Ennes NAB Theme
Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report
Random Radio Thoughts
SBE Certification NEWS
Amature Radio News
Frequency Coordination News
Wind and Power Don't Mix
The YXZ Report
Everything Audio, Ennes NAB2007 Theme
The Society of Broadcast Engineers will again
be the organizing partner with NAB for the upcoming Broadcast Engineering Conference
(BEC) at NAB2007, to
be held April 14-19 in Las Vegas. The traditional Ennes Workshop will kick
off the BEC with a special all-day program titled, “Everything Audio.”
Fred Baumgartner, CPBE CBNT is organizing the workshop with assistance from
Lew Zager of PBS. Many of the attendees of the PBS Engineering Conference
will be joining the Ennes Workshop again this year. Also join in for the
will be participants in the annual NPR Engineering Conference.
The Ennes Workshop will be held Saturday, April 14 at the Las Vegas Convention
Center. It will begin at 8:00 am with a special one-hour “back to the
basics” refresher tutorial followed by audio technology presentations
that will be of interest to those in both radio and television. Presenters
will include experts in the field with practical, real-world engineering backgrounds
Watch for a complete program description in
the February issue of The SBE Signal and on the SBE website. Registration and
be found at the NAB website.
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SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section
January 2007 Meeting Report
Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007
Location: KRMA TV, 1089 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204
Topic: Quantum's Archive Solution for Professional Video
Patrick Thomas, Quantum Corporation
This presentation provided a review and
demonstration of Quantum's has developed the A-Series ProVideo data tape
drives, the first data tape drives enhanced for professional video applications
Synopsis: Based on the IT industry established
and proven DLT® Technology,
the Quantum system combines the well established benefits of data tape
archiving with video tape convenience and accessibility.
a. With a built-in Gigabit Ethernet port, A-Series drives are network
attached so they can be directly connected to any network and accessed
by every edit workstation,
networked server, graphics devices, or other computer based video equipment
on the network.
b. Because they use Super DLTtape II, A-Series ProVideo archiving delivers
a 30 year tape life to protect professional video, audio and data assets better
than any video tape backup. Each cartridge holds 300GB of information and allows
faster-than-real-time transfer rates of up to 288 Mb/sec. And, because each
DLTtape II contains key MXF metadata in a tape-based file directory, your media
is transportable and exchangeable for seamless application independence.
c. The A-Series ProVideo feature set makes the drive MXF-aware which permits
video tape-like access to subclips by timecode and provides an unprecedented
level of interoperability between applications and environments.
d.. A-Series drives are available in table-top, rack mount and autoloader configurations.
Attendees view the drive first hand and discuss follow-up questions with Pat Thomas
sincere thanks to John Anderson and his staff at KRMA for hosting the meeting,
to Quantum for sponsoring the refreshments, and to Tom
Goldberg for helping arrange the presentation.
Jim Schoedler SBE Chapter 48 Chairman
Rome Chelsi, SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman
Return to table of contents
Random Radio Thoughts
Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company
AM HD Radio Performance
During the January 20 Chapter 48 on-air meeting on 146.805/447.175 MHz, a question
came up as to the performance of HD Radio in the null areas of AM directional
antennas. I wasn’t around to answer the question at the time but it
was subsequently emailed to me. That email started a rather interesting dialogue,
and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the subject with you in
Digital performance generally will suffer in the deep null areas of some
directional arrays. Any directional array exhibits different directionality
and pattern shape) across the passband. The ability of an array to hold the
proper pattern across the passband is loosely referred to as “pattern
bandwidth.” I think this is something of a misnomer without a proper
definition. The 9th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook defines pattern
bandwidth as, “The frequencies for which the pattern remains useful.” I
find that definition to be not useful! Regardless, the underlying principle
is that the self-impedances of the towers, the mutual impedances, the network
reactances and the transmission line phase shifts all vary with frequency.
The aggregate change on a particular frequency within the passband determines
what the currents and phases in the array elements will be on that frequency.
As a rule, those currents and phases will be at variance from those at carrier.
