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November 4, 2008


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October 2008 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

September 2008 Meeting Report

Improvements in HD Radio

Date:            Thursday,  September 11, 2008
Time:            6:15 PM Refreshments; 6:45 PM Meeting
Location:      Entercom Denver, 4700 South Syracuse Street, Suite 1050, Denver 80237
Presenter:    Jeff Welton, Nautel
Topic:            Improvements in HD Radio

The proposed 10dB increase to digital sideband power levels for stations broadcasting with HD Radio© technology in the FM band will have significant impact on equipment and infrastructure requirements. Even if the sideband power were to increase by a lesser amount, the effect will be much more serious than many have realized. This presentation covered the increase and the associated changes that may be required with various methods of injecting the HD radio signal onto the analog. It also covered technology that has been implemented, or is being developed, to assist stations in achieving the highest possible signal level increase with the least possible impact.

Presenter Biography: Jeff Welton is a graduate of the Electronics Engineering Technician and Technologist programs at RCC Institute of Electronics (formerly Radio College of Canada) in Ontario, Canada. He has worked in electronics repair, installation, quality assurance and manufacturing since 1985. In 1990, he joined Nautel in the Customer Service Department. Then in March 2007, Jeff accepted a position with Nautel‚s Sales Department, where he has been able to provide a measure of technical background and real world experience to the Sales team.

Jim Schoedler, SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman
Scott Barella, SBE Chapter 48 Chairman



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Random Radio Thoughts

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

More Copper Theft
As you read that heading, trust me – I am groaning along with you. I freely admit that I am a one-string guitar these days, but it’s not by choice. Copper theft continues to be epidemic and it is a growing problem along the Front Range.

Last month I reported on some copper theft at the Ruby Hill site. A couple of weeks after the damage was repaired, thieves hit again. The damage was minor and quickly corrected, but the point is that they keep coming back.

Then the KLZ/KLVZ site got hit – twice. The first time, the east KLZ tower base was hit, with some copper strap taken and the tuning house broken into. Interestingly, the thieves removed a spool of #12 copper radial wire that was in that tuning house and began to unroll it, but then they left it when they fled the site. Ed Dulaney speculates that when they cut the strap connecting the ATU/filter, they got a good RF burn and hot-footed it out of there. We can only hope.

Just a few days later, the barn (yes, that barn!) at the KLZ/KLVZ site was broken into. The interior was quite literally trashed, with the material stored inside thrown every which way, covering our tractor, trailer, mower and the material Tim Cutforth has stored in the building. The thieves only took some old (and I do mean old) 1-5/8 inch rigid transmission line, but they sure left a mess. They must have come equipped with bolt cutters because they cut the locks on the entry gate, barn fence and barn door.

Also in September, my company got hit again in Birmingham. The copper thieves broke into our compound but did not harm any of our stuff. Instead, they took some copper from the City of Birmingham’s building, which houses the city’s police and fire trunking radio systems. That evidently got the city’s attention. The Birmingham police paid a visit to the guy that they had previously arrested for stealing copper from the Clear Channel site next door. It turns out he had an outstanding warrant for something or other (surprise!). As they were arresting him, they noticed in the house the exact clothes that were worn by the copper thief on the September security video. Amazingly, it appears that the scumbag paid one last visit to the site, even while charges for burglarizing the site were pending. Some people never learn.

The point of all this is that we are all vulnerable. The word is definitely out that radio towers are loaded with copper. We are all going to have to fight this battle, hardening our sites against copper theft. At KLZ, we have already installed three electric fence wires inside each of the tower base fences (yes, they’re hot – don’t touch them!). We are going to trench in electricity and some CAT5 cables to the barn, install exterior lights, put alarm contacts on the doors, and install security cameras around the building. We’ll also put wireless alarm contact transmitters at each of the tower bases, and we’re toying with the idea of putting some retired tower strobes at the site tied in with the alarm. That has worked very well at our Birmingham AM site, a real attention getter (and with any luck, the blinded crook will stumble into the electric fence wires!).

