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Last updated:
November 8, 2011

 

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November 2011 Newsletter


SBE Chapter 48 /
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

October 2011 Meeting Report

Using IP Networks for HD Video Transport

Our thanks to SMPTE Manager Rick Craddock of KMGH for hosting this meeting.

Date: 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time: 

11:30 AM Lunch; 12 Noon Program

Location: 

KMGH-TV, 123 Speer Boulevard, Denver, CO 80203

Topic: 

Using IP Networks for HD Video Transport

Presenter:  

John McCluskey, Director of Sales, Western Region, T-VIPS

Lunch:  

Sandwiches, chips, cookies, and soft drinks were provided. A donation of $5 was suggested

Synopsis:
John reviewed the market fundamentals, provide an overview of IP Technology, then discuseds the protocols and industry standards for Video transport over IP. He provided an overview of Forward Error Correction (FEC), for IP networks including why and when to consider it as well as the cost/benefits of using it. Finally he presented actual case studies and discussed how to utilize IP networks to meet contribution and distribution needs.

Presenter Bio:
John has been in the industry for just over 15 years. He has worked for NDS/TANBERG Television (now Ericsson) in a sales support role and then Regional Sales Manager, then for Miranda Technologies for six years as RSM and Director of West Coast Sales, before joining T-VIPS in January of this year as Director of Sales, Western Region.

 

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The KEØVH Hamshack


Jack Roland
KEØVH@q.com

The KEØVH Hamshack for November 2011

Lots of non-ham related items this month to report on, so here we go!

Jim Langsted, KCØRPS, has found a feature of Google Earth that maybe a lot of you know about, but I didn't until he started trying to find a way to improve HDTV reception from KCNC 4 here in Denver at his QTH NNW of Golden in the foothills up Coal Creek Canyon. Jim determined thru the elevation profile feature in Google Earth the terrain between his QTH and the Channel 4 HD tower. I used it to determine the path between his house and mine, and you can see this below in the Google Earth Screenshot.

I then created one from my Salem Studios in Colorado Springs to the top of Cheyenne Mountain where my KBIQ and KGFT FM transmitters are located. This could be a VERY useful tool that is included in the Ruler/Path features of Google Earth.

The red arrow on the pictures will slide along with the cursor as you mouse over the elevation profile box; show you the various locations along the line. As I stated, this feature could have MANY applications in the ham and broadcasting world. Thanks Jim!

During a recent visit up Cheyenne Mountain, Ray Uberecken, AAØL and I had the opportunity to tour the new KKTV HDTV transmitter site. It had just gone thru several months of renovations and almost a total rebuild of the transmitter site. Mark Doan, the Chief Engineer and his assistant Christopher Fleming were doing some work that day when Ray and I had gone up to check our sites. The installation is really beautiful, the transmitter is water cooled, and the building now has one of the most extensive ice protection shields I have ever seen. The transmitter is a Harris Power CD PWR60D2 with Apex exciters - Apex M2X Mobile Output power - 22.5 KW TPO to an ERI Antenna on channel 49, 683 MHZ ERP 550 KW

Here are some pictures:


Mark and Chris is front of the new Harris High power HD transmitter, and the water cooling pumps using the glycol mixture to cool the high power UHF tubes.

 
One of the transmitter control screens from KKTV.

On to ham items! For a long time I have wanted to play with 160 meters, and now I have a rig capable of doing so, plus I have about a 60 foot wire going across the privacy fence in my back yard oriented W-E and being fed from a homebrew ATU in my garage. The antenna though is only about 8-9 feet above ground horizontal for the run, and is probably very lossy, but tunes a 1.5 to 1 SWR from about 1.85 MHz to 2.0. So I shall await the winter 160 meter season and see how well it does, or does not. I will be trying to make some improvements too as time progresses.


KEØVH "ATU"                                      Antenna wire feed point

The "ATU" is made out of parts acquired from junk boxes and other items saved over the years.

