over 700K to in excess of 1 Megabucks. Meanwhile the sales of HDTV’s 40 inches and larger are falling as the nations economic situation has had an impact. Looks like smaller sets and smaller cars are the hot sellers.
Sam Roffe reports that their new Nautel V7.5 transmitter was to be shipped on 4/25. This will be the 2nd of these in this market. KNHC was the first.
The FCC is toiling with what to do about the proposed merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. No work as to when this decision will come down. As get deeper into lame-duck status in Washington, a lot of things that should be decided will not be….After all, it is the American way.
The sale of Clear Channel has hit a few road-blocks with a lot of finger pointing going on. Just what lawyers love. Not sure what to make of this one.
The FCC has fined a CB Shop in Colorado $7,000 for selling non-certified CB Transceivers. Gee, I thought that they had given up on CB many years ago. In Philly, it was $10K against a fellow for operating a pirate station on 97.7. Just a hint – The FCC continues to fine Radio and TV stations for violation of EAS Rules. Good to see that our tax dollars are indeed working to enforce rules.
I recently wrote about below 92 MHz station’s installing HD Radio equipment…and in doing so I indicated that KSER was located in the Lynwood/Mountake Terrace area. Larry Powers in Pasco corrected me on that one. KSER, 90.7, is indeed licensed to Everett. Their transmitter site is NW of Lake Stevens, on Soper Hill in Sno-County, specifically - 48° 01' 28.00" N Latitude 22° 06' 41.00" W Longitude (NAD 27). Thanks Larry….Never know where my-stuff is being read. Larry adds that his oldest Son is Tom Powers who works for KNDU-TV in Kennewick.
Another mobile phone cancer story. This time a study, by Dr Vini Khurana who states that mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos. He added
people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.
Intel unveiled a new processor in their family of ‘Atom’ products. They claim that these gizmo’s will give mobile devices the computing power of desk-top computers…and they may be right. Look at how fast these devices have become extremely sophisticated….and how teen-agers are, in many cases, the only ones that can master all their features.
We had hoped that it would just go away…but this is not to be. Now the FAA is pursuing testing the impact (poor choice of words) of towers on Birds, or is it the other way around?
Getting tired of the Democratic Party candidates battle for the nomination? Well I can tell you that this is being viewed as nothing short of wonderful by the broadcasters in those battleground states. It’s been estimated that some 3 Billion will be spent on TV alone this election cycle. With economic indicators pointing south right now, timing is good.
Love looking at how the English language deviates from the American version. For instance….We like backup equipment because we say that it provides – Redundancy – In the UK they would say it adds – Resilience. We talk about the stations Router (pronounced that the word OUT) they pronounce it as if it were spelled Rooter.
Bonneville reinforced the notion that they have deep pockets as they shelled out over 137 Megabucks for an FM station in LA. Interesting to note how things have changed…Just a couple of years ago radio broadcasters were thinking that they needed a large cluster of stations in order to survive. B’Ville will have just one station in LA.
Comcast and Timer Warner are thinking about investing 1.5 Billion bucks in WiMax proving that some serious money is being thrown at this technology.
While at NAB I had a chance to stop by the Magnum tower booth and chat about the recent failure during the erection of the new KFI tower in LA. Sounds like the culprit was a huge turn-buckle that gave way at a fraction of it’s design load. Local erection firm and Waveguide advertiser, Seacomm are working on tower erection #2.. Meanwhile AOPA is still trying to block it.
Copper items continue to be a hot topic among Broadcasters with transmission sites of all kinds being targeted. In one recent case, thieves actually removed transmission lines from towers. Granted there have been some arrests around the country, but the danger that someone will visit your transmitter site to remove this metal is very real. A very interesting Chapter program would be one dealing with loss prevention and alarm systems at our transmitter sites.
I had lunch recently with Donn Harvey and Brent Conway with Protingent Staffing, a firm that deals with folks in the technical field. They are searching for a Radio Broadcast Engineer. If you’d like more information contact Donn or Brent at 425-284-7777
Guess what’s returning to TV – Live Commercials ! Major advertisers are getting wise in how to combat the problem of DVR-Ad-skipping. He he he.
Before I end this visit with you….Let’s take a look back at the Radio-dial from the Seattle Times, April 9, 2007.
For those of you that are Hams…A reminder that the last weekend in May is the annual Seaside Hamfest in Seaside, Oregon.
