CONTENTS

Return to Archives

Victoria West Squaw Mtn. Communications Addresses SBE Chapter 48 and Rocky Mtn. SMPTE Section.

Donnellan To Keynote Awards Dinner

2002 Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo

WBA/SBE Broadcasters Clinic 2002

Softwright Announces Seminars

Resume Service Goes On-Line

FCC Votes to Require TV Makers To Roll Out Digital Sets by 2007

Chairman Comments On DTV Progress

Clay's Corner

Amateur Radio News

The End User

A Bad Day At Work

Echostar Ka-Band Licenses Cancelled

Stupid DJ Tricks

Humor

Etc.

 

Spetember, 2002

Return to table of contents

Victoria West, Squaw Mtn. Communications Addresses SBE Chapter 48 and Rocky Mtn. SMPTE Section.

Rome Chelsi
Section Chair, SMPTE

Our thanks go to Victoria West and the fine folks from Squaw Mountain Communications for hosting our August 21st meeting at their facility. Sixty five members joined us atop a 10,000 foot mountain at the communications site for an evening of networking and a facility tour. Squaw Mountain Communications currently hosts two-way communications, wireless internet providers, FM, and is considered a site to accommodate Denver's growth in the DTV transition.

We wish to thank Squaw Mountain Communications and ERI for their sponsorship and assistance in hosting the meeting.

black line

Return to table of contents

Donnellan To Keynote Awards Dinner

Joann Donnellan, Media Relations Manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will be the keynote speaker at the SBE National Awards Dinner, October 17 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Awards Dinner is the final event of the SBE National Meeting, which runs October 16-17 at the Phoenix Civic Plaza convention center and the adjacent Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Donnellan will speak about the AMBER program, which is gaining widespread acceptance across the country as an effective method of disseminating information quickly to the public about missing children.

The National Meeting is being held in conjunction with the SBE Chapter 9 Regional Convention and in cooperation with the Arizona Broadcasters Association. The combined events will include the fall SBE Board of Directors Meeting and national Certification Committee meeting on October 16 and a trade show, career fair, technical papers, Fellows Luncheon, Annual Membership Meeting and National Awards Reception and Dinner on the 17th. All events are free except the reception and dinner, which has a very reasonable ticket, price of $12. Contact the SBE National Office for tickets at (317) 846-9000.

black line

Return to table of contents

2002 Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo

When - October 2 and 3, 2002

What - Rocky Mountain Film and Video Expo

Where - John Q. Hammons Convention Center - Holiday Inn DIA Chambers Road and I-70

Sponsor - Sponsored by the region's largest film and digital video dealers: Burst Communications, Inc.; CEAVCO Audio Visual Co., Inc.; and Film Video Equipment Service Co.

Who - For more information call Mark Cramer at ExpoMasters, Inc. (303) 771- 2000, Fax (303)843-6232. mcramer@expomasters.com or check out the web site for free registration at www.rmfve.com

black line

Return to table of contents

WBA/SBE Broadcasters Clinic 2002

MADISON WISCONSIN USA
Program Schedule

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15th

7:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:15 am

Practical Uses of Cat 5/RJ45 for Audio
Dave Baverman, President, Radio Systems

10:00 am

Non-Data Applications for Cat 6 Cable and Terminating Tutorial
Steve Lampen, Technology Development Manager, Belden Wire & Cable
Peter Martin, Data-Comm Specialist, Panduit

10:45 am

Break

11:00 am

Mercury VoIP - Take Communications to the Next Level
Mark Wren, President, Trilogy BSE NA, Inc.

Noon

Luncheon

2:00 pm

A Practical FM Antenna for IBOC
Eric Wandel, E R I - Electronic Research

2:45 pm

Tieline Technologies Unique Codecs
Kevin Webb, Richardson Technologies

3:30 pm

Break

3:45 pm

Fifty Years of Broadcasting and Still Learning
Bernard Wise, Energy-Onix

4:30 pm

EQUIPMENT EXHIBITS ARE OPEN (Everybody is welcome)

7:30 pm

Broadcast Engineering on the "Lite" Side
Bernie Wise, Energy-Onix
Steve Lampen, Belden Wire & Cable

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16

7:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Dolby E and Dolby Digital in the DTV Broadcast Audio Environment
Jim Hilson, Senior Broadcast Audio Specialist, Dolby Laboratories

9:15 am

Three Phase Power Tutorial for Broadcasters
Chuck Forrester, Phaser Labs

10:00 am

EQUIPMENT EXHIBITS OPEN (Lunch is available)

1:30 pm

R.F. Safety and Monitoring Systems at the Sears Tower
Jeremy Ruck, DL Markley Associates

