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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

August 1997

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Chapter 48's Next Meeting
Schedule of Upcoming Meetings and Events
September Meeting Information
Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo '97
Emergency Alert System Firsthand
SMPTE Publications
Antenna Raising Incident
SBE Certification Exam Dates
Amateur Radio News
FCC Rulemakings
Clay's Corner

Chapter 48's Next Meeting...

...will be held on Wednesday, Augst 20th at the NDTC building, 4100 E. Dry Creek Rd. Meet in the cafeteria by noon so you can rreserve a seat next to your colleagues.

This month's program will be presented by Mr. Rick Cabalka from ADC Telecommunications. Rick has promised to educate those attending on the history, basics and newest developments is firber optic technology. Now is your chance to learn about communicating over "glass wire", where the entire RF spectrum can fit in one strand and whose origin dates back to the 1850's!

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Upcoming Chapter 48/SMPTE Meetings

WEDNESDAY - August 20th - 12:00 NOON
Rick Cabalka, ADC Telecommunications: Fiber optics technology at TCI NDTC

WEDNESDAY - September 17 - 6:00 PM
Note Time! KCNC Television Facility Tour at KCNC, 1044 Lincoln Street, Denver (Dinner will NOT be served!)

Special Note: October 1
Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo Keynote address and reception. More information in this newsletter.

WEDNESDAY - October 15th - 12:00 NOON
Dave Geon, Belden Wire Cable:The challenges of wiring for digital
SBE Chapter 48 Officer nominations at TCI NDTC

WEDNESDAY - November 12th - 10:00am - 3:00pm
SBE/SMPTE joint meeting
SBE Chapter 48 officer elections at TCI NDTC.

The TCI National Digital Television Center is located at 4100 East Dry Creek Road.

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September Meeting Information

From: Eric Schultz &>
Subject: Revised schedule

KCNC has recently installed a digital master control, including Profile systems for all commercial playback. They also are the first station in the market to go with the DVC Pro format. We also get take in part of the newscast and see their new news set. Finally we get to see their new SNG truck.


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Rocky Mountain Film & Video Expo '97

The sponsors of The Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo would like you to join them Wednesday, October 1, 1997 from 4:30 - 7:00 pm for a Keynote address by David Layne of Denver's Channel 4 and Sneak Peak Reception. The Keynote wil be held at 4:30-5:15. The reception will be held on the exhibit floor of the 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo, beginning at 5:30 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center, I-70 and Chambers Road.

Admission to the event is $15.00, however, the event sponsors - Burst Communications, Ceavco Audio Visual, Davis Audio Visual, Film Video Equipment Service Co., and Waxman's Industrial Network - would like to make complimentary exhibits passes available to you and members of your association at no charge.

To request your pass, which includes complimentary food at the Sneak Preview Reception, free admission to the Keynote presentation of KCNC TV's David Layne entitled "Ramping Up to Digitol Television", admission to the Rocky Mountain's largest film/ video exhibit of the year, and free admission to the Short Takes Seminars in the Seminar Pavilion educational display, call ExpoMasters at (303) 771-2000.

For further information contact:
Mark Cramer
Phone (303) 771-2000
FAX (303) 843-6232

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Emergency Alert System Firsthand

Paul Stoffel - Chapter 24

From Louis LaBonte, KVIE, PBS e-mail: We had a surprise FCC EAS inspection today. We were the 6th station in the Sacramento area that they hit. They were interested in the tones that are sent in both level and length. They wanted us to send a Monthly Test to check the two-tone encoder. The logs and printed tapes were also checked to see if we were properly sending/receiving/logging tests and alerts.

From the Portland Chapter 124 newsletter, "What the FCC inspector looked for": Authenticator Word List available; copy of the EAS Operating Handbook; EAS Encoder/Decoder installed and operational; the EAS Decoder tuned to correct stations in accordance with local/state plans (he wanted to hear all the monitored stations play through it); the Encoder timing for the two-tones 8-25 seconds in length; an RWT received, sent, and logged weekly (checked last 4 weeks of logs); can the operator describe how to conduct an RWT; was the RMT received and conducted within 15 minutes, and logged last month; and where is the old EBS equipment (it should be operational and available for use until 1/1/98). He also noted what EAS plans we had and what type of equipment we were using.

From listserver e-mail: "According to the FCC inspector during our surprise EAS inspection (sigh), You must log all tests received from your assigned stations. And yes, they are very strict about logging, but what they want is a separate log containing all receptions and transmissions (listed separately of course). According to the inspector, simply stapling the printout to the log is not good enough...."

