This Month's Stories
November 6, 2010
November 2010 Newsletter
SBE Chapter 48 /
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
October 2010 Meeting Report:
Annual Bootcamp Seminar:
Workshop in IP Networking for Media
Thursday, October 21 2010
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Harris Broadcast, 9800 S. Meridian Blvd, Englewood, CO 80112
Workshop in IP Networking for Media
$35 per person (continental breakfast and lunch included)
Harris Broadcast, Applied Trust Engineering
This year's bootcamp was a departure from past years in that it featured a hands on lab-type experience. Participants were asked to bring their own laptop PC on which the presenters loaded a set of tools for IP network analysis. Those PCs were then be connected to a Gigabit Ethernet network. The workshop was broken into alternating sections of lecture and lab exercises. Wireshark (an Ethernet monitoring tool) was be used for the lab sessions.
Topics covered included: OSI Layers, Cisco Command Introduction, Layer 1, 2 and 3 technologies, Layer 4 Protocols, Switching, Routing, and VPNs, and use of Wireshark. In the afternoon these basics and tools will be applied to media applications such as HD file transfer and video streaming.
Don't you wish YOU'D been there?
Presenters: Mr. Trent Hein, CEO, and Randy Else, Director of Infrastructure Engineering, Applied Trust Engineering
Note: The annual bootcamp was held in October this year rather than November in order to avoid conflict with VidExpo on November 3 and 4.
Jim Schoedler,SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman
Scott Barella, SBE Chapter 48 Chairman
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The KEØVH Hamshack
The KEØVH Hamshack for November 2010
First and foremost this month a reminder about our SBE IRLP Hamnet that takes place the first and third Saturdays of the month. We began our net back in August of 2006, so we are 4+ years old now, and would really like to see more of you engineering amateurs join us, whether you are an SBE member, a broadcast engineer, IT person, or just an interested ham radio operator. We meet locally in Denver on the WA2YZT repeater system, 146.805 or 447.175, pl 186.2, AND the WØKU repeaters on 449.625, pl 141.3 then we connect to the SBE IRLP Reflector node 9615 in Grand Rapids Michigan. We are of course officially an SBE Amateur radio net and when you check in with us as an SBE member you get ½ point per net for your recertification requirements. If you want to know how to get on with us you can go to www.qsl.net/keØvh/sbehamnet or contact me at keØvh@q.com. We are really hoping to grow participation this next year, and sure would love to hear from you. We also had an announcement about the net made live on the SBE National Meeting webcast on October 25th. I hope you had the opportunity to attend the meeting as I did via webcast.
Screenshot of the webcast
For the past couple of years I have been active on Skype (keØvhjack is my screen/contact name there) but now there is OOVOO! Oovoo is new generation software that will run over Skype so you can contact your friends there or by itself if they download the software (www.oovoo.com) themselves. For the past couple of years I have used Skype to talk to my mom in NW Georgia every week, and it is of course really cool with the webcam so she can see the kids growing and we can have the "face to face" chat every week. I am really impressed with the quality of the calls and the video with Oovoo compared to that of the Skype software by itself. Within our Salem Communications company too several stations are using Skype business for remote broadcasts for everything from football games to the weekend sales remotes they do. Very impressive software and connections of broadcast quality with a good (even wifi) internet connections. Oovoo will even allow up to six connections at once (with a fee) so it would have some really great business applications too. I use the software at home with a DSL connection and at work in my office, so look for "ke0vhjack" to be online and give me a call sometime if you delve into this really awesome software.
Steve KDØFKO and me having an Oovoo conversation.
The weekend of 10/16 and 17 saw some openings on 15 meters! I worked a 4P2 Mexican station along with South Carolina and several others. The band was open but pretty quiet and I just don't think many people went there to see as 10 and 15 have been pretty dead for a couple of years at least now with the sunspot minimum. And then, later when the band was real quiet I tuned up to 20 meters, and heard a station in Spain calling CQ, I was the first one to hear him and work him. Sometimes you get lucky and hear one of them calling a CQ before anyone else. And, I want to welcome our good friend Steve, KDØFKO of Convergence Technologies to the HF bands now as he upgraded from Tech to General, and is on his way to the Extra ticket too. He has assembled quite a station at his QTH with a tri-band beam and a Ten Tec Orion transceiver. He is really interested in CW too and we are excited for him as he is having a great deal of fun! Then a couple of nights later I had another fun QSO with Kenny, K4KR on 40 meters. So lots of fun lately on HF!
