This Month's Stories
September 21, 2010
Note to our readers: there is no September newsletter - please check back in October.
August 2010 Newsletter
SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
July 2010 Meeting Report:
19th Annual Lookout Mountain
SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
Annual Picnic Luncheon
Friday, July 9, 2010
11:30AM to 1PM
Lookout Mountain Park
Catering by Bennetts: BBQ Beef, Pork, Turkey, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Brownies, Ice Tea, Lemonade and Sodas
$5 suggested donation
Another successful and enjoyable picnic this year:
Photos by Bill Harris
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The KEØVH Hamshack
The KEØVH Hamshack for August 2010
Greetings all, boy has it been a busy summer so far.
We have completed our changeover here to 2 new CBeyond T-1's at Salem Colorado Springs. With the help of our Salem Denver guys Cliff (NØZUQ) & Derek (KCØLCD), and Steve (KDØFKO) of Convergence Solutions, the transition was pretty seamless. Cliff and Steve worked on the coordination of the technical change over of the phone system to the T's (one is a backup in case we lose the primary) and to new POTS lines for backup to that, and the integration of the digital side for internet and streaming computers plus the new AIRKAST services our stations are on so that you can listen via wireless device. As we were previously on a Covad DSL thru Qwest, our bandwidth limitations were really becoming a problem, but no more with the new system. We are in the process as of this writing of changing over now to the new streamers for KBIQ, KGFT, and KZNT thru ANDO Media Streaming so that "Ad Insertion" can be accomplished as many of you are probably already doing. So now with the T's we will have a lot more consistency, speedier internet, and by the way, thanks to Cliff and Steve for packaging it all up as it is saving our cluster a lot of money in phone bills.
AAØL operates the Flex SDR-1500
My friend Ray, AAØL whom I have written about in past articles, finally received his Flex SDR (software defined radio) after a few months or so of waiting after ordering. He expected this as demand has been pretty high for these new technology radios. These are also being advertised regularly in QST magazine these days too. You can see the size of this one in the picture above, it is the little box with the bright blue LED on. This is a 5 watt unit as Ray wants to utilize it for IF purposes for moon bounce and the like, but of course it will drive an amplifier too, of which Ray has plenty! These radios are simply amazing, doing virtually everything imaginable in a radio, all driven off the software you load on your PC. See the website at www.flex-radio.com/ for details and models ranging from 5 watts up to 100 watts from 160 to 6 meters, and there are VHF/UHF modules available as well. Very interesting and exciting technologies for the amateur! Also, Ray plans on utilizing the radio for some broadcast engineering purposes as well down the line, including NRSC measurements and more.
Flex SDR screenshot at AAØL Outside view of Shack at AAØL
Ray has his hamshack (actually a small building constructed to be a hamshack by the previous owner) right outside of his main house in the Black Forest area NE of Colorado Springs. He has a lot of acreage and of course an antenna farm to be the envy of most of us! I really enjoyed visiting his home and meeting his lovely bride Diane and enjoying a lunch with them one day recently.
Rays workbench and bookshelf, note the schematic drawings on the white board! Ray ALWAYS has some sort of project going. The picture on the right has amplifiers for VHF and UHF that Ray uses for Moonbounce and terrestrial communications, plus a wonderful National receiver and various other gears.
And by the way, since I am kind of featuring Ray and his shack in this article, I would really appreciate pictures from anyone interested of your ham shack and would be glad to feature them in my article here in the future.
It was my great privilege to be able to assist Amanda and Cris Alexander with the move of the Crawford Broadcasting Company's Denver studios to their new offices in SE Denver in July. Cris has more details of course and all of us Salem guys were on hand to assist. Cliff, Derek and I were put to work wiring the KLTT, KLDC and KLZ studios. Cliff and I worked together on KLTT as Cris wanted that one up and operating as quickly as possible. Derek practically single handed wired the KLZ control room, and then Amanda and I wired the KLDC room in basically one afternoon. With their Wheatstone bridge routing system and consoles, this was really a pretty easy thing to do, much more easily than a standard studio rebuild. We spent the first day actually moving the equipment and studio furniture (one of their Wheatstone consoles just fits into the back of my Dodge Neon!) from the old to new location, and then the rest of the time was spent putting it all back together. Be sure to read Cris' article coming up next month (he is taking this month off because of just being too busy during the move) for the full rundown of all of the adventures he and Amanda have had. And let me tell you, Cris and Amanda have had, with this move, adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after adventure after.......
