CONTENTS

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SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Random Radio Thoughts

Don Borchert A Hall Of Famer

Certification News

The YXZ Report

Cool Stuff From The CGC Communicator

Another Interference Threat

Clay's Corner

Guy Wire Greasing

Hide Your Copper!

Routine Computer Maintenance

Amateur Radio News

Humor

Etc.

 

June, 2006

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SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Rome Chelsi
Section Chair

Meeting Date: May 19, 2006
Location: University of Denver
Attendees: 30

SMPTE and SBE Chapter 48 hosted a joint event on May 19, 2006 at the University of Denver. Gary Sgrignoli of Meintel, Sgrignoli, & Wallace consultancy presented the following topics: 8-VSB Transmission System Review; Basic Measurement Concepts; Power meters; Spectrum analyzers; Clock frequency & jitter analyzers; VSB LABORATORY Measurement Methodologies Concepts, equipment requirements, specs, etc; VSB TRANSMITTER Measurement Methodologies; VSB FIELD Measurement Methodologies & specs.

The May Meeting

Gary was involved with the DTV Station Project in Washington DC, helping to develop DTV RF test plans. He has also been involved with numerous television broadcast stations around the country, training them for DTV field testing and data analysis, and participated in numerous DTV over-the-air demonstrations with the Grand Alliance and the ATSC, both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to publishing technical papers and giving presentations at various conferences, he has given many of these VSB transmission system tutorials around the country.

We wish to thank the following sponsors for underwriting the event: AVID Technology Inc; Burst Group; ERI Electronics Research Inc.; Harris - Leitch Corporations; Microwave Radio Communications Inc; Miranda Corporation; Omneon Video Networks; Tektronix Inc.

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Certification
Many of you may already know that Fred Baumgartner has stepped down as Certification Chairman of Chapter 48. Fred is spending the bulk of his time in San Diego these days and as such, he was finding it difficult to always be available in Denver during the exam windows. Fred was honored at the spring national membership meeting in Las Vegas for his many years of service as Certification Chairman. We all very much appreciate Fred and his participation in the certification process.

With Fred's departure from this slot, I have been appointed Certification Chair in his stead. Fred leaves big shoes to fill, but I intend to do my best. I very much look forward to serving in this capacity and helping our membership and others with their certification quests. We will do our best (to) schedule tests during the designated windows so that they meet the convenience of the applicants. Tests will be given at the Crawford Broadcasting Company offices at 2150 West 29th Ave. in Denver, near I-25 and Speer.

AMD
During the NAB convention last year, my good friend and fellow Radio World writer Buc Fitch, P.E. sat for the AMD exam. I had breakfast with Buc the morning of the exam and he was excited about adding this certification to his already impressive resumé. I ran into Buc later that day on the show floor and he told me that he found the AMD exam to be thorough and comprehensive. He said that applicants definitely need to know their stuff to pass the exam.

Later in the year, one of my chief engineers, Rick Sewell in St. Louis, sat for the exam and passed it. I was proud of him for making the effort. Rick already had great credentials (or he wouldn't be working here) and he didn't need to prove anything, but adding the AMD certification did show initiative and a desire to further his education and credentials - Rick really studied for that exam.

I have spent the bulk of my career designing, building, tuning and caring for AM directional antennas, so when the application window for this year's NAB exam session opened, it occurred to me that I should have the AMD certification. And so I found myself in a quiet moment during all the hubbub of the NAB convention, sitting in a conference room in the Hilton and taking the AMD exam.

I would agree with my friend Buc - the exam was thorough and covered just about all aspects of AM directional antenna design, operation and maintenance. Anyone who regularly cares for AM DAs is likely already a long ways toward passing the exam. I would recommend Jack Layton's book and/or the AM directional white papers on the engineering page at www.crawfordbroadcasting.com as study/reference materials for this exam.

Let me encourage any of you who regularly deal with AM directional antennas to get on the September exam schedule for the AMD certification. This add-on certification identifies you as a specialist in AM antenna work and that says a lot about you to your current and future employers.

