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IT Boot Camp

Random Radio Thoughts

Clay's Corner

Firms Respond To Converter Box Prototype Request

Going To School On Tower Training

Amateur Radio News

History, Standards And Education

PDX Radio Waves

Static Line

The Outage




September, 2005

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IT Boot Camp IT Boot Camp

An All-Day
Technical Seminar
Essentials and some useful and interesting applications of Networking Technology in Broadcasting

IT Boot Camp

September 28th 2005
Event Cost: $50.00 general public $20.00 SBE/SMPTE members
Join SMPTE and SBE in this all day informational seminar Designed with the Broadcaster in Mind!
Two sessions will be held: 9:00 am - 12:00 am and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
in conjunction with VidExpo 2005 (sessions do not repeat)

The seminar will be anchored by two excellent tutorials delivered by principals of Applied Trust Engineering, a local network and security consultancy. Titled Design of IT Networks and Network Security Fundamentals, these tutorials will provide the basic information and concepts required to become fluent in the network infrastructures that are becoming increasingly common in the broadcast plant.

Other presentations will include Basics of Network Cabling, IP Audio - Networking over Ethernet, and Transfer and Transcoding of Media over IP. A full list of speakers appears below.

About the Presenters
Applied Trust Engineering provides IT security and network/systems infrastructure consulting services. The company serves clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, financial services, recreation, media and government. Based in Boulder, Colo., Applied Trust's proven process provides industry-recognized experts to ensure a successful combination of technology, practice and awareness. For more information, visit

About the Program
* Refreshment will be provided at mid morning and mid afternoon breaks.
* Sponsorships help us fund the activities of SMPTE and SBE. If you are in a position to assist us in sponsoring this event, Please contact John Switzer, Sony Corporation, or phone 303-680-8339.


Length (min)





AM Session






9:00 AM


Introduction and Housekeeping Items

Rome Chelsi/Jim Schoedler



9:10 AM


TCP/IP and Networking Tutorial

Trent Hein


Applied Trust Engineering

10:30 AM


Morning Break




10:45 AM


Network Cabling Do's and Don'ts

Jim Schoedler

CTO/Director of Network Engineering

Rocky Mountain PBS

11:05 AM


Audio over IP Networks

Kirk Harnack

Applications Engineer and U.S. Director of Sales


12:00 Noon


Morning Session Ends - TRT Goal 180




PM Session






12:00 Noon


Lunch and Exhibit Break




2:00 PM


Session Introduction

Rome Chelsi/Jim Schoedler



2:05 PM


Network Security Fundamentals

Trent Hein


Applied Trust Engineering

2:45 PM


Integrating AV and IT - Sony Approach and Experience

Chris Tsia


Sony Corporation

3:25 PM


Afternoon Break




3:15 PM


IT Workflows in Broadcasting

Steve Tilly and John Pallett



3:40 PM


Trends in Network Storage



Front Porch Digital

4:20 PM


Future Trends for IP in Broadcasting

Scott Barella

Vice President, Engineering

Burst Communications

5:00 PM


Session Ends - TRT Goal 180




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Random Radio Thoughts

Cris Alexander, CSRE
Crawford Broadcasting Company

A Conversion Experience
I don't get out of the office much these days. Over the years, my job description has changed along with the growth of our company. In the early days (over 21 years ago), I had the same title but back then, it meant that I was a lot more hands-on. I got out into the markets, into the stations, building studios, building transmitter sites, responding to emergencies and the like. These days, my boss requires me to wear a suit and tie, and I sit in my Highlands office (with a great view, by the way) and deal with paper, numbers, accountants, lawyers, brokers and engineers. Which means that I'm always looking for some reason to get out in the office and into the field, to do some real hands-on engineering. The last month or so, I've had a couple of such opportunities.

Last spring, our company made a commitment to convert our entire complement of stations to iBiquity Digital's HD Radio™ system within the next couple of years. Our goal by the end of this year is to convert all our FMs and three of our AMs. The FMs are done, and it made a lot of sense to do some of our Denver AMs first so that I could get an idea of what an AM conversion was like. Last month, we got the stuff from Nautel to convert KLZ. The conversion entailed replacing all the power modules in the 2000-model ND-5 transmitter, installing an IBOC interface board and then installing the NE-IBOC exciter and digital auxiliary unit. While Ed Dulaney and his crew were working on the KLDC nighttime DA project, my daughter Amanda and I did the KLZ ND-5 modification and IBOC installation. Amanda, by the way, just graduated from a local community college and is now enrolled in CIE's Broadcast Engineering course. This was a good opportunity for a little hands-on for her as well.

