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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

June 1997


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Contents

The May 1997 Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Schedule of Upcoming Meetings and Events
EAS At NAB
Denver SBE/SMPTE to Combine Monthly Meetings/Newsletters
SMPTE Rocky Mountain Chapter News
FEMA Apology Text
Telecom Industry News
Bye-Bye to Part of 2 Gig
E. Harold Munn, Jr.
Eimac Sells Glass-Tube Division
Etc.

 

The May 1997 Meeting

AUTHOR

Our May meeting was held at TCI's National Digital Television Center on Wednesday, May 21. We congregated in the cafeteria for lunch and then headed up the hall, around the corner from Fred Baumgartner's office for the business meeting and program.

Chairman Andre' Smith opened the meeting with discussion of the newly proposed liaison with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. As this summary was written after the meeting, it is appropriate to discuss how things have progressed since the meeting. Secretary/Treasurer Bill Harris talked with SBE executive director John Poray about the proposed agreement between our groups. John found no problem with the plan, as long as our chapters retain their identities and the finances are kept separated. In fact, Chapter 48 is the first chapter to enter into a relationship with another organization that is this formally structured!

Therefore, Chapter 48 and the Rocky Mountain Section of SMPTE will begin to share the costs of producing the newsletter/meeting notices and we will have a number of joint meetings throughout the year. This will make it possible for our groups to schedule joint programs several times a year, and SMPTE will probably put together at least one half-day seminar series each year.

Following the business meeting, Rick Strage from RCS Sound Software introduced the group to the concept of a digitally controlled workstation/console in their new product, the VADIS D.C. This is a new product from Klotz which is a networked control surface which can operate hundreds of channels from a single location, all digitally. We appreciate Rick taking time to introduce our group to this new approach to handling multiple audio sources from a central location.

Be sure to join us for our JOINT meeting with the folks at SMPTE on Wednesday, June 25, at the National Digital Television Center, 4100 East Dry Creek Road at 6:00 pm. A western barbeque dinner will be provided courtesy of NDTC on the patio, southwest corner of the complex. Program begins at 7:00. Details in this issue. See you there!

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Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

... will be a joint SBE/SMPTE gathering and will be held on Wednesday, June 25th, 1997 with meeting time scheduled for 6:00pm. Meeting location will be the familiar NDTC buiding, locatad at 4100 E. Dry Creek Road. A barbeque dinner will be provided to the group. Check in at the west enterance.

Local chapter member Craig Roberts and Gary McCue (Director of Satellite Services fo NDTC) will be presenting information on "How a Satellite Launch Works" as well as detailed satellite operating information. Both gentlemen were present for the Tempo 2 satellite launch from Cape Canaveral in March of this year and will be presenting their impressions of the experience. Come learn about satellite launches and bring lots of questions!

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Upcoming Meetings

JOINT MEETING WITH SMPTE:
WEDNESDAY - June 25th - 6:00 PM
- Free barbeque dinner
Program: Craig Roberts and Gary McCue from TCI will have pictures and the story of the launch of the TEMPO TWO communications satellite. Tours of the NDTC facility follows at about 8:00 pm.

WEDNESDAY - July 16th - 12:00 NOON Annual Chapter Picnic - KWGN transmitter site, Lookout Mountain

WEDNESDAY - August 20th Rick Cabalka, ADC Telecommunications Fiber optics technology

Unless otherwise noted above, all meetings are scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon and will be held at TCI's National Digital Television Center, 4100 E. Dry Creek Road in Littleton.

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EAS at NAB

By Clay Freinwald - Chapter 16, Seattle

In the Giant Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center was a little booth with a sign that read, "EAS" This was one of my first stops. Manning the booth was Frank Lucia and some of his staff from EAS headquarters in Washington, DC. Frank and Co. were there to not only answer questions but, I'm sure, get an earful of what was on the minds of Broadcasters with some 3+ Months of EAS under their belts. There was also a meeting of State Chairmen (at least half of the states were present). John Price, Mark Allen (WSAB) and I were in attendance to represent our region. At the head table were officials from the FCC and NOAA. Later on there was a large session where attendees could ask questions. Frank said to John and I that our plan was one of the best he has seen (that felt good). After listening to all the comments here is a brief summary of my read on things.

1. Washington has a better than average plan.

2. Our plan appears to take into account a number of things that other states are having problems with.

3. NOAA's 1050 Hz W.A.T. is a major source of problem. The apparent solution will rest with the makers of EAS equipment.

4. The manufacturers of EAS equipment did not all respond EXACTLY the same way. This will be corrected.

5. Look for additional Event Codes, this to be a part of an NPRM.

6. NOAA's testing frequency came under criticism, this to be addressed in the process of getting new Event Codes. Look for codes that can be used for testing but won't light off your decoder.

7. A number of real uses of EAS have already been recorded.

8. We just might see Data in the Voice Message portion that would permit greater details to be transmitted. (This will be great for TV.)

