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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

January 1998

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The December 1997 Meeting
The Original "SBE"
Tom Ham
EAS Experience
SMPTE Publications
PDX Radio Waves
Help Wanted
Seattle to Host 1998 SBE National Meeting
Leader/Skills Seminar II
FCC News
Cable TV Eas Mandates

The December Meeting

Our last meeting of 1997 was held on Wednesday, December 17 at the National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road.

Sixteen members and guests of the SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section & Denver SBE Chapter 48 gathered for lunch at noon in the cafeteria. Then it was off to Studio E-2 for a brief business meeting and our program.

Mr. Robert "Chic" Chichester, is a professional surveyer who often deals with broadcast and other antenna location issues using Global Positioning Systems. His experience with the equipment and the technology of satellite location goes back to the beginning, and the stories of why things are as they are kept the audiences attention even after his formal presentation was done.

Many thanks to "Chic" for taking time to share his experiences.

The next meeting of the SBE/SMPTE is scheduled for Wednesday, 14 January 1998, in the Denver Post building downtown at 1560 Broadway, Suite 1100. Following a business meeting, a tour will be held of the facility, which includes radio stations KXKL FM, KVOD FM and KRRF AM. You'll get a good look at "construction in progress", as the physical plant is being readied for the move-in of KXPK FM. Lunch will NOT be served.

See you then!

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The Original "SBE"

Years before the SBE was officially organized, there was an earlier "SBE" that was dedicated to making the working broadcast engineer's job more difficult. The danger lurked at remote transmitter sites and was always ready to strike. The organization was formed when the first transmitter site was built far from civilization. It was known as the "(S)nakes (B)iting (E)ngineers" (SBE) society and was designed to "rattle" the wits of technical personnel in the wild.

The charter member (I'll call him "Cleve") found the high grass around guy wires and transmitter bases an ideal place to live. Cleve stood for "(C)an (L)iterally (E)ndanger (V)isiting (E)ngineers". Cleve earned his name well. Along with high voltage, RF burns, falls from towers, and an assortment of other dangers, this live viper presented its own moving danger for the leery engineer.

Our own Cleve Hayes, Chief Engineer for WIVK, had a real encounter a while back with his namesake in the Society of Snakes Biting Engineers on a remote mountain site far from civilization. Cleve was working in the dark on a generator outside the transmitter building. Suddenly, he felt something slapping at his leg. When he put some light on the problem, he was greeted by a rattlesnake flapping its tail wildly against his leg!

Fortunately (very fortunately) for Cleve, he just happened to be standing on the viper's head, preventing the snake from inflicting its deadly venom on his leg. Cleve quickly grabbed a shovel and sent this intruder to snake heaven.

Joking aside, Cleve was very lucky, and we can all learn from his experience and, perhaps, reflect on the other dangers that lurk at remote transmitter sites.

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The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers a program of certification for broadcast engineers, ranging from the entry-level Broadcast Technologist to the 20+-years-of-experience-needed Professional Broadcast Engineer. A new certification program includes programs for Audio and Video Engineers which do not include any RF related questions.

February 20, 1998 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification test at NAB in Las Vegas on April 7th.

April 24, 1998 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification test during the June 12-22 local window.

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Tom Ham

Laura Owens of Knoxville, Tennessee had seen enough television police shows to know what to do when a police two-way radio landed on her street. Owens was standing in her front yard when a police investigator drove off with his hand- held radio on top of his unmarked cruiser. Needless to say, it did not stay on the car very long.

Owens picked it up, pushed the transmit button and said, "I found this on the street, what do you want me to do with it?" The dispatcher asked for her address. In a few minutes the embarrassed policeman came back to get the radio. He was so gratified that he deputized Ms. Owens on the spot.

Here's the kicker. The police officer who forgot the radio - his name is Tom Ham. (Via Newsline, via published news reports.)

The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast professionals in Southern California by Communications General Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA. Short news items without attached files are always welcome from our readers; letters may be edited for brevity. Send e-mail to:

CGC Communicator articles may be reproduced in any form provided they are unaltered and credit is given to Communications General Corporation and the originating authors, when named. Past issues may be viewed and searched at courtesy of Bext.