Amanda (KDØCIC), Robert (KA5AMU) and Cris (W5WCA) discussing an issue
Cliff (NØZUQ) installing KLTT gear
Derek (KCØLCD) installing the Bridge
Router in the new KLZ studio
Jack (KEØVH) wiring KLTT blocks
One of the cool things about the group of folks helping out here is that with the exception of one of the engineers, we were all ham operators, including Art Reis from the Chicago CBC cluster, K9XI. Again, Cris will rundown the full story in an upcoming newsletter here, hopefully the September edition.
Now the IRLP Reflector 9615 is more or less the unofficial "official" SBE Hamnet Engineering communications via amateur radio reflector. Our friend Brew in the New York area, WA2ZST writes:
On Sunday evening I set up the audio levels between the WA2CBS repeater and the IRLP node, I tested it via the IRLP Echo reflector and connected to another IRLP node that a friend operates and got a thumbs up, so I left our repeater connected to the 9615 SBE Reflector and left for home. When I got home I connected my Simplex node to the 9615 SBE Reflector.
I wasn't sure if our repeater was still connected to the SBE Reflector, so I called Tom W3STD in the shop and had him get on our repeater and I worked him via the SBE Reflector, he said the audio sounded fine.
Today Mike W9PXZ, who works at a Radio cluster outside of Chicago, has his repeater hooked to the SBE Reflector and just now I worked Tom K8TB, in Michigan. He's the keeper of the SBE Reflector, an engineer and great all around radio guy. I was on my simplex node at my house in South Jersey and Tom was in Michigan, but we were on the WA2CBS repeater in NY, too (we heard it ID once, even).
Here's what the current node status is for the 9615 SBE Reflector.
Channel: 9615 - 4 Nodes
00 days 00 hours 30 mins 07 secs
01 days 21 hours 57 mins 33 secs
01 days 22 hours 19 mins 16 secs
00 days 21 hours 25 mins 36 secs
If you're within range of the WA2CBS repeater give a shout. I'm sitting home and monitoring the SBE Reflector. One caveat, leave pauses when passing it back and forth to another station - I don't have the WA2CBS repeater set up right for IRLP and it may time out, not sure.
We are using the Vertex 25 Watt repeater at the moment, but soon James KC2NHP will have the 100 Watt GE MASTR II set up with the new controller and we'll get it set up right!!! Chris N3CB from KYW-TV in Philly has an IRLP node at his house, maybe he'll connect to the SBE 9615 Reflector, too. BTW, it was Chris N3CB that got our Motorola GM Radius link radio power adjusted down to 5 Watts and James KC2NHP did some work on it, too.
We are finally making noise!!!!!! With time, we'll get it tweaked up better......
So when you can via an IRLP machine in your area, dial into node 9615 and give the guys back east a call. In the Denver area, you can also use the WØKU repeater, on 449.625 MHz, the pl is 141.3, and the RMHam group also runs the 447.650 - 141.3pl -
Extreme Wide Area Coverage Repeater and IRLP node 3450. Check out www.irlp.net for information on IRLP nodes in your area. Also, feel free to contact me and I will help you find one near you.
And, due to phone line problems with the IRLP and the WA2YZT repeater, we have cancelled the SBE IRLP Hamnet gatherings until the first Saturday of September, the 4th. Paul has been having repeated issues and hopefully all will be cleared up by then. BUT, I am still on duty with net announcements and will be keeping the vigil until then, so feel free to contact me anytime at KEØVH@q.com with any announcements or anything of interest. And we hope to have the net going again full strength here locally in the Denver area and on the IRLP at that time.
And just for grins to wrap it up this month, this was seen by yours truly on I-25 in Denver:
But, he is missing the hover conversion and Mr. Fusion! Note the license plate! Yes, it says MCFLY!
