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June 9, 2009

 

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June 2009 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

May 2009 Meeting Report:

New Storage Solutions for File-Based Video Content -
A Colorado Perspective

Date:           Thursday, May 28, 2009
Time:           11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Location:     Park Hill Golf Club, 4141 E. 35th Avenue, Denver, CO 80207
Luncheon:   Lunch Buffet, $20 per person: Please make your reservation below
Topic:           New Storage Solutions for File-Based Video Content
Presenters: Tom Goldberg, VP of Product Development, Cache-A Corporation
                     Art Rancis, VP of Sales/Marketing, In Phase Technologies

With more and more content acquisition devices storing onto RAM and hard disk drives, there is an increasing recognition in the industry for the need for long term storage solutions to replace the traditional shelves of video tape we've all been used to for years. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage this month to discuss this topic with Art Rancis to a good turn-out at Park Hill's usual nice luncheon buffet.

As a founder of a new startup in this domain, my presentation covered video archiving workflows and included a demonstration of the Cache-A's first product in a new generation of storage solutions for professional video file-based workflows. I had the opportunity to discuss how Cache-A's products are designed and manufactured in Colorado and how they are an evolutionary advance over Quantum's A-Series technology, which has been integrated into many digital file-based workflows over the past four years.


Art Rancis Discusses Holographic Technology

Art Rancis of In Phase provided an overview of pro-video data storage using holographic optical disk technology that will be released in product form later this year, the first of its kind. Art discussed how In Phase is a Colorado company spun off from Lucent/Bell Labs in 2000, and how Colorado now has more holography expertise than any other single location in the world. The key benefit of this technology is its 50+ year lifetime, making it the industry's only alternative to vault-based film. Dr. Bill Wilson, Chief Scientist for InPhase, demonstrated the holographic data drive using HD content. These gentlemen provided a fascinating exposition of how holographic storage works and gave rise to a lively Q&A session.

Report by Tom Goldberg

 

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Transmitter Buildings
I am always fascinated with transmitter buildings. They tend to run the gamut from “Tuff Sheds” to art deco showcases, depending on the location, station history and date of construction. Some, like the KLZ site near old Welby, were purpose built and included three-bay garage, shop area, control room and bathroom. We even have one site in our company that includes a full kitchen and bath!

Many such sites were constructed in the days when it was necessary to have an operator on duty all the time, either before the advent of remote control or for some other reason. Personal and hygienic amenities have long disappeared as design elements of broadcast transmitter sites.

From the early days of my broadcast career in the 1970s, most of the transmitter buildings I have constructed have employed “joisted masonry” construction, a fancy way of saying concrete block with a joisted roof. These structures have generally been “no frills,” but they have been comfortable for both engineers and equipment. Generally speaking, joisted masonry construction offers an excellent value – low per-square-foot construction costs and quality space.

The cellphone industry has given us another option in recent years. The required rapid and low-cost deployment of sites required a different approach to communications site shelters, and a whole new industry was born, one that prefabricates concrete shelters complete with HVAC, lighting, grounding and transmission line/cable management.

Over the last five or six years, I have purchased and installed several of these to excellent effect. While they are not designed for broadcast use, there are enough similarities in the requirements that they are easily adaptable. For example, it’s a fairly simple matter to install a three-phase panel in place of the standard single-phase panel and to upgrade the HVAC system to a size appropriate for an AM or FM broadcast transmitter facility. These are both changes that can be ordered with a new prefabricated shelter.

One item that deserved particular attention, however, is door width. The steel door frames in concrete prefab shelters are poured in place, i.e. the frame is set as part of the mold and it is held in place by (and filled with) concrete. Depending on the manufacturer, that likely means that you have limited options for door width.

Last month, we completed the move into a new Oldcastle prefabricated shelter for the KLVZ daytime facility. You can read all about the project in The Local Oscillator on the Engineering page of www.crawfordbroadcasting.com. One of our biggest challenges was the 36-inch doorway and the 35-¼” phasor. On the surface, it sounds like it would work, but that doesn’t take into account the ¾-inch stops built into all three sides of the door frame. The reality was that the doorframe width, from stop to stop, was 34-½ inches.

