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December 11, 2011


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December 2011 Newsletter

SBE Chapter 48 /
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section

November 2010 Meeting Report

Annual Bootcamp Seminar:
New Technology Developments
Something for Everyone


Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011  


8:30 AM to 5:00 PM  


Starz Entertainment LLC, 8900 Liberty Circle, Englewood, CO 80112  


New Technology Developments  


$20 per person (continental breakfast and lunch included)  


Starz Entertainment LLC, Larcan, Cache-A Corporation, Miranda, RF Specialties 

Scott Barella discusses end-to-end mobile solutions

This year's Bootcamp Seminar presented a variety of topics covering emerging techniques for working in file-based media environments and addressing Mobile DTV topics.

  • Multiplatform Mobile Encoding - by Brian Chavez of Elemental Technologies
  • Archiving for Everyone - Protecting Your Digital Assets - by Tom Goldberg, Cache-A Corporation
  • Developing an End-to-End Solution for Mobile DTV - by Scott Barella, Larcan
  • The Merits of PC Based Playout Solutions - by Kelly Stricker of Miranda
  • Media Applications of Cloud Computing - by Elon Bar-Evan and Paul Mourani of RightScale
  • AM Modulation Dependent Carrier Control - by Chuck Kelly of Nautel
  • Implications of Increasing Man-Made Noise Floor Levels - by Chuck Kelly of Nautel
  • Advanced Facility Control using Serial and Network Protocols - by Tony Peterle of Worldcast Systems Inc

This well attended event took place at Starz in an early season snowstorm so things got started a little bit late, but most braved the weather and were rewarded with an excellent set of presentations on a wide variety of topics.

Our thanks to Starz and Ray Millius for hosting this meeting.

Report and Photo by Tom Goldberg


October 2011 Meeting Report Update

Using IP Networks for HD Video Transport

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


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


11:30 AM Lunch; 12 Noon Program


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


Using IP Networks for HD Video Transport


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

John McCluskey of T-Vips talks about HD transport over IP in the KMGH studio.

The October meeting featured a presentation by John McCluskey of T-VIPS on HD transport using IP Networks. John reviewed the market fundamentals driving the shift to HD over IP, then provided an overview of IP Technology used in video content delivery. He discussed protocols and industry standards and the use of Forward Error Correction (FEC) to reduce or eliminate the effect of dropped packets. He concluded with presentation of actual case studies involving high (~80 Mbps) bitrate contribution feeds used by the Big Ten Network (college sports), HBO and Showtime as well as a lower bitrate distribution architecture that featured local PID replacement for static or dynamic PSIP insertion.

John has kindly provided his presentation for download here.

Report and Photo by Jim Schoedler


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Random Radio Thoughts

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Success or Failure?
Last month's national EAS test was anything but smooth sailing. From my perspective - and I received reports from our markets from coast to coast - we as an industry failed the test by any measure. At best, listeners got a cacophony of confusing sounds - the header followed by an attention signal followed by the beginning of an announcement overlaid by another header, attention signal and announcement, overlaid by yet another header, attention signal and announcement. The farther we got into the message, the more degraded it became.

Here in Denver, I heard KOA transmit the header and attention signal, so I quickly tuned over to Crawford's signals and heard the header, the attention signal, then... silence for 25 seconds followed by the EOM. What the heck?

I got similar reports from around the country. In some markets (like L.A.), the message audio was seriously degraded, but most stations managed to pass it anyway. In Chicago, the message text was in Spanish! In Portland, there was no test. Ditto for Alabama. In other markets, a lot of stations reported the same issue that my stations had in Denver - header, attention signal, 25 seconds of silence and an EOM.

I did some digging and found out some very interesting things. First, the trouble started at FEMA's conference bridge in Bluemont, Virginia. I found out that they use POTS lines from numerous PEP stations to backfeed audio via couplers (not hybrids), and they use the speaker outputs of the EAS units to drive those couplers. That was the source of the multiple overlaying audio feeds - high crosstalk through the phone couplers. It was like an old cartridge tape delay with a bad erase head (you gray-hairs out there know exactly what I'm talking about)!