Radio Shack
Many years ago, when I was a teenager, the first Radio Shack store in Amarillo, Texas opened not far from my house. It was a magnet for me because there were all kinds of cool things in there... Archer kits for everything you could think of, 100-in-one electronic kits, electronic parts, shortwave receivers and scanners. And they had this book that caught my eye. "From 5 Watts to 1,000 Watts" was the title, and at age 14 or so with a little of Tim the Tool Man in me (more power!), I couldn't resist and bought it. A few months later I had my novice ham ticket. Within a couple of years I had passed the general, advanced and extra class exams. And then, not satisfied with the 811 amplifier connected to my Yaesu, I got into broadcast engineering, and the rest is history. But I digress.

The Radio Shack chain has changed a great deal in the last 30+ years. You'd be hard pressed to find any kits in the store these days, and I doubt many ham operators still get their starts there. Of late, the economic news has been less than rosy for the company with the announced closing of 700 or so stores.

But there is good news, too, and that is that Radio Shack is getting into HD Radio in a significant way. Starting this month, RS will begin stocking the Boston Acoustics Recepter Radio HD in its stores, and the word is that the company will begin offering its own HD Radio tuner by September or so.

The focus seems to be on staff education, which we know is key to the success of any new-technology product. I remember back in the AM Stereo days, Radio Shack had a home tuner and an automobile AM Stereo radio, but I never entered a store where anyone working there knew anything about AM Stereo (or that they even had products with that feature!). I wasn't surprised when those products disappeared from the catalog in short order.

This time around, RS is really pushing staff education and has even enlisted broadcasters in several test markets (our company participated in Dallas), offering radio station employees a Recepter HD at a deep discount for their trouble. They wanted radio station employees to go to their stores and ask the staff about the product and then provide feedback to the corporate office. Good for them! This is a far cry from what we've seen from other retailers that carry HD Radio products.

Listen for Radio Shack spots on local stations featuring the Recepter HD. And as broadcasters, we should support Radio Shack in its marketing efforts for these products.

Projects
Summer is often the time for projects in our business, and this summer is no exception in my camp. At CBC-Denver, we will be replacing the existing Audioarts mixers in our studios with a Wheatstone bridge router and control surfaces. This means a whole new infrastructure, complete reconfiguration and rewiring of the engineering suite and more. Ed Dulaney will be looking for contract engineering help for this project, so any of you that may have some spare time and want to make a few extra dollars, give Ed a call. We're looking at late July through the month of August for this project.

This month, we should complete the HD Radio conversion of our Colorado stations, wrapping up with KLVZ (1220) and KCBR (1040). I've lost count of how many HD AM stations there are along the Front Range, but the percentage is high.

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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Don Borchert A Hall Of Famer

By Leonard Charles
Madison Chapter 24

Don Borchert, the Chairman of the WBA/SBE Broadcast Clinic and the WBA/SBE Summer Engineering Workshop is a 2006 inductee into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Although retired, Don still works part-time for both the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association to plan broadcast engineering educational events, and for the University of Wisconsin Research Park attending to the Madison Community Tower.

Don Borchert graduated from the Navy Pier Campus of the University of Illinois in 1949. His first job in broadcasting was as an engineer at WLSI Radio in Pikeville, Kentucky from 1949 - 1951. Borchert worked at various radio and television stations for Lee Broadcasting between 1951 and 1964. Don spent the years of 1964 - 1968 working at the Chicago office of RCA. These years were the height of the color television boom. To keep up on all of RCA's products and competing products, Borchert attended weekly technical update sessions. Even after he left RCA, Don continued to receive weekly RCA updates for 15 years so he could stay current.

Don became a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in 1966. While at RCA, the University of Wisconsin asked Don to assist in planning the construction of Vilas Communications Hall. Resulting from that association, Don's next job was at the University. From 1968 - 1993, he worked for the University of Wisconsin-Extension as the Director of Engineering for WHA radio and television. In the early 1970s, Don and several other Madison broadcast engineers worked together to start a Madison SBE Chapter known as Chapter 24. From 1993 to present, Don worked for the University of Wisconsin Research Park as an engineer for the construction and maintenance of the Madison community broadcast tower, a 1423 foot structure on Madison's West side.

