This Month's Stories

Last updated:
September 6, 2009

 

Newsletter Archive

Contact Us

August 2009 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

July 2009 Meeting Report:

18th Annual Lookout Mountain
SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section 
Annual Picnic Luncheon

Date:             Friday, July 10, 2009
Time:            11:30AM to 1PM
Cost:             $5.00 Contribution Suggested (Paypal or Day of the Event)
Location:      Lookout Mountain Park
Lunch:          Catering by Bennetts: 
                      BBQ Beef Brisket, BBQ Pork, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Brownies, Sodas

July in the Rockies traditionally brings out broadcasters from almost every corner of the building. Greenies aside, this year was no exception! From far and wide, Lookout Mtn Park was the site, and fun was had by all.

Grub was server by our classic Bennetts BBQ and hosted by our local Entravision operations. Mario Carrera, GM for KCEC, greeted all and congratulated the broadcasters for their incredible efforts in successfully launching digital television throughout Colorado.

Many enjoyed the opportunity to 'check out' the new Lake Cedar transmission facility where each station proudly displayed their accomplishments. Copper in almost every size created a beautiful network of cooperative connectivity resulting in the ability for ones and zero to bombard us daily (sort of looks like 'Pipes' screen saver from Windows).

In the end, the weather was amazing and ample amounts of social networking was everywhere. Sincere thanks to our chapter leads, Jim Schoedler and Scott Barella for their continued chapter support. We continue to look forward to more enjoyable years 'on the hill'.

Report by Brad Torr

Sponsors:    Thank you to Entravision (KCEC and KTFD) for their generous support as the sponsor
of this year’s event!

 

Return to table of contents

Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

It was great to see and visit with many of you at last month’s annual Lookout Mountain picnic! The only question I have is, how did we all get so old so fast?

Portland?
The weather patterns around here have been a whole lot more like Portland than Denver this summer. We’ve had tons of rain (comparatively speaking). Can you ever remember the fields and medians being so green in early August? Usually by now, they’re brown and dry.

This has been good for the Front Range – no watering restrictions this  year, as if we need to water very much – but it has presented some problems for broadcasters.

Tower sites that usually don’t need to be mowed are several feet tall with growth this year. I know this because my company has a total of 115 acres at its several antenna fields, and just keeping up with them has been a real challenge. We keep livestock at a couple of the sites, and that helps keep growth down, but cows and horses can eat only so much (and there are some things that they just won’t eat).

And then there is tower #1 at the 50 kW KLTT (670) site near Barr Lake. The location of that southwest tower in the array was covered with reeds and cattails when we built the site, but it wasn’t until this year that there has been standing water inside the base fence – since May! We cannot get in there to mow it.

Tower maintenance has been a challenge this season as well. With thunderstorms just about every afternoon, climbing time is limited to morning hours. That really puts a “damper” on tower painting activities.

KONN-FM (Bennett) and KTNI-FM (Strasburg) took a lightning hit on their antenna or line last month and the main site is reportedly off the air at press time. The weather not only caused the problem – it has made it just about impossible for a tower crew to safely climb to the 1,950-foot level to rig the tower or deal with the antenna/line problem. It takes awhile just to climb up to that height, and with storms and more lightning threatening every afternoon, that leaves just about zero time to do anything on the tower before it’s time to get down.

But we shouldn’t complain. This has been one of the most pleasant summers climate-wise that I can remember. I’m thankful for the rain and cooler temperatures.

Tower Accident
On July 20, two tower workers fell about 25 feet when “the wire rope ran out of the spool and they fell,” according to winch operator Thomas Wiltse. The workers were reportedly doing some maintenance work for Clear Channel at their KRFX/KTCL aux site near Dacono in Weld County.

This tower is also home to Wilks Broadcasting’s KWOF, and it is an aux site for Citicaster’s KPTT. The workers were identified as 48-year-old Charles Lovell and 24-year-old Peder Mork, both of Denver. Both were reported to have ankle, leg and back injuries. The tower maintenance company was identified as Rex Industries out of Golden.

OSHA has opened an investigation to determine if proper procedures were followed. In case you didn’t know, OSHA requires that there be at least three full wraps of wire rope on the drum at any time personnel are being hoisted. Such winches must be man-rated, which I believe includes “power down” (as opposed to free-spooling in the reverse direction with the speed controlled only by a brake).

If you’re interested, the OSHA directive related to hoisting personnel on a load line is available at: http://www.wirelessestimator.com/generaldoc.cfm?ContentID=7.

Diplexer Burnout
Ever see a diplexer burn out? Here’s your chance. A security camera caught the 5-minute event and the footage has been posted online at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxWc2dTljdY
The diplexer is at the Cowboy Tower in Dallas.

