CONTENTS

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Meeting Report Rocky Mtn Section

Random Radio Thoughts

2004 Broadcast Clinic Schedule Announced

SBE 2004 National Meeting

Recertification Challenges

Certificaton Exams

Clay's Corner

Court Overturns Ownership Rules

Deep Space Network Supports Cassini On Its Way To Four Year Saturn Mission

Fifty Years Ago - Part 4

First Cell Phone Virus

Greeley DTV Channel 45

Amateur Radio News

Homeland Security Alerts To Be Carried On NOAA Radio Network

Impressions Of InfoComm 2004

New Broadcast Engineering Website

New Design Could Reduce Lengths Of Antennas

Only In America

PDX Radio Waves

Psychiatrist Humor

A Bit Of Humor

Etc.

 

August, 2004

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Meeting Report Rocky Mtn Section

Rome Chelsi - Rocky Mtn. Section Chair

Date: July 16, 2004
Location: Lookout Mountain, Denver Co.
Attendees: 80

Denver Chapter 48 of the SBE and the Rocky Mtn. Section of SMPTE held our annual joint networking session at Lookout Mountain on July 16th. This popular event attracted over 80 members providing an opportunity to network with fellow broadcast professionals over a barbeque luncheon. We wish to thank our sponsors for making this event possible:

Burst Communications - Kirk Basefsky & Robin Heywood
Pinnacle Systems - Rome Chelsi & Greg Kregoski
Starz - Encore - Tom Mikkelsen
Leitch Inc. - Brad Torr & Fred Baumgartner
Sony - John Switzer
Omnibus Systems - Mike Oldham
Ross Video - Steve Peck
Video Systems Trading Co. - AJ Delizza
Trivini Digital - Mark Rushton
Quantel Corporation - Eric Thorne

Board Members Fred Baumgartner, Ron Vincent, Rome Chelsi
Board Members Fred Baumgartner, Ron Vincent, Rome Chelsi

Luncheon Crowd
Luncheon Crowd

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CSRE
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Picnic
It was good to see a few radio folks at the annual picnic last month. The food was great as always, as was the company. It's always good to hear what other radio people in the market are up to and dealing with.

KNRC Silent
It's old news now that KNRC (1150) has gone off the air with its alternative talk format. The news came suddenly the last week of July. According to stories in the Denver Post, Inside Radio and elsewhere, the station evidently failed to perform as expected, so News Radio Corporation made the decision to cut its losses. Another Inside Radio story (August 2) raises the possibility that the station was racing the clock on locating a new transmitter site. Speculation is that the station lost out at the last minute on a planned new site, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The station operates with 10 kW day and 1 kW night from a site just south of Cherry Creek State Park (and just north of Centennial Airport). Daytime, the station has a good full-market signal; at night, with an RSS limit of close to 15 mV/m, coverage is limited.

The company reportedly waived non-compete provisions of employee contracts. The station is now reportedly on the block and is airing a music format. Presumably, News Radio Corp. is focusing its energies on its Timnath rim-shot ("Jack FM" on 105.5) and other FMs across the state. Timnath has a fair signal in many parts of metro Denver. Here in my 4th-floor office near downtown, the signal is there but it's too noisy to be listenable.

HD Radios
Back in June, I ordered several Kenwood tuners and HD Radio receivers on the Internet. It was a piece of cake. I entered "HD Radio" into the search engine and a number of hits came back. It was a simple matter of surfing the hits for the best price, which, incidentally, was at etronics.com. These units were all destined for other Crawford markets where we're already transmitting HD Radio signals.

When the units came in, Ed Dulaney hooked one of them up so we could "evaluate" it. There was at the time only one HD Radio station on the air in the Denver market, KPOF. We were blown away by the audio quality. What we heard was noise-free, gargle-free, FM- (or better) quality audio. This surprised us, since the demo CD we had been provided earlier in the year by iBiquity exhibited some MPEG "gargle" on the hybrid AM demo.