The wire is running along the North fence here to a mounting post at the end of the lighter brown fence seen here but the picture didn't show the wire. You can also see the KEØVH 5BTV vertical and "tower fence" in this shot.

Please don't forget as well that we have set the 3rd Tuesday of the month now as the second meeting time for the SBE IRLP Hamnet, details as always on how to join us are at http://www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet. Or contact me at ke0vh@q.com for more information on how to join us on the net. The first Saturday of the month remains as the original and first meeting time. Also, don't forget Hal Hosteller, WA7BGH offers the SBE HF Hamnet on 20 meters around 14.205 MHz on the second Sunday of the month 2400 UTC Sunday/0000 UTC Monday. His is the original SBE "Chapter of the Air", and if you have HF capabilities be sure to check in!

AND, now there is a third gathering of hams in Broadcasting on the 9615 IRLP reflector every Sunday Evening at 8:PM Eastern time. You can join in via IRLP or Echolink. Bruce, WA2ZST of the CBS New York engineering team is the host. It also "flagships" on the WA2CBS repeater in New York City. Lots of opportunities to talk to other engineers are available to us now. Let's GET ON THE AIR and HAVE SOME FUN!!!!!!!!!

My I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving time as we give thanks for all the Lords blessings in another year, and the one to come!

de KEØVH
www.qsl.net/ke0vh
www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet

 

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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

Clay's Corner for November 2011

Our last meeting was at KIRO-TV in Seattle. If you were not there, you missed an excellent program on trying to manage audio levels and loudness in Television.. Radio is very lucky that it does not have to fight this battle. In most cases, everything in Radio is Loud. Again a big thank you to Annette Parks and the crew at KIRO and Tektronix for hosting us and for providing the outstanding box lunches. One comment - While waiting in the lobby at 3rd and Broad I could not help but check out the TV set in the corner. It might be tempting to feed this device some premium quality video...but this was not the case. It was a - real- TV receiver with a set top antenna...and it was not a fancy Plazma, but a set with a CRT. And, it looked great.

Certainly sad news this month, the passing of Terry Denbrook. Thanks to all of you that posted comments on the Chapter 16 Web-Site and to Jim Dalke for a great job too. I first met Terry, many years ago, at the studios of Clay Huntingtons KLAY in the Park Towers apartments on Tacoma Ave... Must have been in the 60's. Unfortunately we never worked together, however we would talk on the phone periodically. Most of us knew that Terry had undergone surgery for cancer. The majority would have stopped right there, but not Terry. He continued to do what he loved, Broadcast Engineering. What many did not know was that Terry not only worked at KUOW for many years, but also did work for many other broadcasters in the area, right up until the end. I understand there will be a memorial service in Seattle for Terry. Keep an eye on the Chapter 16 Web Site and Remailer, we will let you know where and when.

The big news this month is the upcoming National EAS Test. (EASNT) This will be the first time in we have actually tested the system that is supposed to provide a last-ditch method of distributing a Presidential message. The Feds have been testing how the National System would work in Alaska and now feel that it's time for the rest of us. The FCC has been active with this by requesting a good deal of information from everyone. In some areas of the country the fact that they are actually going to test this thing has caused them to scramble to try and put together a system. My advice -
• Make sure that your EAS Equipment is functioning properly
• Be sure you are monitoring those sources as prescribed by the Washington State SECC
• Determine that what you monitor will indeed forward to you the National Test from the PEP.
• If at all possible, monitor the PEP Station (KIRO-710 AM) directly as they will be the local source of the test message.
• Everyone will be running the same message so you may receive it from other sources.
• Instruct your staff about what's coming down
• Be there yourself to make sure that all goes well
• Carefully make record of everything related to the test so you can fill out the required forms.
• There will be some failures, as we keep saying....This is OK, this is why we test.
I would hope that your station is airing PSA's explaining what is about to come down on the 9th. No idea of what the text will be of the EASNT...Hopefully they won't try and repeat an HG Wells.