2:15 pm

IEEE1394 Is it for the Broadcaster?
Phil Livingston, Vice President Panasonic Broadcast

3:00 pm

Break

3:15 pm

Future of Tower Lighting
John York, Vice President Engineering, H-H Industries

4:00 pm

Datacasting for Fun and Profit
John Reuter, Alpha Video

6:00 pm

RECEPTION

7:00 pm

Upper Midwest Regional Society of Broadcast Engineers Meeting

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17

7:45 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Getting to Air from the Field
Jim Adams, Avid Technologies

9:15 am

The Importance of TV Broadcast Antenna Tip Deflection and the Impact on Received Signal Quality
Craig Skarpiak, Andrew Corporation

10:00 am

Break

10:15 am

A Real World Subscription Service using Available Capacity on the Digital Broadcast
Dan Kendall, iBLAST

11:00 am

High Definition Production
Bill Fleming, Sony

Noon

Luncheon

1:15 pm

Real Life Performance of Dualband Antennas for VHF/UHF Transmissions
Chris Rogers, Dielectric Communications

2:00 pm

A Super Efficient Five Segment Multi-Stage Depressed Collector (MSDC) IOT
Steve Bliek, Northrop Grumman Electron Devices

2:45 pm

New-Multi Channel Combining Network for Digital TV Systems
Dan Fallon, Andrew Corporation

3:30

Adjournment - THANKS and see you next fall!

$180.00 all three days or $155 any two days
To register please call the WBA at 608-255-2600 / 800-256-3986

black line

Return to table of contents

Softwright Announces Seminars

September TAP/OverSite Engineering Seminars

September 16-18 are the dates for our upcoming TAP/OverSite Engineering Seminars. These seminars are the quickest way to learn how to operate the SoftWright software. The actual seminars will be at our new conference center in our offices. The block for discounted hotel rooms has been released. For details see http://www.softwright.com/seminar.html.

Curt Alway
Software Marketing
SoftWright LLC
Aurora CO USA

www.softwright.com
www.rfyellow.com

black line

Return to table of contents

Resume Service Goes On-Line

The SBE Resume Service is now online! With increased visibility and ease of use, the Resume Service is the perfect companion to JobsOnline for SBE members searching for new positions and for employers searching for the right candidates.

At no cost, SBE members complete a questionnaire and send the national office copies of their resumes. This information is used to compile an anonymous profile that is posted (not the resume) on the SBE website for employers to browse. Employers interested in one or more profiles will contact the national office and pay a small fee to access the actual resumes.

Only SBE Members may use this service and any broadcast related employer may participate. For more information Contact Angel D. Bates at abates@sbe.org, (317) 846-9000 or go to www.sbe.org.

black line

Return to table of contents

FCC Votes to Require TV Makers To Roll Out Digital Sets by 2007

WASHINGTON-Dissatisfied with the speed at which television is going digital, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to require television manufacturers to include digital tuners on new sets by July 2007.

The requirement marks a significant step toward Congress's long-term goal of making high-definition TV, with its sharper images and better sound, standard viewing in American living rooms.

Commissioners voted 3-1 to require makers to include the tuners on all big- screen TVs -- 36 inches and larger-by July 2004, while the requirement for smaller sets would be phased in over the following three years. The smallest TVs, with screens of less than 13 inches, would be exempt. A group of manufacturers said they would appeal.

The dissenting vote came from Commissioner Kevin Martin, who noted that most TV viewers no longer receive their signals over the air, but instead receive cable or satellite television. Therefore, they don't need the digital tuners.

"I believe the cost of this particular proposal outweighs the benefits," Mr. Martin said.

After the meeting, Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, said only about 10% of American households receive their programming over the airwaves. The association calls the requirement a "TV tax" and says it would cost the industry and consumers about $7 billion. "We believe the government should not tell consumers what to buy," Mr. Shapiro said. "We are going to court to oppose this."

Edward O. Fritts, president and chief executive of the National Association of Broadcasters, praised the ruling. "The networks are moving very rapidly toward more and more schedules of digital programming," Mr. Fritts said. "Broadcasters are doing our part. The TV manufacturers will now be doing their part."

black line

Return to table of contents

Chairman Comments On DTV Progress

By Tom Smith
Chapter 24, Madison

FCC Chairman Michael Powell issued two statements on the progress of DTV. In a statement issued on July 11th, he commended ABC, CBS, HBO, and Showtime for their commitments to broadcasting a "wide range of high definition programming". He also commended Discovery, HDNet, and PBS for their programming efforts. He noted that DBS suppliers were going to provide five channels of HDTV or value added programming by January 1st and NBC was planning on increasing its HDTV programming. Cable also was commended for its adoption of new digital boxes capable of HDTV. Fox's plans for value-added digital were also noted.

