A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

January 2001

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
Scott Talk
Rome Talk
Ennes Workshop On CBNT Planned For NAB Convention
Passing Of A Wireless Pioneer
Chapter 3 Sees Demo of COFDM System
ATSC, SBE Team Up On DTV Education For Broadcasters

Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

January 19, 2000 DTV Test Equipment, Chris Noland, Tektronix- 6:30PM, KUSA

February 16, 2000 Kelly Hannig, Gentner Remote Control - 6:30PM, KCNC

March 5, 2000 (Sunday) Deadline to apply to take a certification exam at the NAB Convention in Las Vegas on April 11.

March 16, 2000 TBA

April 8-13, 2000 NAB Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada

April 21, 2000 (Friday) Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the June 9-19 local window.

May 17, 2000 DirecTV Tour 6:30PM

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Job Postings

As a service to SBE/SMPTE membership, technology positions in the Rocky Mtn. region are posted at no charge. Please send your posting to:

Rome Chelsi

KBDI, Denver, Colorado

KBDI seeks a Chief Engineer with a minimum of 5 years experience as a CE or related supervisory engineering position. Key responsibilities include short and long term planning, project management, periodic equipment and systems needs assessment, purchase and installation guidance. Must have VHF transmitter and systems integration experience, and understanding of component level mechanics of broadcast equipment. Master control equipment and staff are off site, and not the responsibility of KBDI Chief Engineer. Knowledge of digital equipment, systems and upconversion required. Must have relevant college degree or equivalent industry training. Send resume to Kim Johnson at KBDI, 2900 Welton St. Denver CO 80205. Equal opportunity employer.

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Scott Talk

From SBE Chapter 48 Chairman Scott Barella:


I am still scrambling to try and get the Super Bowl in HDTV and have been busy with phone calls and the like.

I would like to officially say thanks for the confidence of the Chapter in me as this year's chair. It's an honor. I would like to push for more learning seminars with vendors. If anyone has any desire for subject areas they should let the group know but I think there is a need for more education with regards to facility power, balanced audio, and proper cabling methods. If this is of any interest or in any other area, I would be more than happy to talk with folks that can come in and train.

Scott Barella

You can email Scott at sbarella@cbs.com

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Rome Talk

From Rocky Mountain SMPTE chair Rome Chelsi:

SMPTE Members! Does HQ Have Your Current E-Mail Address

If you are not getting email notifications about local chapter activities, it is because you either do not have or have an incorrect email address on file with SMPTE. Please send your current email address to Daureen Matera at SMPTE HQ : dmatera@smpte.org. SMPTE then advises us of the change. You also should send updates to Rome Chelsi, Section Chair at romec@compuserve.com.

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Ennes Workshop On CBNT Planned For NAB Convention

Many people have expressed interest in the new certification offered by SBE - Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist. More than 100 industry professionals now hold this certification rolled out less than a year ago. As a part of the 2001 NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference at the NAB Spring Convention in Las Vegas, a special Ennes Workshop will be held with the sole topic being a five-hour program on broadcast networking technology titled, "Putting the Pieces Together." The workshop will cover network topologies and layouts, common network protocols, wiring and connector types, system standards and installation practices, maintenance, troubleshooting and connectivity issues, challenges unique to media based network platforms and an overview of digital compression technologies and related storage issues. The Ennes Workshop will be held Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Since this is the day before the convention officially opens, participants will not miss any time on the exhibit floor or regular paper sessions. Instructor will be Terry M. Baun, CPBE of Criterion Broadcast Services and chairman of the SBE Certification Committee. Moderator will be Richard Farquhar, CPBE, President of RAF Companies and education director of the Ennes Trust. Attendees will have the opportunity to take the SBE CBNT examination following the workshop at 3:15 pm. Registration for the exam will be encouraged in advance, although on-site registration will be possible. Watch for more details in upcoming issues of the SBE SIGNAL, your chapter newsletters and NAB Convention promotional information.