One more item about EAS - The FCC is working on a best practices guide for EAS - You can view it at - http://tinyurl.com/EAS-Best-Prac-Guide

One question keeps being asked...Is the new Washington State CAP system involved, the answer is no. This is a test of the legacy EAS systems ability to distribute a National Level Message.

A sad note regarding EAS...Don Miller, who has headed up the Washington State EAS effort for many years and is the chief architect of the Washington State CAP system is retiring from his position with WEMD and is taking a position with MyStateUSA who is the provider of the CAP server for the State system. I don't know how to adequately express my gratitude to Don...Simply put - He gets it - and will be greatly missed.

Recent construction, or perhaps destruction, activity on West Tiger Mountain saw the removal of the old CATV building to make room for a new, larger, diesel storage tank. This building was constructed back in the 70's with the goal of receiving local TV stations, off-air, and sending those signals to Cable Head-ends around the area via CARS Microwave. The upper floor of the two story building was the home of a number of antennas with a fiberglass wall toward the west. Interestingly the off-air reception there was very poor. This led them to build a platform down on the north side of the mountain and relocate the receive antennas there. Later it became popular for local stations to directly feed the cable systems and KING-TV installed a dish on the tower for that purpose. As time went by, fiber became available thereby eliminating the need for the West Tiger facility which sat empty for the past 10 years or so.

Ever wonder why those metal gizmo's we mount equipment in are called ;Relay Racks'? That's because, likely back before broadcasting, it was a mounting system for Railroad Signally Relays. My question is who told RCA that rack screws should be 12-24's? I recent ran into a situation where some old RCA racks were used, but the station was using 10-32's...Hmmm.

Apparently Clear Channel recently had a large number of layoffs at it's small and medium market stations. This just before the announcement that the economy is growing and not headed for a double-dip. Apparently many of he hits are in programming. Hopefully the media giant understands the value of its Engineers. Congrats to Andy Skotdal - Our areas latest AM station, KXXA on 1520, received PTA early in October. Next step - Getting that 50 Kw authorization.. Nice to see LOCAL ownership!

It's not been too long ago that broadcasters were fighting all those un-licensed devices that wanted to operate in un-used TV channels after the big DTV shuffle. We were worried about low powered wireless mics etc. Now that battle looks like childs-play as the Feds are now wanting to ;re-pack' the band and shuffle everything ...Again. Call me stupid, but I could never understand the Feds thinking and how we ended up with what we have now. Looking at the big picture we have a checkerboard situation where some areas have a TV station on RF channel X while other areas around it have none. Did they not know that the folks that would like spectrum for their new wireless gizmo would want the same spectrum - everywhere?

Sounds to me that the Feds have finally tumbled to the fact that they blew it. IMHO, they are the ones that should foot the bill for any future shuffle.....However, the Feds don't make mistakes and therefore they want to shift the burden to the broadcasters. Grrr. Our own broadcaster association, the WSAB, has been working with Senator Murray regarding this re-packing issue. If your station is a WSAB member, you can find out more from them. Perhaps a bit of relief here...The Commerce Department has identified 1,500 MHz of federal spectrum they are going to take a close look at for wireless broadband. All the time Congress is looking at how to reassign 120 MHz of broadcast TV spectrum for the same purpose. Seems to me Commerce just handed NAB a bit of help here. Obviously no quick decisions here as everyone impacted is doing all they can to hang on to what they have. These situations are very much like Water-Wars with everyone wanting more of something that is limited. Logic usually goes out the window.

Metal theft, in particular copper, continues to be a problem. Recently, in San Francisco, a historic 2-ton bell was stolen from St Mary's Cathedral. Seems to me it would be pretty hard to take this to a local scrap yard. Broadcasters, wireless system operators etc. have been trying to come up with methods to keep thieves from stealing what they need to make their systems work. Some wireless outfits have switched to copper covered steel wire and have posted signs explaining that it has no salvage value. Some have been coating their copper grounding conductors with roofing tar figuring would be bad guys will pass it up....Oh yes, that Bell was cast back in 1889 and is valued at .5 Megabucks.