The transmitter modification wasn't hard, just time consuming. And with our conversion on the "bleeding edge," we found some errors in the modification procedure. A wire was left out of the IBOC interface harness. No big deal, but we had to figure it out. The good news is that those who come after will have correct mod instructions!

The NE-IBOC exciter plugs into the transmitter via two CAT-5 cables, one carrying the magnitude and the other the phase signals. Adjustment was fairly straightforward... adjust a couple of trimpots for a specified voltage on the mod driver, then adjust a couple of parameters on the IBOC exciter iteratively for minimal and balanced spectral regrowth in the 25-35 kHz range. That iterative spectrum adjustment took the longest... make a change, wait for the analyzer to sample, average and display, evaluate the results, then make another change. Then the AM audio delay had to be set so that there was no echo during the blend-to-digital or blend-to-analog.

A "mystery man" and my daughter Amanda replace power modules at KLTT
A "mystery man" and my daughter Amanda replace power modules at KLTT

Listening to KLZ, I am amazed at the sound quality of the local segments. FM quality, no doubt about it. The satellite-fed segments... well, that's a different story. All those MPEG passes followed by a PAC crunch make for some objectionable artifacts. We're addressing that by eliminating two MPEG passes in the Harris Intraplex STL, installing linear AES cards on both the outbound and inbound paths.

Amanda and I also converted KLTT. That was a little more involved than the KLZ conversion as all 120 (yes, count them - 120!) modules in the Nautel ND-50 had to be replaced. We had a little help on the first day. A certain national sales manager from a competing transmitter manufacturer was in town the day we started, and he didn't hesitate to roll up his sleeves and help us! What a great guy! Of course our company does about a zillion dollars of business with his company every year, but still...

Both stations are now on the air with digital signals, and both stations have clean spectrums, well within the FCC-specified RF mask. Products in the 10.2 to 20 kHz range are 3 dB below the limit specified in §73.44, and products in the 20 to 30 kHz range are 30 dB below the limit.

I've heard from a number of you that HD Radio conversions are underway at a bunch of other local stations. The way it's shaping up, Denver will have more HD Radio signals on the air than almost any other market except Detroit. That ought to give Best Buy a reason to stock HD Radio receivers, that is if we do a good job of promoting.

Towers, towers, towers
Any of you who have driven up I-76 north of 74th recently may have noticed that the two-tower KLZ site has sprouted four more towers. These four new towers are for KLDC-night on 810 kHz. Ed Dulaney and his crew along with CBC engineers from other markets are busy installing transmitter, phasing and coupling system, processing, remote control and all the other stuff right now.

It was amazing to watch those towers go up. Rocky Mountain Erections (no guffaws, please!) had all four towers up in two days! They put sections together on the ground, setting the towers in two picks. The crew was here and gone in less than a week. GRB Construction is currently plowing in the new ground system.

The plan calls for RF by the end of the week of the 4th. KLDC tower #3 will be excited ND at low power and the two KLZ towers will be carefully detuned. With that done, a full ND proof will be run (including walk-ins). The week of the 18th, we plan to begin pattern tuning followed by a full DA proof and KLZ partial DA proof.

Any of you who would like to earn some dinero on the side, contact Ed Dulaney. If you have your own FIM and GPS receiver, all the better.

If you have news you would like to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, email me at

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Clay's Corner

Featuring News, Rumors and Views
From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources
July 2005 Issue

By Clay Freinwald

Big news in the neighborhood this time around is the sale of KAYO/99.3 to Bustos Media. The Seattle metro 'rim-shot' 20Megabuck sale represents a number of firsts....The first Spanish Language station on the FM band in these parts...and a record high price to be paid for an FM station that is actually licensed to Elma. What gave the signal the value was the gradual moving of the station's transmitter site to a point in the Southeast corner of the Olympic range that would enable it to cover Elma in addition to a good portion of the Puget Sound basin. Its not that the area will be shortchanged in the country music department; now Clear Channel's KMNT has moved from Centralia to Capital Peak...uniquely using the tower that was previously used by KAYO. This will mark the end of the KAYO call letter, for at least a while. The new call for 99.3 will reportedly be KDDS which has been used by Bustos in Auburn on 1210 AM.

If you have not been following the growth in Hispanic population here are some stats to chew on. 1 in 7 people in this country is now Hispanic. Hispanics are now the largest minority group. Nationwide Spanish-language now captures 10% of all listening.