Next, we did some quick tests to determine to what signal strength the unit would remain locked in digital. To do this, we used a shielded, rotatable loop antenna, turning it slowly until we lost digital lock. When the receiver blended back to analog, the analog signal was too noisy (from fluorescent lights, computer hash and the like) to listen to. We used the FIM to measure the signal off the loop: 0.5 mV/m. We were amazed how well the digital hung in there, well beyond the point where most listeners would have given up on the analog signal.

Cost on aftermarket HD Radio tuners and receivers is still a little on the steep side, but it is coming down. By shopping around on the Internet, I was able to get the units for under $500 each. Expect to pay $100 more at Best Buy or other local retailers. Just a few months ago, it would have cost you closer to $1,000.

Taking the Lead
In late July, Clear Channel made an announcement that will have a huge impact on terrestrial radio. The company affirmed its commitment to terrestrial digital radio technology, committing to convert 1,000 of its top-market radio stations to HD Radio within the next three years. That announcement means a lot for our industry. It all but guarantees the success of HD Radio. With many top-market (and many of these being top-rated) stations offering digital signals, demand for HD Radio capable receivers will push receiver manufacturers to produce the radios. Automakers will offer HD Radio options in new cars, likely making this standard rather than an upgrade in coming years. The aftermarket radio display at Best Buy and even Wal-Mart will offer numerous models with HD Radio capability.

The demand for receivers will further grow as other broadcasters follow Clear Channel's lead, lighting up HD Radio signals of their own. Once the receivers start to proliferate, radio stations that don't offer HD Radio signals will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. I think that in five years, the majority of major market signals will be available in digital. That is our future. So... whatever you may think of HD Radio, it appears that it is here to stay.

If you have news you would like to share with the Denver radio engineering community, email me at crisa@crawfordbroadcasting.com.

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2004 Broadcast Clinic Schedule Announced

The 2004 Broadcast Clinic program schedule has been released. Go to the sbe24.org web site and click on the program schedule link from the front page. Then mark your calendar for this year's event October 12th, 13th, and 14th.

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SBE 2004 National Meeting

The SBE National Meeting will be held October 26-27 in conjunction with the Bos­Con Regional Convention sponsored by Chapter 11 in Boston. The event will take place at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. The SBE National Meeting includes the fall Board of Directors Meeting, annual Fellows Breakfast, Annual Membership Meeting and the National Awards Reception and Dinner. The regional Convention includes an Ennes Workshop on Tuesday (only $25 to attend and includes lunch) and a broadcast equipment trade show Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday (free!)

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Recertification Challenges
Is this a problem in your workplace?

The following was posted by Ray Topp, Publisher of "Radio Guide"
From Chapter 67

Most professionals want to "give something back," but the current climate makes it hard for them to do so. Some companies are so "tight" that engineers are having trouble getting re-certification points for their SBE certification, because they are discouraged from attending meetings, and prohibited from publishing. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to believe some corporate people would like to see a reduced participation in the SBE, lest some station "secrets," are revealed.

Chris Scherer responded by way of Broadcast.Net

<<As chairman of the SBE National Certification Committee, I see many applications for SBE Recertification. There are some cases where someone complains about the inability to earn points, but it is usual­ly not too difficult to find something that qualifies. There are times where the individual has no choice but to recerti­fy by exam, but the chapter certification chairmen and National Certification Committee make every effort to help applicants. Writing for a trade publication or an SBE newsletter is one way to earn points that's not too difficult.

Frankly, if an employer forbids you from taking an active role in your profession, it might be time to consider a new employer. You can share knowledge without giving away secrets. If the GM doesn't trust you as the engineer, find out what you must do to gain that trust. If the trust can't be earned, find an employer who will trust you.

If your employer forbids you to write for an outside audi­ence, write for your internal audience. Many employers operate internal e-mail lists or newsletters. Contribute to those and claim the effort. If your company doesn't have one, start one. Even this list can be counted toward recer­tification points. (Category G). Membership in the SBE, AES, ARRL and other profession­al societies can earn points. Employment in a broadcast facility itself earns points. Points aren't falling off the trees, but earning 20, 25 or 30 (depending on level) is not impossible, even with restrictions.

