Denver SBE Logo

A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

July 1998

Return to Chapter 48 Newsletter Page


The June 1998 Meeting
Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Upcoming Events
Continental 816 Transmitter Update
Eureka, Canada's Gonna Do It
New Windows Error Messages
NAB Overview/Radio
SMPTE Publications
V Chip Requirements

The June 1998 Meeting

Our June meeting was held on Wednesday, the 17th at 12:00 noon at the National Digital Television Center at 4100 East Dry Creek Road.

Most of the attendees had lunch in the company cafeteria, and then we relocated to a spacious studio for the business meeting and program.

SBE Chair Andre' Smith presided, assisted by SBE Vice Chairman/SMPTE chair Fred Baumgartner and SBE Secretary/Treasurer Bill Harris. Andre' opened the meeting with the presentation of the annual SBE rebate check to Bill, a welcome addition to the treasury. Andre' pointed out that Chapter 48 now has about 90 members, due to the addition of 2 to 4 new members a month over the last year. We certainly welcome any of our SBE or SMPTE members to attend our gatherings. Also, if you are not receiving this letter, please contact Bill Harris at the numbers listed herein.

Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, has prepared the "SBE Guide to Writing Station Operations Manuals," is now available from the SBE National Office. Member price is $69 and non-member price is $89, plus $2.00 shipping per book. Indiana orders must add 5% sales tax. A disc containing many of the forms, policies and sample letters is included making it easy to modify them to meet your needs. To order, call the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640. You may also fax your request to SBE at (317) 253-0418. Payment by credit card or check must accompany orders. Send mail orders to: STATION OPS, Society of Broadcast Engineers, 8445 Keystone Crossing, Suite 140, Indianapolis, IN 46240.

Following our business meeting, Andre' introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Dave Hershberger from Continental Electronics Corporation. Dave's talk centered on a number of things digital. First, an overview of how digital signal processing can be applied in the FM broadcast band. Next, a very unique proposal for utilizing digital transmission in the present AM broadcast band. Dave's approach includes a novel concept of having receivers continually "learn" new digital algorithms which are actually downloaded from the bit stream coming from the broadcast stations. He and his fellow engineers believe that only about ten percent of the available data would be needed to keep a receiver updated and still provide excellent stereo quality reception. And finally, Dave gave us a look at the application of digital techniques to video transmissions.

Many thanks to Chapter 48 sustaining member Bret Brewer for providing an interesting and informative program.

Coming up in July, the annual "Picnic on the Mount". We'll be getting together for a FREE, yes that was FREE, lunch on Lookout Mountain at the Channel 2 transmitter on Wednesday, July 22 at 12:00 noon. Just head up to Buffalo Bill's grave and keep going around the bend 'til you see all the cars in the parking area around the tower. Carpooling is highly recommended.

Return To Table of Contents

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

... will be held on Wednesday, July 22, 1998. The meeting is a FREE picnic lunch at the Channel 2 transmitter on Lookout Mountain at 12:00 noon. This may be our last one at this location, so don't miss it!

Return To Table of Contents

1998 SBE / SMPTE / SCTE Meeting Schedule

Wednesday - 22 July -- Lookout Mountain Picnic -- 3rd Annual

19 August - William Zou of GI will present an encoder for ATSC DTV application, and explain how they handle HDTV, and SDTV, including modulating the DTV 8VSB signal.

16 September - AES/EBU AC-3 5.1 Blow Out. Sony Primary Sponsor.

21 October - Quantel - Brad Torr (remember him from DYMA days?) presents the Quantel solution for transporting and otherwise working on digital TV in the DTV broadcast station. 12:00 Noon at NDTC.

18 November - Elections SBE - VAC (Video Accessories Corporation) New facility in Louisville tour. Time TBA.

Return To Table of Contents


Regional Sales Manager and Denver SBE Chapter 48 Sustaining Member Bret Brewer announces that Continental Electronics is again presenting its TRANSMITTER SCHOOL in Denver, CO. These very popular seminars are held around the country and have always been found to be useful and informative sessions. This one is:

Friday, August 14, 1998
at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center
7007 S. Clinton
Englewood, CO 80112
(I-25 and Arapahoe Road)

The school begins promptly at 8:30am and continues until 4:00pm.

THE TRANSMITTER SCHOOL is conducted by a Continental Factory Field Service Specialist and covers the Continental 816R series FM transmitter. Included are the 11, 21.5, 25, 27.5, 30, and 35kW transmitters as well as combined models. The class will cover theory of operation, maintenance, design, and have many useful "hints & tips". There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. THIS IS NOT A SALES SEMINAR.