73' Jack, until next month!
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Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16
CLAY'S CORNER FOR AUGUST 2010
The annual SBE Chapter 16 Picnic, just like last year, it was held in the back-yard of KOMO...a wonderful location for this event. Jim Hatfield showed a number of historic pictures of the early days on the island. Later it was tour time to take a look at some of the high powered AM's on the Island. Attendance was great with folks coming from as far away as Portland and Wenatchee. The weather was nothing short of spectacular. I have the feeling that this will be venue for this event for years to come. For those of you that were not able to make it - Mark your calendars now for the last Saturday in July of 2011.
The Chapter will be, pretty much, taking the month of August off - Coming up in September -
• The annual 'Taste of NAB' presentation at a location TBA
• Election of officers
• Meeting of the new Board of Directors
• Charting our course for the next year
Yours truly has been busy with a couple of projects - 1) The conversion of KVTI to an outlet for NW Public Radio and, 2) Putting on the air a new station, KSWS/88.9 in Chehalis at Crego Hill. While at Crego recently I ran into Al Bednarczyk, of all things, a retired guy there working! He was telling me about his planed long road trip across Canada etc. Sounds like he has begun to forget about pagers and alarm clocks. Apparently he was at the KCKA Transmitter site doing a favor or two for Darin.
The twin ATC towers on West Tiger have a fresh coat of paint... very noticeable. Someone mentioned that they could see the difference in Issaquah.
What about that guy the climbed up the KIRO-TV tower on Queen Ann Hill? I've heard a number of versions of why he decided to do it, mainly... Because it was there. If you have ever thought about climbing that tower, the cost for doing so has now been established....$1000. At least that was the amount of his fine. Have not heard if KIRO is going to install some gizmo's to make it a bit harder to access the tower... might be a good idea.
As usual this time of year, we are being blessed with wonderful weather. Not so in the upper mid-west where Wisconsin and northern Illinois have been getting soaked. In Milwaukee the rainfall was so heavy that it flooded and closed their airport and knocked off several TV stations. The storm dropped up to 8 inches of rain in a short time. KDJT-TV was flooded. Reportedly WTMJ came to the rescue pulling their normal channel 4.3 programming giving the flooded station a was to be on the air.
The East Coast has been hot with record breaking temps. Add this to their normal sky-high levels of humidity and you have a place to avoid. One of the impacts of all the heat on the other coast is on propagation, especially in the FM band. If you have ever experience FM on the 'right-coast' you know that it's far more congested than it is 'out west'. Add to this thermal ducting and you have a real mess. We occasionally get some of this out this way. Just the other day Nick Winter was listening to KGY -FM in Olympia and heard another station, on the same channel... at time overtaking KGY. What was most telling was when he heard tornado warnings and a time check that put the station in the Central Time Zone.
Another giant of our industry, Daniel Schorr, recently passed at 93. I think we can all recall listening to this man and his unique style. For the last 25 years he has been working with NPR as a news analyst. There is a northwest connection here - Not only was Dan Schorr hired by Edward R Murrow, back in 1953, but he received the Edward R. Murrow College's lifetime award in Pullman a few years ago.
Ever wonder about those stations that are licensed to one city but identify with another? Here in this area we have a couple TV stations (KSTW and KCPQ) and several Radio (KBKS, KMTT, KIRO etc) that are licensed to Tacoma, KRWM is licensed to Bremerton etc but all of them identify with Seattle. Well back on the East Coast the city of license, a suburb of Philly, charged that the station was too focused on Philly and failed to serve it's city of license. The FCC was not convinced and turned down the license renewal challenge. Every since I got into this business there has been this fascination with the 'big city' in the area by broadcasters... something that will likely not change.
Apparently trying to do a good deed, San Francisco has recently put on the books a cell phone radiation law. From what I understand the new ordinance requires those that sell cell phones to have a display that shows the handsets SAR (specific absorption rate). The cellular industry trade association, CTIA is obviously not happy with this and has informed the city that they would no longer hold their fall show there. They followed this up with a suit to block enforcement of the new rules.
