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SMPTE-SBE48

 

CONTENTS

Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Random Radio Thoughts

SBE Membership Reception

SBE Certification NEWS

Clay's Corner

FCC Rulemaking

DTV Set-Top Rules

AM Bandwidth

Amateur Radio News

Other Stuff

See Anything Wrong?

The YXZ Report

Sleep Spoilers

Etc.

APRIL 2007 NEWSLETTER

 

SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section March 2007 Meeting Report

SMPTE 2021 Protocol (BXF) and its coming impact on broadcasters

Date:  Thursday, March 22, 2007 
Location: KRMA TV, 1089 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204

This talk was presented by Chris Lennon, Director Integration and Standards, Harris Corporation and Andrew McCulloch, Chief Architect, Harris Software Systems Group and focused on what BXF is and how it is expected to greatly improve communication among broadcast systems, making broadcasters' lives simpler, and making them more capable of dealing with today's demands. The presenters described how BXF promises to revolutionize workflows among broadcast systems such as Traffic, Automation, Program Management, and Content Distribution, allowing the automation of workflow that up to now has been manual.


Chris Lennon Introduces BFX

Our sincere thanks to John Anderson of KRMA for hosting the meeting and to Harris Corporation and KRMA for sponsoring the refreshments.

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Rome Chelsi Steps Down as SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman

At this March 22 meeting, Rome Chelsi announced that he would be stepping down as the Chairman of the Rocky Mountain section of SMPTE, a position he has held for over a decade. Brad Torr who has been a section manager for many years has agreed to fill the role as acting chairman.


Rome Chelsi and Brad Torr in February 2004

Rome has been a central figure in the television industry in the Rocky Mountain Area, having worked for ISC, GVG, Ampex, RIA, and Pinnacle/Avid to name a few. He was honored by this organization in 2004 with our Lifetime Achievment Award for his outstanding contributions to our community. The membership extends many thanks to Rome for his service and wishes him well, his leadership will be missed but we trust he'll still show up from time to time.

Tom Goldberg
SMPTE-SBE48 Webmaster

 

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Digital Rules
After more than twelve years of development, testing and initial roll-out, it looks like a terrestrial digital mode is going to be codified into the FCC rules. At the March 22 FCC meeting, the commissioners unanimously adopted a Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, formally known as “Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Digital Radio Service.” The long, convoluted title of this proceeding gives us a clue to the long and winding path it has taken to becoming law. Keep in mind that the first NRSC evaluations of the USADR “DAB” system took place in August of 1995.

So what does this FCC action actually do for us? First and foremost – and we have all been waiting for this – it authorizes AM nighttime digital operation. It provides broadcasters with a great deal of flexibility in allocating its bitstream bandwidth – we can allocate audio, multicasting and datacasting services at our discretion. It opens the door for the FM extended hybrid operation, which adds up to 50 kbps of bandwidth. It opens the door for subscription services, and finally it applies existing programming regulatory requirements to all free audio streams.

What we don’t know yet (at least not as of this writing) is what the exact language will be. That should be out shortly in a report & order. Of particular interest is what the mechanism will be for dealing with AM nighttime interference from digital operations. What will the definition of interference be and what steps will be required of stations causing such interference? I can easily see the licensee of a station out in the hinterland complaining, “I hear a hiss from this adjacent-channel station. They’re causing interference to my station!” Hopefully the FCC will be prepared for such and will have benchmarks in place that must be met before such complaints are considered to represent actual interference. One (I would hope) would be that the “interference” must occur within the interference-free contour.

The other thing we don’t know yet is how the HD Radio system will perform at night. Some nighttime testing has been done, primarily on WOR in New York. That’s not really representative of the 5 kW station on a regional channel that has a night limit of 6 mV and it bears no resemblance to the class C station on a local channel with a limit of 20+ mV. We’ll have to figure all this out as we go, and I suspect that some AM licensees will come to the conclusion that it’s simply not worth it to operate HD-R at night.

