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December 10, 2008


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December 2008 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 / SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

November 2008 Meeting Report



Date:           Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Time:           9AM to 5PM
Location:     Starz Entertainment, 8900 Liberty Circle, Englewood, CO 80112
Topic:           DTV Transition Bootcamp
Cost:            $25 Members, $35 Non-Members
                     Continental Breakfast and a Box Lunch were included in the price

This year's technical bootcamp series on the "DTV Transition" was another well attended and successful all day seminar/workshop conducted by SBE Chapter 48 and the Rocky Mountain Section of SMPTE. The theme of this year's presentation were the things engineers need to do between now and February 17, 2009 as well as things to think about about as the transition unfolds.

The day started off with a mind-boggling overview by Gary Sgrignoli of DTV Action Items and a discussion of educational efforts aimed at broadcasters and the viewing audience. We then heard from Jay Jacobsmeyer of Pericle Communications about the expectations for post transition TV spectrum issues and the use of "white spaces" for wireless devices. This session was followed by Byron St. Clair on the transition of LPTV and Translator Stations covering the engineering fundamentals and licensing aspects of lower power television. By this time, many of our brains were full and the seminar took a much needed box lunch break.

Returning from lunch, Hal Buttermore of Linear Acoustic spoke on "Busting Myths about TV audio, DTV, and 5.1 surround sound for the DTV facility. Then we heard from Kevin Hutchison of Dish Network about their efforts to provide high quality DTV converter boxes at low cost to the public as well as an update on Satellite readiness for the transition. Then we heard from Scott Barella who addressed basic MPEG/ATSC encoding and multiplexing for LPTV. Next was John Mailhot of Harris Broadcast who talked about the latest developments with the ATSC M/H System for mobile and handheld TV and other Alternate Program Streams. Karl Paulsen, Chief Technology Officer of Azcar USA, then discussed What it Might be Like to Work in a file Based World in which you can no longer "see" the content or touch the media and must depend upon new forms of instruments to tell you if the images, sound and metadata will be what you expected. Finally Steve Smith, Director of Media Systems Integration for Starz Entertainment discussed next generation software-based playout systems and demonstrated an ITX prototype Starz has been working with for possible rollout in 2009.


During breaks and lunch, Rohde and Schwarz were demonstrating DTV test equipment and Dish network showed off their line of DTVpal converters and HDTV PVR solutions.

Many thanks to the fantastic group of sponsors for this event:   
                     5280 Broadcast, Azcar USA, Inc, Burst Communications, DBK Communications Ltd,
                     Gepco, Harris Broadcast, Larcan, Linear Acoustic, Meintel, Srignoli, and Wallace,
                     Omnibus Corporation, Rohde and Schwarz Inc, Sony Corporation, and
                     Starz Entertainment, LLC.

Report by Tom Goldberg


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Random Radio Thoughts

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Antenna Modeling
Last month, I had the privilege of attending the NAB AM Antenna Computer Modeling Seminar in Washington, DC. This seminar was taught by the brain trust of AM method-of-moments modeling, Ben Dawson, Ron Rackley and Jerry Westberg.

I’ve been modeling AM arrays for a lot of years, but I still learned a great deal at this seminar. I learned how to “calibrate” the model to actual conditions in the field, how to properly position loops on the tower for a modeled array, how to properly calculate driving point (i.e. ATU output) impedance, current and phase for a base-sampled array, and how to calibrate and “proof” a sample system. All of this is part and parcel of modeling an AM array for the purpose of performance verification of the directional pattern in accordance with the new FCC rules that allow such, going into effect in February.

Once the new rules are in effect, I plan to relicense a number of our company’s directional arrays to get rid of troublesome monitor points. It’s not that these arrays are unstable. Rather, it’s a matter of development in the areas around the tower sites. Monitor points become inaccessible, roads are closed, streets are renamed, power lines are installed and buildings are erected. As a result, I spend a considerable amount of time every year filing forms 302-AM to update monitor point descriptions or changing monitor point locations. How sweet it will be to do away with this chore! I’m also looking forward to putting our network analyzers to work calibrating sample systems.

While consulting engineers will generally do the modeling, local AM station engineers will be the ones to make a lot of the impedance and sample system measurements. These measurements will include:

  • Base impedance of every tower in the array with all the other towers in the array open or shorted, depending on height
  • Series inductance and shunt capacitance of the feed tubing
  • Impedance effects of other base-area items, such as lighting chokes, static drain chokes and isocouplers
  • Electrical length and loss of sample lines
  • On-frequency impedance of sample loops
  • Amplitude and phase response of base sample transformers

Most of this can be measured with a bridge, but a network analyzer will sure simplify things.

