This Month's Stories

Last updated:
June 5, 2011

 

Newsletter Archive

Contact Us

June 2011 Newsletter


SBE Chapter 48 /
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

May 2011 Meeting Report

Networked Audio Consoles - A Long and Winding Road

Date: 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time: 

6:15PM Refreshments. 6:45PM Program

Location: 

Crawford Broadcasting, 2821 S. Parker Road, Aurora, CO 80014

Topic: 

Networked Audio Consoles - A Long and Winding Road

Presenter:  

Frank Grundstein, CBRE, CBNT, Director of Sales, Logitek

Tour:  

The presentation was followed by a tour of the new
Crawford Broadcasting radio facility.

Synopsis: Networked Audio Consoles have been around for almost 15 years and are now undergoing their first real metamorphosis. Understanding the benefits and limitations of the various networked system architectures is essential. Discussion focused on some of the elements of networked systems and how they can affect your selection process.

Tour: The presentation was followed by a tour of the new Crawford Broadcasting radio facility. We would like to thank our host Cris Alexander for making this arrangement.

 

Return to table of contents

Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

SBE/SMPTE Meeting
It was great to see many of you at the May 11 SBE-48/SMPTE chapter meeting which Amanda and I had the privilege of hosting at our Aurora studio facility. We had a great technical program put on by Frank Grundstein of Logitek. Afterward, we took two groups up to the CBC-Denver 12th floor studio complex for a tour.

Thanks to Jim, Frank and all who made this meeting, technical program and tour a success. Next time, we'll try to schedule it on a day when it's not raining cats and dogs!

Transmitter Issues
Since my last column in the April webletter, I have heard about several interesting transmitter issues around the Denver/Colorado Springs markets.

Jack Roland, Salem's CE down in the Springs, has been dealing with a vexing issue with one of his Continental 816R-4 rigs. The symptom is a screen overload and a tripped plate breaker. A reset of the overload and the breaker restores normal operation... for awhile. Sometimes a few days go by before the problem recurs. Jack has cleaned and inspected every inch of the transmitter, but the problem persists.

There have been some spirited discussions on the 449.450 MHz repeater about the issue, with two possibilities surfacing as the most likely. One is that there is a pinhole in the insulation of the HV wire at some location where it is tie-wrapped to a frame member. Another, and this one is more likely in my thinking, is that one or more of the gating cards is failing, causing the SCRs to misfire. The tripped PA plate power supply breaker is the key piece of evidence; I'm not sure that would happen for a simple HV arc.

Another transmitter issue was also Salem's, this one with the KNUS (710) aux transmitter, an early 1990s vintage Gates 5 solid state AM. The first symptom was poor efficiency. The rig would make power, but the input power to the PA was too high. This was easily recognizable since the main transmitter is an identical Gates 5, operating with much more efficiency.

Soon enough, the underlying cause of the poor efficiency made itself known - a capacitor in the output network failed. CE Cliff Mikkelson replaced the cap and the rig has since been running okay, although Cliff has found a discrepancy between the manufacturer's specified coil taps and the real world. It seems that there is no one still at Harris with any direct knowledge of the Gates 5 series, and their notes are evidently inaccurate.

Amanda Alexander had some trouble with the 1983 Nautel AMPFET-10 that is used as KLZ's aux transmitter. One of the modulators was offline, but all the regulators appeared to be working. After some investigation, she found that you can't always believe the go/no-go LEDs on the regulators. Even though the LED for that modulator was lit, there was no DC to the modulator. The problem was a shorted SCR/rectifier and two blown fuses.

With a 2000-vintage Nautel ND-5 in service as the main transmitter, the old AMPFET-10 has not been used much in the last eleven years. It was called upon back in July of last year when a power surge took out a pair of rectifiers in the ND-5. Still, like a lot of other things, when you need an aux transmitter you need it bad and you need it to work. Thankfully, the old AMPFET is back in service and ready to run if called upon.

I haven't talked to Mike Irby to get the details, but on a couple of occasions last month I observed KOA operating on its aux transmitter. This was apparent for a couple of reasons. One was that the HD was off and another was some harshness in the audio that's not there when the DX-50 is online.

Hopefully, this summer will be transmitter trouble free for all the stations in the area!

ENDEC Enigma
Amanda replaced all four of the old TFT EAS-911 units in the CBC-Denver facility earlier this year with new Sage ENDEC CAP-compliant units. We did this throughout our company, so we have a large installed base of the new Sage 3644s. So far, our experience has generally been positive, especially compared with the 1997-vintage first-generation TFT units.