The CTIA pointed out - "FCC's exclusive, congressionally derived authority" of radio frequency emissions from cell phones and other wireless devices. If not enjoined, the ordinance will "cause irreparable harm to plaintiff, its members, and the public,"
This will be an activity that everyone involved in marketing wireless devices will be keenly watching. The city wants everyone to be safe from that nasty stuff that comes out of antennas. Meanwhile users of these devices don't want products that loose calls from lower ERP's. Will a cell phone user choose a phone with less NIER and less coverage? This reminds me of the product that was out a few years ago designed to minimize the impact on the person holding the phone, it apparently did very poorly...especially when folks discovered it reduced the effectiveness of their phone.
Every once in a while the matter of NIER and physical harm surfaces. Recently this issue came up in a location that one would not suspect... Italy. In this case it's the Vatican that fighting charges that their radio transmitters pose a cancer risk. Apparently a new study purports to show a link between exposure to electromagnetic waves and an increase in leukemia and lymphoma in the surrounding population. Now the Catholic Church is on the defensive. (not going to say any more!)
For some reason, I like to report on the antics of those that attempt to operate un-licensed broadcast stations. This month the news is full of items in that category...
In Mt Vernon New York (not to be confused with Mt Vernon Washington), back in 2008, the Feds found that a Mr Dexter Blake was operating a radio station on 101.5. The FCC order him to pay an NAL in the amount of $10,000. He didn't respond to the notice nor pay the fine. So now the FCC is demanding he pay up. No word on why it's taking them so long.
Here's another one - In this case, Mr Christopher Meyers has also been requested to pay $10,000 for his pirate station operation on 95.9 in Lauderhill, Fla. This too has been a long running saga. Back in 2008 Mr Meyers was contacted by the FCC for operating an unlicensed station on 91.7 but resurfaced on a new frequency. In this case, it's not operating without a license, but rather operating at variance with one. KEIF-LP is a low power station in Enid, OK. What bothered the FCC was -
1) Their antenna was 75 feet taller than authorized,
2) They were operating with 155 watts, 73 watts higher than they should.
3) Unauthorized transfer of control,
4) Selling advertising.
This fellow will pay the customary 10 Grand and received a shortened license term.
It's finally done !!!! So says Spring/Nextel as they announced that the 2 Gig BAS transition is complete. The project was launched back in 2005 and was supposed to be done by September of 2007... However, like a lot of things that involve politics and technology, it took much longer than projected. Its been reported that Sprint spent about $750 Megabucks to git'er done. For those of you that have not followed this activity, It involved changing TV's 2 Gig ENG band plan and changing everything from analog to digital. I suspect that tons of equipment was swapped out at the nearly 1000 TV stations involved. The last of some 213 markets to make the change ? Anchorage, AK
Vinny Lopez, president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers said the group's "national
network of volunteer frequency coordinators, with unique and valuable BAS information, was a key factor in Sprint's facilitation of an effective transition to a new, efficient digital platform for stations to provide vital news and information to the public. The Society's partnership with Sprint in this effort is a great example of how all broadcast engineers
serve and support our industry and make technology work for business, government and broadcasting."
Wow ! It's a price roll-back at the FCC. If you are a licensed Amateur Radio operator (Ham) and have been thinking about getting a Vanity Call Sign but have been holding off until it went on sale - Now is your time. Starting August 17th the FCC will roll-back the
cost for a vanity call by 10 Cents from $13.40 to $13.30. Get 'em while they are hot.
To give you an idea of just how 'profitable' this program is - The Commish projects to bring in just under $200,000 in FY 2010. That's over 14,000 Hams trading in their old, FCC assigned, call letters for new ones. If you are not a Ham, you may not appreciate the reason why a person being assigned KC7HHH would want to change to K7FUD OR something shorter etc. By the way, my call sign, K7CR, is technically not classified as a vanity call. It was assigned back in 1976, long before the vanity call sign system was established.
Could Qualcomm's FLO TV be in trouble? There are rumors floating about that - Maybe - things are not a rosy as they had hoped. This has been an interesting trail to follow. Qualcomm dumped a ton of money in their system building out a rather large system. In this area, they have some very impressive installations at sites like - Tiger Mt, Gold Mt, Capital Peak etc... for a while, Marty Hadfield was doing their service work. I suspect that FLO has had a lot to do with the recent zeal that broadcasters have had to target the really small screen. Could be that those folks too will be taking a closer look at their business models.