The closer the off-carrier currents and phases stay to those on-carrier, the
better the “pattern bandwidth.”
We have all been on the backside of a directional array and heard the audio
get loud and distorted. That effect is caused by poor pattern bandwidth. It
is the result of a deep null at the carrier frequency with a not-so-deep null
at the sideband frequencies, leaving you with, in essence, a double-sideband
suppressed-carrier signal in the null. Because all the digital carriers are
in the sidebands and considerably removed from the analog carrier frequency,
you might think that poor pattern bandwidth would actually have a positive
effect on digital performance, and in some cases you may be right. But it is
likely that there will be a great deal of “tilt” in the spectrum
in the nulls; one sideband will have considerably more attenuation than the
other. It is even possible in patterns with considerable null fill that the
true “null” will occur at a frequency other than at carrier. In
other words, the null may occur right in the middle of the digital carriers.
The bottom line is that deep pattern nulls are seldom kind to the digital carriers
and digital performance is likely to suffer in the null areas.
So what can be done about it? Sometimes quite a bit, sometimes nothing – it
is entirely situation dependent. In some arrays, considerable improvements
in pattern bandwidth can be made in the phasing and coupling system. Slope
correction is one technique that can sometimes be used, roughly matching the
slope of the reactance of the driving point impedance with the opposite slope
of the reactance change in a network leg. This technique can sometimes produce
a much better impedance slope at the network input, eliminating unwanted reactances
upstream where they play havoc with the phase shifts and power distribution.
Slope correction can also be used to maintain a relatively constant phase shift
across a frequency span. Occasionally it can be used to do both.
Some arrays, however, have poor pattern bandwidth as a result of array geometry.
The physical layout of the array elements coupled with the operating parameters
produces driving point impedance slopes that wreck the pattern off carrier.
In those cases, your only option is to start over and design a new pattern.
Sometimes changing the current distribution on the towers can help. Adding
top loading, for example, may result in a more favorable reactance slope in
the self-impedance. The best way to decide which way to go is to use method-of-moments
modeling. The better modeling platforms allow you to “sweep” the
passband in the model so you can observe the effects of your changes on the
input impedances. You may even be able to model networks at the tower bases
and observe changes in operating parameters across the passband. I have a couple
of different programs I use for this purpose.
In my experience, the number one performance factor in AM HD Radio performance
is load cusp orientation. Even in high sideband VSWR situations, if the load
cusp is right so that the power amplifier sees the proper load orientation
(symmetrical decreasing R with symmetrical increasing opposite-sign X on either
side of carrier), HD Radio can work. KLZ is one such situation locally. It
is one of those arrays where we have done all we can in the phasing and coupling
system to improve the impedance and pattern bandwidths – the broadside,
wide-spaced array geometry simply produces nasty impedance slopes at the driving
points. KLZ performs well in the digital mode even with 2.1:1 ±15 kHz
sideband VSWR values.
The other big performance factor in AM HD Radio is clean spectrum. This is
directly related to load orientation. Excessive spectral regrowth in the ±25
kHz range kills AM HD Radio performance. Such spectral regrowth often occurs
because of load problems wherein the primary digital carriers are “pushed” into
symmetry into a load that is anything but symmetrical. This produces third-order
IM products that contaminate the spectrum. Sometimes this is unavoidable. One
thing to keep in mind is that third-order IM products are reduced by 3 dB for
every 1 dB reduction in contributing signal. Drop the digital primary by a
dB or two on the side with the problem and you will often get a dramatic drop
in regrowth and a dramatic improvement in HD performance in the field. A couple
of dB one way or the other in digital primary level otherwise makes very little
difference in HD Radio coverage.
If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain
radio engineering community, drop me an email at email@example.com.
Return to table of contents
SBE CERTIFICATON NEWS
SBE Leader Skills Seminar - Management Skills for Engineers
The SBE Leader-Skills Seminars, in its 11th consecutive year
with the Society, is specifically designed for broadcast engineers who have
or aspire to have
management responsibilities. SBE offers the two-part series in cooperation
with instructor Richard D. Cupka, Sr., West Lafayette, Ind. Both courses
are being offered in Indianapolis in 2007.