So what’s Crawford Broadcasting Company going to do? We have been on the “bleeding edge” of the HD-R scene since its inception. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and considering our facilities station by station. In some situations (KLZ, for instance), it’s a no-brainer. We’ll just turn it on and let it run. Our stations that are DA-1 are “good to go” right now. Others will take some doing. There are antenna challenges that we will have to deal with. In most cases where we did antenna work to make the array “HD-ready,” we made provision for nighttime changes as well (although we did not in most cases actually do anything to the night antenna). Other challenges come where we have disparate power levels day and night and use separate transmitters. Will we convert the night transmitter for HD-R or simply operate the daytime transmitter at reduced power? Good question.

All this will work itself out in the coming months and I look forward to being a part of that process. In the meantime, I’m just thankful that we finally got a ruling out of the FCC. About time.

NAB
It’s hard to believe it’s NAB time again but here we are. I always both dread and look forward to the convention. I dread the harried schedule, running from meeting to meeting to session to meeting, taxiing from the convention center to the meeting venues or trying to make the shuttle system or monorail somehow fit my schedule. I dread the sore, tired feet and the “information overload.” I look forward to the ultra-thick carpet pad in the Telos/Omnia booth, to new ideas, to learning new things, seeing friends and colleagues that I only see once a year, and to the SBE national meeting.

I’ll bring you a full report in next month’s newsletter. Stay tuned!

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at crisa@crawfordbroadcasting.com.

 

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SBE MEMBER RECEPTION TO BE HELD DURING NAB2007

SBE members and their guests planning to attend NAB2007 in Las Vegas will want to put the SBE Member Reception on their must-attend list of things to do while at the show. Sponsored by Turner Broadcasting System/CNN, the reception will take place on Tuesday, April 17 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Ballroom D of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. Hors'doerves and your favorite beverages will be provided (free!). One lucky person in attendance will win a nice prize! SBE members, their spouses and engineers and technicians who
are interested in becoming members of SBE are invited to attend. This will be a great opportunity to meet up with old friends from around the country.

The SBE Member Reception follows the spring SBE Membership Meeting, which will be held from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm in room S228 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Be sure to attend the Membership Meeting and then come over to the Hilton for the reception. NAB Conference registration is not required for entry.

Hope to see you there!

John Poray
Executive Director

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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 includes 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 Director Society of Broadcast Engineers 9102 N. Meridian Street, Suite 150 Indianapolis, IN 46260 mclappe@sbe.org

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 mclappe@sbe.org

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
June 1-11, 2007 Local Chapters April 20, 2007
Aug 10-20, 2007 Local Chapters June 8, 2007
Nov 9-19, 2007 Local Chapters September 21, 2007

Fees are as Follows:

Certification Level Member Non-Member
Broadcast Technologist $40 $100
Broadcast Networking Technologist $55 $115
Broadcast Engineer $55 $115
Audio/Video Engineer $55 $115
Senior Broadcast Engineer $80 $140
Professional Broadcast Engineer $105 $165
Specialist Certification    
AM Directional Specialist $50 $110
8VSB Specialist $50 $110

Please 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.

 

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Clay's Corner

Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

It’s Spring Time…Time for the annual trek to Las Vegas to dry out and see the really big show.
Before I forget it – I should promote the SBE-EAS event at NAB. It will be on Monday, April 16th, 1-3 PM in Ballroom G of the Las Vegas Hilton. This is in the RTNDA area. This year we will have speakers that will explain to use the changes that are coming to EAS, some of which are being rolled out in our state very soon. I sincerely hope that you can join us for this popular event.

NAB this year is certain to have a ton of HD Radio equipment vendors hoping that the recent release of rules for this new mode by the FCC will bring eager buyers to the floor. After a long string of promises, the Commish – finally – announced that Ibiquity’s HD Radio would become official. The headliner is that they will now permit HDR operation by AM’s after sunset. This news has caused many to wonder just how the FCC will manage the interference complaints that are sure to be caused on the adjacent channels. At this writing all we know is that they will be announcing some kind of mechanism for dealing with the issue. I have this funny feeling that it had better be really good otherwise it could be a lawyer get-rich system. On the FM front, the news is that it’s pretty much a green light for everything….Including what’s called extended hybrid mode. This means that there would be more room for multicasting at the expense of potential interference to the host FM station.