The added benefit to writing for a national publication is that some of them, like Radio magazine, pay you for your work as a contributor to the magazine (for true editorial content, not marketing hype, but that's another subject).

Chris Scherer, CSRE CBNT Chairman, SBE National Certification Committee (www.sbe.org) editor, Radio magazine (www.beradio.com)>>

Chris' response makes some good suggestion (internal vs. external publication, for example) but the response gener­ally reminds me of Marge Simpson saying "Anyone who beats you up is not your friend." Accurate, but not helpful, and not really news.

Ray Topp and his editor Barry Mishkind are working to allow publication (possibly under assumed names?) so that the information can get out, and privacy be preserved. We may wind up with a publication oriented version of a "blind box" ad. Or someone might start an agency to act as a front, like we had in the fifties for blacklisted writers.

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Certificaton Exams

Certification exam session dates for 2004 & 2005 are listed below.  Check the list for the exam period that is best for you.  For more information about SBE Certification, contact Linda Baun, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or LBaun@sbe.org.

2004 Exam Dates

Location

Application Deadline

November 12-22

Local Chapters

September 24

2005 Exam Dates

Location

Application Deadline

February 4 - 14

Local Chapters

December 27, 2004

April 19

NAB - Las Vegas

March 1, 2005

June 3-13

Local Chapters

April 22, 2005

August 12-22

Local Chapters

June 10, 2005

November 11-21

Local Chapters

September 23, 2005

Please note: SBE Certification exams are administered only by SBE and are proctored in-person by qualified and approved representatives of SBE. No other organization is authorized to administer SBE exams.

Society of Broadcast Engineers
9247 N. Meridian Street, Suite 305
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Office: (317) 846-9000
Fax: (317) 846-9120

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Clay's Corner

Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
September 2002 Issue

By Clay Freinwald

Can you believe that 2004 is half gone?  I'm now into my 4th month wearing the title of Corporate Engineer.  For me this change has meant travel to other markets and a ton of email and phone calls. I have had a crash course in the workings of Lookout Mt outside of Denver.   What a place" makes you feel really glad to be a broadcaster here". This is probably the most broadcast hostile place on earth.

By the time you read this I will have taken another trip or two.... This time to attend the SBE Board meeting in Indy, visit two of Entercom's radio markets and be a guest speaker at the Illinois Broadcasters Assn. meeting in Chicago...whew!

Around here there is no shortage of news again this month.

In the world of Radio there is one thing that I completely fail to understand; and that's this weird mind-set that says there are not enough radio stations in the Seattle market.  A logical mind would tell you that the radio listening pie is being sliced in increasing numbers to the point that even the top-rated stations have only a small "sliver."   Yet great sums of effort and money continue to try and cram more signals into this market. 

Over on the AM side the recent FCC filing opening netted a number of applicants for new AM facilities, some in locations nearby that will increase the number of signals in the Sea-Tac area.   Just what we don't need.

Buzz Anderson will tell you about the advantages of making sure that your station's electronic door locks are connected to a UPS.   Seems the big machine that ‘sposed to keep things running... stopped.  Not only did it take the station off the air... it denied access to those that were trying to get in to get the station back on the air ‘cause the electric door lock was on the same system.  To add insult to injury... shortly after this Buzz had his keys stolen from his vehicle... and then, yes, there is more... Buzz ended up in the hospital to have his appendix removed.... Geesh... and we thought we had bad days?

I can tell you that we have become slaves to UPSs....These little battery backup systems are supposed to keep our sensitive equipment up and running and immune from the nasty stuff that comes in via the power lines.   Problem is that most of these devices are considerably less reliable than the equipment they are protecting. This has produced another industry.  The manufacture of UPS bypass equipment that will (according to the fine print) put us back in business when the UPS conks out.... But, for some reason, not everyone has installed one of those.  Ya gotta have a backup of the backup's backup.