Course I, “Leadership – The Framework of People Skills” will
be held June 5-7, 2007. It covers the function and nature of your leadership
role; how to build stronger teams and effective internal cooperativeness; the
complex differences of people; and discovery of your “natural” style
of leading and how to nurture a “developed” style to help you
adjust to different people in differing situations.
Course II, “Leadership – Expanding Your People Skills” will
be held Aug. 7-9, 2007, and picks up where Course I leaves off.
Those wishing to attend Course II must have attended Course I sponsored by
SBE or prevciously
NAB (dating back to 1965). Course II explores individual behavior in groups
and dynamics of interaction between groups; the complex motivations of different
people and how to deal with them; how best to handle disciplinary processes;
and where emphasis should be in a leader's ultimate responsibility over
people and activities.
Cupka, who has 40 plus years experience in adult training, has directed and
taught the Leader-Skills seminars to broadcast engineering managers, supervisors
and technicians for 40 years. Many of the most respected broadcast engineering
managers in the country today, are graduates of the program and continue
to send members of their staffs so that they, too, can learn from Cupka.
Designed to take technically–adept people and instill in them sound
supervisory and management skills, the Leader-Skills Series can also be viewed
as a tool
for personal growth and development, even for those without prior management
or supervisory responsibilities.
Registering early! Each course is limited to a minimum of 10 and a maximum
of 18 participants. Deadlines to register are May 2 for Course I and July
5 for Course II. The cost of registrations is $545 for each course, which
three days of instruction, all course materials, a certificate of completion
and classroom refreshments.
All transportation, housing and meals are the responsibility of the participant.
The location will be the Holiday Inn Select - Indianapolis Airport. The discounted
guest room rate is $105 plus tax.
College Credit for Your SBE Certification:
College Credit for Your SBE Certification
The Society of Broadcast Engineers and Excelsior College have teamed up! Your current SBE Certification may qualify for credit towards a degree from Excelsior College or could help you finish that degree you’ve been working on at another institution. If you’re interested, contact Excelsior College by calling toll-free at (888) 647-2388 to learn about the details.
When you are ready to submit your SBE Certification for credit to Excelsior College,
download the SBE transcript request form at www.sbe.org or www.excelsior.edu,
or contact the SBE National Office for a copy. When you’ve completed the form,
e-mail, fax or mail it to Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National
Office, who will prepare your transcript and send it to Excelsior College.
Megan Clappe Certification
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 2007 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
|April 17, 2007
||NAB - Las Vegas
||March 2, 2007
|June 1-11, 2007
||April 20, 2007
|Aug 10-20, 2007
||June 8, 2007
|Nov 9-19, 2007
||September 21, 2007
Fees are as Follows:
|Broadcast Networking Technologist
|Senior Broadcast Engineer
|Professional Broadcast Engineer
|AM Directional Specialist
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.
Return to table of contents
AMATEUR RADIO NEWS
Thanks to Chapter 43
It's Official! Morse Code Requirement
Ends Friday, February 23
(Jan 24, 2007 [REVISED Jan 26, 2007 14:15 ET]) --
February 23, on your calendar. That's when the current 5 WPM Morse code requirement
will officially disappear from the Amateur Radio Service Part 97 rules in accordance
with the FCC's Report and Order (R&O) in the "Morse code proceeding," WT
Docket 05-235. Beginning on that date, applicants for a General or Amateur
Extra class Amateur Radio license no longer will have to demonstrate proficiency
in Morse code. They'll just have to pass the applicable written examination.
Publication of the new rules in the January 24 Federal Register started a 30-day
countdown for the new rules to become effective. Deletion of the Morse requirement
-- still a matter of controversy within the amateur community -- is a landmark
in Amateur Radio history.
President Expresses Appreciation to Amateur
(Jan 17, 2007) -- President George W. Bush has written the ARRL to
recognize the just-ended Hello Amateur Radio public relations campaign and
to extend "greetings to all those celebrating 100 years of voices over
the airwaves." The president said the centennial of Reginald Fessenden's
landmark Christmas Eve 1906 voice broadcast "opened the door for technological
advances" that improved the lives of people around the world.