9. NOAA's sloppy programming was criticized. Perhaps the Weatherman will learn what dead air means.

10. Look for the new EAS Cable Rules to come out "shortly"; Cable will be given ample opportunity to purchase the required gear and come up to speed.

11. There was a call for an EAS site that would permit exchange of information among states and Local Operational areas.

12. About 20 states don't have an EAS plan.

13. Many states don't have a State Relay Network.

14. Many areas don't have any means to distribute national information from the PEP station to the area beyond the coverage of that station.

15. There is an effort underway to get the networks back into the business of distributing National EAS (EAN's).

In the beginning I was of the opinion that connection of the EAS encoder to an Audio Input was just fine, i.e., the operators could be trained to "pot it up"; and push the start button. In the case of the RMT's I reasoned that the operators were not going to have any problem getting these RMT's on the air within the allocated time frame. In some cases this has worked OK, in others it has not. In one case, one of the on air folks did not fully understand what was required of him. So when the RMT came in he just ignored it! Once again I was reminded that not everyone is even remotely as interested in EAS as I am. If you installed your EAS unit in the PROGRAM LINE, you are where I am going. In the program line the station will AUTOMATICALLY air the RMT's and the exposure to future FCC violations will be eliminated.

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Denver SBE/SMPTE Chapters to Combine Monthly Meeting/Newsletters

The Denver Chapters of the Society of Broadcast Engineers and Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers have put together a working plan to pool thier resources. As a result, the Denver SBE Newsletter will now be a combined Denver SBE SMPTE newsletter. The joint newsletter will be sent out to both groups' membership mailing lists, and as a result will see an increase in its monthly circulation numbers.

The two groups also plan on having several combined monthly meetings over the next 12 months, with the first combined meeting to be held later this month. (See related story included in this issue.)

Chapter Chairpersons Andre' Smith of SBE and Fred Baumgartner of SMPTE indicated that dialogue beetween the two groups has been ongoing for several months now regarding this re-alignment. However, both stress the fact that both groups will still keep their seperate identities. "It made good economical sense to merge the newsletters and mailing lists. Since both groups are related to broadcast engineering, we hope joint meetings will bring to the Denver chapters technology seminars and company representatives that will benefit the members of both groups", Chairperson Andre'Smith was quoted as saying. "It also means more bang for the buck when a broadcast equipment representative comes to town to give a technology presentation due to the increased attendance of the joint meetings", SMPTE's Baumgartner was overheard saying to his group.

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SMPTE Rocky Mountian Chapter News

The new SMPTE Officers for the Rocky Mountain Chapter have been elected as follows:

Chair
Fred Baumgartner, TCI (303) 484-3909

Secretar/Treasurer
Rick Craddock, KKTV (719) 634-2844

Managers
Myron Olinger, KUSA (303) 871-9999
Dick Pannestiel, MediaPro (303) 765-2700
George Sollenberger, Video Installation Repair Services

SMPTE Govenor
Rome Chelsi, IHS Communications (303) 267-1417

Retiring Managers
Jeff Grazi, Communications Unlimited (303) 321-1776
Dave Kitazono, DirecTV

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Fema Apology Text

SBE Chapter 104

April 25, 1997

William C. Glasser Chairman, Ohio SECC c/o WHBC Radio P.O. Box 9917 Canton, OH 44711

Dear Mr. Glasser:

We regret that an Emergency Action Notification issued via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on April 21, 1997, caused lost air time for the stations that were affected. Representatives from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have investigated the incident and found that it was caused by human error. Definative action has been taken to ensure that such a problem will not occur in the future. The EAS and the Primary Entry Point (PEP)/National Primary (NP) portion of the EAS are both new systems and are continously undergoing testing to insure that the systems are operating correctly at all times.

On April 21, 1997, an engineer from one of the Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations contacted the FEMA National Emergency Coordination Center (NECC) and requested a test. However, there was a misinterpretation as to the type of test requested, and the NECC console operator selected an Emergency Action Notification rather than a Closed Circuit Test. This was the first error. The second error occurred after the NECC console operator brought up the PEP activation list on his console monitor. The console operator did not de- select the stations on the third screen of the list. Therefore, when the test was initiated, an Emergency Action Notification was sent to those stations listed on the third screen in addition to the station that requested the test. We again apologize and reiterate that action has been taken to prevent a reoccurrence of this error. We wish to thank the stations that participate in the EAS and trust that they will continue to work with the FCC, FEMA, and the broadcasting community for the good of the American people. If you have any questions, please contact me on 202-646-3363 or by email at "Ted.DeLozier@fema.gov".

Sincerely,

Ted Delozier

CC:
Arlan K. varDoorn Deputy Chief Compliance and Information Bureau Federal Communications Commission Al Kenyon President Primary Entry Point Advisory Committee

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Telecom Industry News

Neal McLain

WIRELESS LOCATION IDENTIFICATION EQUIPMENT TESTS UNDER WAY IN NEW JERSEY

In June, 1996, the FCC adopted a Report and Order stating that all wireless (cellular and PCS) communications systems must be compatible with "Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems" within five years. By the time the system is fully implemented, every "Public Safety Answering Point" (PSAP) must be able to identify the location of a wireless caller with an accuracy of 125 meters on at least 67% of all calls.