First on the AM Dial – (Note the changes)
570 – KVI
630 - KGDN ( now KCIS)
710 – KIRO
770 - KXA (now KTTH)
910 - KIXI (moved to 880)
950 - KJR
1000 – KOMO
1050 – KBLE
1090 – KING (now KTBK)
1150 – KAYO (now KKNW)
1220 - KASY (Now KPTK on 1210)
1300 - KOL (now KKOL)
1330 - KFKF Bellevue, (now KGFG in Enumclaw)
1360 - KMO (now KKMO)
1380 - KRKO
1400 - KTNT Tacoma (now KITZ Silverdale)
1420 - KREN (now KRIZ)
1490 - KBRO
1590 - KETO (now KLFE)
On the FM Dial –
92.5 – KFKF (now KQMV)
93.3 – KBLG ( now KUBE)
94.1 - KOL (now KMPS)
94.9 – KUOW
96.5 – KLSN (now KJAQ)
97.3 - KTNT (now KBSG)
98.1 – KING
98.9 - KBBX (now KWJZ)
99.9 - KISW
100.7 – KIRO (now KKWF)
101.5 – KETO (now KPLZ)
102.5 – KTW (now KZOK)
106.1 – KLAY (now KBKS)
106.9 – KBRO (now KRWM)
107.7 – KRAB (now KNDD)
See ya next month-
Clay, CPBE, K7CR
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The YXZ Report
by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Co-Chair, Portland/Vancouver ECC
Chapter 124 Secretary
water-cooled at sbe124 dot org
LIFE WITH HD RADIO
Holding at 12 FM HD signals (nine with HD2, and one with HD3) and three AM HD signals on the air in the Portland market. Go here for a complete list.
Here's the latest official iBiquity blurb:
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
HD Radio™ technology’s success at the Consumer Electronics Show in January has been reflected throughout the first quarter of 2008.
Here’s the HD Radio buzz. Click on the links to get the full stories:
- The iTunes® Tagging capable Polk I-Sonic® Entertainment System 2 is currently available in 170 Apple stores across the country and will be available at other retailers shortly. Other HD Radio products with iTunes Tagging are anticipated to be coming to the market in second quarter.
- Mercedes announced that HD Radio technology will be available in several of its vehicles.
- Yamaha announced the first component unit with an MSRP under $1,000, increasing HD Radio technology’s presence across a majority of radio categories.
- As the Platinum sponsor of the Mobile Electronics Retailers Association’s annual Knowledgefest, HD Radio technology was showcased at six partner booths around the show floor, as well as at the “Town Meeting” and several training sessions. The HD Radio booth featured a tricked out Nissan Frontier with an Alpine iDA-X100 head unit and a TUA-T550HD HD Radio tuner with iTunes Tagging.
- HD Radio stations highlighted the technology at the Detroit, Chicago and New York Autoshows.
- Media coverage continues strong, with articles in such publications as Twice, CNet.com, Gizmodo, EnadgetHD, Audioholics Magazine, Inside Radio, Radio World, Electronista, A/V Revolution, Radio Business Report, Radio World and others.
Today, 1,651 HD Radio stations are on the air in the US, offering more than 800 new HD2 or HD3 multicast channels. Over 60 unique SKUs are available in more than 10,000 stores and online, including Apple Stores, Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, RadioShack, Target and Wal-Mart.
Factory-installed HD Radio receivers are available in BMWs and MINIs. Hyundai’s Genesis, which will be at dealerships this summer, will include HD Radio technology as a factory-installed standard feature. Ford, Jaguar and Volvo have announced that HD Radio technology will be a factory-installed standard feature in their 2009 models.
Additionally, Ford has announced an accessory program with Peripheral and its dealers for a dealer-installed HD Radio/iPod system.
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2 GHz Extension
SBE Chapter 24 - Madison
On March 5, FCC granted a waiver to Sprint, which now owns Nextel, for an addition year to complete the 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary service transition to a narrower band to allow for the Nextel service and the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) to start operations in the freed up spectrum. The transition must be completed by March 5, 2009. The FCC is also asking for comments on allowing MSS operators to start operations in the top 30 markets that have completed the transition by January 1, 2009. The 2 GHz transition will be one of the subjects of the April meeting.
From FCC Release (www.fcc.gov)
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EAS Handbooks Released
Gary Timm, Broadcast Chair
Wisconsin EAS Committee
With the new FCC Rules becoming effective on 12/3/07, the FCC has now released new EAS Handbooks and has also updated (and moved) its EAS Website.
All Broadcasters and Cable Operators should now print out the new FCC EAS Handbook that is appropriate for their facility. The FCC Press Release regarding the new Handbooks reminds that, "The Commission's rules require that copies of the handbooks be located at "normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for authenticating messages and initiating actions" (47 CFR §11.15)."
Bookmark the new FCC EAS Homepage: www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/eas/index.html. Follow the link on the right side of that page to the new FCC EAS Handbooks.
The Press Release announcing the new Handbooks, as well as links to the individual Handbooks, can be found on the Public Safety & Homeland Security (PSHS) Bureau's homepage at: www.fcc.gov/pshs/
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FCC OKs Short AM Antennas
SBE Chapter 24 - Madison
In February, the FCC announced that it would accept the use of Valcom whip antennas for AM stations from 1200-1700 KHz, with the stations not having to conduct a proof of performance of its radiated field pattern. The Commission will allow the use of the Valcom antenna for non-directional station only at this time.
The Valcom antenna is a fiberglass whip antenna that is shipped in sections and assembled on the ground and erected by tilting it up on a hinged base. The antenna has a loading coil one-third of the way up the antenna and wire sphere at the top for additional loading. AM stations could use it where a taller tower cannot be used due to space limitations or zoning issues.