One of the big news items on the national level was the exit of Mel Karmazin from Viacom/CBS/Infinity.   Immediately folks remembered the days before Viacom bought CBS/Infinity and how Sumner Redstone openly spoke of how he did not like radio (he is a motion picture/TV person). The result of this was the pre-merger Viacom getting out of radio.  Will Sumner do it again?  Everyone is wondering.

Another thing folks are wondering about is Indecency.   What exactly is it?  Seemingly armed with a ‘rubber ruler' the FCC is trying to measure the acts, words and deeds of many.  To be sure they have gotten the attention of many a broadcaster. Broadcasters are now, more than ever, walking a tightrope between doing things that attract audiences and doing things that attract big—no, make that—HUGE fines.    The House has passed legislation that would considerably up those fines, but the measure may not get out of the Senate... if and when it does the fine levels could have a major impact on what we hear and see. On the technical side I note that there are several makers of radio profanity delay boxes that have really increased the IQ of these things.  Now they are able to automatically edit out the ‘bad' words.... It's been reported that some broadcasters are now even editing words out of Rush Limbaugh's program.  I love it when the print media still calls them ‘TAPE delays'  Some terms die hard.... Like Record Album.

Have you checked your Fluke meter for a possible recall?   Apparently some of them have been recalled.  Guess some folks were getting shocked when the meter lied telling the person no voltage was present.  First time I have heard of this kind of recall.  Could be nasty though.

If you have been pricing a new tower or a wiring or project involving lots of coax... you have discovered that prices are going up... rapidly... on metals.   The reason is similar to the one pushing gas prices higher.   Developing countries (like China) are consuming much more of these commodities... and, despite what the politicians tell you, the economy is in rebound mode.  And while I am at it, if you think that gasoline is high... consider a fluid that is REALLY up there.... No, not milk... but INK for that Ink Jet printer.   Ever wonder how they sell printers for cheap?   Think of what it would be like if the car makers were owned by the oil companies. Cars would cost $2000 new and gas would be 10 bucks a gallon!

Only in Montana perhaps.... Recently the FCC, with the aid of apparently armed lawmen, seized radio equipment of an unlicensed radio station in Butte.  The operator of the 101.5 FM station was reported to state that he believes he has justification to operate a radio station under federal law.

Something those HD Radio backers have yet to show... a portable or non-vehicle Satellite receiver.  Delphi has reportedly sold over a million of them.   Personally I hope that someone will shortly produce a HD Radio that runs on AC... would be nice to be able to monitor the station at the studios!

Speaking of HD.... Add KUOW to the area's collection of Ones and Zeros radio stations.  We now have 5 with 4 waiting for ‘stuff'.

I remember the reaction when I told a young electronics buff that there were broadcast transmitters that ran "tubes" (he thought they were a relic of the past) and they were liquid cooled... that really blew his mind.   Then the other day I picked up a copy of an interesting local publication called "Technophile."  Inside were ads for Liquid-Cooled Computers!

I sincerely hope you have upgraded your EAS box for the new event codes.... As of June 30th, NOAA is now using them.   On that subject, the new chips for the popular Sage Endec are available.  If you have a Sage... you want this, perhaps along with the new software that enables you to set up your unit just the way you want.  Pretty cool; was shown at NAB.

A lot of flap with the announcement that the FCC is going to consider allowing unused TV channels for lots of other things.  Watch this one - VERY closely.

Well that about does it for this month -  For those of you receiving this via email... see ya on the tube next month... for the rest of you" Lord willing, I'll be back between the Yellow Sheets. Clay, CPBE, K7CR

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Court Overturns Ownership Rules

By Tom Smith
Chapter24

The US Court of Appeals for the Third District in Philadelphia overturned the FCC's broadcast ownership rules by a 2-1 decision. The specific rules that the court objected to were broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership and local ownership limits. The court ruled that it was OK for the FCC to lift the rule against cross-owners, but it was done incorrectly. The court also ruled on local TV and radio ownership rule changes.