One of my side interests is Astronomy, and I can credit my friend Ray, AAØL for really peaking my interest in looking at the skies going. Ray is an accomplished amateur astronomer as well as ham radio operator and broadcast engineer. Now, it doesn't hurt any either that I have been "teaching" my homeschooled kids astronomy, looking at different books, looking at stars and constellations from our backyard and the like. A couple of months ago Ray let me borrow his 4 inch Meade auto finding telescope and man, I tell you what, I had to finally get my own telescope. So, with the blessings of my CFO I shopped around and found a wonderful deal on a Konus Telemotor 130 Telescope from OpticsPlanet.com. This scope has a 5.1 inch aperture, comes with 10 and 17 mm Plossl lenses, a clock drive, and motorized focusing, equatorial mount and tripod. Man, I am in backyard astronomy heaven! I couldn't be more pleased with this telescope, and have already logged seeing the bands on Jupiter and 4 moons, the planet Uranus (near Jupiter right now), the Andromeda Galaxy, the Dumbbell Nebula, the Ring Nebula, and more as of this writing! The cooler temps we have had don't even squash my enthusiasm for looking into the night sky with this telescope! This telescope has accessories available too for taking pictures and even comes with carrying cases for the scope and mounts. Such an incredible deal if you enjoy the immense-ness of God's universe!
I brought it down to my office to show to Ray, AAØL and looked at Cheyenne Mountain and Pikes Peak from our office parking lot. On the right is the scope pointed at the nearly full moon on 10/20. Note the little "finder" site on the top of the telescope. This is a Red Dot finder, and it is extremely accurate in pointing the telescope at what you want to view.
Another side interest is watching the "Stormchasers" show on the Discovery Channel. And, in the middle of October I was driving home on I-25 going north and I got to see (in passing) the "TIV2", which is filmmaker Sean Casey's armored "Tornado Intercept Vehicle". They were on the southbound side evidently on their way to Texas for what turned out to be a tornado chasing probability here later in the year as was noted on this website: blogs.discovery.com/storm_chasers/2008/11/first-storm-cha.html. There is a great website with a lot of information and pictures of TIV2 at m.jalopnik.com/5076023/tiv+2-an-exclusive-look-inside-the-techie-tank+like-tornado+chaser. Casey's hope is to fully intercept a tornado and film the interior with an IMAX camera for his film, "Tornado Alley". TIV2 is literally a tornado tank, built on the chassis of a Ford F-450 truck, and this website also includes pictures of the construction of the vehicle, along with a description of the vehicle at the bottom of the site. You will have to scroll down thru the pictures to get to the written part, but it is a really cool site if you are interested in this Discovery Channel series. They have a website too that has information on the Stormchasers, and links to live radar and tracking of the vehicles when they are out at blogs.discovery.com/storm_chasers/2008/10/greetings-from.html. Of course there won't be much chasing this time of year, so save the link!
I have finally added updates to my webpage at www.qsl.net/keØvh with links to my tech ham website www.qsl.net/keØvh/techham. I have included several pictures too of the 4 Mile Canyon fire damage in and around the KRKS transmitter site, which was not knocked off air during the fire, on the tech ham website.
Well, here in November I am happy and thankful for the love and care God has shown me and my family this year. We have had some scrapes and He really showed us His love and mercy, and protection for our family. I am grateful and thankful for each one of the happy smiling faces around my dinner table almost every night! I am grateful for a wife who loves me in spite of myself after almost 27 years. I am grateful for the job that God has given to both of us that we love and do so well at, and for the people that we work with. I am grateful for my children and having so much fun with them and being able to share some of my interests with them, and helping them whenever possible. I am grateful for a home, food, and a car that travels 150 miles of so every working day! I am grateful and thankful for a Savior who loves us and wants us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him! As we approach Thanksgiving, I hope that you are as blessed and happy as I am, and that we all know who to thank for it all!