Amature Radio News
By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Chapter 24
Morse code nixed
Soon, the United States will join the growing list of countries that no longer
require Amateur Radio applicants to pass a Morse code test as the entry ticket
to HF. Announcement of the pending historic rule change arrived with no fanfare
December 15, 2006, in an FCC public notice. A full-blown Report and Order
(R&O) in the proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, followed December 19.
We ... believe that the public interest is not served by requiring facility
in Morse code when the trend in amateur communications is to use voice and
digital technologies for exchanging messages," the FCC said in its R&O. "Rather,
we believe that because the international requirement for telegraphy proficiency
has been eliminated, we should treat Morse code telegraphy no differently from
other Amateur Service communications techniques."
The FCC says it deems the current regime of written examinations "sufficient
to determine whether a person is qualified to be issued an Amateur Radio operator
The FCC also ordered that all Technician licensees present and future — whether
or not they’ve passed a Morse code test — will get privileges on
80, 40, 15 and 10 meters identical to those of Novice licensees.
In eliminating this disparity between Technician and Technician Plus licenses,
we are simplifying the Amateur Service licensing structure and promoting regulatory
parity," the FCC said.
ARRL sues FCC
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is suing the FCC over a recent rule
change in the long-running "Broadband over Powerline" (BPL) controversy
and is asking its members to contribute to its "Spectrum Defense Fund" to
mount the challenge to the federal agency.
"The FCC has an obligation to protect licensed radio services from unnecessary
interference," the ARRL’s Web site said. "There was growing
evidence that interference from some BPL systems is a serious problem that
is either impossible, or very expensive, to fix."
Calling the new BPL rules adopted in 2006 "intolerable," the ARRL
"Never before has an unintentional emitter been given a free pass to interfere
with licensed radio services."
On October 10, 2006, the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
LLP (WilmerHale) joined ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay in filing a Petition
for Review on behalf of the ARRL in the United States Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia Circuit.
ARRL says one of the challenges in the case will be that "complex technical
issues must be made understandable to a panel of judges who are not telecommunications
As a means of delivering broadband services to consumers, BPL is an inferior
technology. According to the FCC’s own figures, the BPL industry has
managed to reach fewer than 5,000 customers nationwide. BPL is failing in the
marketplace, as well it should.
Here’s the problem: Even if BPL disappears from the scene tomorrow, the
FCC’s preference for unlicensed, unintentional emitters over the interests
of its licensees will remain on the books. Bad rules left unchallenged will
lead to even worse rules later.
The FCC was heading in the wrong direction under Michael Powell. It’s
continuing in the wrong direction under Kevin Martin. Reasoned technical arguments
backed up by overwhelming evidence have not altered the FCC’s errant
course. There was only one thing left that we could do: appeal in federal court.
After carefully considering the costs and consequences, the ARRL Board of Directors
concluded that was what we must do.
The Court of Appeals will not substitute its judgment for the reasoned decision-making
of an expert agency. But this long-established principle does not give agencies
such as the FCC carte blanche. Deciding the outcome you want and adjusting
the facts to fit is not reasoned decision-making. We will show that the FCC
did not come to a reasoned decision in developing its BPL rules.
In another case earlier this year, a panel of this court had this to say about
another federal agency: "We therefore owe no deference to [the agency’s]
purported expertise because we cannot discern it." When it reviews the
FCC’s BPL decisions we expect the court to reach a similar conclusion.
