CONTENTS

Return to Archives

Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Random Radio Thoughts

Certification Exam Dates

Print Tower Saftey Posters

Clay's Corner

Wireless Spectrum Auction

The Local Oscillator

The YXZ Report

Travels With Fred September

Travels With Fred October

Amateur Radio News

For Tower Guys

Humor

Etc.

 

October, 2006

SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Date: Monday, September 11, 2006
Location: Colorado Public Radio
Attendees: 29

First Presentation: The Disappearing RF Spectrum and it's Impact on Wireless Microphones for Broadcasters

Volker Schmitt provided us with an in depth discussion of issues confronting wireless microphone users due to the FCC stance on unlicensed devices. Voleker is an experienced professional in the realm of RF wireless. As Director of the Professional Wireless Development Team at Sennheiser’s corporate headquarters in Wennebostel, Germany, he spearheaded the creation of Sennheiser’s most successful and innovative wireless product lines including the evolution series and the 3000 & 5000 series wireless products. Schmitt recently made the move to Sennheiser’s U.S. headquarters as Senior Engineer for wireless equipment. Within the past year he has worked behind-the-scenes at live concerts of Sennheiser-endorsed artists, quickly solving RF dilemmas and providing the artists’ sound crews with a wealth of technical tips and know-how. Before joining Sennheiser, Schmitt worked for over 10 years at Matsushita developing video and audio products. Schmitt earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, specializing in RF and Communication.

Second Presentation: Samuel Lee provided us with a demonstration and discussion of test and measurments in the 2 GHz range.

We wish to thank Bob Hensler of Colorado Public Radio for the use of the facility.


Volker Schmitt & Antenna for Wireless

 

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Dallas
I had the privilege of attending the NAB Radio Show in Dallas last month. It’s always interesting how I see and talk to more Front Range engineering people at out-of-town events such as this one than I do during the course of a year right here at home! Sometimes I think that if it weren’t for the spring and fall NAB conventions, I would never see quite a few of you!

There wasn’t a whole lot new at the fall show, but I did see a couple of things. One was BE’s line of high-power tube-type FM linearized transmitters, the FMi T series. Like Continental, BE has modified its high-power line to pass HD-R up to 25 kW FM+HD. BE says that the PAs are still biased class C so they retain a good bit of their efficiency (55% overall). That gives broadcasters some real options for HD-R, particularly those of us who need higher TPOs to make ERP and who don’t have antenna options on the tower. A lot of such stations are doing high-level combining right now, taking the 10-11% hit in analog system loss plus the 90% loss in the digital system. For a nominal 25 kW TPO, that amounts to a total of 4.75 kW of direct RF losses, all of which is gone with an FM+HD low-level combined transmitter.

Another BE innovation at the show was the integral AEROMAX-HD2SC processing in its IDi-20 importer. That is a cool approach to processing an HD-2 signal, but I’ve got news for BE: quite a few of us have been doing this all along! Even here along the Front Range there are stations using the Orban Optimod PC1100 in their importers, replacing the importer audio card with this PCI card-based processor. Crawford has been doing it from day one of its HD-2 operations in several markets with excellent results. Still, it makes a lot of sense for the manufacturer to offer this as a factory-supplied configuration, so good for BE for giving us the option.

Harris introduced a new analog FM exciter, the MicroMax, specifically targeting smaller market stations that want a quality exciter without all the bells and whistles of feature-rich high-priced units. The MicroMax soaks up only 1RU and provides 30 watts of drive.

All the usual suspects were also present at the fall show, including transmitter, console and automation manufacturers. The exhibit hall was small and the exhibit hours were short, but I thought it was adequate. The only complaint I had was that the low, highly-reflective ceiling made the exhibit hall a noisy place.

There were some good workshops including a BE-sponsored HD Radio workshop and a digital radio measurement workshop. All in all, it was worth attending, that is if one could stand the humidity of North Texas. I spent 20 years in Dallas/Fort Worth and never did get used to it. A couple of days at the fall show reminded me how glad I am I live in Colorado!

