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June 7, 2008

 

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May 2008 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

May 2007 Meeting Report

Cost Effective Radio and TV On-Air Audio Console Systems

Date:           Wednesday, May 7 2008
Location:     Colorado Pubic Radio, 7409 South Alton Court, Centennial, CO 80112
Time:           6:15 PM Refreshments, 6:45 PM Presentation
Topic:          Cost Effective Radio and TV On-Air Audio Console Systems
                              utilizing a modern Console/Router Architecture
Presenter:   Frank Grundstein, Logitek

Synopsis:    The May SBE/SMPTE meeting was held at Colorado Public Radio in the Denver Tech Center and hosted by Bob Hensler. Frank Grundstein of Logitek provided a detailed presentation on their new Artisan series audio console for television broadcast operations. This flexible and dynamic audio console drew the attention of the 18 member audience as Frank shared stories of drowning the input modules with water, and audio continued to play. The presentation was referenced and collectively demonstrated with a live console for the audience to see and touch. The one hour meeting was preceeded by a light snack and drinks supplied by Logitek where members greeted each other discussed many different industry topics. 

-Brad Torr

We would like to thank Logitek for sponsoring the meeting and providing refreshments. We would also like to thank Bob Hensler and Colorado Public Radio for hosting the meeting.

 

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Flood Pain
Over the years, people have often asked me if the reason that AM stations are so often located in flood plains is because of the ground conductivity there. I suppose in otherwise low-conductivity areas, this might be part of the reason, but the real reason in my experience is that land is a lot cheaper there. Developing flood plain land for commercial or residential use is very expensive and it involves not only levees and fill but also Corps of Engineers studies to determine the impact of the development on the course of the adjacent waterway.

Broadcast transmitter facilities, on the other hand, have a very small footprint, at least in terms of impact on a floodway. Our tower bases, guy anchors and even transmitter buildings represent very small cross-sections to water flow should a flood occur. As such, it has traditionally been reasonably easy to locate an AM transmitter site in a floodway. Just take a look up the South Platte River from about 78th to Ft. Lupton. You’ll find KLZ, KHOW, KKZN, KCKK, KNUS and KLVZ, all in the flood plain, most for many years.

Some of the attractiveness of locating in a flood plain may now be gone, however. I base this on my own recent experience in trying to get a permit to place a new prefab transmitter building at the KLVZ (810) tower site at U.S. 85 and Weld Co. Road 6. Our proposal involves removing one building and replacing it with another, using pylons to keep the building well above the highest expected water level. One would think this would be easy. One would think that it would sail through the approval process. But one thinking that would be wrong!

We have spent many months trying to get this approved, and every time I turn around, there is some new obstacle to be overcome. The Weld County bureaucracy doesn’t care a whit about real-world conditions or practical matters. One such practical matter is the huge berm that the quarry that adjoins the KLVZ property to the east and south has built along the property line. This earthen berm must be twenty feet high, and it stands perpendicular to the water flow direction. I wonder if the mining company got any kind of permission to create that little impediment to flood stream flow. Probably not. But Weld County sure seems worried about the impact my little 10’ x 20’ building will have, even elevated well above the worst-case flow!

So I continue to jump through the hoops. At some point, we likely will end up with a building permit. I just wonder if it will come too late to get the 10 kW upgrade project done during this calendar year.

Call Before You Dig
That’s exactly what Tim Cutforth did as he prepared to dig foundations for his six-tower 890 array northeast of Pueblo. What he found was that there were some very important cross-country phone cables running right under the property, right under one of the tower bases in fact. There is no way Tim is going to get those cables moved, so he’s got to go to “plan B,” whatever that is.

In terms of the array and the FCC, it would seem easy enough to just move the entire array a few feet in the construction, maintaining the relationship between the towers and taking care of the small coordinate shift in the 302 filing. But the FCC is the least of Tim’s problems here. The issue is the county-required setback. The existing end towers are right at the required 200-foot setback, and the county isn’t going to budge on that.

So that leaves Tim’s only option as redesigning the array, filing a new 301 to modify the CP and requesting expedited processing. Hopefully he will find a sympathetic ear in the Media Bureau and get a quick grant.

