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August 24, 2007

 

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August 2007 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
July 2007 Meeting Report

The 16th Annual Lookout Mountain Denver SBE & SMPTE Luncheon

Date: Friday, July 13th, 2007
Location: Lookout Mountain Park
Time: 11:30 to 1:00

Our annual picnic on Lookout Mountain this year was another great event. Attendees traveled from all over the country to join Denver television professionals for tasty barbeque, great weather and great socializing at a great location. Everyone was well-fed as the luncheon was catered by Bennett's and included beef barbeque, pork brisket, turkey brisket with coleslaw, potato salad, brownies, iced tea, lemonade and sodas.

 


Lines were never too long for all-you-can-eat


Tables filled fast but everyone found a spot and good company


Official announcements were kept to a minimum


Piles of raffle prizes assured almost everyone won something

The bargain $5 contribution was supplemented by the Denver Chapters of SBE and SMPTE and the generosity of our sponsors. A wide range of very cool prizes were also provided by our sponsors for the raffle. These included not only the usual t-shirts and hats, but briefcases, DVDs, leather folders, and even an iPod! Monitary and prize contributions were provided by Sony, Harris, Burst, 5280, Leader, Ross, Omneon, Gepco, Qualcomm, SpectraLogic, and Pathfire - many thanks for their generous contributions.

Report by Tom Goldberg

 

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

And still we wait…
The joke may well go: “How many FCC staffers does it take to format a rulemaking enacted months and months ago for publication in the Federal Register?” The punchline: “Evidently, several more!” As I write this on July 27, there is still no sign of Federal Register notification of the new FCC rules for terrestrial digital radio (which were enacted last March). The rules won’t officially go into effect until 30 days after Federal Register publication, so at this point we’re still at least a month away from AM HD-R nighttime and the other goodies in the new rules. My company recently had to renew some STAs for our FM stations using aux antennas for digital operation. That would not have been required under the new rules. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

Also in the works
Ed Schober, a consulting engineer out of New Jersey operating under the business name “Radiotechniques Engineering, LLC,” has petitioned the FCC for some changes in the AM pre-sunrise and post-sunset rules. The petition is available online at: http://amband.org/files/RM-11384.pdf
In short, the petition calls for:

• PSRA and PSSA power not limited to 500 watts if no interference would be caused
• Stations should be allowed to use their day, night or aux facilities or one tower of any array for PSRA/PSSA operation
• Class B and D stations should be able to operate with any power up to the maximum day or night station power during PSRA/PSSA operation so long as no interference is caused

I have no idea whether any or all of this will fly, but on the surface it seems to make sense. Comments can be filed via the FCC’s EDOCS system by referencing RM-11384.

At least part of the impetus for this proposal is the change in Daylight Savings Time. The expanded DST window robs AM daytimers of an hour of morning drive in spring and fall months. Full-timers with restrictive night power/pattern also suffer as a result. You might recall that the FCC issued new PSRA/PSSA authorizations last winter. It was quickly discovered that there was a rather big bug in the FCC’s computer algorithm that calculates PSRA/PSSA power levels. All those new authorizations were quickly rescinded. We were told at the time that we could expect new authorizations in September. We’ll see.

Ten weeks later…
Our Los Angeles station, KBRT, returned to commercial power on Thursday, July 19, ten weeks to the day after the Catalina Island fire. The station has been on the air at full power (except for a couple of days early on) since the fire, on generator power. The station’s propane-fueled generator was a real fuel hog and because of the difficulties of getting propane delivered to the site on a weekly basis, we rented a diesel-fueled generator that we later purchased. Chief engineer Bill Agresta had to haul 20 gallons of fuel up the hill every day for ten weeks, plus or minus. Diesel is $5.00 a gallon or thereabouts on the island, and if I recall correctly it weighs about 8 pounds per gallon. By my calculations, that means we spent roughly $7,000 on fuel and Bill schlepped close to 11,000 pounds of fuel up the hill since May 10. Needless to say, it’s a huge relief to have commercial power once again! Remember that Bill lives at the site, which had only a 3 kW portable gas-fueled generator to keep a few lights and the refrigerator running after hours. No hot water, no washer, no drier, no electric stove. It was like camping out indoors – for ten weeks!