The Chairman also posted copies of letters from heads of NAB, Disney ABC, Discovery, Viacom CBS, NBC, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NTCA), HBO, News Corp-FOX TV, and the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association. In these letters, these groups noted their progress on the digital transition so far and gave their plans for the future.

In the July 11th statement and in a second statement on July 12th, the Chairman stated that the commitment of the consumer electronics industry to the manufacturing of DTV tuners was in fact no commitment at all. He stated that the consumer electronics industry was waiting for certain issues to be resolved before acting, while others had moved forward. Powell did commend Zenith for their commitment to a phased-in DTV tuner requirement.

Copies of the first statement can be found at the FCC web site at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC- 224218A1.pdf. The commitment letters from the nine groups can be viewed at www.fcc.gov/dtv/industrylett ers.pdf. The second brief statement from Powell directed to the consumer electronics industry is also available for viewing. That can be found at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC- 224289A1.pdf.

From FCC Releases (www.fcc.gov)

black line

Return to table of contents

Clay's Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald

Summertime in these parts is time for outside work... and in this 'biz' that means time for tower work. This year will mean a heavy dose of work on the Entercom tower on West Tiger. The winter storms have literally been blasting the galvanizing off the tower, not to mention damaging ice-shields, antennas and the like.

The first project of this year's work involved placing a 13 gig antenna on the tower for KING5's ENG system on July 6th. My day started at Cougar Mt making sure that all our standby transmitters were up and running (we have to shut off all the transmitters at West Tiger due to the NIER).

As I made my way from Cougar to Tiger I got a call on my cellphone from Dick Trumbo of KING5 at the site informing me that Russ Hill had just fallen from the tower. At that point my day turned up-side down. Dick was quickly on the phone calling 911 and getting medical help to the site, Dan Haisch (Dan was working with Russ on the antenna move) was caring for Russ. I arrived at the Tiger Summit (SR-18) gate to just get it open in time for the ambulance. Several emergency vehicles arrived, four medics climbed aboard the 4X4 ambulance for the 7.3 mile trip to the top of the mountain. Upon arrival I found Russ laying on the ground. He had a couple of head lacerations and a very nasty looking compound fracture to his lower right leg. We soon learned that Russ had fallen from about 15 feet on the tower (thankfully no higher) In no time the medics had him in an air splint and strapped to a back-board and all eight of us (Dave Williams from KING5 was there too) were transferring Russ to the ambulance for the rough ride to Overlake Hospital. That night doctors operated on Russ's shattered leg installing a number of screws, plates, etc. He also tore up his left knee to the point that this will require surgery. On Friday the 12th Russ was allowed to go home. His right leg remains a source of major concern with the doctors telling him that the break was severe and that the bones may not heal and that he might lose his foot. With a brace on the left leg, to give stability to that leg and a walker, he will be able to get around.

Russ kept talking like a true broadcaster, telling me how he felt stupid and how bad he felt leaving the KING5 system at West Tiger inoperable. In an effort to do something to help I organized a work party to complete the installation... FOR RUSS! On July 13th. The following were at the Tiger gate at 7:30 AM to help out: Bob Ricker of PRIME ELECTRIC; Terry Spring, PAX-TV; Kelly Alford, recently of Ackerly; Dan Haisch, worked with Russ at KCPQ; Dick Trumbo and Dave Williams,KING5; Ron and Michaeline Smith, TOWERSMITH, Lowell Kiesow and Rick Anderson, KPLU; Greg Ristau and myself, ENTERCOM.

The next month or so will be a time of waiting and praying... and Russ can use a lot of the latter. I asked Dan who would be filling in for Russ, taking care of the Tribune's transmitters on Gold Mt. and Capital Hill... he said that it would be Al Bednerczyk. Russ, if you are reading this... keep in mind that you do have a lot of friends and we are all pullin' for ya!

On June 21st we lost one of our own. John Dubuque passed away. Those that knew John knew that he was indeed a true gentleman and a pioneer in our industry in this market. Last time I saw John was at one of the SBE meetings a couple of years ago when we were meeting at Ivars on Lake Union. John was there with a number of other 'old timers'. John is survived by his son Chris and wife Genevra. There was no memorial service and donations should be made to the Evergreen Hospice Services.

Another passing, this time in the world of programming, Tom Connors, one of the legendary Rock and Roll Jocks from Seattle Radio.

