A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

June 2000


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Contents

Chapter 48's Next Meeting
The May Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
Problems Navigating the FCC Web Site?
Colorado Frequency Coordination Moves to Web Site
Clay Freinwald Talks SBE!
Contact The SBE
This Month's Featured Software
New Public Safety Applications And Broadband Internet Access Among Uses Envisioned For Ultra-Wideband Technology
Comments On GPS Selective Availability Being Turned Off
New Rules About Tower Lights - Did you hear?
Form 601 Replaces The 313 For Broadcast Auxiliary Work
Commission Announces New Website On EEO
Top Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
No Decision on DTV, LPFM Battle Continues
Benefits of SBE Membership
Etc.

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

... will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2000. Meeting location will be on the 23rd floor of the AMFM studios in the downtownDenver Tabor Office Building,1200 17th Street. The meeting willbegin at 12:00 noon. Park under the building for just a few dollars.

Join us as representatives from Jampro will be available to discuss RF and antennas.

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The May Meeting

Nearly 25 technical folks convened at the Rodizio Grille on South Quebec Wednesday, May 17, 2000 for lunch and "tech talk". While there was no formal agenda, the casual bystander would have heard conversations that ranged from internet radio to high frequency propagation. Hope to see you at the June meeting.

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

Wednesday - June 21, 12:00 noon The folks from Jampro will be on hand to talk antennas. Location, the AMFM Inc. studios in the Tabor Office building, 1200 17th Street, 23rd floor. Park in the building for just a few dollars.

Friday - July 7 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the August 18-28 local window.

Wednesday, July 19 Annual World Famous Picnic Lunch at Lookout Mountain, KWGN TV2 transmitter "on the deck".

Tuesday, August 15 Burst Communications and Leader Instruments - Time and Location to be announced

Friday - September 22 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the November 10-20 local window.

...and we're working on: a tour of the new KDVR Fox 31 studios in Denver, a tour of the new mostly digital Clear Channel radio studios, and a visit from the folks at Leader Instruments, compliments of Burst Communications.
Stay tuned!

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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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Problems Navigating the FCC Web Site?

THE CGC COMMUNICATOR CGC
Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

Here's something your readers may or may not already know: The FCC only supports the Netscape Browser for some of its web sites. I recently had a problem using Microsoft Internet Explorer and following is the response I received from the FCC.

Tim Schultz, Univision

Dear Mr. Schultz,

The problem you are experiencing may be a result of you using the wrong web browser version. All purposes that involve the Java Applets require Netscape Communicator 4.5, 4.51, 4.61 or 4.7 with the FCC Smart Update properly installed. You can download a free copy of Netscape from home.netscape.com/download. No other web browsers will work (for) the following purposes: TIN/Call Sign Registration, Authorization of Assignment, Renewal Modification, Amendment, Modification, New, Transfer of Control, ASR Filing, ASR Query.

Steve Weiner, FCC Technical Support

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Colorado Frequency Coordination Moves to Web Site

After more than ten years of operation as a stand-alone, dialup bulletin board system, the Colorado Broadcast Frequency Coordination Committee database is being relocated to the Denver SBE Chapter 48 Web site. The URL is www.broadcast.net/~sbe48. Just click on the "Frequency Coordination" box and you will be presented with a short menu which will allow you to download the database in either an Excel 97 worksheet or a tab-delimited text format. The database is currently being updated from several sources, and will continue to be on a regular basis.

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Clay Freinwald Talks SBE!

From Clay, Chapter 16

Well, this month I have no shortage of stuff largely thanks to the rather full schedule of events I had this year at NAB. I went down on Friday night and returned on Wednesday night… and the time just flew! This was my first time as a full-fledged member of the SBE Board, and, as such, they keep you busy. You are given a matrix by the staff that lists all the events, meetings, etc., that you are to attend. When you add in your committee assignment (for me it’s EAS) and the tech sessions that you want to attend, you are left with a couple of hours with which to look at the ‘toys’. The SBE Board meeting starts at 7:30AM with breakfast and very shortly turns into a full fledged board meeting, this time with Andy Butler at the helm. By the time it was over we had covered a lot of issues, made a bunch of decisions and there was not one dull moment. Wow it was 12:35 PM! For those of you that are just casual SBE members… or who come to the monthly lunches you don't get to see what all SBE is involved in. Let me tell you WE are involved in a LOT of stuff. This is not just an idle social society. No, sir. This is a dynamic organization with a ton of people working on a lot of issues all at the same time. Impressed? I am and you ought to be. I am not going to bore you with the details of the four-plus hour meeting, but I do want to touch on some of the highlights.