Radio Technical Programs
Last month I mentioned that we have several radio tech programs in the works for this fall. As we roll into autumn, we’ll nail down the dates and venues and get RSVPs from the local radio crowd. Again, if you have specific requests, drop me a note and I will see what I can line up. Generally speaking, manufacturers and distributors are eager to come talk to engineering groups.

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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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
From Chapter 24 - Madison

Sunspots & radio flux
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Environment Center (SEC) released their monthly forecasts of sunspot number and 10.7 cm radio flux. The SEC forecasts that the smoothed sunspot number reached its low value of 11.7 in March 2007, and predicts that the solar flux will reach its low of 75.4 this month. This is the fourth month in a row that the SEC predicts the solar flux will bottom out in July.

Based on the SEC predictions, this is probably at the bottom of Cycle 23 and extremely close to the beginning of Cycle 24. Two events will mark the beginning of the next sunspot cycle: The observation of the first opposite magnetic polarity sunspots compared to Cycle 23 sunspot polarity, and the observation high solar latitude sunspots — the Cycle 23 sunspots are now very near the solar equator.

Although sunspots have been observed since Galileo’s time, in 1848 a Swiss astronomer named Rudolf Wolf came up with a method of counting sunspots which is still in use today. Wolf dubbed the 11-year solar cycle period of 1755-1766 as "Cycle 1."

8-year-old WI boy passes general license exam
Wisconsin kid makes good: Jackson Tenor, KC9KVU, age 8, recently passed his General license exam and almost passed the Extra! He is a member of the Green Bay Mike and Key Club and will be in the 3rd grade at Holy Apostles Catholic School in Green Bay. His proud father is Joe, N9UPU.

ARRL working with DoD on repeaters
The American Radio Relay League has sent out more than 100 letters to repeater owners/trustees who have repeaters affected by the "Pave Paws" radars (PPR). Citing an increasing number of interference complaints, the US Air Force has asked the FCC to order dozens of repeater systems to either mitigate interference to the Pave Paws radars or shut down. The ARRL is working with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a plan to mitigate alleged interference from 70 cm ham radio repeaters to this military radar system on both coasts.

According to the DoD, the in-band interference from Amateur Radio fixed FM voice repeaters has increased to an unacceptable level. Pave Paws radars are used for national security functions, including early detection of water-launched missiles. They are critical to national defense and are in use 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The situation affects 15 repeaters within 100 miles of Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and more than 100 repeaters within 140 miles of Beale Air Force Base near Sacramento, California.

ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, stresses that the Defense Department acknowledges Amateur Radio’s value in disasters and emergencies and is being extremely cooperative — and a wholesale shutdown of US 70 cm Amateur Radio activity is not on the table. The Amateur Radio Service is a secondary user in the 420-450 MHz band, both by the Table of Frequency Allocations and the FCC Part 97 regulations. As such, Amateur Radio licensees, jointly and individually, bear the responsibility of mitigating or eliminating any harmful interference to the primary user, which in this case is the Government Radiolocation Service that includes the DoD Pave Paws systems.

The League has been in contact with representatives of the FCC. They have the ultimate responsibility for enforcing any mitigation plan, up to and including ordering specific repeaters to shut down operations. The FCC is aware of the complex nature of this problem and the mitigation strategy being proposed by the DoD.

— Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s Web site at arrl.org and ARRL Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG.

 

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The YXZ Report

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Senior Engineer, Entercom-Portland
Co-Chair, Portland/Vancouver ECC
Chapter 124 Secretary

There are currently 12 FM HD signals (nine with HD2, and one with HD3) and two AM HD signals on the air in the Portland market.
For a complete list, see http://www.ibiquity.com/stationlist_hdradio.php?theState=OR&sortBy=StnMarket&theCity=PortlandOR#stationlist

AMATEUR RADIO FIELD DAY
The Skyline Tower Amateur Radio Club participated in the ARRL Field Day contest on June 23rd and June 24th from Ev Helm's Lazy H Ranch in Mulino. On poles we had a 6M beam with an arm-strong rotor and a Gap Titan DX. But strung from trees we had a 2-element 40M loop, and a Barker & Williamson BWD-180, the 180-foot long folded dipole we used for the 160M contest. We had lots of fun, even if the propagation wasn't so hot. Pictures will eventually be at http://www.w7dtv.us .