From ARRL’s "Defense of Frequencies" Web page on BPL
(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s <arrl.org> web
Return to table of contents
Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16
If I could write a headline for this column
it might be – Never a dull moment!. For me the past few months have
been a roller coaster ride. First it was learning that I was losing my job…with
epic rain and winds added. Then it was knowing that I would continue to work
for Entercom (and some other local broadcasters) after the first of the year…and
then – wham!...The announcement that Entercom was trading away KIRO,
KTTH and KBSG to Bonneville. I left that meeting just to hear that I was
staying with Entercom at their remaining stations in town (KISW, KMTT, KKWF
and KNDD). Entercom will also continue to own and operate their transmitter
sites on Cougar and West Tiger Mts. This will mean that I will likely be
working with Dwight Small in the future. Meanwhile Tom Pierson is likely
to be the chief at the new Bonneville operation. It was just about 10 years
ago that Entercom purchased 710, 770 and 100.7 from Bonneville. In the deal
they get the two AM’s back and 97.3 instead of 100.7. The three stations
studios are all at 1820 Eastlake….Hmm – Don’t think they
saved the Bonneville sign do you? This will mean that there are about 30
days to take apart what was created over the past 10 years. For me, it’s
an end of a very long association. For the first time since May of 1982 I
will not be responsible for some portion of 97.3…25 Years is a long
Bonneville’s return is part of a larger 10 station deal that will have
Entercom return to San Francisco and Bonneville enter Cincy. Here’s
another interested related tidbit – Talmage Ball, the fellow that heads
up the Engineering department for Bonneville, just last fall moved to Silverdale…
Another big story this month. KRKO has a green light for their power increase
in Everett. This has been an epic struggle with mucho-bucks spent to get
to this point.
Congratulations to Andy Skotdol for hanging in there all this time. We look
forward to one of the areas oldest broadcast stations operating at 50Kw.
Have you checked your electric bill for the period during all the storms
and power outages? Reportedly some folks have found that their bills actually
increased during a month when they were generating their own power. Hmmm
At this writing Intel is about to announce a new and more advanced processor…perhaps
proving that Moore’s Law is still valid. The new device will use technology
that will reduce the size of the guts of these devices down from the present
90 nanometers to 45.
There is going to be another EAS Summit this year in WDC. Don Miller and
I will be attending the March 2nd event and will report back to those in
attendance at the next State EAS (SECC) meeting scheduled for March 14th
at Camp Murray.
In a radio contest turned very bad – One of Entercom’s stations
in Sacramento saw a contestant die from an overdose of water which attracted
a huge amount of media attention.
With the change of power in Washington attention is focused on media ownership
rules. Recent revelations tend to make this writer think that those that
are pushing for additional relaxation are going to have a hard time.
Meanwhile the FCC has been busy in the auction-barn netting some 13.9 Billion
bucks for new wireless services. Of course the money will go to the US Treasury.
Dolby has come up with a new device that is supposed to limit the loudness
of TV commercials. The device is called – Dolby Volume. Gee what happened
to the CBS Loudness Controller?
In what must be described as a big step forward, the US DOE announced recently
that Boeing – Spectrolab have been working with solar cells and managed
to raise their efficiency to 40.7 percent. This is a significant gain over
just a few years ago. We are not quite ready for solar to replace fossil
fuels for power generation however as their efficiency, however improved,
still puts them in the 8-10 cent per kilowatt hour range….then again
if you don’t mind paying that rate…….
Have you made your reservations for the NAB convention in Las Vegas yet?
Despite the fact that they keep building huge hotels, there is always a scramble
for rooms. Seemed a bit funny to be in L.V. in the winter… I was there
in early January for the SBE Executive Board meeting and local TV was really
funny to northern ears. Their weather forecaster was having a ball with the
threat of snow in the valley, yes, maybe even an inch of the white stuff
from the ‘ winter-blast’. As it turned out, the temperature did
drop into the 20’s at night, but no snow. Some of our group were wondering
if they even had snow plows for the runways.
The theft of copper continues to be a problem. During the recent extended
power outage, thieves made off with the majority of a roll of 7/8 inch Heliax
from one of the Cougar Mt sites. Their tactic was to take the cover all the
roll, then use what must have been a chop-saw and cut into the reel…yielding
a bunch of pieces about 6 feet long. They apparently got scared away and
I had the job of hauling the rest to the metal recycler. Down in Portland,
one of the AM stations there has been hit 3-times by thieves who have stripped
out the stations ground system around their towers. This despite having security
patrols etc. I understand the latest ground system has all its parts either
stamped with the company name, or its painted bright orange….This in
the hope they can be caught as they try to turn it into cash. Some of these
folks are pretty brazen. They are cutting through fences of sub-stations
and steeling the ground wires from these facilities. The time will come when
there will be stations in this area hit causing them to go off the air. If
these folks are willing to go after copper in a sub-station, can a TV station
be far behind?