Eric B. Schecter, CBRE Chancellor Media Corporation Phoenix, Arizona

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EAS Experience

Matt Mommaerts - Chapter 24

By Matt Mommaerts Chapter 24 This past August, I installed the 40-second non-volatile audio option (two ICs) in an Endec. The NVaudio stores the State EAS Plan's recommended script for when the need arises to originate an RMT. The programming capabilities of the Endec allow the user to pre- program an RMT template that specifies the "AUDIO" source to be "NVaudio." The operator simply presses the RMT button on the handheld remote control (or can call up the RMT template on the front panel menu) and the RMT is sent out automatically (header codes, attention signal, NVaudio, EOM codes). The operator can quickly originate an RMT should any received RMT not relay. Or the operator can originate an RMT should the FCC inspector ask. (The NVaudio will last as long as the internal lithium battery does. An audio cart is available should the Endec die.)

The RMT script lasts for approx. 12 seconds. So the 10-second NVaudio option wasn't long enough. The parameter file's INTERNAL.NV.STORED.LENGTH was set to 1200 (1200 x"10 msec increments" = 12 seconds). The audio was recorded with the MENU.ALERT.RECORD.NVAUDIO menu choice.

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SMPTE Publications

138th SMPTE Conference Proceedings: Film and Video Synergies: Creation to Delivery Includes a free CD-ROM of all papers in the book! Published 1996. A selected group of 47 papers from the 138th SMPTE Technical Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., October 8-12, 1996. 506 pp., 5 l/2 x 8 l/2, Softbound Member Price: $35.00; Nonmember Price: $45.00

Implementing HDTV: Television and Film Applications Published 1996. Edited by Stan Baron. Features selected papers originally published in the SMPTE Journal and which are intended to serve as a tutorial to those who wish a better understanding of HDTV. Topics include A Brief History of HDTV; System Issues; Live Capture; HDTV and Film; Storage; and Production. 236 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $40.00

Digital Image and Audio Communications: Toward a Global Information Infrastructure Published 1996. By Mark I Krivocheev and Stanley N. Baron. Examines the convergence of imaging and audio services in the broadcasting, telecommunications, and computer industries. Explains how MPEG, The ATSC System, COFDM, 8-VSB, DOLBY-AC-3, and the DVB System work. Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. 304pp., Hardbound Member Price: $38.95; Nonmember Price: $42.95

How to Order:
Credit card orders may be phoned or faxed. Phone: (914) 761-1100. Fax: (914) 761-3115. Libraries and booksellers may order at the member price. The discount per title for 5-49 copies is 25%; for 50 or more copies, 33.3%.

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PDX Radio Waves

Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE

"We're re-evaluating our security, fire, and evacuation procedures," offered KPDX TV 49's CE Ed Williams, in the wake of their late October bomb scare. At about 8 AM, the station's receptionist spotted what looked very much like a pipe bomb on the station's front porch - a cluster of three 2-inch pipes wrapped in black tape and threaded with wires. The building was evacuated, and an 8 block area surrounding the station's MLK Blvd. studios was cordoned off by police and ATF officials. The Police Bureau's bomb squad robot was employed, as officials first used a water cannon, and then explosives of their own, in an attempt to detonate the device. (I happened to be driving in the massive traffic jam that ringed the area, just as one of the explosives was set off. Yikes!) Lacking a backup studio or a remote truck with an ENG hop to the transmitter, KPDX aired a slide during the 5+ hour ordeal. As it turns out, the "bomb" was a well designed fake, and the somewhat-shaken staff was allowed to return the station to normal operation at about 1:45PM.

While not at liberty to discuss the fine details of the incident, Ed is evaluating several security improvements to the station, which are equally applicable at any broadcast facility:

1.) Have a mandatory system to track exactly who is and is not in the building at any given moment.
2.) Regularly review fire and emergency evacuation procedures with staff.
3.) Designate a single, specific location for all staff to meet after evacuating the building.
4.) Maintain emergency studio facilities of some type at another location, perhaps with emergency program carts that can be grabbed on the way out of the studio building.

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Help Wanted

Experienced Television Broadcast Engineers

Please share this offering with your fellow SMPTE members in the Rocky Mountain region.

FROM: Roy Moore - SunUp Design Systems, San Jose, CA

World leader in multichannel digital television broadcast scheduling and control systems seeks veteran Broadcast Engineers for multiple Application Engineering and Project Management positions. Must have valid experience in all phases of Broadcast Operations and at least 5 years in the design, construction, or maintenance of television broadcast systems to the component level. Candidates should be customer savvy and service oriented.

Knowledge of video disk server and cartridge robotics technology a plus, moderate travel a must. Must possess working knowledge of computers and network systems. You will find these positions offer excellent salary and benefits in a pleasant and dynamic working environment. Project Managers must possess good business and communication skills and be able to lead major worldwide projects from proposal to completion.