Over at Cougar Mt, thanks to the efforts of Kelly Alford and Dave Ratener, KNHC is now up and running with the proper antenna. Apparently some communications issues between the antenna and tower maker produced some incorrect antenna mounts. So while the wheel was being re-invented Greg Neilson was pacing the floor at Nathan Hale. Considering the antenna is directional to protect an adjacent channel operation in Gig Harbor (read that null to the SSW) the coverage is pretty good. Understand from Terry Ryan that he and Tom Gorton drove up North the other day and found the signal quite good. Lowell Kiesow reported that in Everett it was sounding good. Remember they are running just over 8 kW so it's pretty hard to compare performance against the non- directional stations on Cougar that are running 50 or 100 kW.

From the Dept of TV Changes... At KIRO7. First Harry retired then Tony quit just to announce that he will be seen in the mornings on Channel 13. Ch13 has an agreement with KBTC (Bates) that will have Ch28 running news breaks in the evening; eventually they (Bates) hope to have a 30 minute 'cast in the evenings. If you recall, KBTC is now housed in the former KSTW/11 facility on South 19th St., while KSTW has moved to Tukwila/Renton, very near the King County Building Dept.

Did you read about the money saving opportunity used recently by BPA? Seems that Bonneville needed some high-power gear for their expanding electrical system... meanwhile an east-coast utility had no need for the gizmo in their warehouse... enter... EBay All is well and BPA saved reportedly millions. Can you remember the days before EBay? In the event you have not exposed yourself to this sorta electronic garage sale system... there is a book for you. Ebay for Dummies. Publisher is Hungry Minds.

I love to follow national or worldwide events with local connections. Take, for instance, XM Satellite Radio. They are using BOEING-built birds. Meanwhile, the latest Star Wars movie was distributed by Boeing's Digital Cinema systems.

Speaking of XM.... The satellite radio provider announced in early July that they now have close to 140,000 subscribers, beating Wall Street estimates. I had a chance to listen to XM the first time the other day, thanks to Kelly Alford who has it in his red Jeep. I have to admit that it sounds really good. In a couple of minutes' 'dialing around' I was most impressed with the sound of classical music... the openness, S/N ratio and stereo ambiance was striking.

KRKO in Everett ,who has been trying to obtain all the permits necessary to build new towers and increase power, ran into objections from those that contend the new towers will harm birds. Now we learn that the US Fish and Wildlife Service may indeed study the matter. The study is being urged by NAB as well as organizations involved in other forms of communications where towers are used. In the U.S. there are about 60,000 towers 200 feet or higher. My experience is that birds like towers, as evidenced by the amount of 'bird poop' on them.

Did you read the results of the latest study on button pushing? Seems that the THUMB has overtaken the position of the index finger for manual labor. Yep. Dialing phones and ringing doorbells is now the thumb's job. I just had to take notice of my habits... and... by golly... I too am dialing my cell phone with my thumb, but that's because I can hold it in one hand and dial with the thumb... it's a chore to use the index finger in that mode. The study by Warwick University has concluded that the thumb is becoming humanity's most dexterous digit. Now being 'all thumbs' is no longer bad. You can still 'thumb a ride', which is 'thumbs up'... and we still have fingers left for other purposes and signals.

It will be interesting to see which way congress points their thumbs re media ownership rules. Radio, TV, Newspaper combos, etc., are the subject of the activity. Word is the spring of '03 we may see some new things here.... Fasten your seatbelt.

While the US is trying to decide whether or not to have IBOC or IBAC... Europe is expanding the amount of spectrum for use with their Eureka DAB system... Hmmmm. Think that there will be a lot of VERY interesting sessions here in Seattle on the 12th of September.

In a recent issue of Scientific American was a great article about "Do it Yourself (RIP for DIY)". The writer wrote about the demise of Heath and their famous kits and all manner of do-it-yourself electronics. One high point was Amateur Radio that continues to be popular. On that subject, here is the date for a of Ham Radio/Electronic Flea Market...

September 14th, 9AM to 3 PM, Pierce County Fairgrounds, Graham

You can hardly turn on any newscast these days without hearing about the wave of accounting scandals that is sending our 401Ks into a place that confirms the notion that we will have to work til we drop. So far the names on this list have been of firms that are not that close to home... that is until the name Qwest came up. Our local provider is some 26.4 BILLION dollars in debt.... and the SEC is probing. Comforting, huh?