73' from the ham shack, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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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 NOVEMBER 2010
Wow... What a political season!!!! The only good news is that the coffers of many broadcasters are being filled with record setting amounts of political advertising bucks. Big money is even being spent on Radio this cycle with, reportedly, $100 Million going to the audio-only medium. I wonder how our neighbors in Canada view all the mud-slinging? As I write this, it's just about over. Whew!
Are you ready for winter? If we are to believe those that try to predict the weather, we are in for a doozie this year. Perhaps a repeat of what we had in '07 and '08. For those of you that only have to navigate the low-lands, all you have to worry about is contributing to the paycheck of a local auto body shop...for those of us that must go to those RF producing gizmo's in the mountains, this year could be quite a challenge. Ahhh to have an over the snow vehicle, like a 4x4 ATV with tracks. Owning one of those toys is like buying a generator for your house. It's something you swear you are going to do, but fail to do so when the next winter is a El Nino' and mild.
Some big news in the world of EAS this month -
First - 45 States, NAB and SBE have asked the FCC to delay the due-date for having new EAS equipment installed by an additional 180 Days or to Sept 30, 2011. This would make a lot of sense to me. I was having difficulty getting my head around a requirement to purchase new equipment for which no rules have yet been created. Sounded to me like a classic cart in front of the horse problem. I'd like to know that whatever a station buys, is in compliance with the Commission's rules. Knowing that changes are going to be made to Part 11 would appear to be a big help in making this purchase... A delay is a prudent move. Let's see what the Commish does.
Second - The SBE Board, at it's meeting in Madison, Wi, has disbanded the SBE EAS Committee (the one I chaired for 10 years). Replacing it will be an effort by SBE to assist Engineers in the field deal with the changes that are in the pipe. The SBE EAS Exchange will continue to be an important tool in that effort. I highly encourage you to not only subscribe to that system, but your State EAS Remailer.
The economic situation continues to perplex the experts. For some it's getting better...for others, it's getting worse. One form of media is certainly seeing numbers go the wrong way....Newspapers. According to recent reports, the Seattle Times circulation is off by 4.5% in the last 6 Months. The News Tribune is off by 8.5%. Apparently the Everett Herald is doing something right with their numbers up by .7%. You would think with all the younger set adopting texting as their preferred means of communication that newspapers would be 'in'. Perhaps it's their writing style? You know, their use of full words and punctuation, upper and lower case etc. I would bet that many younger folks view the way newspapers are written as 'quaint' or, perhaps, old fashioned.
Major equipment maker Harris reported the most recent quarter business was up a bit, but not enough to erase a 9 million dollar loss in their broadcast segment. Guess that's a way of saying that the bad is better.
One way of measuring the health of the industry is to look at the number of radio stations that are dark. Presently there are 334 stations in that mode. This is up 18% and represents the highest total ever. I don't have a figure on dark TVs but it must be pretty high as well.
Caught Dave Ross on KIRO-FM the other day saying that there were 3 people in the Seattle area with HD Radios. Honest Dave?
Have you been following the battle between the Fox Stations in New York and Philly. Appears there is a big battle over how much is being paid for putting these stations on Cable. Result.......A huge jump in antenna sales. Wow - Over the air - free TV !!! Apparently another battle is brewing between Fox and the Dish Network. The FCC may get sucked into this dispute. This is so much like the person that is shocked to find out that milk comes from a cow...TV actually can be picked up off the air with a gizmo called an antenna - what a concept!
It may sound like science fiction, however, this is apparently true. The FCC has formed a new Technical Advisory Council. This one is tasked with figuring out how to get more spectrum for broadband. In this group is Geoff Mendenhall from Harris and Lynn Claudy from NAB. I had the privilege of sharing the platform at the recent OSAB/WSAB convention at Skamania recently where Lynn explained, in great detail, the FCC's quest for obtaining spectrum with a lot of it coming from broadcast television. The problem, as I see it, is that consumers are expecting everything wireless. And makers of equipment for this segment are seeing money to be made by the train load. The only question is where to get the spectrum to do it. Let's face it, the good Lord quit making spectrum a while back. Those with dollar signs in their eyes are mounting a campaign to try and convince everyone that broadcasting is a spectrum waster with yesterday's technology and should be squeezed and made to release those wasted frequencies for the greater good. One proposal has broadcasters 'cashing-in' or giving up spectrum for a portion of the fees paid by those that want spectrum. Tragically, there are those that feel that spectrum is like a lot of things - unlimited in supply. Gonna get ugly with a capital U!