With the doorframe an integral part of the precast wall, we had limited options. One was to use a demolition saw to cut the doorframe out. That would do the trick, but what a mess it would make! And then we would have to figure out how to securely install a new doorframe (the door, by the way, is part of the HALO grounding system in the building).

The other option, one the GC and I came up with as we stood there scratching our heads looking at the situation, was to use a grinder and cut out the ¾-inch stop on the striker side of the frame – not the whole thing but from the floor up to about 48 inches. This would make the opening 35-¼ inches wide, maybe a millimeter more. So that’s what we did, and at the same time I removed the side panels from the phasor, each a piece of 1/16” sheet steel. We laid the phasor on its back and slid it through the opening with a sixteenth of an inch to spare! Then we had the challenge of standing the phasor back up again inside the building with its overhead cable ladder at about 84 inches!

A welder was called in to put the stop back on. He ground the welds smooth, primed and painted the joints and you can’t tell we ever did anything now – the classic “ship in the bottle”!

The project is now done, and KLVZ is operating from its new home, a first-rate installation if there ever was one. Give Amanda a call if you’d like to see it.

New, surplus prefab cellular buildings are available for under $20,000 now, thanks to acquisitions and mergers. You might consider one for your next transmitter building project – or backyard storm shelter.

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

The weekend of Field day coming up, (ARRL Field Day. June 27-28, 2009) Kenny K4KR (friend of the SBE IRLP hamnet and mine) and his brother Steven W4YI will operate a station in the Chattanooga area with Satellite capabilities, and Kenny has been doing a lot of prep for the event. He is very active right now on AO-51 Echo and sometimes on the repeater aboard the ISS. I wanted to show the really innovative Az/El rotator he contrived, essentially built out of two rotators he had on hand. Very ingenious I think! In the picture too is the dual band yagi hand held satellite antenna made by Arrow Antennas right here in Colorado. The particulars for their club station are Club Call W4PL plans to operate on all bands all modes, including satellite and GOTA stations. All stations will be battery powered. Here is a link to the club web site just click on the 2009 field day link. http://www.tvdxa.com/


K4KR Satellite antenna and rotor.

If you would like to participate in Field day from wherever this year, details are at the ARRL website with complete information at www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/.

I am operating APRS as I reported in the last months issue, but have changed the system now, replacing the Kantronics KPC3+ TNC with the Opentracker unit from Argent Data Systems. This little box allows you to beacon your position and messages on APRS and then over the internet as I talked about in last months article. It is much smaller than the TNC and it easy programmable with software available for free too from Argent Data Systems download page. One of the features that I really like about the Opentracker is the ability for it to send received APRS data back to your GPS, in my case the Garmin Streetpilot III, and display other APRS stations as waypoints on the GPS map screen. Plus the Opentracker has the ability to “smartbeacon” which shows course change and direction as it happens, plus many other items of interest, such as battery voltage, GPS quality, and more instances of telemetry, which show up on the displayed information on the internet. Check out mine right now at map.findu.com/ke0vh-2.

Now that the KPC3+ TNC is freed up from APRS duties, I have pressed it into service with my home 2 meter “base” station to allow me to communicate via the Winlink 2000 HF/VHF/UHF email system. The Airmail software is free and available for download at www.winlink2000.org. ARES groups are using this email system as are many by HF and V/UHF around the world. It is interesting to look at a user map on the Winlink website and see where hams are utilizing the Winlink system. Check the “maps” tab on the Winlink website for stations that have listed their location. These are two of the VHF winlink nodes that I have been using for the Airmail here in my area.