In 1974 Don took over responsibility for the FM Clinic originated by Jack Stiehl in 1955. Borchert became active in planning the educational event and instrumental in transforming it to the Broadcasters Clinic for AM, FM, and television. Its target audience expanded to broadcast engineers throughout the upper Midwest.

When Don retired from WHA in 1993, responsibility for the Broadcasters Clinic was transferred from University of Wisconsin- Extension to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA). Since then, Don has worked for the WBA to coordinate the WBA/SBE Broadcasters Clinic now held in partnership with the Wisconsin SBE Chapters. In 1993 Don also became responsible for planning the fledgling WBA/SBE Summer Engineering Workshop. Don merged the two planning committees into a single Engineering Program Committee with representatives from television, radio, and educational multimedia facilities from around Wisconsin. Under Don's direction both conferences continue to draw national-caliber presenters and exhibitors. The Broadcasters Clinic continually ranks among the best Broadcast Engineer educational events in the country.

Induction ceremonies will take place on June 15th at the WBA Summer Conference at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. Congratulations Don!

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Certification News

All The News About Certification
by Michael Scott,
Chapter 16, Seattle

2006 Certification Application & Testing Deadlines

Deadline

Location

Test Date

June 9, 2006

Local Chapters

August 11-21, 2006

September 22, 2006

Local Chapters

November 10-20, 2006

The smart thing to do before taking the Certification test of your choice is to order the CertPreview CD.

SBE CertPreview comes on a CD-ROM and operates in Windows. Each sample test contains 100-150 questions typical of those found on an actual exam. Correct answers move you to the next question; wrong answers stop to give you the right answer. Each CD also includes suggested reference materials for further study and an application for the actual exam.

SBE CertPreview can be purchased for the following levels:

  • Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - Beginners FCC, General, Audio, Video, RF, AM-FM RF, TV RF, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT) Covers a variety of networking knowledge and skills common to various networks. Not software specific.
  • Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) - 5 years of experience FCC, General, Audio, Video, AM-FM, TV, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Video Engineer (CEV) - 5 years of experience FCC, General, Audio, Video, AM-FM, TV, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE) - 5 years of experience FCC, General, Audio, Video, RF, AM-FM RF, TV RF, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE) - 5 years of experience FCC, General, Audio, Video, RF, AM-FM RF, TV RF, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Senior Broadcast Radio Engineer (CSRE) - 10 years of experience FCC, General, Audio, Video, RF, AM-FM RF, TV RF, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking
  • Certified Senior Broadcast Television Engineer (CSTE) - 10 years of experience; FCC, General, Audio, Video, RF, AM-FM RF, TV RF, Satellite, Microwave, Safety, Networking

About Certification Exams
The purpose of the Certification exam is to permit you to demonstrate your comprehension of the prescribed body of knowledge for your particular experience level and field of specialization. The exams consist of 50 multiple choice questions drawn from a file of several hundred questions, ranging from basic electronics to state-of-the-art maintenance problems. All exams are conducted OPEN BOOK, and calculators are allowed. Working engineers on the SBE Certification Committee develop the questions.

Cost is $27 per test add $3 per CD* for shipping/handling * Multiple tests can be purchased on one CD

To order: Go on line to: http://www.sbe.org/documents/CertPreview_Order_002.pdf

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The YXZ Report

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Chapter 124 Secretary
watercooled at sbe124.org

LIFE WITH HD RADIO
Holding at 12 FM HD signals (five with HD2) and one AM HD signal on the air in the Portland market.

Borrowed a Boston Acoustics Receptor HD radio for a weekend. I'm still amazed how much sound and good bottom end this little radio is capable of putting out. Both the AM and FM seem to be pretty sensitive, although the AM section seems to overload easily. The miniature tip-ring-sleeve output jack has the ideal level, controlled by the volume knob, to drive a line input.

From the Broadcast Electronics "BEHDR" e-mail list come two Boston Acoustics tricks.