Whether or not individual stations passed on the degraded audio seems to be a direct function of the clarity of the feed from the upstream station. This, I found out, was caused by detection of the second header in the decoders. Evidently when an ENDEC detects a second header during an EAN, it mutes the outgoing audio. Sage's Harold Price told me that this is because a second header produces an "illegal" condition that the decoder doesn't know what to do with, so it mutes. Stations that got crummy message audio from the upstream station passed the message audio on just fine because their decoders did not successfully demodulate the second header. Our L.A. station passed along the truly awful message audio just fine.

So was the test a success or a failure? I've seen it both ways in the trade press. My personal view is that it was a success in that it pointed out our problems, but we definitely failed the test. Without a doubt, had FEMA's head end been engineered better, we likely would have done a lot better overall, but as the Alabama and Oregon situations illustrate, we still have other problems.

Hopefully FEMA will fix its own poorly engineered setup and the states and local areas will fix their particular issues before we try this again in a few months. Stay tuned...

Another 11 GHz Link
Salem's Denver CE Cliff Mikkelson has joined the 11 GHz club by activating a licensed link from its Denver studios to its Lee Hill FM site. With the "final RF link" prohibition now lifted, I suspect that we will see more and more of this kind of thing going forward. My company is implementing 11 and 18 GHz links all over the place. Cliff's new 11 GHz link will provide him with all the bandwidth he will need going forward.
New Certifications
During last month's exam window, Amanda Alexander tested for CBRE and Jack Roland took his AMD specialist exam. Both Amanda and Jack passed, so congratulations are in order! It's always great to see folks in our profession bettering their pedigrees through continuing education and certification.

A New Transmitter
Who says that nobody is buying new equipment in this economy? Crawford Broadcasting Company has ordered a new Nautel NX50 50 kW solid-state AM transmitter for KLTT. The new rig is supposed to ship on December 16, so the holidays may be busy for Amanda (and I'm sure I'll get to help as well!).

The new 50 kW rig will sit almost within the footprint of a 1995-vintage ND2.5, which will be retuned on 810 kHz to serve as a full-power auxiliary for KLVZ. The existing KLTT ND50 will be re-tasked as a full-power auxiliary for KLTT.

One of the features of the NX50 is modulation dependent carrier level (MDCL). We have been running MDCL on our NX50 at KCBC in San Francisco with great results. The observed power output averages in the low 40s with no loss of coverage, either digital or analog. We look forward to lower electric bills on KLTT when we get the new rig installed and running.

The December issue of The Local Oscillator is hot off the virtual presses and available for your online viewing and amusement at: %20Local%20Oscillator.pdf

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


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The KEØVH Hamshack

Jack Roland

The KEØVH Hamshack for December 2011

Greetings all and I wish for you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a blessed time with your loved ones this month!

Well, Arbitron PPM has at least come in to Colorado Springs now at my facility, but none of the other stations. Really odd, but no one, including the people I talked to at Arbitron seem to have any real answers why as none of the other stations at this point have been contacted. I have installed our encoders and watch them be green, but are there any participants listening in Colorado Springs? More on this as I learn.

In the latter part of October, I really wanted to watch some football in HD as there were several collegiate games I was interested in, plus the NFL season. In our living room we have a 31 inch Vizio (I really like these models) HDTV hooked up to our Direct TV satellite receiver that IS NOT HD compliant. So, we watch a lot of stuff analog that just doesn't look all that great, adequate but not HDTV. I just hadn't gotten around to getting the outdoor antenna connected to the TV in the living room. Too, it was too far away to get a decent coax run thru my attic down to the wall plate in the living room. So, I was talking with Wayne, WA2KEC one day on the 449.450 repeater in Denver that a lot of us hang out on, and he told me of a homemade design that he had built and it works really well. So he sent me the website with the plans that he had used to build several of these. I then gathered up a 2x4, a KZNT (my AM station in Colorado Springs) sign, some copper wire I had on hand, and some tools, and in about 30 minutes or so made this:

The Element screws are 7 inches apart with the elements being 7 inches long and spread out to 3 inches at the ends of the "V" shape. The transformer screws mounting spot is right in the middle of the middle elements 3.5 inches away from the other set in the middle of the picture above. You cross the wires between the two outer elements as show below. The reflector is simply aluminum foil out of my wife's kitchen covering the sign! In the picture below I used electrical tape to separate the phase wire where they touch. The reflector board ended up being somewhat smaller than the plans called for, but it doesn't seem to matter. I think next year I may try to build an outdoor version for the TV antenna mast in the back of the house.