Just in time, I put my RadioShack HTX-10 SSB/AM/FM transceiver in the car to get ready for what I hope will be an active summertime Sporadic E and maybe upturn in the sunspot cycle season. This radio has 25 watts of power on SSB and has always performed very well for me. I even have a special mobile 10meter QSL card I use when sending QSL’s for contacts from the Neon. Sure enough, as of middle May there has been activity on 10 meters. On May 20th I worked several stations in California, including Bud, W3FF in Redding California. Bud, along with his son Chris, designed, build and sell the Buddipole antenna line. He is also heavily into HFPack operating, which is HF from just a backpack or hiking/biking operations. There is a whole amateur “subculture” as it were for that type of operating. The next day, the 21st I worked Vince, W7FA, in Aloha Oregon with S9 Signals both ways. The Ten-Ten net was in operation midday of the same day too, and I tried to check into that on 28.380 mhz, but didn’t get in during the drive back from lunch. There were even contacts being made by W7FA into the southeastern part of the US, so I hope to get to work Kenny, K4KR on 10 meter FM sometime soon. Lots of times when you have openings like this on 10 meters then you might hear activity on 6 meters. I haven’t as of this writing had a chance to try that out, but I will report on openings as I see them come up during the summer.

An extra item here, my wife loves a good thunderstorm, the louder and more rain and thunder the better. Loves to go sleep during one and she even has a thunderstorm CD that she likes to play in her bedside CD player to lull off to sleep too. I on the other hand, equate loud thunderstorms with damaging hail and tornadoes. She grew up in the Indiana and places where there were lots of thunderstorms, and she can sleep thru tornado warnings and the like. But, now I am used to them and it really lulls me to sleep too. Being the engineer I am, I have wanted for a long time to record a live thunderstorm at my house for her but the thunderstorms in Colorado are sometimes loud and violent but very short lived. This past memorial day weekend I think we saw several years worth of thunderstorms and rain over the long weekend and I finally got to record for her a live Wheat Ridge thunderstorm. Now, the ham radio connection. I took a Shure wireless mic on 170.305 mhz, set it up on a stand in our garage and used my Yaesu VX-6 set to receive that frequency in wideband receive mode down in the shack. The VX-6 was patched into my mixer console in the shack (an old Sparta AS-30B stereo console) and fed into my computer running Cool Edit 2000. That thunderstorm lasted about 30 minutes and was followed by another one just as long about 45 minutes later. A little editing and pasting the two together and voila! A very happy wife with audio recorded live and a CD made just for her!

Some of those Yaesu radios make really good wideband audio receivers. An idea or two there could follow!

One other item, check out this webpage, and then the 3rd picture down: www.eoss.org/ansrecap/ar_131/recap138_139u4.htm Any ideas what this might be? Taken from an EOSS high altitude balloon flight high in altitude, and these are GREAT pictures. EOSS (Edge of Space Sciences) is a group of amateur operators that fly high altitude balloons for fun and research. I will have an article about them and what they do coming soon here in this column. AND, there are some great long distance shots of the balloon flown on that webpage taken by Bob in Brighton on this website : http://mildenberger.net/

And, our 25th wedding anniversary was Monday May 25th. A very memorable day indeed!

As always, please join us on the SBE/IRLP Ham Net the first and third Saturdays of the month at 11am. Details on how to get on with us are at www.qsl.net/ke0vh/SBEhamnet.html.

73’ for this month
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 happens every year about this time, the realization that this year is half gone…Already.   The good news is that summer has finally arrived here in the PNW, for those of you that are not familiar, this is our shortest but best season.   

Be sure and mark your calendar – July 25th has been set as the date for the Chapter 16 picnic.   This year we will repeat the very popular AM transmitter site tour on Vashon (for those that want to see this big-iron again or missed it last time) ending up with a picnic in the back-yard of KIRO-AM.   Much more to come on this item.

 As I sit here at the ole computer, I can’t help but think about my up-coming trip to Seaside, Oregon,  for the annual Ham Radio doing’s.   In years past, I’d see a lot of broadcasters there…but times have changed and those broadcast engineers that were Hams have retired or otherwise moved on….I’ll let you know who I see this year.   On that topic - The Radio Club of Tacoma will be holding their Hamfest this year on August 8th at Bethel Junior High School in Spanaway.

The big news for this coming month is the (we hope) the end of analog NTSC TV.  To test the transition, on May 12th there was a coordinated shut down of certain analog stations in what the FCC called a ‘soft-test’.  The Commish announced that they recorded a single-day record of 55,000 calls to its DTV transition call center help line.  I still believe that there will be a rather large number of folks that will be pounding on their sets or calling stations asking what happened on June 13.

