This Month's Stories

Last updated:
June 7, 2010


Newsletter Archive

Contact Us

June 2010 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

June 4 2010 Meeting Report:

File-based Workflows in Broadcast and Production


Friday, June 4, 2010 


$199 for SMPTE members, $299 for non-members, $59 for students


includes lunch and refreshments as well as a copy of Al Kovalick's book


File Based Workflows in Broadcast and Production 


STARZ, Centennial, CO 80203 


Al Kovalick of Avid and independent consultant John Luff 

All participants received a copy of Al Kovalick's book, Video Systems in an IT Environment

On Friday June 4, SMPTE brought the successful seminar "File-based Workflows in Broadcast and Production" to the Rocky Mountain region. Hosted by Starz Entertainment in their multi-purpose training room the seminar featured industry experts Al Kovalick of Avid and consultant John Luff taking turns sharing their knowledge.

In what could be described as a virtuoso performance, Al Kovalick provided the theory of IT-based systems in the broadcast environment while also painting a picture of what future workflows will look like. Then, drawing from some recent experience with implementing file-based systems, John Luff provided several modules focused on implementation.

Among the useful topics covered were new concepts in media storage such as the development of a SAN storage virtualization server and the release in 2010 of LTFS, the Linear Tape (or Long Term) File System by IBM. Under the heading of networking Al described a new IEEE standard for Time Aligned Ethernet (AVB) used for sending real time video over a LAN. John provided a particularly useful sidebar on the need for (or lack of) full regression testing of new software versions and why your facility may be the place it gets done. He also provided a checklist of skills needed by the new class of hybrid broadcast-IT engineer.

With the entire day devoted to this wide ranging topic, the level of content was deeper than an overview while of necessity skipping over many details that deserve to be explored further. Based on feedback from the audience the level was just right and the day well spent.

Report by Jim Schoedler


Return to table of contents

Random Radio Thoughts

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Studio Moves
I haven't talked to Barry Walters, CE of Wilks-Denver, in a couple of weeks, but I can tell you what he's been up to. Barry has been up to his elbows in a studio move, and his deadline was the last week in May.

I was listening to one of the stations in the cluster that week and heard the unmistakable sounds of progress - hums and buzzes in the audio with occasional dropouts followed by clear, clean audio. I also heard some of the air talent talking about the new digs. Here are a few pics of the work in progress that Barry sent me.

It looks like this will be quite the facility. Perhaps Barry will host a tour at one of our chapter meetings this fall.

Amanda and I are up to our elbows in the CBC-Denver studio move as well, although out deadline is a little further out than Barry's was. Our technical move is set for July 19 and the office move for the following week. The tenant finish of the new space, located on the 12th floor of 2821 S. Parker Road, is done and we are wrapping up the wiring infrastructure.

Since we have to move all our existing equipment, it is critical that we have everything in order for "D-Day" when it comes. For each studio we will have a box of cables ready, each with a connector attached and a label under clear heat shrink affixed. The box will also have a roll of matching labels for the other end of each wire. The installer will then route each wire, cut it to length, affix the label under clear heat shrink and then punch it down. With a full crew on hand (including several of Crawford's market chief engineers), we hope to get the four control rooms done in a day or so.

By way of update to the ongoing microwave saga on which I reported last month, we got the coordinations back in late May and I have since filed six applications for these links, now in the 11 GHz band. I hope and pray that these will be granted in short order. For the short term, I have ordered up T1 links to two of the sites. The other two will be fed either from the studio or one of the other sites using Motorola Canopy links on 5.7 GHz.

So... if any of you are looking for something to do the week of July 19....

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at


Return to table of contents

The KEØVH Hamshack

Jack Roland

The KEØVH Hamshack for June 2010
I found a great website for generating equidistant maps of the world, North America, or wherever your QTH might be, great for beam headings to wherever that DX station you could hear is operating from. The website allows you to input your QTH longitude and latitude and generate a really nice map that you could put in a frame for your shack or use for other purposes. I own a really old rotor controller with a nicely re-furbished rotor that I am going to use on my 6 meter moxon that I have written about, and I am going to build and new controller box and put my map on the front of it under the rotating direction setting knob pointer. It should look really cool and I will write about that at a later time. The website, setup by Joe, NA3T, and Michael, NV3Z is at . I have generated maps for my QTH and they really look great. You can make different maps with different distance resolutions too, for instance that have a full world setting and one they call a "setting for when 6 meters is open

The maps setup for full size 8x11 sheets, and really look great full size.

