A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

July 2000


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Contents

Chapter 48's Next Meeting
The June Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
Job Postings
A Note From Leo Cirbo, FCC
Kenwood Introduces MP3 Improvements
Certification
Clark Wire and Cable Introduces Handy Booklet
Reaching the Top
Nice Expressions To Describe Dumb People
iPHONE RFI
Great Truths About Life That Little Children Have Learned
Ownership
New Wireless System Design Software Released
The National Translator Association Convention
Virus Authors Exploit Human Weaknesses
Will Rogers Quotes
Etc.

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held July 19th, 2000.

The world famous Lookout Mountain luncheon, this year hosted by The Burst Group and RIA Corporation. Join us at the KWGN transmitter site on Wednesday, July 19th from 11:30 until 1:30 for lunch catered by Bennett's Bar-B-Que. Directions: I-70 West to Exit 256. Left on US 40 to Paradise Rd. Right on Paradise and follow this twisty to Lookout Mt. Rd. right. stay on the road to just past Buffalo Bill's Grave. The KWGN transmitter site is on your right.

Please RSVP with number of attendees to Rome Chelsi: romec@compuserve.com.

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The June Meeting

By Rome Chelsi

At the studios of KALC and KXPK in the Tabor office building downtown Denver, Ron Vincent called the meeting to order. Just received rebate from SBE for financial. Ron explained how SBE calculates this amount. The rebate money from the national office is welcome. Ron also reviewed SBE financial summary recently received.

Discussion of the upcoming meetings. July, August and September pretty well put together. Rome discussed a social night at the University Club for October, which will include recognition of a local engineering figure. There was discussion about a November meeting, but no decisions were made at this time.

Bill Harris did a quick financial report, pointing out that the rebate, SMPTE reimbursements, sustaining memberships and ads keep the chapter going. Also, thanks to Rome Chelsi's efforts, we have enough sponsor money for the July picnic meeting at Lookout Mountain.

Al Jason from Jampro then took over and began his presentation. He pointed out that he has a really cute grandson.

His Power Point program was a very informational combination of antenna theory and Jampro implementation of the various designs. Al showed top mount, side mount, panels, slots, many different types of antenna systems mounted many ways!

Did we mention that Al's grandson is really cute?

Thanks to Al Jason and Greg Montana from Jampro for joining us this month.

Next Month:

Be sure to join us for the July 19th picnic at the KWGN TV2 transmitter site on Lookout Mountain! Lunch is free, hopefully nice and sunny, and lots of opportunities to visit with old and new friends.

See you there!

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

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

Wednesday, August 16 Burst Communications and Leader Instruments
11:30 luncheon hosted by Burst 8200 S. Akron St. Suite 108,Englewood, CO 80112, 303-649-9600
12:00 - 1:00 technical presentation: Tony Walker of Leader Instruments will provide a presentation on Using the HD Waveform Monitor & Audio Surround Sound Monitor.

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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A Note From Leo Cirbo, FCC

Leo Cirbo
Denver Office - District Director

Hello to all of our SBE friends. It seems like my office has been out of the loop with many of your meetings lately, so wanted to bring you some news from the local office. In case you haven't heard, there have been some staff changes in the office, which I have detailed below.

The Denver Office bids a fond farewell to Nikki Shears, Electronics Engineer, who left the Commission on June 9, 2000, to work as a Regulatory & Compliance Specialist for @Link Networks, a start-up company that is currently focusing on providing broadband access to business customers. Nikki will be the sole person responsible for researching the regulatory requirements for new and cutting-edge technologies prior to @Link launching the products. Nikki's career with the FCC consisted of 3 years with the AM Branch in Washington, D.C., and 6 years as a field engineer in the Denver Office. Nikki can be reached at her new office in Broomfield (nikki.shears@link-us.net).

The Denver Office extends a warm welcome to Jerry Ulcek. Jerry has worked for the FCC for the past nine years, mostly in the Office of Engineering and Technology. Jerry is one of two renowned experts in the FCC in the area of radio frequency radiation measurements and theory and the Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) regulations. The Enforcement Bureau and the Denver Office will become more involved in the enforcement of the MPE regulations. Jerry can be reached at the Denver Office (julcek@fcc.gov).

The Denver Office also will bid a fond farewell to Rebecca Willman, Compliance Specialist, who announced that she is leaving the Commission on July 28, 2000. Rebecca began her illustrious FCC career 16 years ago in the Grand Island monitoring station as a Public Affairs Specialist. Rebecca had the dubious task of participating in the closing of the Grand Island monitoring station prior to transferring to the Denver Office. If you wish to bid Rebecca a fond farewell before she leaves the Commission, she can be reached at the Denver Office, 303-969-6498 (rwillman@fcc.gov). After that, you can probably find Rebecca jetting around the world.

