This Month's Stories
August 7, 2011
August 2011 Newsletter
SBE Chapter 48 /
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
July 2011 Meeting Report
20th Annual Lookout Mountain
SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
Annual Picnic Luncheon
The Networking Event of the Year
Friday, July 22, 2011
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
Yet another successful picnic this year occurred with beautiful sunny-but-not-too-hot weather, at the glorious top of Lookout Mountain. You couldn't ask for a better venue and once again the catering was delicious, the company excellent, and even the prizes were still great. If you missed this 20th year celebration, all we can say, is you shoulda been here!
Never too long a line and always more food than even this crowd could eat
Many thanks to Jim Scheodler who once again MC'd the event
(ably assisted by Fred Baumgartner our historian and Brad Torr the rafflemaster)
Picking out your favorite prize is always a popular part of this picnic
Report and photos by Tom Goldberg
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Random Radio Thoughts
Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company
It was great to see many of you at the annual picnic at Lookout Mountain last month! We had a great turnout. Somehow most of the ham operators gravitated to a corner table and we had a great "eyeball QSO."
One Wednesday evening in mid-July, we had a heck of an electrical storm move through the Denver metro area. The storm didn't move very fast, and it was loaded with nearly continuous cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning. At my house in Murphy Creek, the sky was lit as if a strobe light were flashing and the thunder was almost continuous.
One of those lightning strikes must have hit the west tower at KLZ, because the station sustained some damage to its network equipment up on the tower. The casualties included one port in the network switch at the 400-foot level of the tower and the power supply for the NanoBridge M5 short-hop unlicensed link at the same location. The Trango licensed 11 GHz microwave link survived with no issues, a tribute to its design and construction.
It was easy enough to send Derek Jackson up the tower to replace the switch and NanoBridge, and we thought we were home free after that when the link came back up, but within half an hour or so it started dropping out. The replacement NanoBridge, which was new out of the box, had some sort of intermittent and we had to send Derek back up the tower with yet another new NanoBridge. That did the trick and the link has been stable ever since.
KNUS (710) suffered similar damage in the same storm to its STL, a Motorola PTP-400. Like the KLZ unit, the power supply was cooked.
I haven't heard of anyone else sustaining damage from that storm but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
Last month I mentioned that one of Salem's FMs in the Springs was experiencing a weird phenomenon wherein transmitting an EAS test would knock the transmitter off the air. CE Jack Roland never did get a handle on the issue, but interestingly the problem disappeared when he replaced the old EAS unit with a new CAP-compliant Sage Digital ENDEC. Go figure.
Speaking of EAS, the CAP-compliance deadline remains September 30, although there is a push underway to extending this another six months or year. It seems to me that FEMA doesn't have its act together yet, so what's the hurry? It wouldn't surprise me if we don't get another "stay" in this matter, but we can't count on that. Better go ahead and get your new equipment on order so that you'll have it before the deadline.
And don't forget about the national test coming up in November. I have heard that the test will be sent via the CAP server. I sure hope someone gives us the IP address before that deadline!
You chief engineers that have AM facilities that use Austin Ring transformers to couple tower light power across the base insulator should inspect those transformers while the weather is good. The tape and epoxy paint on the primaries of those transformers don't last forever, and they do require periodic re-taping and painting. The manufacturer offers repair kits in several different sizes containing new tape, epoxy paint, brushes, etc. If you wait too long and get a hole in the epoxy and tape, water will get in and ruin the primary. Trust me on that - I speak from painful experience!
At CBC-Denver, we purchased Burk Autopilot 2010 last fall to replace the AP3 that we had been using for years. After we received and installed it, we found that it does not support VB scripting. Instead, it uses "Jet" flowcharts that are a GUI means of doing the same thing.
Amanda worked for months, investing hundreds of hours building flowcharts to do the simple things like changing powers and patterns, checking tower lights, etc., but she could not make them work reliably. They would work for one station on one day but not on the other three. The next day (or next power/pattern change), the station that worked wouldn't work and one of the others may or may not work. Burk sent out patch after patch to no avail. At Burk's request, we even replaced the computer that AP 2010 runs on with a brand new high-horsepower Dell Optiplex. We eventually gave up on AP 2010.