Antenna Modeling
After a 19-year effort, AM antenna performance verification by method-of-moments modeling is now a permitted practice under the FCC rules (or will be when the rules go into effect in a couple of months). The new rules apply only to series-fed towers (sorry, no skirted towers), but they do not exclude top-loading or unequal heights.

I have been modeling AM arrays for a long time to excellent effect. If the model is set up properly, it can provide the driving point or loop parameters that will result in the proper directional pattern. Consultants use this method all the time to minimize the trial-and-error iterations necessary to dial in a pattern.

The NAB is hosting an antenna modeling seminar in Washington next month to teach consultants and other engineers how to model AM arrays the proper (i.e. “FCC”) way. I plan to be there. Talks are already underway at the SBE about developing an online course or “webinar” to teach station chief engineers how to work with the new rules. Stay tuned…

Changes at CBC-Denver
12-year CE of CBC-Denver Ed Dulaney has departed the company to start his own contract engineering business. We wish Ed the very best and know that he will do well on his own. If you have engineering projects and need some first-rate contract help, call Ed at (303) 919-0220.

Amanda Alexander has moved up to become the Acting Chief Engineer of the cluster. We fully expect Amanda to do well and really shine in her new role. She and I very much appreciate all the assistance that the local broadcast engineering community has offered to help her out.

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at


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The KE0VH Hamshack

Jack Roland
Entercom Denver

Exciting news for Amateur Radio operators who want to work astronauts on the International Space Station and/or the space shuttle, which by the way only has 10 flights left before NASA wraps up Shuttle operations and retires the fleet.  Video game programmer Richard Garriot, W5WKQ, son of astronaut Owen Garriot W5LFL,  will be riding a Soyuz spacecraft into orbit in October and will be making contacts via Amateur Radio from the ISS.  Richards dad Owen of course made the first ham radio QSO’s from orbit back in 1983 from space shuttle Columbia.  There is a full article and more details at

As I said in a previous article, I have been running tests on the Comrex Access IP based codec system.  This unit allows you to do a remote broadcast via the internet utilizing a hard cat5 connection into someones network, a wireless connection via wifi card, or over a high speed wireless data card.  I have tested the first two connections, the wifi card at the Arvada public library and sat and listened to my backfeed of KALC.  Pretty cool, I will report more as we test this.  The audio coming over the default codec was better than a POTS codec, and really just about like a good ISDN audio feed.  So far, I am really impressed and with the remotes that we do on 3 of my stations it would be a real problem solver, but the cost is pretty high.  Around 6K for both the rack mount station unit and the remote unit.  The audio and delay coming back from the station is really negligible unless you are in the really higher layer stereo feeds, which we wouldn’t normally need for just voice.  One the really cool and versatile uses of the remote unit is its walk around capability.  You can carry it in one hand using its wireless capabilities.  Another of the neat features is the web browser based control for the rack mount unit, which means from a remote site I can access the unit and look at its configurations and how it is receiving and connecting with the remote unit.  Another use would be to use the system for an emergency STL type situation if I had to for any reason.  All in all, very cool and I am hoping that the company will purchase one of the units. There is more information and a cool demo video at

And, my friend Jim, KCØRPS summited Mount Evans on September 28th with his 78 year old father in law Frank Kuske!  I didn’t get to talk to him on the radio as I was at church during his stay on the summit, but he contacted several stations on both 146.52 simplex and the WA2YZT repeater here in Denver.  Great job Jim, 3 14’er summits and amateur radio operations from  them.  Jim is on the right in this picture, Frank is the second from the left.  OUTSTANDING job folks!!!

Those of you who read this column and are amateur radio operators, please don’t forget our SBE IRLP hamnet, designed to bring engineering types together to discuss broadcasting and IT issues and topics via amateur radio.   Please check out or email me and I will tell you how you can join us.  We are officially recognized by the SBE, designated Chapter 73 with radio nets both on HF and over the Internet Repeater Linking Project.  You even get a half point towards recertification by participating in a net.  More details also at .  My email is

And, I thought you might enjoy seeing the way it used to be done, courtesy of Paul, WA2YZT:



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Clay’s Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