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 KE0VH Hamshack


Jack Roland
jroland@entercom.com
Entercom Denver

I have been thinking of flying a ham radio HT in a model rocket for several years now. My kids and I have built quite a few different rockets over the years, including a very accurate space shuttle and had a lot of fun flying them. So, I thought it would be fun to load my little Realistic HTX-400 UHF mini HT into the nose cone payload section of an Estes “Super Big Bertha”, now known as the “Broadsword” and fly the radio keyed into the WA2ZYT repeater here in Denver, listen to the flight on my VX-6, while recording the audio over the repeater back home on my computer. The rocket uses a D12-3 model rocket engine. Now this engine does have enough power to loft the rocket and payload, but as it turned out not quite as much as needed as the rocket almost hit the ground before the parachutes ejected at about 20 feet or so AGL. So, for the future I built the booster section you see below, and will report on that flight then. Doran and Aiden had fun putting artwork on some homemade parachutes we built together, including a 4 foot diameter chute to lower the radio/payload section to earth. Next day, my sons Levi, Doran, and Aiden and I set out with 4 other rockets to fly, plus the “Broadsword” in a large parking lot with big fields on either side that makes a great rocket launching area. After flying some of the smaller rockets, it was time for the big finale. We loaded up the big rocket, put the radio in the payload after keying it with some electrical tape to hold the PTT button in, I ID’d “KE0VH flying an HT aboard a model rocket” and yes, we had a liftoff. The rocket only reached maybe 1/3rd as high as it would have with no payload, and was really screaming toward the ground, when, as mentioned, only about 20 or so feet high it ejected the parachutes and had just enough time to lower the booster and payload section to the ground. I wasn’t worried about the radio as it is pretty tough, encased as it is in a rubber like case if it hadn’t had a good ‘chute. BUT, and that is a pretty big but, the audio of the flight was lost due to the (I forgot about this) repeater timing out between payload section loading and the launch. It came back on right as the rocket was being picked up by recovery forces ) the boys). Yes, Paul has said since then to remember to put the repeater into “net mode” so that it won’t time out. So, we didn’t have audio of the flight, but, as NASA does, you learn from each mission, so I hope that all will work better for the two stage effort. BUT, engines are around 13.00 or so for a 3 pack, so it may take a while, but I will eventually get this project “off the ground” all the way.

The radio goes into the top silver nose cone payload section, secured with the electrical tape. It just fits with the small rubber duck antenna. The rocket is about 3 feet or so tall. We homebuilt the launch system to run off a cars battery and you get an ignition every time, unlike the little AA battery powered systems. We had a lot of fun that day.

Speaking of Rocketry, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing just passed on July 20th, and you have got to check out this article about a man who built and flew a 1/10th scale Saturn V rocket, 36 feet tall, 1600 pounds in weight, and set a record for “model rocket’ flight. The altitude was between 3000 and 4000 feet, powered by 1 central “P” Class engine, and 8 “N” class engines. Absolutely spectacular! There is a great article on the building of this rocket and the man who did it at www.rocketryplanet.com/content/view/2829/38/. See the video of the actual flight at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj4lj6YSwzg&feature=related. Note the man climbing the ladder at the beginning of this video and you get a sense of the size of the rocket.

On the Friday prior, legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, who held the title of ''Most Trusted Man in America,'' passed away Friday, July 17 after a long illness. He was 92. There is a great article on the ARRL website that you will enjoy reading at www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/07/17/10971/?nc=1, I sure would have liked to have gotten his QSL card.

We had a really dangerous thunderstorm roll thru our town of Wheat Ridge Monday night July 20th. Extensive wind damage happened and some are thinking that maybe we had a tornado touchdown as well. I have never experienced such a violent storm in my life anyway. Many large trees were down in my neighborhood, fences were blown down, windows were blown out, as many as 100 in an apartment complex nearby. We were fortunate that only leave debris and a few smaller branches were broken on my property, but the folks down the street weren’t so lucky. This was really unusual in the fact that we don’t usually have storms hit this level in our area due to being so close to the mountains. The storms usually form up more east of I-25 in the metro area. And are really unusual this late at night to be this severe. A very rare Tornado warning was issued for Wheat Ridge included, which never happens! The power went out after 10pm and the wind started howling, and then the hail started, a little larger than marble sized at my house, but what was amazing was seeing the hail blow horizontal in the measured 70-80 mph winds. I am surprised that we didn’t have windows blown out. My VX-6 and VX-170 Ht’s provided the only communication I could have needed as well as functioning as weather radio. The land line phone was down and it was difficult to connect with the cell phone due to problems with the system too. I am really glad I am an amateur radio operator. Have those radios and battery backups ready to go.

The Colorado 14’ner event is happening Sunday August 9th.  There will be a lot of operators trekking up the mountains to activate many of the 52 14,000 foot plus peaks.  The website mentioned below will have published frequencies.  I will not be hiking with my partner Jim, KC0RPS this year due to the ankle injury I had last year.  I am taking this year off to heal and strengthen my ankle so that I can hike next year.  Details about the event are at www.14er.org

I have just found an interesting website with amateur radio produced videos and information at 73s.org/ .  I am going to check it out further as time permits.   The website seems to be similar to Facebook for ham radio operators.   Looks interesting anyway, you might want to check it out.