Windsor Tornado
We have all watched the local news accounts of the Windsor tornado that occurred on May 22. The extent and severity of the damage is something to be expected in western Oklahoma or the Texas Panhandle, not in northern Colorado.

Cliff Mikkelson (N0ZUQ), chief engineer of Salem’s cluster here in Denver, is a Windsor resident, and he was at the studio in Aurora when the storm hit. He high-tailed it up I-25 as soon as he heard. His wife, Lisa, was understandably upset, but she and Cliff’s stepson were unharmed.

Amazingly, so was Cliff’s house. Just a few hundred yards away, houses were leveled to the foundation, but Cliff and Lisa escaped damage, thank God! With a portable generator borrowed from Salem, Cliff’s was probably one of the only homes in town that had power in the days after the storm.

Tractor Troubles
Have you priced field mowing lately? With the price of diesel pushing $5.00 a gallon, we are seeing quotes of $80 an acre. That means to mow Crawford’s three owned sites in the Denver market, we’re looking at close to $9,000 per cutting!

It was with that in mind that we opted to purchase our own tractor this year, a 1974 (or thereabouts) Massey-Ferguson, from a neighbor to the KLTT transmitter site. We also purchased a new brush hog and a snow blower attachment. The tractor came with a box blade. With all those cool tools, our crack Denver engineering team was ready to play “Green Acres.” Unfortunately, the tractor had other ideas.

Before we could get the first field mowed, the PTO (power train output) that runs the accessories failed. The hydraulic pump had cratered. So we hauled the tractor up to the M-F dealer up in Greeley. Several weeks later, a new hydraulic pump was in place and we were off to the races. Or so we thought.

Before Ed Dulaney could even really start on the first cutting at the KLZ site, the tractor stopped dead in its tracks. The engine was running just fine, but the tractor would not move. The clutch had failed. As soon as we can somehow get the 8,000 pound dead weight hoisted up onto the trailer, we’ll be hauling it back to Greeley for a new clutch.

In the meantime, the weeds continue to grow at our three sites. Just this week, we got a warning notice from Weld County about the weeds at the KLVZ site. We’ll probably get it mowed about the time we get a building permit for the new transmitter building.

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at crisa@crawfordbroadcasting.com.

 

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The KE0VH Hamshack


Jack Roland
jroland@entercom.com
Entercom Denver

For the month of June I have several things to tell you about, first of all, if you are an ARRL member or go to their website frequently, you may have seen the article written about the integration of a new tool set up by NASA called Earth Space 4D, which enables you thru Google Earth to visualize the ionosphere as though you were actually in it.  An amazing tool, I plan on looking at it myself and the usefulness of this to hams for study and path predictions will be amazing I am sure.  If you want to check this out,  you must have Google Earth installed and then go to the CAPS Web page and install the feature, both Google Earth and the Earth Space 4D are free.  And, there is a ham radio toolbox, I plan on checking this out, as the article on the ARRL website said the MUF feature would be really useful.

I purchased one of the RCA Digital TV converters and have been playing with it on a TV at our house and am really impressed with the reception off a set of rabbit ear antennas and the extra features encoded in a HDTV signal, even on an older analog set.  This particular unit has a signal strength meter when you bring up a channel, what is on now and what is coming up next.  The menu has several functions including a complete listing of channels and shows coming up next and so forth.  Very cool, and since I live in Wheat Ridge I am practically right under the antennas, the exact distance from my QTH to the HD tower on Lookout Mountain is 7.7 air miles so the signals are coming in very well.  Although, I was able to copy the signals from the downtown Denver building that had previous to Mothers day had the HD transmitters for several of the stations anyway. 

6 meters has seen some openings lately, which must be attributed to Sporadic E since the sunspot cycle has been really down.  On Thursday May 15th there was an several hours long opening to the NW and I was using my MFJ-9406 Six meter rig with about 7 watts out to a coaxial bazooka dipole about 2.5 feet off the top of my garage and worked WB7BBI Roy in Centerville, Wa.  WA7GCS, Lou in Molalla Oregon, and K7IE, Clare in Salem Oregon.  WHAT FUN!  I am really looking forward to some fun on 6 with my little station this summer.