The SBE plans to develop a course on the correct way to measure all these things and have it available online, hopefully this spring.

Work at the KLVZ (810) daytime transmitter site ground system continues and should be wrapped up the first week in December. You might recall that copper thieves cleaned us out on at least two occasions in October. The crew from GRB Construction has been hard at work over the last month deep-plowing radials in. The last step in the ground system installation will be the installation of the 24 x 24 ground screens at each tower base and the laying of four inches of asphalt on top of those.

After that, we will have some fence work to do, repairing what GRB damaged during the ground system work and otherwise strengthening the base fences. We have contracted with Security Central to install armored wireless alarm contacts at each tower base gate, and we will install at least three electrified fence wires on the inside of the base fences to discourage copper thieves from pulling off pickets and stepping through. Our extensive video surveillance system and security lighting is already keeping a close eye on the site around the clock.

The new transmitter building was delivered at that site late last month, the culmination of nearly a year’s work getting through the Weld County bureaucracy. The issue was the South Platte River flood plain – the site sits on the east bank of the river south of Weld County Road 6, definitely in the flood plain (the site gets flooded out every year or two). The location and height of the new building were carefully chosen based on a computer model of the flood plain.

The new building was purchased surplus at pennies on the dollar from an outfit in Iowa, Midwest Surplus. They took possession of a number of 12 x 20 Old Castle cellular-type precast concrete shelters that were originally ordered by Nextel but never used. These include dual HVAC systems with lead/lag controller, HALO ground system, cable ladder, alarm contacts and much more. We will have to do very little to put the one we purchased to use as an AM transmitter building. The only significant issue we face is that the door is 34 inches wide, too narrow to accommodate the 36-inch wide phasor cabinet. We will have to cut the frame out, set the phasor in and then reinstall the door frame.

If you’re interested in one of these shelters, you can contact Scott Kerkhoff at Midwest Surplus, Inc. at (319) 665-9792, or email him at

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


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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

It is with a good deal of mixed emotions that I set and write the column in late November knowing that this is the final column for the print version of the Waveguide.  I will surely miss receiving that familiar yellow item in the mail, it’s been a very long ride indeed, well in excess of 20 years. Starting with the January issue, Chapter 16’s historic newsletter will be solely on-line joining most of the other SBE Chapters that have made this change long ago.  Starting next month, Chapter 16 members will be receiving an email advising you that the new Waveguide is available for reading.  This brings up a very important issue – Does the Chapter have your current email address?   If not, time to let us know.

This reminds me of a new feature that I have volunteered to handle – PROJECT PICTURES! With the change to an all ON-LINE Waveguide we will be able to handle, like never before, pictures.  And this is where you come in.   Just about everyone has a digital camera these days and I know that we are always making changes.   Here is where you come in -

I am looking for pictures of people and things….So,  When you have someone, or something coming or going –

1 – Snap a couple of pictures (jpg’s please)
2 -  Jot down some notes about what the pictures are showing

Send this to me at –

This addition will go a long way toward making the Waveguide more interesting to us all.

The big news this month is a continuation of what I wrote about 30 days ago, only worse. The words of the day are – Layoff, Cutback, reduction, freeze, elimination etc.  The economic issue has become an international problem.  

I only hear about a portion of the changes that have occurred here locally…I know that there must be more to this story.  A couple of  examples –

CBS Radio is now down to two engineers.   This has a personal side to it – A few years ago, while doing some work in Buffalo, NY,  Matt Shea approached me about Seattle…telling me that this is where he wanted to be.    Some time later when CBS had an opening, I help get Matt connected leading to his being hired.   Matt called me recently to tell me that he had been laid off.

Jim Tharp called to inform me that he had joined the growing group of laid-off engineers later informing me that he was going to stay-on as a part-timer working one day a week.

Elsewhere – NBC, new owners of The Weather Channel, announced a 10% staff reduction.  Media news reports are full of stories of staff reductions. In Canada, the news is much the same.   

Perhaps we should be thankful that we are not in the car business.   It’s been reported that auto sales are the worst they have been in 35 years.  The historic big-3 automakers have recently been pleading for tax dollars trying to avoid bankruptcy….Or banking -  Our once proud local bank, Wamu, has been talking layoffs in the thousands.  Even Boeing, who recently settle their labor issues and who has a giant backlog of orders is talking layoffs.  