And, the results are great. The antenna works very well, mounted up in my attic, the coax run is only about 15 feet from the TV to the antenna, and I have been able to tune everything in Denver that I want to watch and then some. I didn't actually use the solder you see in the picture above. All is accomplished thru the clamping down of the wood screws and washers. This antenna cost me nothing, as I had all the "junk box parts" available on hand. Easy to do, hardly any time at all, and works GREAT! There are many websites available with many different designs, so go ahead and try it! Here is the site WA2KEC sent to me that I used:

A picture of my favorite microphone. The Heil Classic Pro.

And, one day, my wife was furniture shopping in a used furniture store, and when she bought a piece from the store, she saw this:

Later, when she sent me after the furniture she said "honey why don't you buy that radio"! I said to her, "Twist my arm"! So the GE came home with me that day, and is playing a nostalgia station at this time. Man, does it sound great! What a great wife huh?

Again, God Bless you and Merry Christmas to you and your family, plus all the best prayers and wishes for a prosperous 2012.



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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 December 2011

Here we are again ....The Christmas Season and the end of another year...As you get to my place in life (old) you understand how time really flies. It's still hard for me to believe that I've been in this vocation going on 51 years and all in the same market. Looking in the mirror, however, really helps me understand.

Big item in the news in our business this past month was the EASNT. Finally the Feds starting practicing what they have been preaching. Let me explain- For years we have been required to do monthly and weekly EAS Tests....All the while the primary reason for the EAS (or so they say) has never been tested. That all changed on November 9th when the National EAS system was finally tested. The results were mixed. I can say that, for the most part, stations here in Washington State faithfully relayed what we were sent. The bad news is what we were sent was not all that good. Due to an 'issue' with the distribution system that feeds all the Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations the message started to repeat before it was finished. This caused another set of 'Header Codes' to start playing soon after the test began. In some cases these extra data bursts just added to the background noise. In other cases, it caused some EAS boxes to mute. Frankly, I did not expect it to go perfectly...however some did and those were quick to point out the short comings of the event. As we say in EAS circles....This is why we test. Thankfully the Feds had the guts to actually see if their creation would fly. Now what?

Well there is a lot of fact finding going on, including the reports we are all to file with the FCC. My guess is we can look forward to additional testing, perhaps now on a regular basis. Of course we will soon have a National CAP System that will provide yet another method of dealing with public warnings.

Down in Oregon, things did not go as well as the entire state did not run the test due to a foul-up at the state level. Rep. Greg Walden, a former broadcast station owner from Oregon was not at all pleased. Perhaps good news is that Oregon will be getting two PEP stations...Previously they had none. Maybe the Feds felt no one lived 'out there'.

One very beneficial aspect of the EASNT was a significant increase in the level of interest in EAS. I have long felt that, in the minds of some, that EAS was another term for wastebasket. As the person that administrates Monitoring Assignments in our state, I was suddenly hearing from parties that before were non participants. This is good. While I am on the subject, I want to again remind you that the method we use in our State to distribute EAS information is the Washington State EAS Remailer hosted by Hatfield and Dawson. This is the vehicle we use to update monitoring assignments, announce meetings etc. If you are not a subscriber - You need to change that.

On the top of Monitoring Assignments - This past year I separated our EAS Plan Tab 10 into separated this rather large document into 15 smaller for each Local EAS Area. For example, here in the Central Puget Area - Tab10 for Central Puget is the item you should have (In Tab 10) in your State EAS Plan Binder. If you don't have the latest in your binder - You can send me an email requesting it and I will ship out the latest via the EAS Remailer.