Around these parts I suspect that some have been setting on the fence waiting for the FCC to act prior to getting on the ‘train’. We only have a few FM signals that are not running HD in this area, but there is only one AM. Adding HD for FM is really pretty simple, but for AM it’s quite another story with a solution that could involve the spending of some very serious money. Problem is that many AM stations use directional antenna systems whose designers could have never foreseen the day when their system would have such bandwidth and phase requirements. I suspect that there are some AM stations that might pass on HD, at least for a while, due to the expense involved. For new installations, like KRKO in Everett, they should be able to install the ‘right-stuff’ going in.

The FCC action is likely to have an impact in other countries who have, for good reason, been looking at the Ibiquity system, but have not formally acted. Recently it was announced that Canadian Radio broadcasters would be able to move toward HDR. I suspect that we will see many others, especially in this hemisphere get on board.In the last couple of months I’ve been working with Nick Winter on the installation of equipment at South Mountain for Bustos Media’s 99.3/KDDS. This is quite an interesting site. It’s a bit higher than West Tiger, just over 3000 feet with a 400 foot tower on top. SoMt, as I reference it, is located WNW of Shelton. I guess the reason they call it South Mountain is because it is really the southern most mountain in the Olympics. Shortly KFMY (97.7) will be moving there also. An yes, KDDS will be adding HDR just as soon as I can get it done.

Broadcast Electronics has a new salesman for this area, Lyle Garrison. Lyle was most recently with Harris in another part of the country. He and his family will be residing in the Portland area. I’ve encouraged him to come to a chapter meeting to get acquainted.

Univision got nailed to the tune of 24 Megabucks due to its issues with the way it handled children’s programming…..OUCH !

The $64,000 question is – Will XM and Sirius be permitted to merge ? Certainly a lot of ‘flack’ going up over this one. Some lawyers will be getting very rich before this one is settled. Meanwhile the FCC is looking into the matter of XM reported has been operating over 200 of its ground-based repeaters over power.

Payola was recently a hot topic in New York state where Entercom tangled with the now governor of the state. In early March a payola settlement was announced involving not only Entercom but CBS, Clear Channel and Citadel to the tune of over 12 megabucks and a ton of free airtime. Something about the hand in the cookie jar.

Looks like KKOL has some very serious issues with their new 50Kw operation in the Port of Tacoma. Reminding this writer of the problems that KJR had when they moved up the Duwamish from their historic location on the West Waterway….KKOL has created concerns with a nearby petroleum facility. Interesting that two of Seattle’s historic radio stations, KJR and KOL have had so many issues. KJR has moved 3 times since they left their historic site and KOL (Now KKOL) has moved twice and may be forced to seek yet another location. Stay tuned – as this story is not over.

Understand that Mike Patton was in the area recently working on the new 3-tower array for 1560 South of Auburn.

Could it be that we will shortly see the demise of the FAX machine ? I’ve been noticing that fewer and fewer letterheads and business cards are listing them. This is not to say that FAX is still not a handy means of sending a document from here to there…but it appears to be on the endangered species list.

Near the end of March news came out that the FCC is going to be testing a new web-over-airwaves device to determine whether or not unused TV channels could be used for internet services. So who is behind this so call ‘white spaces’ idea. Just some minor players like Microsoft, Google, Dell and others…nothing to worry about. I wonder where in the world we will put wireless mics in the future?

On that subject….I see where Clearwire is going to pay some 300 megabucks to acquire a big hunk of spectrum from AT&T to enable them to significantly expand their systems. Clearwire, as you know, has local, Seattle area, roots.

According to a new report, cable-penetration is down to a 17 year low. Meanwhile there is growing concern as to how cable will deal with the post NTSC world and whether or not their lowest paying customers will be able to receive HDTV. Gee folks….There is a new invention out there that just might work…it’s called the ‘Antenna’. Problem is no one can be found that knows how to install this device. A related item – Cable Television Laboratories, a group funded by cable companies, is designing a set-top box fitted with an antenna for receiving over the air broadcast signals. Perhaps a set top box with rabbit ears? Have to wonder about the rationale behind this -

Forbes has come out with a list of America’s most trustworthy companies. Only two broadcasters made the list – Entercom and Hearst-Argyle. I noted that Costco was there too.

