CONTENTS

15th Annual Lookout Mountain Denver SBE & SMPTE Luncheon

SMPTE’s 2006 Citation for Outstanding Service

Random Radio Thoughts

SBE Names New Certification Director

Hall of Fame Inductee

NTSC Timing Notes

Clay's Corner

The XYZ Report

Frequency Coordination & Other Stuff

Amateur Radio News

The Local Oscillator

Humor

Etc.

 

August, 2006

15th Annual Lookout Mountain Denver SBE & SMPTE Luncheon

by Tom Goldberg
The Networking Event of the Year

This year's Annual Lookout Mountain SBE & SMPTE Luncheon was held on Friday, July 21st, 2006 and was well attended as always. Broadcasters lined up for another fine spread by Bennett's barbeque and enjoyed a beautiful sunny but not-too-hot day on Lookout Mountain:

Attendees enjoyed lunch during the traditional raffle for T-Shirts, coffee mugs and other fine items donated by industry manufacturers, vendors, and broadcasters:

Preceding the raffle, this year's SMPTE SBE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bob Hensler - Engineering Vice President, Colorado Public Radio. †Bob became chief engineer of Colorado Public Radio when it was just one station, KCFR FM, in 1979. Since then he has built CPR into an 11 station, 16-translator, statewide 2-channel network. Bob was a key part of the initial National Public Radio satellite distribution initiative, which was the first radio network to distribute radio programming via satellite.†Bob†was a founding member of the Denver SBE Chapter and†is the proud owner of an original, very yellow and stained SBE membership certificate dated November 10, 1979.†

Please join us in congratulating Bob.

 

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SMPTE’s 2006 Citation for Outstanding Service

By Rome Chelsi

Please join me in congratulating Jim Schoedler as recipient of SMPTE’s 2006 Citation for Outstanding Service to the Society. The official citation is as follows:

James B. Schoedler has been a SMPTE member for 27 years and has served on the Rocky Mountain Board of Managers since arriving at his current position at Rocky Mtn. PBS several years ago. Since that time Jim has been instrumental in our section activities including organizing and hosting chapter meetings and our extremely successful series of All-Day Technical Seminars. He has provided facilities, equipment, and personnel to facilitate our activities. Jim is ever present to assist and take care of the details to keep the chapter running. He is a genuine asset to SMPTE national and our local Chapter.

We get many comments both local and nationally regarding the caliber of our local activities and the sustained membership. If it wasn’t for guys like Jim, it just wouldn’t happen. Thanks Jim.

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

It was great to see many of you at the annual Lookout Mountain picnic last month. We had a great turnout, and as always, the food was outstanding. Thanks to all of you who made this event possible.

Copper
You’ve no doubt read in the trade press and seen in local newscasts that copper theft is on the rise. You can believe it, and this crime is now impacting broadcast stations nationwide – including some in the Rocky Mountain region.

Over the past month or so, the Ruby Hill tower site in Denver has been hit multiple times. The first time, thieves cut through the perimeter fence and through an interior fence to get to an air conditioning unit on the north side of the building. The compressor, condenser coil and connecting tubing was cut out and taken. A couple of weeks later, the thieves returned and broke into the building, setting off the alarm in the process. That time, they dropped their tools and fled without taking anything. Then a week after that, they returned and took a Scala Paraflector antenna (I know, it’s not copper!) and some transmission line pieces and parts stored at the site.

A recent news story told of a copper thief that was killed at a suburban Denver construction site when he cut into a 13 kV primary wire on a distribution transformer. I guarantee he won’t do that again!

I was in Birmingham, Alabama in mid-July and stopped by one of our FM sites that has a 1,300-foot tower, one of the tallest in the state. Our Alabama chief engineer and I noticed that someone had stolen all the ground wires from the tower (that connect the tower structure to the array of ground rods around the tower base), they had cut and stolen all the exterior copper strap, and they took the ground leads grounding the building. Scariest of all, they had cut about two feet of the outer jacket of the 5-inch Andrew air-dielectric transmission line to expose the shiny copper within. Had we not noticed those ground leads missing and lightning hit the tower, the only path to ground would have been through the transmission line and transmitter to the utility service ground. I figure that sooner or later, the thieves will probably come back for the juicy plumb of that 5-inch line. We are beefing up the exterior fencing, which already has barbed wire and razor wire along the top, and we put “High Voltage” signs everywhere and “High Voltage” stickers all over that transmission line. Hopefully that will give the thieves pause before they cut into a conductor carrying 30 kW+ of RF.