First from "our friends at Clear Channel:"

To go into split audio mode on your Boston Acoustics receiver:

  1. Turn off the radio and turn it back on until the freq. is displayed.
  2. Hold down the CLOCK button for about 5-10 seconds.
  3. You should see a list of items.
  4. Scroll down the list using the frequency knob on the left until you come to SPLIT MODE.
  5. Press the Freq. knob.
  6. Now scroll up to SPLIT MODE ON and press knob again. (Make sure you have the volume where you want it before going into this mode, because the volume control will be disabled.
  7. You should now have the digital in the left channel and the analog in the right channel. Of course you'll need the optional stereo speaker in this mode or you can use the stereo headphone jack in the back.
  8. To get out of this mode, scroll down to SPLIT MODE OFF and press the freq. knob again.

Then from Bob Stroupe, Houston Director of Engineering for Clear Channel Radio:

To lock the Boston Acoustics Receptor HD Radio in the analog mode until you tune away, press the alarm 1 & alarm 2 buttons simultaneously.

Radiosophy released some news: "We have some good news to share. As many of you may already know, manufacturing of the MultiStream HD has been on hold as we worked through sensitivity issues. We're happy to report that these issues are now resolved, and testing last week confirmed that our new design exceeds our target numbers by 6 dBm on both AM and FM!

The manufacturing process has begun. This typically takes 10 to 12 weeks. Backorder deliveries are expected to begin early summer. Orders placed today will be an additional 4 to 6 weeks from our first ship date. Our manufacturing team will put together a schedule in the next couple of weeks and we'll post it at http://www.radiosophy.com/status as soon as it's available."

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Cool Stuff From The CGC Communicator

by Bob Gonsett W6VR
Thanks to Chapter 124

NAB 2006

Herculean changes are underway for the radio and television broadcast industries as graphically displayed at the just-concluded NAB Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Multiple platforms now compete for viewers' eyes and ears where MoTV (mobile TV) receivers tuned to proprietary data streams are about to become the latest assault to the traditional viewing model. In the radio arena, iPods, satellite radio and Internet audio continue to siphon off valuable ears. And the changes are coming at a breathtaking pace.

For example, a draft Report and Order to allow all U.S. AM stations to use HD Radio at night is reportedly sitting on the FCC Chairman's desk. Insiders say the document will allow all stations (with equipment in place) to light up simultaneously. Hopefully an interference resolution mechanism is included in the paperwork. Broadcast engineers surveyed on the floor of the NAB were not optimistic about the long-term prospects of AM HD at night, but iBiquity investors will undoubtedly make a concerted effort to make it work.

NAB estimates that 105,046 people attended this year's Las Vegas convention as opposed to 104,427 last year. The NAB convention is billed as the world's largest media show, and almost 25% of this year's attendees were international.

CLEAR CHANNEL CE COMMENTS ON AM IBOC POWER LEVEL

The following letter, reportedly from Steve Davis, Chief Engineer, Clear Channel Radio, is posted on the radiolists.net website to resolve a controversy associated with AM IBOC sideband power levels. While it is one thing to quote the power of an individual carrier within an IBOC sideband, it is another to quote the aggregate power of all the IBOC carriers.

For a 50 kW AM station, the aggregate IBOC power amounts to 2.4 kW according to the Davis letter, not 500 watts as had apparently been claimed in an earlier posting. http://tinyurl.com/q6kn7

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Another Interference Threat

By Tom Smith
Chapter 24

In a recent turn of events, a potential interference threat was heightened. The consulting firm of Munn-Reese, Inc. has issued a number of Prior Coordination Notices on behalf of Clarity Media Services, LLC. These PCNs were issued for a proposed system to provide a subscription TV service to truck drivers while they are parked at truck stops in their sleeper trucks. Markets where PCNs have been sent include Dallas and Waco, TX; Los Angles, CA.; Rapid City, SD and Nashville, TN. In Waco, one site is 5 blocks from an ENG receive site and another 5 miles away.

The proposed Trucker TV system would operate on the same spectrum as the 2 GHz ENG pick-up service. It would provide 14 six MHz wide channels from 2025-2109 MHz with a power of 37 dBm (5 Watts) and an antenna height of 20 meters above ground. The proposed service is to be considered a fixed CARS station. CARS stands for Cable Antenna Relay Service and the service is used to distribute cable TV from a central headend to distribution points around a large system or to other smaller cable systems. CARS was used to avoid long lengths of coax cable with many amplifiers to distribute the cable channels over a larger area. Fiber has replaced CARS systems in many cable systems.