The latest set of additions to the KE0VH hamshack is now an Astron Power Supply and a Mirage 6 meter amplifier to go along with my Icom IC-551 all mode 6 meter rig. On Saturday May 23rd, there was a great opening into southern California on 6 and it latest on until late in the evening, I was working SC even after sunset until about 9:30pm. The Sporadic E season sure is in operation at this time, and as of this writing I am looking forward to the ARRL VHF contest in early June. I will try to report how I did in the July edition for this page. I have already worked Southern California, Illinois, and Texas with the 6 meter dipole I have up and hopefully will get the before mentioned Moxon antenna going before too long. Busy weekends painting, kids graduations and parties, and weather have kept me from getting to that, but you have to prioritize you know!

Astron PS-20m, Mirage 6 meter amp, and Icom IC-551

And, I financed the above additions with the sale of my venerable Kenwood TS120s set to KI6KWP in California. While I will miss the old rig, the Yaesu 757GXII is really working well as my main station HF rig on the 5 band vertical antenna plus 80 meter wire, and I am going to build a multiband dipole for 29.6 ten meter FM, 12 and 17 meters as I have never been on those bands before as the TS120 didn't have WARC band capabilities.

One of the things that I love about working in Colorado Springs is the friendliness and camaraderie that exists between all the engineers down here. In the transmitter building that houses my FM's and several others, is a refrigerator and food storage boxes that are stocked with a lot of stuff in case you get stuck for hours or longer on Cheyenne Mountain. And, in a stroke of genius, someone years ago brought up a gas grill and hooked it up the giant propane tank that also and primarily powers a generator up here. Folks bring up hot dogs, burgers, and brats among other food items frequently and cook it out while having great conversation. I just as of this writing had lunch with on Cheyenne after some transmitter work with engineer Harry Russell, who is also a ham, and Don, an AC contractor up there on this pictured beautiful late spring day.

Man, I tell you what, I gotta love my job! Beautiful day, great friends, good food, and engineering on top of Cheyenne Mountain! Awesome Stuff! By the way, here is a picture of my KZNT AM 1460 Site with Pikes Peak in the background on another beautiful day.

I really love this picture.

My friend Jim, KCØRPS sent this article to me, a great NPR story on ham radio, and there is an audio link on this site too:
It is always good to hear ham radio getting favorable coverage, and of course NPR has a large audience.  It makes for an enjoyable story to listen to, so pass the link onto your friends and those you think might be interested in becoming an amateur radio operator.

Looking for a "pallet" amplifier for any need from Broadcast to Ham VHF/UHF use?  Take a look at, Delta RF Technology, Inc.  Cliff (NØZUQ) and I were looking at some pallet amplifiers that were for an FM TX exciter, and I was wondering if one could be converted to 6 meters.  This company manufactures not only amps for FM transmitters, but also many that cover many amateur bands.  Now, the one I have on hand "supposedly" can't be converted, but I haven't given up yet.  Of course they sell one for what I wanted (6 meter coverage:, (actually there are quite a few different coverage's available.  Plus, they repair these so if you have a transmitter that uses one for excitation of a broadcast transmitter they are a good resource.

What makes an engineer?  Check out this YouTube video for details:

Doing remotes on Skype
Lots of info here:

Also, don't forget Field day is coming up on the weekend of June 26th and 27th.  I hope you have a great summer!  Don't forget about the SBE IRLP ham net too the first and third Saturdays of the month at 11am Mountain Time.  Details at

Oh yes, before I close completely, the latest fix all schematic:

That's is for this month, happy hamming!
73' de KEØVH


Return to table of contents

Clay’s Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

Talk about time flying!   Here we are half way through 2010 and getting close to our shortest season - Summer.   Unofficially, the Seattle area, Summer starts after the huge rain storm on the 4th of July and lasts, hopefully, until half way through the Puyallup fair.