Last month we reported that Qualcomm was going to shut down or 'shutter' their MediaFlo operation. Latest news is that the service will wind down in the spring of next year. Apparently consumers were not interested in spending over $600 plus $9/Mo....especially during a recession. Obviously there are brokers looking for buyers. Gee with a full TV channel in most of the country, you'd think that this would be spectrum that potential broadband operators would be anxious to grab. The idea of spending $629 plus installation for in-car service Flo TV - plus a $9 monthly fee wasn't attractive for consumers during the recession. Now Qualcomm is suspending sales of its mobile television service that's been available on a handful of Chrysler SUVs and minivans.
The FCC has been doing some 'fine business' since we last met....Here are some examples.
Citadels radio cluster in Baton Rouge, LA is likely to be paying $8,000 for failing to maintain its public inspection files. The number was much higher, but was reduced because the owner was apparently honest in dealing with the Feds.
Multicultural Broadcasting has also been informed they are in violation of the FCC's rules re: Public Inspection files. In this case, in Babylon, NY they will be asked to pay $10,000 for missing Issues/Programs lists from that file.
In New York state the FCC has issued a 10K fine for a pirate (unlicensed) FM station in Spring Valley.
In Florida they do things differently. There, local law enforcement deals with pirate operations. In a recent case, Broward County Sherriff deputies arrested two pirate station operators for airing a hardcore rap station. Apparently the station was causing interference to adjacent, licensed stations.
One area that has been creating a lot of heat has been the matter of broadcasters paying musicians and record labels huge sums of money for royalties. Historically radio stations have maintained that if it were not for radio airplay the music industry would not be where it is. This has worked, to a degree. But the pressure continues. Now, NAB, representing their members, has a tentative agreement on the table. This is not sitting well with smaller broadcasters who are struggling to stay above water...many of which predict that this will create a whole new list of dark stations. In this economy, this is a tough one.
Remember when Jim Dalke and Salem put KKOL on the air with a ship-mounted antenna in the bay? How about a saltwater antenna? Likely not very stable in terms of electrical characteristics, however....Take a look - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tIZUhu21sQ
If you have been following the issue, you know that the light bulb - is about to join the CRT. Here's an interesting site that's full of info about LED lighting etc.
http://members.misty.com/don/light.html Speaking of which - I still have a box of Pilot Lights....you remember them, 47's, 1829's...Just can't convince myself to throw them away.
Remember all those that predicted that Satellite Radio would be a passing fad? Well, they almost had their wish come true. That is until the two Sat-Radio outfits merged and since then it's been pretty impressive growth, proving that this is indeed a viable product with almost 20 million subscribers. Recently the firm went to the Wall Street Bond market looking for $550 million and came away with $700! They recently announced a new receiver that can be plugged into a vehicle's lighter jack, thereby eliminating the installation charge. Meanwhile they launched a new bird that will be a spare.
For the 4th year in a row, CBS has received RTDNA Edward R. Murrow awards for overall excellence. Let us not forget our connection to Murrow in our state. In Pullman you will find that Northwest Public Radio is alive and well operating from the Murrow facility on the WSU Campus. If you every get a chance to visit Pullman, stop by. A lot of great history there.
One of our Board Members, Mike Gilbert, brought our attention to a fire that destroyed the transmitter building of one of the stations his company owns. In this case, KSJX in San Jose, CA and another station sharing the site, KZSF saw their transmitter building totaled in a fire caused by a car crash that set off a brush fire that spread to consume the broadcast facility. Earlier in the year we were all holding our breath as fire raced up Mt. Wilson in LA for fear that it would take out one of the largest broadcast transmission facilities in the country. In the summer I have visions of the same thing taking place at West Tiger. Unfortunately a lot of transmitter facilities are lost due to fire or vandals.
What's in a name? For some reason, I can't stop smiling about the name of a station licensee in Wyoming....Canned Ham Communications, LLC.
The recent firing of Juan Williams from NPR has again ignited the call for eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting. NPR's timing appears to be poor, with all the national polls showing voters tilting to the right in this election cycle. Certainly there are broadcasters that are trying to stay afloat that might not mind if the Feds stop giving money to the other guy.