In a previous issue of this column I wrote about the old KOL/1300 Tower on Harbor Island. J. Barry Watkinson in Vancouver wrote me a letter telling me the 'rest of the story'. Apparently the tower WAS taller and when they turned it on it produced sky-wave cancellation in Everett and Tacoma, so the tower was made shorter, hence the lopped off top look. Barry said that this took place about the same time that KOL moved from 1270 to 1300. Thanks for the info, Barry.... nice to have retired folks out there keeping in touch. I have some experience with the matter of close in sky-wave problems: when KMO moved to a wave tower back in 1973. This structure was 450 feet tall... physically, but must have been taller electrically. It, too, created some nasty close-in sky-wave cancellation problems. If you look at what happens to a wave Marconi when you exceed electrical you can see how this takes place.

Have you noticed that there is a growing number of folks that are unable to read analog clocks? With everything having a digital readout these days perhaps this is understandable... but in Broadcasting? Well, the folks at the Entercom radio-factory on Eastlake received a rude awakening the other day when the master clock driver went on the fritz. They still had the other master clock system... you know... the old fashioned time indicator with (HORRORS).... HANDS ! There may be a time that we will see analog clocks go the way of the horse and buggy.

Wanna REALLY feel old ? The 'First Phone' has been gone for 30 YEARS!... July of 1972 it went away.

A station over in Spokane (KYWL-FM) recently discovered that someone made off with 250 feet of brand new 3 inch Andrew Heliax. The station put out an APB on a number of remailers, etc., and valued the loss at $14,000. Gee, guys... I guess I must have taken this type of event more in stride when a couple of months ago some copper thieves cut through a chain link fence and started carting away several hundred feet of Heliax from Entercom here in this area. I reported the theft, and thanks to some sharp cops, got a call , and a couple of days later, we got it back... of course it was cut up in 8 foot lengths. In the process I made calls to a number of scrap yards in the area and found that YES they do buy this stuff... with the jacket on... and apparently see it quite frequently. This is a wide-spread problem and has been for years. In some locations copper thieves have been known to rip out AM ground systems. If you have transmission line, suggestion: keep it locked up and covered-or better yet, INSIDE... and out of mind. Tom Hughes in Sacramento noted that some years ago they were missing some 1 rigid line from KCRA-TV. The cops staked out the site to find that the thieves were passing the line through a fence and laying the line on rail-road tracks nearby so that passing trains would cut the line into more convenient lengths.

Senator McCain has got to be making a lot of folks happy in the 'front office' with the word that he is gearing up to introduce legislation that would MANDATE free airtime for political candidates. Gotta think that NAB is gearing up for battle.

On the subject of NAB.... Once again Seattle will this year be the site for NAB Radio, Starting Sept 12th. For those of you in Radio... look for some dandy tech sessions. Our own H & D will have a workshop on AM and FM antennas. Harris will have one on AM and FM transmitters and a whole bunch of folks will be presenting a workshop on Digital Radio. On the Management side, NAB will have sessions with some of the leading radio group CEOs. This is going to be an interesting test for the 'fall show'. The last time it was in Seattle it got good reviews, later meetings in other parts of the country drew mixed reviews. Seems that everyone likes to come to Seattle, even if travel here is a pain for most of the country.

In my travels to Cougar Mt the other day I found a car blocking the driveway.... a quick look told me that this green Explorer was not your average SUV... this was the 'special one' with the up-side-down cooler on the roof belonging to the local FCC office. At the wheel was a very surprised Kris McGowan. She was giving a tour to the latest addition to the Seattle office, Jayson Clairmont. Jayson recently graduated from school and joined the FCC. He joins the crew at the 'local branch' consisting of Dennis Anderson (district director) Mike Rothe, Steven Houser and, of course, Kris. Gary Soulsby still hangs out in these parts as Regional Technical Specialist. Welcome to the Northwest Jayson!

BE Radio has an interesting survey going.... They are trying to find the OLDEST transmitter in regular service. Not much old iron out there in these parts anymore.

If you are like me... you love to listen to Click and Clack on NPR's Car Talk... in the event you are at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Afghanistan you can listen in also. The AFN station is on 103.1.

Remember Radio Streaming? For a time this was a BIG DEAL... with radio stations all over gearing up for getting their programming 'on-line'... special audio feeds, processors and sales departments smelling new revenue have all been pretty well dashed due to a number of efforts by certain union and royalty issues. For a while many hoped that this means of communications would be able to escape those that would attempt to regulate it.... Guess not.