The SBE Certification Committee has established exam dates for 2001. 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 Linda Emerick, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640 or lgodby@sbe.org.

2001 Exam Dates   Location          Application Deadline

April 24          NAB               March 23, 2001
June 8-18         Local Chapters    April 30, 2001
August 17-27      Local Chapters    July 9, 2001
November 9-19     Local Chapters    September 28, 2001
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Passing Of A Wireless Pioneer

December 29, 2000
by David Coursey, ZDNet News

Remembering a forgotten wireless pioneer.

The man who brought the world such indispensable wireless communications concepts and devices as the walkie-talkie, pager, and cordless telephone has died. That's the lead sentence of an email I just received from a ham radio news service I subscribe to.

The story is so interesting and the accomplishment so great that I'd like to share it with you. First, though, I'll need to shut off the cordless phone, put the pager in silent mode, and turn down the volume on the walkie-talkie I use in my volunteer work. It is startling to realize how much I owe to the inventions of a guy I didn't even know about. And now he's dead.

His name was Al Gross. His ham radio call sign was W8PAL, and he died four days before Christmas at his home in Sun City, Ariz. Gross obtained his amateur radio license in 1934 at the age of 16. His early interest in amateur radio helped set his career choice while he was still a teenager. Gross pioneered the development of devices that operated in the relatively unexplored VHF and UHF spectrum above 100MHz. His first invention was a portable hand-held radio transmitter-receiver.

Developed in 1938 while he was still in high school in Cleveland, he christened it the 'walkie-talkie.' The device caught the attention of the US Office of Strategic Services -- the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. The OSS recruited Gross, and this led to the invention of a two-way air-to-ground communications system used by the military behind enemy lines during the World War II. The system allowed OSS agents to communicate with high-flying aircraft.

After World War II, Gross set up Gross Electronics Inc to design and build various communications products, some of them under government contracts. He also launched Citizens Radio Corporation to design, develop and manufacture personal wireless transceivers.

Cartoonist Chester Gould asked if he could use Gross' concept of a miniaturized two-way radio in his Dick Tracy comic strip. The result was the Dick Tracy two-way wrist radio.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gross secured several patents for various portable and cordless telephone devices. In September 1958, Gross Electronics received FCC type approval for mobile and handheld transceivers for use on the new Class D 27-MHz Citizens Band.

Over the years, Gross worked as a communications specialist for several large companies. Since 1990, he had worked as a senior engineer for Orbital Sciences Corporation and was still on the payroll there when he died.

Gross received numerous awards and honors during his distinguished career, including the 1992 Fred B. Link Award from the Radio Club of America, the 1997 Marconi Memorial Gold Medal of Achievement from the Veteran Wireless Operators Association, and the 1999 Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 1998, he received Eta Kappa Nu's Vladimir Karapetoff Eminent Members' Award in recognition of his pioneering contributions to the engineering of personal wireless communications.

As his IEEE biography put it: "It is clear that Mr. Gross was a true pioneer and helped lead the way to today's wireless personal communications revolution."

(Thanks to the ARRL, the W5YI Report and the IEEE, all of whom contributed to the email quoted in this column.)

ZDNet News commentator David Coursey is based in Silicon Valley and has covered personal computers, software, and the Internet for more than 20 years. He is an industry analyst and creator of several industry conference events. His Web site is www.coursey.com.

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Chapter 3 Sees Demo of COFDM System

John Leahy of NEC gave a presentation on their COFDM packet based microwave. John gave a Multimedia demonstration including Power Point for the theory, and MPEG I streaming video and a VHS Tape of a mobile application in Las Vegas. There was no pixelazation while the vehicle was stationary and other traffic was moving, nor when it was moving with traffic. The mobile antenna shown for the ENG vehicle was omni rather than directional, and spewed out up to 544 carriers within a 8.5 MHz Bandwidth as the vehicle drove along. The receive site needs only about 64 carriers to reconstruct the signal correctly, and the remaining multipath which is still in the bandwidth of interest, serves to quiet receiver noise further, but is ignored as part of the reconstructed signal if not needed for error correction.