We are going to diversify our investments to get a better return with less risk. We hope to continue our relationship with NAB in the LV show; this is being worked on. We signed an MOU with the ARRL that will give us the framework to work with that organization, hopefully, to interest younger folks in broadcast engineering. Work continues on a booklet that will set out standards for frequency coordination. The staff will look into the possibility of purchasing our own building as we near the end of the present lease in Indianapolis. The FCC adopted a number of elements such as the matter of Class A TV stations. Andy Butler (our president) is on the ATSC that is charged with looking into the 8VSB vs. COFDM issue. Expect a report by year's end.

The Game Day Coordinator program is going great. Expect other venues and events to come to the SBE for this service. The FCC continues to recognize SBE Coordination. For instance, they required the BBC to clear with the SBE Coordinator in L.V. for their COFDM convention system. Certification is doing well. We have about 5400 members and some 4200 of them are certified. Certification testing has begun for IT/Network Techs. The 4th Edition of the TV Op handbook is out. Special proctored exams are now possible for those that wish to take the certification exams privately. Our next board meeting will be in Pittsburgh, in conjunction with their show this fall, October 3 and 4.

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Contact The SBE

Questions and comments about SBE may be e-mailed directly to Executive Director, John Poray at jporay@sbe.org

Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. 8445 Keystone Crossing, Suite 140 Indianapolis, IN 46240

Office: (317) 253-1640
Fax: (317) 253-0418
Job Line: (317) 253-0474

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This Month's Featured Software

From Broadcast.Net

EASFileCap(tm) Version 1.5 is a freeware application for Win95, Win98,and NT 4.0. Using the serial printer output port of available EAS decoders/encoders, connection is made to a computer com port. The text is captured for viewing and saved automatically after a timeout specified by the user. Com ports, along with the saved capture files are displayed in a tree view similar to Windows Explorer(tm) with custom icons representing ports and filenames. Four tabbed pages for last message(s), com port parameters, viewing and printing saved files, and application properties are included. An additional feature allows auto startup after a reboot. App initially tested on SAM HU-961 (tm) EAS units from Hollyanne Corp. Check the Freeman Labs web site for latest versions or just information. Registration is all that's required.

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New Public Safety Applications And Broadband Internet Access Among Uses Envisioned For Ultra-Wideband Technology

THE CGC COMMUNICATOR CGC
Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

The FCC has adopted a proposal to consider permitting the operation of ultra- wideband (UWB) technology on an unlicensed basis, which could have important benefits for public safety, consumers and businesses. UWB devices appear to be able to operate on spectrum already occupied by existing radio services without causing interference, claims the FCC: http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2000/db0510/nret0006.txt

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Comments On GPS Selective Availability Being Turned Off

THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

Turning off Selective Availability will save our company money for satellite differential data fees and allow us to use smaller, less expensive GPS units for our high speed all channel field strength measuring service. It'll also make it much easier for clients in the US to pinpoint facilities under study. Chip Morgan, CMBE, Inc.

The error on my Garmin Street Pilot went from 75 feet to 16 feet over night. Sherman George, Director, UCSD Media Center.

I am the owner of a patented claim just South of Prescott, AZ. There are six claims in the group and we are having difficulties with one owner attempting to close the roads into our sites. The use of GPS is enormously increased by the accuracy increase and will allow us to remove the illegal gates that have been erected here. Jack Hanny, KB7CH

Shutting off Selective Availability: Instant product improvement! Tom Storli, VP, Airborne Ops, Wescam

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New Rules About Tower Lights - Did you hear?

Clay Freinwald, Chapter 16, Seattle

On March 30th the FAA modified the reporting procedures for tower lights.

On Feb 25th the FAA Flight Service Stations (FSS) began notifying the FCC of reported antenna structure light outages that have not been repaired within 15 days. If a light outage or malfunction cannot be repaired within 15 days the tower's owner or representative must re-notify the FSS that the outage continues to exist. Once the repairs have been made, the owner must notify the FCC. Unless specifically notified, the FCC will "auto-cancel" the notice to airmen after 15 days.

COMMENT

The FCC is now in the tower light "loop". If you don't repair the tower lights and/or advise the FAA/FSS, the FCC is involved.

MORE NEW STUFF

The FSS will not require that the Antenna Structure Registration Number (ASR Number) be provided in reporting all tower light outages on FCC registered antenna structures. Antenna structure owners are responsible for ensuring that the FSS is notified of all pertinent information required by section 17.48 of the FCC rules, including the ASR number. 17.48 requires that the owner of the structure must report any observed or otherwise known improper functioning of any top steady burning light or any flashing obstruction light, regardless of its position on the antenna structure, not corrected within 15 minutes, such reports shall set forth: The condition of the light or lights The circumstances which caused the failure The probable date for restoration The FCC Tower Registration Number The height of the structure (AGL and AMSL, if known) The name, address, phone number, etc., of the person making the report NOTE: Some antenna structure owners remotely monitor tower lighting status. If this light monitoring equipment indicates a failure, the owner must first visually inspect the structure to confirm the outage or malfunction before notifying the FSS.