Matsushita, more commonly known as Panasonic, has jumped on the tube-retro bandwagon with a CAR RADIO featuring a tube... clearly visible in a little window on the front panel... AND the model also has good old fashioned back-lit VU meters. Now this is taking things a bit far... when did you ever see a tube type car radio with tubes that you could see... and with VU meters? Guess they are banking on the fact that most of their buyers will not be able to recall that detail. Now what they need to do is come up with 'warm up time' and some 'vibrator buzz' to make the unit complete. I recall having some young folks come over to the house a couple of years ago and noticed that I have a tube type table radio in the family room. I was happy to play show-and-tell with the little Zenith. First thing that puzzled them was the fact that it did not 'come on' immediately upon turning it on... I had to explain to them what 'warming up' meant.... I then dialed around the band (it's an AM only) and proudly noted three or four Portland stations sounding like locals... (as did a couple of stations from BC). That wood cabinet sounded different to them also... Ah progress.... ain't it great?

Clay Freinwald, K7CR, CPBE

black line

Return to table of contents

Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H, Madison Chapter 24

o Sunspots keep growing and growing, and one wonders if the peak of solar cycle 23 has really passed. With sunspot numbers topping 300 in a recent week, it appears to be an unusual third peak in a cycle with a double peak so far. The average solar cycle lasts 11 years. Cycle 23 peaked in 2000, then after a decrease in activity had a second peak in December 2001. Sunspot numbers recently surged back to peak again on July 27. Current helioseismic readings suggest several active regions on the sun's far side, so more excitement may be in store. Strong solar activity can occasionally cause problems with satellites and electrical power distribution.

o Bob Baird, W9NN, former engineering supervisor at WGN radio, died August 1 at age 96. Baird, of Plover, Wisconsin, was among the longest-licensed amateurs in the US, having been a ham for more than eight decades. "Bob was an icon, and he will be missed by many in Wisconsin and around the world," said American Radio Relay League Wisconsin Section Manager Don Michalski, W9IXG. Baird remained active on the air until shortly before his death. He reportedly died peacefully in his sleep with his niece, Betty Johnson, WD9AUC, at his side.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Baird was first licensed as a youngster in 1920 as 8BTI. He later became 8CWR. He went on to become engineering supervisor for WGN in Chicago (where he acquired the call 9NN in 1927), retiring after 36 years of service. Baird was a founder and charter member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association. Last year, fellow QCWA Chapter 174 members presented him with a plaque honoring his years of service to QCWA and his long tenure as an Amateur Radio licensee.

A QCWA memorial scholarship fund will be established. Donations payable to "QCWA Scholarship Fund" may be sent in care of Betty Johnson, 4820 Love Creek Ave, Plover, WI 54467-9526.

(Excerpts from "The ARRL Letter" and the www.arrl.org web site)

black line

Return to table of contents

The End User


by Rich Petschke
Treasurer, SBE Chap. 16

"Dude - you're gettin' a Dell!" That ad slugline is almost as famous as "Where's the Beef?" or "Can you hear me now - - - good!". While "Steven" (the college kid in those Dell ads) may be getting overexposed, it sure has helped Dell to maintain its #1 PC manufacturer ranking! And, for the eleventh time in twelve years, Dell is at the top of PC magazine's Readers Survey in the desktops category.

So the Petschkes decided it's time to upgrade. We bought two Dells - a Dimension 4500 desktop for the missus, and I acquired an Inspiron 8100 laptop. The Dimension, a Pentium-4 1.8GHz with 256Mb of DDR SDRAM, a DVD drive and Windows XP Home Edition was only $450 including tax and shipping, after a $100 rebate. We didn't buy a monitor for the Dimension, since Mrs. P. already had a NEC LCD flat-panel. The Inspiron came with a 1GHz Pentium 3-m processor, 512Mb of RAM, a CD-RW drive, Windows XP Home Edition, a free second battery, an UXGA 15" display upgrade and free shipping - at just $1250.

To date the Dimension has been trouble-free. It has a cool "clamshell" tool-less case that makes adding peripherals a snap (I installed a network card in about 15 seconds). The 1.8GHz processor with its 400 MHz bus is really quick - it boots in just 15 seconds, from power-on to displaying the desktop. The Inspiron has worked fine too - with the exception of an early failure of its CD-RW drive. Dell's customer service has received rave reviews for years - and now was my chance to put it to the test.

The result: Phone service was awesome, but e-mail support (the first avenue used for assistance) gets a big zero. No fewer than SIX requests for assistance were sent - and all were ignored. Upon calling Dell, a replacement CD-RW drive shipment was arranged in about 15 minutes (including a 10-minute wait for a support technician). The tech was very knowledgeable and didn't go through a predetermined "script" to confirm the problem with the CD-RW drive.

As is typical, the replacement part (which was a refurbished unit) is shipped and invoiced, and the user is required to return the old part within 15 days. A prepaid return label was included with the drive. Surprisingly, the replacement CD-RW drive was shipped overnight via Airborne - the tech originally promised 3 to 5 day delivery!