From Paul Stoffel: The FCC requires the operator to "log" the following EAS messages: - sent Required Weekly Test (RWT) - received and sent Required Monthly Test (RMT) - received RWTs from LP-1 and State Relay - National-level Tests and Alert Messages - any EAS alerts SENT. For example, a relayed severe thunderstorm warning (SVR), or tornado warning (TOR) from the NWS.

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SMPTE Publications

Film: Still the Master in a Digital World, Proceedings from the First Annual SMPTE Spring Film Conference
Published 1997. Contains the available papers from SMPTE's First Annual Spring Film Conference (March 20-22, 1997, Los Angeles,Calif.). 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $30.00; Nonmember Price: $40.00

Standards for Ancillary Data with Supplemental Documents
Published 1997. This book contains nine Standards and Recommended Practices addressing ancillary data space along with supplemental interface documentation. This is the fourth in a series of Standards books published by the Society. If purchased separately, these documents would cost $140.00. 8 1/2 x 11, Softbound Member Price: $35.00; Nonmember Price: $45.00

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%.

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Here is a little story reprinted from L'Anse Creuse Radio Club newsletter "Tuned Circuit", which explains why more detail is sometimes necessary in documentation:

"I'm writing in response to your request for additional information for block number 3 of the accident reporting form. I put "poor planning" as the cause for my accident. You said in your letter I should explain more fully, and I trust the following details will be sufficient."

"I am an amateur radio operator and on the day of the accident I was working alone on the top section of my new 80 foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of tools and hardware. Rather than carry the now unneeded tools and materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items down in a small barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the gin pole at the top of the tower."

"Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools and materials into the barrel. I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 300 pounds of tools. You will note in block number 11 of the accident reporting form, I weigh only 155 pounds."

"due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming down; this explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley."

"Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of the pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighed approximately 20 pounds. I refer again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I started a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40 foot level, I met the barrel coming up; this accounts for my two fractured ankles and the lacerations on my legs and lower body."

"The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools, and fortunately only 3 vertebrae were cracked. I'm sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the tools, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind....I let go of the rope."

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Deadlines for upcoming Certification Exam opportunities are right around the corner. Why not plan now to become SBE certified and receive the recognition you have earned in your profession. Check the dates below and determine when you would like to take an exam. Exam dates for 1998 have now been released. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certifica-tion Chairman or contact the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640.

November 14-24 (Local Chapters) - Deadline: September 26
April 7, 1998 (NAB-Las Vegas) - Deadline: February 20, 1998
June 12-22, 1998 (Local Chapters) - Deadline: April 24, 1998
November 13-23, 1998 (Local Chapters) - Deadline: September 25, 1998

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Tom Weeden/WJ9H, Chapter 16 - Seattle

The standard application form for amateur radio stations, FCC Form 610, has been revised. The new 610, dated March 1997, now includes a space for the applicant's Internet address. This, along with other FCC forms is available for download from the FCC's web site ( and via the FCC's fax-on-demand service (202-418-0177). According to staff members at the Gettysburg FCC office, the Commission will continue to accept old Form 610s as far back as the November 1993 version until further notice.

The number of licensed amateur radio operators in the US rose by about 12,000 in 1996. FCC statistics indicate that 28,854 new licenses were granted last year (less about 16,000 expirations for the net gain).

(Excerpts from June 1997 "Badger State Smoke Signals," May 1997 "QST," and "The ARRL Letter")

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Compiled by Tom Smith, Chapter 24

ET Docket No. 97-94; FCC 97-84
Streamline the Equipment Authorization Process

The FCC is proposing to amend its rules to allow for a simplified method of authorization of some equipment that the FCC checks for use by broadcasters and other spectrum users, and equipment that may cause interference.

The FCC would like to relax the certification requirements for part 15 unintentional radiators such as receivers other than FM and TV, broadcast equipment, part 18 equipment such as microwave ovens, and other equipment covered under other parts of the Rules. The FCC would retain the requirements for digital equipment, Part 15 transmitters such as cordless phones, spread spectrum, and other unlicensed transmitters. The FCC is also proposing electronic filing of applications for certification.

Comments are due July 21, 1997 and replies are due on August 18, 1997.


ET Docket No. 95-18; FCC 97-93
2 GHZ for Use by the Mobile Satellite Service

This action by the FCC reallocates some of the 2 GHz spectrum from a number of different users to the new Mobile Satellite Service. This action includes a portion of the 2 GHz TV remote pickup band.