Big change in Seattle Radio came when it was announced that Bob Rivers would no longer be on the air. A number of popular radio 'morning men' are no longer on the air, perhaps due to the economic situation.
Legislators in WDC are making progress with regulations aimed at turning down loud TV spots. Seems to me that this issue came up back in the 80's. Remember the CBS Labs device for that purpose? If I recall it was called a Dynamic Loudness Controller.
Every once in a while someone comes up with a new clock. Here's a link to one that will not only provide you with the correct time, but provide a whole lot of other information. http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf
Something you don't see very often....In late September, KVOS-TV in Bellingham was off the air for a couple of days. Apparently, some kind of serious transmitter problem. Thanks to their direct feeds to cable etc, only over-the-air viewers were effected.
In a departing memo, Ray Ozzie of Microsoft wrote about a future day when the PC would be replaced with what is being called 'Cloud Computing'. For industrial applications, like many of the uses in Broadcasting, this is hard to see. Speaking of Microsoft, I was talking with a fellow the other day about the power consumption of their Central Washington State server farm. They have, installed, 22 - 2 Megawatt Generators and are installing more. We are talking about close to 50 megawatts of power! Wow! Wonder If Cloud Computing catches on to what this number might become?
Understand that Walt Lowery is no longer representing RF Specialties in this area and has relocated to the Southeast part of the country. Walt represented a number of broadcast equipment makers in this area for many years and was a former Board Member of Chapter 16.
Here in the Seattle area, Bustos Media is no more. The two stations, KDDS-FM and KTBK-AM are now owned by Adelante Media Group. I understand that Bustos continues to own and operate a radio cluster in Portland.
The conversion of television from analog to digital is moving forward with the FCC announcing that analog Low Power operation on Channels 2-51 will end sometime in 2012. I understand that owners of some LPTV are struggling with the decision to make the change or throw the switch.
And finally -
Obviously someone has way too much spare time - from that person we learn -
Stewardesses - is the longest word typed with only the left hand. If you are texting would that be the left thumb?
Lollipop is the longest word typed with your right hand (Unless you use only two fingers)
No word in the English language rhymes with - month, orange, silver or purple.
Dreamt is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.
Here's one that will surprise many computer keyboard operators... The word 'typewriter' is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of a qwerty keyboard. Bet the inventors of the typewriter never knew what was going to happen to their machine and that this would live on.
And did you know that your left hand (or maybe your thumb) does 56% of the work?
Everyone seems to know about the time measurement 'nanosecond'. But do you know the length of time represented by a 'jiffy'?...... 1/100th of a second.
Talk about bad mileage - The ship 'QE-2' only gets 6 inches per gallon.
If you think she is flirting, consider that women blink twice as much as men.
That's it for this month - Thanks for the read -
Clay, K7CR, CPBE
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Amateur Radio News
Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24
The amateur radio satellite payload aboard South Africa's SumbandilaSat which was launched over a year ago was scheduled to have its FM repeater activated between October 4-10. The SO-67 repeater receives at 145.875 MHz FM (233.6 Hz CTCSS) and re-transmits at 435.345 MHz FM. In the transponder mode the satellite will act like a crossband FM repeater and allow two way communications with other stations on the ground.
Local pass predictions are available from AMSAT-NA's online calculator www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/ predict/.
The Federal Communications Commission and the National
Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) — the spectrum
regulators for United States private sector
and government users, respectively have agreed to support a secondary
medium frequency (MF) allocation to
the Amateur Radio Service at 461-469
kHz and 471-478 kHz at the 2012 World
Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-
12), to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from January 23-February 17, 2012. FCC and NTIA officials formally presented the proposal at a meeting of the Second Permanent Consultative Committee (PCC.II) of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), held August 30-September 3 in Fortaleza, Brazil.
According to American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, the proposal reconciles two widely divergent proposals for WRC-12 Agenda Item 1.23, adopted by consensus of the private sector and government users. Agenda Item 1.23 calls on WRC-12 "to consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to protect existing services." If WRC agrees to the allocation just below the AM broadcast band, it would be the lowest frequency band available to US amateurs. Currently the lowest amateur allocation is the 160 meter band from 1800-2000 kHz.