By the way, just what does the word HAM in ham radio mean?  Someone asked me that at work this month, and I found this site: www.geocities.com/the_loaded_dog/ham/help/help1.html

Would you believe that maybe, just maybe as of this writing, we have solved our HD2 audio problem on KOSI and KQMT that I wrote about recently.  Turns out that Qwest, our phone company found a bad splice in our T-1 up on Lookout Mountain that was just bad enough to hurt the data flow, but not the AES audio being piped up there.  So far, as of this writing, it has been problem free for about 16 hours.  We shall see.

Don’t forget to join us on the SBE IRLP Hamnet the first and 3rd Saturdays of the month.  And we are now STREAMING the WA2YZT repeater online so you can listen in for activity and the NET!  denver-sbe-net.ham-radio-op.net For more information go to www.sbe.org/IRLP.php, or email me at jroland@entercom.com and I will be glad to help you find the IRLP link nearest you!

73’ for this month
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

Welcome to summer in the PNW.  For those of us that live here, we know…all too well, that this is usually our shortest season.   Mother nature is really giving us the works this summer with a very long dry spell coupled with lotsa record setting hot weather. On July 29th we have the highest low temperature and the highest temp ever recorded.  In fact it was hotter in Seattle than it was in Tucson !  I note the local TV weather-guys were saying that in July we have had less rain than Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque, etc.   In a recent email exchange with a fellow from out of the area I was again reminded just how strong the urban legend is that it rains all the time in Seattle.  My prayer now is that we are not face with some major forest fires.   In past dry years, it’s been so bad that we have been denied access to West Tiger Mt.   For those of us that go up there, it’s time to load up on the required fire fighting equipment and be prepared for shutdowns.  In fact, DNR issued their warning letter on the 29th also.

If you did not attend the Chapter 16 picnic on Vashon this year…You missed a great event.  The weather was perfect (thanks to the prevailing winds and being near the north end of the island) The food was great and the location was great.  Our thanks to John Barrett and the crew at KOMO for letting us use their backyard and to Shannon Nichols of BSW for being our official sponsor.   Let me be the first to cast my vote for going back to the same place next year.   I’m sure that you will see some pictures in this issue of the Wave Guide.

A couple of personal notes this month –

1 – It’s very hard to believe, but I received my First Class Radiotelephone FCC license – 50 years ago.   Still have that piece of, now worthless, blue paper was dated Aug 5, 1959.  (P1-14-3173)   Wow how time flies.   Hard to believe that I am still working.   Well then there is Ben Dawson who is, not quite, two years older than me!

2 – In October I will be attending my final SBE Board of Directors meeting in Syracuse, NY.   This will end my terms on the BOD.   It’s been 10 years.  Looking back, I joined SBE back on Feb 5th, 1968. (Member # 714)  That’s 41+ years.

So what now? …..Well I plan to continue a few things…

> Work with our local Chapter in any way I can.
> Write this column…If you can continue to put up with me.
> Work with our States EAS system
> Continue to assist SBE’s national EAS efforts, if asked to do so.
> More Ham Radio
> …Oh ya….Work !

The other hot local story is what in the world caused the electrical melt-down at Fisher?  Some high powered engineers are looking into the matter and, hopefully, we will get to hear first hand what caused the problem as well as a good discussion of what was learned that we can apply at our own stations at an up-coming Chapter Meeting.  We will let you know.    If this issue did not prompt you to dust off your emergency plan, it should have.  What would your station do in a similar circumstance?

The extreme heat cause a number of power failures, apparently due to drooping power lines.  In one case a large power failure in the SE Tacoma area impacted KPLU at their brand new studio facilities on the PLU Campus in Parkland in a bad way.   Their new generator failed to operate properly, as did equipment at their STL transmitter location on campus, as did an ISDN device at their Seattle studios….The result was lotsa silence on 88.5 on the 29th. 

For those of us involved with FM Radio….The issue of a power increase for HD Radio is a really hot topic.   Several broadcast companies, Ibiquity and manufacturers are asking the FCC to grant a power increase.   Meanwhile NPR is doing a lot of work to study the impact that such a power increase would have on adjacent channel stations.  Just recently they distributed a tool that permit us to quickly see what the impact would be on those adjacent stations.  This tool takes all the work out of issue by telling you exactly how much HD power you could operate without causing interference to the contours of these stations.  If the FCC were to adopt rules along the lines of the NPR tool, some stations would not be able to increase HD-R power at all, while others could do so substantially.   NPR’s position is that some sort of power increase is warranted, but protection of existing stations must also be a factor.    Certainly this issue is not concluded with a lot of debate to come. We need to remember what IBOC means – In Band –Others-Channel.  In some cases, interference may be a greater factor to one side of an existing station.  This is creating the call for considering operating with greater digital power on one side of the host FM than the other.   Locally one station in our market is experimenting with increased HD power and their engineer reports significant improvement in some of Seattle’s many tunnels.   A lot of money is on the line in this game and everyone is watching the dealer and counting cards.  I would be surprised if there is a decision this year, however.