A couple of major items of interest for our chapter – First > Responding to all the favorable comments about our recent meetings at the Black Bear on the Eastside the Board has decided to make this our regular meeting location.   The old location on Queen Ann Hill was nice in that it was close, however parking was a major pain and the interior configuration left a lot to be desired.  The Black Bear has a large variety of good food and plenty of parking…This more than offsets the fact that you have to drive over the bridge to get there.   The trek over 520 has not been a problem at this time of day.  Sounds like this will be a good location for us, at least until they put tolls on the bridge. Coming up are a couple of very interesting programs – First will be Ken McGowan, an electrical engineer with some great experiences to share.   Then will be former Harris Rep, Chris Pannell, who is now with Statmon.   Statmon builds remote control equipment as well as gear to monitor the Neilsen and Arbitron PPM equipment.  A great follow up to our recent meeting about PPM.   For those Radio-guys that have dug into the PPM system, you have quickly learned that some form of monitoring and restoration equipment is going to be needed…Come to the November meeting and find out more.

Looks like not everyone is thrilled with Arbitrons PPM.  Apparently when markets change from to the new method we saw at the last Chapter Meeting some stations are seeing smaller numbers.   This has caused them to take their battle all the way to the FCC contending the new system grossly undercounts" minority listeners and the rollout will seriously harm minority broadcasting.   TV stations will recall when this was an issue for them.

The other news event is that this year will be the last for the – mailed version – of the Waveguide.    For many years Chapter 16 has been printing and mailing our newsletter in its familiar yellow cover.   The Chapter will join the majority and will discontinue the snail mail distribution and move to a 100% on-line delivery.    There are a number of advantages to this change – 1) Significant reduction in cost.  2) Better quality pictures/graphics etc for our supporting advertisers.  3) Elimination of size restrictions.  One item that the Board discussed recently was our desire to greatly increase the use of pictures.   With just about everyone having digital cameras today – we would like to have – you – contribute to the Waveguide by sending is snap-shots of your projects, large or small, along with a quick note telling us what we are looking at.   We will have more about this to come.

Good news from the FCC as they – finally – approved the long sought after approach to performance determination of AM directional arrays.   One of our own, Ben Dawson, along with others in this field have been seeking this change for a number of years.  Just a thought – Perhaps this would make a good Chapter program.   Many of my readers have probably never performed a ‘directional proof’ and don’t appreciate what this change means.

Some bad news to report about our SBE President, Barry Thomas.  Barry is recovering from spinal surgery but has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma a type of bone cancer.    Barry has most recently resumed his duties, working from home and is planning on being at the annual meeting this month in Madison, Wi.    Please join me in praying for Barry.

On the subject of the annual meeting in Madison.   I will, of course, be there to attend the SBE Board meeting and other functions.   Our chapter will be receiving an award this year and our Chairman, Jim Dalke, will be in attendance to receive it.   Jim will, no doubt, tell you more in his column.

Forward progress is being made on the EAS Front with the release of the following announcement:

"The EAS-CAP Industry Group - a broad coalition of equipment, software and service providers to the Emergency Alert System - today announced that its members have released a draft profile for the effective use and translation of the open, non-proprietary Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for the next generation of EAS.  The output of the group's work is publicly accessible on its website,  Located there are: the full Press Release, the initial draft EAS-CAP Profile, a FAQ page, a Contact Us page for comments on the EAS-CAP Profile, as well as other details on the group."

I highly recommend that all parties take a look at this.   This means that some major pieces of the NextGen EAS work has been completed.    The work now begins on the next phases (See the SBE CAP Roadmap) at the SBE Web Site – for more information.

What does this mean to you and your station?   Well, on July 30th  The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced its intention to adopt an alerting protocol in line with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) 1.1 as the standard for the Integrated Public Alert and Warnings System (IPAWS). The plan is to adopt the protocol during the first quarter of calendar year 2009.   And what does this mean for my station(s)?   This means that broadcasters will be required to be in compliance with CAP 1.1 standard within 180 days of its formal adoption by FEMA. The announcement has little concrete meaning other than to serve as a warning that the clock will begin ticking in the first quarter of 2009.  

Bottom line – You probably should  make sure that you have new EAS gear plugged into your 2009 CapEx planning.