(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
ABC AND NIELSEN DEVELOP AN iPAD APP TO SYNC TO PROGRAMS
You can "play along" with a show anytime you watch it since your iPad listens to the audio and syncs up. Details here.
ANDROID USER "WAKES UP" THE SLEEPING FM CHIP
By "rooting" his phone, and using the FM app from a Droid X, a guy made the FM chip play in his Droid 2. Read all about it here.
RADIO LISTENER TATTOOS A STATION'S LOGO ON HIS FOREHEAD
Kind of old news, and it ended up being a scam on his part, but the picture here is amusing.
LIFE WITH HD RADIO
There are 14 FM HD signals (twelve with HD2, and two of those have 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 http://www.hdradio.com/buyers_guide.php.
The National Association of Broadcasters announced today the winner of the fourth annual NAB HD Radio Multicast Award. Wilmington Delaware's WSTW-FM will receive the award for their eclectic side-channel, 93.7-2 Graffiti Radio. The award will be presented during the Radio Luncheon, sponsored by Katz Media Group, on Friday, October 1st during the 2010 Radio Show produced by NAB and RAB in Washington, DC.
"NAB is proud to honor WSTW-FM with the HD Radio Multicast Award," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "Their multicast station provides exceptional programming with innovative musical entertainment, representing the essence of HD Radio."
With a format featuring a wide variety of styles, including indie rock, funk, synth pop and hip-hop, WSTW-FM's Graffiti Radio provides a unique listening experience for audiences in the Wilmington and Philadelphia areas. The station also connects to tech-savy listeners via an interactive website with message board and DJ blogs, as well as daily updates on Facebook and Twitter. Graffiti Radio is available on 93.7 HD-2 and at GraffitiRadio.com.
Winners of the NAB HD Radio Multicast Award are recognized for their ability to create innovative or groundbreaking programming on their multicast channel. To be eligible for the award, stations submitted information about the channel's programming, on-air personalities, promotions, branding elements and websites to illustrate the qualities that make their multicast channel separate from their main station. Previous award recipients include KBCO-FM Denver's "The Studio C Channel," WRIF-FM Detroit's "Riff2," WHUR-WORLD, an extension of Howard University's WHUR-FM, and WAMU-FM for its Bluegrass Country station, 88.5-2
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Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham
Chapter 3 - Kansas
The FCC seems to be blundering ahead in its views on TV White Space usage, despite engineering advice to the contrary. Chairman Martin is so enamored of the concept he calls it "WI-FI on steroids" and envisions everything from enhanced home broadband networks, to intelligent peer-to-peer devices, and even small communications networks will come into being in "TV White Spaces".
For the last couple of months, I have been working quite a bit helping out on a 40 acre family farm. My wife and I took our RV there and have experienced first hand "deep fringe over the air digital TV", and the report is not good. Any time of the day can bring a different result and when a weather front is moving through, all bets on any meaningful reception are off. During one such frontal passage we could receive no Wichita stations, though only 50 miles from many of the transmitters. Tulsa, Oklahoma City, yes, but often they would fade in and out every tem minutes or so. Granted, the reception on an RV amplified dipole at roof top level could be better, but as a general rule, KWCH and KSCW, both on a 1500 foot stick east of Hutchinson have been the most stable, and there is all but no KPTS available. KPTS is within mile of KWCH, but on an 800 foot tower. Height rules!
If I have time before cold weather sets in and we have to winterize the RV I will try to repair a distant fringe antenna that has been through an ice storm, and report back to you on any improvement. Front to back ratio would have to be better, but I would be dropping the amplifier. The channel menu on the digital converter now reads: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 21, 24, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 43, 44, 53, 61, and perhaps others I have forgotten. At no time are all available simultaneously. Often our movement within the RV, or a bit of electrical noise from switching a light on or off, will disrupt the sound or some or all of the picture for anywhere from several seconds to minutes at a time, rendering that program worthless. I can readily see why many rural people have gone to satellite TV, but even that can become useless in more than light rain. Bad weather is covered with a Weather Radio receiver - one of the programmable types that doesn't wake you up for every watch issued. I program mine for Tornado and High Wind warnings only. God provides adequate warning of most storms with lightning, thunder and vision, but high winds are another matter to an Rver and the weather radio transmitter a few miles down the road is a convenient and comforting backup to our peace of mind at night. A basement is available nearby if needed, but we are comfortable with our own bed and routines, so the RV has worked well for us there.