As I have been doing in recent columns…Lets take a look at the economic situation and how it is impacting our industry –

According to Interpublics Magna Group 2009 will be a bummer with a 21+% decline in local radio revenue.  TV revenue down 14.4 %, Magazines down 18.3%, Outdoor off 12.9% and the biggest looser, Newspapers, off by almost 25%

Clear Channel, who probably found themselves owning some AM Radio stations that were liabilities, is reported to be giving 4 of them away.  

A lot of media income has come from pharmaceutical advertisers.  This revenue has been falling, expect for those buying time to battle what they fear will be federal intervention in their business model.   Meanwhile, there are rumblings from Congress who has members that are trying to cut off drug advertising feeling that it contributes to higher prices.

Sumner Redstone is facing some huge debt payments with some forecasting that his empire may be crumbling in the wake of these tough times.  It’s reported that Viacom’s Q2 Revenues are down 14%

One impact of the economic situation is the change in value of broadcast properties. 
Back in 1996, Entercom purchased an FM station in NYC (WAXQ), reportedly for $93 Million, and then promptly traded it for 97.3 and 107.7 FM and 1210 AM in this Seattle..  Now, some 13 years later…. The financially troubled New York Times Company sells WQXR, New York (96.3) to Univision for $33.5 million.

Sam Zell is reported that Tribune expects to exit bankruptcy, perhaps by the end of the year.  No word on how this will impact Tribunes two TV stations in Seattle.

For many years, Dave Biondi, via his Broadcast.net enterprise, supported many activities of SBE by hosting remailers for the national organization, chapters, EAS work etc.   Apparently the economy negatively impacted this operation as well causing many to scramble for a new host for their systems.   Here in our state, B-Net hosted our EAS Remailer as well as Chapter communications for some time.

Recessionomics are in play at Bonneville with the announcement that they are cutting some salaries and benefits including less vacation time and fewer holidays.

To good news this month is that we are starting to hear some good news, news about things not getting any worse.  Certain the stock market, which is usually an early indicator of economic health is looking better.   There are many that believe that we may never see things the way they were as saving and spending habits have been reset.

Radio has something else to be concerned with, in addition to internet listening…It’s WiFi Radio.  Toss that term – WiFi Radio – into your favorite browser and see what I am talking about.   Even radio makers like C. Crane, who have long made AM radios for those that love Talk-Radio have jumped into the race.

We were chatting in the office the other day when a co-worker asked about this column…He entered Clay’s Corner in is browser and came up with –

All I can say is  - 1) Go ahead and take a look….and 2) No relation…I never met the man, I don’t know them………….

Remember a while back when a certain school in Spokane turned on a cell phone jamming transmitter?   Well the FCC found no humor in this case.  Now our state is officially asking the Commish for permission to use these communication wrecking tools to prohibit cell phone communications with those in prison.  Washington State is not alone in this effort, 24 states and 3 cities are asking for the same thing for the same reason.

Recent changes were announced at the FCC  - William Lake is the new chief of the Media Bureau and Kris Monteith becomes an assistant.   Suzann Tetrault is the new Enforcement Bureau deputy chief and Sharon Gillet is the new leader of the Wireline Competition Bureau.

Rumors are that 91.7 FM/KXOT in Tacoma may be back on the market looking for a buyer and/or operator.   From what I understand, KUOW may end their relationship with the Indian Hill FM.   Some in the City of Destiny that are calling for someone to step forward with the goal of making the station a voice for Tacoma.

What’s up with VHF DTV?  Around the country there are a number of stories where stations are asking for power increases, or, in one case, a station moved their DT operation back to their UHF channel. In El Paso, KVIA, has set out to discover exactly what’s going on by running a lot of tests comparing the coverage of their VHF vs UHF signals.   My question is why was it impossible to know this PRIOR to the big switch?  Apparently it was not until these stations turn DT on at their VHF channel did they discover that it did not have the penetration/coverage ability of their UHF DT system.  Not only is there a building penetration problem with VHF, but there is the matter of the portable hand-held receiver that was the big topic at this last NAB.  Again, why has this, apparently, caught so many folks off guard?   Around Seattle we have channels 9, 11 and 13 operating DTV.   For some reason I have not heard the level of complaints that other markets have experienced.   Anyone got some scoop on this item, let me know.

From a recent issue of the Seattle Times – (Thanks Donn Harvey)
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians give us entertainment and information
Outlook: Overall employment of broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators is expected to grow 17 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Pay: The 1,250 broadcast and sound engineering technicians in the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma area earned a median wage of $45,700 in 2008. The job: Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators set up, operate, and maintain a wide variety of electrical and electronic equipment used in almost any radio or television broadcast, concert, play, musical recording, television show, or movie. There are many specialized occupations within the field.