HD RADIO MODULE BUSINESS STARTED
(From http://www.sem.samsung.com/cms/_work/en/company/news/newsView.jsp?seq=563)
Samsung Electro-Mechanics and iBiquity Digital Corporation caused a stir at the 3rd annual Hybrid Digital Radio Business Conference in Shenzhen when they announced plans to co-develop core solutions for hybrid (digital and analog) radio.

A technology-sharing agreement with iBiquity, which owns original technologies related to HD RadioTM, allows Samsung Electro-Mechanics to produce module base-band solutions designed in optimized environments by iBiquity. Other module makers today have to add the base-band and RF solutions separately, but Samsung Electro-Mechanics will embed them into the module for better performance at a lower price.

Samsung will apply cutting-edge 90 nm CMOS processing to produce a system-in-package (SIM) device that measures 25 mm by 25 mm by 2 mm, one twentieth the size of competing modules. It will operate on a mere 150 mW (one-thirteenth the power required by other HD radio modules). A prototype of the next-generation HD radio module will be ready in the second half of 2007, and mass production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year.

 

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Clay’s Corner for August 2007

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

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

Well first it was record setting heat, and now, as I write this, it’s been a bunch of record setting rainfall - Frankly, I’ll take the rain. Hard to believe that we are in the latter half of 2007 already!

Lots of news this month – so here we go –
The headliner this month must be the changes that are about to be made to the EAS. If you attended a recent SBE meeting, I gave those in attendance a preview of coming attractions. At some 75 pages the 04-296 FNPRM is full of information as to what they want to do, but a bit light as to how they are going to go about it.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-109A1.doc

The SBE EAS Committee is knee deep in this issue at this writing trying to get those answers. Wondering what it means, the FCC has deferred to FEMA for a lot of these changes. What we do know is that CAP or Common Alerting Protocol is going to be in our future. Nothing like a little research to get up to speed on the matter. So here’s your homework assignment – go to the following site –

http://www.incident.com/cookbook/index.php/Welcome_to_the_CAP_Cookbook

There are a ton of questions coming out of this, including the big-one – ‘are we going to have to buy new EAS Equipment?’. Fasten your seatbelt….Many have been very critical about the EAS, and many have been listening and the answers and solutions are starting to flow.

Bustos Media is awaiting receipt of PTA so they can turn on KDDS/99.3 at their newly constructed transmitter site at South Mountain, West of Shelton. Next up for the site is the construction of KFMY/97.7. Both of these stations high powered rim-shots will be operating with 64kw.

On the subject, have been listening to KNBQ a bit. Their HD signal does a respectable job from Capital Peak SW of Olympia.

Sounds like a bit of internal rumbling at Viacom, this time, involving the daughter of Sumner Redstone.

NewBay Media has purchased IMAS publishing. IMAS is well known in our world as publisher of TV Technology and Radio World.

Sounding much like the law suits regarding EAS, Rembrandt Technologies has filed a suit against the major TV networks as well as Harris claiming patent infringement for their use of the ATSC standard for DTV. Just what we needed right now. Sounds like something to pad the bank accounts of some lawyers to me.

Remember when Google was thought of as only a search-engine? Then they started making in-roads into Broadcasting. Now they are waving billions of dollars at the FCC telling them that they are prepared to bid on spectrum that will be released as the result of the conversion to DTV – IF – the FCC will include provisions to let them wholesale or lease spectrum to others. Obviously players in this arena are not thrilled over this one.

The big rage now is to reduce your ‘carbon-footprint’…Here’s a couple of items to ponder as you go around replacing your light bulbs with fluorescents …. In the UK a study by the Energy Saving Trust has concluded that consumer electronics will soon overtake kitchen appliances and lighting as the biggest power user in homes. Flat-Screens, Computers and other high-tech gadgets that we are apparently addicted to are taking an every increasing chunk of our ‘carbon footprint’ Ever turn everything off in your home and them go out and watch the meter continue to turn? Consider that by 2020, TV sets that are turned off, will consume 1.4% of all domestic power used…(Remember when off meant – OFF?)

Big changes at Harris. Not only do we have yet another Harris Rep for the PNW but Harris has established a relationship with SCMS whereby orders for what are called 3rd party, vendor-items are now handled by SCMS. Apparently they will still be able to provide these items, but only as a part of an order for Harris made equipment. Chris Pannell, former Harris Rep. in our area has been promoted to Director of North American Radio Sales. That new Rep. is Al Jason who has, in the past, been associated with other broadcast equipment makers. Someone told me that there are only 99 jobs on the supply side of this industry, and 101 people….Hence the apparent revolving door.