AP 2010 looks like a great product, but in our experience it is not yet ready for prime time. I would caution anyone thinking about upgrading from AP3 to do your homework before placing the order. Hopefully Burk will work out all the bugs and release a polished, working product some day soon.
If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The KEØVH Hamshack
The KEØVH Hamshack for August 2011
Greetings all, not much to report about ham radio this month as this past month has been a very busy one at Salem Colorado Springs. The issue I was having with our Weekly EAS tests on KBIQ turned out to be a tone issue in my older SAGE ENDEC EAS box that was causing the transmitter exciter to vary off frequency a bit. When I installed the new CAP capable SAGE EAS box, the problem went away. Setup and running of the new Endec was very easy, although a couple of calls to tech support for a couple of issues was needed. I really like the on screen logging thru the GUI and also, I was able to get the box communicating with my EAS SCRIBER computer so my weekly reports will print up just like always. I really like this new system and of course we are all gearing up and getting ready for the national test in a few months. This box and its associated MSRP (Multi Station Relay Panel) are running both KBIQ and KZNT.
I am working on a couple of new projects though in ham radio, including my APRS "in a single case" project. Here are a couple of pictures of the project in progress:
Old Microphone case to house the APRS systems, opened on right
ready for attachment of cables and deployment
I will be using this system to move from vehicle to vehicle, or to whatever static site or otherwise needed. The total system will consist of a Jupiter GPS board, external GPS antenna, Open tracker APRS module, and ICOM IC-F1020-2 VHF radio programmed on 144.39, and an antenna for the radio. Eventually all connectors in and out of the case will be mounted near the case handle, and it will be a very compact easily transportable system. I will report more on its evolution here as the project progresses. For now until the GPS board is installed and operational, I am using my Garmin StreetPilot 3 GPS unit to feed the Open tracker.
Open tracker APRS unit and Jupiter GPS board
My friend Ray, AAØL and I just finished the required NRSC-2 Measurements for our AM stations here in Colorado Springs. Ray owns the Signal Hound Spectrum analyzer that I reported on in a previous article. The system works really well and is very convenient to use.
Laptop running the Signal Hound Software Broadband loop antenna
The Signal Hound Spectrum Analyzer is visible to the right of the laptop.
KEØVH taking KZNT NRSC-2 measurements.
The Signal Hound is visible lower right.
SCREENSHOT from the Signal Hound Measurement.
At this time this particular version of the software doesn't include the NRSC-2 Mask outline. It would have to be manually drawn in which I didn't have time to do before this report. However, as soon as it comes out and I can report on it I will do so in a future article.
And finally here is a picture of one of the new studios just completed and now operational at Dial Global in Englewood just off I-25 and County Line road. These are the latest greatest state of the art studios that we enjoy whether or not LIVE or voice tracking the various formats offered. Pictured here is Steve Cassidy, who also is the afternoon host on Denver's KOOL-105.
And Finally, this great site that Jim, KCØRPS sent to me for a 360 degree view of the Space Shuttle Flight deck. Check the full version out at 360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-flight-deck-opf_6236/index.html
A Screenshot from the webpage
73' for this 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 July 2011
It's hard to believe, 2011 has only 4 months to go, Full of good news...Huh?
On the personal side - I am finally getting used to Windows 7 and Word 2010. Big changes for a guy that only makes upgrades every 10 years and does so only when things get ugly. The other noteworthy item is that I have now been employed, full time, in broadcasting 50 years. Started at KFHA in Tacoma August 1, 1961. That's a very long time to be in this crazy business. I keep thinking of how I have been in this biz longer than most I deal with have been around. I have to say that broadcasting, generally, has been good to me. Frankly, I never thought I'd last this long, nor still be working. Then again, I really don't know how to do anything else.
Our SBE Chapter had another great picnic at the historic KOMO-AM Transmitter plan on Vashon Island. Was great to see people in attendance from as far away as Pt Townsend, Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia, Pa. Before I forget it. A huge thank you to Shannon Nichols and the crew of BSW for again sponsoring the event and KOMO for providing a great location.