From the U.K. I understand that Britain's culture minister has (hang on now) ....Admitted that the country's new digital radio system and poor audio quality and coverage. There are now calls to keep their legacy analog FM system. Understand that they are using a DAB system and not the HD Radio technology used here. On that subject ...I have to wonder if Ibiquity will throw in the towel on our digital AM system. The fact is that the model has changed, gone is the goal of AM's to try and get FM quality out of their stations. In many cases stations that installed the system have turned it off. Time will tell. Meanwhile our FM system appears to be working quite well.

Looking at some of the FCC's fine work -
Some broadcasters have forgotten to do something that the FCC did not fine humorous ..In this case, a station in neighboring state, Idaho, apparently forgot to file for license renewal...and...continued to operate for about 5 years! It appears they then realized their mistake and filed for an STA. It gets worse. The stations (an AM-FM) continued to operate after the STA expired and before the licenses were granted....Total Tab - 13 K-Bucks. Yikes! Then there is the - FM - station in Pennsylvania that was fined by the FCC for operating with excessive power during post sunset hours. (FM stations operate 24/7 with the same power). Apparently a typo at the Commish. It was their - AM - Station that was the violator.

Don't hear about this very often, but a cable system in Michigan for operating without EAS Equipment. That will cost them 8 Grand.

A Florida pirate radio operator will get off easy with a $250 dollar fine. A whole lot less than the asking price for operating an unlicensed station on 88.3 for two to three weeks. His attorney was able to convince the feds that he did not have the resources to pay the bill. Neal Davis in FT Lauderdale, Fla will be asked to pay 10 Grand for his pirate station on 96.1.

Proof that tower work is the most dangerous occupation...Two men fell from an estimated 340 feet from a tower in Indiana last April. The contractor, ERI, has been fined $91,500 for the accident. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported nine violations.

On the subject of towers. Comcast uses a lot of them and recently started up its own tower company. They will leasing space to other tenants. Reminds me of how American Radio Systems (ARS) spun off their towers to form a separate company, then call American Tower Systems (ATS), today its known as American Tower Company (ATC) The new outfit will start with some 800 towers. This is interesting in light of the fact that many broadcasters, radio and TV, have sold their towers to tower companies. Locally, Entercom sold their Cougar and West Tiger towers to ATC while the Channel 11 tower on Capital Hill now belongs to Richland Tower.

Staying with the tower theme - The FCC, on Sept 7th, released a 148 page draft dealing with the effects of towers on migratory birds.....In the event you need some light reading.

Meanwhile, 35 windmills in Western PA have been shut down at night since an endangered species bat was found dead under one of the turbines.. They are apparently going to be able to resume operation after Nov 15th with the bats will hibernate for the winter. I have to wonder what's going on here. I thought bats normally flew at night and navigated by non-optical means. Guess that shows what I don't know about bats. Now the big question...Are there bats in Eastern Washington where there are a ton of windmills?

The folks at NPR are likely a bit nervous as budget talks continue in WDC. Rumors are that the GOP wants to cut funding for NPR. This likely has a lot to do with the networks ;slant' on news. Perhaps NPR ought to start running commentaries by Rush and Glenn? The next elections will likely have a lot to do with this outcome. Arbitron recently released a table showing the market rank of markets all over the country. Here is what they say about PNW markets -
# 13 - Seattle - Tacoma
#23 - Portland, Oregon
#93 - Spokane, Wa.
#101 - Boise, Idaho
#149 - Eugene Springfield
#177 - Wenatchee
#188 - Tri-Cities, Wa.
#201 - Yakima, Wa.
#213 - Bend, Oregon
Guess the surprise to me was that Wenatchee is bigger than Tri-Cities.

This will likely not surprise you ....The CTIA reports there are now more wireless devices than there are people in this country.

That's about it for this month - Happy Thanksgiving to all - C.U. Next Month in most of these same places.