The court said it was OK for the FCC to tighten up some of the radio ownership rules and loosen some of the local TV ownership rules, but that the FCC did not change the rules correctly. The court ruled that those changes in the local ownership rules would need to be modified, as the new local ownership rules did not take into account station audience share. The FCC will have to rewrite the rules on these concerns. The court left the rules for network ownership and national TV ownership intact. The Court stated that the FCC had the right to change the rules, but did it incorrectly. At issue was the FCC's diversity index for figure concentration of media which determined the percentages of station one could own in a market.

In written comments, Chairman Michael Powell stated that the ruling would create confusion in the state of media law. Democrats Michael Cops and Jonathan Adelstein both praised the ruling and wished to start on creating new ownership rules that would respect the values of localism, diversity and competition, and respond to Congressional and public concerns.

The lawsuit was started by a number of consumer groups and small broadcasters. The ownership rules go back prior to June 2, 2003 when these rules were issued. Because of another Court ruling which invalidated the old rules, stations can be bought and sold freely. At this time there are few ownership rules in effect. The full opinion is on the US Courts website (www.uscourts.gov) under Third Court of Appeals, as Prometheus Radio Project vs. Federal Communications Commission.

Information from the Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com), New York Times (www.nytimes.com) and FCC Releases (www.fcc.gov) Note: The link to the opinion has some technical problems and may not open, which is why the opinion is not directly quoted in this article.

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Deep Space Network Supports Cassini On Its Way To Four Year Saturn Mission

Thanks to Chapter 9 - Phoenix

Pasadena, Ca.--The Cassini spacecraft transmitted clear pictures as it approached the rings of Saturn on July 1st. Cassini camera-team member Alfred McEwen at the University of Arizona, Tucson, said, "Seeing the picture makes our science­planning work suddenly seem more real. Now we can see Saturn and we'll watch it get bigger as a visual cue that we're approaching fast. It's good to see the camera is working well."

Telecommunications and data acquisition support is provided by the NASA Deep Space Network, the world's largest, most sensitive spacecraft communications network. The DSN consists of three deep space communications complexes located approximately 120 degrees of longitude apart around the world: at Goldstone, California; near Madrid, Spain; and near Canberra, Australia. This placement permits continuous communication with deep space spacecraft. The DSN supports Earth orbiter spacecraft communications, as well as, radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The DSN provides the vital two-way communications link that guides and controls the Cassini spacecraft. The DSN 34-meter­diameter (112-foot) and 70-meter-diameter antennas are precision pointed, high-gain, parabolic reflector antennas with high power transmitters and ultra low noise (3 Kelvin operating temperature) amplifiers. The capability to control the spacecraft via commands received from the Cassini project is transmitted from the DSN using 20-kilowatt transmitters. Complexes are linked to JPL via a worldwide communications network. jpl.nasa.gov

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Fifty Years Ago - Part 4

George Whitaker, CPBE
Thanks to Chapter 67

This month we continue to look at some ads from 1954. The SpotTape had not yet made its appearance. Therefore, we will not be dealing with anything obscene and it will be OK to let your kids read this.

First we have the Collins 212 console. This was a beautifully constructed board and very easy to operate once you got used to the fact that the "program-audition" switches went up and down instead of side to side. Program was on the bottom and audition was on the top. Most consoles had program on the right and audition on the left. I have a photo of me as an 18 year old "rock-jock" taken at KSEL in Lubbock in 1962 where I am sitting in front of a Collins 212 and using an RCA BK-44 for the control room mike. Several of the guys I worked with went on to become well known in later years as station owners. Lew D'leia, Jerry Coleman, and a couple of the other staff members are all station owners now. Me, I just kind of blundered along and I don't own a station.