There is a wonderful nostalgic look at the Shortwave radio era that is available for download on the internet now.  I saw this on QRZ.com and downloaded the audio file in mp3 form that is a great tutorial how to listen to and receive shortwave radio, and was produced by British pop music producer Mitch Murray and is called “Long Live Shortwave”.  1970’s broadcasting (and it sounds like it) are on the LP which is now available in MP3.  For instance it instructs you how to receive RTTY and other modes in use at the time. The link to download this free audio is theradiokitchen.net/live-shortwave/ and is very cool.  If you grew up like I did listening to shortwave radio before I became an amateur operator and a disc jockey then you will really enjoy this.

My friend Kenny, K4KR in Chickamauga Georgia, has a great amateur station as shown on my www.qsl.net/ke0vh/techham.html site.  With a tri-band beam on a 50 foot mast, and a Heathkit SB-220 amp, Kenny has a big signal and if he can hear them he can work them.  His base HF rig is a Kenwood TS-2000.  So the other day with the local W4YI repeater connected via IRLP on one VFO of the 2000 to our WA2YZT repeater here in Denver, and the 20 meter band on the other VFO of his 2000 connected internally in cross band mode, he allowed me while I was mobile near downtown Denver to talk to VP2VQ, George, in the British Virgin Islands.  If you look up Georges call at QRZ.com, there is a great picture of his family and information on him there.  What a cool thing it was to be mobile in Denver, go thru the IRLP connection to the Chattanooga repeater, thru Kennys system to George in the Virgin Islands.   George is regularly on 14.260 or thereabouts in the evening a couple of weekdays and makes many contacts.  This was a LOT of fun.  And I have added pictures of Kennys shack, very well done and BUILT IN A BARN.  Take a look at the pictures at my website www.qsl.net/ke0vh/techham.html.

From the ARRL website: Hams Called to Action in Aftermath of China Quake (May 13, 2008) -- On Monday, May 12 at 0628 UTC, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Sichuan, China. The Chinese Radio Sports Association, the Chinese IARU Member-Society, has designated the following frequencies for emergency services involved in the rescue: 14.270, 7.050 and 7.060 MHz. The ARRL encourages US amateurs to be aware of the emergency operations on those three frequencies.

And finally I wanted to let you know of a great little program for a computer desktop clock that can be set to display time in just about any manner you want.  This displays local and whatever other zone you would like simultaneously and looks great on the computer screen, I have mine set to display the MTN time zone along with UTC, and it runs off whatever you have the computer clock set to.  It is an excellent tool for hams as well as anyone else.  The website to download it, and it is free is : http://www.softwaremaniacs.com/deskclock.shtml.

73’ for this month, COME ON SUMMER!

De KEØVH

 

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Clay’s Corner

Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

It’s hard to believe that I am sitting here writing my June 2008 column, this means that this year is already half gone!  Boy does time fly (especially when you are a senior citizen).   Considering this year, perhaps being on fast time is a good thing as means, at least for me, that we will be soon getting through another election cycle.

Our own Jim Dalke received quite a scare when he was informed by his doctor that he had some plumbing problems that required immediate attention.   Thankfully the procedure to install a couple of devices went well and he was back to work looking and acting like nothing had taken place.  

Speaking of our President – Jim recently has become an ABIP Inspector working for the WSAB.   For those that are not familiar ABIP means Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program.   Congrats Jim on the new gig.

While Jim was undergoing this procedure …I was in Washington DC setting on an FCC Panel at what was billed as an FCC-EAS-Summit.    There were actually two panels, the one I was on had reps from – PBS, NOAA, FEMA, NASBA and others.  The event was web-cast so everyone could see and hear what was taking place.   We were in the Commissioners Meeting Room.  Feels pretty funny setting at the very same place that the FCC sits.   In preparation for this meeting, the SBE EAS Committee handed out some food-for-thought in the form of a document that suggested how we might from today’s SAME based EAS system to one based on the Common Alerting Protocol or CAP.   This document was, perhaps, the first time anyone had been able to see what had to be done to get from here to there (A chore that the FCC tells us in their most recent R&O/FNPRM that FEMA is supposed to be working on).   Many came away from that meeting with the feeling wondering if FEMA was actually doing anything constructive with several calling for the major broadcast organizations to work with the manufacturers and get to work on the project.   By the way, that document is available on the SBE Web Site at www.sbe.org.   Time will tell where this goes and to what degree SBE will be involved.  Certainly the Society has historically had a role in EAS, but usually this has been limited to filing connects to the FCC and educating our members about what it all means etc.   We will see.