In Denver, however, we have been battling a vexing issue. KOA-originated tests and activations are always properly decoded, every time, without fail. KYGO-originated events, however, are hit and miss. Two or three of the local ENDECs will properly decode the KYGO events, and one or two will not - and it's not the same units every time.

After conferring numerous times with Sage customer support, Amanda replaced the FM receiver used for KYGO with a new Tascam receiver with the hope that this would cure the problem. It did not. KYGO recovered audio is, like KOA's, distributed by the Wheatstone bridge router in our facility, so there is no distribution amp involved, and since different ENDECs work and fail each week, it's not any one Wheatstone analog output.

Since the old TFT units decoded both KOA and KYGO without fail, the problem appears to be something specific to the new ENDECs. But we don't know for sure whether KYGO perhaps replaced its EAS equipment at about the same time, which would insert another variable into the equation.

At this point, Sage is asking Amanda to record a KYGO event so that they can look at it. They think there may be a spectral imbalance between the high and low tones. Hopefully they will figure it out soon. In the meantime, Amanda is keeping a detailed log of what is happening, just in case the FCC drops by and asks why not all four stations receive KYGO tests every week.

We would be very interested to know if any other stations in the market are having trouble with KYGO EAS events. Give Amanda a call at (303) 433-5500.

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

 

Return to table of contents

The KEØVH Hamshack


Jack Roland
KEØVH@q.com

The KEØVH Hamshack for June 2011
What a horrible spring for weather, tornadoes and floods making up the bulk of occurrences during the month of April and May. I hope you had no loved ones or friends affected like so much of the country has been.

Tornado Tracks! Because of Copyright, I didn't make a copy of the picture that was put together by WTVC Channel 9 in Chattanooga of the tornado tracks that affected the area in a series of pictures that can be found at this site: http://www.newschannel9.com/sections/article/gallery/?pic=1&id=1000891 and http://www.newschannel9.com/articles/timeline-1000891-tornado-55am.html for the full story. And if you are interested, WTVC TV in Chattanooga has made a 1 hour documentary on the day available at: http://www.newschannel9.com/video/c/1137849423/local-news/961767402001/local-news.

The "Dade/Walker EF3 Tornado" slice is the one that came very close to my Mom's house. She lives just a hair south of the right part of the tornado track where the orange color becomes yellow. And, the storms continued as you may know during the month of May, nearly destroying the town of Joplin Missouri, and many in Oklahoma too. As I was driving to work on the morning of May 25th, a very severe thunderstorm moved north from Colorado Springs, then formed with others into the huge mass shown here, taken from Denver Weather Radar.

This system formed literally just east of Denver, and in this shot it was rotating on the map in motion, and then moved east to drop tornadoes in Kansas and Missouri again. It looked like a small Hurricane as it rotated on the map, then grew to many states wide size later in the day of May 25th. I hope by the time you read this that the severe weather will have stopped. One of if not the worst season ever, certainly during my lifetime.

Well, the long awaited (at least for me!) KEØVH 6 meter beam is finally up and by the time you read this on the air and tuned. I took the parts from an old broken ten meter beam (BIG JUNKBOX!) and rebuilt it with the help of my son Aiden, and now the Ranger 100 watt 6 meter radio is feeding the beam. I am going to do measurements and sweeps of it in the future and will report here what its operating characteristics are. And during the evening Saturday May 21st, the 6 meter "bazooka" dipole made its last contact, talking to W7ARR, Bob in Keno, Oregon. Man, what a great path, we were both S9-10+ both ways during a 20 minute rag chew QSO, on 6 meters!


During 6 meter QSO with W7ARR in Oregon.

That's his signal on the left of the Ranger RCI-5054 DX-100 display. By the way, they have lowered the price on these radios at RangerUSA.com. Check it out at www.rangerusa.com. That was a lot of fun, and I look forward to more with the beam over the next couple of months as 6 should open up some. Later, I am going to use some of the digital modes on 6 for band down times and hopefully work some auroral propagation. Here are some antenna construction pictures.


Beam with Gamma match adjusted to 1.3to1 SWR, Ready for On Air!