The transition to DTV will also trigger the posting on the WSAB Web Site a list of the EAS Monitoring Assignments for the entire state.  Work on updating this important part of EAS has been on-going for the past couple of months.

The second big news item is the change at KOMO Radio.  After many many years, KOMO is back on FM.  Recently Fisher entered into a LMA to operate South Sound Broadcastings KFMY on 97.7 and began simulcasting 1000AM.   One must think that this was in reaction to KIRO moving their news-talk operations from 710 AM to 97.3 and the fact that during the period when Bonneville simulcast the two stations, they were at the top of the radio ratings.    The choice of 97.7 is interesting because it places KOMO right next to KIRO on the dial.   The major difference is that KIRO’s FM transmitter is on West Tiger Mt 18 Miles east of downtown Seattle, while KOMO’s FM transmits from South Mountain some 50 miles SW of downtown.  This means that there are locations where one station may work well, while the other does not, all due to the shadowing from the many hills that challenge  FM coverage in this topography.    Here’s another thought….Did you notice that KIRO/97.3, KOMO/97.7 and KING/98.1 are all lined up on the FM dial…AND….This just happens to be the same sequence as the towers on Queen Ann Hill (Looking West to East) What are the odds?   By the way, both of these stations have turned off their stereo generators…Seems like it was not that long ago that FM broadcasters were begging the FCC to let them run stereo?  They apparently figure that there is no point with a no-music format.   Meanwhile, unlike KOMO-FM, KIRO-FM operates in HD.  Many are saying that we will hear more talk on FM.  Wonder if AM will survive in the long run?

As a sign of the times, an SBE Member recently posted on the SBE chat remailer a list of good-old-analog TV gear for sale.

Something that you don’t like to report is a tower coming down.  That’s what happened recently in Joplin, Mo when the tower for KSNF-TV fell.    The reports I have read say that no one was killed, however, it did strike a nearby home.  This is certain to be use by those that oppose towers as an argument for, if nothing else, greater set-backs.

Remember the calls that towers are killing birds a while back?   Well the argument has again surfaced, this time with the FCC wanting to know what is really happening.  There are those that want the commission quickly to adopt new rules — rules they say are
necessary to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Frankly I have been around towers of various heights and cross-sections and I have yet to find bird-remains littering the area.  What about you?   The FAA is involved with this issue also…they are going to be conducting visibility studies to determine if pilots can see towers better with steady while lights compared to red strobes and how much lights need to flash.  No word on whether they will survey various members of migrating bird families.

Here’s something else that you don’t like to report – Someone stole some very expensive microphones and other parts recently from KPLU.   Removed were some Neumanns,  RE-27’s, JBL monitor speakers, adaptors and patch cables etc.   It appears that the thief may have had inside help or keys that permitted entry.  If you have any info, contact Lowell Kiesow at KPLU – 253-535-8758 or lkiesow@kplu.org.

Abitron, who recently started up their PPM system here in the Seattle market is now the focus of a Notice of Inquiry by the FCC.    Apparently those that have been displeased with the results of the change from diary to PPM have gained an ear at the FCC.   A lot of eyes watching this item.

HD Radio continues to grow, here and there.  One of the most recent additions is the WSU transmitter on Striped Peak, West of Port Angeles where new Nautel equipment is now on the air.   Elsewhere, Panama has recently approved the Ibiquity system for use in that country.

It is interesting to watch how economic factors are in play in radio as well as TV when it comes to multicasting.   In Radio, where the bandwidth is limited, 1 or 2 additional channels are now broadcasting station originated content where formats that can’t be justified on the parent FM station are being shuffled off to HD2 or HD3.…What’s new is that some of this content is beginning to come from 3rd parties.   For instance, sports, foreign language or religious programming.   It was recently announced that their Hockey Team would air their broadcasts on a Pittsburgh HD2 channel.  Meanwhile the Dallas Cowboys will have their games broadcast on an HD3 channel.    Here locally, the owners of KIRO-FM, Bonneville, have begun broadcasting The Morman Channel on 97.3 HD-3.   Look for more of this as time goes by and as multicasting increasingly comes a more viable platform.