Hope to see you at the next SBE Chapter Meeting.

Clay, CPBE, K7CR, AAWP
-0-


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Amateur Radio News

Compiled By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

Scouts take to the Airways
Each year more than 500,000 Scouts in more than 100 countries take to the airwaves on the third full weekend in October, and this year will be no different. The Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is an annual Scouting and Amateur Radio event sponsored by the World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). JOTA is an annual event where Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over the world speak to each other via Amateur Radio. Since 1958 - when the first Jamboree on the Air was held - millions of Scouts have met through this event. The radio stations are operated by radio amateurs; many Scouts and leaders hold licenses and have their own stations. The majority of JOTA Scouts participate through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual hams. Scouts of any age can participate, from Brownies to Ambassadors, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Venturers. Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically requires the scouts speaking into a microphone and listening on the station speakers. But many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video, digital communication using typed words on the computer screen transmitted by radio, or communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based repeater. The exchanges include such information as name, location, Scout rank, age and hobbies. The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2010 JOTA had more than 700,000 Scout participants from nearly 6000 Amateur Radio stations.

Amateur Radio Saves the Day
It doesn't take a major disaster for Amateur Radio to step in and save the day. Around 9 PM on September 5, a cable cut completely isolated the Johnson County 911 Center in Warrensburg, Missouri, impacting landline, Internet and cellular service. Johnson County - home to Whiteman Air Force Base - is located just east of the Kansas City metro area. Johnson County's emergency plan called for the telephone company to transfer all 911 calls to the Henry County 911 facility in Clinton, Missouri, the next county south. But an equipment problem at Henry County's center prevented the transfer from completing successfully. Calls were then routed to the west, to the Benton County 911 Center in Warsaw, Missouri. This transfer was successful and calls started coming in to Warsaw. Unfortunately, Warsaw is more than 40 miles from Warrensburg, and the two centers were unable to establish communication using the county VHF radio facilities. It was then that radio amateurs were brought in to provide communications support. The Johnson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Benton County ARES groups were activated with Amateur Radio operators from both groups reporting to their respective Emergency Operations Centers. Hams using the VHF repeater facility operated by the Warrensburg Area Amateur Radio Club quickly established reliable communications. They relayed the 911 calls between the two centers,

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Static Line


Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham
Chapter 3 - Kansas

Early in September, fire tore through downtown Hutchinson, gutting the studios of four local radio stations. The stations were off the air and the owner, Cliff Shank, said he had no idea when they would be able to start broadcasting again. The stations, including KSKU-FM, KXKU, KWHK, and KNZS, were all running automated programming around 2:00 a.m. In the morning when the fire broke out. Firefighters quickly realized they couldn't save the building in the 100 block of N. Main, and went defensive, fighting the fire from outside and limiting damage to adjacent buildings. The building housing the radio stations was a total loss. The owner says he's thankful he has good insurance and does plan to rebuild. As of the end of September, the stations were restored to an "on-air" condition from a new temporary site, and were still said to be working on a new tower site (STL maybe?) at a new permanent location.

So, ................... how is your emergency plan, and does your station's insurance cover loss of revenue for a period of time? Do you have portable gear that could establish an emergency studio were such an event to happen to your station? Is your library backed up and stored off site? A bit of pre-planning can limit down time to studios. Transmitters are a bit more tricky, but consider a reciprocal agreement with another tower owner nearby that would allow emergency operation for either of you on the other's tower in the event of an catastrophic event to one party. If you aren't aware of emergency plans at your station and have pre-thought out a plan of action, present it to your GM and see what input can be garnered from other members of the management team, or even with your vendors, to develop an integrated plan of action. Even if it cannot be implemented immediately, it can be introduced into the budget for the next year or several years to achieve a status of high readiness in the event of a disaster.