The Gamma match shorting strap is made from a hose clamp leftover

Ray, AA0L's demo of the Signal Hound signal generator and spectrum analyzer during our Colorado Springs engineering lunch get-together once per month. If you would like to join us, send me an email at ke0vh@q.com and I will get you on the reminder email list.


KEØVH on Cheyenne Mountain working on the big KGFT rig!

HAMSHACK OF THE MONTH!
This month belongs to my long time (and long time no hear from) friend Rick Hicks, who back in the 80's was the membership manager for then KRMA, Channel 6, now the flagship station for RMPBS in Denver. Rick was a great friend and was very good to our family back in the 80's. He has now moved to Oregon after stops in New York and Western Kansas for Public TV. In May, I received an email from KF7JFU, and lo and behold, it was my long lost friend Rick! He had become a ham a few years ago, and had remembered that I used to sit between pledge breaks on Channel 6 and talk on a hand held radio. He wondered if I was still hamming, looked me up, and there you go! Rick, so good to have you on the bands with us now, and he really has a great looking shack in his 5th wheel in Oregon, along with a 5BTV vertical as I do, plus a G5RV. He has obtained WAS, and looks forward to many years of fun ham radio operating!

73' for this month, happy SUMMER!
de KEØVH
www.qsl.net/ke0vh
www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet

 

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

Clay's Corner for April 2011

As I sit here writing this column it's been a day of cool, below normal, temperatures with showers and I am reminded of those that have been impacted by severe storms and tornados and how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful part of the country. We may have cool and damp weather, but in comparison, I'll take it ! With that being said, there were reports on late May that a small twister may have come down near Napavine, South of Chehalis.

The many tornados that have him the Mid-West have again demonstrated that when the chips are down (or blown away) that Radio and TV are there. There are countless stories of stations providing wall to wall coverage of the paths of these twisters providing advance warning to many. TV Stations with radars and trained staffs went into overdrive showing their viewers exactly where the twisters were located, which way they were moving etc. After the storms they have become lifelines to those that are looking for their love ones etc. When there is no telephone, cell service, or power broadcasting again has been there.

NAB and a number of other radio groups have been trying to get the FCC to require that cell phones include FM receivers. It could be that the storms that are ravaging the Midwest could play a helpful role in this effort. With tornados wiping out cell sites rendering these phones useless, radio has again proved that its point-multi-point distribution system is a time proven method of getting emergency information out to those who need it.

On the personal side I've had an interesting month. Probably the most excitement came in the form of a phone call informing me that PSE had turned off the power to the West Tiger-1 transmitter site on West Tiger. As it turned out, it was due to hikers over the years using the power line right-of-way as an aggressive trail to the top of West Tiger-3 resulting in erosion that caused the once buried line to be exposed in places thereby creating a safety issue. Thanks to the folks at Boeing who share this right of way, the lines got covered and the power turned back on. That little episode caused us to burn right at 2400 gallons of Diesel. It's become clear that the old line, installed in January of 1988, has reached the end of its life. Plans are now being made to extend the power line from the ATC Site on the East end of the West Tiger ridge to the summit of the mountain ASAP.

Big news locally this month is the return of Marty Hadfield to Seattle Radio. After leaving Entercom, Marty went to work for MediaFlo, later he went to work for Alpha Broadcasting in Portland where he oversaw the building of a radio cluster operation that was the subject of a recent national magazine review. The news that Marty was coming back home to work at Clear Channel came as a bit of a surprise to all. Marty has many friends in this area and it's good to have him back. Hope to see you at an upcoming SBE Marty!

We have another HD Radio station on the air in Western Washington as WSU recently completed the installation of a new Nautel VS2.5 HD transmitter at its NWPR site in Chehalis on Crego Hill. The station broadcasts news-talk on FM/HD-1 and Classical Music on HD2. WSU will be adding another station to its facility in Forks early in the month. No HD in this case, with both program services being on different FM frequencies. Interesting statistic, about 20% of radio stations have added HD. The big news this month, on the national scene, is the release of the long awaited EAS FNPRM. I have posted the whole thing on the Washington State EAS Remailer. As I often say...If you don't make comment on this, you are telling the FCC that they should deal with EAS by listening to others. Another example of - You snooze, you looze.

As a reminder - when you get your new CAP Capable EAS box - and you have it connected to the Washington State CAP Network, be sure and let ME know. I am in the process of updating the Monitoring Assignments for our state and need to integrate this information. You can send the info directly to me at - k7cr@blarg.net - in the Subject Line, write - TAB 10 UPDATE. Thanks.