Do you remember the aluminum discs with the plastic coating used for cutting your own records? Most larger stations had disc cutters such as the Presto 6-N or the fancier model, the 8 D-G. Several of the stations with which I was associ­ated early in my career did not have tape recorders and everything was live or run from discs. Commercials, jingles, everything had to be cut into a disc We had four turntables and each break was a juggling act when you used jingles that were only 3 seconds long and, back then, we used lots of jingles. I never worked at KAJI in Little Rock or KBOX in Dallas but visited them and was impressed because they had six turntables in the control room so the jock could cue up everything he needed for his next break.In case anyone has never seen the aluminum discs with the recordable coating (such as AudioDisc) I have several of these in my collection along with some 16 inch discs which some younger guys may never have seen. Just contact me and I'll arrange a visit.Recorded programming was still so new that the FCC wanted to make sure people were not fooled into thinking you had Guy Lombardo in your studio at Roosterpoot, Oklahoma. Next month we'll look at the MRA. One of the stupidest sounding things the FCC ever made us do.

While we're on the subject of discs, here is the Gates 16 inch turntable. This unit had a lever with off in the middle, 78 rpm on one side and 33 1/3 rpm on the other. It only had these two speeds and when 45's began to appear, they came out with a little sleeve you could drop through a hole in the turntable platter and it went over the 33 1/3 speed drive shaft. This increased the dimension of the shaft so that the resultant speed was 45 rpm. These sleeves were about 3/8 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch long. Small enough so that they were constantly being lost and you never seemed to have one for each turntable. Note in the picture the tone arm that was about 2" x 2" and tracked at a pressure guar­anteed to cut up a disc in just a couple of plays.Another interesting thing to note in this ad is the knob on the right. This selected the playback equalization. At this time, the RIAA curve we use today was only one of many different equaliza­tion schemes. I don't remember what different curves were represented on this turntable. However, I do remember it had "flat", "IEEE", and "RIAA". There were about four others besides these but my sometimers won't let me remember what they were.More fifty-four next month.

Fifty Years Ago

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First Cell Phone Virus Makes Appearance In Eastern Europe

FROM THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
Communications General® Corporation
Bob Gonsett W6VR & Steve Blodgett W7RNA
http://www.bext.com/_CGC/

The notorious band of Czech Republic and Slovakian virus writers who call themselves "29a" have successfully developed a virus that can be spread on advanced mobile phones running on Symbian and Series 60 software. The worm, dubbed "Cabir," propagates when sent from one handset to another using the short-range Bluetooth connection, a feature on many advanced Nokia phones.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/06/16/technology/virus_phones.reut/

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Greeley DTV Channel 45

Petition for proposed DTV Channel 45 in Greeley, Colorado: 0804_Greeley_CH_45_2101.pdf

Download Adobe Reader

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Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
From Madison Chapter 24

o A Russian Dnepr LV rocket carrying the AMSAT-OSCAR Echo Amateur Radio satellite and several other payloads launched on June 29th at 0630 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ground controllers made their first contact with Echo at 1452 UTC and collected some telemetry to analyze before shutting down the digital downlink transmitter. Echo's sun-synchronous orbit is some 800 km (nearly 500 miles) above Earth.

Among other capabilities, the 10-inch-square microsat–equipped with a transmitter capable of up to 7 W output–will allow voice communication using handheld FM transceivers (Figure 1). Echo will feature VHF/UHF, L-band/S-band and HF/UHF operational configurations, with VHF/S-band, L-band/UHF and HF/S-band also possible. FM voice and various digital modes–including narrowband PSK31 on a 10-meter SSB uplink–also will be available. The satellite is still undergoing testing and is not yet available for amateur use.

Echo Satellite
Figure 1. The Echo satellite prior to launch.

The Echo satellite was given a designation of AO-51. It joins a long line of amateur radio satellites beginning with OSCAR-1 launched in December 1961.

o Alliant Energy has called an early end to its broadband over power line (BPL) pilot project in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The "evaluation system" went live March 30, and plans were for it to remain active until August or September. Alliant shut it down June 25. Ongoing, unresolved HF interference from the system to the stations of retired engineer Jim Spencer, W0SR, and other amateurs prompted the American Radio Relay League to file a complaint to the FCC on Spencer's behalf demanding it be shut down. Spencer said he was happy with Alliant's decision, and was gracious in expressing appreciation to the utility for working with him on the interference issues.