The point is, copper theft is on the rise and it’s up to those responsible for communications sites to take measures to safeguard all exposed copper. I suggest encasing exposed copper in conduit wherever possible to hide it. At the Birmingham tower site, we replaced the stolen ground leads with aluminum – not as good as copper but not likely to be stolen. “Out of sight, out of mind” applies to exterior copper. Keep ground radials, screens and straps well buried or otherwise out of sight. Straps can be painted to disguise them. And above all, look over all your external ground leads during every site visit. If they’ve been stolen, chances are you won’t know it until you sustain significant damage from a lightning hit.

HD Radio Update
KLVZ (1220 kHz) joined the ranks of Denver market HD Radio stations last month. By my count, this brings the number of HD Radio stations in the market to 24. Colorado Springs has five, and Ft. Collins/Greeley has three HD signals. Anyone who buys an HD Radio receiver along the Front Range will find plenty of signals.
Infinity has launched HD-2 formats on all its Denver FM stations over the past couple of months. While these stations had HD-2 signals previously, they had been simulcasting the main channel audio. Entercom has been experimenting with its HD-2 signals as well and will have unique programming on those channels shortly.

I recently read a letter in a Southern California broadcast engineering newsletter complaining about noise on the AM band. The letter was from a California radio engineer who had passed through Denver recently and tuned across the AM band. He said that the frequencies between stations had a high level of noise, very loud. Clearly he was hearing the digital primaries of local HD Radio stations, and without a carrier present these do demodulate as high-amplitude noise despite their relatively low field strength. I’m not sure what this means except that perhaps the guy really didn’t know what he was hearing, or more likely he was making the point that HD Radio is polluting the AM band with noise (the newsletter has a definite anti-HD bias).

Whatever anyone thinks of the technology, HD Radio is here. Broadcast groups and individual owners have made substantial investments in it, and in many major markets the non-HD stations are in the minority. The technology represents a compromise for sure, but isn’t that always the case with real-world limitations on bandwidth and spectrum? I might ask Canadian engineer Barry McLarnon who recently wrote a Radio World editorial hammering HD Radio if he has any better ideas. After all, the superior Eureka-147 system has worked out so well in his country and in Europe!

Any of you who have been thinking of buying an HD Radio for the car, office or home, I have it on good authority that there is about to be a big price drop on some units in all three categories. Watch for units priced in the $150-$200 range to hit the shelves of online retailers and some local stores in August and September. Radio Shack is now selling the BA Recepter HD. Best Buy has said it won’t start carrying HD Radio units in volume until the price point gets down to $99. Applying that logic, I wonder why it carries so many XM and Sirius units that cost a whole lot more than that.

Interference Update
I mentioned last month that we have been dealing with a third-adjacent interference issue in the San Fernando Valley. We positively identified the source of the interference as the spectral regrowth of 50 kW KSPN. In an effort to reduce the interference, the good folks at ABC Radio dropped the level of their upper digital primaries by 3 dB. As expected, that dropped the spectral regrowth a whole lot more than that, and while there is still some interference within the blanketing area of KSPN, KBRT is now listenable in the area and along those very busy commuter routes. This is a great example of radio engineers working together to solve problems.

Storm Damage
We get some monster storms along the Front Range from time to time, but in our thin air, things don’t get cranked up like they do in the Mississippi River Valley. Late last month, two separate lines of severe storms passed through St. Louis on two different days, knocking down power and phone lines all over town. At one point, 600,000 customers were without power.