The Enforcement Bureau is now issuing a monthly Public Notice that lists all of the enforcement actions, such as notices of violation and forfeitures, issued by the field offices during a given month. Check these out on-line on the Commission's WEB site (fcc.gov). Go to the Enforcement Bureau Home Page.

If you look at these notices, you should immediately see that tower violations are a big problem. Make sure you have registered your tower if necessary, posted the registration number and maintain the painting and lighting. Also, if you have not signed up for the Colorado Broadcasters Association supported inspection program, call the Association and sign up, now. If you don't know what I am talking about, you need to call me or the Association and find out what a great program this is and how it can benefit your station(s).

Hope to see you all at the annual picnic.

Leo Cirbo
Denver Office - District Director

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Kenwood Introduces MP3 Improvements

by Brad Gibson, MacCentral.com, Special to ZDNet

Squeezing the file size takes a toll on the quality of audio files. Now, Kenwood engineers have found a way to improve the sound of MP3s with a new technology that makes compressed digital music files, such as MP3 files, sound as good as the original cut from a compact disc. The technology, code-named Supreme Drive, re-creates high-frequency sound signals usually lost when music is converted into digital data and then compressed. When audio data is compressed in a format such as MP3, high-frequency data is lost. As a result, certain sounds in music might not be as recognizable. Supreme Drive takes the missing harmonics -- known as "fundamental" -- and mathematically re-processes the data through a sound generator. When finished, music then has a more natural sound, according to Kenwood. Industry experts contacted by MacCentral said it is too early to tell if this technology will have a far-reaching impact on all types of MP3 music files, but that early indications show it's a breakthrough and something to be watched closely. "We'll have to take a close look at it and see how it can affect the various types of uses for MP3 files," Edward Kessler, Vice President of Engineering for Napster Inc. told MacCentral. "It's too early to tell what this could really do to the quality of MP3, but it's exciting nonetheless."

"From the little technical information Kenwood has released, I think this could make a profound difference in the quality of MP3," said Duncan Harmon, an independent digital audio engineer based in Cincinnati. "This is obviously both a software and hardware solution that would be built into audio components such as car stereos, portable MP3 players and a the like." Kenwood said it plans to incorporate the technology into a future digital audio products of its own, but would give no timeframe of when products using the new technology would be available, or what kind of products they would be. The company also plans to call on other player manufacturers and music delivery service providers to introduce the technology to their own products and services.

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Certification

The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers a program of certification for broadcast engineers ranging from the entry- level Broadcast Technologist to the 20-plus-years-of-experience-needed Professional Broadcast Engineer. The program includes certification for Audio Engineers, Video Engineers, and Broadcast Network Technologist, which does not include any RF related questions. SBE Certification provides recognition of your experience and knowledge in the field of broadcast engineering. It also shows others that you have made a serious commitment to stay current with new technology, regulations, and practices. For more information about SBE Certification, call Chapter 48 Certification Chair Fred Baumgartner at (303) 486-3800 or visit the SBE national Web site at: www.sbe.org.

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Clark Wire and Cable Introduces Handy Booklet

The Clark Wire & Cable Pin Out Booklet is available to the public at no charge! This booklet consists of 31 pages of definations, pin outs and conversion charts that are a must have for any engineer. It was specifically designed to be a pocket-sized reference guide. It has everything from pin out configurations for connectors from XLR to FK37 to a nanosecond chart. Please contact your sales representative and request your complimentary copy today.

The Clark Wire & Cable Pin Out Booklet is just one of the tools we have designed to help make life a little easier for engineers and techs. Another step Clark Wire & Cable is taking to reach this goal is the design of our new web site. Although this site is not completed yet, we anticipate it will be done in the very near future. Our new site will allow you to access our full- line catalog on line. You will also be able to request a quote, more information or a catalog on our site. However, the crown jewel of our site will be a program that will enable you to quickly and easily design custom punched panels, rack mount panels, boxes and wall plates. After you finish your custom design, you will be able to forward it to us for a quote or print it out for your own in-house use. Until then, please contact Clark, either by phone: (800) 222-5348 or e-mail: sales@clarkwc.com to request your copy of our Pin Out Book.