With the talk of the Seattle School district thinking about selling KNHC...this item caught my eye. Criswell College is considering the sale of their FM station, KCBI in Dallas, for $23,000,000 ! The NCE facility operates with 100Kw on 90.9. Makes you wonder how much local Non-Com's are worth. KUOW, which operates on a commercial channel, has got to be worth a bundle!

Taking a peek at the Radio ratings turns up some interesting stats. Another format that many in our industry tend to under-rate....Contemporary Christian. If you look at the latest 'numbers' KCMS is #2 with the 25-54 demo and in the weekday evenings they are number 1. Guess that transmitter move to Cougar is paying off..

Sumner Redstone said he was going to do it....and the Board of Viacom said yes to his plans to split the media giant in two. We now have the 'CBS Corporation' under which will operate Infinity, CBS, UPN, Viacom's O & O's. Sign and letterhead makers have got to love this we will see how the stock market feels. Locally Viacom, soon to be CBS, owns Ch-11 as well as a 'flock' of radio stations.

Another congratulation goes to Andy Laird who has recently been promoted to VP and Chief Technology officer for the Journal Broadcast Group based in Milwaukee, Wi. Many of us got to know Andy when he worked here in Seattle and soon learned what a great guy he is. I recently had a chance to have dinner with Andy in Milwaukee where he chatted about his good fortune in the 'brew-city'. Journal also has stations in Boise.

I found it very interesting to read a statement made by an official at Boeing that they wanted to build airplanes the way Toyota builds cars. I have to wonder now if there will be more imitation of the Japanese. In an effort to save energy spent on air conditioning their plants, Toyota is leading the way in Japan with the elimination of the necktie. For Japan this is a serious matter where dress codes are pretty strict. Their rationale is that they can set their air conditioners at a toasty 82 degrees and compensate with open shirts. The nation's Prime Minister has followed suit (no pun). Engineers have always known that ties cause a reduction in blood flow to the brain.

Don't you just love it knowing that Congress is involved in the debate over when the cutoff date should be for analog television? Under existing rules, TV Broadcasters must return their analog channels by Dec 31, 2006...but only in those markets where 85% of homes can receive DTV. The question is what can Congress do to speed up the process so they can move forward with the auctioning of a ton of spectrum. Some have been suggesting that perhaps the way to speed up the process is for the Feds to actually pay consumers for converters to bridge the gap created by the shutting down of analog broadcasting. Of course the political parties are doing what they can to turn this into a political football. The only good news is the prices are coming down on flat panels and the rule requiring digital tuners is likely to be moved up. Whadda mess.

Over on the digital-radio side....HD Radio seems to be gaining speed with an ever increasing rate of announcements about the new mode in terms of stations installing equipment and new consumer gear. Here in our area KUOW and KPLU are now reportedly on the air with the first multiple channel systems called 'multi-casting' In fact my HD Radio has been sent to the factory for an upgrade to be able to receive the new channels. Who would have thought that you'd be sending in a radio for a firm-ware upgrade?...This is not just a non-commercial movement. Many commercial broadcasters are already 'tinkering' with the new system.

In the world of AM most broadcasters are waiting for the new FCC rules re. HD Radio to come out prior to seriously considering adding the system to their AM signals. There are exceptions however with some major stations operating the mode during the day. Here in the Northwest the closest AM HD operation is KEX in Portland. Nothing heard about anyone doing it here on AM....Yet.

Word is the FCC is going to be announcing later this year rules that will require RF exposure/NIER training for anyone working around transmission sites. Recently RSI has been in our area conducting classes. Look for SBE to get involved in this process, stay tuned.

Here's a birthday of note - FM Radio recently turned 70!. Way back then Major Armstrong turned on WA2XMN on 42.8 operating with the radical modulation mode that became known as FM. On June 11th of this year a big celebration in Alpine, NJ. ..Finally something older than I am.

On a related matter, the FCC has put a freeze on FM Allotments while they seek comments on proposed AM and FM rule changes. Meanwhile Radio Broadcasters anxiously await the release of the Commish's rules for HD Radio.

The 'Jack' format has been spreading across the country like wildfire with radio stations dumping formats in favor of the newest rage. Here in this area Infinity swapped its alternative KRQI for some cases owners have dropped what appeared to be very successful formats. Infinity caused quite a stir in NYC where they dumped their long time oldies formatted WCBS. As is the case with a lot of programming (audio and video) some decisions are hard to figure for those of us that look at decision making from a logical viewpoint. It will remain to be seen how the gamble plays out.