It was one of these storms that took down two of the four towers in the KTRS (550 kHz) directional array. These were monster towers, 450-foot tall four-legged free-standing structures originally constructed in 1938. And this site is right next door (within a mile) of Crawford’s three-tower KJSL (630 kHz) array – also free-standing towers constructed in the late 1930s. The evidence points to straight-line winds, and the towers mostly laid right over intact. The 5 kW non-directional daytime operation of KTRS is not affected, but the directional nighttime operation is. I understand they have obtained an STA to operate with 1,250 watts at night, which is surprising considering the null depth of the night pattern (to maintain monitor point field strengths at night using a non-directional antenna, I calculate 66 watts maximum). But KTRS is the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals (it is also owned by the team). A lot of folks are counting on the station to deliver those game broadcasts.

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at crisa@crawfordbroadcasting.com.

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SBE NAMES NEW CERTIFICATION DIRECTOR

By John Poray

I am pleased to announce that Megan Clappe has been promoted to the position of Certification Director, effective July 1. Megan has served on the SBE National Office staff as Certification Assistant since September of 2003. During that time, she has been involved in many facets of the certification program. That experience has prepared Meagan well for this new role.

Megan fills the vacancy created following the resignation of Linda Baun, announced in May. Linda, who will be with SBE through the month of June, has accepted the position of vice president with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

 

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DON BORCHERT INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME

By Tom Smith
Chapter 24

On June 16th, Don Borchert was induced in the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame along with two other longtime Wisconsin broadcasters. The ceremony was held at the WBA Summer Conference at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. In attendance were 19 former inductees into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Don was the first person to be honored that evening. Don was honored for his contributions in the development of the Wisconsin Public Television and Radio facilities in Vilas Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus, the Madison Community Tower and his 30 plus years of promoting broadcast engineering education with his management of the Broadcasters Clinic.

Before being awarded his plaque, a video was run in which Don reminisced about his career. Also interviewed in the video were retired Wisconsin Public Broadcasting Directors Luke Lamb and Byron Knight, WBA President John Labbs, and WISC Chief Engineer Leonard Charles. John Labbs presented Don with his plaque after the video. Don made a short acceptance speech thanking the WBA and stating that he had an enjoyable and interesting career and had no regrets in choosing broadcast engineering as a career.
Also in attendance were his wife, Mary, his grandson, and members of the Broadcast Clinic Program Committee Gary Mach, Mark Burg, Leonard Charles and Tom Smith and SBE board member Keith Kinter.
The two other inductees were former Communications professor, WHA-TV manager, UW Stevens Point President and Governor of Wisconsin Lee Sherman Dreyfus and longtime Eau Claire area broadcast salesman and manager Marty Green. Governor Dreyfus was unable to attend and his grandson accepted his award.

The induction of Governor Dreyfus also made another first. In 1999, his father Woods Dreyfus was inducted in the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame, which made this the first father-son member to the Hall of Fame. In video comments, the former Governor said that that made the honor even more special.†

The SBE Certification program has turned 30.† This program was started, if you recall, after the FCC pulled the plug on licensing folks in our trade.†† Certification has been a resounding success.†† One of Entercomís engineers has added the AM Directional and 8VSB to his list of SBE accomplishments.

 

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General Notes On Timing NTSC Composite Analog Video Signals

Thanks to Chapter 78 – Blue Ridge of Virginia
By Al Stephens

Horizontal Timing, Color Timing, and Picture Centering

HORIZONTAL TIMING
Horizontal timing is a fine adjustment for coinci-dence between video sources. Signals are observed during the horizontal blanking interval. The adjustable source is tweaked until the (minus 50%) point on the leading edge of horizontal sync (usually the -20IRE point) is coincident with that same point on the reference signal. This assumes that vertical timing is correct and there are no whole or half-line errors.

If a Tektronix 1750 or 1760 unit is used for horizontal timing, set up the unit with external reference, a simultaneous display of Waveform Vector and SCH modes, and a (1H) magnified sweep rate. If an externally-locked oscilloscope is used, the horizontal sweep rate must be set to (50 ns/div.) to provide sufficient resolution. Also if an oscilloscope is used, externally trigger it with negative (4 V) sync, not (1.0 V p-p) color black to reduce scope trigger jitter. Adjust horizontal timing controls to align the adjustable source.