The Feds continue to be suffering from 'bright shiny object fascination' with the latest buzzword... 'Broadband' (even if they don't know what it means). All the lawmakers understand is that it requires spectrum and broadcasting might be a place to get some of it. A new bill, introduced by Senator Rockefeller, would give the FCC permission to pay broadcasters for those that opt to give up some for the 'cause'. To quote Dave Ross - YIKES !
Talk about bad timing! With newspapers barely hanging on... now the FCC has filed a brief defending their 2008 vote to relax broadcast-newspaper cross ownership. Can anyone name a TV station that wishes to go out and buy a newspaper? Or, better yet, can you identify a newspaper that has the money go purchase a TV Station? Geesh!
It's that time again for elections at SBE. Half of the Society's Board of Directors are elected each year. The list of candidates for the annual election of SBE national directors and officers has been finalized. The SBE national Nominations Committee, chaired by Board Member, Jim Leifer, CPBE of Boynton Beach, Fla, submitted a slate of candidates and no additional candidates were submitted from the membership by the July 12 deadline. Serving on the committee with Jim are Leonard Charles, CPBE, Madison, Wis., William Ryall, Portland, Maine and James Schoedler, CBNT, Denver, Colo.
Nominees for the Board must be voting members (Member, Senior, Life, Fellow or the official representative of a Sustaining Member) in good standing (dues paid through March 31, 2011) and hold a current SBE engineering level certification (CBT or higher) all through Board service if elected. All four officer positions will be on the ballot as will six of the 12 director seats. Officer terms are for one year while director terms are for two years. Election ballots will be mailed from the National Office to voting members in good standing by July 27 and are to be returned so they are received by the National Office by August 26. Voting members are urged to cast their votes. Ballots will be tabulated on the evening of August 26 by volunteers from Chapter 25 in Indianapolis. Those elected will take office during the SBE National Meeting on October 27 in Madison, Wis.
The complete list of candidates and their photos can be found on the SBE website.
Stations are always on the hunt for NTR or, means of generating revenue beyond selling Spots. Here's a novel idea - Meredith (a TV group owner) is running obits. My guess it will be on a multicast channel. Their claim is that it's cheaper than running obits in newspapers. Craigs list and EBay pretty well did-in newspaper classified ads, not sure that broadcast is the place for this... but what do it know... I'm in Engineering.
A TV network you don't hear a lot about is ION. (The place the Terry Spring works) Now that they have restructured they are looking outside the box. ION is actually bigger than one would think with 59 stations covering 64% of the country they could be a factor.
NAB has released a list of stations that are finalists for the annual Marconi awards. Some stations in our neck of the woods were named.... Congrats to -
Small Market Station of the year - KGMI in Bellingham
Country Station of the year - - - - - KMPS in Seattle
News-talk Station of the year - - - KBOI in Boise
Looks like the world slow-down finally reached Nautel. It was recently announced that John Bisset who has been regional sales manager for Europe etc. was leaving the company. John will continue to write a popular column for Radio World. John's position is being filled by Hal Kneller who was a presenter at one of our chapters meetings last year.
What do you do with low producing AM signals - You give them away. Well, at least this is what Clear Channel is doing with 4 of their stations. The recipients are minority and female groups.
The fur continues to fly in some cases where stations have increased their HD power level. The FCC, when they OK'd the boost, said they would deal with complaints. All eyes are on this issue for sure. I suspect that many stations are in 'wait and see' mode to see how this sifts out before laying out the bucks for a bigger HD Radio transmitter. In this area, the only station I have heard about that's operating north of -20 is CBS's 96.5 in Seattle.
Have to wonder what George Carlin is thinking now that the 2nd Circuit Court has struck down the FCC's Indecency Policy? Under this ruling, George could not do his routine on the air, however "fleeting expletives" are now OK. Guess this means that a potty mouthed Senators remarks would not have to bleeped? I have to feel sorry for the FCC for they are in, perhaps, a no win situation here. How do you craft rules that keep broadcasting from sounding like certain Satellite Radio programs and yet be in compliance with these court rulings? Will Radio back off on their use of their program delays? We have certainly not seen the end of this.