Looks like they have failed to mention the blood letting that has also taken place since the economy turned south?

This item forwarded by Ben Dawson –
PORTLAND (AP) — Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed a bill into law that requires scrap metal dealers to pay for their material with a check mailed to the seller's home instead of cash on the spot.The dealers would also have to keep a record of each transaction for a year, and notify police if they suspect metal is stolen.   Metal thieves, many seeking quick cash for drugs, have been ravaging Oregon for years, stealing everything from gutters and bleachers to sculptures and catalytic converters. The legislation faced little opposition on its way to the governor's desk
Let’s hope that that law makers across the country will adopt some of these measures.
Now that radio ratings are being determined in the Seattle area by PPM, there are some changes that have caught my eye –

  • For the first time we have a means of measuring in vehicle listening as well as the impact of streaming.
  • 5 market stations have their streaming showing in the ratings. However, despite all the talk about the impact of streaming, in this market, listening to this mode only is just over 1%.  This means that about 99% of radio listeners, listen to the radio.
  • Legacy stations with non-mass appeal formats have significantly lower ratings.
  • The Non-Com’s are now listen along with everyone else.
  • The rate that stations change position or rank is considerably increased.
  • AM stations continue to struggle with only a 7 of the top 30 in that band
  • Signal does make a difference.  Of the top 30 station, 23 are FM’s and 18 of them are transmitting from Cougar or Tiger Mt.  On the AM band 6 of the top 7 AM’s are 50 Kw.
  • The listen audience is split a zillion ways with the top rated station only having 5.6% of the total.  Hardly a commanding lead.
  • So far – No HD-2 facility has made the list.

Meanwhile, several members of the US House have asked the GAO to look into how Arbitron’s system works.   Arbitron remains confident that their methods are sound.
Not all is gloom and doom in the employment world, here are some job opening info I’ve received this past month-

Everett Helm from PDX forwarded this item about this job opening at the University of Oregon in Eugene - http://hr.uoregon.edu/jobs/unclassified.php?id=2694.   Contact is -
Thomas E WilliamsChief Engineer, Oregon WINTransmission Engineer, Oregon State UniversityOregon University System109 Kidder HallCorvallis, OR 97331541.737.3822/ fax 541.737.2159 www.oregonwin.org 

How about something in Spokane?
ION Media Networks is seeking a self-motivated individual to manage and maintain complex integrated systems. Position includes maintenance and repair of all technical equipment in studio and transmitter facilities/towers, satellite downlink and microwave transmission systems. Candidates must have 3+ years experience maintaining modern broadcast equipment.  FCC license or SBE certification as well as RF engineering knowledge a plus. Submit resume with salary history to:

ION Media Networks
Ref:  Chief Engineer-Spokane
601 Clearwater Park Road
West Palm Beach, FL  33401
Fax:  (561) 655-7343
E-mail:  employmentinquiries@ionmedia.com
EOE
And this one, close to home –
Chief Broadcast Engineer - FSN NorthwestFSN Northwest is seeking a Chief Broadcast Engineer. This position will support all Broadcast and Post Production/Editing equipment in a digital television facility.  This position is located Bellevue, WA. For more information, please visit www.libertysportsgroup.com.

Something you don’t hear about very often – A fire causes a tower to fall.  In this case KIID, in Sacramento,  lost a 200 footer when the non-metal guy wires failed due to the fire.    
This past month saw the passing of a giant with the loss of Walter Cronkite.  For folks my age, his work is legendary as a broadcaster.    Many folks don’t know that Walter was also a Ham (Amateur Radio Operator).   The follow was published by the ARRL about Walter and is used with their permission.

Legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, who held the title of''Most Trusted Man in America,'' passed away Friday, July 17 after along illness. He was 92. The avuncular Cronkite anchored the CBSEvening News for 19 years until 1981 when he retired. During thattime, he reported on such subjects as the Kennedy assassinations,the Civil Rights movement, the Apollo XI lunar landing, Vietnam andthe Vietnam-era protests, the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, Watergateand the Begin-Sadat peace accords.