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Reaching the Top

By Paul Claxton, CPBE
Chapter 131 - Inland Empire

The SBE's highest certification level is that of Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE). The certification is a difficult and somewhat complex process. It is outlined on the SBE web site at www.sbe.org/cert.html

There are three basic goals to the entire SBE certification process: To raise the status of broadcast engineers by providing standards of professional competence in the practice of broadcast engineering and related technologies. To recognize those individuals who, by fulfilling the requirements of knowledge, experience, responsibility, and conduct, meet those standards of professional competence. To encourage broadcast engineers to continue their professional development. A CPBE candidate must already have been tested and certified as an SBE Senior Radio or Television engineer. The candidate also must have had at least twenty years of professional broadcast engineering or related technologies experience in radio and or television. A state registered Professional Engineer's license will count as four (4) years experience. The candidate must submit evidence satisfactory to the Committee that he or she has the appropriate engineering background, experience and training. For this requirement a resume like document listing civilian and military schools graduated, seminars and courses attended, and your past and present positions and job responsibilities. Keep in mind while preparing this document that the candidate must demonstrate a degree of knowledge and participation in one or more of (but not limited to) the following:

Maintenance, Systems Design, Management or Supervision, Continuing Education

The candidate must have letters of reference from two (2) certified Professional or Senior Broadcast Engineers. At least one letter of reference must be from a person who has supervised his or her work. This person does not necessarily have to be certified. The required letters of reference, written specifically for the 20 year certification level, must accompany the application. You must also submit a statement showing why you believe your professional experience, educational background and training qualifies you for certification under this provision of the Certification Program. This is typically a one or two page 'brag' letter to the board explaining your contributions to the field of broadcast engineering. Be truthful and complete explaining your progress through the years. Tell them what makes you a Professional. There is an application form on the web at www.sbe.org/sbeapp3.html

The application fee is $100.00. The entire package is either faxed or mailed to SBE headquarters. The good news is that there is no written exam. However your application will be carefully reviewed by the local chapter Certification Committee before final evaluation by the National Certification Committee. The process takes between three and five weeks to be completed. Upon selection as a CPBE you'll receive a large certificate suitable for framing, a wallet card and the satisfaction of joining a group of elite engineers recognized industry wide as the experts in the field of radio and television broadcasting.

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Nice Expressions To Describe Dumb People

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
A few clowns short of a circus.
A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
A few carrots short of a casserole.
The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead.
One taco short of a combo plate.
He fell out of the tree and hit every branch on the way down.
An intellect rivaled only by garden tools.
Doesn't have all his dogs on one leash.
Forgot to pay his brain bill.
Her sewing machine's out of thread.
His belt doesn't go through all the loops.
No grain in the silo.

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iPHONE RFI

From the CGC Communicator

There is an attractive compact device on the market called the "iPhone." It's a combination telephone, telephone answering machine and internet terminal rolled into one small package - no external computer required. Only problem is, it's also a radio frequency interference (RFI) generator. When CGC noticed spurious emissions infesting the AM broadcast band at its lab in Fallbrook, it didn't take long to pinpoint the source: Two shiny new iPhones installed about 150 feet away. The iPhones appeared to use their telephone lines as a huge antenna. Spurs from the iPhones clobbered the AM band at approximately 100 kHz increments, and the unwanted signals were on-the-air 24 hours/day. Now, the iPhone distributor has replaced the two troublesome devices with phones that do not cause us obvious problems, so our case is closed. But we wonder how many other problematic iPhones are out there. Let us know if you run into any of these 100 kHz comb generators (100 kHz fundamental frequency plus all harmonics thereof throughout the AM B/C band). In our case, one of the iPhones had a fundamental frequency of 101 kHz; the other happened to operate on 105 kHz. Sample calculation: 101 kHz x 7 = 707 kHz clobbering an AM station on 710 kHz.

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Great Truths About Life That Little Children Have Learned

1) No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
4) You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
5) Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
6) Puppies still have bad breath, even after eating a tic-tac.
7) Never hold a Dust Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) School lunches stick to the wall.

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Ownership

From Chapter 124, Portland

You need a scorecard to keep track of radio consolidation - and someone finally posted one at www.cleveradio.com/radio_mega- mergers.htm. 92 major radio broadcasting companies have now consolidated into The Big Two: Infinity and Clear Channel. It boggles the mind to recall that the Communications Act of 1996 was being touted by supporters as promoting "competition in the marketplace".