So who is going to end up owning Tribune and Seattles Channel 13 and 22? Will it be Sam Zell? Apparently later this month that decision will be made.

SBE is having great success with their new Web Based courses on RF Safety with several additional sessions being announced. Our local Chapter is hoping SBE will have a session in the fall that would enable more in our area to attend. We are working on it, and will advise. This is something that everyone will want to attend that is involved with towers and transmitter locations as well as ENG facilities.

Citadel has sold their cluster of Radio Stations in Spokane to Mapleton. What caught my eye on this change was their proposal to down-grade one of the areas historic radio stations, KGA…All of this so they could increase the signal from a co-owned, co-channel, station in the Bay Area of California. One hates to see this take place, but it is certainly not history making. Here in the PNW, Entercom did just that so that they could improve their cluster in Portland. At last report, former Seattle area Engineer, Dave Ratener, was employed by Citadel in Spokane.

Meanwhile, Citadel has been buying a 5.7% stake in McClatchy, the newspaper company. Interesting twist I’d say. McClatchy owns the Tacoma News Tribune and 49% of the Seattle Times.

From the FCC’s fine department comes this jewel, perhaps a Darwin award candidate…Donald Winton of Corpus Christi, Texas will be contributing $7,000 to the treasury. Seems Mr. Winton was broadcasting a local AM station on CB Channel 19 and he would not let the FCC to inspect his CB Station. At he turned off the CB rig when he was asked to do so by an FCC agent.

KZIZ in Sumner has been having grief with their new array just south of Auburn on 1560 trying to get their directional antenna to perform correctly, apparently due to power line re-rad.….The result, less power at night than they wanted.

Word is that the Covington Radio station promoters have filed an application to move to Cougar Mountain with an ERP in the vicinity of 8Kw. Considering the fact that the present Cougar FM’s operate with either 50 or 100Kw ERP, this will certainly be a low powered operation. Looking at their proposed contours, it will, however cover the Seattle area quite nicely. One only needs to look at the success of KUOW, the only market FM not on either Cougar or West Tiger with substantially less coverage that afforded by the higher sites to answer the question, is it worth it. The question is now whether a major player invest in this facility. The price based on dollars per kilowatt of ERP could be surprising.

Stephan Lockwood, of Hatfield and Dawson fame, has recently created a Remailer for those that deal with high powered HF SW transmitters. For more info, contact him via – lockwood@hatdaw.com.

There is still a lot of fur flying over the proposed merger of XM and Sirius with the proposal causing many to declare their support or opposition to the proposal.

The second audio channel of HD Radio commonly called HD2 is finding a number of willing program sources. In some cases these may have been previously interested in being on an FM sub-carrier. In some cases, NCE Broadcasters are using their HD2’s carrying what was previously on a carrier current system or a 10 watt operation. Niche programming is finding that these HD channels are just perfect for their needs. The good news is that it takes the pressure off those that have been demanding LPFM licenses.

Locally Fisher has expanded in the on-line world with the acquisition of Pegasus News. It’s fascinating to watch the traditional Broadcasters come to understand that they must evolve into being content providers where-ever possible. Just streaming your existing programming is not enough in today’s world.

The KKOL battle rages on…Thanks to Jim Dalke, we have a ring-side- seat.. We have long known how difficult it would be to erect to transmission facilities, witness KRKO in Everett, but hardly anyone would have predicted the calls to remove one after construction.

I love the story about KNCR in Fortuna California. Seems they were evicted at their old transmitter site….so they put up a tower at the studio, 2-miles away, under the rules that permit an emergency antenna. One little problem…they neglected to include the FCC in the change. The dollar amount - $3200.

The Fairness Doctrine has been back in the news. Efforts to restore the critter appear to have failed.

Local firm, Symetrix, has appointed Tim Murray to the position of western regional sales manager.

One media news item you, thankfully, don’t hear about very often is the murder of a radio talk-show host. Mike Webb, formally with KIRO Radio was killed back in April and recently his admitted killer was arrested in Seattle.