Wonder if there are some folks that think a theodolite is someone that resides in Seattle?

Over in Granger, in Eastern Washington, a local radio station was silenced due to a labor dispute.  KDNA apparently went dark as part of a protest for the termination of a couple of their employees…Yikes!

I ran across a story the other day about Heathkit.  If you are like me, you probably built a number of their kits and were excited to receive their new catalog just to see what they had come up with.    Back in 91 or 92 Heathkit stopped making kits when they determined that their costs were just too high.   But Heath did not go away, I recently learned, they continued as Heathkit Educational Systems.  Today you can still buy kits from outfits like Ramsey, Jameco, elecraft, elenco and Kelvin.  Granted, none of these match the neat stuff that came from Heathkit.  Just thinking back at the items I built, I recall several – SB 401 Transmitter, SB 303 Receiver, Color TV, Phone Patch, Wattmeter, Remote coax switch, Scope…The list goes on.

If you are ever out in the country without a compass …Just look for some cows.  Research has shown that these critters will (generally) align themselves north-south…That is unless they are near big power lines where, apparently, the magnetic fields confuse them.   I can’t help but wonder if this happens with other creatures !

Perhaps here’s an example of a station that could have used some location finding tools.
KVEZ, an FM Station in Parker, Arizona, found it’s license cancelled for not broadcasting from it’s legal/licensed location.   They lost an appeal at the DC Circuit.  I did an FCC search and found no records for the station.

Remember the audio cartridge tape machine?  Apparently some folks are trying to organize a re-union of sorts of old manufacturers and users.   Many of us remember when they came in and went out…and many now working in the industry never used them.   How many remember a real – live – booth announcer?

Well….Lets again look at the impact of the economy  -

As you know cars are not selling, and auto dealers were traditional bit spenders on broadcast stations.   I got to thinking that perhaps our business has been hurt because we are not advertising those businesses that are doing well in this economy….Yes consumers have cut- back on big-ticket items…but, at the same time, have increased their spending on other things….For example, they are buying things like – Seeds, fishing equipment, lipstick, wine, gold, hotdogs etc. in record numbers.   In some categories sales are up by rather large percentages – Candy is up 20%.  Guns up almost 28%, Home gardens up 40%.

Here are some of the latest economic related news items from the past 30 days --

> Equity Media Holdings recent sold 60 TV stations in an auction.  One of the buyers operates a station here, Daystar purchased 7 full power and 9 low power stations for 7.4 Million.   This included KQUP in Spokane.

>  The RAB is reporting that Radio sales dropped by 25% in Q-1 this year.   On the bright side, the digital segment of Radio is growing, despite the results from conventional advertising.

> Could it be a sign of the times?  3 TV stations in WDC have started pool coverage of news conferences and other events.   One has to wonder if this could spread to our town.  I can imagine the money that would be saved if KOMO, KING and KIRO elected to pool-it in some cases.   Perhaps each station could have their own reporter, but the rest of the event could be pooled.   Perhaps using unmarked live trucks etc.   This brings up a topic that I have often wondered about…The pooling of overhead shots.   Likely the depth and length of this recession will dictate where this will go.

> What broadcasters don’t need, especially at this time, is an increase in what is called the Performance Tax…and Radio broadcasters are battling back.  Recently Amador Bustos, owner of KDDS and KTBK here, testified in WDC how this would hurt small broadcasters.

> With the Feds coming to the rescue of many, a congressman has proposed the Government come to the rescue of minority owned radio companies.

> Ion Media, owners of TV operations here in Seattle, is filing Chapter 11.  They list debts of over 1 Billion and assets of about 10 Million.  (Ouch)

> The management of KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Ok have, reportedly, cut one weeks pay from their employees.

> Non English radio broadcasters are being hit hard also - Spanish Broadcasting System revenues are off 27% while Univision Radio is down 26%.

> Jeff Smulyan, Mr. Big at Emmis, said recently that things are slowly improving.

>  Understand that KGY might not have to move to a new location on the Olympia waterfront as soon as they thought.   The economic slowdown has delayed those plans for a while.

> Entercom Q-1 revenues were down 21%.