The latest issue of QST had some interesting articles...
➢ The ARRL has out a newly revised Antenna Book. For those of you that work with Antennas and RF, this is a great one to have in your reference collection....Even if you are not a Ham.
➢ One would think with all the other means of electronic communication available today that Amateur Radio would be dying...Not so....There are now more than 700,000 Hams in this country alone.
➢ For those of you that are Hams and have not been active in a while...The sun is, finally, cooperating and propagation is fantastic. 10 meters has not been this good since the late 50's.
➢ Heathkit is back! If you were like me, you built a lot of electronic kits from Heath..good to see them back again.

On the subject of Amateur Radio - The November issue of Electronic Design News has a great article about Ham Radio in the 21st Century by Doug Grant, K1DG.

Metal theft continues to be a problem. Apparently most of it is driven by those that steal the stuff to cash it in for money to ____?. Now there is something else that is becoming a hot commodity for thieves....Grease. And you can blame the bio-fuel industry. What happens is restaurants have been placing their leftover cooking oils out-back in unsecured containers. Recyclers come by, take the grease, and send the restaurant a check. In one case the restaurant owner asked the recycler why he did not get a check and they explain there was nothing to re-cycle. Time for the 'grease stake-out'...In this case they nabbed some young thieves. This is led some law enforcement types to call grease 'the new copper'. Who wudda thunk?.

Meanwhile copper theft continues - In one case a Jeffrey Blake was indicted by a federal grand jury for taking a station (KKOW) off the air by stealing what was apparently the stations ground system. What makes this one, perhaps unique, is the fact that he is charged with one count of attempting to damage a communications system and an attempt to damage an energy facility (apparently he did something to a power substation also) He now faces a possible 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. One aspect of the charges caught my attention was that they used the stations participation in the Emergency Alert System in the prosecution.

In Sacramento thieves has been making away with the wiring for street lights darkening some 1000 of them in recent weeks. With local governments running short on money, this is making things worse. The solution - Weld covers on wiring access points. I guess hanging the thieves by their thumbs is out.

Someone suggested that stations coat their grounding system, and perhaps rigid transmission lines with a type of roofing cement. This stuff is gooey and very hard to get off. Apparently if it's difficult the lazy thief will go elsewhere.

John Price recently brought to my attention what happened at Entercom's WILK in Pa. There the station uses open wire feeders, instead of coax, for feeding it's multiple tower array. In this case these feeders are about 20 feet off the ground to be clear of flooding from a nearby river. You guessed it - Thieves stole the feeders copper wires. Understand they have been replaced now with copper-weld (copper covered steel). See the picture below -

One of the most bazar metal thefts was when a 3 foot long copper sword was stolen from atop Lincolns Tomb in Springfield, Ill.

In Georgia, Federal Prosecutors have charged 3 men with not only copper theft....but...releasing hundreds of pounds of ozone depleting Freon into the atmosphere...and that is a big no-no. Apparently the trio had stolen 35 air-conditioning units figuring they would scrap them for Copper and Aluminum. Not being the sharpest knife in the drawer they failed to consider what they were doing was going beyond simple metal theft. The penalties run into the millions and sentences run 50 to 65 years. Armed with that, perhaps we can find out a way to get Freon into our broadcast equipment ????

One concern I have is the Occupy movement. Have to wonder when someone affiliated with this activity will try and gain a louder voice by taking over a broadcast station....After all they do it all the time in third-world countries.

Another call letter change in our area - KTBK has become KMIA. You might think missing in action but they are thinking MIA means mine in Spanish. This station, operated by Adelante Media Group has had a number of previous calls - KWMG, KDDS (Bustos Media), KNWX, KTTH (Entercom), KBSG (Viacom) KASY, the original call from 1958 operated by the Garre Family. The stations studio and transmitters are in Auburn.

During this season perhaps we should be thankful that our broadcast stations are in the U.S...For example, Israel recently ordered the shut-down of a radio station because of their 'dovish' programming that is not pleasing the present administration. Wow...think what would happen in this country if that happened here? Yes we should be thankful.

After a lot of rumors...Fisher has finally sold their home, Fisher Plaza, making KOMO etc a tenant in their own building. Apparently a move to please stockholders. Reminds me of Entercom's sale of their big transmitter facilities on Cougar and West Tiger or the sale of the Channel 11 tower on Capital Hill. They produce a nice one time bump in the bottom line at the expense of greater operating costs. Over time, they don't appear to make any sense...but, hey, this is why we are engineers. We are not expected to understand.