If you have a secure job and are not hunkered-down waiting for the next shoe to drop, there  are some bright spots in all of this -  Retailers appear to be generally running scared as evidenced by 50% off signs popping up everywhere.    – Gas prices are now at 50% of what they were earlier in the year.  And you can buy a car for prices that were unheard of just a few months ago….For bargain hunters, it’s a wonderful time.

In many cases CapEx budgets have been eliminated.  This is really impacting those that make and vent products for our industry.

How would you like to be running the now combined satellite radio outfit, Sirius XM Radio?   They recently reported a 3rd Qtr loss of 4.88 Billion (spelled with the B) On top of that they have nearly 1 Billion bucks in loans due next year.  Mel Karmazin, was quoted as saying – ‘The environment sucks’.   The combined firm recently laid off 22% of its workers.   One area hitting the Sat-Radio company hard is the sluggish auto industry.   A lot of new cars come with Sat-Radio and there are few new cars hitting the roads these days.

Where this is going to go, and when will it end is anyone guess.  The so called experts are telling us that we have not hit bottom yet, further, they don’t know how long we will remain there nor what the recovery will look like.     The good news is that these things are cyclical.    

Speaking of guessing, Broadcasters are doing just that as the new administration is being assembled and thoughts are turning to how these changes could impact our business.   Will we see a return to the Fairness Doctrine?  Will the ‘ New FCC’ look more favorable toward broadband?   Will we something come of Localism?  Changes in the Main Studio Rules?   We can easily predict that the present FCC Honcho, Martin,  will be gone and, hopefully, the log-jamb will be broken.

Thankfully the elections are over (Unless your station got a lot of political bux).  Here are some of the highlights – 70+ Million people and 47 million homes watched the election returns, an all time record  - - Broadcast and cable websites recorded record numbers of ‘hits’ - - Neilson measured viewership on 14 different channels - - ABC had the most prime time viewers - - CNN reported the biggest audience in its 30 year history - - 

Remember the famous – wardrobe malfunction ?  The FCC is now asking the Supreme Court to get involved…..the high-court is presently dealing with the FCC’s so called fleeting expletive matter.

The worst kept secret has been formally been told.  In a recent news conference Bonneville announced that KIRO NewsRadio 710 will, in April, become KIRO- ESPN Radio.   Apparently they figured with their relationship with the Mariners (they will be back on 710 in the Spring) Seahawks etc, that it was time for the station to go all sports.  They will be joining KJR/950 as the regions 2nd all sports station.    Bonneville recently blew-up (A radio term for a format change) KBSG’s Oldies format with 97.3 being simulcast as KIRO-FM.   Come April, the KIRO morning news, Dave, Dori, Ron & Don will only be on FM.   This will give our market its first News-Talk FM station.

We have a new FM signal in the area.   100.5 is now they home of ‘The Peak’ CKPK-FM.   Not likely that they will be received in the Seattle area due to first adjacent KKWF from West Tiger Mt., however it certainly should be audible to the North of Seattle.

Over at South Mountain work has continued to repair damage to that facility from last winter.   The buildings now have new roof lines looking very much like something you’d find at Alpental.  On the tower is a new antenna for KDDS/99.3 replacing the one that was severely damaged.   KFMY now as 3 antennas on the tower with the hope that one of them will survive this coming season.

I have to confess – I made the plunge recently and a new LCD 1080 picture machine now graces my family room.   The quality difference (when you can get it) is astounding…The down side is that the video quality from some of the SD stuff (the majority of the content) now looks so bad that you have a hard time looking at it.  The ever changing aspect ratios is another issue.  Nothing worse than having a 4:3 picture in the middle of your big-screen display and that will resolution of 250 lines at that.  And they give HD Radio a bad time !

NTIA Report  - Only 62% of households have requested converter coupons.  This leads to the question, of the remainder – How many are switching to Cable or have purchased a new set? According to a national research group – about 34% of households now have an HDTV.   Does this mean that only 4% are going to be viewing snow when analog gets turned off?  

We’ve been hearing from Marty Hadfield lately as he settles into his new job with Qualcomm/Media-Flo.    We expect to see Marty once in a while at West Tiger as he travels up there to work on their installation at that location. 

A new AM station?   There is more than one reason to question why someone would want to construct a new AM station in these troubled times, but it appears that Yelm may be getting their own radio station.   The small Thurston Counties station will be on 1120 with 10Kw day and 6 Kw nights.   I reported on this a while back.