According to Spencer, five fixed amateur radio stations within proximity of the BPL evaluation system and two mobile stations formally reported BPL interference on HF. "The radio amateurs and Alliant Energy cooperated by sharing interference information," he said. "Alliant Energy turned the BPL evaluation system off twice to allow collection of extensive BPL frequency and signal level data–with and without BPL." He said Alliant and BPL equipment vendor Amperion tried various "notching" schemes to rid amateur frequencies of the BPL interference with only limited success. The system included both overhead and underground BPL links to feed 2.4 GHz wireless "hot spots" for end user access.

Alliant Energy's BPL Project Leader Dan Hinz says the ARRL complaint "certainly was a factor" in the utility's decision to pull the plug prematurely but "not the overriding factor." More to the point, he said, was that Alliant also was able to "accomplish the majority of its objectives" ahead of schedule. The primary purpose of the Cedar Rapids evaluation was to gain an understanding of BPL technology and what issues might be involved in a real-world deployment, Hinz explained, adding that regulatory uncertainty and other unspecified technical issues also factored into the choice to end the pilot early.

(Excerpts from the arrl.org and amsat.org web sites)

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Homeland Security Alerts To Be Carried On NOAA Radio Network

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reached an agreement under which DHS will use NOAA'S All-Hazards Network to broadcast alerts to national, regional or local radio listeners.

The All-Hazards Network is an outgrowth of NOAA Weather Radio, and already carries alerts ranging from extreme weather to Amber Alerts.

http://gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/26315-1.html

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Impressions Of InfoComm 2004

by Jim Dalke, CPBE
From Chapter 16 - Seattle

It takes a lot longer to get to Atlanta than it does to Las Vegas: nine hours from the time we lifted off from SeaTac until touchdown at the Atlanta Airport.  Atlanta was host to Infocomm 2004, a professional audiovisual conference and exhibition at the upscale World Congress Convention Center, June 8 to 10.  There were more than 22,000 people attending (up 12 percent from last year) and some 650 exhibitors.  Aside from an absence of "digital transmitters," there were many similarities with NAB Las Vegas.  The primary Infocomm focus was on audio-visual presentation.  It was also a little easier to navigate with less than one-fourth the real estate.

The Infocomm conference theme was the convergence of AV and IT, with the slogan "See, Hear, Connect!" Conference technologies included AV products for professional presentations, corporate board meetings, videoconferencing, distance learning and local classroom applications.

InfoComm As I walked into the exhibit hall, I was visually accosted by a multitude of large screen projections and brilliant, nearly blinding, outdoor LED displays designed for large stadiums and the Las Vegas Strip.

I visited several large rooms near the exhibit hall, billed as the Large Venue Display Gallery, which showcased the latest and brightest projection systems. The most impressive system was a new projector demonstrated by Sony.  The demonstration was in a darkened movie theater-like room, with a 27-foot screen.  The Sony folks said the projector was producing 10,000 lumens with an incredible, 4096 x 2160 pixel, image.  Even close to the enormous screen, you could not see individual pixels.  Sony said the images exceeded the quality of 70 mm film.  All of the projection demonstrations were using broadcast standard HDTV signals.

A number of exhibitors were showing products for networking and distribution of video and audio signals on fiber and Ethernet cables.  There were several demonstrations of video conferencing with robotic cameras and automatic microphone systems with near broadcast quality. The exhibits included: video displays, screens, and projectors; audio systems;  video and audio web and data conferencing;  control systems, networking, interfacing and signal distribution;  lighting & staging; streaming media; software and services; and racks, cases and furniture.