Speaking of insurance, our August program by Coast-to-Coast Tower Service would have dealt with how much insurance you should require of a company bidding on maintenance on your tower, had Todd Jackson, President, not been called out of town that night. Excerpts from his notes give general guidelines based on the presumption you know the replacement value of your tower, transmitter, equipment and building. First, make sure your contractor has proof of insurance in the amount you specify - before he sets foot on or begins work on your property. While he may have submitted such proof at the time he submitted the bid, it may not be so now. You should be listed with his carrier to receive notification of change in status of your vendor's policy 30 days in advance of that change. Know the replacement value of your company's assets by consulting with your GM, accounting and legal departments and make sure those are well covered in the contract. Your GM may want to up that figure to cover loss of revenue in the event of catastrophic loss caused by the contractor.

Worker's Compensation insurance is another item to be checked. Most often, in the case of injury or death of a worker, the tower owner will be brought into a recovery lawsuit if one is filed. Mom and Pop tower maintenance companies may be excluded from Worker's Comp, leaving the broadcaster exposed.

Obviously, make certain your tower maintenance company is OSHA compliant, and if you are required to get three bids, make sure the bid specs require like items to all bidders, then check to see that the bids received comply. It's more of a job than one might think, but the effort will make sure your company has done all it could, should an accident occur during tower work on your equipment.

30.

 

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Demo of SpeedStream Product

From Chapter 3

Jeff Washington of Professional Video Supply gave our program on SpeedStream, an IP streaming video service based in Austin, TX. The genesis of this service is based on commonly used components of today's social media, including Flash Media by Microsoft, and shipping clips to a cloud based server. The result is fast news available for you to set up and send in moments, anywhere you can send to Facebook, Utube, to your studio for inclusion in a newscast, or to all three at once if you so choose. The video is newscast quality and the main function is speed and all this can be done with lower cost components that full broadcast quality gear. The product has been five years in development and is now two years into production. It comes in the form of a backpack for wireless relay to your remote truck for microwave relay or by satellite to your studio, or can be sent directly to IP. There is about one second of delay per node.

The video is first encoded with Microsoft Flash, then transcoded to another form of digital more useful to broadcasters. The digital video is transmitted through port 80. The receiver detects transmission and begins streaming on wireless, if available; if not, by satellite. If no live feed is available, the system switches to an archival feed, so no detail is lost. You can stream to your own website or rent space and stream to the SpeedStream cloud. The backpack kits can handle inputs from composite, SDI, or Firewire. A Bauer battery pack is used for power. A 60W battery pack can power a backpack for up to 3½ hours. The Satellite uplink feed can be accessed through an RJ-45 jack at 100 - 200 Kb/second. Our demo feed was performing at 273 Kb/s. If enough bandwidth is available, up to eight channels can be multiplexed onto a feed, and the person at the receiver end can pick and choose like a switcher from SGI! T-1 feeds will not provide enough bandwidth to run eight channels, since about 512 Kb/s for each channel of a multiple channel feed is required for best performance. SpeedStream will rent gear, or sell to you. You can use their server via the cloud for a nominal charge, or send directly to your own website. You can buy the system equipped with a camera, or use your own. Pricing for the starter kit begins at $99/mo. to rent, or buy in at $11K. More bells and whistles run the cost up, and a 3 mile range system runs the cost up to about $20K, up to 12 miles will run $25K or more depending on other options. Most competitors systems will cost you $40-50K, are more bulky and are only one channel. A question from the group wanted to know if the system had an IFB. ProbabIy not, but it was thought one could use your cell phone connection for that purpose. For a less expensive point to multipoint news service, this product may fit a unique niche. See www.speedstream.tv for more information on this innovative system. Our thanks to Duane Loyd for hosting our meeting and providing refreshments, to Brad Bartholomew, of Professional Video Service who couldn't be with us that night, and to Jeff Washington who did a bang up job of presenting our program.

