A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

March 2001


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Contents

The February Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
Ennes Workshop On CBNT Planned For NAB Convention
SBE National Office Relocates
Contract Engineer Listing
Southwest Museum of Engineering Bulletin
Amateur Radio News
The Power Problem
Space And Science: How Mir Will Be Destroyed
Clay Talks
New Element Discovered
Etc.

The February Meeting

"The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Television"

The Rocky Mountain Chapter offered two days of technical training on February 21st and 22nd. Dave Wood, president and founder of Ensemble Designs, Grass Valley, CA presented the "Nuts and Bolts of Digital Television" and in-depth look at the ITU-601 standard and the nuances of AES audio embedding and disembedding. Dave did a terrific job of divining digital sampling, Nyquist impact, and issues related to digital to analog and analog to digital conversion.

Encoda Systems (formerly Columbine CJDS) provided facilities in downtown Denver with an attendance of 20, while AT&T Broadband provided facilities in the Denver Tech Center area on the second day with attendance of 46. We wish to thank Panasonic Broadcast Systems Inc. and Barco Inc. for the loan of equipment to augment the presentations.

Rome Chelsi
Section Chair

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Chapter 48's Next Meeting

Please join us for our April meeting:

Thursday April 12th, 6:30 pm

"Son of Streaming"
Location: Digital Metropolis
2000 Arapahoe St.
Downtown Denver, CO

Digital Metropolis will host our March/April meeting. "Son of Streaming" is a sequel to our well attended January session on streaming video and will expand to all types of compressed video being used for delivery on the web, CD-ROM and DVD. This month's meeting will cover several topics that are inherent in the compression of video for delivery on different formats.

Video on the Web
   Shooting and editing for the streaming format
   Streaming formats
   QuickTime
   Real
   ASF
   Compression Tools
   Media Cleaner Pro
   CoDec's

Video on CD-ROM
   File Formats
   Quality
   Bit Rate
   Flash controlling CD

Video on DVD
   Features
   Encoding
   Quality
   Authoring
   Connectivity to the Web

The format for this session is an informal mixer and we will have different stations set up for you to see work first hand.

The following map will show you how to get to Digital Metropolis, Inc. http://www.digitalmetropolis.com/html/metropolis/16-contact.htm. It is in a building directly behind the bus station in the Bayly Lofts. The address is 2000 Arapahoe Street, Studio 101--- however the entrance to the building is actually on 20th St. If you come to the entrance and call Digital Metropolis from the call box, we will let you in. You come into the lobby and go down the hall to your left and go all the way down and we are the last door on your right.

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

March 23, 2001 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the NAB in Las Vegas on April 24, 2001.

April 30, 2001 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the June 8-18, 2001 local window.

July 9, 2001 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the August 17-27, 2001 local window.

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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
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.

Certificaton Exam Dates For 2001 Set

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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SBE National Office Relocates

Effective March 5, 2001, the SBE National office will be moving. The new address will be:

The Society of Broadcast Engineers
9247 North Meridian Street Suite 305
Indianapolis IN 46260

Please continue to use the following telephone numbers until further notice:

Phone: 317.253.1640
FAX: 317.253.0418

You can check for updates at any time at:

www.sbe.org

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Contract Engineer Listing

The national office of SBE maintains a listing of contract engineers. If you would like to be included on this list contact: lgodby@sbe.org.

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Southwest Museum of Engineering Bulletin

Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation is opening up March 1 in Glendale. This museum's mission is to collect, preserve and document engineering communications and computation history. Also they intend to educate through display of artifacts and lectures and to build and make available related information. They cover communication for signal fires to satellites. Some of the interesting things covered is the history of microscopes, cameras, and their optical devices. They cater to electrical, mechanical, aerospace and other categories of engineering.

Ed Sharp is developing the museum and will be happy to show any SBE member the facility before it officially opens. He has already acquired old microphones, an iconoscope, WWII radar jamming equipment, early AM radio receivers, and B&W TVs. Scott manufactures two of the AM radios. One radio has 19 tubes and another has 30 tubes (seeing will be believing). Also on display are a 1920 vintage Atwater radio and a RCA radio. Currently has two 17 inch round tube B&W TVs the RCA was made in 1949 and the other is a Motorola.

A reference library is being created. There are some old broadcast equipment manuals. But they need more. If you have any old manual for equipment you have thrown out, send them to the museum. Or if you have any old equipment that you are discarding, they would love accept you equipment donation with or without the manuals. Ed is looking for a Muntz four-track car stereo tape player and a complete B&W studio camera.