About the middle of May we finally had some warm weather that melted the snow to the point that we were able to drive up the main road to the top of West Tiger without the benefit of chains on the 4X4.   Over at South Mountain they ended up plowing out the road to the site so they could get up there and begin the job of repairing winter damage.  A great deal was learned about the ravages of winter at that site, the chief lesson…Make it bigger and stronger and more able to deal with Ice and very deep snow.   About a mile or so to the North, that site, commonly called North Mountain, still has 4-5 foot drifts according to Jim Dalke on May 28th.

I heard from John Mangan at Clover Park that their KVTI – BE Transmitter lost a driver amplifier and apparently they are unable to obtain budget to get it repaired.   If you have an old driver amplifier for a BE FM-30 transmitter, they’d love to hear from you.  

I recently learned that Kelly Alford is no longer with Fisher.   I saw Kelly at the KVTI
Advisory Board Meeting where he indicated that he was not sure what he would be doing next.   From what I hear, Fisher will not be replacing him but rather will be distributing the workload.   With a rather constant flow of reports of decreasing revenues in just about all segments of Broadcasting, this seems to be a common thread.

How are you coping with the increase in gas prices?   Seems that this is hitting a lot of folks pretty hard.  But not Dwight Small…He recently told me that his commute to work was 3.5 miles.  Today I filled up and, for the first time, paid over $4 a gal…. 4.03 to be exact.  I recall hearing people wondering if Gas was going to hit the 4-dollar mark…whoosh…we went pass that and now everyone seems to be settling in for the next period looking forward to the $5/Gal threshold.   It’s not that we were not warned.  I can recall reading 30 years ago about the fact that there was just so much gas and when those countries that were considered backward and did not have cars etc got them, we were in trouble.   Guess what?  We have arrived.  We used to feel sorry for the people in China and Russia and India etc that did not have cars and were still using horsepower- Still feel that way?  We have been reading stories about vandals ripping out copper wire and transmission line to buy crack – What about those that are now going to be looking for something to cash-in to feed that gas guzzler ?   Do you have an alarm system on your diesel generator tank at your station?  Better think about it as that stuff is up to about $4.80/gal at this writing and its going up……..Fast!

You could always go out and purchase a Tesla, the new all electric sports car.   This is not a plug-bug (sorry I had to use it) but rather a battery powered – fast – machine that does 60 mph in under 4 seconds, goes 125 miles an hour and goes 225 miles between charges.   This means you could live 22 miles from work and only have to plug it in once a week. Hmmm.  One thing the high price of gas is going to do and that is re-energize (no pun) the electric vehicle.  This should be good news for us Engineers as we like electric things better anyway.

The radio ratings are out and from what I hear, KUOW is still doing very well…proving that you don’t have to play music to have a lot of listeners.  KIRO seems to be leading KOMO, but perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the Mariners are really having a bad year.  Not sure what Bonneville did to KBSG, but what ever it was, it did not help.  It’s interesting to note that KDDS (Mexican) is tied with KTPK (Liberal talk). Statistically, Hispanic Radio is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the industry.

Speaking of Mexican….the sale of KKMO by Salem coupled with a rumor that the new owners may drop their Latino format should elevate the Busto operation with their two stations in the market, KDDS-FM and KTBK-AM.   The sale of KKMO is something that I certainly paid attention to as I was involved with the engineering of that station, starting in 1966, for 19 years.

The list of those that are opposed to the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radio systems continues to grow.   Interesting that this list contains the AG’s from several states.  The latter are basing this on the FCC’s own guidelines that stated that such a merger would could not take place.   It will be interesting to see how they plead economic factors.

CBS continues to puzzle many as they announced that they are paying some $110 megabucks for a South American billboard company.   If the folks working at CBS Radio/TV stations have wondering why those CapEx requests have been getting turned down, now you know why. (Guessing a bit there)

Well, will MSFT by Yahoo?   Appears that this is an on-again, off-again situation.  Sure a lot of money on the table.