XM and Sirius in Canada? Not yet...but reports are it's getting close to doing a deal north of the border. The jury is out on HD north of the 49th...My guess is if it really catches on down here that it will spread north.

A local connection to Satellite Radio....XM recently announced that they are seeking a different vendor for their 5th Satellite....Apparently they are not pleased with the problems with the present Boeing birds.

I just love reading about how much high-tech workers are making these days. According to a new report, high-tech workers in our state are averaging $94,600 annually. The report makes no mention of whether Broadcast Engineers are in that category.

George Will recently submitted in his column that we might be entering a 'post-journalism age'. In his piece he cites the reduction in circulation of the nation's newspapers and the reduction in ratings for evening network newscasts. You add to this the fact that the Fox News Channel outrates CNN...he may be on to something. Look at the ratings of news outlets here....KIRO radio has dropped a lot of news and all news KOMO is not exactly a market leader. If present trends continue you have to wonder where we will be getting our news in 20 years. ...MTV?

Before I go - Yes its true...I am nominated for Vice President of SBE. Time will tell if the members of our Society think that this is a good idea.

See ya next month, Lord willing.
Clay, CPBE, K7CR etc.

Clay Freinwald, K7CR, CPBE

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

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Firms Respond To Converter Box Prototype Request

Thanks to Chapter 8, Phoenix

Washington, D.C.--Twelve consumer electronics firms responded to a request for quote (RFQ) from the NAB and MSTV for the development of a basic terrestrial digital-to-analog converter box prototype. The development of such a box is seen as key to the digital transition. The associations, which issued the RFQ June 20, received the responses by their July 29 deadline. Evaluation of the responses is expected to be completed around Labor Day, the trade groups said.

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Going To School On Tower Training

By Vicki W. Kipp
From Chapter 24

Tower company services managers and site maintenance vendors require unique competencies from their installation and maintenance technicians. They need skilled workers who know RF equipment and components but who also have savvy about rigging, climbing, emissions exposure, and safety issues particular to an aerial environment.

Unfortunately, you can't pursue a "tower technician techniques" degree at a technical college or university; nor is there a "tower apprenticeship."

It takes as long - if not longer - to become a well-trained tower technician as it takes to graduate from a college or to become a journeyman. Much of the expertise must be gained through on-the-job experience. However, there are courses that can help a technician become a stronger asset.

Some companies discount formal training as being too theoretical and expensive, and consider it a second-class alternative to on-the-job learning. Other tower companies find that improved worker efficiency offsets the training expense. The cost of the classes, plus travel and lodging, is a consideration. The employer also loses labor while the tower technician is away from the job, although most courses compress instruction time to maximize the benefits per hour invested. Companies that use more than one training provider need to avoid subject duplication among courses offered by competing schools.

Although every tower technician cannot complete every available course, it helps to know what subjects are offered. The next time you review a tower technician's resume or compare credentials, you can have a better idea what to expect from those who have completed various courses. Although by no means comprehensive, here are a few courses complementary to the career of a tower technician:

Andrew Corporation
Several courses for tower technicians are offered at the Andrew Institute in Orland Park, IL, or on location. Andrew's Base Station Antenna Fundamentals course gives participants hands-on practice with antenna mount assembly and installation. The VSWR Fundamentals course is taken in conjunction with this course. Other courses include Connector Attachment Training, Terrestrial Microwave Systems Installation, and Pressurization instruction.

Certified cable and antenna analyzer training is provided by Anritsu factory-certified instructors through vendors such as Amtronix, Hutton, Primus Electronics, Talley, and Tessco. This two-day course teaches RF line-sweep theory-and-practice including insertion loss, return loss and frequency domain reflectometer (FDR) testing, installing, testing, and maintaining feed lines and antenna systems.

Tower technicians who attend CommScope Wireless's course on how to properly install connectors on cables can qualify for CommScope Wireless's Gold Contractor certification for the trained installer. The certification is valid for two years; the class must be repeated for re-certification.

Known for its climbing and safety training, ComTrain offers three courses - Certified Tower Climbing Safety and Rescue, Tower Climbing Safety and Rescue-Train the Trainer, and Basic Tower Technology - and sells several reference books that they developed. ComTrain courses are offered in Monroe, WI, or on location.