Cronkite, an ARRL member, narrated the 6 minute video ''Amateur RadioToday'' (http://www.arrl.org/ARToday/). Produced by the ARRL in 2003,the video tells Amateur Radio's public service story to non-hams,focusing on ham radio's part in helping various agencies respond towildfires in the Western US during 2002, ham radio in space and therole Amateur Radio plays in emergency communications. ''Dozens ofradio amateurs helped the police and fire departments and otheremergency services maintain communications in New York, Pennsylvaniaand Washington, DC,'' narrator Cronkite intoned in reference to hamradio's response on September 11, 2001. ''Their country asked, andthey responded without reservation.''
Walter Leland Cronkite was born in St Joseph, Missouri on November4, 1916, the only child of a dentist father and homemaker mother.When he was still young, his family moved to Texas. ''One day, heread an article in ''Boys Life'' about the adventures of reportersworking around the world -- and young Cronkite was hooked,'' saidhis obituary on the CBS Web site. ''He began working on his highschool newspaper and yearbook and in 1933, he entered the Universityof Texas at Austin to study political science, economics andjournalism. He never graduated. He took a part time job at theHouston Post and left college to do what he loved: report.''(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/17/eveningnews/main5170556.shtml)
In 1963, it was Cronkite who broke into the soap opera ''As the WorldTurns'' to announce that the president had been shot -- and later todeclare that he had been killed.'' CBS called it a ''defining momentfor Cronkite, and for the country. His presence -- in shirtsleeves,slowly removing his glasses to check the time and blink back tears-- captured both the sense of shock, and the struggle for composure,that would consume America and the world over the next four days.''
One of Cronkite's enthusiasms was the space race. In 1969, whenAmerica sent a man to the moon, he couldn't contain himself. ''Gobaby, go.'' he said as Apollo XI took off. He ended up performingwhat critics described as ''Walter to Walter'' coverage of the mission-- staying on the air for 27 of the 30 hours that astronauts BuzzAldrin and Neil Armstrong were on the moon. In 2006, NASA honoredCronkite by giving him their Ambassador of Exploration Award. ''Hismarathon, live coverage of the first moon landing brought theexcitement and impact of the historic event into the homes ofmillions of Americans and observers around the world,'' NASA said ina news release announcing the award. Cronkite was the firstnon-astronaut and only NASA outsider to receive the award.(http://www.arrl.org/?artid=6130.)

Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML, was Cronkite's radio engineer at CBS formany years. ''I had many chances to discuss my favorite hobby, hamradio, with 'the world's most trusted anchor man,'''
Mendelsohn helped Cronkite make his first Amateur Radio contact:''Having passed the licensing test, Walter was now ready to get onthe air. His first QSO was on 10 meters about 28.390 MHz. He wasnervous and I called him on the phone to talk him through his firstexperience. As we talked on the air, a ham from the Midwest come onand called me. Acknowledging him, I asked the usual questions aboutwhere he was from, wanting to give Walter a bit of flavor of whatthe hobby was about. I turned it over to Walter, and following hisintroduction, the gentleman in the Midwest said, 'That's the worstWalter Cronkite imitation I've ever heard.' I suggested that maybeit was Walter and the man replied, 'Walter Cronkite is not even aham, and if he was, he certainly wouldn't be here on 10 meters.'Walter and I laughed for weeks at that one.''

In 2007, ARRL Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, presentedCronkite with the ARRL President's Award. This award, created in2003 by the ARRL Board of Directors, recognizes an ARRL member ormembers who ''have shown long-term dedication to the goals andobjectives of ARRL and Amateur Radio'' and who have gone the extramile to support individual League programs and goals. Cronkite wasselected to receive the award in April 2005 in recognition of hisoutstanding support of the ARRL and Amateur Radio by narrating thevideos ''Amateur Radio Today'' and ''The ARRL Goes to Washington''(http://www.arrl.org/pio/VTS-video.wmv.) ''It was quite a thrill tomake this presentation to Cronkite,'' Fallon said. ''He has long beenrecognized as the 'most trusted man in America,' so lining ourcauses to his face, name and voice has been a great help.''
Cronkite is the recipient of a Peabody Award, the William WhiteAward for Journalistic Merit, an Emmy Award from the Academy ofTelevision Arts and Sciences, the George Polk Journalism Award and aGold Medal from the International Radio and Television Society. In1981, during his final three months on the CBS Evening News,Cronkite received 11 major awards, including the Presidential Medalof Freedom. In 1985, he became the second newsman, after Edward R.Murrow, to be selected for the Television Hall of Fame.

A private memorial service was scheduled for July 23 in New YorkCity. Cronkite will be cremated and his remains buried in Missourinext to his wife Betsy, who passed away in 2005. A public memorialservice will be held within the next month at Avery Fisher Hall atthe Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In lieu of flowers, thefamily is requesting donations to the Walter and Betsy CronkiteFoundation through the Austin Community Foundation(http://www.austincommunityfoundation.org/), which will distributecontributions to various charities the couple supported.

As Cronkite said on March 6, 1981, concluding his final broadcast asanchorman: ''Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away, they just keep coming back for more. And that's the way it is.''

Well, my friends, that’s it for this month – Thanks for the read – Lord willing we will do it again next month.

Til next month –
73,
Clay, K7CR, CPBE

-0-


Return to table of contents

Amateur Radio News

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

On June 24, 2009, the American Radio Relay League filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the Court to order the Federal Communications Commission to comply with the Court’s 2008 decision that remanded the FCC’s ruling on Access BPL for further action.