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Sony and Rivals
Sony, rivals want to bring automation to every TV newsroom
Sony is experiencing strong demand for its automated TV news production tools, which compete against similar offerings from Grass Valley and Ross Video. Estimates among the three rivals on how many newsrooms have added such equipment vary widely from one in four to as many as half of the approximately 740 newsrooms in the U.S. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (10/28)
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Broadband Public Safety
ON PUBLIC SAFETY
The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is seeking comment (www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/ Daily_Business/2010/db0928/DA-10-1877A1.pdf) on the possibility of public safety users sharing their 700 MHz narrowband spectrum with broadband use. The FCC has allotted 12 MHz of spectrum (769-775/799-805 MHz) for narrowband use, mainly voice using the P-25 mobile radio standard, and 10 MHz of spectrum (769-775/799-805) MHz for broadband use.
The spectrum of (769-775/799-805 MHz) is reserved for guard bands. The Bureau issued the five-page release asking for comments on whether broadband usage (which would take wide bands of spectrum) could be used in the narrow band spectrum, which is scheduled to be reduced to a bandwidth of 6.25 kHz by December 31, 2016. The bureau asks what are the current and planned future uses of the band by public safety agencies and if broadband uses could be shared in the band. They also asked what types of interference could occur to narrow band users by broadband operations. The release did not suggest that any of the broadband use be shared with commercial users, like what has been proposed in the 10 MHz spectrum already allotted for public safety broadband use.
The proposal to allow broadband use in the narrowband spectrum would seem to make it more desirable for commercial users to bid on the shared use of the 10 MHz b public safety broadband spectrum. The FCC attempted to auction the band off in the last 700 MHz auction and found no takers. In that proposal, the commercial user would have to give up spectrum for public safety needs in an emergency and help build part of the public safety broadband network. On Urgent magazine's website (formally Mobile Radio Technology) there is an article that Sen. Jay Rockefeller has introduced a bill that would return the 10 MHz broadband spectrum to the public safety community and have the build-out of the network be funded from other FCC auction returns.
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SBE will focus on EAS education for its members
October 27, 2010, Madison, WI - At the Oct. 26 meeting of the Society of
Broadcast Engineers Board of Directors, the SBE Board reaffirmed the
Society's focus in its role with the Emergency Alert System to educate and
inform its members, as well as serve as a technical resource to the
broadcast industry regarding EAS.
Also at the meeting, the Board created a new committee to carry out this
mission. Called the SBE EAS Education Committee, SBE President Vinny
Lopez, CEV CBNT, appointed Ralph Beaver, CBT, to chair this committee.
Beaver's involvement with EAS began with his work in broadcast emergency
alerting in the state of Florida in 1973 and includes his recent
leadership of the SBE's former EAS Committee.
"EAS is about to undergo significant changes with the adoption of the
Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and SBE members seek information about how
to implement these changes and remain compliant with FCC rules," said
President Lopez. "The SBE is in a unique position to gather and deliver
this information through the work of this new committee. The SBE continues
to serve as technical resource to the broadcast industry."
The SBE discussion e-mail list, called the EAS Exchange, continues to be
an active resource of EAS information for SBE members and non-members
SBE to present FCC Self-Inspection Checklist Webinar
The SBE will present a live
webinar about the FCC Self-
Inspection Checklist on Thursday, November 18 at 1:00 pm CST.
Our presenter will be Dennis
Baldridge, CPBE, AMD, 8-VSB,
DRB, CBNT. He operates his own contract engineering firm, Baldridge Communications, LLC, based in the Madison, Wis. area. Dennis has been associated with the Alternative Inspection Program of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, as an inspector, for the past four years. The cost for the webinar is $39 for members of the SBE and $55 for nonmembers. Registration may be made on-line at the SBE website. Completion of the SBE FCC Self-Inspection Checklist webinar qualifies the participant for SBE recertification credit.
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 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
|February 4-14, 2011
||December 31, 2010
|April 12, 2011
||March 25, 2011
|June 3-13, 2011
||April 15, 2011
|August 5-15, 2011
||June 3, 2011
|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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