Packet structure consists of a 10ęS guard band, a 64 ęS data packet, followed by a 2ęS guard band. The receiver perceives the first packet received as the direct signal and uses what it needs from packets following to reconstruct and correct errors in the signal. The receiver needs a C/N of about 9dB for a stationary feed, and about 18dB for a moving vehicle to function correctly. The VHS tape shown from a vehicle in Las Vegas traffic, had a spectrum analyzer superimposed into the corner to show the received signal strength. It was a writhing twisting mess, but the picture was perfect! Some of the error correction methods used included parity bits, vector prediction algorithms, and trellis coding among others. The latency or video delay caused by the digital processing can run from 320 to 500 milliseconds so IFB's could be a problem depending how the audio is handled.

Although this product is a bit pricey, there is some help available for a period of two years only, if you are well aware of several bits of information.

It was brought to our attention that the 2 GHz ENG band as we know it, consisting of 7 channels of 17 MHz each will be reduced by two channels to be reassigned to wireless PDA's and other such devices. The remaining channels will be narrowed in bandwidth to 14.5 MHz each. This is where the documentation comes in. If you have documentation available when Mr. Wireless provider comes knocking on your door along I-70 or in major metro areas, and Mr. Wireless wants you to vacate Channel 1 or 2, you stand a pretty good chance of getting some reimbursement when you tell him: 1.) I currently get a S/N of 48dB from 80% of my coverage area, 2.) If I have to go to a less bandwidth, I can't get 48dB with my current gear and, 3.) A new microwave that will get me that much costs, maybe $120K. But remember, this is for a two year period only, then the reimbursement is history! See www.sbe.org, Docket 95-18 for specific details on this FCC action.

There are some real advantages of COFDM system. The mast problem with ENG vehicles goes away. Future ENG vehicles will probably be the size of a Chevrolet Blazer. The robust signal makes this system ideal for aerial shots (Denver to Ft. Collins with a helicopter at 50 feet!). Quad horns work better on the receive site, but circular polarity works against multipath (remember the multipath is added signal power). Analog and digital signals can coexist on the same frequency, but the analog will suffer flecks in its picture rather than strong beats that happen with two analog signals. Some of the disadvantages other than price, show up when you try to relay the signal on intercity microwave using a baseband to 70 MHz technique. The conversion oscillators can cause phase shift, so full demod/remod is a better solution. The list price at present is about $50K for the receiver, and $58K for each transmitter. The equipment footprint is being reduced by about « every two years, and the product is its 4th generation. Our thanks to John Leahy and to EVS for an interesting presentation!

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ATSC, SBE Team Up On DTV Education For Broadcasters

Edited by Tom Butts

12/6/2000 The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) have agreed to cooperate in developing educational materials and activities to assist broadcasters in implementing digital television.

The two organizations will jointly develop a variety of training opportunities for broadcast engineers, including a manual that summarizes the essential aspects of ATSC standards, regional workshops on DTV implementation, and resources for local chapter activities. In addition to the core ATSC DTV Standard, the training materials will also cover the Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) and Data Broadcast Standards. ATSC will also help develop DTV questions to be used in SBE certification programs. "Providing the industry with educational resources is one of our key DTV implementation activities, and working with SBE on these projects will better enable us to meet this commitment," said Mark Richer, ATSC Executive Director. "This collaboration with ATSC will enable us to provide critical information to our members as they make the challenging transition to digital broadcasting," added SBE president Andy Butler. http://www.digitalbroadcasting.com/Content/IndustrySearch/Results.asp?text=ATSC

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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris........(303)756-4843 email: bharris4@ix.netcom.com
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)556-3549 email: asmith@carbon.cudenver.edu

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/or the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.