Looking at what's newzy -
Lots of interest in the FCC process of making changes to the EAS Rules. Several groups and manufacturers have made comments. I have been involved with a group called the BWWG. You can read our comments, and those of the others, via the FCC. One common theme from NAB, NASBA and BWWG - - delay the deadline 6 more months please. Many are having a hard time understanding how you can require equipment be purchase prior to the governing rules being adopted. Meanwhile, I have been working on updating a number of our State's EAS doc's. A number of changes coming. Again I extend the invitation to get involved with the EAS system, either locally or at the state level...If you are interested, drop me a note etc.
If you really want to be up to date on what's shaking in the world of EAS, here's my invitation to
Join the EAS Forum. Go here for more info - lists.radiolists.net/mailman/listinfo/eas
The Feds continue to look at broadcast spectrum as a place to make money. This issue is now involving powerful senators and congressmen. Broadcasters, thankfully, have some allies in WDC. NAB has analyzed the issue and found that the Feds broadband plan could cause over 200 full power TV stations to go dark and 40% would have to either leave the business or find a new channel. Interesting that the study showed that stations in 'northern border areas' (including Seattle) would be 'severely impacted'. I never thought that I'd see the day when broadcasters are having to fight to keep their spectrum
As another expression of love of Broadcasting... The FCC is out with their new rate-card for what they call 'regulatory fees'. Looks like prices are going up about 4.6 percent. Just what broadcasters need. But in the era of government attitude about broadcasting, I guess it's to be expected
The FCC has been busy with enforcement - Here are some actions that I found interesting....
In Wasilla Alaska (yep, same town as Sarah Palin) an FCC inspection showed the station did not have adequate fencing around their tower. Problem was the ground was frozen solid and there was 3 feet of snow and they had erected temporary fencing to try and warn the public. The FCC bought the argument and the 7K-Buck fine they were thinking of did not take place.
In San Jose, California, the FCC slapped the operator of a pirate station with a huge fine that ought to send a powerful message. In this case - 25 Grand! ...Perhaps some have not gotten the word?
In North Carolina a radio station (KGTM-AM) ended up also facing a 25 Kilobuck fine. In this case, the station was licensed, however, an inspection turned up a number of serious problems.....Like no EAS Equipment or public file etc. How could they have not known?
In Miami the has been a pirate operating on 95.9...complete with a website. The FCC tracked down the culprit but the operator refused to permit an inspection of the station (not wise) and was issued an NOAL back in March. The station continues to operate and the price has now gone up to 22 Grand.
KBPO in Texas will be contributing 25Grand, not as a result of what the inspector found, but rather because the place was locked and vacant during several attempted visits.
In a nice demonstration of how fair the FCC is when it comes to violations and fines, the Feds recently fined WSCS-FM, licensed to a small college, 10 K-Bucks. The infraction, missing items from their Public File.
Our State Capital has its share of pirate radio stations. I observed one the other day on 98.5 while driving thru town. Could hear the mono-FM operation from Lacey to south of Tumwater ...pretty decent coverage. Understand there are others. I can't help but think of those states that have passed laws making this type of thing illegal giving the FCC much needed help. There are those that thought the FCC might be upset with states getting involved in what has historically been their turf, however, they are, apparently, happy to get the help.
From the 'gee have we not been down this road before dept.' ATSC has come out with new information covering TV audio in response to what's called the CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act) The document is available at the ATSC site - www.atsc.org. (I still recall the CBS Labs Dynamic Loudness Controller)
For some time now the NAB has been pushing the idea of having FM radios in cell phones. The reason for the push is obvious - More radios is good for broadcasting. One of the big arguments has been that radios in cell phones can distribute emergency information to their users. The cellular industry has, as one can suspect, been very cool to the idea. Now a new survey indicates that among the 17% of cell phone users that already have FM radios built in almost 60% don't use it.
Remember when the FCC said OK to the merging of the two satellite radio outfits? The Commish feared that this would be an excuse for the new company to jack up prices and hurt the consumer. Well, that's over now and the FCC has un-frozen their rates. Since that time the number of subscribers has grown considerably, perhaps to the point that they will soon test the waters with a rate increase?