The NAB show, last month in Las Vegas drew some 90,000. Would have been over that, but I elected to stay home this year and work on my kitchen remodel.

As announced by Chris McGowan at the last Chapter Meeting ...the FCC has revamped their Web Site adding a lot more pictures etc. Check it out at www.fcc.gov

From time to time you hear about venues that install cell phone jamming transmitters to keep phones from going off during performances etc. Down in California a high school decided that text messaging by their students was not a good idea, especially when testing was going on. I can see it now...the smart kid in the class 'texts' answers to others for a small fee... The FCC got wind of it and ....Well you know what happened. Seems to me it would be perhaps easier to have a no cell phone rule on exam day...but then again, perhaps no one would show up to take the test.

Speaking of Texting...Driving a 4x4 with some elevation to it, I am amazed at the number of folks that continue to text while driving. The difference now appears to be that they hold their phone lower so the police won't see what they are doing. Seems to me that this causes their eyes to be even further from watching what they are doing.

Have you followed the matter of how Light Square is proposing a 1500 MHz broadband system? The problem with this is their proposed operation is very close to the frequencies used by GPS having the potential to cause interference with a system that many have come to depend on. Could this be yet another example of where the politicians are leaving their brains at the door as they rush to embrace anything with the name broadband associated with It.?

The FCC has been doing a FINE job of late....Here are some examples of how enforcement appears to be alive and well. In L.A. CBS has been asked to contribute 10 Grand to the US Treasury. Appears that an FCC employee noticed that the top beacon on the KNX tower was out. The fine was not for the lack of light but rather for the fact that the station did not report this to the FCC. Naughty naughty.

Television gets its share of FCC attention - for example, KSKT in San Diego has been asked to pay 14 Grand for public file violations. The fine was 10K but was increased when the FCC learned that a previous inspection did not promote compliance.

$25,000 is the NAL total for KZQZ-AM in St Louis. The station got the FCC attention when it received a complaint that the station was not switching to its night time power and pattern like it should. As in cases like this, when one violation is found the inspector starts looking for more...and in this case, they found a number of public file and other violations.

Florida appears to be favorite turf for pirate radio stations. In this case the FCC found an unlicensed station operating 3 days in a row on 94.7. (That's repeated). The station operator admitted that he was aware that he was not supposed to operate a station without a license (That's Willful) His Tab ....15 Grand.

The other case, this time in Miami, they found a pirate operation on 95.9. The stations operator made her first mistake when she refused to let the FCC inspect the station ...
Ca-ching - $7K. $10K for unlicensed operation ....In the end the stations operator will likely be paying 22 Grand. Of course they can appeal.

A small market station in Mattoon, Ill (wherever that is) got hit for 14 Grand for a couple of reasons...1) Lack of good, locked fencing around their towers, and failure to have management and staff at their studio. Regarding the latter, the FCC reportedly tried, un-successfully, for a couple of days to get into the station. Better have a means of contacting someone on the front door.

Then there is case where the operator of the unlicensed FM station in San Jose threatened to shoot the FCC inspector (never recommended). The tab there...$25,000.

Who can forget WKRP? In the event you would like to own a bit of history, the Cincy TV station with that call is on the block.

Clear Channel recently purchased Metro Traffic from Westwood One for just under 120 Megabucks. Metro Traffic has an operation in Seattle and serves many local broadcasters with traffic reports.

Seattle now has two non-commercial stations in the commercial portion of the FM Band with the addition of KING-FM. (KUOW is the other). Since KING-FM became separated from the once great KING empire, they have had their commercial air time sold by other local radio broadcast companies. Now 'Classic KING' is listener supported. Classical formatted radio stations have had a tough road in recent years all over the country. In some cases the only place to find the 'classics' are on HD-2 channels. I wish them the very best.

Ratings are often directly connected to the economic viability of radio and TV stations. Since they went on the air, KMCQ, Licensed to Covington and now transmitting from Cougar Mt... has not been transmitting PPM data ....That is until recently. The little station rather quickly jumped to about mid-pack in the ratings scramble.

In a past column I wrote about how few portable DTV receiver's were in use causing me to mention that Radio continues to be the chosen medium when things go wrong and the power goes out etc. I have recently learned that RCA and come out with a couple battery powered sets... A 3 ½ inch model for about $120 and a 7 incher for $180. Just writing this reminds me of my first TV back in 1955 or so. It was a Motorola with a 7JP4 picture tube. ..Are you old enough to know what that is?