DBI/SALA & Protecta
Tower technicians can receive safety equipment training at DBI/SALA & Protecta training centers in Red Wing, MN; Houston, TX; or on location.

Courses include Fall Protection Site Survey, Fall Protection Program Development, Equipment Inspection, On-site System Specific, On-site Fundamentals, Detailed Skills, Equipment Inspection, Train the Trainer, Tower Climbing & Rescue and Industrial Rescue.

Dielectric/Flash Technology
Flash University is held in Franklin, TN, or on location. Flash University gives an overview of Flash Technology products, explains the basic engineering and physics involved in tower lighting, and covers FAA guidelines, troubleshooting/repair methods and monitoring.

Cable and connector manufacturer Eupen offers training on how to properly install connectors on its cable, with an emphasis on the importance of proper contact to prevent water ingress. Eupen offers instruction to their customers and their customers' contractors for free.

Gravitec offers training at their facility in Bainbridge Island, WA, or on location. Gravitec has several classes including Tower Climber/Rescuer, Tower Rescuer, Competent Tower Rescuer, Competent Tower Climber, Tower Supervisor, Qualified Fall Protection Person, Fall Protection Equipment Inspector, Fall protection Trainer, FAA Qualified Tower Climber Program and National Weather Service Qualified Tower Climber.

Radiofrequency Safety International has several courses for the technician, such as RF Site Safety Awareness, Telecomm Construction Safety, RF Train the Trainer, Advanced RF Train the Trainer and Superior Survey Techniques.

Sitesafe offers RF health and safety awareness training in Web-based and classroom venues. Their web-based training program is for companies that have employees and contractors working in an RF environment and covers all aspects of RF safety and certifies that students have obtained a clear understanding of proper practices.

Experience may be the best teacher, but it can seldom be documented. Tower companies with a credentialed workforce reduce their exposure and enhance their productivity.

This article is reprinted with permission from Above Ground Level magazine

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Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Thanks to Madison Chapter 24

o "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday! This is the sailboat Enamorado. Mayday, Mayday!" That's what Madison radio amateurs Ed Toal, N9MW, and Ralph Henes, W9CAR, heard during a casual Sunday morning net July 24 on 14.238 MHz that also involved Dick Mannheimer, K6LAE, in Los Angeles. Toal and Henes were able to contact the operator, Ken Saijo, KC6ORF-a California retiree-who confirmed the 35-foot sailing vessel was in trouble and needed help.

"All social chatter immediately stopped, and we declared an emergency in progress on frequency," Henes said. Then, while Toal gathered information from the operator aboard the Enamorado, Mannheimer and Henes both called the US Coast Guard to relay the boat's situation and position, which turned out to be in Mexican waters.

"The US Coast Guard relayed our information to the Mexican Navy, and then it seemed like a long time passed and nothing seemed to be happening," Henes recounted. Henes and Toal were able to copy KC6ORF well, although Mannheimer could not, and they maintained contact with the disabled boat.

The Wisconsin hams learned that Saijo was accompanying the boat's skipper, Ken Scheibe, on a trip from California to Costa Rica when they ran into a storm. As a result, the vessel lost its engine and steering, both men had suffered injuries and Scheibe was reported in severe pain. Before putting out distress calls on 20 meters, Saijo had tried without success to raise help via the vessel's VHF marine radio.

Toal had to leave after a couple of hours, but Henes and Mannheimer remained on frequency, and Henes said he kept the two sailors talking and updating their position. About three hours into the incident, Henes again called the US Coast Guard to see if it had heard back from the Mexican Navy. "The answer was no," he said. So he called the Mexican Navy himself and, after what he described as "a few tense language-barrier moments," he was connected with someone who spoke English and Spanish and told that a rescue boat and helicopter were on the way.

"I managed to persuade the office person to contact the naval vessel and please ask them to come up on our ham radio frequency," Henes said. "It worked! Within minutes, they were on the frequency calling the stranded boat." Enter Jorge Lira, XE1JP, who volunteered to serve as translator. He was able to relay the foundering sailboat's coordinates to Mexican authorities. "He saved the day," said Henes, who reports he was able to hear the rescue helicopter in the background on Saijo's transmission. Saijo and Scheibe were plucked to safety from the distressed vessel, which the Mexican Navy towed to safety.