The dashboard of the automobile is a constant battleground for those that want some of the attention of drivers (not too much of course). Back when I started in this biz, car radios were an option and if you wanted a radio, you had a choice of an AM only. FM in car radios was unheard of. Actually I had a little FM tuner that was inserted in the antenna lead of my 63 bug, I carefully hid it in the glove compartment. Later, thanks to Japanese cars coming with standard AM/FM Radios, things began to change. Soon we had 4 track and later 8 track. That was replaced with cassettes and then CD's and now, of course, MP3's. Ford has announced that they are now going to phase out the CD player. Oh yes, my present car radio (In my truck) is an after-market device with - HD Radio, CD Player, external audio inputs, USB connector etc etc.
You don't hear much about issues involving RF Radiation at transmitter sites these days. Certainly it was a huge issue a few years ago. Well, it's back! This time allegations are being made of excessive RFR on Mt Wilson, the huge transmitter site near Los Angeles. And ....there is a Northwest Connection. Several of the major broadcasters have gotten together and retained our very own Hatfield and Dawson to conduct a detailed survey of the situation.
The end of analog TV took another step forward with the FCC creating a hard-date for LPTV stations to make the switch. Sept 1, 2015 is the date when all LPTV and TV Translators must end analog operation. It's going to be interesting to see how many operators of these facilities actually pony up the bucks to make the conversion. In looking at the EAS Monitoring Assignments in our state, I have noted that a number of these smaller TV's are reportedly not on the air.
A huge, multiple use tower caught file and collapsed in the Netherlands. Video of the failure was transmitted, world-wide, via You-Tube. Apparently there was a fire involving the transmission lines causing the structure to look like a giant smoke stack before the top of the structure folded over and fell to the ground. There have been similar events involving cell towers, however not likely from the same cause. From what I understand, the Dutch tower fire may have been caused by heating of a transmission line due to a bad match. The jackets on semi-flexible transmission line can certainly catch fire if the internal heat is hot enough. The only place around here that has a bunch of high powered, semi-flexible, transmission lines in a big pipe is the Ratelco FM Master Antenna on Cougar. If I recall correctly, the outer jacket of those lines was removed.
In this country, during the past month, we have had our share of weather related broadcast issues. A big tower fell in Minnesota and there were a number of stations forced off the air due to flooding.
Around the country there are still stories being written about copper thefts. Some involving live power lines. The big metal theft in our area recently was in Mukilteo. In this case someone stole 25 tons of metal from a business there. The metal was scrap and was worth about 10 grand.
Nationwide, electrical substations have been hit some 48,000 times in just the last year.
One of our local electrical utilities, Puget Sound Energy, is busy installing motion detectors and cameras in an effort to catch the thieves in the act. We wish them luck.
On the subject of PSE, I am reminded that there is a rush to complete an extension of the existing PSE power line on West Tiger before the snow flies. It's been determined that the original power line serving the site built by Viacom back in 1987 days are numbered and rather than replace it, an extension from the existing ATC site on the east end of West Tiger is the best bet. Until then, we are all keeping our fingers crossed.
One of the most popular ways to stretch the dollar in TV is by what's known as Centralcasting.
Generally this means having one, highly automated, master control operation control a number of TV stations. For many years stations in Tri-Cities and Yakima have been doing this. More recently a 3 station system is coming on line in Eastern Washington. This one involves KHQ in Spokane, KNDO in Yakima and KNDU in Yakima. In this situation there are other players, Comcast and Charter Cable are providing the fiber to connect the parts with a 100 mbps loop, or ring. The center of the operation will be in Spokane where, all together, they will be dealing with 7 channels. The system has been in the works for the last 3 years.
Another trend worth watching is the coming together of Radio and TV news operations. Certainly here in Seattle we have KOMO doing this, in house, with their TV and Radio operations. KIRO Radio works with KING-TV etc. In some recent cases, in other markets, radio stations are becoming all news operations and are working with existing TV news departments to help pull it off. In some areas, major local TV newscasts are being carried live by the partnering radio station.
The annual radio Marconi Award finalists have been named. In looking through the list for PNW stations and names I only spotted one from our area.... KIRO-FM was nominated for News-Talk Station of the Year.
Not exactly great timing considering the recent ownership battle... Fisher announced that Q2 radio revenue was down about 5%....On the good side, cash flow margin was up.