Are you ready for Century Link Field? Boy is that going to take some getting used to. In the event you missed it Qwest is about to join US West.

More and more news radio stations are moving to FM. The latest move in our area is legendary KXL in Portland. Their news format will be moving to FM (where it's been simulcast for some time) while the 750, 50Kw AM becomes a sports station. Bucking the trend here in Seattle is KOMO which seems to be doing very well with news on AM.

Not too many years ago there were many in the broadcast biz that were predicting that satellite radio was a not going to make it. Then the two providers merged to form SiriusXM and look at them now! Over 20 million subscribers and revenue closing in on 750 meagbucks. Just proving, once again, our ability to absorb another electronic system.

Are you into Pandora? In the past couple of weeks I've run into several people that are. Could this be yet another major threat to conventional radio? Like Sat-Radio, it's not totally free.

Harris is reporting that sales are up in their broadcast equipment division....Meanwhile Nautel has reportedly sold over 10,000 transmitters, worldwide. The little Canadian company, at Hacketts Cove, NS. has become one of the major players in that business. I suspect that the majority of recent radio transmitters sold in the Seattle are Nautel. A unique aspect of Nautel is the fact that they have never made a transmitter with a tube in it. I believe that they were the first to market a 50,000 watt, solid state, AM transmitter. Two of which are on the air here on 1090 and 1210.

So which is the best state to do business? According to a recent survey, Texas is best and California last. Oregon comes in at #33 with Washington following at #34.

For the first time in 20 years the number of television homes has dropped according to a new survey. According to Neilsen the reasons are poverty and other electronic gizmo's that younger folks are attracted to. Can you say - Internet?

It's long been known that many folks don't like towers....Just ask the folks at KRKO. Radiation has long been used as a means to make towers frightening as a means of gaining support. Another tactic has been the contention that towers kill birds...and who would want to hurt a poor little sparrow?. These folks have been trying to gain leverage with the FCC, hoping that they would side with them and force all the towers they don't like to come down. The FCC has now drafted rules and procedures designed to protect the little critters. I was surprised to learn that the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 4-5 million birds are killed by communications towers every year. As you know, I've been around the block a few years now and for the past 50 years I have been around towers of all types and have yet to find a flock of dead birds at their base....Oh well, chalk this up as something else where my experience doesn't count.

They have concluded that light appears to attract birds, especially at night or when weather is adverse....especially steady burning red lights. (funny how towers use that color). So now some are recommending that those nasty steady burning red bird killers be replaced with lights that flash, or install strobes. Could it be that the tower hater's scheme is back-firing? Perhaps they should adopt the lighting scheme used by KOMO or KIRO on Vashon where all the lights blink?

By the way, the antenna farm in the Snohomish Valley has gained more towers with the addition of radiators for KKXA 1520. The station is a bit unique as it will be operating with more power at night than during the day. (50,000 vs. 20,000) They hope to increase day power later on.

We have a new station on the air in the Puget Sound area, in Port Townsend. KPTZ-FM signed on recently on 91.1 with an all volunteer staff. The town will be joined by a second station, KROH on 91.1 later in the year.

So just how many broadcast stations are there? According to the FCC there are - 14,728 Radio stations, 1, 774 regular TV stations, 515 Class A UHF's, 10,595 Radio and TV translators and boosters, 2,172 Low Power TV's and 859 Low Power FM's..Total - 30,643.

The NAB has hired a new head-tech guy. Kevin Gage fills the newly created of CTO at the broadcast organization.

Every once in a while we report on someone stealing copper wire etc. Those that would like to steal this stuff have become a bit more brazen and have taken their trade to the Nation's Capital, Washington DC. Apparently posing as road crews (reflective clothing and cones are available everywhere) they helped themselves to copper wire in our nations capital. With scrap dealers paying almost 3 bucks a pound for the stuff, you can see why. In a more bizarre situation...Thieves have helped them self to a hundred yards of railroad track in the Sacramento area of California....and did so during the day. In this case, they were caught.

Well, my friends, it's time to close this edition - Hopefully, I'll catch you next month at the same location. Cheers !

Clay, CPBE, K7CR, AAWP
-0-


Return to table of contents

The YXZ Report

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Chapter Secretary/Newsletter Editor secretary
SBE Chapter 123

WE'RE NOW ON FACEBOOK
Click here to go to the SBE124 Facebook page. You'll want to "like" it.