I am probably one of very few in this business that has not yet made the move to a smart-phone. Yep...I'm still packing my trusty flip-phone...and I have, what I think, are some very solid reasons for not making the change -
➢ I have tons of battery life...Like several days, even though I got to places like Cougar and West Tiger that have no cell coverage. My understanding is that smart-phones are real battery hogs.
➢ I tell people if they want to communicate with me -- lets talk ....Adding that real-time communication is amazingly efficient...and they don't have to wait for my response to a question.
➢ In our state with it's no talking or texting while driving - I am a compliant person with my blue-tooth speaker phone.
➢ With my EAS involvement etc I often get 100 emails per day, how would I get anything done?
➢ Then there is the fact that my cell phone bill (which I pay for) would likely double with a smart phone.

What do you think.....Should I make the change and should it be an I-Phone or Droid something or another?

While on the topic - Dwight Small (who packs a Droid) offered up some suggestions for nifty applications that I'd certainly find valuable.....e-Engineer (iPhone)....ElectroDroid (Droid) Engineer's Calculator (iPhone) ...RealCalc (Droid) ....Resistor Calculator (iPhone) ...And the best them, Slide Rule that operates on both platforms that actually has the look of an old fashioned 'slip-stick'.

Clear Channel recently changed formats on their near Olympia - Capital Peak high-powered rim-shot 102.9 KNBQ from Country to a simulcast of KJR -AM. (The stations HD-2 continues with Country). I find it interesting how, way back when AM was king and FM was added chiefly because there were few FM receivers...Simulcast was SOP. Then FM came into it's own leaving all but the big signal AM's to keep the AM band warm, if I recall KOL was one of the first to spin off their FM creating what is today known as KMPS. Now things are reversing with KOMO, a big signal AM picking up a South Mountain Rim Shot FM (97.7) simulcasting their existing AM. Now Sports format KJR Simulcasts an FM. Makes one think about their format competitor, KIRO-AM and wonder what they will do. KIRO has a problem, however....Their FM is currently the market leader and they don't have another FM to simulcast their AM. Due to the popularity of KJR-FM it's not likely they will be able to call their sports stations KJR AM and FM, at least for the time being, you will still hear KNBQ on the FM side of KJR.

In terms of numbers of stations, one of the biggest sales of radio stations recently took place in Yakima and Tri-Cities with the sale of a dozen. The new owner is Ingstad Radio Washington LLC which is shelling out $13.5 Megabucks.

Some expensive broadcast equipment was damaged recently in the aftermath of the firing of a popular football coach at Penn State. WTAJ-TV remote truck was the focus of attention by some very un-happy people who broke it's windows and ended up tipping it over on its side, thankfully no station employee was injured.

Then there is the Mohu Leaf an antenna designed to receive local TV stations. The company thought that a good place to advertise their product would be on Cable TV. One line in their ad did not sit well with the cable outfit where they said it was not necessary to subscribe to expensive cable service to watch HD programs. In this case, Time Warner Cable said - no thanks and turned down the spots.

A new study just out finds that non-traditional TV viewing now accounts for 7% of total viewing time. The term is call cross-platform. With the continued blurring of devices, Computers, TV's etc it will be interesting to see where this goes. TV has been dealing for years with VCR and DVD's and now Computers, Netbooks, Notebooks, readers etc, just like Radio has been dealing with Tapes and CD's and MP3's and now Pandora etc. Broadcastings days of being the exclusive means of getting content to consumers are over. We are now just another vehicle.

Proving that some people will never learn - - WMID has been asked to pay 20 Grand for a collection of tower related issues - Faded and chipping paint, un-locked fence around the tower, and mainly continued violations after being warned by the FCC.

Then there is WERX in Columbia, N.C.. Just so happened an airline pilot noted that there was a problem with the stations tower lights. The FCC took a look and found only one light working, about 100 feet up, on the SEVEN HUNDRED foot tower. The station said their monitoring system also failed and were not aware of the issue. However, there was no inspection log etc........10 Grand.