No PNW Radio stations listed this year as finalists for Crystal Awards.

Well folks, that’s it for this month- Have a great time in Las Vegas – see you next month in most of this same place.

Clay, CPBE, K7CR

 

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FCC RULEMAKINGS

Compiled By Tom Smith
From chapter 24

MB docket No. 99-325
Digital Audio Broadcasting System and Their Impact in the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service

On March 22, the FCC adopted the final rules in digital audio broadcasting. Stations have been operating their digital audio services under interim authorization. In this action the FCC formally adopted the IBOC standard as the digital technology for AM and FM stations.

Other actions in this final rulemaking include the following:
• Refrains from imposing a mandatory conversion schedule for stations to start digital operations.
• Allows FM stations to operate in the extended hybrid mode
• Requires that each station simulcast it analog signal in digital in at least the same audio quality.
• Adopts a flexible bandwidth policy to allow stations to transmit high quality audio, multicast and datacast at the station’s discretion.
• Allows stations to lease digital bandwidth to third parties.
• Applies existing regulation for programming and operations to the free digital program streams.
• Allows nighttime digital operations for AM stations.
• Dismissed several petitions for reconsideration and rulemakings.

Finally, the notice requests comments on limits to subscription services a station may offer and if any new public interest requirements should be adopted.

The full Report and Order has not been released, so until then we will not know what the exact requirements will be for these rulings. The two issues that the FCC ruled on that will have the most interest will be AM nighttime operation and the flexible bandwidth operation.

— From FCC release (www.fcc.gov)

 

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DTV SET-TOP RULES ANNOUNCED

By Tom Smith
Chapter 24

On March 12, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration released the rules for the DTV set-top box coupon program. Starting January 1, 2008 all U.S. households will be eligible for two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of up to two digital to analog converter boxes. This program will last until $990 million allocated for the program is available. After that, another $510 million will be available for use by homes that rely on over-the-air TV only and no cable or satellite service. The money will be released by Congress after the initial money is spent.

The NTIA released three fact sheets, one for consumers which explains the DTV transition and how the coupon system works. The second fact sheet is for retailers and explains their obligations such as training employees and tracking the processing of the coupons. The retailer’s fact sheet also explains how they can be certified to participate in the program. The consumer fact sheet is two pages long and the retailer’s is one page long.

The third fact sheet is for manufacturers of the set-top boxes and nine pages with the appendixes. The fact sheet directs the manufacturers to the appendixes for the specifications for the boxes and gives the directions for getting technical approval which will require each manufacturer to submit a notice of intent, a description of the set-top box and finally two set-top boxes.

Appendix one describes the minimum requirements for the set-top box which includes interference and sensitivity standards, and output standards. The output standards require the box to support all aspect ratios, program guide information, closed captioning, RF and composite video and audio out, a remote control and have a tuning range of channels 2-69. There is also a requirement for a LED light it indicate the box is on and an energy requirement that the box use tow watts or less when in the sleep mode. An owner’s manual and RF cable must also be supplied.

In the second appendix, a chart is given of what extra feature are allowed or disallowed. Some extras that are allowed include a smart antenna interface, RF pass through for analog signals, s-video out, stereo audio in the RF output, video cables and an upgraded universal remote control. What they may not have in the set-box is a video display, any recording capability, analog component, computer or digital output connectors. In other words, the set-top box cannot support HDTV and only have a standard definition output.

In recent hearings by the House committee overseeing the DTV transition, there are still questions if the coupon program would cover all the TV sets using over the air signals and there were questions by some if after figuring for those who don’t apply for coupons, will there be more coupons then needed. There was discussion on the lack of action in properly informing the American Public of the transition.

Thomson’s RCA Division has announced that they are readying a set-top box that will meet the government’s requirements. The DTA800 will include on-screen program information, parental controls, closed captioning and the smart antenna interface. Pricing and availability with depend on retailer interest.