Just a reminder – Chapter 16, in cooperation with Hatfield and Dawson consulting engineers, now are hosting the Washington State EAS Remailer.  If you are not on the new system….. you should be.

I recently received an email from an outfit suggesting that 944-952 Mhz was not being used and was a perfect place for wireless mics.   Say what !!!   I shared this information with the SBE Board and in short order, SBE made it’s objections known – far and wide.  As you know, the change to DTV has pretty much dried up the spectrum historically used for wireless mics….Open TV channels.    This shortfall has caused these folks to look for spectrum that can be used.   Our Aural STL band looked good to them due to some fine print in the FCC’s rules.  Check out the following for details -

Once again lines are being drawn in the sand over the issue of just who and what can operate wireless devices on local, un-assigned, TV channels.  This is a battle that is not going to go away.   Testing has been done and those that come up on the short end contend the tests are flawed.    Fasten your seat-belt.

Sept 28-21 I leaped back into Amateur Radio in a huge way by joining the South Hill contest club and traveling to a 6200 foot mountain in Garfield County to operate what’s called the Salmon Run or Washington State QSO Party.   This is a contest where Washington State hams, in every county, are talking to each other and to hams in other states, provinces and countries.   I’ve not done this for year, so am still shedding the rust and getting my grove back.   My thanks to Nick Winter for the invitation to participate.   Bottom line – We experienced radical weather (everything short of snow) but had a great time and scored well.   At this writing I am watching the front porch awaiting the arrival of my new Elecraft K3 HF Transceiver.  

On the subject of Ham Radio …..I recently read a story about a fellow that climber than fell and broke his leg in the Buck Creek pass area near Glacier Peak.   A fellow 600 miles to the east in Bozeman, Mt. received a call for help….In Morse Code !   The injured climber began communicating with the fellow Ham, in Morse and soon rescue crews were on they way.  Once again our oldest modulation scheme came to the rescue.   The climber, a fellow from Corvallis, Or. Had with him a low power (QRP) CW transceiver.   Yes, even though the requirement to use Morse has been dropped from the Amateur Radio FCC license exam’s, the modes popularity has actually increased.  I found out that even after years of non-use, that my built in decoder still functions quite well.

Copper thefts are continuing to make the news.  Just last night (I am writing this on Sept 27th) I heard where two cell-sites were hit by thieves.   Recently an entire tower was ripped off in Pa.   Clear Channel's tower site in Huntington, WV has been struck by copper thieves. Someone broke into the site $7,000 worth of transmission line. WOWK-TV reports a nearby WTSF-TV tower also had $30,000 worth of line.   Jim Dalke attended a recent session on this issue at the NAB Radio show in Austin and I look forward to his report at an upcoming meeting.   Like I said, this is a call for enhancing your security systems… if you have not already done it.  It’s getting bad!

Another person I have worked with has passed.  Al Brevik who was the GM of KCPQ- Channel 13 back when I worked there passed away on August 20th.

The construction of the new entrance to the Cougar Mt transmitter site is in full swing.  A huge amount of money is being spent there just to provide access to new home sites.   Cougar used to be out in the forest…not any more with houses being built very near the historic tower sites.   Looking more like Queen Ann Hill these days (with bigger houses) .

The FCC continues to track down and shut down pirates – This time they shut down one operating an AM station in Long Beach, Ca.  On the other coast – Where operating a pirate station is a local crime - Authorities in Wilton Manners, FL have arrested 23-year-old man for allegedly operating an illegal radio station on 103.9 MHz. and using the name DJ Kosta when a West Palm Beach, FL station tipped off police. Detectives seized the equipment, and the operator is in a county jail, with bail set at $2,000.

Unfortunately our industry is under severe economic pressure due to the state of the economy with ad revenues in decline the pressure to conserve the buck is considerable.  You can certainly see the impact on newspapers.  In their case the number of pages of news is directly related to the amount of advertising they can sell….Result – Some pretty skinny mid-week papers.   Unlike the print media, we can shrink our broadcast-day when revenues fall.  But like them, layoffs are in season.   The economy really hit home with the failing of WaMu.