Could it be something we will see in this area? Comcast recently added more HD Channels and in the process moved a number of channels out of its expanded basic analog tier. As consumers continue to purchase DTV sets at an every increasing rate, those channels that are not running DT are going to find themselves on the short end of the stick. Speaking of which, have you noticed the number of HD sets that are now available for under a Grand? A recent visit to my local Costco was cool in that there are a number of new sets with nice big 1080 signs on them. The question is how low will prices go? For stingy/tight holdouts like me…I just know that I will buy a new set and the next day find that the price dropped a bunch. Reminds me of when I bought that new calculator at the University Bookstore just to learn that that a week later the price dropped. Oh well.

Something that you hate to report on, the death of tower workers. This time near Lawrence Kansas. Two workers fell some 300 feet as they were installing a new ENG system on a tower.

Found in a recent Frys add in the paper… An ad for a Channel Master HDTV Antenna. Takes me back to the days when providers of antennas were out selling antennas for color… as if it took a special model to receive NTSC! The one at Frys is for UHF. Is there someone that’s going to stay on VHF around here? The fact is that research is showing that there is a huge percentage of folks that don’t know a thing about the switch to digital. Perhaps not until Opra tells them about it?

Well that time has come to end this session, but before I conclude – This little gem… a description of a computer programmer – He is someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way that you don’t understand.

Have a great summer, what’s left of it.

Clay, CPBE, K7CR etc

 

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SBE OPPOSES LIVE CODE TESTING

From SBE Short Circuits

SBE NATIONAL RELEASES STATEMENT OPPOSING LIVE CODE TESTING OF EAS

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) announced its opposition to the use of real or live NWRSAME codes for system tests of the public warning system by National Weather Service (NWS)/NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and some local authorities.

Alerts from the NWS, some local authorities and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) using real emergency event codes, when no actual emergency exists, have recently been used in some communities to test consumer receivers. The NWS is recommending the practice be expanded nationwide. While stated NWS policy establishes that approval for NWS live code testing is up to the state and local EAS committees, some committees are not being consulted or do not understand that they may decline the request. Local emergency officials also may not fully understand the implications of the request and may participate without realizing the serious negative results. The SBE asserts that these cry-wolf alerts will potentially cause public alarm, weaken confidence in the EAS for real alerts and discourage broadcaster’s involvement with volunteer EAS programs.

Broadcasters and cable systems decode the EAS data and send the information directly to scrolling messages on TV screens and radios. One result of live -code tests would be that TV’s viewed by the deaf and hard of hearing, and TVs in public places would not show any indication that the message is not a real alert. In addition, those receiving emergency messages through the Internet, PDAs, cell phones, programmable road signs, highway advisory radio, lottery terminals and shopping center marquee signs will not know the message was simply a test. The SBE says the negative effect of live -code testing outweighs the benefits of testing the public’s weather alert radios.

SBE President Chriss Scherer, CPBE CBNT, said, "There is a national effort to update EAS and NWR data standards with a technology called Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). CAP will allow a visual scroll of the same information as in the audio message, and the SBE suggests that such a technology — when in common use — will be better suited to live-code tests."

 

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SCMS Takes Over Harris Box Sales

SCMS has acquired the Harris Broadcast Center Division, which sold third-party professional equipment for broadcasters. Harris will continue to manufacture and distribute its own brand TV and radio products. Locally, Doug Tharp represents SCMS and will serve to sell the estimated 500 lines that Harris sold. SCMS hired two of the Harris salesforce in the deal.

 

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Softwright Press Release

AURORA, COLORADO - July 12, 2007

SoftWright LLC, makers of the Terrain Analysis Package Software (TAPtm) for rf wireless system design have announced the release of a new version of their software called HDSpectrum.

Users of the Terrain Analysis Package can now view their transmitted and received frequency spectrum in the graphical form of a spectrum analyzer using the TAP HD Spectrum interface.

In the past intermod software was often accused of generating reams of paper output that no one really examined. SoftWright has been developing and enhancing their intermod software for over 20 years to make its output more meaningful than most other intermodulation product software tools.

While it is easy to mathematically generate lists of potential combinations of transmitted frequencies, SoftWright has developed a tool that will allow the engineer to examine the resultant potential hit frequencies in many ways. With HDSpectrum you can analyze potential intermodulation products as well as the participating frequencies which can create the problems. It can properly consider broadcast, simplex, half-duplex, and full-duplex facilities. The software can also take into account the deviation of the transmitted frequencies as well as user-specified bandwidth around a protected or received frequency. This provides a considerably more conservative protection than simply considering only the direct frequencies causing the destructive intermodulation products. This newest capability also depicts all portions of the calculated intermodulation results in the format of the video display of a spectrum analyzer.