The FCC appears to be moving forward with what's called the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA?). In my view it should be called the LCAMSAWCITFMB. Roughly translated as - Lets Cram As Many Stations As We Can In The FM Band. The FCC, bowing to pressure from those that have fought long and hard to cram low powered stations on 2nd adjacent channels because we all know we need more radio stations. History is repeating itself - again. Long ago the FCC did something very similar to the AM band. The results are there for all to observe. However we need to remember that the FCC is not there to protect technical performance as much as it is to react to pressure for more stations. There might be a silver lining here. With stations on every possible frequency, there will be less open space for pirates.
A sure sign that the year is getting long in the tooth...NAB just put out a call for speakers for the 2012 show in Las Vegas. Deadline to submit presentations is Oct 21.
Time to leave you with this item about those that collect and restore old broadcast equipment.
And for that of you that can't stand the sound of modern solid-state stereo amps and long for the glow of vacuum tubes ...and have a few extra bucks laying around. (Thanks Dwight and Kent)
Well that's it from this end for this month...
Have a wonderful summer - Hope to see you at the Picnic, in the backyard, at KOMO-AM on Vashon on the 23rd.
Clay, CPBE, K7CR, AAWP
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Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham
Chapter 3 - Kansas
It was just a matter of time
Copyright issues have caught up with Internet Hot Spots. Businesses such as cafes, book stores, coffee houses that offer free and unrestricted Wi-Fi while you are in their establishments, as well as some unsecured home wireless routers, are now being targeted in cases where illegal downloads through their portals are detected. Unsecured Wi-Fi can expose those connected to it to downloads or distribution of unwanted viruses, as well as illegal downloads by those in or near the hot spot.. The Center for Copyright Information offers a Copyright Alert System Fact Sheet that details actions recommended by their organization in an effort to establish a common framework or protocol for ISP's to use if copyright infringements have been detected by their customers. Most Internet content providers and distributors think subscribers have a right to know when their Internet accounts are being used for content theft or other illegal activities that might subject them to legal liability or other consequences under the Terms of Service, Acceptable Use or other policies of their ISP's. If illegal action is determined, a series of up to six alerts, usually delivered by e-mail to the account, is recommended.
Data suggests that a good majority of users so notified will cease and desist such action once notified. The suggested alerts are: First: The ISP will send an online alert to the subscriber, notifying them that their account may have been misused for content theft, that such action is illegal and a violation of published policies, and that consequences could result from such conduct. Educational resources may also be offered to (1) help the subscriber to check the security of their computer and/or wi-fi network; (2) help them avoid such action in the future; and (3) provide information about the abundant sources of content that may be lawfully downloaded. Second: If the illegal activity continues, another similar alert may be sent, or the ISP may skip to the third action. Third: A notice similar to the previous notices will appear, but may have a pop-up or other mechanism asking the subscriber to acknowledge receipt of the alert. Fourth: Another notice similar to the third will be sent to the offender. Fifth: Another notice similar to the third and fourth will be sent along with the published policies forbidding such action, or other mitigating measures which may outline actions that may be take if the illegal practice continues. These may include temporary reductions of Internet speeds, or redirection to a landing page that requires the subscriber to contact their ISP to discuss the matter. Sixth: Similar action to that outlined in step five may be repeated. ISP's are not required to take the mitigating measures, but may do so, as long as such actions do not disable the subscriber's voice telephone service or interfere with their ability to call 911 services.
The proposed common best practices platform for ISP's does not require termination or suspension of the account of the subscriber in any case. However, section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act does require the ISP to have in place a termination policy for repeat copyright offenders in order for the ISP to avail themselves of a Safe Harbor provision outlined in the legislation. It has been found that most offenders will cease and desist or cause others using their facilities to do so after a number of the prescribed alerts have been sent. The issue raises liability concerns for businesses offering free Wi-Fi. Perhaps some of them will require a password available on request inside premises, reduce power of their hot-spot, and/or install directional antennae, if near an apartment building or another highly populated area, allowing theft of signal outside the intended area of service. Perhaps copyright is moving toward the 21st century after all, albeit in a ponderous manner.
From SBE National:
H.R.2102 Introduced by Rep. Stearns (June 3, 2011). A substantial step toward the SBE's objective of adding engineering expertise to the staffs of the FCC Commissioners has been realized. Recently, Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) introduced House Bill 2102, a companion bill to Senate Bill 611, introduced earlier this year by Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME). In March, representatives of SBE's national leadership met with Representative Stearns' Washington staff and requested that the Congressman consider sponsoring the legislation in the House.