Here’s something to celebrate….Spam is 30 years old.   I guess I have been getting used to the fact that only a small percentage of my email is real, cleaning out the spam has become second nature, sort of like throwing away the junk-mail in the mail-box (remember that?).   What is bugging me now are the sales trolls that are now calling me on my cell-phone at all hours.

On the say good-bye to NTSC front….The FCC has announced that the Dish Network and Direct TV (Sat-Broadcasters) will have until Feb 17, 2013 to carry 100% of local stations HD Signals, some 4 years after those local transmitters are turned off for the last time.

Was chatting with some friends the other day.  Remember when TV was referred to as ‘
the small screen’ ?   What about the size of the screen on those new portable devices that are fed by such firms at Media-flo?   What do you call that?   Minnie, micro to tiny-screen?   Lot of money being poured into getting content into something really small.

The FCC is apparently going to do a test in Wilmington, NC on September 8th to see what happens when you turn off NTSC.   Gee you would have thought that the Feds would have thought all this through without having to do this.   The good news is that they are not going to run their test in Seattle !!

We’ve all come to experience Wi-Fi  and the value of being able to connect our lap-top to the outside world at selected hotels, airports and coffee shops around the country…the time has come to move this to the next level via what’s called WiMax a roll-out of Sprint-Nextel and local creation, Clearwire.   If this catches on, which many are predicting will…It will mean a whole slew of new gizmo’s and the interconnection of devices and systems.   The other big carriers, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are certain to get involved…This, my friends, promises to be the real- wireless revolution.  As I like to say, fasten your seat-belt.   One concern is that this may be the next vehicle for a new audio delivery system, often called Radio.

The FCC has been doing a – fine job – in a couple of cases.   This time in Brooklyn, NY the operator of an un-licensed FM station will likely be contributing to the Treasury about 10 Grand, meanwhile a pirate radio operator in the Boston area will be paying about $17K….That is unless they are able to wiggle off the hook.

Last month we looked back more than a few years at the way the Radio dial looked in our area.  This time we are going to take a peak at evening television in our area, the evening of April 10, 1974 –

At 8 PM  -

  • Ch 4 – The Cowboys
  • Ch 7 – A special called Sandy in Disneyland featuring Sandy Duncan, Ernest Borgnine, Lorne Green and the Jackson Five.
  • Ch 11 – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr – Oceans 11.

At 9 PM –

  • Ch 5 – A movie calls Assignment to Kill.
  • Ch 7 – A special, the Perry Como Sunshine show featuring Debbie Reynolds and the Osmonds, Donny and Marie
  • On that same page of the newspaper – an ad for a local Radio Station reading –
    NOW PLAYING – KOL-FM – 94 ADULT STEREO ROCK.   (We know this today as KMPS 94.1 Country.

That’s it for this month- May we have summer weather, if even for a week or so.

Till next month – CUL –

Clay, CPBE, K7CR et al

 

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The YXZ Report

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Senior Engineer Entercom-Portland
Co-Chair, Portland/Vancouver ECC
Chapter 124 Secretary
water-cooled at sbe124 dot org

HDTV WITH A SET TOP BOX
At our house my wife and I have always had much better audio than video, which is primarily a function of me being a radio engineer and not a TV engineer.  When we first lived together we had 100 Watts per channel into a pair of Klipsch Cornwalls (made in the 70s, not the II or III models) and two poorly working TVs:  her 19" black & white "portable" which only received low-band VHF, and my black & white 10" portable that needed occasional "percussive maintenance" to keep working.  Soon a co-worker who saw me borrow the conference room TV for a weekend gave us one of their old color TVs.  We watched Friday Night Videos at high volume.

Today we have 250 Watts for the left and right front with the same Klipsch Cornwalls, and 90 Watts each into a Klipsch center-channel speaker, and a pair of Marantz speakers that my wife had when we got married for the left & right rear.  The TV is still a medium-sized tube, purchased years ago from Costco, but we'll probably upgrade next year to something bigger yet flatter with 1080p capability.