In its Petition for a Writ of Mandamus, the ARRL asks that the Court “order the Commission to comply with the terms of the Court’s mandate by (1) soliciting comment on the unredacted studies placed in the rulemaking record, and (2) providing a reasoned explanation of its choice of an extrapolation factor for Access BPL (or issue a further notice of proposed rulemaking proposing a different extrapolation factor), within sixty days.”

“What’s at issue is the fact that after over a year the FCC has not complied with the Court’s order,” said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. “The FCC needs to ask the public to comment on the scientific studies conducted by the FCC and on which they relied in their “Broadband over Power Line” decision.  It also must either offer a reasoned explanation, based on the scientific studies already in the FCC’s record, for its determination of the rate at which radiation from medium voltage power lines carrying BPL decays with distance from the power line, or issue a new Notice of Proposed Rule Making and seek comment on an appropriate standard.” ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said, “We are hopeful that under its new leadership, the FCC will get back on track and will revise its rules governing BPL interference to be consistent with the technical record and sound science.”

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s <arrl.org> web site and
ARRL Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG)


Return to table of contents

The YXZ Report

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

THE SBE-PDX E-MAIL LIST
Broadcast.net apparently ceased being in business about the end of June.  They hosted a huge number of free remailer lists for broadcasters, and we thank them for hosting three of ours for several years.  Unfortunately, they didn't notify us before ceasing operation, so to get the SBE-PDX list going again, I subscribed folks to the new list hosted by radiolists.net, run by Barry Mishkind of Eclectic Engineer, Radio Guide, and OldRadio.com fame.  Radiolists hosts other lists too.  Check them out at http://www.radiolists.net. If you were on EAS-OR, you need to subscribe to the new list at http://lists.radiolists.net/mailman/listinfo/eas-or .  You don't need to unsubscribe from the broadcast.net list since even though the lights appear to be on, no one will answer the door, so to speak.  After a while, I'll compare the lists and subscribe anyone who hasn't moved. We're thinking of turning OR-ENG into more of a group, perhaps with Google.  Ideas are welcome.

2009 PDX BROADCAST ENGINEERS' BBQ
Saturday August 29th is the date for this year's Portland Engineers' BBQ, sponsored by SBE Chapter 124.  The usual schedule:  show up around 2 PM, eat about 5.  Bring a salad, side dish, or dessert and we'll have everything else.  This year we will be back at Gray Haertig's house next door to Stonehenge.  Please do not block any streets or driveways!  Tours of at least the combiner room with KGON's transmitters will probably be available.  For the other suites, it's up to their engineers.  E-mail me at secretary at sbe124 dot org for details.

ANALOG TV SUNSET
Analog TV dropped off the edge of the earth on June 12th, except for KOIN 6 that was a "nightlight" until June 27th. We watched KATU 2 turn off their analog at the end of their 11 PM news on the 12th.  News anchor Steve Dunn pushed the button on their transmitter remote control.  There is a good video of it on YouTube. Robert Rogers of Broadcast Tower Service and David Bird of KOIN organized a little sendoff party for KOIN analog on June 26th, thinking that the transmitter would go off at 7:30 PM that evening.   It was a nice little BBQ on the loading dock at Sylvan, but after examining the fine print it was determined that the analog had to stay on until the next morning.  KOIN dug up a 25th anniversary program from 1978 that they showed only on the analog right before the sign off.  It was a really good history of KOIN.  The anniversary show was followed by a few seconds of a generic monochrome "Indian Head" test pattern and tone, which I though was a great touch.  Then, poof, the first VHF station in Portland became the last to sign off. There seems to be some controversy about DTV on VHF, especially low band.  Also some questions about how mobile TV is going to work with VHF stations.

THEN, USING THE KATU 2 ANTENNA ON THE 6 METER HAM BAND
Thanks to Eric Miller and Alan Batdorf of KATU for letting KATU employees Eric Margeson W7OSN and Mike Steiner KD6LVP and the Skyline Tower Amateur Radio Club use the KATU channel 2 6-bay batwing antenna for the ARRL VHF June QSO Party the morning after they signed off.

It worked great.  The band didn't really open up on Saturday, but we worked the West Coast easily.  Just a few watts of reflected power from feeding the visual input of their combiner.  Even with 500 Watts forward, thanks to the loan of a Tokyo Hy-Power linear from HRO!  Not sure what affect the 1-degree beam tilt had.  We didn't fully think through how much signal might be coming back down the transmission line, since KOIN 6 was still on the air at that time less than a mile away, as well as all the FM stations, etc.  We had some desense, but didn't know it during the contest.

Very odd sitting there in the transmitter building looking at the totally silent channel 2 transmitter

LIFE WITH PPM
The Entercom Portland rack room has ingested 59 pieces of equipment provided by Arbitron.  40 encoders, and 19 monitors.  The 20th monitor is at the 1390 KWOD transmitter site in Salem. The Arbitron Quality of Service Test for the encoding proved to me how robust the encoding is.  Stations just hold the phone up to a speaker playing the various stations while an Arbitron broadcast engineer runs tests on the audio.  Alex Zucker could tell what station I was listening to, even with the phone on the desk 3 feet from the speaker as I switched between stations and encoders.