New HD Radios
A number of new HD Radio consumer radios are slated to come on the market soon, according to iBiquity's Bob Struble. These are:

  • Polk Audio's I-Sonic compact tabletop all-digital entertainment system, available now. I talked to one ABC engineer at the show who said the unit he purchased had to be returned because of repeated lock-ups. Sounds familiar.
  • Radio Shack's Accurian tabletop radios, available this month (expected to retail for $199)
  • Cambridge SoundWorks new table radio (820HD) and a component HD Radio™ tuner (850HD), both available this winter
  • Sangean's new tabletop radio (HDR-1) and a component tuner (HDT-1), both available this winter
  • Niles Audio's AM/FM tuner with HD Radio™ card for its IntelliControl ICS (Integrated Control Solutions) multi-room audio system, available later this year

iBiquity also announced its HD Radio Promotions initiative, which features three special-offer HD-R receivers. These units are being made available to HD-R stations for $99 each for give-aways. These units are also scheduled to be in stores this fall:

  • Table-top radio by Directed Electronics, a 3-piece radio with two detached speakers that comes with external AM and FM antennas (MSRP $249)
  • Car-connected adaptor by Directed Electronics, a "hideaway box" that connects to the car's current radio receiver using an RF cable or (if available) an auxiliary audio input, with a small controller suitable for placing on the dash or other flat surface within the vehicle (MSRP $199)
  • HDT-1 tuner from Sangean, a 17"-wide component tuner that will connect to an existing home audio system via line-level auxiliary input (MSRP $299)


The Holdup
Another HD-R item of interest from the Radio Show is from the FCC. One commissioner said that the FCC has “…had agreement for some time on the technical rules – like multicasting and night digital for AM – with a ruling imminent.” Evidently what remains unresolved is what the public service requirements should be for multicast channels. Evidently some commissioners feel like they got “hoodwinked” on these issues with respect to digital TV and they don’t want a repeat with digital radio. For better or for worse, I wish the FCC would figure this out and get on with it!

Day Sequerra M2 Update
Last month I mentioned the Day Sequerra M2 HD-R modulation monitor. A lot has happened since then with respect to this piece of equipment. We (CBC) have found that while the M2 indicates carrier modulation correctly with tone modulation, there is a big discrepancy with program modulation. Put an M2 up against a Belar AMM-2, Inovonics 520 or other calibrated monitor under program modulation and you’ll find that the M2 reads 15-25% lower on average.

I have worked closely with David Day of DS and he has been very responsive. The issue is that the M2 employed a one-second time integration. What it should have is more like 10 mS. DS is now shipping M2s with 10 mS integration and claims good agreement with existing analog monitors.

DS also found a defect in some of its circuit boards, an issue with through-plating. A recall was issued for certain serial numbers, and DS turned the units around very quickly. The symptom was frequent lockups of some or all of the features.

We’re awaiting return of our first M2 so we can evaluate it. We expect a big improvement over earlier performance.

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at crisa@crawfordbroadcasting.com. See you at the Audio Boot Camp on October 12!

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CERTIFICATION EXAM SESSION DATES:

The SBE National Certification Committee has announced exam session dates. Check the list below for the exam period that is best for you. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chair or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000, or mclappe@sbe.org

Click here for more information about SBE Certification.

Fees are as follows:


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PRINT YOUR OWN NATE TOWER SAFETY CAMPAIGN POSTERS

By Vicki W. Kipp
Thanks to Chapter 24 - Madison

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has developed six different tower safety posters which are available for download and self-printing from their website at www.natehome.com.

There is a link on NATE’s home page to the "Safety From the Ground Up" poster page at http://www.natehome.com/MemberBenefitsServices/SafetyandEducation/SafetyPosters.cfm. These posters were also distributed to subscribers of NATE’s monthly magazine, Tower Times.

NATE quickly reacted to the alarming number of tower work tragedies that have occurred in 2006 by creating a series of six posters to remind those who work at tower sites of safety rules. The series includes messages of:

Safety First
" Safety first. Safety always."

100% Tie-Off
" 100% Tie-Off. Your Life Depends on it!"

Who’s Responsible?
" Who is Responsible for Safety on Tower Sites?
( Carriers, General Contractors, Project Managers, Employers, Tower Climbers) Everyone!"

Are You Trained?
" Are You Trained? Your Life Depends On It!"

Equipment Inspection
" Equipment Inspection: Your Life Depends On It!"

Hazard Identification
" Hazard Identification: Your Life Depends On It!"

Underneath the headline, each poster displays the message, "NATE reminds the industry to work together to make sure all tower climbers are going home safely at the end of the day. Are you doing your part?" A captivating tower photo is featured on each poster.

Once downloaded from NATE’s web site, the color posters can be opened and printed from Adobe Acrobat Reader. The poster .PDFs are sized to print on a standard 8.5" X 11" piece of letter paper. Some tower sites have chosen to laminate their NATE posters so that they can display the poster directly on their towers.