Toal said in an interview on WMTV that this is another example of why ham operators are licensed by the FCC for emergency communication. "The guy on the boat has got the problem. The guy in the Navy is the hero. He's the one who's rescuing him. We're providing communication. But it's a very critical link. It has to happen."

o The FCC has proposed dropping the 5 words-per-minute Morse code element as a requirement to obtain an Amateur Radio license of any class. The Commission recommended the change to the rules in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 05-235. "Based upon the petitions and comments, we propose to amend our amateur service rules to eliminate the requirement that individuals pass a telegraphy examination in order to qualify for any amateur radio operator license," the FCC said in its NPRM, released July 19.

The Commission said it believes dropping Element 1-the 5 WPM Morse examination-would "encourage individuals who are interested in communications technology, or who are able to contribute to the advancement of the radio art, to become amateur radio operators." The FCC said it also would eliminate a requirement it believes "is now unnecessary and that may discourage" current licensees from advancing their skills, and that it would "promote more efficient use" of current amateur radio spectrum.

The International Radio Regulations recently deleted the Morse testing requirement for amateur applicants seeking HF privileges, leaving it up to individual countries to determine whether or not they want to mandate Morse testing. Several countries already have dropped their Morse requirements.

A 60-day period for members of the public to comment on the FCC's NPRM in WT 05-235 will begin once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. (Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League <> and WMTV <> web sites)

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History, Standards And Education

By Matt Kinnan, CEV, CBNT
SBE Chapter 59

The other day I was discussing some wiring plans with a colleague. He is young and is always full of questions. He asked a really simple question, "What does XLR stand for?" Scratching my head I thought to myself, "that's a good question." I knew Cannon invented it, but I wasn't exactly sure how it got its name or what it stood for. I dashed off to my computer and in a few moments my Google search found the answer.

"The origin of the XLR connector was the Cannon X Series connector. It was fitting the demands of the audio community except the missing latch. Cannon rearranged the pins and added a latch. The new connector was called Cannon XL Series (X Series with Latch). Later the female version was changed to put the contacts in a resilient rubber compound. The connector was then called Cannon XLR Series."

"This connector soon became the industry's standard, and nearly every connector manufacturer copied the Cannon connector. It became an AES standard in 1982 with the pin assignment: 1: shield/ground, 2: hot pin, 3: cold pin." *

Just as I finished reading the answer to this simple question, I realized that no matter how much you think you know about your business, there is always room for learning and advancing you career. The SBE is a great way to keep up with our ever-changing profession. Join the SBE, get certified, and make sure others know you care.

(Matt Kinnan is the chaiman of SBE Chapter 59, Kansas City, KS)

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PDX Radio Waves

Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Inc., Portland
From Chapter 124

90.7 KBOO Portland is the latest to join the HD radio camp, using Harris ZHD transmitters and mid-level combining. IMHO, the common antenna systems being used by KNRK, KBOO, and the Skyline stations are providing much smoother HD radio coverage than the stations using their standby antennas for the digital signal. It's also becoming apparent that multipath and other interference sources frustrate HD reception much more so than low signal strengths. The Skyline stations tend to fold back to analog throughout the Terwilliger curves, for example. When HD is most needed, in the moderate multipath areas, it's just not there. This leads this author to ruminate whether the technology will have room to mature. Indeed, audio cassettes, minidiscs, and even color TV were fairly putrid when first introduced, but they matured and improved immensely, without obsolescing the early hardware. Can HD Radio do the same?

Yes, it did happen - but the names and call letters are being withheld to protect the innocent (and the embarrassed). A TV station recently had an brand new-ENG truck massively damaged when the gas station attendant put the gas nozzle into a cable entryway port. Untold gallons of gas apparently poured all over the interior, before the error was discovered. The insurance company declared the truck a total loss. We're told that it was the attendant's first day on the job. This incident spurred an explosion of comments on the OR-ENG listserv, on both sides of the "self-serve" gas pumping issue. No other issue in my memory has generated such interest, and even some acrimony, among the local engineering community. I feel alone in trying to broker a compromise - i.e.: allowing self-service but requiring all stations to provide full-service on demand at no additional cost. While I normally would pump my own, there are times when I'm "all dressed up" or it's 33 degrees and pouring rain, that I'd just as soon leave the task to the hapless minimum-wager. For most people, however, there appears to be no middle ground on this issue at all. Oregon and New Jersey remain the only states that outlaw self serve, except at Card Lock/Key Lock sites.