At our last Chapter meeting, held at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, we had a presentation on Arc-Flash safety.    After looking at a few of those videos, I'm sure that everyone gained a new respect for what can take place in our plants electrical systems.  A very interesting and educational meeting. 

The next meeting of our SBE Chapter will be in the South End, Federal Way to be exact and the topic will be EAS.   Our guest speaker will be Don Miller of Washington Emergency Management who will demonstrate the new Sage Endec and how it will be connected to our states new CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) network.    This will be a great opportunity for you to see what EAS is going to look like in the not to distant future and ask questions.   I sincerely hope you can make it as this is an issue that will impact everyone.

I traveled over to Spokane during the last week of May to chat with the Inland LECC (Local EAS Committee).  Was a great turn-out and a very warm welcome.   While in Spokane, we had dinner with our #2 Son who has made him home there for some time.  The weather was 'very Seattle' - Gray, cool and very wet.   Of course they all blamed me for bringing it their way.

This coming weekend will be my annual trek to Seaside, Oregon for some R&R and Ham Radio.   In years past I'd see a number of broadcast engineers, unfortunately their ranks have thinned with the passing of time.   Some other Amateur Radio related events up-coming are - Field Day, the last weekend in June and the Radio Club of Tacoma Hamfest on August 14th.

It's hard to believe that it's been two months since I left my full time job with Entercom...The period ahead is going to be very busy with not only with my new position with WSU but my contract clients as well.  Notable activity includes - Building a new transmitter facility for NWPR (KSWS) at Crego Hill and reconfiguring  KVTI in Tacoma. In addition to Studio and transmitter construction for one of my clients.  Not much goof-off time this summer.   One highlight of the summer will be attending my High School Class Reunion - Geeeeesh  - 50 years!

Have you been following the wayward satellite? Apparently one of the communications birds, Galaxy 15, has lost its 'stay put' system and is drifting toward another bird that's used by US Cable Companies (AMC 11).   Suppose it's a matter of time until we have some of the geo-sync birds crashing into each other.   What makes this frightening is how much we have come to rely on these creations.  It is noteworthy that there are now over 19,000 items over 4 inches in diameter in low earth orbit.  Now they are trying to figure out how to implement a space-age litter patrol and clean up the mess.  We've come a long way since Sputnik. 

You would think with all the rain and gray skies that Seattle would be the nap-capital of the world.  Actually Seattle does rank high in some surveys...However one lists Seattle as the 11th most stressful US city.   The major reasons - lack of sunny days and cost of living.  (Never understood how drizzle and gray skies was stressful)  Interesting that in the sunny day department we are behind Pittsburgh, PA.  Who wudda thought?   In the category of 'Fittest Cities'  Seattle came in #4.  So why did they rank us so high?  Apparently due to our low level of obesity and opportunities for physical activity.   Wonder if that includes snow-shoeing to West Tiger in the winter?
When it comes to a good place to do business- Washington State now ranks #30, up from #40 last year.   The best state? Texas, the worst ?  You likely guessed it, California.

You think you have a big power bill?.....The Microsoft data-center near Moses Lake pays about $3.4 Million annually.

We lost a legend recently with the passing of Art Linkletter.   I can hear the announcer now ..."It's the Art Linkletter House-party'.   One of the greats in our industry to be sure.

Looks like the economic news indicators are just about all looking up - finally.   Over the past 20 + years I have been writing this column, I don't recall be compelled to write about economic issues.  Certainly, as they call it, the Great Recession, will be long remembered.   Even though the percentages look impressive, most of them are based on growth over the past year which means that we have a while to go to get business back to pre-recession levels.  In some quarters, it may never be the same as things have shifted in ways that it might never come back.  The good news is the climb back appears to be exceeding some projections as the 'estimators' are having to revise their estimates upward.