Love it when new technology gets some prime time – In this case CNN had a hologram of a reporter in another city projected into their studio to communicate with their news anchor.   Very cool !

Looks like HD Radio is starting to get some legs with the number of receivers available reaching the 100 mark.  Before NPR suggested multicasting it was thought that the killer app. for HD-R was data.   Now, finally, the data ability of HD is arriving with many stations running 1’s and 0’s to distribute traffic information.   Some recent testing using this ability to run captioning shows promise.  We have all known about reading services for the blind, but who would have thought that radio would be viable for those hard of hearing?

The big, to be resolved, issue now is the matter of the proposed power increase for HD-R.  This issue has put on hold most purchases for new digital radio transmitters.  Perhaps the timing is good as no one is buying anything anyway until the economy starts heading the other way.

On the subject of HD – I note that NXP Semiconductors has developed what is being billed as the first multi-standard radio IC.   The SAF3560 can handle decoding chores for HD Radio, DAB, DRM and other standards.  The new critter can also handle such chores as I-Tunes tagging.

A lot of folks are very unhappy over the FCC’s recent White-Space decision.   This will be, perhaps, another thing to watch as the political winds begin to blow from a different direction.

Our interest in how Radio’s ratings are determined was recently enhanced when Arbitron made their presentation at our Chapters meeting at the Black Bear where they explained Seattle is going to be a PPM city, very soon.   Now we learn that Neilson is going to get back in the Radio Ratings business in some 50 markets. According to the information I have, the only PNW market they will be working with is Eugene/Springfield, Oregon.  Perhaps this decision had something to do with all the fuss over PPM in some markets.   Neilson, who has a system similar to the Arbitron PPM, has announced that they will be using diaries…..As they say – Let the games begin!

From the ‘ you think you have troubles department ‘  Damage from fires in Southern California have had their impact on our business.  Fires tend to rush up hill and mountain sides to the top where typically we find broadcast installations.   Several stations were put off the air recently with transmitter sites turned to blacked messes.

Work continues on the new studio facilities for KPLU in Parkland.   The station is installing a 40 kVA Liebert flywheel UPS that, according to CE Lowell Kiesow, will provide about 50 seconds of power, sufficient for their generator to take the load.   Perhaps Lowell can send us some pictures (HINT-HINT)

Finally some good news !   A ring responsible for copper thefts at a number of sites has been busted.  Apparently this group, perhaps 16 in all, was stealing copper and brass all over the PNW.    One of the sites hit was South Mountain, as recently reported in the Waveguide, where they broke in to the broadcast site, as well as taking copper wire and things from facilities belonging to Verizon, the US Coast Guard and BPA.  Recently a sign was erected at South Mt proclaiming that the pretty copper wire you see is only copper clad steel having no salvage value.  (I have to think that someone will now steal the sign)

Just in case you have not heard about this, on Oct. 22 KKOL applied for a daytime-only synchronous transmitter running 2.5 kW to a 108 ft cell tower located between Woodinville and Maltby.   The Seattle licensed station, whose transmitter was moved to Tacoma a while back, has been trying to come up with work-arounds due to the impact of RF levels at the US Oil facility nearby.

If you are out of work, or looking for a change – The FCC office in Seattle is hiring –
Contact Kris McGowan for more info -

From the Indiana Broadcasters Assn comes this word - The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued new requirements for workers on federal-aid highways that appear to require the media to wear high visibility safety vests when covering incidents on public highways.  The regulations, which take effect on November 24, 2008, seek to increase visibility and ultimately the safety of roadside workers by requiring the use of high visibility apparel.    Wonder if this will become a requirement for our State.  I can just see it now, the local ‘colors’ being replaced with the same orange – Hmmmm

When you get to be my age, looking back is part of your lifestyle (for those you youngsters, your time will come).   For many years I have been keeping track of phone numbers for the engineers connected with stations at West Tiger.   Recently I came across a copy of one dated 10/28/93.   From this lets look back some 15 years at some of the names associated with call letters –

KMPS – George Bisso and Arne Skoog
KPLU -  David Christian
KLSY -  Jim Stevens and Gary Engard
KMTT -  John Price and Stephan
KING-    Paul Vandegrift

And Seacoma – Bob Gibson

And finally – I will leave you with this item – (NO GROANING)

Many tales are told of the Knights of the Round Table. However, one of
their most important accomplishments is little remembered today.
In an effort to correct that oversight:

The realm of King Arthur was sorely beset by the encroachments of the
Saxons. Sadly, there were few Knights left to fight them. King Arthur,
despairing the probable downfall of Camelot, turned once again to
Merlin, his friend and wisest adviser.