Continental Electronics' Transmitter School is sponsored at no charge. Class size is limited, so we do need your reservation.

Please call: 214-381-7161 (x261) or fax 214-381-3250 to reserve your seat.

Return To Table of Contents

Continental 816 Transmitter Update

Randy Mullinax, WFOX Atlanta and Barry Thomas, KCMG Los Angeles

Two issues that you may or may not have heard about. Both issues concern loss of phase to the blower and intake fan resulting in the demise of the motors.

1) Several years ago, Continental changed the type of contactor that they used for the filament and blower (A19K-1 and A19K-2). These contactors are manufactured by Telemecanique and are identified by the type number CA4DN40. The filament contactor has been very reliable and is still being used in current models, but there have been a number of failures of the blower relay (A19K-2). The contact rating is just too low to handle the starting current for the blower and intake fan (contact rating is only 10 amps). The contactor usually fails when a set of contacts burns open which in turn burns up the blower motor and/or the intake fan motor. Unfortunately, you cannot just remove a cover and inspect the contacts on these units, in fact, I have not found a way to access the contacts without destroying the contactor.

Continental has a replacement kit. It consists of a 30 amp - 4 pole contactor (with a 230 volt coil), one set of auxiliary contacts (not required on all models), 24 volt pilot relay, mounting plate and all necessary wire, terminals and hardware. There is not a part number for the entire kit, you just tell them you need the "blower relay modification kit" for the 816. They also provide instructions and a wire list, but be very careful to make your own diagram as the wiring harness differs a little from one model to the next. The modification kit takes a little over an hour to install.

If you just love to drill holes in your transmitter and would like to "roll your own", the contactor is Square D type DPA34V09 (Granger part number 5B114). The auxiliary contact block (if needed) is Square D type D10 (Granger part number 4B972) and the Pilot Relay is a P&B type T92P11D22-24 (Newark part number 93F2953). The entire kit from Continental comes in at about $200 and the mounting plate makes installation much easier.

2) Continental has also issued a "816R Phase Loss Wiring Modification" procedure that states that a "sneak" path can exist on the Power Monitor/Control module that can bypass the phase loss protection circuits when the plate supply is on. What they DON'T tell you is that this only applies to the "C" versions of the transmitter. There is a simple procedure that you can use to see if this wiring error exists in your transmitter.

Open the lower right front panel of the transmitter and defeat the interlock plunger with a wire tie. Locate the orange phase loss relay (A19K-5). Normal operating position for the sensitivity pot on the phase loss relay is fully counterclockwise regardless of line voltage. Just to make sure things are working correctly, turn on the filament only and turn the adjustment clockwise to a point past where the LED on the relay goes off. The filament and blowers should shut down within one second. Turn the adjustment back to fully counterclockwise. This time, turn on both the filament and the plate supply. Turn the adjustment clockwise again to see if the transmitter shuts down. If it does, you don't have a problem. If the transmitter stays on, you need to get the modification instructions from Continental.

This one is real simple; move a couple of wires (no parts required). DON'T FORGET TO CUT THE WIRE TIE OFF THE INTERLOCK PLUNGER BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE TRANSMITTER UP!

Let me add to Randy's recommended updates to the 816. The high-power versions have a blower on the harmonic filter. This is a good idea on all of them....feel the filter right after it's been turned off....

Look at the harmonic filter on the lower right side and you'll see a small, 3"x3" hole with a plate. You can either get the Continental blower for this or get a standard 4" (I think) squirrel-cage blower and mount it here. The little extra safety margin can save the filter if something strange happens in the PA.

One of our new transmitters has the blower installed from the factory so I think they're shipping all new 816s with it as stock. The Harmonic Filter Blower is a Dayton 4C446.

Return To Table of Contents

Eureka, Canada's Gonna Do It

Chapter 124, Portland

It now looks like the new L-Band Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB) in Canada will finally get off the ground. After much fanfare last year, and wrangling with the CRTC, construction permits have been issued for the initial installation on the CN Tower in Toronto. Scala will be providing the antennas for this new service. What the future is for this new digital radio service, and what listener acceptance will be, remains a question. Some will depend on what happens here in the U.S. with the proposed IBOC digital radio service.