Things are apparently not all bad at NPR.   They recently announced the awarding of a contract to build their new headquarters in WDC.  It will have a 10,000 sq.ft. Data Center and a 100,000 sq.ft. news room.

On the down side comes news that New Northwest Broadcasters are going through a reorganization similar to Chapter 11.   The firm owns 21 FM and 2 AM's in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

It's official now, an FM station can now seek higher power for their HD operation.  In some locations, Los Angeles for example, operators of stations that are adjacent to certain high powered stations are not happy with the fact that those HD carriers are actually on their channel and causing them grief.   Some of them have hired consultants to do battle.  Meanwhile NAB and Ibiquity telling the FCC that it's not that bad.  Certainly, in some cases, this matter will be lawyer-fodder.  In our area, thus-far, as far as I know, only one station has filed for the power increase and that's CBS's 96.5.   Actually this will be to formalize what they have been doing for some time under and STA.   The big issue is who is going to shell out the bucks for the equipment to make it happen?  

To many this is a chicken and egg situation.  Radio Broadcasters, generally, are saying they are not willing to spend more money on HD until there are more people with HD Radios.    Yet the very thing that would make people want to buy a new radio is compelling content.

I can recall, in my brief almost 50 years doing this stuff, many times when listeners would swam to a station with lousy audio and poor signal because they were broadcasting something compelling to listen to.  Today, I am afraid, most broadcasters have forgotten the lessons of the past and put pre-recorded cheap programming on their HD channels and then gripe because no one is buying radios!   Don't tell me it's because of coverage either (well maybe on the other coast with their flea powered operations) Recently I listened to KPLU-HD2 out beyond 65 miles from their transmitter. (I-5 south to US12)  Since when is a 65 mile radius not good enough?.  An FM station in Seattle is on the block with a fraction of this coverage and they are reportedly asking millions for it.   A local 1Kw AM would die for coverage like this.   And yet there is a chorus of boos out there that have nothing good to say about HD.  HD technology has handed radio stations an incredible opportunity...yet many have apparently snubbed their nose at the gift. Someday, somewhere, a radio station is going to put something 'really cool' on their HD-2 and promote the heck out of it (like you should do with any good product) and they will prove my point.  Do you think that Ford, or Proctor and Gamble etc would put out a new product that is deemed lame by most and then hope that someone would purchase it just because it's on the shelf?     This 'Field of Dreams' attitude that people will swarm to HD just because it's there is not going to cut it..... I don't get it!   On the positive side, locally, I was recently scanning the band with my new HD radio in my pickup and noted that 92.5 HD-3 is programming directed to those from Viet Nam.   A good use for HD Radio.   Certainly far better than the old SCA's these folks used to lease.

The 'Commish' is tweaking it's rules regarding towers, lighting and painting etc.  If you own a tower- Heads up - The new stuff has now been published in the Federal Register (meaning its real) Comments are due July 20 with reply comments August 19.  Look for Docket # 10-88.

Why they are in the publishing mood - The FCC has put out a reminder that there is a chance that this year will have a higher than normal level of hurricane activity this season.   Perhaps the reminder is because of the attention being paid to the oil spill mess in the gulf.   Not sure what happens when you mix up that mess with high winds...Talk about ugly!.   I get the feeling that the sentiment for off-shore drilling is pretty much universally changed.  This disaster will likely create pain in the wallet in years to come.

And....Two people were caught operating pirate radio stations on the FM band in the New York City area.  They get to contribute 10 Grand to the Government for their efforts.
Speaking of which - Have you listened to 87.9 around this area lately?   Hmmm.   Aside from the occasional passing car giving you a dose of Howard Stern etc - There is quite a
bit of activity.    I listened to that frequency in Spokane, nothing heard.  Apparently a different mind-set over there.   What I did hear in Spokane was a huge intermod product on 88.5, sounds like a couple of stations are doing some excellent mixing.

Two individuals were caught using three different FM frequencies without a
license in the greater New York City area, and both have been hit with the
standard $10K FCC fine for being involved with an unauthorized FM operation.