There are a number of problems with these PCNs. The first is that the FCC has not authorized the service. The second is that the FCC does not allow CARS systems in the 2 GHz band. The service is allowed in the 13 GHz band and shares the band with broadcast TV auxiliary stations. The third problem is that the proposed system should be considered a Multichannel Video Programming Distribution System (MVPD) as a CARS system can only be licensed to a cable system for point to point relay distribution of its programming. This is a direct-to-consumer system like wireless cable (MMDS). The last and most important problem is that the 2 GHz band is already congested and this service is not compatible with ENG use.

Clarity has received an experimental license to test the system in a number of locations and the SBE and the Association of Maximum Service Telecasters (MSTV) has filed objections to those licenses.

What is being done to prevent this proposed intrusion into the 2 GHz ENG band? SBE Attorney Chris Imlay has notified Coordinators on dealing with these PCNs. The MSTV has asked the FCC to issue an order to Clarity to cease and desist from sending PCNs to Broadcast Auxiliary Service licenses and to notify those that have received PCNs that the request is withdrawn.

The SBE and MSTV websites have copies of their previous filings on this matter if you wish further information.

From SBE and MSTV filings. (www.sbe.org, www.mstv.org)

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Clay's Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald

In response to the rather constant stream of problems and goof-ups on the part of some government entities, your State EAS Committee remodeled the way RMT's are handled with the removal of those locally generated. This means that RMT's, which broadcasters must forward under FCC rules, will now be coming from either the State EOC or from NWS. This does not mean that local government entities will be eliminated as sources of -real- EAS messages; just that they will not be sending RMT's. To insure that these sources are being tested, they are being asked to transmit RWT's (with audio) and that we Broadcasters monitor them for quality and report back - via the EAS Remailer. In this regard your help is needed in monitoring and reporting problems. There will be more on this coming down and the very best place to stay in the know is by being a subscriber to the WaState EAS Remailer at - eas-wa@broadcast.net

A number of items on the legal front -

1> - Payola is back in the news with the AG of New York filing suit against Entercom over contended "repeated and persistent fraudulent acts." Even though the complaints are related to stations in New York a couple of Seattle stations are named. The FCC appears to be involved with this one also with a news release on the subject on March 8 th.

2> - The FCC has come out, with guns ablaze, regarding indecency, hitting some big targets, namely CBS and NBC. The biggest 'zinger' is against CBS at 3.6M for one TV show. This one is going to be generating press for some time as return-fire salvos have begun. This could mark the beginning of a landmark court battle that could shape things for years to come.

3>- The Commish has proposed a fine against Behringer for 1-Megabuck for marketing devices without considering their RF Interference potential; apparently the practice continued for more than a year after the FCC started an inquiry into the matter.

4> - Not exactly broadcasting, but.....The FCC, on Feb 28 th, Issued an NAL in the amount of $776,500 against First Choice Healthcare Inc for delivering unsolicited ads via telephone FAX.

Some sad news to report regarding the passing of some Broadcasters in our area -

Barbara Kerry, owner and CEO of KGY radio in Olympia at 71 and Dan Bartolovic of KAPS in Mt Vernon at 60. Also passing was structural engineer John Petteys. John left his stamp on many a tower in our market over the years.

On the business front -

KMAS in Shelton has been sold by Harold Greenberg to Olympic Broadcasting. The principal of Olympic is Dale Hubbard; not sure if there is a relation, but Hubbard is a historic name in this industry. KMAS operates with 10/1kw on 1030.

In other news -

Got an email from Bob Walther. He was writing from Beijing and asking about Seattle radio stations that are streaming, adding that he is a bit out of range. In the event you'd like to say hi to Bob his email address is - BobWalther@att.net

I know that from time to time Clear Channel gets a bit of bad press. Some of that I assume is because they are big, perhaps the same problem enjoyed by Microsoft etc. This time I have to hand it to the media giant for what I see is a class act. They recently named their Radio Engineer of the Year Award winners. This is the third year for this activity and this year's winner is Charlie Wooten, DOE in Panama City , Fla. Charlie will be joined by 9 others in Las Vegas for the NAB Convention. The winners all receive free travel, lodging and registration. I know that all of us have read about rewards for accomplishments in programming and sales...but when was the last time you read about corporate rewards for Engineers? I applaud Clear Channel for recognizing those folks that are responsible for keeping the machine working. Way to go CCR !