THIS IS WHY WE TEST - AND DISCUSS
On the afternoon of April 21st, one of the operators at the Multnomah County (Portland) Bureau of Emergency Communications was showing someone how to send an EAS Required Monthly Test.  Unfortunately she hit the wrong button:  "My apologies, showing a new supervisor the EAS. I didn't turn off the radios beforehand because I didn't intend to click "ready".

On the EAS-OR e-mail list there were some very unhappy folks who ended up retransmitting a test that had no audio.  See http://lists.radiolists.net/mailman/listinfo/eas-or .

So, we have revived the OR-ENG list to avoid clogging the EAS-OR list with long discussions.  Feel free to join the list, or at least read the threads at http://lists.radiolists.net/mailman/listinfo/or-eng.  It is also a good place for jobs open or wanted, equipment for sale or wanted, or to find answers from other broadcast engineers.

Frequency coordination will stay on SBE-PDX.

AMATEUR RADIO COMES THROUGH ONCE AGAIN
"Two of Alabama's major cities were among the places devastated by the deadliest twister outbreak in nearly 40 years.  Police and other first responder radio systems fell silent when winds in excess of 120 miles per hour ripped antennas off buildings and felled towers. But the storms did not silence ham radio.

"As we go to air, a group of hams is reportedly assisting in restoring emergency communications in the city of Tuscaloosa where the entire emergency communications system was wiped out by a tornado. It was only through reports filed by radio amateurs that first responders began to learn the magnitude of the devastation to that city...."
(Extract from Amateur Radio Newsline for April 29, 2011, http://www.arnewsline.org/.  Thanks, CGC Communicator.)

FIELD DAY IS COMING
My favorite ham radio contest.  http://www.arrl.org/field-day .  It also starts the day after my 25th wedding anniversary, so listen on 20 meters for K7YXZ/mobile 7 somewhere in Oregon.

LIFE WITH HD RADIO
There are 14 FM HD signals (twelve with HD2, and two of those have an HD3) and three AM HD signals on the air in the Portland market. Go here for a complete list.

There are now over 1000 multicast stations and 100 HD Radios to choose from.  See the buyer's guide here.

 

 

Return to table of contents

Static Line


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

A new "Smart Remote" control for your TV will soon be available. It is modeled after the "Smart Phone", and as such, apps are being developed for it. It has two way capabilities with your TV! A companion transceiver plugs into the SPDIF audio plug on your DTV receiver to complete the two-way ability of the TV "Smart Remote" control.

One of the apps available soon is for complex audio control, custom tailored by you to control the audio stream to which you are listening by reading the program audio stream to which you are tuned. It allows adjustment of the audio/video delay if you think the lip sync is incorrect. It likewise allows you to control the delay between captioning and actual speech if prerecorded - it obviously can't reduce the delay for live captioned events, although it could delay it some, if you like. The "Smart Remote" will allow you to setup two control channels for audio level control, a short term and long term channel.

You can vary the time interval of each control channel, (180 microseconds short term, and 1.25 seconds long term, for instance) over which the audio power is averaged for control of the overall audio level. It will also model the audio level from your listening habits, continually learning. Within a few days, it automatically knows to mute or severely reduce the shouting rants of car salesmen, or to increase the level from those shy folks you can't quite hear on your favorite panel show. If that isn't fast enough for you, the "Smart Phone" allows you to enter an "Irritation Factor" of one to ten at any time you encounter a particularly loud commercial. This feature will be most effective once the FCC enforces tightened regulations requiring PSIP information on all digital programing, including commercials. The "Smart Remote" will remember the unique program ID of that commercial, thus rendering the shouting car salesman to a mere whisper, if you so choose to program it in that way. It could substitute a different, more gentle voice (just like your GPS does now) for Rush Limbaugh, a particular political figure, or any voice you find irritating! The "Smart Remote" should be available in your retail electronic store beginning April 1, and I can't wait to get mine!

I noticed recently when in my RV in severe eastern Butler County, Fox-24 and MyTV-36 have added music channels as a second DTV channel. So many TV stations don't yet understand the benefits of multi-channel operation. PBS, a few Indies, and the local CBS station are the only others of which I am aware that have ventured into these waters prior to this time. I hope the idea catches on.

30.