COMMENTS

Note Item 5 (Tower Registration Number). This is new.

Note that knowing the tower's location in relation to the nearest airport is no longer required to be reported. Apparently the FAA/FSS is concerned that your remote monitoring equipment might be faulty and wants to know FOR SURE that the lights are indeed malfunctioning. Some sites, for instance those in the mountains or those that are otherwise obscured by weather, you would have to stand directly under them in the hope that you can observe the lights. The rules state that this must be done within 30 minutes. Many of these structures are more than 30 minutes away from the nearest employee. How this section is going to be complied with in all cases is going to be a challenge for some companies. Finally, regarding Side Lights: Any extinguishment or improper function of a steady burning side or intermediate light or lights shall be corrected as soon as possible, but notification to the FAA of such extinguishment or improper functioning is not required.

COMMENT

You have to repair defective side lights but you don't have to report them being out.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Stations would do well to perform a top to bottom review of their tower light reporting procedures to make sure that these new rules can be complied with. Judging from the recent FCC inspection actions you can expect that this area will be on their list.

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Form 601 Replaces The 313 For Broadcast Auxiliary Work

From THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

The FCC is no longer accepting the 313 Auxiliary form (2 pages) for STL applications. They will send it back requesting the 601 (100 pages). Fun! Doug Vernier, V-Soft Communications, dvernier@v-soft.com Ed note: A paper entitled, "Tips for Applicants Filing Paper Forms for Authorizations in the Microwave Radio Services" has been released by the FCC: www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Wireless/Public_Notices/2000/da001033.doc

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Commission Announces New Website On EEO Rules

THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

The FCC has created a page on its website with information about the Commission's new Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") rules adopted on January 20, 2000. The site is located at: http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/eeo The site contains a summary of the Commission's new EEO requirements and a list of frequently asked questions. There are also links to comments, the Commission's new EEO forms, previous orders and other documents in the EEO arena.

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Top Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers

Thanks to Lynn Osburn
losburn@lewan.com

Can't stick their heads out of Windows '95.

Fetch command not available on all platforms.

Too difficult to "mark" every website they visit.

Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."

Keep bruising noses trying to catch that MPEG frisbee.

Three words: Carpal Paw Syndrome

'Cause dogs ain't GEEKS! Now, cats, on the other hand...

SIT and STAY were hard enough, GREP and AWK are out of the question!

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No Decision on DTV, LPFM Battle Continues

From Clay Freinwald - Chapter 16, Seattle

Don't run out and get your DTV set quite yet. The proponents of COFDM have been making the case that we might be making a serious mistake rushing into 8VSB. Sinclair tried to get the Feds to consider changing their minds but like most government decisions, they certainly can't be wrong. Well, the fur continues to fly with the COFDM game gaining support. So the ATSC is doing a full-blown study of the issue. This is a landmark, as this appears to be a reversal. Meanwhile down south-way south-the Brazilian Digital TV Study group indicates that COFDM is the modulation choice for Brazil. For me, I'm glad that the jury is still out. What we don't need is for the proponents of 8VSB and COFDM to try and do battle with the FCC. Remember what happened with AM Stereo when the Commish let the 'market place' decide?

I'm sure that you have been reading about the flak over LPFM. This is turning out to be full-fledged war in some circles. The FCC is moving along as if this is a done deal; meanwhile others are taking this battle to Congress with the goal of stopping the FCC in its tracks. I attended a session at NAB dealing with third adjacent performance of receivers where a couple of presenters told a different story than the one we have been hearing from the FCC. A FCC staffer on the panel finally admitted that some receivers would receive interference. The common question is why make the band worse? Apparently the FCC feels that the trade off, more stations/less quality, is worth the effort. From a purely technical standpoint it sounds like a political decision to me.

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Benefits of SBE Membership

A medium to exchange ideas with other professionals in the broadcast engineering industry. By becoming a SBE member you will keep on the cutting edge of technology in a rapidly changing industry through meetings with the local chapter, seminars, workshops and other educational opportunities.

A representative voice in the broadcast industry. SBE promotes the broadcast profession to federal agencies and station management.

Recognition. The Society of Broadcast Engineers establishes standards for recognition of professional education/training for broadcast engineers.

Free Materials. Becoming an SBE member gives you free use of informational tapes and instructional materials from the SBE Video Library.

Discounts. With membership you are allowed certain discounts such as purchasing books on broadcast engineering and related topics at discounted prices.

Free subscription to "The SBE Signal". This publication provides information about FCC filings, SBE activities and technical issues.

Employment Opportunities. SBE keeps you posted on current job openings throughout the country in the field of broadcast engineering.

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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.