A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

March 2000


Return to Chapter 48 Newsletter Page

Contents

The February Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
2000 Brings New Leader Skills Seminars
New National Certification Level
Looking For A "Cool Tool"?
Tech Tips
SBE Members Get Discount On NAB Spring Convention
Publications
Spread Spectrum Inventor, Actress Hedy Lamarr Dies
Did You Hear?
Latest Favorite Sub-Sets Of Murphy's Laws
SBE Resume Service
Sony Virtual Video Recorder Profile
ACLU Opposed to Mobiltrak
Static Line
Monthly HAMnet Brings SBE To Remote Areas
Etc.

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00PM

Location: AT&T Digital Television Center (former TCI - NDTC) Presenter: Steve Wong of TeraNex

NDTC is at the South East corner Colorado and Dry Creek in Littleton. Enter the main door on the West side, and sign in. Meeting will be in the Digital Diner and the HDTV Test Room. The actual address is NDTC, 4100 E. Dry Creek Road, Littleton, CO 80122.

The XantusTM family of format converters allows broadcasters, post-production professionals and Internet encoding companies to up-convert, down-convert and cross-convert from ANY video format to ANY video format in real time. The power of this video processing technology enables video, Internet and film companies to cost-effectively migrate to Digital Television and re-purpose entire libraries of entertainment, sports and news programming for domestic as well as foreign use.

Steve will be demonstrating the capablilites of this remarkable product in the HDTV demo room at NDTC. Space is limited.

Return To Table of Contents


The February Meeting

Fred Baumgartner introduced Kelly Hannig, regional manager, from Gentner. The GSC 3000 system was the subject of this evening's presentation.

Site control - The VRC series of systems came onto the scene about 12 years ago. It preceded the other companies, but eventually faced scrutiny by the FCC. Was it legal? FCC said it was not illegal. Others, such as Burk and Sine Systems came along.

Gentner's GSC 3000 product is WIN 95/98, NT compatible. GSC is expandable, from 8 to 256 channels. LAN and WAN capability as well as phone and computer dial-in. Smarts are in the box, not in the PC. Backward compatible with VRC2000 accessories.

Macros - instruction sets, macros can call macros like batch files. Logs- stores up to 128 "snapshots". Voice interface for verbal responses. Silence sensor - two band monitoring, wideband and narrow band in the voice range. Stack I/O units for more channels.status, 16 raise/16 lower functions and 16 metering channels. Command outputs - are open collector.

On the PC, each site has an icon. Setup screens give you access to current and archive programming. There are 3 access levels: system (highest), operator and observer. Programming macros is a simple, basic like language. Alarms bring up a box on the screen and audio from the PC. A 19.2 kbps link is necessary.

Network (link) failure between site and studio does not remove control, "smarts" are in the GSC, not the PC. If there is too much information on the screen for some operators, a simplified custom screen can be created.

Kelly then provided the attendees with a look, or rather a listen to the Gentner DH30 telephone interface the "Digital Hybrid 30". Has AES/EBU I/Os, creates internal mix/minus if necessary, 3 band EQ on caller, active nulling (during the call), user programmable presets allow 3 different setups, different send audio sources, full duplex (ducking is switchable).

We sure appreciate Kelly making time to meet with our group, and rumor has it, he will be joining us as a sustaining member soon!

Our March meeting has changed. Plan to join us on Wednesday, March 15 at the National Digital Television Center at 6:30 PM. Steve Wong of TeraNex will be showing their Video Computer, based on technology originating from Lockheed Martin.

See you on the 15th!

Return To Table of Contents


Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

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

March 15, 2000 TeraNex, The Video Computer 7:00PM NDTC

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 To Be Announced

July 7, 2000 (Friday) Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the August 18-28 local window

July 19, 2000 (Tentative) Annual World Famous Picnic Lunch at Lookout Mountain

September 22, 2000 (Friday) Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the November 10-20 local window

Return To Table of Contents


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
ROMEC@compuserve.com

Return To Table of Contents


2000 Brings New Leader Skills Seminars

After three years of sponsoring five-day Leader Skills seminars for broadcast engineers, the Society of Broadcast Engineers, in cooperation with instructor Richard Cupka, will modify the program for 2000. The program will essentially be split into two parts.

Course I will be held over three days, June 7-9 in Indianapolis and will provide the essentials to understanding leadership styles of yourself and others. It will provide the technical individual the basics on how to manage other people successfully.

Course II, to be held August 16-18, also in Indianapolis, will pick up where Course I left off, going into further depth and providing the participant with a solid foundation to manage others. The cost for each course is $425, which includes instruction, materials and refreshment breaks. Transportation, hotel and meals are additional. Those wishing to attend Course II must have attended either Course I or any of the SBE or NAB sponsored Leader Skills programs held since 1965. Registration Forms will be available in the March issue of the SBE SIGNAL, from the SBE National Office or through the SBE web site, www.sbe.org .