A widely-reported story about a South Dakota woman stuck in a snowstorm illustrates the need: she was able to report her situation by calling 911 on a cell phone, but she didn't know where she was. Police weren't able to find her for several hours.

The technology for implementing wireless location identification is now under development by several manufacturers. One such system, called "TruePosition Cellular Location System," manufactured by The Associated Group, Inc., is currently being tested along a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 295 in New Jersey.

The TruePosition system determines the location of the caller by triangulation among cell sites. Like any other wireless call, an emergency call is received by several cell sites, and the closest site handles the call. As soon as the call is recognized as an emergency, the TruePosition system calculates the location of the caller by comparing time-of-arrival information from each cell site.

FCC ASSIGNS 311 FOR NON-EMERGENCY CALLS

Also on the topic of emergency communications, the FCC has assigned 311 as the telephone number for calls to police or other local agencies for non-emergency help.

According to an FCC press release, "Millions of people call 911 each year, but ...most of those calls in many communities are for situations that are not emergencies, such as noisy neighbors or lost pets. [This] allocation by the ... Commission responds to a request from President Clinton last July. To help combat crime, Clinton asked the agency to designate a number for community policing and other non-emergency calls. That number, he said, would take pressure off the 911 emergency calling system."

The FCC action does not require local governments to use 311, but ensures the number will be available if they choose to.

According to the FCC, 311 was chosen because it's not widely used. Some N11 combinations are fairly standardized: 411 (directory assistance), 611 (repair service), 911 (emergency), and 011 (international direct dialing). Many telephone companies use 811 for their Business Offices (including Sprint Centel in Las Vegas, which some NAB attendees may have noticed). Two other combinations, 511 and 711, have specific assignments in Canada. And 211 was "long distance" back in the pre-direct-dial days; it's still reserved for that purpose in some parts of North America.

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BYE-BYE TO PART OF 2 GIG

Chapter 28

The FCC has reallocated the bottom two channels (A1/A2) of the 2 gig band to Mobile Satellite Services. This is 35 mHz of spectrum between 1990 and 2025 mHz. As compensation, 20 mHz has been added to the top of the band between 2110 and 2130 mHz, and the band will be rechanneled on 15 mHz channels instead of the present 17/18 mHz ones. The new 20 mHz is currently occupied by Fixed Microwave Service. Broadcasters will still have 7 (or 9 total) channels, but they will be offset and narrower than the current bandwidth. The transition is supposed to be completed by January 1, 2000, or when the last Fixed Microwave Service channel has been relocated, whichever is later. The MSS new licensees will be responsible for costs incurred by the FMS and broadcasters....

(from SBE Chapter 124 Newsletter, Portland, OR)

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News from the Offices of E. Harold Munn, Jr. & Associates, Inc.

P.O. Box 220 - 100 Airport Drive
Coldwater, MI 49036

The FCC has released a list (as they periodically do) of sources for FCC rules and proceedings. Two of these are government publications available from the Superintendent of Documents at the U.S. Government Printing Office: "FCC Record" and "Code of Federal Regulations - Title 47 - Telecommunication." Six private, commercial services are also listed. Many of these non-government sources specialize in just a particular part of the industry. The published list includes phone numbers and addresses, but is too lengthy for publication here. If you need information about a specific vendor, feel free to give us a call.

New procedures have been announced for ordering audio and video tapes of FCC Open Meetings, Forums, and other events. At this time there is no charge for the service, but each party can only order one copy. There are rather specific requirements for the type of tape (which must be furnished by the party requesting the copy) and the methods for delivering the tape to and from the Commission.

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EIMAC SELLS GLASS-TUBE DIVISION

Chapter 28

Eimac is out of the glass-tube business. The former Eimac glass-tube manufacturing facility has been sold and relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Easton, Pennsylvania. The new company, Triton Services, has moved the former Eimac plant "lock, stock and barrel" from Utah to Pennsylvania, said Mark Hoffman, a senior scientist at Triton. In all, it took 16 tractor-trailer loads to move the plant's manufacturing equipment and inventories across the country. For now, Triton is manufacturing 46 different Eimac and Westinghouse tube types, including the popular 3-500Z, 4-400A and 4-400C. Right now, Triton does not make the 6146, 572B, 811A or 4-1000A, but Hoffman did not rule out the possibility that the company may tool up to manufacture those tubes in the future. Triton also makes glass tube chimneys and sockets.

Triton tubes are available from the company's distributor, Richardson Electronics, Lafox, Illinois; at 800-323-1770. Eimac--recently purchased by an investment group, Communications and Power Industries--continues to make and rebuild ceramic external-anode tubes. It has been relocated to Palo Alto, California.

From The ARRL Letter, Vol. 16, No 12 (3/21/97)

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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)871-4204 email: ansmith@du.edu

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Society, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE 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 chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE Newsletter.