With bills now introduced in both Houses of Congress, SBE will be working to gain cosponsors for each bill and continue to push to see this legislation eventually approved by Congress and signed by the President. "This is another positive step in the Society's quest to bring technical expertise to the FCC Commissioner's offices, "said Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT, SBE president. Lopez went on to say, "I encourage all members of the SBE to write their senators and representative and ask them to support S.611 and H.R.2102." If passed, both the Senate and House Bills would authorize each of the five FCC Commissioners to appoint a fourth staff assistant who is an engineer or computer scientist. This will provide first hand competent input to each of the Commissioners tasked with making often highly technical decisions in docket proceedings and adjudicatory matters, and a mechanism for bringing the competency of the Commission's staff engineers directly to the Commissioners.
The National EAS Test and data collection of results remains unchanged since its announcement February 2, 2011. It will occur on November 9, 2011 at 2:00 PM EST. FEMA will assess the results of the test reports returned to them, and decide what needs to be changed to make the system more workable. There has never before been a test of the EAS system at the national level.
Since our August program will be concerned with tower climbing, safety, and maintenance, here's a tower story from my experience! One day when I was still gainfully employed, I got a call that an airplane had hit a guy wire on a 400 foot tower in western Kansas for which I was responsible! Of course, the first action taken once it was determined the tower was still standing, was to ensure all appropriate tower logs were correctly filled out and in order. How was it known that was what happened at an unattended site? The tail wheel assembly had pulled out of the airplane and was on site at the tower location. As it happened, the weather had closed in on the pilot with foggy conditions. He had departed from Hays, Kansas and was flying VFR south along Highway 183, which he was using as a point of reference on his journey to Larned, Kansas, southwest of Great Bend. In the course of concentrating on the highway, he missed seeing the tower. The plane was a red biplane on tour for Red Baron Pizzas, and apparently the pilot was salty enough to right the aircraft and land as scheduled, minus his tail wheel. Fortunately, the tower was not sprung, and with a re-tensioning of the guy wires and a thorough inspection and re-lamping, it appeared all was well. To tell the truth, I don't remember if the alignment of the microwave dish to its 27 mile path was affected at the time, or not. So there's my story. The Red Baron hit our tower, and both it, he, and his plane lived to tell about it !
If you have a tower story, send it my way. It could end up in the newsletter!
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Monthly Local Oscillator
Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company
The August issue of The Local Oscillator is hot off the virtual presses and available for your online viewing and amusement at:
This Link to download your pdf copy.
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Computer Networking for BC Engineers
SBE University Course: Computer Networking for BC Engineers-
SBE is pleased to announce a new course has been added to SBE University. The Computer Networking for Broadcast Engineers Course gives the student an introduction to the fundamental concepts of computer networking.
The course is meant as an introduction, covering many subjects at a high level in order to assist the broadcaster in passing the Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist exam.
The course covers computer topologies (physical and logical), media types, the OSI model and local area networking. It explores some legacy material but is primarily about Ethernet, TCP/IP and other current computer networking protocols. Hardware, such as switches and routers, will be covered. Software, such as VLAN, VPN and NAT, are reviewed as well. Some basic troubleshooting, security and administrative procedures are also covered. More Info
2011 SBE's National Meeting
Columbus, Ohio to Host
SBE's National Meeting
The 2011 National Meeting of the Society of Broadcast Engineers will be held on September 27-28 at the Crown Plaza Hotel and the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the Ohio Association of Broadcasters' Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference.
The Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference is an annual event attended by broadcast engineers from across the state of Ohio and neighboring states as well. The Conference is in its ninth year and includes technical papers and an equipment trade show on the 28th.
All National Meeting activities will take place at the Crown Plaza Hotel with the exception of the Annual Membership Meeting at 4 p.m. on the 28th. That will be held at the convention center across the street from the hotel in a room adjacent to where the trade show has just wrapped up. Other events include a Certification Committee meeting and Board of Directors meeting on the 27th and the annual Fellows Breakfast and Awards Reception and Dinner on the 28th.