The FCC also brought enforcement activity to WCLM-AM in Highland Springs VA.
No functioning EAS System ($8000) Transmitter control system issues ($3000) and Public File violations - ($10,000)...21K total.

In Florida - WFUN-LD ran out of 'fun' recently when the FCC stopped by and discovered the station was operating with about 3 times it's authorized power (ooops) Then they found out they did not have any EAS Equipment (more ooops).  The EAS issue cost them $8000 and the over power, $4000.

And...In Orlando, Florida a fellow was operating an FM station on 91.3 without a license. In this case NOT priceless...actually $10,000 is the amount he will be paying.

Sumner Redstone was recently quoted as saying that he will 'never, never, sell Viacom or CBS.   Well alrighty then.    Likely the remark made in response to deal-talk involving NBC, Comcast, CNN etc.

The matter of do towers kill birds is still being debated.   I still have a hard time with this one as I have been walking around towers for the last, almost, 50 years and have yet to see dead birds on the ground.  Perhaps these towers are in places I have not been?  Perhaps there should be a law banning motor vehicles? I bet you they kill millions of birds each year.  Then there are cats vs. birds...but that's another matter.  What do you want to bet that this whole activity is just another 'I don't like the looks of towers' exercise.   Reminds me of what happened on Vashon and Maury Island a few years ago when King County was debating towers, NIER etc.   There were several very vocal people objecting to the towers on Vashon, the reason stated - NIER, Cancer etc etc.  Then when 770 diplexed the 1090 array, doubling the ERP at that site..... Not a peep was heard.  As it turned out these folks did not like the towers, or the looks of them and they were just trying to get a 'better argument'.

Think back 30 years ....May of 1982 - Mt St Helens blew it's top.   Bet you know where you were when that happened?   Me?  I was South of Cayuse Pass on my way to Yakima.  The sky turned black as midnight and it was raining pea-gravel.  I turned around and got out of there with a full air-filter and scratched up windshield.

Congratulations to Howard Schmidt, W7HAS from Issaquah.   Not only has he been inducted into the CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame, but last December he was named by the President as the new White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.

This month - some trivia

  • Stewardesses - The longest word typed with only your left hand.
  • Lollipop - The longest one with your right hand.
  • Typewriter - the longest word made only using one row of letters on the keyboard.
  • There are no words that rhyme with - Month, orange, silver or purple
  • Our eyes are always the same size, from birth, but our nose and ears keep growing.
  • A goldfish has a memory of only 3-seconds (why do some people act the same way?)
  • Remember the old term - 'in a jiffy'?   Did you know that a 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.  Like to see that term on a piece of test-equipment!
  • Almonds are a member of the Peach family.
  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors
  • Percy L. Spencer invented the microwave oven in 1945.  He never finished elementary school.
  • John Robinson Pierce designed the first communications satellite in 1960

Til next month - Thanks for reading my 'stuphph'
Clay, K7CR, CPBE


Ed. Note: I was interested in Clay's note about the word "Jiffy" so I looked it up:

Jiffy (time) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jiffy is an informal term for any unspecified short period of time, as in "I'll be back in a jiffy". From this it has acquired a number of more precise applications for short, very short, or extremely short periods of time. Known since the 18th century, the word's origin is unclear, though one suggestion is that it was thieves' cant for lightning.

The earliest technical usage for jiffy was defined by Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946). He proposed a unit of time called the "jiffy" which was equal to the time it takes light to travel one centimetre. It has since been redefined for different measurements depending on the field of study.

Use in electronics
In electronics, a jiffy is the time between alternating current power cycles, 1/60 or 1/50 of a second in most countries - see alternating current.

Use in computing
In computing, a jiffy is the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt. It is not an absolute time interval unit, since its duration depends on the clock interrupt frequency of the particular hardware platform. Early microcomputer systems such as the Commodore 64 and many game consoles (which use televisions as a display device) commonly synchronize the system interrupt timer with the vertical frequency of the local television standard, either 59.94 Hz with NTSC systems, or 50.0 Hz with most PAL systems. Within the Linux 2.6 operating system kernel, since release 2.6.13, on the Intel i386 platform a jiffy is by default 4 ms, or 1/250 of a second. The jiffy values for other Linux versions and platforms have typically varied between about 1 ms and 10 ms.