— From NTIA Releases (www.ntia.doc.gov), Thomson-RCA, with additional information from TV Technology (www.tvtechnology.com)

 

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AM BANDWIDTH STUDIED

By Tom Smith
From the Chapter 24 (Madison) Newsletter

The National Radio System Committee, a standards group sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Broadcasters, has released a study of listeners reaction to the use of different audio bandwidths in AM radio transmissions. The NRSC first studied the frequency response of 30 AM radio receivers. They found that the average frequency response of the 30 AM receivers showed a response curve that was down to -3 db at 2450 hertz and down to -10 db at 4100 hertz.

The next part of the study had 40 people, divided evenly between males and females between the ages of 19 and 71, listen to music, news, sports and commercials at bandwidths of 5 KHz, 7 KHz and 10 KHz. The results of the study showed that for music, commercials and sportscasts, the listeners found little difference in sound at either 7 or 10 KHz with little or no impairments. With speech, the listeners preferred the bandwidth to be 5 or 7 KHz, as noise and interference was less apparent.

Overall, the NRSC determined that noise in the audio was the listener’s main objection and that at higher bandwidth, music and sports programming mask it better than in speech programming. Because of the noise and interference masking, listeners preferred audio that had a bandwidth of either 5 or 7 KHz, and most often said that 7 KHz audio was equivalent to 10 KHz audio.

The committee is considering the possibility of reducing the AM bandwidth standard to something less than the current 10 KHz. Many stations have reduced their audio bandwidth to 5 or 6 KHz already to reduce interference or to convert to digital transmissions.

The study was issued in December 2006 with a report of over 100 pages; a five-page summary of the results is also available. The reports are on the NRSC Web site.

From NRSC documents (www.nrscstandards.org) .

 

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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

SBE Introduces IRLP HAMnet

Jack Roland, CBRE
Chapter 48

SBE is pleased to announce a new opportunity for Amateur Radio Operator members and others to communicate utilizing the Internet Repeater Linking Project or “IRLP.”

This new Amateur Radio net, called, “IRLP HAMnet,” will be a great way for broadcast engineers and other amateurs (any and all are welcome) to contact one another, share technical information, discuss broadcasting techniques and get the latest information on SBE programs and activities. IRLP HAMnet joins the long-running “HF” SBE HAMnet, as official functions of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

The IRLP is a method of connecting different repeaters across the country and the world via the Internet. A “ham” in Denver, using the WA2YZT, “repeater” (often referred to as, “machine”), for example, enters a 4-digit node number to connect to, say, #7520, the W4YI repeater in Chattanooga Tennessee for a chat with a another ham there. For the SBE IRLP HAMnet, the control station (either KE0VH, Jack, or WA2YZT, Paul, net controls) connects to the Denver IRLP reflector, which allows other repeaters from all over the world to connect to it, creating a net that all can hear from their local repeater.

Jack Roland, CBRE, who developed the idea of using the IRLP as a way to get SBE members together, said, “We came up with the idea for this net because the SBE HF “Chapter of the Air” is not always accessible by “hams” who cannot erect HF antennas and because of the HF band’s susceptibility to HF radio propagation characteristics.” Jack is Chief Engineer at Entercom Radio in Denver.

The SBE IRLP HAMnet will be based in Denver using the WA2YZT UHF/VHF repeater system, IRLP node #3286, on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 11:00 am, U.S. Mountain Time.

Here’s how you can participate. The SBE IRLP HAMnet control station, either KE0VH, or WA2YZT, begins the net by bringing up the Denver Reflector IRLP Link on the local Denver WA2YZT repeaters, (for local Denver hams, the repeater is on 146.805 or 447.175, usual split, 186.2pl). Then, you identify the local IRLP repeater in your area and, unless it is a closed club repeater, simply tone in, #9874. This will connect you to the Denver Reflector and the SBE IRLP HAMnet. For more information about the net and how to participate, go to www.qsl.net/ke0vh/SBEhamnet.html or, can contact Jack Roland, KE0VH, net control, at ke0vh@qsl.net, or jroland@entercom.com.