COLOR (BURST) TIMING
Color timing simply refers to aligning or matching the burst vector of the adjustable source to match that of the reference signal. The phase control of an externally-locked 1750 / 1760 or vectorscope, is used to position the reference signal burst vector on a convenient point, usually the 180-degree axis, and then the burst phase control of the adjustable source is tweaked to match. On some equipment this is done via a “subcarrier phase” control. On some equipment a subcarrier phase control will change the phase of burst and chroma together. On others, equipment burst phase and chroma phase have separate controls. If burst phase moves independently of chroma, another adjustment will most likely be required to correct chroma phase (hue) after the phase of burst has been set.

Chroma phase is the phase difference between the chroma information and phase of burst. The “phase” (or timing relationship) between burst and horizontal sync is known as subcarrier-to-horizontal (sync) phase, or SC/H phase. If the reference signal is correctly SC/H-phased, any signal correctly timed to it will also be correctly SC/H phased. A discussion of SC/H phase is beyond the limits of this short article, but future on-line material will be made available.

PICTURE CENTERING
“ Picture centering” refers to the positioning of video relative to sync. That is, video is adjusted, or centered, within the “frame” created by the horizontal and vertical blanking intervals. This adjustment is critical when video is being processed in an animation, or matched-cut, editing environment or where it is desirable to minimize horizontal blanking stretch, but for most day-to-day purposes it is usually ignored.

The purpose of picture centering is to prevent, or minimize, unintentional picture movement on the screen due to digital processing; the time relationship between any given pixel and sync at the output of a piece of equipment, should match what was input to it. Adjustment often is in (279 ns) increments.

 

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Clay's Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald

The weekend of July 8 & 9 your column writer was joined by Jim Dalke in Kansas City for the SBE Strategic Planning meeting followed by the meeting of the Executive Board. Certainly the highlight of this weekend was the Saturday session where representatives of Chapter Chairs from across the country gather to develop ideas as to where SBE should be going in the future. Thanks to a very effective facilitator, almost 500 ideas were discussed and those boiled down to a list deemed by those in attendance to be the most important. The Board, meeting the next day, immediately took these recommendations to heart. I’m sure that you will be hearing much more about this event shortly.

One item caught my attention – If you are an SBE member (I’d hope so) please consider placing the SBE Logo on your business card…don’t forget to include your certification level also. You can obtain the artwork for the logo at the SBE Web Site.

As reported in last months column….the signing of an Executive Order by the President setting into motion some sizable changes in the EAS is getting a lot of press. Much of this was forecast by the FCC’s comments in the most recent FNRPM. Even though the FCC has not issued a rule-making much is being reported in the trades as to what this means, nationally. The good news is that much of what was contained in SBE’s most recent comments appears to have been well received…To the point of seeing many of our comments trickling out of Federal agencies. Its quite gratifying to know that the ‘Feds’ are indeed listening.

Our State EAS Committee, the SECC, learned at its meeting on July 12th that big changes are in store for the 10 year old EAS and will have a direct impact in how things work here in our state. Let me take a few moments to discuss some of the details.

One thing is very clear, EAS is going digital and textual. The reason for this is simple…The addition of a number of text enabled devices are being added to the EAS. The days of the scratchy voice messages are numbered. The foundation for the system is going to be what is known as CAP or the Common Alerting Protocol. (Another example of where SBE’s strong recommendations are being implemented)

For the past several years the folks at PBS have been testing an emergency message distribution system that utilizes not only the PBS Satellite system but a portion of the bit-stream of local PBS stations. The pilot system at WETA has proved to be quite viable and will apparently be used for distribution of National EAS Messages in the future. The future of the nations PEP stations (in our case, KIRO) and how this will all fit together has yet to be revealed.

Here in our state…Plans are being made to replace the State Relay Network (SRN) with an IP based system that will enable State as well as local governments to initiate EAS messages. All of this will be text based and in the CAP format. This means that the messages that you receive will be composed on a computer thereby eliminating the problematic low quality audio content. Whether this is funded for all states and local governments is yet to be determined. The first push of the DHS five million dollar funding will be for upgrade of the national warning and PEP distribution system.