Use in physics
The speed of light in a vacuum provides a convenient universal relationship between distance and time, so in physics (particularly in quantum physics) and often in chemistry, a jiffy is defined as the time taken for light to travel some specified distance. In astrophysics and quantum physics a jiffy is, as defined by Edward R. Harrison, the time it takes for light to travel one fermi, which is the size of a nucleon. One fermi is 10-15 m, so a jiffy is about 3 x 10-24 seconds.

Sometimes a jiffy is used as a synonym for the Planck interval, about 5.4 x 10-44 seconds, which is the time it takes light to traverse the smallest meaningful length, the Planck length. In this quantum mechanical definition, a jiffy is the shortest theoretically possible time period that can be measured within onestandard deviation of accuracy. In practice, current technology can come nowhere near making this brief a time measurement.

Return to table of contents

Amateur Radio News

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

Once touted as "the most successful BPL deployment in the nation," the City of Manassas, Virginia has decided to get out of the Broadband-over-PowerLine business, once and for all. At a Special Meeting on Monday, April 5, the Manassas City Council ― acting on a recommendation from the Manassas Utilities Commission ― unanimously voted to discontinue BPL Internet service as of July 1, 2010 to the approximately 520 residents and businesses who currently subscribe to the service; these customers were told that they have three months to find a new Internet service provider. The City Council cited three reasons for discontinuing BPL service: a declining customer base, an annual income deficit of almost $166,000 from providing Internet service, and a determination that AMI [Advanced Metering Infrastructure] platforms don't require BPL.

The American Radio Relay League has opposed most BPL systems due to interference concerns. ARRL Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, said that the ARRL's concern was with "the interference to licensed radio services" ― and in particular the Amateur Radio Service ― inevitably caused by putting radio frequency energy on unshielded, unbalanced conductors. Manassas was touted as "the most successful BPL deployment in the nation" when FCC Chairman Michael Powell visited the site with much fanfare -- and, the ARRL maintains, in violation of the FCC's own rules -- on the eve of the FCC's vote to adopt inadequate protection for licensed radio services against interference from BPL systems. The taxpayers and ratepayers of Manassas are not the only ones who benefit from the end of this ill-considered foray into BPL. Radio amateurs in the Manassas area have good reason to celebrate, for they have spent countless hours documenting the widespread interference caused by the system.

As of late April, 39 cosponsors have pledged their support for HR 2160, The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009, including original sponsor Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). (None of Wisconsin's eight representatives has yet signed on as a cosponsor.) The bill calls for "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 companion bill to HR 2160 passed the Senate in December 2009.

On May 14-16, hams from all over the world made their way to the 2010 Dayton Hamvention at the Hara Arena located in suburban Trotwood, Ohio. Held annually since 1952, Hamvention is one of the largest Amateur Radio gatherings in the world. The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) hosts a myriad of educational and fun forums that take place the entire weekend.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s <> web site)


Return to table of contents

Static Line

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham
Chapter 3 - Kansas

Congratulations are in order. Bob Locke, Chief Engineer for KPTS, Wichita -Hutchinson and longtime member of Chapter 3, has been selected as one of two SBE members to be elected by the SBE Board as SBE Fellow.

The Fellow Award recognizes members who have rendered conspicuous service, or have made valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering, or its allied professions, the dissemination of knowledge thereof, or the promotion of its application in practice. It is the highest level of SBE membership available.

The Board action took place during their meeting at the 2010 NAB Show on April 11, and both Bob and Sterling Davis, VP of Engineering for Cox Media Group in Atlanta will be recognized for their elevation to Fellow during the SBE National Meeting in Madison, WI on October 27, 2010. Kudos Bob! A well deserved honor.