LIFE WITH HD RADIO        
There are 12 FM HD signals (nine with HD2) and four 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 http://www.hdradio.com/buyers_guide.php.
      
The new Sylvan Tower panel antenna and combiner is on line with 101.9 KINK using it, with 107.5 KXJM on soon if not already.  101.1 KUFO will follow soon.  No HD from any Sylvan commercial stations yet, although the HD Radio feed for the antenna is ready.

 

Return to table of contents

SBE News

Registration is now open for the 2009 Broadcast & Technology Expo

October 6-7 2009

The 37th annual SBE 22 Broadcast and Technology Expo will feature the latest in broadcast, electronic media production, electronic presentation and communication technology; displayed by over 100 exhibitors within the 29,000 sq. ft. Turning-Stone Convention Center Arena.

Last year over 800 of your colleagues learned about the latest industry trends by attending the Expo.

The SBE 22 Broadcast and Technology Expo is the largest and longest running show of its kind in the entire Northeast United States and in 2009 the Expo will be the host site for the SBE National Meeting.

Admission to the SBE 22 Broadcast and Technology Expo is FREE.

There is no charge for admission to the floor exhibits, educational presentations, or the Hospitality Suite.

Visitors must register in order to attend the Expo.
visit www.sbe22expo.org to register for this year's expo



SBE WAYS TO PAY

President Barry Thomas requested input from the membership regarding establishing PayPal as an option to pay for a variety of purchases from SBE.  After receiving a number of responses, following is his email response:

I just wanted to know if it would be something you’d like for buying books, merchandise, making donations, etc., (not necessarily membership…and certainly not to the exclusion of any payment option we already offer)… A very informal survey of what you might like. 

The consensus seems to be that adding PayPal to our current payment options for books, merchandise, etc., could be a good thing.   

Now that we know your opinion, the appropriate business research is being done by our national office.  Our executive director John Poray will report to the finance committee, the board and me regarding the business implications.  If the business impact is negligible, I am certain the additional payment option will be offered soon.  If not, I’ll be sure to tell all of you why we chose not to offer it.

Again, this is for books, merchandise, etc.  Using PayPal for membership is a completely different issue that would be taken up in a different way.

Thanks everyone again for your input.  I am incredibly appreciative that you are all a part of this roundtable and are helping us make a more responsive Society.

Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT
President, Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc



SBE CAREER SERVICES CAN HELP

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

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


Career Helper and Job Search Tips

We’ve run articles in the past about portions of this valuable series on career assistance. Here is a comprehensive listing of articles by Deborah Walker, CCMC Resume Writer / Career Coach.

Check out this link:
www.sbe18.org/jobs.htm#Job_Search_Tips



Excelsior College announces Certification Courses

by Rebecca Troeger
Excelsior College

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

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

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

College Credit for Your SBE Certification:

The Society of Broadcast Engineers and Excelsior College have teamed up! Your current SBE Certification may qualify for credit towards a degree from Excelsior College or could help you finish that degree you’ve been working on at another institution. If you’re interested, contact Excelsior College by calling toll-free at (888) 647-2388 to learn about the details.

When you are ready to submit your SBE Certification for credit to Excelsior College, download the SBE transcript request form at www.sbe.org or www.excelsior.edu, or contact the SBE National Office for a copy. When you’ve completed the form, e-mail, fax or mail it to Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office, who will prepare your transcript and send it to Excelsior College.

Megan Clappe

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

SBE CertPreview Software

SBE CertPreview sample certification test software is now available. It’s Microsoft Windows-based and replaces the previous DOS-based software. New sample tests are available for Broadcast Technologist, Audio Engineer, Video Engineer, Broadcast Networking Technologist, Broadcast Engineer and Senior Broadcast Engineer in both radio and television. Sample tests include 50 to 100 questions and indicate when an incorrect answer has been given. It provides a list of resources from which to learn more about a subject. Cost for each SBE CERTpreview practice test is $27 plus $3 shipping. Contact the National Office to order a copy.

Certification Exam Session Dates:

The SBE National Certification Committee certification exam session dates for 2009 are listed below. Check the list below for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chair or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000, or mclappe@sbe.org

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
August 7-17, 2009 Local Chapters June 5, 2009 Date Past
November 6-16, 2009 Local Chapters September 18, 2009
February 5-15, 2010 Local Chapters December 31, 2009
April 13, 2010 NAB March 26, 2010
June 4-14, 2010 Local Chapters April 16, 2010
August 6-16, 2010 Local Chapters June 4, 2010
November 5-15, 2010 Local Chapters September 17, 2010

Fees for 2009 are as Follows:

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

Please note: SBE Certification exams are administered only by SBE and are proctored in-person by qualified and approved representatives of SBE. No other organization is authorized to administer SBE exams.
Click here for more information about SBE Certification.

 

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.