Went up to Everett the other day to see the progress on the new KRKO transmitter site and visit with Marty Hadfield.   Wow, what an installation !    This would make a great field-trip Chapter Meeting when completed….But only when the river is not flooding, otherwise it will be a boat trip.   At this writing, Marty is in San Diego learning the ways of his new employer – Qualcomm/MediaFlo.  

Now that the two Sat-Radio outfits have merged to form Sirius-XM – they reported a $350 mega buck loss.    Perhaps, in light of the recent bout of Wall-Street and bank failures, this is small potatoes.  Their stock price is another matter….A recent check showed them trading at about 75 cents.  Wonder where they are getting their money?

So just how many cell phones are there now ?   According to the ITU, the total will be 4,000,000,000….(Yep, 4 Billion.) by the end of the year.

Hurricane Ike again proved the validity of Radio.   Interesting that after the storm with power still out over a large area, Radio was the choice of advertisers for it would reach those that are still running on batteries etc.

Are the days of the CD numbered?   There are some betting that tomorrows chosen format will be the SD card.   Gee, this could signal the end of the ‘moving media’ as a means of listening to tunes.   Certainly the DVD will be around for a while longer…That is until they are able to cram that much memory into a plug-in device with no moving parts.   I recall ‘recording’ something on one of my XD cards a while back…worked fine. Look at the impact of thumb/flash drives.    I can see it now, Grandpa’s collection of CD’s and Great-Grandpa’s collection of vinyl.

In early September the Seattle Times ran a story about CB Radios.   Would you believe that there are – still – about 800,000 these things sold every year?  That’s right, good-buddy, for under 200 bucks you can have a brand new one.

I ran across this quote the other day – For some reason, Broadcast Engineers can relate – A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. ~ Douglas Adams

Our local English Language Sage – Dwight Small, wants is to know that the word discombobulate –is- in the dictionary….however the word combobulate is not.   Sorry folks, looks like you will have to continue to use the words – fixed or repaired.

That’s it for this month – Lord willing, we will do it again in 30 days.
Clay, CPBE, K7CR et al

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Amateur Radio News

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

ARRL looking to expand experimental license
On August 22, the American Radio Relay League applied to the FCC for expansion of its 500-kHz experimental license WD2XSH. If approved, this application will raise the total number of stations participating from 20 to 40. This will provide greater geographic coverage, including Alaska and Hawaii, and will provide more opportunities for ground-wave testing. Also included are requests for an expanded frequency band (495-510 kHz) and portable operation within 50 km. Amateur radio operators currently have no permanent allocation below the AM broadcast band.

Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s Web site,

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The YXZ Report

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

There are now 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.

Four of the Entercom-Portland radio stations are now streaming through FlyTunes to an iPhone, iTouch, and soon through FlyTunes Desktop to an iPod near you at up to 128 kbps:  KGON, KNRK & KNRK-HD2, and KWJJ.  KRSK and KFXX to follow soon.  See the whole list at

They say only 56% of the full-power analog TV stations are ready now. Link to story

There was a huge turnout for the Annual Portland Engineers' BBQ in Sandy on August 9th.  The most people we've ever had.

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Wireless Mics Under Attack

By Tom Smith
Thanks to Chapter 24

On July 16, a group of public interest and consumer groups called the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) filed an Informal Complaint and Petition for Rulemaking concerning the sale and use of wireless mics by ineligible users. The PISC consists of the New America Foundation, which is a leading proponent of the use of TV white space for unlicensed use; the CUWin Foundation; Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union; EDUCAUSE; Free Press; Media Access Project; the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Open Source Wireless Coalition; Public Knowledge; and U.S. PIRG.

In the petition, the group asked the FCC to investigate Shure and other manufacturers listed in the complaint for willfully and knowingly marketing and selling wireless mics to unauthorized users in violation of Part 74 and for engaging in deceptive advertising to ineligible users such as churches, theaters, event venues and the public. They included over 170 pages of brochures and manuals from Shure and other manufacturers.

In the petition, the groups asked the FCC to grant amnesty to all unauthorized users of wireless mics; reclassify all licensed wireless mics as secondary to all services in the channel 52-69 band after the DTV transition; order the manufacture and sale of wireless mics operating on channels 52-69 to cease immediately; and create a new "General Wireless Microphone Service" licensed under Section 307(e) to operate on vacant UHF channels below Channel 52 on a secondary basis and create a licensed band in the 2020-2025 MHz band.