The final analysis: I'd recommend Dell if you're in the market for a new computer. Pricing is outstanding, delivery was prompt, product quality is good and service (as long as you call rather than e-mailing) was awesome - I can see how Dell gets its high customer service ratings.

While we're on the Dell subject - they've become the first PC maker to take advantage of the new Microsoft licensing changes implemented last month - specifically, the change that doesn't require licensed PC makers to load Microsoft operating systems on all delivered units. Dell now plans to offer a line of business desktops that are Microsoft OS-free - allowing the customer to load the OS of choice, be it a Microsoft product or an alternate such as Linux. Dell will include a copy of FreeDOS with each of these computers. For now - this is limited to the large-quantity business customers - but it's a safe bet that consumers soon will be offered the option to buy an OS-free computer.

Last month, the remnants of Napster were auctioned off, officially closing the pioneer of the P2P file sharing concept. And although other services have sprung up following Napster's demise, the government and others have fought vigilantly to stop the sharing of copyrighted material.

Now, the government plans to use the "No Electronic Theft" (NET) act to stop individuals from sharing copyrighted material. The NET act provides that it is a federal crime for a person to share copies of copyrighted products such as software, movies or music with friends and family members if the value of the work exceeds $1,000. Violations are punishable by one year in prison, or if the value tops $2,500, not more than five years in prison. While I haven't seen reports of arrests resulting from NET Act enforcement, there is an increased effort from the record labels and movie distributors to stop sharing of copyrighted material. They put up "ruse" file sharing sites, using one or more of the popular P2P clients. Then IP addresses of those downloading copyrighted material are logged, and the copyright holders notify the downloader's ISP. They, in turn inform the user they've been discovered - and in some cases, terminate service.

It's the virus that won't die - the Klez virus. Even though Klez first was launched over seven months ago, major antivirus vendors along with the CERT® Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University are reporting it is still a very active threat. I can vouch for that - in the last three weeks, I've received about a half-dozen messages infected with Klez - and caught by my antivirus software (which quarantined the attachments). And they all came from people I don't know. Some call Klez the first of a new generation of "smart viruses" - ones that find new vulnerabilities and then will exploit them. So it's not enough to just run antivirus software and keep it updated - security updates for vulnerable applications must be installed and features like auto-previewing e-mail messages (a known method of spreading the Klez virus) should be disabled. And that still won't stop you from receiving e- mails with viruses attached - unless you stop using e-mail and the Internet altogether!

That's it for this month. Questions, suggestions or comments? Send them to enduser@sbe16.org.

The above comments and opinions are those of Rich Petschke.They are not the opinion of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc., or Seattle Chapter 16, Inc.

black line

Return to table of contents

INSERTTITLEHERE

INSERTAUTHORHERE

INSERTTEXTHERE

black line

Return to table of contents

A Bad Day At Work

AND YOU THINK YOU'RE HAVING A BAD DAY AT WORK !!

Although this looks like a picture taken from a Hollywood movie, it is in fact a real photo, taken near the South African coast during a military exercise by the British Navy.

It has been nominated by the UK Photographic Society as "THE photo of the year".


This photo has been shown to be a hoax: nationalgeographic.com

black line

Return to table of contents

Echostar Ka-Band Licenses Cancelled

By Mike Norton
Madison Chapter 24

In July, The Federal Communications Commission revoked the licenses for two Ka- band orbital locations that had been granted to EchoStar Communications Corp in May 1997. The licenses for geosynchronous orbit satellites at 83º W.L. and 121º W.L. had authorized 500MHz of uplink and 500 MHz of downlink spectrum for two- way broadband data service for fixed satellite service. The Dish Network DBS service operated by EchoStar operates with Ku-band allocations, and is not believed to be directly affected by this FCC action.

The FCC states that EchoStar failed to satisfy the initial mandatory implementation milestone as set forth in the original license authorization. The milestone required EchoStar to begin construction of its Ka-band satellite system by January 2002. To determine whether the licensees had complied with the terms of the license, the FCC requested that each licencee submit an executed copy of a construction contract to verify that construction had begun on the spacecraft.

EchoStar had reported that it was working toward a launch later this year of the EchoStar IX satellite, which would include Ka-band capacity. The FCC requested and received documents from EchoStar that demonstrate that EchoStar has contracted to build a satellite that will operate in the C-band and Ku-band frequencies. The FCC contends that the contract does not assure that the Ka- band transponders will ever be operational.