> Many TV stations, including those in major markets, are dropping Sunday morning news broadcasts.

> Belo, owner of KING and KONG in Seattle, the company announced that on top of cost-cutting measures enacted in 2008, it was suspending its 401k matching contribution for all employees; reducing by 5 percent salaries for employees who are part of
management compensation programs; and cutting 150 jobs.

>  With revenues sagging, Clear Channel has about $16 billion in bank debt and $6 billion more in junior debt to deal with. Pointing to a "highly challenging" environment, they have also suspended employee 401(k) match

Last month I reported that the Clover Park radio broadcast program might be moth-balled.   Apparently this is the case. The following was sent to members of the programs advisory committee.

Dear Advisors:

The financial crisis has taken a toll on programs at Clover Park Technical College. Due to shortfalls in the State’s budget directly affecting community and technical colleges, the College has had to make difficult decisions regarding its current programming. Effective June 18th, 2009, our Radio Broadcasting program will discontinue enrollment of new students.  This program will be placed on inactive status thus allowing us to review its viability in conjunction with the College’s financial position at a later date or once the crisis has abated.  Because of this change we will be disbanding the Radio Broadcasting advisory committee and canceling future advisory meetings.

Time magazine is out with their top-10 list of technical failures of the last decade…Our local software outfit, Microsoft, managed to be named for two of them,  Vista and the Zune MP3 player.    They named Satellite Radio provider Sirius and XM citing their massive debt and the fact they have never made money… Word is they lost a huge number of  subscribers in Q-1 this year.    Others on the list include – Gateway computers, The HD DVD, Vonage the VoIP provider,

Sure to not win many friends in our business, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said “It's time to say goodbye to postcard renewal every eight years and hello to license renewals every three years with some public interest teeth."   Looks like we are in for some changes in the way folks in Washington deal with our industry.

In a recent meeting Stephan Lockwood of Hatfield and Dawson explained how they were able to design and construct a complicated multi-tower triplex system near Boston, much of this helped by the recent changes in FCC rules governing design and performance measurements for AM directional arrays.  Earlier Ben Dawson explained the history of this change at a chapter meeting.   We now learn that the FCC is, indeed, approving the use of the ‘method’.  The FCC has granted the first AM MoM licenses to WKOX and WRCA. This ends a 30 year project to have the FCC change the rules to allow computer modeling.  AM stations are encouraged to file 302 license applications to convert licenses to take advantage of the new rules.
Lots of speculation as to what happened to cause David Rehr at NAB to resign.  One of the reasons being floated about is that running NAB was like trying to herd cats.   Guess that explains a lot.

Paul Allen is selling his two radio stations in Portland (KXL-AM and KXTG-FM) to Larry Wilson formally with Citadel.   

Andy Skotdal of KRKO recently posted the 1922 license for the station on their web site.  Not many perhaps realize the historic nature of this station.  
www.krko.com/stationinfo/historicalmemorabilia/1920s

Whereas it appears that knowledge of my appreciation of things humorous has leaked out…I have been receiving some gems…some of which I can share with you.   Last month I dealt with tools, this month – English.  Everyone knows that Engineers are experts…With that – the following item that underscores why our language is so very hard.

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 

5) He could  lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present .. 

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it. 

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend? 

Til next month –
73,
Clay, K7CR, CPBE

-0-


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Amateur Radio News

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

Houston Representative Introduces Amateur Radio Bill in Congress
Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) has introduced HR 2160, the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009 in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would “promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response.” The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. “We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September,” said American Radio Relay League Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. “We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers.”

ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: “We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors — including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee — who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio’s long history of public service.”

 

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SBE News

SBE AWARDS DEADLINE EXTENDED

The deadline to submit nominations for the annual SBE National Awards has been extended to June 18. The SBE National Awards Program recognizes those members and chapters which have contributed to SBE, the industry or their chapters in a number of categories. Winners are presented their awards at the annual National Awards Dinner, held during th
e annual SBE National Meeting.  The awards include the SBE National Broadcast Engineer of the Year and SBE Educator of the Year.
Some SBE members go above and beyond the call of duty to their job, to the SBE and the broadcast industry.  There are local chapters that do an excellent job of serving their members. Often these efforts go unrecognized.  Don’t let that happen this year! Fill out an Awards Nomination Form and recognize a deserving individual or chapter.
Use the links below to make your nominations.