Remember Kent Kramer? He worked in Seattle a few years ago. Saw his name in print recently. He's DOE of Reach Media, the Tom Joyner Morning Show in Dallas.

In closing....Those of you that know me well, know that I often have fun with our language. Recently I began thinking about the work UP and how UP is being used in places that are bound to totally confuse anyone trying to learn our language. Especially if you learned that UP means the opposite of down...

Here's an example of what I mean -
They broke UP - (they broke what?)
Catch UP - - (How will I recognize it if I find it?)
You really messed UP - - (Perhaps it will not look as good afterward?)
Touch UP - - (As with Paint?)
Can you keep UP - - (Perhaps, unless someone else wants it)
Just do a work UP - - (Like the one was not good enough?)
Put UP or Shut UP - - (We've all heard that one)
Ease UP - - (Slow down what?)
Foul Up - - (More familiar terms?)
Screw UP - (Like foul UP but perhaps worse?)
Give UP -- (As in a gift?)
Hold UP - - (As in Rob...or hold what?)
Join UP - - (Like Join the Army?)
Wake UP - - (Time to Get UP?)
Keep UP - - (If you can)
Let UP - - (Sort of like slow down?)
Make UP - - (As in do it over?)
Open Up - - (Opposite of shut up?)
Rope Up - - (Something to do with cowboys?)
What's UP - (That's what I'm trying to figure out.....)

Have a great Christmas, my friends, and may 2012 be the best yet.
Thanks for everything!

Hope to see you at the next SBE Chapter Meeting.


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Talk at Smart Meter Forum

By Jim Schoedler

Here are links to two articles about the community forum at which I made a presentation Thursday night on RF and smart electric meters. It was an interesting evening, similar in some ways to presenting at the Lookout Mountain broadcast tower hearings in Jefferson County, CO.

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A Guide to SNMP for Broadcast Engineers

Thanks to Chapter 9

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) has been a part of computer and networking systems for many years. Now, this standardized control language is migrating into more and more broadcast-oriented equipment and systems, and new facility control software is being developed to enable the use of this powerful tool to monitor and manage equipment as part of an overall broadcast facility control plan.

This webinar introduces broadcasters to SNMP, explains the structure and commands, and describes some common mistakes and challenges. Real world examples are provided by Andy Gunn of WAMU in Washington D.C. and Doug Irwin of Clear Channel in New York City. Both are at the cutting edge of using SNMP as part of their broadcast facility monitoring and control.

Use of real-world examples helps to demonstrate how using this protocol can allow engineers to monitor and control more different types of equipment in more locations with less time and effort.

The archived webinar may be viewed here:


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FCC News

Report on Broadband over Power Line

From Tom Smith
Chapter 24

In October, the FCC released the Second Report and Order in its proceeding - now in its 9th year - to adopt rules for Access Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems. The Second Report and Order is the final step in the Commission's effort to comply with the directives of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which in April 2008 ordered the FCC to correct errors it had committed in the course of adopting rules in 2004.

The Court acted in response to a Petition for Review filed by the ARRL. In July 2009, the FCC issued a Request for Further Comment and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in which it proposed slight modification of measurement standards for determining whether a BPL system is in compliance with the maximum allowable levels of radiated emissions. In response, the ARRL argued that coupled with a scientifically valid extrapolation factor for determining those levels, mandatory notching of the amateur bands to a level 35 dB below the general emission limit would reduce the likelihood of harmful interference to amateur stations to a level that would permit any remaining harmful interference to be remedied on a case-by-case basis.

The ARRL noted that its request for mandatory notching simply reflected the best practices of the BPL industry. In the Second Report and Order, the Commission decided not to adopt its own proposal and also declined to adopt the ARRL's request for mandatory notching. Instead, the Commission has increased the requirement for BPL systems to be able to notch frequency bands to at least 25 dB, an increase of 5 dB from the existing requirement of 20 dB. The Commission also made technical adjustments to its rules for determining the distance between a power line and a measurement antenna and for determining site-specific extrapolation factors.