The InfoComm conference is attended by AV dealers, manufacturers' representatives, design consultants, systems integrators, rental and staging companies, and AV buyers.  They come from the business, government, education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and the worship market.  The AV market includes technologies beyond the traditional broadcast equipment market, technologies we would like to bring to the SBE Expo this fall.

While the main reason cited for attendance at Infocomm is "to explore and see new AV technologies," the second major reason given is to take advantage of the educational opportunities at Infocomm. More than 300 courses were offered at Infocomm through a commitment by management to provide a full range of training topics, to increase flexibility in times and learning formats, and to enable people to learn new material no matter what their level of knowledge and experience.  The educational sessions were well attended with over 1 in 5 of conference attendees registering for educational courses.

The educational tracks included Church Production's T3 Technical Training Tour, a conference for AV managers and buyers in the worship market. Church Production is a leading monthly publication for the Church AV market.  The T3 sessions provided instruction on audio, video and lighting in the worship environment.  Sessions included hands-on instruction, lectures, and panel discussions on the latest trends in system design, operation, and budgeting for the future, in addition to technical team building, and working with church leadership.

As part of our upcoming SBE Expo, we will include a separate track for the Worship market and as a result, expect to attract new exhibitors and attendees.  The AV industry's annual revenue is estimated at nearly $84 billion this year, growing at nearly 10 percent per year.  The Worship Market is about 20 percent of the AV market and the rate is growing and should be an exciting addition to this year's Expo.

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New Broadcast Engineering Website

From Chapter 36 – San Diego

BENX.US has a blog front page and numerous forums for discussing engineering issues. Designed by Gary Stigall of this SBE chapter. Try it out.

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New Design Could Reduce Lengths Of Antennas

A former Raytheon EE and long-time ham radio buff, Robert Vincent K1DFT, has developed the technology and prototypes of a "distributed-load monopole antenna" that he says will make it possible to double the range of portable radios used by public safety personnel, among other applications.

Of course, short antennas have come and gone over the years, most suffering from unacceptable I-squared R losses. We won't know if the "Vincent Vertical" makes the grade until confirmation tests are run. However, Vincent's work with the University of Rhode Island lends credibility to his concept, in which power is said to be distributed more evenly across the length of the short antenna.

http://www.uri.edu/news/releases/?id=2659 [URL courtesy of Mike Morris & Ron Patten]

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Only in America

Only in America......do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in America ......do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet cola.

Only in America ......do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in America......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Only in America......do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in America......do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

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PDX Radio Waves

by Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Inc., Portland
mike at brownbroadcast.com

The FCC has issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comments on localism as it relates to translators and Low Power FM (LPFM) stations. Many parties have been clamoring at the FCC on this issue, particularly now that the 13,000 translator applications that were filed last year effectively killed nearly all urban LPFM opportunities, even if the 3rd- adjacent protections are repealed by Congress.

I also called on the FCC to allow LPFMs to use directional antennas, and asked for some "flexibility" for displaced LPFMs and Class D's. These stations are dying at a rapid pace, due to full-power move-ins. I disagree with those who would give LPFMs full-primary status, so as to prevent move-ins. But there still are methods, such as the "no-population inside the area of interference" policies that are currently used by translators, that could save most of these displaced signals. The bottom line is that translators have a lot of regulatory flexibility, while LPFMs are in a straightjacket.

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Psychiatrist Humor

This psychiatrist walks into his waiting room and sees two men.  One is hanging upside down from the ceiling.  The other is sawing an imaginary piece of wood. The doctor approaches the man who is sawing and asks him what he is doing.

"I'm sawing wood," the man replies. 

"And what's your friend doing?" the doctor asks.

"Oh, he thinks he's a light bulb."

"Well, don't you think you should tell him to get down?  The blood is rushing to his head."

"What, and work in the dark?"

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A Bit Of Humor

How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
They Take The Psycho Path

What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?
Polaroids

What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
Nacho Cheese.

What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
Subordinate Clauses.

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Etc.

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (303)756-4843
   billharris@ix.netcom.com

Garneth M. Harris
  (303)756-4843

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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.