This new feature is provided to all our customers at no additional charge, if you have the TAP Intermod module as a part of your TAP system and a current maintenance subscription. If you would like to add this capability to your rf system design tools, please contact SoftWright.

 

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The KE0VH Hamshack.doc


Jack Roland
jroland@entercom.com
Entercom Denver

We have changed the IRLP Reflector Worldwide node now and the SBE IRLP Hamnet is meeting on the Great Lakes Reflector 9615. This node reflector is now the SBE National connection dedicated to (as much as any frequency can be, of course anyone is welcome to use the reflector) SBE Amateur and Engineering Communications. This reflector will also be dedicated to Broadcast Engineering emergency communications for any who need it anytime in time of disaster or need of any help. Thanks to Tom K8TB, in Grand Rapids Michigan for setting this up and helping us out.

The SBE IRLP Hamnet meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at 11am Mountain time, 1pm Eastern, 12noon Central, and of course 10am Pacific. Locally in Denver on the WA2YZT repeater, on 146.805 (2 meters) and 447.175 (70 centimeters) with a pl of 186.2. AND, now on the IRLP reflector 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 Great Lakes Reflector 9615. See also www.wa2yzt.com

If you need further help contact Jack at either KE0VH@qsl.net, or jroland@entercom.com.

...until next month, 73’ de KEØVH

 

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SBE to Offer New Specialist Certification

Following recent changes in the FCC rules recognizing the viability of digital radio and the official endorsement of multicasting, the National Certification Committee of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is proud to announce its next specialist certification, Digital Radio Broadcast (DRB). This specialist certification will qualify an individual's knowledge of digital radio broadcasting including audio processing, studio-to-transmitter links and transmission of multi-channel digital program streams. The official roll-out of this specialist certification will be during the SBE National Meeting, held in conjunction with SBE Chapter 20’s, Pittsburgh Regional Convention, October 10-11, 2007, in Monroeville, PA.

SBE President, Chriss Scherer, CPBE CBNT remarked that, “while broadcast and media engineering continues to evolve to cover a broad range of technologies, certain aspects of broadcast engineering have a specific and specialized knowledge base. This is why the Specialist Certifications were developed.”

The specialist will include knowledge of importers, exporters, the various methods of combining analog and digital transmitters to antenna systems, delivery of digital audio signals and data to transmitter sites, transmitter emission mask measurements, AM and FM FCC rules, monitoring of digital signals and bandwidth requirements for AM antenna systems.

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) enhances a broadcast licensee’s ability to not only better serve the public, but to provide means of additional revenue in this highly competitive industry. Station owners will rely on the knowledge and expertise of station technicians and engineers to implement this service for their companies. With this specialist certification, the engineer or technician carries the credentials needed for successful installation of digital radio transmission systems. The specialist certification will focus on the current in-band, on-channel transmission system being deployed in the U.S., and will be called the SBE Digital Radio Broadcasting Specialist.

By becoming a certified specialist, a radio broadcast engineer can assure his or her manager that he or she is up to date on the latest technology. Digital audio broadcasting is different than traditional analog services. An individual's ability to certify his or her knowledge of the entire system rather than just a single part will bring confidence to both the individual and station management.

To apply for the SBE Digital Radio Broadcast specialist certification, applicants must currently hold SBE certification at the Broadcast Engineer, Senior Broadcast Engineer, or Professional Broadcast Engineer certification level. The exam will consist of 50 multiple-choice questions and one essay question. Following the roll-out of the specialist certification, the SBE will release an update to its CertPreview software of practice tests. To obtain an application for the Digital Radio Broadcast specialist certification, go to www.sbe.org/Specialist_Cert.php on the SBE website or contact the SBE National Office.

 

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SBE Certification News

College Credit for Your SBE Certification:

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 2007 are listed below. Check the list below for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chair or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000, or mclappe@sbe.org

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
Aug 10-20, 2007
(reminder only)
Local Chapters

June 8, 2007
(deadline past)

Nov 9-19, 2007 Local Chapters September 21, 2007

Fees are as Follows:

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

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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Etc.

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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