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SBE News

SBE Honors

SBE Honors Jim Wulliman, Robert Flanders
by Rick Ryan Chapter 28

During the SBE National Membership Meeting in Colombus, Ohio, SBE President Vinny Lopez announced that two of the national annual awards would be renamed to honor two former society Presidents. The Educator of the Year award will now be known as the "James C Wulliman Educator of the Year Award". The former Director of Engineering for WTMJ is generally acknowleged as the father of the SBE Program of Certification, and served as its chairman for about 20 years, from its founding until after his retirement in 1988. He also served as the society's president from 1973 to 1975. Chapter 28's "Wulliman Award", named in Jim's honor, is given to a chapter member who exibits outstanding service to the chapter and broadcast engineering in southeastern Wisconsin.

Robert Flanders was the society president from 1971 to 1973. He is generally credited with moving the society to a more formalized organization, creating a national business office with improved administration, and emphasizing member benefits. He was also honored by renaming the Engineer of the Year Award to the "Robert Flanders Engineer of the Year Award."

SBE invites chapter chairmen to 2012 SBE Strategic Planning Meeting

Most membership organizations periodically hold strategic planning meetings to help chart their course for the next three to five years. The Society of Broadcast Engineers is no different. The SBE has scheduled a strategic planning meeting for Saturday, June 23 in Indianapolis, Indiana and chairmen of SBE chapters are invited to participate. This will be the first strategic planning meeting that the SBE has held since July 2006.

The planning session will be headed by a professional facilitator who will lead the group through several exercises that will serve to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and the needs and wants of members. In addition to chapter chairmen, members of the national board of directors and national staff will attend.

The strategic planning meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 10 p.m. It is advised to plan arrival times for Friday, June 22 and departures for Sunday, June 24. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on June 23 will be provided by the SBE for participants. SBE President Ralph Hogan is hosting a welcome reception for attendees, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

There is no fee to attend the strategic planning day, but attendees will need to cover personal travel, hotel and incidental costs. The SBE highly recommends that each chapter consider covering the cost for their chairman. Chapters may select a representative to attend if the chairman is unable. The event will be held at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites in downtown Indianapolis. A special rate of $109 per night plus tax is arranged for attendees. To make reservations, call the Hilton Hotels reservation line at (800) 315-1906 and request the Society of Broadcast Engineers group rate. Make plans now to be a part of this event that will shape the direction of the SBE into its 50th year and beyond. Though there is no registration fee, pre-registration is required for planning purposes. Register on the SBE website today.

SBE to Present Webinar on Chief Operators

Chief Operator Responsibilities - What should I be doing?, takes place January 12. According to the FCC, the licensee of each AM, FM, TV or Class A TV broadcast station must designate a person to serve as the station's chief operator (FCC Rules 73.1870). Depending on the type of facilities, there are varying requirements as to who this person may be and their responsibilities. This webinar covers the responsibilities of the Designated Chief Operator and the duties necessary to fulfill this position.

Webinars by SBE consists of online seminars on subjects of interest to broadcast engineers. You can view the webinar live, or choose to view it from the archives on our website.

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 Updates CertPreview Software - Now Available

A new version of SBE CertPreview sample certification test software is now availablel. It's an upgraded, downloadable version with more features to help review your areas of knowledge. Sample tests are available for Broadcast Technologist, Audio Engineer, Video Engineer, Broadcast Networking Technologist, Broadcast Engineer and Senior Broadcast Engineer in both radio and television. Sample tests contain approxomately 100 questions each. You can review and change answers prior to scoring the sample exam, and can revisit the questions within the sample exam after the scoring process. You can also see the results by topical category, which helps you identify strengths and weaknesses.. It provides a list of resources from which to learn more about a subject.

The SBE CertPreview is a preparation for the following exams:
* Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - Radio
* Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - TV
* Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT)
* Certified Audio Engineer (CEA)
* Certified Video Engineer (CEV)
* Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE)
* Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE)
* Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE)
* Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE)
* AM Directional Specialist (AMD)
* 8-VSB Specialist (8-VSB)
* Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB) (COMING SOON)

Cost for each SBE CERTpreview practice test is $29 for the download version or $33 plus $3 shipping for the CD. To order a copy, visit

Certification Exam Session Dates:

Certification exam session dates for 2011-2012 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, or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or

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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Newsletter Committee

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

  Garneth M. Harris

  Tom Goldberg - On-Line Editor

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