Their address is 5801 West Palmaire Avenue. Internet address is www.smecc.org. Their phone number is 623-435-1522. Their hours are 12:30 PM to 3 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H

Amateur radio operators have been assisting with disaster communications following the devastating earthquake in India. While some telephone service in the earthquake zone has been restored, amateur radio was the primary link to the outside world in the immediate aftermath of the January 26 earthquake. Stations are handling health-and-welfare traffic on 14.160 MHz. Amateurs in the hard-hit city of Bhuj have set aside 14.260 MHz for the same purpose. Indian amateurs have asked the worldwide amateur community to keep clear of these and other frequencies being used in the earthquake relief effort.

Recovery efforts for the troubled AO-40 amateur radio satellite continue after contact with the new satellite was re-established in late December. The Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) reports that by April the satellite will receive better solar panel illumination, and sun sensors will allow attitude control to be restarted. The spacecraft is spinning excessively, around 17 RPM, and efforts to slow down rotation are underway. Pre-launch estimates were that the satellite would not be available for amateur radio use for nearly a year after launch, but even with the ongoing problems, thanks to the hard work of the commissioning and recovery teams, this time appears to be shortening.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's and AMSAT's web sites)

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The Power Problem

Clay Freinwald
Chapter 16, Seattle

The big issue seems to be energy these days. One look at your gas or electric bill will tell you that the reports of a problem have indeed come home. It appears that once again we have demonstrated to ourselves just how stupid we can be.. For example:

Deregulation - The promise was that the makers of `juice' would compete with each other and that would drive down the price. WRONG !

Building new natural gas fired electric plants would not impact the cost of electricity - Yeh, right. Contrary to a lot of popular thinking, natural gas is a natural resource that has finite limits. When you demand more and more of it, without increasing the amount of it. guess what happens? Again. DUH !

The WPPS Nuke Plants here in the Northwest - We are running short of power production, we need more generation capacity.. followed with.. no we are not, we have plenty.... followed by.. we are running out of generating capacity.. DUH AGAIN !

The Pacific Northwest with all its hydro power sources is the land of cheap electricity.. WHERE IS THE GUY WHO SAID THAT ?

Building more hydro projects - For years some have called for the construction of a number of small hydro projects on the rivers in our area that have the stream flow to make it economically feasible (using yesterday's power rates). Then came the environmentalists that cursed us for even thinking about hurting the poor fishes.. AHEM !

Breaching the Dams - Start with those dam dams at Port Angeles, tear them out. and what about the dams on the snake river?. breach them. Even the City Council of Seattle thought that this would a good idea. the SAME city council that recently said "yes" to the raising of electric rates in Seattle.. DUH SOME MORE !!!

Then there is California..Wow where do we start with this group? The home of the ultra-liberal movement, the Sierra Club, the anti-power plant (hydro or nuke) movement. Funny how things turn. The only thing missing is the ability to target rolling blackouts down to the house belonging to those that have created this mess. `CAUSE THEIR LIGHTS OUGHT TO GO OUT FIRST.

There is always wind power (something that California harnessed years ago). I understand that the world's largest wind farm is about to be built on the Oregon-Washington border near Walla Walla. Some 450 turbines will generate enough power for some 70,000 homes (I would guess if the wind is blowing). Wonder what happened to that `egg-beater' wind turbine on the hill near Ellensburg? Seems like the Kittitas Valley could qualify for another wind farm. But on second thought. there is Olympia, but that system would likely only produce wind power when the legislature is in session.

Solutions.. There are plenty. the one that I like is: Let's all turn off those power hungry DTV transmitters. No one is watching DTV anyway. Tell the FCC that until the energy mess is straightened out that it's just tough.. And next time the FCC requires that we install a new power hungry device, tell them that THEY have to supply the power to go with it.

Golly that felt good!