Just the mention of Leonard Kahn's name is enough to elicit snickers in many circles. The man is a modern-day Tesla - a brilliant yet often over the top (and sometimes totally wrong) inventor/manufacturer. So it's not surprising to read his entertaining comments regarding iBiquity's recent efforts to have the FCC authorize AM nighttime HD Radio service. While insisting that the iBiquity system "clearly violates FCC Rules and causes severe destructive interference," he has come out in support of allowing licensees to use AM HD Radio at night. Kahn also said "Indeed, if as claimed by iBiquity, its system fully complies with FCC Rules and Regulations, it is hard to understand why it (even) requires FCC Approval for nighttime operation." Finally, in a caveat that only Kahn would dare propose with a straight face, he urged "as a loyal American citizen" that such nighttime tests only start on a Monday or Tuesday of a week without a national holiday or severe storms, and that only well-heeled stations be allow to engage in the tests, so that they could afford to compensate the lesser stations for the damage they might incur from interference.

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Static Line
News From All Over

Thanks to Chapter 3

July 3rd storms damaged a KSNW-TV & DTV transmission tower, knocking the station off the air for those without cable when a small tornado was reported near Colwich, KS where the transmitter is located. There is a fiber optic feed direct to Cox cable for all broadcasters in the Wichita/Hutchinson market who are carried on cable, which enabled those in Wichita and suburbs, Great Bend, Dodge and Garden Cities to receive the KSN programming even though the local Wichita transmitter was off the air.

Speaking of KSN, Emmis has all its television stations on the block including Kansas stations KSNW, Wichita; KSNC, Gt. Bend; KSNG, Garden City; KSNK, Oberlin-McCook; & KSNT, Topeka. It always seemed awkward to me, having to show potential buyers around the property where you are employed, while at the same time hoping for the best new owners and management possible. Good luck guys.

FCC amateur licenses Morse code requirements: Vince Hancock, CTO KTQW-TV49 Wichita Technology Manager & web-master sends an advisory that the FCC is proposing to drop the 5 words per minute Morse code requirements for all classes of amateur licenses which previously required that. For more detailed information on this subject, look on the internet at: .

Gary Krohe, CSRTE, e-mailed a note about an innovative wall covering which turns any wall into a presentation surface. It is primarily designed as a low-gloss dry erase marker surface, but it also can serve as a projection screen for displaying images that don't require an embossed surface. This product is known as erase·rite and paints onto properly prepared wall surfaces. Another product named nu·vu·rite is a high-performance dry erase film with a non-glare top film offers optimum readability and erases completely. It is 95% projection screen and 5% dry erase writing surface. This might be a good thing to consider if your company is thinking about remodeling a conference room. Find more information on these products on the internet at: .

Gary also writes: I ran across a reference to a new product that is under development from a company called Rosum. The product is called TV-GPS. What these guys have done is figure out a way to use an ATSC signal for location positioning by using time of arrival and stripping out timing signals from the digital stream.....The cool new feature here works well inside buildings. They're based in Redwood City CA. and ran some prototype tests there. I downloaded their white paper describing the tests and it was pretty impressive HDOP of 2.6 meters (so 8.5 feet) when outside and about 1/2 again as much in the bowels of a parking garage on the Stanford University campus. The really interesting thing I noticed was their scatter-plots from each site. The error NW to SE was almost zero. And for those who remember, most of the TV stations in silicon valley are located either on Mt. Sutro Tower (to the Northwest) and Mt. Hamilton (to the Southeast). So this tells me where there are mutiple transmitter sites scattered about, the location capabilities will be better than GPS with WAAS. This will be an interesting technology to watch grow. For more information, here's a link to their site:

Rod Rogers, sends this information: "When Paramedics respond to an emergency, they will turn to a victim's cell phone for clues to that person's identity. You can make their job much easier with a simple idea that they are trying to get everyone to adopt: "ICE". ICE stands for "In Case of Emergency". If you add an entry in the contacts list in your cell phone or PDA under ICE, with the name and phone number of the person or persons that emergency services should call on your behalf, you can save them a lot of time and have your loved ones contacted quickly. It only takes a few moments of your time to do. Paramedics know what ICE means and they look for it immediately."

Marty Heffner, made a discovery the other day which gave him a bit of a start! He says: "As a reminder, it may be a good idea to check the roof of your transmitter building occasionally to make sure you don't have a spring sticking out. I found a transmission line hanger spring (see photo) penetrating approximately four inches into the concrete slab and into the membrane of the roof of KWCV. The spring did not break through the ceiling inside because of the distance between ceiling and top of the roof is roughly twelve to sixteen inches. I'm not sure when it came down, but it could have been during the ice storm, or perhaps one evening when some storms rolled through Colwich in June or July with winds that were clocked at approximately ninety to one hundred mile per hour."