Congratulations to Doug Irwin in landing a new gig in NYC. Doug is going
to be working for CCR in the Big Apple and had a big project ahead of him – The
consolidation of all 5 CCR stations into one facility at 32 Avenue of the
Americas…After that another consolidation project in the Empire State
Building. Doug was recently Chief of the Clear Channel cluster here in Seattle.
While I am at it – Welcome to Seattle Ken Broeffle who joins CCR Seattle.
Ken was previously employed in Portland, so we don’t have to explain
the weather to him.
If you have been in this biz in Seattle for as long as I, you remember Bill
Wolfenbarger who was the Chief at KOL, many moons ago. Bill for the last
several years has been playing radio in SW Washington under the name of Jodesha
Broadcasting (I understand the name comes from his kids)….anyway, Bill
recently got a CP for a new station at Ocean Shores. It will be on 93.5,
one click up from KUBE.
Had a chance recently to visit with Alan Douglas at
the KING-5/KONG-16 facility on Queen Ann Hill – It’s been many
years since I was there. I was up there scoping out the KING-FM STL relay
Rumors have been flying that the two providers of Satellite Radio, XM and
Sirius, are merging, this is mixed with rumors that the Feds would not approve
A local software vendor is going to be working with Clear Channel to provide
new and innovative content for HD Radio systems. They even have a name for
it “Microsoft Direct HD”. With radio becoming more like TV with
a data pipe to play with look for these types of developments to come along.
Got a note from Tim Schall at Channel 9 - Apparently they lost a circulator
that was custom made for NEC – Got some ideas, give Tim at call at
Remember those WOR radio towers in New York that were supposed to come down,
but did not because of objections they might cause a distraction to those
on the adjacent freeway? Well they are down, and apparently no traffic problems.
Cancer caused by Cellphones….Well two new findings are out. One says
yes, one says no. Doubt that it will keep cellphones out of the hands of
millions at this point. Ya have to wonder what is more addictive, cell phones
Before I close this – I want to bring you up to speed on something
that could impact every Radio and TV station in our area. The State Emergency
Management Division, under the leadership of Don Miller, has been working
on a replacement system for portions of our present EAS system….and
we are getting closer to roll out time. This new system will replace the
system that has yielded scratching sounding audio, mis-fires and screw-ups
with a new Internet based system driven by a computer interface that will
take text messages and distribute them to everyone, the EAS voice message
will be generated by a text reader. In the Central Puget EAS area we would
like to have a broadcast station that would be willing to relay all the messages
so that everyone can get good clear audio… if that can’t be found,
we may feed the Local Relay Network with this device that would mean that
the EAS Voice messages would continue to be distributed by UHF analog radio.
For TV Stations this will mean that you will have the ability to receive,
and re-transmit, a text message that is exactly like the voice portion. This
will be a significant improvement as I am sure you can imagine. If I have
gotten your attention with this and you’d like to know more. Please
join us at the table on March 14th at Camp Murray. This is going to be an
interesting transition as it will not come with a federal mandate to purchase
new equipment but rather it will be an extension of the voluntary portion
of EAS. Unfortunately there is not a huge pot of money to drop this equipment
into every station…hopefully the improvement will be reason enough
for stations to want to join the effort, even if it costs.
Outta space, C U Next Month.