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Space And Science: How Mir Will Be Destroyed

From Chapter 124, Portland
(from the Amateur Radio Newsline[tm] http://www.arnewsline.org)
by Roy Neal K6DUE

Timing is everything, now that the Russians are writing the last chapter in the 15 year history of Space Station MIR. They have sent an unmanned cargo ship called Progress up to MIR. It docked successfully. Now, loaded with more than 2 tons of fuel, Progress will fire its thrusters to send the 140 ton space station hurtling back through earth's atmosphere to break up and die in the open sea over the South Pacific. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the start of the operation to bring Mir down will begin between the 20th and 25th of February. The space ship will be maneuvered into position. The gyrodines that control its attitude will be turned off. On or about the fifth of March the Progress engines will be fired to begin slowing down the huge assembly. Unless the schedule is changed, on March 6th the thrusters will be fired again to deliver the killer pulse.retrofired to slow the space station enough to drop down out of orbit and plunge into the atmosphere. The timing of this last pulse is very important. It must be precise if the entry is to be made safely. Somewhere around 50 miles above earth, the ship should burn and break up. The Ministry says "No more than 30 minutes will pass from the moment Mir enters the dense layers of the atmosphere until the fragments that do not burn up hit the sea." The ministry went on to say "Any Mir remnants will splash down in the open sea, in the southern Pacific and removed from routes used by ships and airplanes." A large piece of debris might crash into the sea less than 300 miles southwest of Australia's southern Tasmania island. That's the plan. The aged MIR will be controlled by a cargo ship, on a precise timetable. The Russians and the people in the South Pacific hope the return to earth will be spectacular but in the right place.

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Clay Talks

From Clay Freinwald
Chapter 16, Seattle

Thanks to the action of congress on the matter of LPFM it looks like we will not have to deal with that issue to the degree once thought. One really good thing to come out of that action is the ownership prohibition for ex-pirate operators. I have always had a problem with people who flaunt the law and regulations to get their way. I guess I come from the old school that says that violators should be punished not rewarded.

The SBE is moving forward with greater involvement in Frequency Coordination on a national level. The reason for this has a lot to do with the success of the Game Day Coordination efforts involving SBE and the NFL. Others are very interested in this process and to accommodate them, SBE is looking for candidates for National Frequency Coordination Director. The job will start out part time. and you do not have to move to the SBE headquarters in Indianapolis. The ideal person would be one that has experience in frequency coordination and is, perhaps, recently retired. Interested? Contact John Poray at SBE headquarters via the SBE Web-Site at www.sbe.org.

January 19th was the end of the Kennard era at the FCC. The question remains: now what? and what will happen next? At this writing, Michael Powell was still the name to watch.

Caught this ad in Bill Gonset's newsletter. KSSE-FM in Los Angeles is looking for an assistant to help out in the studio, transmitter maintenance and with projects. Salary is 50 to 80k per year, DOE. Says something about wages these days. Then again you have to live in SoCal.

If you have been operating on the 40 meter ham band you may have heard some strange signals. Hams all over the world have been looking for the source of the now famous 40 meter jammer. They found it. A powerful transmitter in Iran trying to block a station in Iraq. Guess if you can hear it over here they must be doing a pretty good job. Not since the demise of the old Soviet Union have we had to deal with government jamming transmitters.

Understand that a new version of Linux is available for downloading. It's version 2.4 and reportedly contains a number of improvements.

By the time you read this XM should have its new bird in orbit. Roll is to be the first of two satellites operated by the digital audio satellite firm. Rock will come a bit later. It's interesting to note that this new radio medium has a local connection. The bird is being launched by Boeing Sea-Launch venture from way out in the Pacific Ocean. Around here XM will be assisted by a number of repeaters that will help get the signal to the consumers.

This month it's time for MANAGEMENT TRAINING. We will start with some basic terms -

BLAMESTORMING - Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who is responsible.
SEAGULL MANAGER - A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, leaves his mark and then leaves.
SALMON DAY - The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream just to die in the end.
OH NO-SECOND - The minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you just made a very big mistake.
CUBE FARM - An office filled with Cubicles.
IDEA HAMSTERS - People who always seem to have their idea generators running.
PRAIRIE DOGGING - When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what happened.
STRESS PUPPY - A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
TOURISTS - People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their job.
G.O.O.D. JOB - A `Get-Out-Of-Debt' job. A well-paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.
DEINSTALLED - Euphemism for being fired.
ASSMOSIS - The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss.

Clay, K7CR, CPBE

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New Element Discovered

A secret scientific document has been discovered in a bunker whose security systems were mostly destroyed by the fire. Investigators have apparently discovered the heaviest element known to science known as Governmentium (Gv). The element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0. It does however have 1 neutron, 125 deputy neutrons, 75 supervisory neutrons and 111 team leader neutrons giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since it has no electrons, Governmentium is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. According to the discoverers, a tiny amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Governmentium has a normal half-life of approximately three years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization during which deputy neutrons, supervisory neutrons and morons exchange places. In fact, a Governmentium sample's mass will actually increase over time. Since with each reorganization some of the morons inevitably become neutrons forming new isotopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.

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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.