For more information on the IRLP, go to www.irlp.net. If you would like to subscribe to Jack Roland’s email list for all interested SBE IRLP HAMnet participants, just let him know via email and he will add you to the list for announcements and information. Jack will also be glad to help you find your local IRLP node repeater and get you on the air with the SBE IRLP HAMnet. He reminds everyone that all amateurs are welcome to participate.

The “HF” SBE HAMnet has been in operation for more than 20 years and is handled by Control Station WA7BGX, Hal Hostetler, CPBE. It meets the second Sunday of each month at 2400 UTC/0000 Monday on the 20 meter HF radio band.

 

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Heil Microphones

By Jack Roland
Chapter 48

Bob Heil, who is a leading sound and audio expert, has introduced a couple of great new microphones that will in my opinion be the industry standards given some time and more people getting to test these great pieces of gear in their facilities. Bob has for years been an audio expert that groups like the Who, Joe Walsh and the James Gang, The Eagles, and others have come to for their audio needs. Bob even developed the "Heil Talk Box" that Peter Frampton made famous in his live concerts. Bob is also an Amateur Radio Operator, K9EID, and has brought his expertise into the Amateur Radio arena as well with his microphones and accessories.

For a long time now, I have been a fan of the Heil Classic Pro microphone, I own one in my "Ham shack" and we are using them on the air here at some of the Denver Entercom radio studios. I use it both on air for my amateur radio operations and for professional voiceover work I do in my combination Ham Shack/Audio Studio. You can see them at: http://www.heilsound.com/pro/products/classic_pro/index.htm

And now, I am full up testing the Heil PR-40, the latest in Bob's line that is without a doubt the best dynamic microphone I have ever heard. Over the past week here at the Entercom Denver Studios I had folks come in and "Listen test" the mike against a RE-20, 27D, and Shure SM-7B. The PR-40 won the "competition", or "shootout as Bob Heil says, hands down against those microphones. I am continuing to demo the PR-40 with some other guys and tests at different facilities. I encourage all who are looking for replacements for RE-20's and whatever other uses to get a PR-40 and test it out against other mikes in your studios. (Hams are even using these on air, overkill for SSB for sure, but the Heil mikes sound great on a vintage AM station). See Amateur microphones, mic elements, support booms and mounts, headsets, and more at http://www.heilsound.com/amateur/.


Denise Plante's Susan B. Korman Breast Cancer Foundation Microphone

And in more news, our KOSI morning show co-host Denise Plante is using a Heil PR-20, "Pink Pearl" microphone on the air. This mike blew away the RE-20 that she had been using, and it has a special purpose, to help raise money for the Susan B. Koman Breast Cancer foundation. Find out more at:
http://www.heilsound.com/pro/press/kosi.htm .

 

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OTHER STUFF

by Everett E. Helm W7EEH CPBE
Director of RF Engineering, OPB
Chapter 124

VERIZON & MEDIAFLO ROLL OUT NEW MULTIMEDIA MOBILE SERVICE
Taking the lid off its highly anticipated next great revolution in television, Verizon Wireless officially went live with V Cast Mobile TV in 20 select markets on the first of March. The first markets to receive V Cast's Mobile TV services, which are hosted on a separate network using TV channel 55 by technology partner MediaFLO USA, are: Tucson, AZ; Palm Springs, CA; Colorado Springs and Denver, CO; Jacksonville, FL; Chicago, IL; Wichita, KS; New Orleans, LA; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; Kansas City and St. Louis, MO; Omaha-Lincoln, NE; Las Vegas, NV; Albuquerue-Sante Fe, NM; Portland, OR (including Salem & Eugene); Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Norfolk-Richmond, VA; and Seattle and Spokane, WA.

According to Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, the FCC's 700 MHz spectrum clearing efforts provides a preview roadmap of future rollout plans. The 700 MHz spectrum that MediaFLO uses must first be cleared of the existing TV broadcast users.