Please send resume and summary of your professional skills to:

SunUp Design Systems, Inc
2001 Gateway Place
Suite 255 East
San Jose, CA 95101
Attn: Human Resources
FAX: (408) 437-9435

An Equal Opportunity Employer. No Phone Calls Please

Help Wanted: Electronic Engineer III / Position #00361 Auraria Media Center-University of Colorado at Denver

Salary:$4640 per month. Full-time position assigned to the Auraria Media Center. This positon provides the technical expertise and skills necessary to manage and supervise all technical aspects of the technologies, video telecommunications systems and services for the Auraria Campus Institutions. (Community College of Colorado, Metropolitan State College of Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver.)

This position requires a BS degree in electronics engineering or electronic engineering technology, or closely related field, or professional level experience, training and/or education equivalent to a BS degree. An additional minimum 6 years of technical experience is required in broadband RF, fiber optic, computer, analog/digital telecommunications systems integration and in television production and telecommunications engineering in a complex analog/digital producton environment which includes 3 years experience designing electronic or telecommunicatons equipment and/or devices and one year as a staff authority or work leader appropriate to the work assignment. Additional professional, technical or basic electronic engineering experience may substitute for the required educaton on a year-for-year basis.

To apply for this positon, please submit a letter of applicaton describing how your experience and training matches the positon description, a list of a least 3 professional references and a copy of your resume to:

Chair, Electronic Engineer III Search Committee
Auraria Media Center
Lawrence @ llth Street
Denver, Colorado 80204

Applicatons must be received no later than January 28, 1998.

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The SBE Board of Directors has accepted the invitation of Chapter 16 to hold the 1998 SBE National Meeting in conjunction with the Electronic Media Expo, October 28-29 in Seattle, Washington. The Electronic Media Expo is the largest SBE sponsored regional exhibit and educational event in the country, both in terms of attendance and number of exhibitors. Events included in the National Meeting will be the Annual Membership Meeting, Awards Dinner, Fall Board of Directors Meeting and Fellows Breakfast. A full day of Ennes Workshops are also being planned for the day preceding the show.

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The second SBE sponsored Leader-Skills Seminar for broadcast engineers will be held in Indianapolis June 8-12, 1998. Cost for the event will be the same as last year, $650. Lodging, meals, and travel expenses are the responsibility of the student. The instructor will be Dick Cupka, who has presented management seminars for broadcast engineers for more than 30 years. Registration forms are available from the SBE office, the class will be limited to 18 participants.

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FCC News

FCC Cable Services Bureau has preempted restriction on the use of over-the-air reception devices imposed by three Homeowners Associations: San Antonio, TX, Potomac, MD and McCormick, SC. A petition filed by CS Wireless Re Northampton Propertyowners Association, San Antonio, TX was granted by the agency to allow the installation of the wireless reception antennas.

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Leonard Charles - Chapter 24 / SBE EAS Committee Chair

The FCC has released its second EAS Report and Order to clarify cable participation. It specifies cable system mandates and implementation timetables which are to be based on number of subscribers.

All wired cable systems will participate according to the following schedule:

1. Systems that serve 10,000 or more subscribers shall install EAS equipment and provide EAS audio and video messages on all channels by December 31, 1998.

2. Systems that serve 5,000 or more, but fewer than 10,000 subscribers shall install EAS equipment and provide EAS audio and video messages on all channels by October 1, 2002.

3. Systems that serve fewer than 5,000 subscribers shall either provide National level EAS messages on all programmed channels (including the required EAS test messages), or install EAS equipment and provide a video interrupt and audio alert message on all programmed channels and EAS audio and video messages on at least one programmed channel by October 1, 2002.

The FCC is requiring wireless cable systems to participate in EAS on the same basis as wired cable systems but they declined to require Satellite Master Antenna Television (SMATV), Open Video Systems (OVS), and cellular and wired telephone services to participate.

The Commission stated that the requirements of existing local franchise agreements for special warning systems will not be preempted by the EAS so long as they do not conflict with the EAS requirements.

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Society of Broadcast Engineers
Chapter 48

2950 South Birch Street
Denver, Colorado 80222

SBE Officers

Andre' Smith (303) 871-4204

Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

Bill Harris (303) 756-4843

Certification Chairman
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

SMPTE Officers

Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

Rick Craddock (719) 634-2844

Myron Olinger
Dick Phannenstiel
George Sollenberger

SMPTE Govenor (National Liason)
Rome Chelsi

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris.......(303)756-4843 email:
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)871-4204 email:

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Society, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE & 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 chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE Newsletter.