 

Return to table of contents

FCC News

FCC Rulemakings

Compiled by Tom Smith Chapter 24 - Madison

NOTICE OF INFORMATION COLLECTION
The FCC is asking for information pertaining to the maintenance of the Public File by both commercial and non-commercial broadcasters. The notice (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ FR-2011-04-18/pdf/2011-9251.pdf), asking for comment, was published in the Federal Register on Monday, April 18th. The FCC did not release any other notice concerning the inquiry. The Commission is asking for information concerning the FCC's estimate of the time burden on stations to maintain the Public File including ways to reduce the burden on stations particularly on smaller stations, the practical utility of the collection of the information and ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected. This review is required by the Office of Management and Budget form time to time to meet the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Notice is two pages in the Federal Register with one page listing all of the items in the rules that are required in the Public File. From the format of this notice, the Commission is not looking for the regular formal comments. This time the filing method is to an e-mail box only, instead of the FCC's regular comment filing system. Comments are due on June 17th.

 

Return to table of contents

SBE News

2011 WBA Summer Conference

ENGINEERING DAY AGENDA Wednesday, June 22 - The 2011 WBA-SBE Summer Engineering Workshop is set for June 22nd at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI. The day's sessions are loaded with current and relevant topics in the career of today's Broadcast Engineer. Click here to download a pdf of the full event schedule.

Nominations for SBE National Board

A slate of candidates has been forwarded by the SBE Nominations Committee to the National Office for the 2011 election of the national board of directors.

Candidates for officer positions include:
President - Ralph Hogan - Chapter 117
Vice-President - Jeffery Smith - Chapter 15
Secretary - James Leifer - Chapter 53
Treasurer - Jerry Massey - Chapter 86

Candidates for Directors include:
Raymond Benedict - Chapter 37
Paul Burnham - Chapter 58
John Demshock - Chapter 42
Mark Heller - Chapter 80
David Priester - Chapter 140
Joe Snelson - Chapter 128
Gary Stigall - Chapter 36
Conrad Trautmann - Chapter 15

Article VIII. Section 1(b) of the SBE By-laws provides that members may nominate additional candidates. Candidates must be proposed by ten voting members. Please forward nominations, along with a statement that the proposed candidate approves the candidacy and will serve if elected, to Ted Hand, national SBE secretary and chairman of the SBE Nominations Committee at (ted.hand@coxtv.com), by 11:59 p.m., EDT on Monday, July 11. Ballots will be sent out to all SBE voting members from the Indianapolis office by July 25, and must be returned by August 25. Let your voice and leadership be heard on a national level.

Education by SBE coming your way!

The SBE is raising the bar by providing more and more relevant, affordable education to its members using various instructional methods. Many educational opportunities are coming up in the next few months.  Click on any of the links below for more information.

June 16 - Live Webinar by SBE on Creative Strategies for Translators and Boosters

June 21 - Live Webinar by SBE - the SBE RF Safety Course

July 20 - Live Webinar by SBE on Managing a Project and Outside Contractors for Success

July 23 - New York City Ennes Workshop, presented by SBE and hosted by SBE Chapter 15 and Columbia University

August 2-4 - SBE Leadership Development Course, Atlanta, GA

Kimberly Kissel
Education Director

WWV & Internet Time Survey

Rumors are circulating that WWV maybe losing a good portion of its funding for this service in this present political environment. WWV if you don't already know is currently taking a survey to see what part of their product users do not use that often and will cut them from their broadcasts. You can take the short survey by clicking on the link.

www.tf.nist.gov/survey

Pass the word. We still have a lot of clocks/consoles/recorders in police and fire departments/dispatch synced to WWVB. Replacing them with GPS would cost thousands of dollars each.

Join The SBE

You may qualify as a member if at least one of the following applies to you:

1) You are actively engaged in broadcast engineering or its allied fields.
2) You hold an academic degree in electrical engineering or its equivalent.
3) You have scientific or professional experience in the communications field, including the design or marketing of broadcast related products; have at least four years of active participation in broadcast engineering or its allied fields and have demonstrated acceptable technical proficiency.

Apply Online Now! at SBE.org or download a PDF Application.

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 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 2011 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 RickRyan@wi.rr.com, or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or MClappe@sbe.org

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
August 5-15, 2011 Local Chapters June 3, 2011
November 4-14, 2011 Local Chapters September 16, 2011

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

Etc.

Newsletter Committee

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

  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.