The FCC will allow the use of the 85-foot model for stations on 1200 to 1390 KHz and the 75-foot model for stations from 1390 to 1700 KHz. All antennas must use a buried ground system with 120 radials that are 120 feet long. Any changes in the ground system will require field measurements for the antenna system to be accepted by FCC.
Valcom is a Canadian company, which originally built antennas for radiolocation and short-wave communications.
From FCC Releases (www.fcc.gov)
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DTV Change-Over News
Be Ready for the end of Broadcast Television as we knew it...
Applying for converter box coupons:
Stations needing DTV education graphics for their Web site:
PowerPoint presentations from NAB’s November 28 meeting:
The NAB suggests that the best information to convey to viewers is:
1-Date of transition
2-How to get coupons
3-Costs of DTV sets
4-List of stations that will broadcast DTV
5-Where to get boxes
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College Credit for Your SBE Certification:
The Society of Broadcast Engineers and Excelsior College have teamed up! Your current SBE Certification may qualify for credit towards a degree from Excelsior College or could help you finish that degree you’ve been working on at another institution. If you’re interested, contact Excelsior College by calling toll-free at (888) 647-2388 to learn about the details.
When you are ready to submit your SBE Certification for credit to Excelsior College,
download the SBE transcript request form at www.sbe.org or www.excelsior.edu,
or contact the SBE National Office for a copy. When you’ve completed the form,
e-mail, fax or mail it to Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National
Office, who will prepare your transcript and send it to Excelsior College.
Society of Broadcast Engineers
9102 N. Meridian Street, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Marietta Georgia site of June 6 Ennes Workshop
For the second consecutive year, SBE Chapter 5 in Atlanta and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters (GAB) will be sponsoring an Ennes Workshop as a part of the GAB Annual Convention. This year, the workshop will be held June 6 at the Marietta Conference Center and Resort in Marietta, Georgia. The program, presented in cooperation with the national Society of Broadcast Engineers, will feature a full day of technical presentations of interest to broadcast engineers and technicians. Those working in television or radio, as well as in related fields, will find the Ennes Workshop an excellent educational experience. Attendance at Ennes Workshops qualifies for SBE recertification credit.
The complete program and registration information will be posted on the SBE website, www.sbe.org in mid-April, in the calendar and education sections.
Ennes Trustee, Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, of Qualcomm, MediaFlo USA, is organizing the program and will serve as moderator. Local organizational support is being provided by SBE Chapter 5 Chairman, Bill Magliocco, CPBE, CBNT, 8-VSB; Vice-Chairman, Mark Fehlig, P.E., CPBE, CBNT and Jere Pigue, President of the GAB.
The Ennes Workshop is open to anyone interested in broadcast engineering and technology. Those from outside the state of Georgia are welcome to attend. Marietta is located approximately 18 miles northeast of Atlanta. The Marietta Conference Center and Resort is a AAA Four Diamond rated facility.
Other regional Ennes Workshop locations and dates planned for 2008 include August 27 in Oklahoma City, a date in September to be announced in Hartford, Connecticut and October 24 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ennes Trust and SBE will also present the annual Ennes Workshop on April 12 in Las Vegas. as a part of the NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference.
RF Safety Course Scheduled
SBE has added another opportunity to take the SBE RF Safety Course Tuesday, May 20. The course will be held from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm, EDT. The course will be presented via live web cast and is designed for broadcast station personnel including chief and assistant chief engineers, transmitter site engineers, ENG and SNG maintenance personnel and management that need an understanding of RF safety issues and regulations. Instructing the SBE course will be RF safety expert, Richard Strickland of RF Safety Solutions.
The course makes use of MS Power Point and is interactive - questions can be asked at any time during the course. Those who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from SBE.
To reserve your space, contact Debbie Hennessey at the SBE National Office, email@example.com. The cost is $75 per person for sites with four or more participants. $125 per person for sites with less than four participants.
SBE CertPreview Software
SBE CertPreview sample certification test software is now available.
It’s Microsoft Windows-based and replaces the previous DOS-based software.
New sample tests are available for Broadcast Technologist, Audio Engineer,
Video Engineer, Broadcast Networking Technologist, Broadcast Engineer and Senior
Broadcast Engineer in both radio and television. Sample tests include 50 to
100 questions and indicate when an incorrect answer has been given. It provides
a list of resources from which to learn more about a subject. Cost for each
SBE CERTpreview practice test is $27 plus $3 shipping. Contact the National
Office to order a copy.
Certification Exam Session Dates:
The SBE National Certification Committee certification exam session
dates for 2008 are listed below. Check the list below for the exam period
that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, see your
Chapter Certification Chair or
contact Megan Clappe,
Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000, or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Jun 6-16, 2008
||Apr 18, 2008
|Aug 8-18, 2008
||Jun 6, 2008
|Nov 7-17, 2008
||Sep 19, 2008
Fees for 2008 are as Follows:
|Broadcast Networking Technologist
|Senior Broadcast Engineer
|Professional Broadcast Engineer
|AM Directional Specialist
|Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist
note: SBE Certification exams are administered only by SBE and are proctored
in-person by qualified and approved representatives of SBE. No other organization
is authorized to administer SBE exams.
Click here for
more information about SBE Certification.
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