Chapter Awards Nomination Form
Individual Awards Nomination Form

There are five chapter and six individual award categories from which to choose when making a nomination.  In addition, three chapter awards are determined by using statistical information on record at the SBE National Office.

Five of the chapter awards are presented in two classes so that chapters of similar size compete with each other. Class A is made up of chapters with membership less than the national median; Class B includes chapters with membership greater than the median.

Award winners will be notified in July and invited to attend the 2009 SBE National Meeting, to be held October 6-7 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. The National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 37th annual SBE Chapter 22 Broadcast & Technology Expo.

Nominate a member you know, or your chapter, for an SBE National Award!

SBE HAMNET HAS A SEPARATE IRLP MEETING

From Jack Roland KEØVH
The net meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month (except in August) at 10 AM Pacific Time. In Denver on the WA2YZT repeater, on 146.805 and 447.175 with a pl of 186.2. AND, through the Internet Radio Linking Project on the Denver Reflector Node #9615.

To find a node in your area you can go to the www.irlp.net website, click on the "Node Info" on the left, then click on the "List of nodes and frequencies" in the middle of the page. In a moment a full list of node numbers, cities, countries and the like will appear and do a page search for you city. When the node is highlighted click on the node number and that repeater information will appear, usually with contact information of the trustee/repeater owner. When you have done this and are able to access your node (usually at 4 digit code on the local repeater unless it is a closed club system), you will want to connect to the Denver Reflector Node #9615. See also www.wa2yzt.com

If you need further help contact me at KEØVH at qsl dot net.

SBE University Offers 8-VSB Course

Indianapolis, IN. – The SBE has introduced the fourth course in its SBE University series of on-line, on-demand courses for broadcast engineers. The SBE 8-VSB Course is written by Douglas W. Garlinger, CPBE, 8VSB, CBNT, a Fellow in the Society of Broadcast Engineers and Senior Broadcast Engineer for Qualcomm Media FLO.

The purpose of the SBE 8-VSB course is to give the student an overview of the 8-VSB system from end to end, providing all of the basic information he or she will need to understand the nature of 8-VSB modulation and to recognize deficiencies in the transmitted signal. This information will be invaluable in installing, maintaining and operating a digital television transmitter facility. Much of the material contained in this course will aid the student in his or her efforts to obtain the SBE 8-VSB Specialist Certification.

The primary focus of the SBE 8-VSB Course is RF transmission and the process employed to transform the 19.39 Mbit/s transport signal into a signal suitable to modulate the transmitter. The course will also touch briefly on some of the important elements in the transport stream, such as video compression, picture formats, Active Format Description, PSIP and Dolby AC-3 audio.

“The SBE Education Committee has been working to identify those training areas and topics that would be the most beneficial to our membership and the broadcast engineering community at large,” said Education Committee Chairman Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD, DRB. “DTV was near the top of the list on a recent member survey, and this course was produced in response to that. We commit to continue to seek out such needs and respond with new online courses."

SBE President Barry Thomas, CPBE, CBNT remarks on the introduction of the new course, "SBE University is an exciting way for the Society to provide excellent broadcast engineering education. This 8-VSB course provides an important avenue to strengthen today’s engineers and develop the media engineers of the future.”

A more thorough description of the SBE 8-VSB Course, including a course syllabus, and enrollment information, can be found at the SBE website at www.sbe.org/SBE8-VSBCourse.php.

Scherer and Heimerl elected SBE Fellows

May 2009
Two members of SBE were recently elected to the membership grade of Fellow by the SBE Board of Directors. At their April 19 meeting in Las Vegas, the Board acted on the nominations of Christopher H. Scherer, CPBE, CBNT and John J. Heimerl, CPBE for SBE Fellows. Fellow membership is the highest recognition bestowed by the SBE to one of its members and recognizes conspicuous service and contributions to the Society and the broadcast engineering industry.