Return To Table of Contents


New National Certification Level

Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist

This certification is designed for persons who wish to demonstrate a basic familiarity with networking hardware as utilized in business and audio/video applications in broadcast facilities. The Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certification can be obtained by either acheiving a passing grade on the proficiency exam, or by holding a valid certification from either Microsoft or Novell(or other industry recognized vendor) with either (2) years of continuous satisfactory service in broadcast engineering or related technology prior to the date of the exam. Contact Linda at the national office at (317) 253-1640 or lgodby@sbe.org You can download the application at the following URL http://www.sbe.org/pdf/cbntapp.pdf

Return To Table of Contents


Looking For A "Cool Tool"?

Check out this URL!
http://www.broadcast.net/~sbe131/Cool_Tools_/cool_tools_.html

Return To Table of Contents


Tech Tips

George Guida

I have had two Sage EAS printers go on the fritz in the last two weeks. Here's how I did the repair:

Pull the unit out of the rack and power down. (Hopefully you have a bit of slack) Jerk the top off. Slide the printer out about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. Unplug the ribbon cable. Remove the four screws holding the entire board to the tray. Now you can carry it to the bench. Carefully remove the two small ribbon cables from the printer unit. Flip the board over and remove the two small screws holding the print head to the board. Now inspect the small switch on the end where the print head parks itself. Twist the large gear on the other end to back the print head out of the way if needed. Make sure the switch is seated all the way on the (cheap) plastic frame. Use a small bit of contact cleaner spray and work the switch with a small flat screwdriver. If the switch seems loose (from the frame) carefully remove it and use a couple small drops of super glue and hold in place for about a half minute. Be sure to work the switch after applying glue to make sure none has gotten on the plunger of the switch, moves freely. Now re-install the print head in the reverse order and give it a try. Also, Harris can get the replacement print heads. Don't order the entire board, too much $$$. The print head goes for around $45. Editor's note: George is Director of Engineering - Nassau Broadcasting, North

Return To Table of Contents


SBE Members Get Discount On NAB Spring Convention

Once again, SBE members will be able to register for the NAB Spring Convention in Las Vegas at the NAB Member rate, a savings of $330. NAB has begun sending registration materials for the April 2000 event. They also have on-line registration available at their web site: www.nab.org. If your station is not a member of NAB, be sure to take advantage of this great SBE member benefit. The savings are equal to SIX times the cost of ONE year of SBE membership!

Return To Table of Contents


Publications

by Joe Risse
From Chapter 2

Power Electronics Design Handbook

by Nihal Kularatna

Power electronics basics are covered in this handbook. Modern low-power components and applications are discussed in detail including power semiconductor, converters, power supplies, batteries, power conditioners and ICs and UPS. This handbook costs $59.95 and is published by Newnes Butterworth Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Avenue, Woburn, Mass 01801 telephone 800-366-2665 or Web: www.bh.com

Radio Tubes and Boxes of the 1920's

A new era of radio began on Nov. 2, 1920 when radio station KDKA of Pittsburgh, PA began regular broadcasting. This book describes that first decade of home radio.. It includes illustrations of over 360 early radio tubes as well as magazine ads and company literature. Radio Tubes and Boxes of the 1920's is published by Sonoran Publishing, 116 N. Roosevelt, Suite 121. Chandler, AZ 85226 telephone 480-961-5176 Cost is $26.95.

Return To Table of Contents


Spread Spectrum Inventor, Actress Hedy Lamarr Dies

From Chapter 124

Hedy Lamarr, the sultry, sexy screen star of the 1930s and 1940s who also conceived the frequency-hopping technique now known as spread spectrum, has died. She was believed to be 86. Born Hedwig Kiesler in Austria, Lamarr came to the US in 1937 after being signed by MGM. Among her most successful films was the 1949 Samson and Delilah, directed by Cecil B. DeMille. In her 1992 book Feminine Ingenuity, Lamarr describes how she came up with the idea of a radio signaling device for radio-controlled torpedoes that would minimize the danger of detection or jamming by randomly shifting the frequency. She and composer George Antheil developed the concept and received a patent for it in 1942. The concept never saw fruition during World War II, but when the patent expired, Sylvania developed the idea for use in satellites. Spread spectrum also has found applications in wireless telephones, military radios, wireless computer links, and Amateur Radio experimentation. "I read the patent," Franklin Antonio, chief technical officer of the cellular phone maker Qualcomm Inc, said in 1997. "You don't usually think of movie stars having brains, but she sure did." Lamarr lived in an Orlando, Florida, suburb in recent years and shunned publicity. A more-detailed version of Lamarr's role in spread spectrum is described in the IEEE book Spread Spectrum Communications, published in 1983.--thanks to Andre Kesteloot, N4ICK and Bill Ricker, N1VUX.

(From The ARRL Letter, Vol. 19, No. 3, January 21, 2000, www.arrl.org/arrlletter/)

Return To Table of Contents


Did You Hear?