We don't have cable or satellite (a long story), but we do have a TV antenna in the attic and are about 6 miles from Sylvan and Skyline with line of sight, so signal is not a problem.  The Feds apparently wouldn't send set top coupons to our P.O. Box, or even forward them until my wife waited 13 minutes on hold to talk to them on the phone - but now our coupons won't show up until June.  In the meantime we were eager to try a set top box to receive HDTV.

Our illustrious Chapter Chairman loaned us a Channel Master D2A that OPB had evaluated.  It has RF, composite and S-video out, an Electronic Program Guide, but only L & R audio.  We watch DVD movies in letterbox anyway, so 16:9 video is no problem.  "Postage stamp" video is kind of a pain, but I understand it's unavoidable at the station end as long as the sources include 4:3, and one can zoom in to get rid of the sidebars.

After a couple years of being spoiled by listening to HD Radio, I was pleasantly surprised by HDTV audio, which has the same advantages of no pre- or de-emphasis or noise, almost absolute separation, and a solid bottom end.  The audio, run through the Dolby Surround decoder in our 5.1 home theater receiver, is excellent.  I'm still trying to wrap my brain around "dial norm" but it's obvious by the huge differences in levels between stations and their -X channels that there are differences of opinion about how to set it and deal with various sources.

Having to wait to buy a set top box may actually work out in our favor, since the 2nd generation boxes are rumored to be better. You can look at some set top box reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle and Consumer Reports.

The FCC now has an advisory about "analog pass-through" capability at www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/DTVandLPTV.html .

Here is a quick update of the basic facts about the status of HD Radio technology development:
   More than 1,667 HD Radio stations are on the air in the US. 
   More than 800 new HD2 or HD3 multicast channels are on the air.
   More than 60 unique HD Radio SKUs are available.
   More than 10,000 stores and online outlets offer HD Radio products.
   Factory-installed HD Radio technology is available in all BMWs and Minis.
   Dealer-installed HD Radio technology is available on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
   Hyundai’s Genesis will be equipped with HD Radio technology at dealerships this summer.
   Ford, Jaguar, Scion and Volvo have announced that HD Radio technology will be a factory-installed feature in future models.


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DTV DESKTOP BOX COMPARISON

Chapter 113 – Knoxville

There is a pretty nice chart on Wikipedia comparing features of DTV desktop boxes that are eligible for purchase under the FCC's converter box coupon program. Doug Stallard provided it as a .DOC file, here it is also in PDF form. Doug also provided a PDF of a sales flyer for a Channel Master converter box that is available.


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FCC Extends 2 GHz BAS/LTTS

Transition Date to March 5, 2009

by Chris Imlay
FCC Liaison Committee Chair and
SBE General Counsel

SBE is well-aware that broadcast engineers are typically responsible for broadcast auxiliary operations (BAS), and that 2 GHz TV BAS service is at the heart of local news, sports, and weather coverage that are the essence of broadcast localism.  Last week, SBE and its strategic partners, Sprint Nextel, NAB and MSTV achieved a major victory for BAS licensees across the country by convincing the FCC to recognize the inordinate complexity of reconfiguring BAS systems and extend the deadline for Sprint Nextel to relocate BAS licensees to spectrum between 2025 and 2110 MHz until March 5, 2009.  The FCC also stated that it might extend the deadline until August 2009 so long as all parties continue to work in good faith to move BAS above 2025 MHz as expeditiously as possible. 

This decision is extremely good news.  The BAS transition has not proceeded as quickly as we would like, despite good faith by licensees, Sprint Nextel, manufacturers and systems integrators. The short extension will give broadcasters, manufacturers, and Sprint Nextel the time they need to produce, integrate, and install new equipment in local markets across the country. 

But neither the BAS licensees, nor Sprint Nextel can take the additional time for granted.  The FCC has sought comment on whether and how to allow MSS and MSS ATC operations to commence nationwide regardless of whether the transition is complete beginning January 1, 2009.  To allow mobile-satellite service licensees to enter the 2000-2020 MHz band this year, moreover, the FCC has required Sprint Nextel to transition four additional market clusters – Salt Lake City, Utah; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Washington, DC; and Houston, Texas – no later than September 30, 2008.  In addition, the FCC required Sprint Nextel to file station-specific reports every other month on BAS relocation progress beginning April 1, 2008.  The reports must identify each station’s progress in obtaining price quotes for BAS equipment, finalizing frequency relocation agreements with Sprint Nextel, submitting purchase orders, and other areas.  The existing schedule also includes several important benchmarks for BAS performance.