Clay, CPBE, K7CR
Return to table of contents
FREQUENCY COORDINATION & OTHER STUFF
by Everett E. Helm
at sbe124 dot org
From Portland Chapter 124
NEW "SHARED" PUBLIC SAFETY BROADBAND SPECTRUM
The FCC recently issued an NPRM to take the 12 MHz of wideband 700 MHz spectrum
that was allocated to Public Safety and convert it to broadband use. The
NPRM would reallocate that spectrum to a nationwide "public/private partnership" to
create a broadband network that both commercial and public safety users can
use - with public safety having priority. The spectrum could be used for video
surveillance, E-mail, text messaging, and file transfers. The hope is that
with a nationwide commercial licensee utilizing the spectrum on a secondary
basis, the services would be available sooner and at less cost. Public Safety
would always have priority. For more information, see: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-181A1.pdf
This is the same upper 700 MHz spectrum (TV channels 63,64,68 and 69) that
the public safety community has been anxiously waiting for the broadcasters
ARE YOU READY FOR DIGITAL EAS?
As you should know by now, on January 1st the FCC is requiring all digital
Broadcast services that participate in an EAS plan for their analog stations,
must also provide EAS service to all digital program streams. This means
the HD2 channels in radio, and all of the program services in the DTV transport
stream. With radio, it's not too bad an ordeal, since most of the audio is
either AES, or analog at some point in the program line. With TV, it's more
involved unless you are already decoding the elementary program stream down
to base band and re-encoding. Even at that, it still needs to be injected
all program services, which means it may have to be upconverted from SD NTSC
to digital HDTV.
At OPB we have the additional complication that the new rule applies to all
of our full service DTV stations. The transmitter sites do not decode the
elementary transport stream at all, making it very difficult to add local
It is possible, and at least one manufacturer is making a box to add the
audio message and character generation at the ASI/ MPEG level. Basic problem
the units are expensive, about $45K per site, and not deliverable yet. OPB
has ordered one unit for the Network Center that will relay national and
state EAS. It will not be operational by the 1st. We have asked the FCC for
of the new rules to cover the installation delay at KOPB and the implementation
at the other 4 stations. Is there hope that someone will come up with a less
expensive version for less money? The analog stations of course, which serve
at least 95% of the viewers, will continue to provide the complete EAS package.
Return to table of contents
PACIFIC NORTHWEST WIND AND POWER DON'T MIX: LESSONS
by John White K7RUN
Chief Engineer, KKPZ/KDZR
to Chapter 124
On Thursday evening in the week prior to Christmas, a predicted winter wind
storm hit the Oregon and Washington coast. Across Oregon, Portland General
Electric reported 122,000 customers out of service. Pacific Power, Clark County,
and other public utility districts reported similar levels of outages. One
Oregon highway had more than 100 trees down in a 20 mile stretch. At the Mt.
Scott, Sylvan, and Stonehenge broadcast facilities, commercial power failed
early Thursday evening or was sporadic at best.
Fortunately this storm was primarily wind, without snow or freezing rain, which
in theory would make travel to check out or for repair of transmitter facilities
easier. Or, would it?
In fact, travel was a real problem after this storm. A large part of the traffic
problem was the result of decisions made 30 years ago when local and state
government decided that if they build roads then people will just use them.
So, of course, they haven't built any. The absence of new roads coupled with
the normal levels of holiday traffic made for more than the typical high levels
of congestion even without a storm.
Friday, the morning after the storm turned congestion into a real traffic nightmare.
Trees were down blocking roads, power was out at intersections, and power crews
were everywhere blocking roads and repairing power lines. Traffic was seriously
stalled. At the SE 111th and Foster Road intersection, access to Mt. Scott,
the power and traffic lights were out. Traffic was backed up on Foster past
92nd. The alternate route of Flavel to Mt Scott blvd was closed by a traffic
Lesson one: Look for and plan multiple alternate routes before an emergency.
For those familiar with the Mt. Scott area, the Idleman to Walnut access was
open, but Tyler was blocked by a large tree down across the power lines to
the west of Walnut. On Eastview drive a commercial tower was down across the
That commercial 2-way tower was located behind a residence on the west side
of the 9800 block of SE Eastview DR. The tower came down across the house,
through the tree, and smack dab on top of the power pole. In the process the
tower crowbarred all three phases of the 2400 V distribution lines. From the
look of things at the time, commercial power was going to be down for some
At the Crawford Mt. Scott transmitter site, the one with the self- supporting
AM towers, there were a lot of limbs but no trees down and there was no immediate
damage visible. The wind vibration did take out both upper side lights on one
tower. That's not an immediate problem, although another relamping will be
Once inside the transmitter building, the fuel supply was another story. At
Scott the generator is mounted inside the building with the cooling air vented
outside. This is a very common installation method used when there is sufficient
space in the building. There is one disadvantage with this approach: for each
cubic foot of air the generator exhausts from the building, a cubic foot of
outside replacement air is required. Thursday evening and Friday that outside
air was in the mid-30's. Yes, you guessed correctly. The 30 KW of electric
heat was full on consuming generator fuel at a prodigious rate.