Meanwhile, SBE and AWRT (American Women in Radio and Television) have announced the recipient of the - first - AWRT/SBE Female of the Year Award. Congrats to Cristy Trembly who works for CBS in LA. I hope that this encourages more women to consider careers in Broadcast Engineering.

With the rollout of HD Radio's multicasting the job of trying to figure out what people are listening for the purpose of coming up with ratings has suddenly gotten more complicated. For example - You tune your HD Radio to KWRM-HD2 and you are really listening to KIXI. The apparent solution to this growing issue is something called a People Meter or PPM. This is a case where there are technical solutions to the problem, but where the political issues are much more complicated to resolve. It appears to me that the days of the folks filling out paper diaries are numbered. Like a lot of changes, this one is causing some pain.

A couple of happenings on the local FM band - 1) Apparently the 93.9 translator is off the air. 2) Some folks have been hearing Howard Stern on the FM band in the mornings in Seattle . Apparently someone has a Sirius radio and an FM transmitter...Hmmm

Remember the miner Randy McCloy who was the lone survivor of that West Va. mine disaster? According to reports he is doing pretty well, considering, and is awake and converses with his family and is able to eat with assistance. Randy has an extended family in Amateur Radio. Randy is also known as KC8VKZ. According to doctors, he has improved beyond their expectations.

If you are a Ham, or AM Broadcast Band "DX''er you understand that we are now in a sunspot minima as those bands are hopping. On higher frequencies ground-wave is about all that's going on. But watch out for the next sunspot cycle. Those that predict those things are promising us that the next maximum is going to be 30-50% stronger than the last one....perhaps strong enough to cause some major problems with our communications systems. The peak of Cycle 24 is expected to begin in late 07 or early 08 with the peak in 2012 -Set your timer.

The President has signed it, now we wait to see if the date of Feb 17, 2009 , will hold as the day analog TV signals go away forever. Anyone got any money on this one? The bill includes 1.5B for converter boxes to make sure that your trusty Muntz does not have to end up in the dumpster.

Clay, CPBE, K7CR

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Guy Wire Greasing

From the SBE Message List:

I shared the question of greasing guy wires with the people at ERI, and this was provided to me.

Chriss

===

Guy wire damage is typically a function of one of three events. These are; localized fatigue typically at end attachment points, localized galvanic corrosion caused by dissimilar metals in direct contact with the guy wire, or the attrition of the zink coating due to environmental sacrificial elements present in the atmosphere. The first two should result in replacing the guy wire. The decision to coat the guy wire is only applicable for the last case.

Tower guy wires are typically high strength steel strand with a Class A zinc coating. The Class A coating is typically good for 30 to 40 years. However the presence of corrosive elements in the environment can and will shorten this life expectancy. The result is usually a rust discoloration and in extreme circumstances, fractured strands in the cable.

Once the galvanized coating is sufficiently sacrificed to leave the steel unprotected external coatings can provide a minimal extension to the useful life of the guy wire. However, the coating should allow the guy wire to "breath" or maintain the ability for air and subsequent evaporation of water to occur.

Application of bituminous tar or grease will not allow the evaporation process to proceed and in fact may provide an opportunity to seal water within the guy wire strands. This would be very detrimental and hasten the corrosion process. The heavy grease creates an external cover which will thin on the top side of the wire and may permit water to enter the guy wire while also sealing the bottom portion of the wire and preventing the water from exiting or evaporating. The tar will eventually harden and crack. Again this will also create an opportunity for moisture to enter.

A better solution is to coat the guy wire with a vegetable based oil like Linseed oil. This will penetrate between the individual strands of the guy wire, provide lubrication between the strands and a temporary water barrier for the zinc coating and steal of the individual strands. Because the oil is relatively clear it will permit visual inspection of the strands and the signs of further corrosion will be noticeable. Also the vegetable base oil will offer limited environmental and pollution problems.