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Law on copper thefts tightened

CHRIS BLANK,
The Associated Press
May 21, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, MO -- Gov. Matt Blunt was traveling throughout the state Wednesday to sign legislation that helps police track people who plunder copper and aluminum and sell to it scrap metal dealers.

Under the new law, dealers will need to get a copy of photo identification for people who are not regular business customers but are selling more than $50 worth of copper, brass, bronze or aluminum. They would need to keep those records for two years in case law enforcement wants to inspect them.

For some purchases of more than $500, scrap metal dealers would have to pay with a check or some other method that can be traced.

The new law also boosts the fine for dealers who don’t keep the proper paperwork. Currently the fine ranges from $25 to $500. Under the new law, dealers could be charged with misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Metal theft has become a growing problem as prices for the raw materials have risen.

Thieves have taken metal from vacant houses, businesses, construction sites, churches and even graveyards. In April, for example, several hundred suburban Kansas City telephone customers lost power after thieves cut a phone line to steal $10 worth of copper. Earlier this month in Jefferson City, about $100,000 worth of copper was taken from a college dormitory construction project.

Blunt said in a written statement that the thievery has hit government building projects and home construction.

“These thieves are literally tearing apart people’s homes, farms and businesses and selling off the pieces,” he said.

The law, which takes effect Aug. 28, makes it a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison to steal wire, electrical transformers or any pipe used for conducting electricity or transporting natural gas or other fuels.

The dealers will be barred from accepting certain types of materials without the owner’s written consent. For example, dealers could be fined up to a $1,000 for accepting a metal beer keg without the brewer’s permission.

There will be a $500 fine for dealers who accept manhole covers, bleachers, guard rails, signs, traffic lights or cemetery materials without written permission from the utility, governmental entity or cemetery.


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PDX Radio Waves

by Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Inc.
Portland mike at brownbroadcast dot com

Mike has been to the WLW site in Mason, OH and sent this picture of himself in front of the 500 kW rig to tease us:


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Ron's NAB pix

Thanks to Western Wisconsin Chapter 112

Ron Viste took these pictures while at the NAB show in Las Vegas this year:

 

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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:
Web: www.mydtv2009.com
Phone: 800-DTV-2009

Stations needing DTV education graphics for their Web site:
www.dtvanswers.com/graphicelements

PowerPoint presentations from NAB’s November 28 meeting:
www.dtvanswers.com/powerpoint
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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SBE News

AM Transmission Seminar Scheduled for August

For those of you who have not heard as yet, it is official: The Radio Guide AM Transmission Seminar will be held, in conjunction with the Texas Association of Broadcasters, in Austin, TX, from August 5-7.

And, if you are interested in certification, the SBE is arranging to hold a certification examination right after the program.

This three-day, two-evening, seminar is chock-full of instruction and hands-on opportunities so the attendees can actually put the material to use and gain the most benefit from the program. In addition, the TAB will be providing complimentary registration for seminar attendees.

The costs are being kept as low as possible, so even those who have to pay their own way can afford it.

Details are at www.radio-guide.com/seminar

Because of the nature of the program, seating is limited. We encourage those interested to register or reserve a seat as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

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.

Megan Clappe

Certification Director Society of Broadcast Engineers
9102 N. Meridian Street, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
mclappe@sbe.org

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 mclappe@sbe.org

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
Aug 8-18, 2008 Local Chapters Jun 6, 2008
Nov 7-17, 2008 Local Chapters Sep 19, 2008

Fees for 2008 are as Follows:

Certification Level Member Non-Member
Broadcast Technologist $40 $103
Broadcast Networking Technologist $55 $118
Broadcast Engineer $55 $118
Audio/Video Engineer $55 $118
Senior Broadcast Engineer $80 $143
Professional Broadcast Engineer $105 $168
Specialist Certification    
AM Directional Specialist $50 $113
8VSB Specialist $50 $113
Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist $50 $113

Please 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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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris - Editor In Chief
  (505) 767-6735
  billharris@ix.netcom.com

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

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Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.