This item from SBE headquarters - Engineers are famous for their organizational abilities, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. Ironically, many engineers, when it comes to certain personal things, are quite disorganized and, shall we say, forgetful.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers is well aware of this phenomenon. To aid
engineers who hope to get their SBE Certification renewed, the SBE has
updated a handy, downloadable and free brochure (PDF). Go to the SBE website - www.sbe.org for more info.
Kudo's to the FCC. The Office of Management and Budget has released its latest federal employee job satisfaction study, and its finding is that out of the entire federal
government, the FCC is the most improved agency. Now if they would just poor Kris McGowan some help !!! (Grrrrr)
Understand that KGY in Olympia is working toward re-locating their AM operation to a new tower about 3 blocks from their old site. Once the move takes place, the old tower will be taken down. Still no word on whether or not they will have to vacate their studio facility at the Port of Olympia. Meanwhile they are working on a power increase and the addition of HD Radio to their FM signal.
Another 'Radio' bit the dust. This time is was NPR that is no longer National Public Radio becoming... Just NPR. Change the name, not the product. About the same time the YMCA has become - The Y . Do you remember when Radio Corporation of America became just RCA? I have wondered how long the term Radio would be around as it is starting to sound very old fashioned. (I can relate)
Bustos Media, licensee of KDDS-FM and KTBK-AM, has been taken over by it's lenders and have filed with the FCC to transfer ownership to NAP Broadcast Holdings LLC. The first ownership change around here that can be attributed to the state of the economy.
Remember how many in our business were crowing about how Satellite Radio was doomed? Then XM and Sirius merged and since then....Things have been getting a lot better. Recently the Sat-Radio outfit reported they had about 19.5 million users, adding over half a million in Q-2. Coming back from the picnic on the Pt Defiance Ferry I was chatting with a couple and the topic of Satellite Radio was brought up. One of them was a salesperson traveling around over half of the state on a weekly basis. They liked talk radio and found that only with Satellite could they continue to listen to their favorite shows. They pointed out that with land-based radio they would be constantly pushing buttons and, in some areas, have no coverage at all. This underscores what I have maintained for a long time - There is a market for this system...A market that we cannot serve with our existing transmission systems.
Well enough for now - Time to leave you with a means to increase your wisdom. This month, courtesy of Phil Johnson, retired Newsman at KIRO, some new medical terms and definitions. Just remember, knowledge is power.
Artery - The study of painting
Barium - What you do when CPR fails
Colic - A sheep dog
Coma - A punctuation mark
Congenital - Friendly
Dilate - To live a long time
Fester - Quicker
G.I. Series - A baseball game between soldiers
Hangnail - A coat hanger
Morbid - A higher offer
Medical Staff - A doctor's cane
Nitrate - Higher than the day rate
Node - Was aware of
Outpatient - A person who has fainted
Post Operative - A letter carrier
Protein - In favor of young people
Secretion - Hiding anything
Serology - A study of English knighthood
Tablet - A small table
Tumor - An extra pair
Urine - The opposite of you're out
Thanks Phil !
Til next month - Enjoy the summer !
Til next month -
Clay, K7CR, CPBE
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Amateur Radio News
Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24
Possible changes to the newest amateur band, 60 meters: In May, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - ET Docket #10-98 - proposing to amend the Part 97 rules pertaining to the use of five channels in the 5330.6-5406.4 kHz band. The proposal would replace one designated channel with one that is less encumbered by interference, to authorize three additional emission designators and to increase the maximum authorized power in this band.