Return To Table of Contents

New Windows Error Messages

Chapter 124, forwarded by Bob Hess

The folowing are new Windows messages that are under consideration for the planned windows 2000:

1. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.
2. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.
3. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.
4. Press any key, No, NO, NOT THAT ONE!!
5. Bad command or file name. Go stand in the corner.
6. Error saving file! Format drive now? (Y/Y)
7. To shut down your system, type WIN.
8. BREAKFAST.SYS halted. Cereal port not responding.
9. User error: Replace user.
10. Hard drive scan complete. All stolen software titles removed. Police are on their way.

Return To Table of Contents

NAB Overview/Radio

Clay Freinwald, SBE Chapter 16, Seattle

Eric Lane was showing off a piece of equipment designed to cancel the delay that comes back to talent at remotes; a really nifty little box. Comrex was showing, and demonstrating, their new POTS line Codec that, according to the company, provides 15 kHz of audio bandwidth. Minidisc looks like the media of choice of many who are facing the end of the line for the various types of audio tape, Reel to Reel, Cassette and Broadcast Cartridge. Hard drive delivery of radio station audio has become the standard with a number of large booths demonstrating the various systems; there must be ten or twelve different systems to choose from. 360 Systems, who has captured a big piece of the market with their Shortcut and Instant Replays, showed a new Replay with several new features including a removable drive. Digital Radio seems to be almost a sure thing, if you listen to the proponents of same. I was surprised to see the rather large number of major players vowing to have a MW (AM Band) Digital Radio system. On the FM side apparently good progress is being made by USADR toward getting their IBOC system improved and ready for market. At one point I thought that we'd never see Digital on the FM Band. Now I have to feel that the amount of horsepower and bucks dedicated toward making this work is likely to make it happen.

Return To Table of Contents

SMPTE Publications

An important function of the SMPTE is to provide the industry with engineering documentation reflecting the significant changes taking place.

Pixels, Pictures, and Perception: The Differences and Similarities Between Computer Imagery, Film, and Video.

Published 1995. A collection of presentations based on a sold-out seminar presented at NAB '95. The book is designed for professionals in the field of video/film production and addresses some of the fundamental principles of digital imagery and how to manage different types of images in a multimedia environment. 92 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $20.00; Nonmember Price: $25.00

Proceedings: The 1995 SMPTE Advanced Television and Electronic Imaging Conference

Published 1995. With the theme "New Foundations for Video Technology," the Proceedings offers 23 select papers from the San Francisco conference, February 10-11, 1995. The collection is designed to address many of the perplexing technical questions being raised by engineers in the broadcast, post-production, and telecommunications industries. The papers deal with a wide-range of topics including Storage Technology, Digital Interfaces, Compression, and Scalable Video Architectures. 260 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $40.00 ISBN 0-940690- 50-0

ITU/SMPTE Tutorial: Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTB)

Published 1994, edited by Stanley N. Baron. The development of new terrestrial television broadcasting services using digital techniques has become a subject of considerable importance to many administrations participating in ITU activities. As key contributors to the rapid development of technology in this important area, the ITU and the SMPTE jointly sponsored this tutorial workshop on the subject of digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DTTB) in October 1993. 160 pp., 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $20.00; Nonmember Price: $25.00 ISBN 0-940690-24-1

How to Order: Credit card orders may be phoned or faxed. Phone: (914) 761-1100. Fax: (914) 761-3115. Libraries and booksellers may order at the member price. The discount per title for 5-49 copies is 25%; for 50 or more copies, 33.3%.

Return To Table of Contents

V Chip Requirements

Chapter 20

The FCC has established technical requirements for consumer electronic equipment to enable blocking of video programming (The so-called V-Chip). The V-Chip will be required in television receivers 13 inches and larger. A phase-in period was established as well. Half of all (13 in. and larger) televisions produced by July 1, 1999 must have the V-Chip and 100% of televisions produced by January 1, 2000 must have the V-Chip. These V-Chip televisions will function by decoding rating information transmitted on line 21 of the VBI. Computer monitors (13 inches and larger) will also have to comply with the V-Chip but only for broadcast transmissions and not for anything transmitted over the Internet.

Return To Table of Contents

Society of Broadcast Engineers
Chapter 48

2950 South Birch Street
Denver, Colorado 80222

SBE Officers

Andre' Smith (303) 871-4204

Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

Bill Harris (303) 756-4843

Certification Chairman
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

SMPTE Officers

Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

Rick Craddock (719) 634-2844

Myron Olinger
Dick Phannenstiel
George Sollenberger

SMPTE Govenor (National Liason)
Rome Chelsi

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris.......(303)756-4843 email:
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)871-4204 email:

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 & 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 chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE Newsletter.