Lesson two: Evaluate the generator heat, cooling air, and fuel supply as a
Last summer I attempted to top-off the generator fuel supply. I basically got
nowhere. The single biggest roadblock was the minimum delivery of 300 to 500
gallons. Fortunately our station manager has a business relationship with a
local company for his home heating fuel. So I thought that relationship would
help get an emergency refueling. Well it was a thought. They still insisted
on a large minimum delivery, larger than a full tank. It took some calling
but Friday afternoon we did manage to arrange an emergency delivery for Saturday.
Lesson three: If possible before the emergency try to get an agreement with
a vender for emergency fuel delivery.
With fuel low and a delivery 18 hours away the next step was conservation.
Building heat was the first to go. Fortunately with temps in the mid 30's heat
was not critical. Had temps been below freezing protecting the fire sprinkler
system would have been a major issue. So, off went the heat and all unnecessary
power usage: the hot water tank, the refrigerator, everything not necessary.
Additionally both stations were reduced to half power. The next step was to
locate a couple of 5 gallon containers to allow some fuel to be ferried to
the generator. As it happened, PGE had been able to restore power at Foster
road late Friday. The Foster gas station which also sells diesel fuel was open
again. I also arranged to borrow the use of the local vintage Railroad Club's
fueling rig. Even though it only has a capacity of 50 gallons, that rig represented
a potential life line.
Lesson four: Have a fuel/power conservation plan and possible back
up fueling plans in place prior to an emergency.
Other than all that, how was the storm? I was impressed by the response of
the general public. Many roads were opened by local residents' chain saw work
parties. Everyone pitched in and responded. Well done everyone!
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THE YXZ REPORT
by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
watercooled at sbe124.org
LIFE WITH HD RADIO
Holding at 12 FM HD signals
(nine with HD2) and two AM HD signals on the air in the Portland market.
Disney’s 1640 KDZR should turn on their HD signal this month, leaving
the market with just one AM Stereo station, during the day at least: 1450 KBPS.
Lots of new radios coming out, and a buyer’s guide at http://www.hdradio.com/hdradio_buyers_guide.php.
Ibiquity has revamped their HD station lists, AM, FM, and HD2+ together at
MEDIAFLO HITS THE AIR IN PORTLAND
Steve Kaluza, Transmitter Supervisor for
KGW-TV, says: “MediaFlo plans to begin radiating from their new antenna
at the top of the Skyline Tower Site’s main tower Friday, January 5th.
They are on channel 55, 716-722 MHz., at 50,000 Watts ERP.” Hopefully
you don’t have any wireless mics near that frequency. See the overview
at http://www.mediaflousa.com/back_stage/index.html .
SCIENTISTS PREDICT BIG SOLAR CYCLE
Dec. 21, 2006 - Evidence is mounting: the
next solar cycle is going to be a big one. (From http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/21dec_cycle24.htm?list862527)
Solar cycle 24, due to peak in 2010 or 2011 “looks like its going to
be one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost 400 years
ago,” says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight
Center. He and colleague Robert Wilson presented this conclusion last week
at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. According to their
analysis, the next Solar Maximum should peak around 2010 with a sunspot number
of 160 plus or minus 25. This would make it one of the strongest solar cycles
of the past fifty years-which is to say, one of the strongest in recorded history.
Return to table of contents
Things to Ponder
If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin
Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians
can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons
debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP? Do Lipton Tea employees
take coffee breaks?
What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed
to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps
so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
Return to table of contents
Garneth M. Harris
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