Currently the only emission type that is authorized on the 60 meter channels is single-sideband voice with a peak power of 50 watts. The proposal would add Morse Code and narrow-band digital transmissions, and increase peak power to 100 watts. On June 15, a summary of the NPRM was published in the Federal Register, which started the clock on the deadline for comments. Comments must be filed on or before July 15; reply comments must be filed on or before July 30, 2010. Solar activity in sunspot cycle 24 remains low, although geomagnetic conditions were fairly active over the last week in June. The summertime phenomenon of sporadic E-layer ionization of the upper atmosphere (which doesn't seem to be directly related to sunspot activity) brought the maximum usable frequency well over 100 MHz several times in June, giving hams long-distance contacts on the 50 MHz band, and allowing TV/FM "DXers" to hear distant broadcast stations all over North America. This author heard 8 distant FM stations in June, from KDLY (97.5) Lander WY and CHLB-FM (95.5) Lethbridge, Alberta, to WPGC (95.5) in Washington DC. (I also saw a few seconds of snowy NTSC soccer video on channel 2 and presume that the signal was originating from somewhere in Canada.) Some persistent DXers have been able to receive the few remaining low-band VHF DTV stations via the ionosphere when conditions are good, although it's difficult due to multipath.
Hobbyists who keep track of this sort of TV/FM "skip" can be found posting real-time conditions at dxworld.com/tvfmlog.html.
(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s <arrl.org> web site)
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The YXZ Report
by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Chapter Secretary/Newsletter Editor
SBE Chapter 123
LIFE WITH HD RADIO
There are 14 FM HD signals (twelve with HD2, and one of those has 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 www.hdradio.com/buyers_guide.php.
A lot of FM HD stations are struggling to stay within the "HD Radio FM Hybrid Waveform Noise and Emissions Limits," better know as "the mask," as they increase power above the -20 dBc or 1% level. There is a really good explanation here. This is especially true of stations where the HD signals are "backfed" into a combiner and their output is fed to a hybrid at each antenna bay and the isolation between the analog and digital is not ideal. See www.shively.com/0208_cougar_mt.php . Here in Portland, it's what is being done with the five FM HD stations at Skyline Tower and two commercial FM HD stations at the Sylvan Tower
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Thanks Chapter 24 - Madison
The FCC has issued a release (hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-298525A1.pdf) stating that 80% of Internet users did not know the speed of their broadband Internet connection. The release also stated that 91% of the respondents were satisfied with the speed of their service. The Commission asked for 10,000 volunteers to participate in a study of Internet speeds. Last March, the Commission placed an Internet test site on their Broadband.gov website. The fact that most people did not know the speed of their Internet connection should not be a surprise. (In most cases, there is no indication of the connection speed on users' computers.) This indifference is reminiscent of the flashing 12:00 on VCR's. Unknowingly, most people would accept the connection speed number the Internet provider states and most people do not have the interest or knowledge in the technology to begin to seek out the information. This news release is an example on how fixated the Commission is on the Internet and Broadband, to the near exclusion of all other issues.
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SBE Announces Membership Drive Winners
The annual SBE Membership Drive concluded this year with a total of 198 members joining the Society during the three-month drive period. 52 of those new members were recruited by current members and all of those recruiters were eligible to win prizes in recognition of their efforts. Prize winners were drawn in mid-June.
The Grand Prize winner was John Ramsey of Hartford, Conn. John won a trip to the SBE National Meeting in Madison, Wis. this October along with a new HDTV, courtesy of the SBE. Winning First Prizewas Mark Heller, CBRE, CTO of Two Rivers, Wis. Mark won a Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera, provided by SBE Sustaining Member, Panasonic. The Second Prize winner was Larry Bloomfield of Florence, Ore., who won a Paladin Tools PT-540, courtesy of Broadcast Supply Worldwide, also an SBE Sustaining Member.
A complete list of prize winners, prizes and sponsors is available at the SBE website.
SBE President Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT remarked after the close of the Drive, "Recruiting new members helps keep the Society strong and I am very pleased that many SBE members took an active roll in this year's membership drive."
Every recruiter in the membership drive was a winner, earning five dollars off their 2011 membership dues renewal for each new member he or she recruited, up to 25 dollars. New members to SBE are welcome through out the year. The membership drive serves to spotlight the important task of bringing new members into the organization.
SAVE THESE DATES
From Madison Chapter 24
The 2010 Broadcasters Clinic will be held October 26th thru the 28th at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton. The program agenda for this year's conference is being finalized and will be release soon. Look for it in coming issues of this newsletter and on the various SBE email lists.