Christopher H. Scherer, CPBE, CBNT, is the editor of Radio magazine. Scherer serves on the SBE Board of Directors as Immediate Past President. He served as SBE president from 2005 to 2007. He is also a past chairman of the SBE national Certification Committee and a past chairman of Chapter 59 in Kansas City.

John J. Heimerl, CPBE is the Chief Enterprise Officer of the Hampton Roads Education Telecommunications Association, Inc. in Norfolk, Va. Heimerl is a charter member of SBE Chapter 54 (Tidewater, Va.) and has served on its board numerous times including various officer positions and as a past chairman.

"Both of these men represent the finest qualities we have come to expect from SBE members and broadcast engineers. Their commitment to the Society demonstrates a desire to support and develop our profession,” SBE President Barry Thomas, CPBE, CBNT said.

Both men will be recognized during the SBE National Awards Dinner, held as a part of the SBE National Meeting, October 7, in Verona, New York. The National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Broadcast & Technology Expo, sponsored by Chapter 22 of Central New York.

SBE CAREER SERVICES CAN HELP

The state of the national (and world) economy continues to have its affect on most industries, including broadcasting. In these uncertain times, your professional association can serve as a valuable source of available broadcast engineering jobs across the U.S.
Your membership in SBE gives you access to SBE’s career service tools. These services can be a big help if you need to find a new job. Employers can also make use of these services when they need to fill positions with qualified engineers. The SBE JobsOnline members-only service is free. On a typical day, more than 100 broadcast engineering jobs are listed and the list is updated almost every business day as new job postings are received by the SBE National Office.
SBE members may also post their resume for free with the SBE Resume Service. Anyone can view the resumes at the SBE website, with the names and contact information hidden from view. For a small fee, employers can request copies of the resumes they are interested in, which then includes the names and contact information.
SBE also has begun a new SBE service called SBE InternshipsOnline. Similar to the SBE JobsOnline, employers can post engineering internships for free. Anyone can view the postings (also free). The new service is intended to help match those who offer engineering internships with students looking for those opportunities.
Do you make your broadcast engineering services available on a contract basis? The SBE maintains an SBE Contract Engineer Directory. This alphabetical list, organized by state, lists the name, technical services offered, geographic area covered and the contact information for each contract engineer listed. For a small annual fee, contract engineers may be included on this list.

Information about all of these services can be accessed at the SBE website, www.sbe.org on the Career Services page or click the links above in this article.

Excelsior College announces Certification Courses

by Rebecca Troeger
Excelsior College

Excelsior College, in partnership with the Society of Broadcast Engineers, offers college credit to enrolled students for the completion of select SBE certifications. Apply up to 11 credits earned through SBE certifications plus any credit earned from other approved sources toward any of Excelsior College's more than 40 degree and certificate programs. Of particular interest to SBE members are the Associate Degree in Electronics Technology, Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, and Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Technology with a specialty in Electronics/Instrumentation Technologies.

Complete your degree requirements with Excelsior's flexible learning options including online and CD-ROM courses. You can maximize your SBE Certifications with Excelsior College. The following SBE certifications have been evaluated toward Excelsior College credit:
• CBRE
Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer
• CBTE
Certified Broadcast Television Engineer
• CSRE
Certified Senior Broadcast Radio Engineer
• CSTE
Certified Senior Broadcast Television Engineer
• CPBE
Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer

For more information check out SBE's partnership page on Excelsior College's website at SBE.Excelsior.edu.

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 2009 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
April 21, 2009 NAB April 1 , 2009
June 5-15, 2009 Local Chapters April 17, 2009
August 7-17, 2009 Local Chapters June 5, 2009
November 6-16, 2009 Local Chapters September 18, 2009

Fees for 2009 are as Follows:

Certification Level Member Non-Member
Broadcast Technologist $45 *$45
Broadcast Technologist $45 $111
Broadcast Networking Technologist $55 $121
Broadcast Engineer $60 $126
Audio/Video Engineer $60 $126
Senior Broadcast Engineer $85 $151
Professional Broadcast Engineer $110 $176
Specialist Certification    
AM Directional Specialist $55 $121
8VSB Specialist $55 $121
Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist $55 $121
  *does not include first year membership    

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.