NWR facilities will be in the loop also by receiving the same IP based emergency message and incorporating it into their 162 Mhz systems throughout the state.

So where does this put the average Radio or TV station in this process? For TV stations and perhaps some news oriented Radio stations, they will likely wish to connect to the system ahead of the main distributors (LP’s and NWR) and get the CAP message directly. This will enable these facilities to take advantage of the CAP text message providing a seamless input for their Chryron etc. This will put an end to the crude
Information contained in the EAS Header codes.
EAS will continue to provide a voice message for TV Audio as well as Radio stations. Whereas the text message will be ‘read’ by text readers, this means that the text and voice messages will be identical. These text readers will be located, in addition to NWR facilities, at select Local Primary facilities around the state. For stations having a connection to the CAP network, a text reader can be simply connected to a monitor input on their ENDEC.
I want you to all know that the foul-ups with EAS have not gone un-noticed at any level…but given the hundreds of individuals, both governmental and private involved with EAS over the past 9 years, the foul-ups have been minimal given the complexity of the EAS equipment. Upgrading EAS through the various levels of government has appeared to move at glacial speed, but it now is moving down a common path, the CAP path.
I hope by now that you too are excited at the news of these enhancements to our public warning system. Obviously the SECC and LECC’s are going to have their work cut out for them. It may well be that state and local EAS plans will have to be modified to incorporate these changes. For those that have been serving on these committee’s, some exciting work lies ahead. This also represents a great opportunity to get involved. Let me know if you are at all interested. Remember that EAS is – NOT – an engineering function! The only qualification needed is a desire to create an effective means of alerting the public. Our ultimate goal – The saving of lives….if you ask me a noble chore.

I will be keeping you informed as these changes are rolled out…standby !

As they say…In other news –

HD Radio continues is march forward with the addition of yet more area FM stations to the HD list. The pace of adoption of this technology has been nothing short of amazing. Here in this market there is only one commercial station left that is not operating in HD, Fisher’s KPLZ. I’ve not spoken to Kelly about this, but I have to think that they are not going to remain the only hold-out. Even Clear Channels Funky Monkey is running the new mode. To find plan-vanilla FM these days requires tuning in stations out of the market. At this writing the FCC is apparently about the ‘speak’ about HDR…many are hoping that they will address the issue of HDR on AM which is a hot-button item with many. Thus far AM stations can only operate the mode during the day, ala, CCR’s KHHO in Tacoma.

For a while we thought the FCC might announce some rules for HDR…but at the 11th hour it was pulled from the agenda…Then we learned that its ‘mother’ ,Ibiquity, was making some last minute tweaks to the FM Emission Mask criteria.

A flurry of construction activity at what’s now called West Tiger II on a system that is designed to provide video content to your cell phone on TV channel 55. This is going to be interesting.

Another West Tiger II happening is the sale of Channel 51 to Fisher. Rumors are that the new baby-KOMO will be Latino.

The Sat-Radio guys are not out of the woods with their, convert it to an FM band frequency, interference issue….gotta play by the rules guys….

In the event you were wondering just how the elimination of UPN and The WB would impact things in Seattle…Guess we now know. Tribune’s KTZZ will change to KMYQ and will become part of My Network TV…yet another network.

Comcast is giving FM stations the boot…if you are receiving FM stations via cable they will be moving to the digital portion of those systems.

Congratulations are in order for a couple local broadcasters who found themselves winners of the RTNDA Edward R Murrow awards. KING-TV for large market TV and KIRO –AM for hard news feature, news series and sports reporting. Not bad when you consider there were 3,723 entries and 568 organizations.

This October will see the roll-out of the Local People Meter in Seattle that will be used to replace the historic diaries for measuring TV viewing. Meanwhile Radio continues to scrap about which system to use to monitor today’s emerging world of multi-channel radio stations. One system is interesting….it uses what’s billed as a smart cell phone that would be able to sample radio as well as TV broadcasting in addition to other sources of entertainment…..Big Brother?