I am reminded lately of a term used in the industry some years ago. It was "convergence", relating to the merging of several branches of the communications field into some new form. Included at that time were radio, television, newspapers, and the Internet. I have been noticing for some time, the newscasts of TV stations referring viewers to their web sites for more, and in depth information on the item they just delivered. Radio stations do the same, encouraging listeners to "see" radar and photos they are not delivering on air. Now I read in the newspaper recently that I can view movies of certain stories they publish if I only turn to the paper's web site. It certainly appears all the above are bending toward a common locus.

I imagine the explosion of the new social networking sites and their easy availability on Ipods, Smartphones and other such devices have accelerated this trend in the media's desperate quest to maintain audience numbers. I am not yet a member of any of those groups, sticking to my e-mail and Internet web sites. I am probably too harsh but I tend to label those who Tweet as twits!

It does worry me that the younger generation seems to be losing touch with the ability of well rounded communications skills. Recent news features show special emphasis on penmanship and writing skills in some classrooms, labeling them almost as lost arts. I worry that future generations will be unable to concentrate on a lengthy treatise long enough to understand the meaning, although if the number of pages in the recently passed federal health bill should belay my fear on the volume of pages published. It seems that the sound byte has now been reduced to 142 or how ever many bytes texting now allows.

But perhaps that too is a fad and the trend will be reversed as more spectrum is made available for wireless users.

In reviewing some of the early newsletters of the chapter (an invaluable resource furnished to me by Harold Newby before his death) the earliest membership roster published in our chapter newsletter, listed thirty-two members on September 15, 1976. The Chapter's first organizational meeting was likely held in February of 1976, becoming officially recognized by the Society as the Kansas Chapter in late March or early April 1976. Research in issues of Broadcast Engineering near that time might pin the date down more accurately than I have done here.

Those were days when every station still had a Chief Engineer as the head of Engineering. Multiple stations could not be owned in the same market (outside of a few radio AM/FMs, grandfathered TV/Radio, or Newspaper-Broadcast station arrangements in some cases), and networks of intra-market stations were just forming. PBS was looking at satellite delivery of programming. The FCC still looked sharply at any possibility of "thought control" in any one market, and the idea of a monopoly on information in any one area was frowned upon. I remember one county where the local newspaper would not acknowledge any other media organization in print! WIBW (Topeka) and WKY (OK City) were the only stations west of the Mississippi with "W" call letters - only WIBW remains. Times were certainly different, but that is to be expected, right?



Return to table of contents

Radio sales rose 6% in Q1

Radio ads in the first quarter were up 6% to $3.4 billion, the RAB has announced. National spot increased 19% to $568 million and network grew 6% to $260 million, while local ads rose 2% to $2.5 billion. Digital, including online and HD channels, showed promise, increasing 18% to $123 million. Mediaweek (5/21)


Return to table of contents

SBE News

2010 SBE National Meeting to be held in Madison

2010 SBE National Meeting to be held in Madison, Wi. (December 9, 2009) The Society of Broadcast Engineers Board of Directors has accepted an invitation from SBE Chapter 24 in Madison, Wi, to host the SBE2010 National Meeting. The decision was made during the SBE Board of Directors conference call on Dec. 1, 2009. The SBE National Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic and the Upper Midwest Regional Meeting, hosted by SBE Chapter 24 and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) on Oct. 26-28, 2010.Chapter 24 Chairman Fred Sperry, CPBE, and Convention Chairman Leonard Charles, CPBE, are looking forward to hosting the SBE National Meeting again. This is the fourth time Chapter 24 has hosted the SBE National Meeting since 1997. The SBE National Meeting was last held in Madison in 2008. The SBE National Meeting serves as an opportunity to spotlight SBE-sponsored regional conventions held in different areas of the country. SBE National Meeting events include the annual membership meeting and the SBE National Awards Dinner, honoring the 2008-09 chapter and individual award recipients. SBE President Vinny Lopez, CEV CBNT, stated, "By holding the SBE National Meeting in conjunction with established, successful regional events, the SBE and the local host benefit. These partnerships allow the SBE to bring a national presence to these regional events."

Baun receives SBE Lifetime Achievement Award

Terrence M. Baun, CPBE, AMD, CBNT, was presented the Society of Broadcast Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2010 SBE spring membership meeting held during the 2010 NAB Show in April. Terry is Director of Engineering and Operations for the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board in Madison, WI. The SBE Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements by an individual throughout his or her professional lifetime.