The dinner program will include the presentation of the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year and the SBE Educator of the Year Awards, to be announced later in June. Three members will be recognized with the highest membership rank awarded by the SBE, the SBE Fellow: Chuck Kelly, Halifax, N.S., Chapter 49; Art Lebermann, CPBE, San Francisco, Chapter 40; Barry Thomas, CPBE, CBNT, Chapter 5, Atlanta, Ga.
Chapters and individual members will also be recognized during the dinner for best technical article, best chapter newsletter, website, regional conference, most certified chapter and chapters with the greatest percentage growth and highest average member attendance at chapter meetings.
Tickets for the reception and dinner are just $15 and can be ordered online or by calling the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000.
A special guest room rate of $99 for single and double occupancy has been arranged for attendees of the SBE National Meeting and OAB Engineering Conference. The rate includes complimentary Internet connection. To make reservations, call (614) 461-4100 and ask for the special OAB rate. The cutoff date for reservations is August 27. After the deadline, rooms are available subject to a space and rate-available basis.
We hope to see many of you in Columbus for this year's SBE National Meeting and the Ohio Broadcast Engineering Conference.
Don Borchert Broadcasters Clinic Fellowship
2011 is the kick-off year for the Don Borchert Broadcasters Clinic Fellowship. The Fellowship presents the opportunity to attend the Clinic to someone who would not have otherwise been able to attend for financial reasons. This program will cover all expenses for the recipient(s) under the financial support of all four Wisconsin SBE Chapters and independent donors. In addition the WBA will provide complimentary Clinic registration. If you or someone you know might benefit from this Fellowship please go to http://www.sbe24.org and click on the "Broadcast Clinic" button. There you will find an application form.
Education by SBE coming your way!
The SBE is raising the bar by providing more and more relevant, affordable education to its members using various instructional methods. Many educational opportunities are coming up in the next few months. Click on any of the links below for more information.
June 16 - Live Webinar by SBE on Creative Strategies for Translators and Boosters
June 21 - Live Webinar by SBE - the SBE RF Safety Course
July 20 - Live Webinar by SBE on Managing a Project and Outside Contractors for Success
July 23 - New York City Ennes Workshop, presented by SBE and hosted by SBE Chapter 15 and Columbia University
August 2-4 - SBE Leadership Development Course, Atlanta, GA
SBE EAS Alert
National EAS Test Set for November 9
Rear Admiral James Barnett, Jr., Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, has announced that the National Emergency Alert System (EAS) Test will take place November 9, 2011 at 2pm EST. The announcement was made during a regularly scheduled FCC Meeting.
"With the date of the National EAS Test now set, broadcast stations will now be able to make their plans to participate. SBE will continue to provide information to our members to assist in their preparation," said SBE President, Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT.
Watch the EAS pages on the SBE website for updates to the SBE's FAQ section that reflect this and other EAS announcements.
SBE 53 Encourages FEMA Training -
Chapter 53 in Miami is encouraging it's members to get certified FEMA training through FEMA's EMI program. You might want to know as well. Find out more here.
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
A new version of SBE CertPreview sample certification test software is now availablel. It's an upgraded, downloadable version with more features to help review your areas of knowledge. 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 contain approxomately 100 questions each. You can review and change answers prior to scoring the sample exam, and can revisit the questions within the sample exam after the scoring process. You can also see the results by topical category, which helps you identify strengths and weaknesses.. It provides a list of resources from which to learn more about a subject.
The SBE CertPreview is a preparation for the following exams:
* Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - Radio
* Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - TV
* Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT)
* Certified Audio Engineer (CEA)
* Certified Video Engineer (CEV)
* Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE)
* Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE)
* Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE)
* Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE)
* AM Directional Specialist (AMD)
* 8-VSB Specialist (8-VSB)
* Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB) (COMING SOON)
Cost for each SBE CERTpreview practice test is $29 for the download version or $33 plus $3 shipping for the CD. To order a copy, visit
Certification Exam Session Dates:
Certification exam session dates for 2011 are listed below. Check the list for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, contact Chapter Certification Chair Rick Ryan at 414-223-2600 ext. 5730 or RickRyan@wi.rr.com, or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or MClappe@sbe.org
|Oct 23, 2011
||pre or on-site
|November 4-14, 2011
||September 16, 2011
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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