Thirteen other applicants were granted licenses for Ka-band satellite systems in May of 1997. Of those, nine had construction, launch, and operation milestone requirements included in their authorizations. In June the FCC released a public notice stating that six companies, including Hughes Network Systems, Loral CyberStar, and Teledesic LLC had met their construction commencement milestone requirements.

VisionStar, a company developing a Ka-band system and majority owned by EchoStar, has filed a request for an extention on the Ka-band license. Other licensees including Motorola and Astrolink have filed for extentions.

(Information for this article came from www.rockymountainnews.com, www.dallasnews.com, www.skyreport.com, and www.fcc.gov)

black line

Return to table of contents

Stupid DJ Tricks

From Chapter 40 - San Francisco

I was checking the FCC site when I found a rather stern statement by Commissioner Copps regarding a broadcast by a station in NYC. It seems they had compiled a list of high risk places to have sex. One of the places was St. Patrick's Cathedral. A couple from Virginia decided that was just the right place for them and proceeded to do same with description of the act given via cell phone by a voyeur who may have been a station employee. I'd give you call letters and the works, but for the fact that the station's web site lacks any confirmation that they had a contest in progress that solicited this particular stunt. Commissioner Copps released the following statement:

"I have received many outraged e-mails and phone calls complaining about a running on-air broadcast of a sex act in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York as part of a radio stunt. According to the complaints and press accounts, this act took place within a few feet of worshippers and visitors. I have forwarded each of the complaints to our Enforcement Bureau for action. I expect this complaint to be on the fast-track at the Commission. Congress passed laws limiting the broadcast of "obscene, indecent or profane" language and charged the FCC with the enforcement of these laws. The FCC has a responsibility to ensure that the indecency laws of the United States are being vigorously enforced. I take this responsibility with the utmost seriousness. If these complaints and press accounts prove true, this Commission should consider the strongest enforcement action possible against this station, up to and including revocation of the station's license."

black line

Return to table of contents

Humor

Humour From the Pacific NorthWest
Clay Freinwald, Seattle Chapter 16

  • How come wrong numbers are never busy when you dial them?
  • If we call folks living in Australia 'down under' what do they call us?
  • Does killing time damage eternity?
  • Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
  • Why do they call it lipstick if you can still move your lips?
  • Why is it that night falls but day breaks?
  • Why is it the THIRD hand on a clock called the SECOND hand? (another reason for digital clocks)
  • Why is it when you are looking for an address you turn down the volume on the car radio?
  • Why does lemon juice contain artificial flavors, while dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?
  • When you dream in color, is it a pigment of your imagination?
  • Did Noah keep his bees in archives?
  • How do you get off a NON-STOP flight?
  • How do you write zero in Roman Numerals?
  • If athletes get athletes foot, do astronauts get mistletoe?
  • Is marriage the mourning after the night before?
  • I'd better end this before nausea sets in.....

black line

Why is that anyway?

  • "The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half- inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead." --Robert Brault
  • Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out"?
  • Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp which no decent human being would eat?
  • Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
  • If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
  • If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
  • Why does goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
  • Why is a person that handles your money called a 'Broker'?
  • Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?
  • Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
  • Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?
  • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window.
  • Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over a billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

black line

Some new investment terminology guidelines:

  • CEO: chief embezzlement officer.
  • CFO: corporate fraud officer.
  • EPS: eventual prison sentence.
  • BULL MARKET: A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
  • MOMENTUM INVESTING: The fine art of buying high and selling low.
  • VALUE INVESTING: The art of buying low and selling lower.
  • BROKER: What my broker has made me.
  • "BUY, BUY": A flight attendant making market recommendations as you step off the plane.
  • STANDARD & POOR: Your life in a nutshell.
  • MARKET CORRECTION: The day after you buy stocks.
  • CASH FLOW: The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.
  • YAHOO: What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.
  • INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR: Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse

black line

MY APPETITE IS MY SHEPHERD (POUND 23)

My appetite is my shepherd; I always want.

It maketh me sit down and stuff myself.

It leadeth me to my refrigerator repeatedly.

It leadeth me in the path of a Whopper.

It destroyeth my shape.

Yea, though I knoweth I gaineth, I will not stop eating for the food tasteth so good.

The ice cream and the cookies, they comfort me.

When the table is spread before me, it exciteth me for I knoweth that I sooneth shall dig in.

As I filleth my plate continuously, My clothes runneth smaller.

Surely bulges and pudgies shall follow me all the days of my life.

black line

Return to table of contents

Etc.

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (303)756-4843
   bharris4@ix.netcom.com

Garneth M. Harris
  (303)756-4843

Newsletter archives are available online.
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.