This year the National SBE will be joining us for their National Meeting and Awards
Dinner. Please note that tickets for the Wednesday night Awards Dinner are separate or
in addition to Clinic registration. So if you plan on attending this event you need to
purchase a separate $15 ticket from the SBE National, now available on their web site.
SBE Career Services Can Help
The state of the national (and world) economy continues to have its affect on most industries, including broadcasting. In these uncertain times, your professional association can serve as a valuable source of available broadcast engineering jobs across the U.S.
Your membership in SBE gives you access to SBE’s career service tools. These services can be a big help if you need to find a new job. Employers can also make use of these services when they need to fill positions with qualified engineers. The SBE JobsOnline members-only service is free. On a typical day, more than 100 broadcast engineering jobs are listed and the list is updated almost every business day as new job postings are received by the SBE National Office.
SBE members may also post their resume for free with the SBE Resume Service. Anyone can view the resumes at the SBE website, with the names and contact information hidden from view. For a small fee, employers can request copies of the resumes they are interested in, which then includes the names and contact information.
SBE also has begun a new SBE service called SBE InternshipsOnline. Similar to the SBE JobsOnline, employers can post engineering internships for free. Anyone can view the postings (also free). The new service is intended to help match those who offer engineering internships with students looking for those opportunities.
Do you make your broadcast engineering services available on a contract basis? The SBE maintains an SBE Contract Engineer Directory. This alphabetical list, organized by state, lists the name, technical services offered, geographic area covered and the contact information for each contract engineer listed. For a small annual fee, contract engineers may be included on this list.
Information about all of these services can be accessed at the SBE website, www.sbe.org on the Career Services page or click the links above in this article.
Excelsior College announces Certification Courses
by Rebecca Troeger
Excelsior College, in partnership with the Society of Broadcast Engineers, offers college credit to enrolled students for the completion of select SBE certifications. Apply up to 11 credits earned through SBE certifications plus any credit earned from other approved sources toward any of Excelsior College's more than 40 degree and certificate programs. Of particular interest to SBE members are the Associate Degree in Electronics Technology, Bachelor's Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, and Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Technology with a specialty in Electronics/Instrumentation Technologies.
Complete your degree requirements with Excelsior's flexible learning options including online and CD-ROM courses. You can maximize your SBE Certifications with Excelsior College. The following SBE certifications have been evaluated toward Excelsior College credit:
Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer
Certified Broadcast Television Engineer
Certified Senior Broadcast Radio Engineer
Certified Senior Broadcast Television Engineer
Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer
For more information check out SBE's partnership page on Excelsior College's website at 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.
Society of Broadcast Engineers
9102 N. Meridian Street, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
SBE Updates CertPreview Software - Now Available
The newest version of SBE CertPreview is available as an instant download or as a CD that will be mailed to you to install onto your computer and will be machine specific. The program will be available for Windows and Mac. Each sample test contains 100-150 questions typical of those found on an actual exam. You will take the exam in its entirety and be able to mark and review questions before scoring your sample exam. By scoring the exam, you will be given a percentage and a breakdown of categories contained within the exam. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. You will also be able to revisit questions that you answered wrong.
The SBE CertPreview sample test software will give users an idea of what to expect on SBE certification exams. Each certification level on the software will have approximately 100-150 sample questions that users can take as a 50 multiple choice question sample exam.
Certification Exam Session Dates:
Certification exam session dates for 2010 are listed below. Check the list for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, contact Chapter Certification Chair Rick Ryan at 414-223-2600 ext. 5730 or RickRyan@wi.rr.com, or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or MClappe@sbe.org
|June 4-14, 2010
|April 16, 2010 Date Past
|August 6-16, 2010
|June 4, 2010 Date Past
|November 5-15, 2010
||September 17, 2010
Fees are as Follows:
|Broadcast Networking Technologist
|Senior Broadcast Engineer
|Professional Broadcast Engineer
|AM Directional Specialist
|Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist
| *does not include first year membership
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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Bill Harris - Editor In Chief
Garneth M. Harris
Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor
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