The TV pickup band will be reallocated from 1990-2110 MHz to 2025-2130 MHz. Each of the remote pickup channels bandwidth will be reduced from 17 MHz to 15 MHz. These new allocations become effective on January 1, 2000.

This action became effective on May 22, 1997.

Compiled from the FEDERAL REGISTER. These notices available on the FCC Web Site ( or from the Government Printing Office (

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Clay Freinwald, Chapter 16, Seattle,

According to my sources at Channel 11, workers are beginning to feel more like mushrooms these days. Welcome to Broadcasting in the 90's, folks. Been there, done that. The waiting and wondering are about over as, according to my super sources, very near the official time for the changing of the guard. Ch 5 will become part of Belo; Ch 7, Cox; and Channel 11, Paramount.

Don Wilkinson had a very interesting talk at our most recent meeting about DTV, everyone learned a whole bunch. What I remembered the most was how much no one knows about none of this nor how it's going to come to pass.

By now you should have all received your nice Green and White flyer announcing the fall show at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. It will be Oct. 22 and 23 this year. I'm looking forward to 1998. This is the year that our show will also be the Fall Radio Show. This will bring a lot of folks from the nation's Radio industry to town to not only sample the things of the show, but the things on the air hereabouts.

Did I tell you about WGVE-FM in Gary, Indiana? KGVE is a small station licensed to a school district. They have caused a recent flap over a proposal to "sell" air time to a group of local ministers so they can run their sermons and gospel programs. This has brought in organizations like the ACLU, etc., who contend that this is a violation of church and state things. This is not the first time non-commercial stations have generated money from commercial interests. In this area we have several "Educational" Stations that are generating revenue by leasing sub-carrier space. Main channel material is a new wrinkle.

Still worried about the health risks of 60Hz power lines, electric blankets and that clock radio on the nightstand? Well, the Department of Energy no longer is. They've called off their research into the health risks of electromagnetic fields. So did the National Academy of Sciences.

The new concern is the proliferation of Cellular and PCS towers. This time it's not over NIER but over the fact that they are popping up everywhere you look. Thanks to some of the terms of the Telecommunications Act, local governments' hands are tied in preventing them. Cities and towns all over the country are trying to figure out how to deal with the issue, especially when a resident suddenly finds out that their neighbor "took the money" and they suddenly have a 150 foot pole next door.

I'm having a hard time figuring the logic behind all these new Cable TV networks. Just how many can make it? You can only divide the pie just so many ways. Now comes ZDTV. Ziff-Davis- TV, .huh? Yep. It will be known as the Computer Channel. Day in, day out Computer related programming, slated to launch in April of next year. According to the proponents they are hoping for 20 million homes within three years. Their biggest battle is who is going to carry it and if they do, what channel are they going to bump to make room for it. That pipe is just so big. This is one of the reasons why so much money is being poured into things like SkyTV, where they will have 500 channels. Murdoch's new venture is sure to cause a great deal of scrambling to try and get on his new system.

Ever wonder just how the TV viewing shares are going these days? According to a recent survey it stacks up this way: Broadcast TV, 27 Million homes; Cable, 65 Million and Satellite, about 6 Million.

In the event you have long wondered if it should be mhz, Mhz or MHz, comes the scoop... MHz is for megahertz (big M and H). kHz is kilohertz (small k) and Hz (Big H) is for hertz. mHz (small m, big H) is for millihertz. While we are at it, dB is correct for decibel, DB is not. DB stands for DRY BULB, as in the device used to measure humidity (thanks, CGC).

[Editor's note: labels for units larger than kilo are uppercase, as in GHz for gigahertz. Hertz (H) and units named in honor of famous people (H for Heinrich Hertz, B for Alexander Graham Bell) are uppercase.]

While attending a Technical Session at NAB I learned that in South America they don't have Night Transmitters in their AM Service. They are called Nocturnal Transmitters. I would guess this would mean that those stations emit Amplitude Modulated Nocturnal Emissions.

A graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"; The grad with an ENGINEERING degree asks, "How does it work?"; The grad with an Economics degree asks, "How much will it cost"; The grad with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Would you like fries with that?".

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Society of Broadcast Engineers
Chapter 48

2950 South Birch Street
Denver, Colorado 80222

SBE Officers

Andre' Smith (303) 871-4204

Eric Schultz (303) 486-3872

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 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.