 

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FCC News

FCC OK's AM Transmitter Power Saving Technologies

From Tom Smith
Chapter 24

The FCC has announced (http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db0913/DA-11-1535A1.pdf) that the Media Bureau will permit AM stations to use transmitter technologies that reduce power consumption while maintaining audio quality and licensed coverage areas. The technologies are called by a number of trade names under a common technology called Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL). This technology is currently available from Harris, Nautel and others. The technology has been used by international broadcasters in many other countries and also by some AM broadcasters. The technology has been around since the 1980's and can decrease power consumption by 20-40%. There was a paper presented at the 1994 SBE Convention on the subject.

In AM broadcasting, output power increases by 50% at 100% modulation. For a 1000-watt transmitter at 100% modulation, the carrier remains at 1000 watts and the sidebands contain 500 watts of power. It is the two sidebands that contain the information that is demodulated. The carrier mainly needs to exist to aid reception in a simple envelope detector receiver. A long used method of reducing transmitter power usage is single sideband transmission, which has been used by the military and ham radio operators for decades. In single sideband transmission, the carrier is inserted in the receiver and only the sidebands' carrying the information is transmitted. Another type of sideband transmission is used for creating both the NTSC color and FM stereo subcarriers.

In the MDCL systems, the carrier level is reduced with increased modulation. In some systems, the carrier may be decreased during silent periods. The carrier power may be reduced as much as 6 DB during high modulation periods. To use MDCL, a station must file for a waiver of Section 73-1560 which sets the upper and lower power limits for operation or if doing experimental testing a waiver on Section 1510. They must disable the MDCL system when doing field strength measurements, reach 100% carrier power at some audio input level or with the MDCL system disabled and maintain the spectral mask when transmitting an IBOC signal.

Stations may start to request waivers by filing a letter in PDF form with the Media Bureau.


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SBE News

SBE Honors

SBE Awards Named To Honor Flanders, Wulliman, Battison (October 20, 2011)
The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has named two of its annual awards in honor of members who made significant contributions to the growth of the organization. The SBE announced on September 28 that, beginning in 2012, the SBE Broadcast Engineer of the Year Award will be named the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year Award. Also beginning in 2012, the SBE Educator of the Year Award will be named the James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year Award. The late Bob Flanders, who was director of engineering at WRTV-TV in Indianapolis for many years, was the fifth president of the SBE from 1971 to 1973. Flanders is credited with elevating the operations of the SBE to a more professional level, setting the stage for the society's future growth. He also was instrumental in establishing a management training program for broadcast engineers in the early 1960's that lives on today as the SBE Leadership Development Course. Jim Wulliman retired from WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee 25 years ago as director of engineering. Wulliman, who served as SBE's sixth president from 1973 to 1975, was one of three members of the SBE credited with the creation of the SBE's certification program and guided the program through its first twenty years as its director and committee chairman. The program has become the preeminent engineering certification in the U.S broadcasting industry, with more than 5,000 individuals holding SBE certification. The SBE is very pleased to recognize these two prominent members by naming these important national awards in their honor.

Step Up your Certification

Something you may consider - when you apply for certification is your option to request that a letter be sent to your employer from the SBE President. This letter would state that you have obtained a level of SBE Certification. While the certification itself looks good on a resume, this letter "steps it up" to acknowledge your efforts for career improvement in the broadcast engineering field.

Certification applicants can request the employer letter when filling out the certification or recertification application The employer letter is only sent when the applicant passes an exam. If you have any questions, please contact the Certification Director, Megan Clappe.

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.

College Credit for Your SBE Certification:

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

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

Megan Clappe

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


SBE 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 www.sbe.org/certpreview/index.php.


Certification Exam Session Dates:

Certification exam session dates for 2011-2012 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

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
November 4-14, 2011 Local Chapters September 16, 2011
February 3-13, 2012 Local Chapters December 31, 2011
April 17, 2012 NAB Convention March 23, 2012
June 1-11, 2012 Local Chapters April 13, 2012
August 3-13, 2012 Local Chapters June 1, 2012
November 2-12, 2012 Local Chapters September 14, 2012

Fees are as Follows:

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

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

 

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Bill Harris - Editor In Chief
  (505) 767-6735
  billharris@ix.netcom.com

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

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