SPRINT / NEXTEL 2 GHZ RELOCATION NEWS
It appears that most of the "scrubbed" inventories of equipment eligible for the Nextel 2 GHz band relocation are now ready. Most stations met with Sprint/ Nextel representatives during the week of March 5th. This is considerably sooner than previously expected. Once the "scrubbed" inventories are locked, users can proceed with getting quotes and negotiating their "Frequency Relocation Agreement" (FRA) with Sprint. This is a major step in the process, although the relocation is behind schedule, Sprint has asked the FCC for an extension to complete the process beyond the previous date of September of 2007. The extension is supported by the major Broadcast trade organizations.. More details on the SBE.org website.

2 GHz DIGITAL RETURN LINK LICENSING
As many of you may know, when creating the new 12 MHz band plan for the 2 GHz relocation, the FCC also created narrowband "Digital Return Link," (DRL) channels in the guard bands between channels. This would be for interconnection data transmitted from the ENG receive site back to the mobile van or portable station. Although the equipment to support the service is not yet generally available, many stations are adding licenses for the DRL channels when modifying their existing 2 GHz ENG licenses to conform to the new channel plan. It's relatively easy to do. If you want an example of what the application and license might look like, go to the ULS system on the FCC website and check out KK7854 filed by Ray Benedict at CBS. It may be used as a model.

 

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See Anything Wrong Here?

by Bill Harris



 

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THE YXZ REPORT

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Senior Engineer, Entercom-Portland
Chapter 124 - Portland

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.

At Entercom-Portland, we were amazed to receive the five Radiosophy HD table radios we ordered and paid for over a year ago. With many others to choose from now, Radiosophy is going to have an interesting time of it. They DO run on 12 VDC, have nine direct-access push buttons on the front, and a built-in whip antenna.

Walmart is going to start selling the JVC KD-HDR1 for about $190 at almost 2,000 of their 3,300 locations. This is a full-featured car stereo with built-in HD Radio. Except for the HD2 text display that takes a long time to update (the Radiosophy does this too), I love mine. See the radio at http://mobile.jvc.com/product.jsp?modelId=MODL027691&pathId=54&page=1.

There will be numerous presentations on HD Radio at NAB in Las Vegas especially on Sunday April 15th, including one called "HD Radio? Conditional Access: What It Is; How It Fits In the Broadcast Station; and Why It Can Provide Outstanding Return on Investment" that looks to be about "pay radio."

 

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Sleep Spoilers, Be Gone!

From Chapter 78
Blue Ridge Area of Virginia

Didjya ever work all night getting something repaired before the operating staff came in to work, and then finally get to bed about 8:30 AM, and THEN about 9 some jerk rings your phone trying to sell you a Beautiful Family Portrait Package!! for only $10.95? Sure you have, and there's nothing you can do about it, because you can't turn off your phone in case the station needs to call you in to fix something else, right?

WRONG! NOW you can do something about it, and it beats the socks off that political garbage known as the "Do Not Call Registry" with all its exceptions (including politicians, naturally).

This solid answer to the problem is PrivacyCall, and absolutely Nobody can make your phone ring unless you've told them the "magic number". This is a code number similar to an extension number, that you can select and enter into the EEPROM, and record your Outgoing message to advise callers to "please press 1 to leave a message or enter the access code to ring my phone". Without the code, NOBODY rings your bell... not politicians, not charities, not "business partners", not even ex-wives or wrong numbers.

Before retiring from WSET I worked nights (LATE nights... regularly) for years, and the repulsive Photo Studio-Aluminum Siding-Leafless Gutter-Maintenance Contract hucksters were killing me until this thing came along. It's easily the best $90 I ever spent. And current models are even better than mine, because if you have Caller ID you can put your family's numbers (and the boss, even) in an Invited Caller memory so they don't even have to use the code. Really impressive.

This gadget solves a serious problem for odd-hours sleepers, and there's much more info available at http://www.digitone.com/. Or, email daveo121@suddenlink.net if you'd rather discuss it with an actual owner than with a paid salesman.

 

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Etc.

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (505) 767-6735
   billharris@ix.netcom.com

Garneth M. Harris

Newsletter archives are available online.

Visit www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews for an index of newsletter back issues.
Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

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.