Terry is a 34-year member of the SBE. Within the SBE, he has been a member of the national Certification Committee for 12 years, serving as chairman for three of those years. He also served as a director and vice president of the Society before being elected SBE national president in 1995. Terry was named the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year in 1991, the inaugural year of the award. He was named an SBE Fellow in 1999 and in 2003, was named the SBE Educator of the Year.
(excerpted from the National SBE-news)

New SBE Course in Networking

The SBE has released a new course in its SBE University series of on-line, on-demand web courses. Computer Networking for Broadcast Engineers provides the student with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of computer networking. The course will cover computer topologies (both physical and logical), media types, the OSI model, and local area networking. It will cover some legacy material but is primarily about Ethernet, TCP/IP and other current computer networking protocols. Hardware such as switches and routers will be covered and software such as VLAN, VPN, and NAT will be as well. Some basic troubleshooting, security, and administrative procedures will also be discussed. The course is designed to serve as an introduction and should serve to assist the broadcaster in passing the SBE Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist exam. There are several quiz questions at the end of each chapter to help the student gauge his or her understanding of the material.

This course was written for SBE by Paul Claxton, CPBE, CBNT, IT management specialist and project engineer with the American Forces Network Broadcast Center in Riverside, California. Mr. Claxton is a retired US Navy Master Chief Petty Officer and has been an SBE member for more than ten years. He is active in the Society as current and past SBE Chapter 131 chairman and certification chairman. He holds certifications from Novell, Microsoft, CompTIA, and SANS in various computer networking, security and administration areas and has presented IT subject papers at the NAB's Broadcast Engineering Conference.

Two Webinars added by SBE

Maximizing HD and 1080p/60 Cable Performance takes place June 15, and Human Factors in Broadcasting will be presented on July 13. Both webinars begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern and last for two hours. 

Maximizing HD and 1080p/60 Cable Performance reviews how digital video cable is designed and manufactured, and how installing it can affect the performance of the system. More

Human Factors in Broadcasting provides an introduction to Human Factors as it relates to the field of broadcast engineering. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to increase workflow, reduce costly errors and increase productivity. Understanding Human Factors will help participants become better judges of proposed benefits of products and services that use "Ergonomics" as part of the selling points. In addition, the physical and cognitive limitations of humans will be discussed, as well as just how costly it can be to ignore human factors. More

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, 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:
Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer
Certified Broadcast Television Engineer
Certified Senior Broadcast Radio Engineer
Certified Senior Broadcast Television Engineer
Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer

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

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 or, 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

SBE Updates CertPreview Software - Now Available

The newest version of SBE CertPreview is available as an instant download or as a CD that will be mailed to you to install onto your computer and will be machine specific. The program will be available for Windows and Mac. Each sample test contains 100-150 questions typical of those found on an actual exam. You will take the exam in its entirety and be able to mark and review questions before scoring your sample exam. By scoring the exam, you will be given a percentage and a breakdown of categories contained within the exam. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will also be able to revisit questions that you answered wrong.

The SBE CertPreview sample test software will give users an idea of what to expect on SBE certification exams. Each certification level on the software will have approximately 100-150 sample questions that users can take as a 50 multiple choice question sample exam.

Certification Exam Session Dates:

Certification exam session dates for 2010 are listed below.  Check the list for the exam period that is best for you.  For more information about SBE Certification, contact Chapter Certification Chair Rick Ryan at 414-223-2600 ext. 5730 or, or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
June 4-14, 2010 Local Chapters April 16, 2010 Date Past
August 6-16, 2010 Local Chapters June 4, 2010
November 5-15, 2010 Local Chapters September 17, 2010

Fees 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.


Return to table of contents


Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris - Editor In Chief
  (505) 767-6735

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

We encourage your feedback and submissions, please contact us through the NEWSLETTER link on our contact page.

Newsletter archives are available online. Visit our Newsletter Archive for an index of newsletter back issues. Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

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.