Other commercially available products combine vegetable oil with suspended zinc particles and flaks. The theory is through a electrolytic corrosion process similar to electro plating the suspended zinc will attach to the damaged steel areas of the guy wire and prevent further corrosion.

In general, opaque coatings that seal the outer surface of the guy wire should be avoided. Environmentally friendly, transparent lubricants that provide a seal for the individual steel strands comprising the guy wire while still allowing the cable to "breath" are recommended.

David K. Davies
Engineering Manager
812-925-6000 x206
dave@eriinc.com

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Hide Your Copper!

Courtesy of Chapter 124

Now that the price of copper has doubled in the past year to over $3 a pound, make sure any strap, screen, or feedline is out of sight at your site, or very hard to get to.

Nothing hoses an AM array like the removal of the strap and screen around the tower base(s). Gravel covers, and Cold Galvanizing Spray does indeed instantly make exposed new copper strap look 30 years older.

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Routine Computer Maintenance

From Chapter 124 - Portland

If you spend any of your time maintaining computers, here's a decent once-over of what needs to be done on a (semi) regular basis. (It strikes me that a lot of this applies equally to broadcast equipment.) We all know this stuff, but a reminder is always good -- I don't know about the rest of you guys, but this is the sort of work that almost always finds its way to the bottom of my "to do" list because there's always a bigger fire to fight.

Book excerpt posted by Tech Republic. Thanks to Doug Herman, Promotional Broadcast Network, Inc., San Diego. http://tinyurl.com/pxusv

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Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Madison Chapter 124

o The US House Energy and Commerce Committee's version of the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006 includes an amendment requiring the FCC to study the interference potential of Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems.

After spending two days marking up the measure, the panel voted April 26 to send the much-talked-about "telecoms rewrite" bill to the full House for its consideration. "Outstanding news!" was the reaction of American Radio Relay League CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.

"This is a major victory for the ARRL," he exulted, noting that the amendment "received significant opposition" from utility companies. Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), proposed the amendment, and, with the support of Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), the committee agreed by voice vote to include it in the bill.

A more-widely reported Internet "network neutrality" amendment to the COPE Act bill was defeated. The measure has been designated as HR 5252.

The COPE Act BPL amendment adds a section (under Title V) to the proposed legislation that would require the FCC to study and report on the interference potential of BPL systems within 90 days of the bill's enactment. The Commission would have to submit its report to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

o Hams in Germany and Portugal reportedly have received signals from the US Voyager 1 spacecraft <http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/> in March and April. On March 31, AMSAT-DL (Germany) radio amateurs at the Institute for Environmental and Future Research (IUZ) at Bochum Observatory used a 20-meter radio telescope dish to detect Voyager 1's 8.4 GHz signal.

The German team received the signal from a distance of 8.82 billion miles (14.7 billion km)-nearly 100 times the distance from the sun to Earth. This is the first recorded reception of signals from Voyager 1 by radio amateurs. Luis Cupido, CT1DMK, in Portugal reported April 15 that he spent "two nights without sleep" to hear Voyager I at his location using a 5.6-meter dish. To detect the signal, Cupido says he had to acquire and integrate spectrograms over an extended period.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's <www.arrl.org> web site)

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Humor

Thoughts...

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you meet a beautiful girl .

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.

Help a man when he is in trouble and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.

Whoever said money can't buy happiness, didn't know where to shop.

Forgive your enemies but remember their names.

The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.

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Units you rarely see:

2000 mockingbirds: 2 kilomockingbirds

Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter: Eskimo Pi

2000 pounds of Chinese soup: Won ton

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond

Half of a large intestine: 1 semicolon

1000 aches: 1 megahurtz

Shortest distance between two jokes: A straight line

1 million-million microphones: 1 megaphone

1 million bicycles: 2 megacycles

10 cards: 1 decacards

force of 1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton

1000 grams of wet socks: 1 literhosen

1 millionth of a fish: 1 microfiche

1 trillion pins: 1 terrapin

10 rations: 1 decoration

100 rations: 1 C-ration

8 nickels: 2 paradigms

2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital: 1 I.V. League

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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.