FM –IBOC aka HDR is turning heads world wide with trials taking place in Europe, Asia and South America (Would be nice if we were not alone….again)

Oregon will gain its 3rd SBE Chapter. The SBE Board in its recent meeting in KC approved the latest addition for Medford

Remember the item about the Satellite Radio Part 15 devices causing interference? NAB hired a consulting firm to look into the issue finding some 75% of the tested devices exceed the FCC limit – ouch!

The FCC has a new BSS NPRM out (06-123) that would create a service. It calls for going up around 25Gig and down around 17.5. Talk about path loss issues…..

Telex is about to be gobbled up by Bosch.

Folks at Sirius are spending some serious bucks to launch a 4th bird for their SatRadio system.

That’s it for this month….See ya between the yellow sheets, or on-line, next month…hopefully over lunch at our next meeting.

Clay, CPBE, K7CR

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THE YXZ REPORT

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Senior Engineer, Entercom-Portland
Chapter 124 Secretary
watercooled at sbe124.org

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

Still waiting for three more brands of tabletop HD Radios to go on sale.

Ibiquity.com has taken AM stations off of their station lists.

I had the opportunity to drive to and spend 4-day weekends in Sacramento and near Seattle since I wrote last month's newsletter. There are a lot more FM HD transmitters on the air in Sacramento than there were last year, but no HD2's yet. I was delighted to be able to see text from San Francisco Bay Area stations there.

There are many HD's on in Seattle, including at least one AM, and 106.9 KRWM, not being owned by a company in the HD Digital Radio Alliance, had nostalgia-formatted 880 KIXI on their HD2 in stereo.

FORMER TRANSMITTER BUILDING, NOW SWANK HOUSE, FOR RENT
From Gray Haertig

The Kaye-Smith House (former KXL transmitter building) is up for rent. For those who didn't take a tour during the 2004 engineering BBQ, this is a 1,750 sq. ft. house at the south end of Council Crest Drive in the Healy Heights area of Portland. It was built in 1947 as the transmitter building for KPRA (later KWJJ-FM), Portland's third FM station. Later it served as studio and transmitter building for one of the incarnations of Channel 27. It was used as the 95.5 KXL-FM (now KXJM) transmitter building until KXL AM & FM was sold to Paul Allen's Rose City Radio in 1998.

I completely remodeled the building in 2004 - all interiors and
infrastructure are brand new. The facade is art moderne in pink stucco. It has two spacious bedrooms (250 sq. ft., each) upstairs with spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and east Portland. The bedrooms are carpeted. One bedroom has a private enclosed garden through french doors and the other has a private deck. One bedroom has a spacious walk-in closet, the other has a large closet with mirrored sliding doors. Each bedroom has sufficient space for either a seating area or an office/study area. One bath with shower and tub, art deco fixtures and tile job.

Don't miss this opportunity to LIVE RADIO HISTORY!

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FREQUENCY COORDINATION & OTHER STUFF

by Everett E. Helm W7EEH CPBE
Chapter Chair
Director of RF Engineering, OPB
Frequency Coordinator, Oregon & SW WA
chairman at sbe124.org


JULY 1st: "USE IT OR LOSE IT" DTV DEADLINE
As I write this, the first of July approaches, and many stations are scrambling to digest the latest FCC DTV deadline. It's sort of complicated, but essentially, after July 1st you will lose interference protection for your tentative DTV channel assignment if you are not covering at least 80% of your analog population. This could be a real problem if your station only built out a minimal facility as the DTV rollout began. The FCC is accepting waiver requests, but since their Public Notice did not come out until mid June, it may have caused some to panic. In theory, this will not affect your replication coverage on your final channel if you have elected to go back to your original analog channel in February of '09. In our part of the country even 3 dB is not very much population, so the likelihood of serious interference to your "temporary channel" seems somewhat remote and only if some Class A or other full service tries to sneak in on the perimeter.