The PISC gave two reasons for the petition. The first was potential interference to new public safety and advanced wireless services in the channel 52-69 band and by having the unlicensed wireless mic users "come to light" in order to assist the FCC in resolving the pending issues in Docket No. 04-186 to allow the use of TV white space for broadband use. The latter reason is probably the main reason for this petition as, it was mostly written by the New America Foundation, which is the leading public interest proponent of white space use.

On August 15, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in response to the PISC’s petition. In the notice, the FCC issued a freeze on accepting any applications for licenses for new wireless mic systems on channels 52-69 and granting any authorizations on certifying equipment to operate on that band. The FCC asked for comment on a number of points raised in the petition. The Commission proposed to prohibit manufacture or sale of any devices that would operate as low-power auxiliary devices on channels 52-69. They went one step further than the PISC petition and proposed to prohibit the use of existing devices after February 17, 2009 on channels 52-69. When the FCC authorized the Wireless Assist Video Devices in 2002 for the film industry in the UHF TV band, operation was prohibited on channels 52-69.

The Commission also asked for comment on the PISC’s proposal for General Wireless Microphone Service and on the investigation of the various manufacturers of wireless mics, which the FCC has already started to do.

The rulemaking is WT Docket No.08-166; Revisions to the Rules Authorizing the Operation of Low Power Auxiliary Stations in the 698-806 MHz Band and WT Docket No. 08-167; Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, Petition for Rulemaking Regarding Low Power Auxiliary Stations Including Wireless Microphones, and the Digital transition. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, with replies due 15 days after the comment period ends.


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SBE News

Tune In to SBE National Webcast October 13

For a second consecutive year, SBE will conduct a one-hour national web-conference on Monday evening, October 13. The program will begin at 8:00 pm EDT (5:00 pm PDT) and emanate from the facilities of Wisconsin Public Television in Madison.  The program will feature SBE President Barry Thomas, Vice President Vinny Lopez and other national leaders of SBE. Viewers will be able to submit questions during the program.

The program will also be available via satellite. Log-in information and satellite coordinates will be available after October 1 at the SBE website, Chapters may want to consider making this event their chapter meeting program for October. Save the date!

Madison Wis. to Host National Meeting

The Society of Broadcast Engineers will hold its 2008 National Meeting in Madison, Wisc. on October 14-15. The National Meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual Broadcasters Clinic,a three day event that features broadcast technical presentations for radio and television engineers and a broadcast equipment expo. There is a fee to attend the Broadcasters Clinic.
A discount applies to those who register by August 29.

Hosts for the SBE National Meeting will be SBE Chapter 24 of Madison and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA). The event will take place at the Madison Marriott West Hotel, located in Middleton, Wisc. on Madison's west side.

Events held during the SBE National Meeting include the fall meeting of the national Board of Directors, the annual SBE Fellows Breakfast, the Annual Membership Meeting and the 2008 SBE National Awards Reception and Dinner.  Tickets to the SBE Awards Reception and Dinner are available for just $14 per person, thanks to generous support from our corporate sponsors.

The WBA is handling registration for the Broadcasters Clinic and the SBE National Awards Reception and Dinner. If you have questions about the SBE National Meeting, please contact SBE Executive Director, John Poray.


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:
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

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 or, 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

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 2008 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

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
November 7-17 , 2008 Local Chapters CLOSED
February 6-16 , 2009 Local Chapters December 31 , 2008
April 21, 2009 NAB April 1 , 2009
June 5-15, 2009 Local Chapters June 5, 2009
November 6-16, 2009 Local Chapters September 18, 2009

** AM Directional Specialist exams will be held following the Radio Guide AM Transmission Seminar on August 7th in conjunction with The Texas Association of Broadcasters Convention. Applications will be accepted up until the start of the three day course August 5-7. You must be currently certified on an Engineering level to apply for the AMD Specialist exam. Please contact the SBE National office for more information.

Fees for 2008 are as Follows:

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

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


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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris - Editor In Chief
  (505) 767-6735

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

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