"Merlin, I fear that this time even your great resources will not avail
us at this critical time." (Kings speak in that sort of pretentious way
so you'll have to excuse him) "We shall never be able to turn
back the Saxons without many more Knights. The Round Table is sorely
depleted and I have little hope."

"Fear not, my King" said Merlin. "I have a plan. Bring me parchment and
ink and all your scribes. Then bring me the youth of the nearby
peasants, the stable boys, and the young servants of the castle. I shall
give you your Knights!"

"Merlin, oh Merlin, I fear you've lost your wisdom. It takes years to
become a Knight. One must grow in experience, be tested in battle and
character... It cannot be done" said Arthur.

"Trust me, my King" said Merlin. "I have devised a method of creating
Knights on the instant."

Soon, as bidden, the male youth of the nearby peasantry were summoned to
Camelot, along with the stable boys and the younger servants. Merlin had
them arrayed in a single line that stretched almost as far as the eye
could see. One by one, each young man stepped up to a table beneath a
pavilion where Merlin sat. The humble youth entered, full of fear and
not knowing what to expect. As they passed Merlin, he handed each one a
piece of parchment with the seal of Camelot printed upon it by the
scribes. Each parchment and the image upon it was exactly like the
others. Miraculously, as each young man took the parchment and placed
it on his forehead, a change took place in him.

They all stood taller, stronger -- their eyes flashed with confidence
and power. As they exited the pavilion, each one was truly a powerful
Knight! They were handed their swords and given great horses to ride and
galloped off to do battle. Nearly a thousand of the humble became
Knights that single day. History tells us that they were successful and
helped preserve Camelot for yet another generation.

Merlin, of course, is known to this day, as the inventor of the Printed
Sir Kit.

Until next month – and not between the Yellow sheets, but rather on a computer near you –

Have a GREAT CHRISTMAS….and may 2009 be better than the way this one is turning out!

That’s it for this month folks – Thanks for the read.
Clay, CPBE, K7CR et al

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FCC Extends 2 GHz BAS/LTTS

Transition Date to March 5, 2009

by Chris Imlay, FCC Liaison Committee Chair 
and SBE General Counsel

SBE is well-aware that broadcast engineers are typically responsible for broadcast auxiliary operations (BAS), and that 2 GHz TV BAS service is at the heart of local news, sports, and weather coverage that are the essence of broadcast localism.  Last week, SBE and its strategic partners, Sprint Nextel, NAB and MSTV achieved a major victory for BAS licensees across the country by convincing the FCC to recognize the inordinate complexity of reconfiguring BAS systems and extend the deadline for Sprint Nextel to relocate BAS licensees to spectrum between 2025 and 2110 MHz until March 5, 2009.  The FCC also stated that it might extend the deadline until August 2009 so long as all parties continue to work in good faith to move BAS above 2025 MHz as expeditiously as possible.


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SBE News

From the Chair

Dennis Baldridge
Chapter 24 - Madison

Broadcast engineers work hard; sometimes long hours; way into the night. Then there are always the late night calls – “this does not work” or “we’re off the air.” The demands on the broadcast engineer’s time are ever increasing.

An old proverb puts it this way, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” I’ll take it one step further – all work and no play can destroy relationships. What have you gained if you install and operate the latest HDTV station and yet lose your family? What has it profited you if you set up multiple HD radio facilities and yet lose your closest friends? Indeed, our jobs and work are very important, but friends, family, relationships and devotion to God transcend to a higher level. Technology advances, equipment goes obsolete, but relationships are life long and too important to ignore.

Time passes quickly. Sometimes, even years later, we are left with regrets about missed family time. Louisa May Alcott once penned this thought: “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.” This Christmas season remember to take time for the truly important things in life: relationships.


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, on the Career Services page or click the links above in this article.

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 2009 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
February 6-16 , 2009 Local Chapters December 31 , 2008
April 21, 2009 NAB April 1 , 2009
June 5-15, 2009 Local Chapters April 17, 2009
August 7-17, 2009 Local Chapters June 5, 2009
November 6-16, 2009 Local Chapters September 18, 2009

Fees for 2009 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 $50 $113
8VSB Specialist $50 $113
Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist $50 $113
  *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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Newsletter Committee

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

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

We encourage your feedback and submissions, please contact us through our web form and select "Newsletter Feedback" from the reason pop-up menu.

Newsletter archives are available online. Visit our Newsletter Archive for an index of newsletter back issues. Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.