The FCC has asked us to pass the word to all broadcasters to stop using FCC form 313 for 944 MHz and above. You should use form 601. You can still use FCC 313 for 26, 161, 166, 170, 450-451 & 455.456 MHz bands until these go over the ULS (Universal Licensing System). If you file a 313 form, it will be returned, and delayed, until you can furnish more information to fit the fields in the FCC database. You are much better off spending a little more time initially, and use the 601 to begin with. The FCC form 601 has a field for a coordination date, and number, which the 313 form did not.

Return To Table of Contents


Latest Favorite Sub-Sets Of Murphy's Laws

  1. Nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
  2. If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we've solved it!
  3. Non-reciprocal law of expectations: Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.
  4. In the beginning there was nothing . . . which exploded.

Return To Table of Contents


SBE Resume Service

Want to get your resume out to employers? Participate in SBE's new Resume Service, available to SBE members only free of charge. Call the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640 or e-mail Scott Jones at kjones@sbe.org for a Resume Service participation form.

Return To Table of Contents


Sony Virtual Video Recorder Profile

The new Sony MAV-555 is a MPEG based multi-channel editing disk recorder. Although virtual VTRs have been available for applications where VTRs were used, they have not satisfied the user's needs because of limited operational functionality. The MAV-555 VTR-style user interface makes it familiar and easy to operate. The control panel includes a color LCD display for monitoring video files. It also has a standard 9-pin control protocol for edit controllers. The MAV-555 provides frame accurate editing with optional real- time video effects between it's I/O channels. Simultaneous, multiple I/O channels allow multiple access to the same source material during recording, editing and playback. Scene searching is super-fast without frame drop-out, and digital jog sound makes que-up quick and accurate.

The 4 channel audio is 20 bit/48 KHz AES/EBU digital. Using 18GB RAID drives, the MAV-555 can store 10 hours at 30Mbps, 8 hours at 40Mbps and 6 hours at 50 Mbps Recording MPEG-2 4:2:2 Profile @ Main level, the record bit rates are file-by file selectable. The MAV-555 even supports 140 Mbps (HDCam) recording rates as the Super Motion system recorder. Mobile Sports can use the MAV-555 as a multi-channel Slo-Mo (or Super Slo-Mo). Since the MAV-555 can record and playback at the same time, nothing is ever missed, even during Slo-Mo replay.

The MAV-555 has multiple output channels, simultaneous playback of key and fill graphic animations is easy. With an asynchronous interface board, the MAV-555 can even provide faster-than-real-time file transfer within a computer infrastructure. In addition, the complete audio and video file list is available via Ethernet with with a standard PC browser. The MAV-555 standard audio and video output is SDI. Optional SDTI, Asynchronous Network (FTP), and NTSC video and analog audio provide all the I/O interfaces needed. Disk based recorders are great for syndicated satellite, news or sports delay recording and other NTSC and DTV applications. The MAV-555 basic configuration starts at $56,700 and is the same size as a Sony DVR-20 D-2 VTR.

Return To Table of Contents


ACLU Opposed to Mobiltrak

Clay Freinwald
Chapter 16

A while back I wrote about a device called Mobiltrak. This is a system whereby the L.O. of radios of passing cars is sensed to determine just which radio station is being listened to. Retailers and others are using this equipment to tell them which stations they should be spending money on (sort of an instant rating system) or perhaps tell them that they spent it with the wrong one. Well, in Massachusetts the ACLU has gotten into the matter voicing concern that privacy may be violated. If the general public understands this technology like they did the Y2K bug imaginations are likely to be thinking of electronic snooping in other areas where they either don't want to take the time to understand the technology or simply are afraid of the unknown.

Return To Table of Contents


Static Line

From Chapter 3
Kansas City

Gary Krohe writes that as he was surfing the CES website, he noticed a new piece of test gear made by Sencore. He noted: "I thought it was interesting that DTV test equipment for reception is already showing up on the market." He checked the Sencore website, but this product was not yet listed there.

The new Sencore AT985 provides the user with a real time 8VSB monitoring tool of the ATSC transmitted signal that covers VHF/UHF and Cable bands. It provides the following features:

Real Time monitoring of key parameters of the ATSC transmitted signal; Supports VHF/UHF band and CATV bands; RF system view for quick verification of parameters; Detailed RF parameters with Spectrum display; Comprehensive Modulation parameters view including: MER and EVM; Powerful Multipath view including equalizer loading; User configurable thresholds & alarms; User definable error checking, data logging; Bright high resolution LCD for easy to read measurements.

Try calling Ms. Barb Perrion at (605) 339-0100, or try this e-mail: gcarter@sencore.com, for more information.

Return To Table of Contents


Monthly HAMnet Brings SBE To Remote Areas

At 8:00 pm EST, 0000 GMT, on the second Sunday of each month, SBE Chapter 73 takes the air. Hal Hostetler, WA7BGX, of Tucson, Arizona, is the control station for the "meeting." Updates on SBE activities are given each month and participants can discuss technical issues and visit. HAMnet was originally begun to help serve members who lived too far to attend meetings of any regular chapter, but any amateur operator is welcome and encouraged to participate. Look for HAMnet on 14.205 mHz.

Return To Table of Contents


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.