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I don't know Marty, did you check with Dave at Channel 3? He may have lost one. The hard part is finding where these stray parts belong, and fixing the damage there before it becomes worse! Good luck!

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The 'Outage'

by Ron Viste
From Chapter 112

At some time or other, we've all thought about emergencies. Things like loss of STL, fire or bomb threat, tower loss, or any number of disruptions. In a small way, power loss can also be included in this category. If you are fortunate enough to have generator backup, you can just worry about the big stuff. But we found out on Friday, July 22 that even a generator doesn't always save your neck. While the backup transmitter was being worked on, a power supply arced to the cabinet and took out a circuit breaker. Not the lower rated down steam breaker(s) but the house 400 amp breaker. Generator power goes through this breaker as well, so as a consequence, no television power. It could not be reset no matter how hard it was pounded on. We called an electrician who wired around this problem because there was additional protection up the line and got us back on after a 2 hr interruption. We did find out that Dish Network does monitor our programming because they called shortly after the outage. --

Then--the next day (Saturday) about noon--a vicious storm rolls through Eau Claire, taking out power on the east side of the city, where the WEAU-TV studios are located. No generator at the studio, so what do we do besides sitting it out? At about 1pm, with no assurance that Xcel would restore power anytime soon, we began to think on how to restore studio programming, assumming the transmitter was still operational. First, the live van was brought around to be used as a limited power source and control room. The STL was powered up and lines run from the live van to generate a signal...(Bars)The idea was to get information out on the storm. Some low level lighting was set up in the studio and a news camera brought in. A couple DVC Pro decks were placed in the truck. The DVC portable editor was used to put together footage on damage from the crews that were dispatched after the storm subsided. Our weather man, news anchor and a reporter manned the set with several reports. They were crude, but delivered the information. A second generator, from our old live van, was put into service for lights in newsroom, remote control power, a network receiver and whatever else we absolutely needed because it doesn't take long to overload. Later, Chief Ron Wiedemeier brought his home generator, which outpowered both our other power sources. The outage went through the 5:30 nightly news, the 6pm local news and on into the evening until about 8:30. We were on the air most of that time, with occasional interruptions caused by overloads, or rerouting of sources and such type glitches. Programming was locally commercial free, because the spot player couldn't be powered...So we were a true public service, but not always looking very professionally polished. A real hats off to the many who put the show together. It was a collaborative effort, with things being done on the fly, since the last time we had experience with this was the storm in 1980. Few were around for that fact, only 2 of us were.

This begs for a sitdown on what you would do in a "What If"! Now is time, but don't be surprised if half your plans aren't useable.....that's the law. Plan with flexibility.

P.S. As to Dish Network, yes, they also called on Saturday, but the phone system shut down shortly after the outage when the UPS was drained and we're not sure how they got through.

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You Know You Are Living In 2005,When....

1. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

2. You have a list of 10 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

3. You e-mail the person who lives in the house next door. :)

4. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

5. You've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.

6. You learn about your redundancy on the 10 o'clock news.

7. Your boss doesn't have the ability to do your job.

8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your mobile phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

10. Leaving the house without your mobile phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

11. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

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Airline Humor

1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people, we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

2. On a Continental Flight, with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"

5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa: To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

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Duct Tape Shipping
Duct Tape Shipping

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Van Gogh's Family Tree

His dizzy aunt: Verti Gogh?

The brother who ate prunes: Gotta Gogh?

The brother who worked at a convenience store: Stop n Gogh?

The grandfather from Yugoslavia: -U Gogh?

The cousin from Illinois: Chica Gogh?

His magician uncle: Where-diddy Gogh?

His Mexican cousin: A mee Gogh?

The Mexican cousin's American half-brother: Gring Gogh?

The nephew who drove a stage coach: Wells-far Gogh?

The constipated uncle: Can't Gogh?

The ballroom dancing aunt: Tang Gogh?

The bird lover uncle: Flamin Gogh?

His nephew psychoanalyst: E Gogh?

The fruit loving cousin: Man Gogh?

An aunt who taught positive thinking: Way-to Gogh?

The little bouncy nephew: Poe Gogh?

A sister who loved disco: Go Gogh?

And his niece who travels the country in a van: Winnie Bay Gogh?

....And there ya Gogh!

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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris
  (505) 767-6735

Garneth M. Harris

Newsletter archives are available online.

Visit 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.