ARRL FIELD DAY 2006
No Field Day at The Ranch this year. Too many other things going on for me. I am glad to report that several of the Skyline regulars were able to participate with the Lake Oswego ARES group, WA7LO. Although their first time participating as a group for Field Day, they had a really nice operation in Westlake Park. You know, light standards on the baseball diamond make pretty good antenna supports! KD7DNM also furnished a retired TV ENG van with a nice mast and generator. Amazing, the bonus points amassed with the public operation, which drew attention from the newspaper and elected officials. At last word, Eric W7OSN made over 350 QSO's.

All for now.
Thanks, CUL, & 73, Ev

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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Chapter 24


Five astronaut-hams now are aboard the International Space Station, and one of them – European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, DF4TR – has officially joined the Expedition 13 crew for the remainder of its duty tour and for about half of Expedition 14’s tour – six months in all, according to NASA. His arrival marks the first time since May 2003 that the ISS has had a three-member crew. Reiter and six other astronauts – two of them also hams – arrived July 6 aboard shuttle Discovery.

There to greet the newcomers when they came aboard the ISS were Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. The shuttle and ISS crews will spend the next week conducting joint operations, including two spacewalks and the transfer of cargo. Discovery delivered hardware and supplies, most of which are located in the Leonardo multi-purpose logistics module, which were attached to the station’s Unity module July 7. Then, the two crews were scheduled to transfer unneeded items from the station to Leonardo for the trip back to Earth.
Discovery shot into space from Cape Kennedy July 4 – the first Independence Day shuttle launch ever and only the second since the Columbia disaster in 2003. Relieved mission control personnel reacted with hoots, handshakes and hugs after the twice-postponed Discovery mission STS-121 reached preliminary orbit without a hitch.

The STS-121 crew includes Commander Steven Lindsey; Pilot Mark Kelly; mission specialists Stephanie Wilson, KD5DZE, Lisa Nowak, KC5ZTB; Michael Fossum and Piers Sellers.


Figure 1. Taking a training break: Astronauts Lisa Nowak, KC5ZTB (left) and Stephanie Wilson, KD5DZE. [NASA Photo]

Weather worries kept Discovery on the launch pad July 1 and 2. NASA managers also were concerned about a crack discovered in foam insulation near a bracket holding the liquid oxygen feed line in place on the external fuel tank. Some insulation also broke free during launch.

To be on the safe side, prior to docking, Lindsey piloted Discovery through a back-flip maneuver to allow Vinogradov and Williams to eyeball and capture imagery of the orbiter’s heat shield for any signs of damage.

NASA is pinning its hopes on a successful Discovery mission, since the space shuttle is the only vehicle capable of transporting the components remaining to complete the ISS, including the ESA’s Columbus module, which has been outfitted to accommodate Amateur Radio.

The astronaut-hams aboard the ISS currently use the downlink frequency of 145.800 MHz to communicate with earthbound amateurs. FM voice uplink to ISS is on 145.200 MHz. The Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) operates a web site, www.amsat.org, that calculates overhead passes of the ISS at a particular location to predict when communications will be possible.

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

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The August issue of The Local Oscillator†

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company
Denver, Colorado
(303) 433-0104
(303) 433-0905 Fax

The August issue of The Local Oscillator is hot off the virtual presses and available for online viewing at:
http://www.crawfordbroadcasting.com/~cbc/Local_Oscillator/August%202006%20Local%20Oscillator.pdf

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Humor

DEEP OBSERVATIONS ON LIFE

" The problem with the designated driver program, it's
not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into
doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night,
drop them off at the wrong house."
--Jeff Foxworthy

"Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and
we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend
wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice.
There should be severance pay, the day before they leave
you, they should have to find you a temp."
--Bob Ettinger

"My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took
her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom,
they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'"
--Paula Poundstone

" Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm
halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....
I could be eating a slow learner."
--Lynda Montgomery

INTERESTING FACTS

"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

" Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

THE PERKS OF BEING OVER 50

1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
2 In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
3. No one expects you to run--anywhere.
4. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
5. Things you buy now won't wear out.
6. You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.
7. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
8. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
9. You sing along with elevator music.
10 Your eyes won't get much worse.
11. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.
12. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

 

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Etc.

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (505) 767-6735
   billharris@ix.netcom.com

Garneth M. Harris

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Visit www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews for an index of newsletter back issues.
Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.