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New Wireless System Design Software Released

Aurora, Colorado - SoftWright LLC has released a new version of pc-based software used to insure reliable radio communications for a wide variety of industries. "We are in our fourth generation of Windows based software for wireless system design applications," said Larry D. Ellis, P.E., President of SoftWright LLC. "The tools are used to identify locations where existing systems of radio communication are problematic and help the person charged with elimination of these problems to research a wide range of solutions, such as relocation of repeater locations, changes in antenna types and tower heights, power, as well as assess the impact of changes in the local environment such as the construction of new buildings which can ruin reliable communications." The software uses digitized maps with topography information as well as user adjustable computer models of radio coverage for closed circuit surveillance camera, TV and FM broadcasting, PCS, cellular telephones, paging, remote control systems and security and commercial two-way radio system design. Check it out this new software - the Terrain Analysis Package - TAP at http://www.softwright.com.

For more information contact Larry Ellis at 303-344-5486 or at larry.ellis@softwright.com.

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National Translator Association Convention

The National Translator Association held their annual convention in Medford Oregon recently, with FCC Audio Services Assistant Division Chief for Engineering James Bradshaw, and Mass Media Bureau Associate Bureau Chief for Engineering Keith Larson, in attendance. Electronic filing, LPFM, and the 3- year CPs were among the agenda items. Mr. Larson indicated that by the end of the year, he expects that all applications will be electronically filed.

The 307 application for extension of time to build a broadcast facility will be obsolete. "Tolling requests" to be granted in unusual circumstances will be the only way to drag out construction of a CP beyond 3 years. The Commission is also lowering the boom on late 302 or 350 applications (applications for AM/FM, or translator licenses - post construction). A strict 30-day grace period will now be enforced, according to Larson.

One of the NTA Convention sessions was entitled "A Killer May be Waiting at Your Translator Sites!!" It seems that radio engineers may be particularly susceptible (because of the buildings they visit) to exposure to the Hantavirus - a statistically unusual but very acute infectious disease with no known cure, and a 40% mortality rate! The virus is spread by deer mice and other wild rodents that often invade remote transmitter buildings. There have been two-dozen known cases in Oregon and Washington, in the past 6 years. Breathing the dust of the rodent droppings can be enough to contract the disease. Important prevention issues include using a dilute bleach solution to spray contaminated areas before mopping or wet vacuuming the area. Sweeping or dry vacuuming should be avoided. Early symptoms always include fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and may also include headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Late symptoms include coughing and shortness of breath. Because these symptoms are so common, the disease may be misdiagnosed.

The Centers for Disease Control has more information at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/index.htm.

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Virus Authors Exploit Human Weaknesses

Scott Berinato, eWEEK

At first, it didn't seem the new Life Stages virus would cause much disruption; Computer Associates International Inc. ranked it a "medium threat." But two days later, CA upgraded the risk to "medium high" as the virus ended up disrupting mail servers across the Internet. The reason: social engineering. Users have grown savvy in fighting viruses, so the new challenge for those who write them isn't how creative or damaging their script is, but rather how well they can hide the fact that they are launching a virus.

"This was clever," said Mark Sipos, a developer in Boston, who was working with companies whose servers went down last week as a result of the newest e- mail virus. "They get points for style." The ILoveYou virus was the first to use the social aspects of viruses. Because of its friendly message, experts said, and the fact that it "came from" a familiar person (since the recipient's name was in the previous recipient's Outlook address book), the virus writers increased the odds a user would open the VBS payload. The follow-up to ILoveYou, NewLove, went one step further by changing the subject line of the e-mail each time it proliferated. This decreased the chance that anti-virus software or mail filters could catch it before it reached end users and also made it difficult to warn users, since IT managers could not definitively state what the offending mail would look like in a user's in-box.

That's where Life Stages picked up. It made its entrance to e-mail as a joke, common fare in e-mail. It also changed its subject as it proliferated. No fewer than 12 subjects may have accompanied the virus. Also, instead of attaching a VBS file, Life Stages attached a Windows scrap file with the SHS extension, called life_stages.txt.shs. In many e-mail programs, the SHS extension is hidden, so users would only see life_stages.txt and likely believe it was a harmless text file. These new strains show that there's no easy way to keep up with the techniques virus writers use to mask the intention of their payloads.

Some see blocking too many files as a problem on a level with the viruses themselves. "You want to fight them, but if it looks like a real e-mail, how do you block it?" asked Fred Barling, an independent developer in Redwood Shores, Calif. "If you block files that seem real, you'll block real files with them. It's already started to happen. I sent my sister a joke e-mail and my ISP's filter kicked it back to me with a note that said, 'This looks bad.' If you can't send your sister an e-mail because your ISP is filtering at that level, you might as well shut your computer off."

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Will Rogers Quotes

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier then puttin' it back in.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

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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.