NATE's motto, "Safety From the Ground Up" is backed by NATE's continuing efforts to provide members with new and updated safety and educational materials.

If you have questions about NATE’s Tower Safety Campaign, please contact Jodi at jodi@natehome.com.

 

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Clay's Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

As I write this the good news is that the rains have finally come. Certainly we have had a wonderful summer with the least amount of rain in 50 years…but with over 350,000 acres of our state burned…enough is enough.

This is my travel season with about 50% of the rest of the year spent out of town…I’m about to head out to Rochester NY and then to Verona where I will be involved with the fall SBE events which consists of a meeting of the Board, several committee’s and the induction of the new officers. The recent elections brought back to the BOD several that have served in the past and one new face…That being Chris Tarr who is DOE of Entercom’s clusters in Madison and Milwaukee, Wi. Of course I will continue in my position as VP.

A big thank you to Michael Goodman and the crew at KCPQ etc for hosting the recent Taste of NAB with Larry Broomfield. Over 30 turned out and a good time was had by all.

We have some very interesting meetings lined up this fall.-

October’s meeting will include a tour of the King County Emergency Operations Center in Renton. Take my word for it…this is a very cool, state of the art, facility. When you are there be sure and note the pre-planning that has gone into the media center by some of our local TV stations. Perhaps one of you guys that are familiar with this installation can be on hand to explain the TV Broadcasting equipment installed there. Plans are to meet at a local restaurant and then go see the place.

In September we will be hearing about audio consoles from Wheatstone. This firm has become one of the largest makers of audio consoles for radio and TV…should be very cool.

In December we will again be having a tour…This time to the National Weather Service office at Sand Point. Here you will get to see the facility that generates our weather forecasts…and see the tools that they use to do so. While we are there, you will be

able to see how we have integrated NWR with the EAS. Tornado Ted Buehner will be our host. We will be having lunch in the NOAA Cafeteria with a fantastic view of Lake Washington. Whereas this is a federal facility we will need to have an RSVP system in place so the folks at the gate will know who is coming.

As tis said – In other news ….

Seattle has recently been ranked #2 in the country in a ranking of technology hubs. #1 is Raleigh-Durham, NC. #3 is Denver.

Comcast is going to add 8 CBS primetime programs to their list of on-demand choices for cable customers….Meanwhile AT&T is offering its broad-band DSL subscribers a new service where they can watch live cable TV channels on any computer connected to the Internet for 20 bucks a month. Not everyone appears to be excited over this idea however….what is interesting to watch is the fact that there is a growing blur as to who supplies what. Cable is providing telephones and internet in addition to TV channels….meanwhile the traditional wire-line providers are ramping up their offeringsThe New York Times is getting out of the TV station ownership business, selling 9 stations. Sign of the times? None of the stations are in the PNW. One thing is for sure…Our love for football – ESPN paid 8.8 and NBC 3.6 Billion bucks for rights to broadcast the game. Apple and now Microsoft with their new Zune are joining the cellular industry in getting video content into your hand-held something…..Notice a trend here?

Local Surround Sound firm, Neural, announced that an FM station in Cincinnati has chosen their system for their FM and HD channels.

Gotta wonder about Satellite radio….There’s the radiating converters that got the FCC’s attention…and now word that the SEC is looking into some of their methods. I have no doubt that there is a place for Sat-Radio…it just might be growing pains.

Congratulations to Bob Robertson who has been doing sports around here longer than probably anyone. At 77 Bob is in his 40th year. Gee I can remember Bob at KTNT in Tacoma….uh….duh….could it be because I have been doing the same thing in this market for 45 years? Interesting the reactions you get when I tell someone that little fact. It usually brings up the topic of retirement.

Have you been watching Mt St Helens re-growth? The USGS Web Site is one of my favorites….since the start of the most recent eruption phase a couple of years ago that big crater has been slowing filling with new material. The latest lava-dome is a high as the Empire State Building and contains over 1,000,000 cu yards of material. Check out the that site…and note the thermal images…Hot stuff !

In the UK its hard to find an analog AM or FM radio with that country making the change to digital. This is not the same digital being rolled out in this country but rather digital only on a separate band. Meanwhile the Ibiquity HD-Radio system appears to be just about to take off in many other countries…

Another wrinkle in the world of Radio …The testing of Digital Sub-carriers on analog FM’s. From what I have been reading, the system works quite well and could extend the life of analog FM if it proves to be a viable means of program delivery.

For those of you that have become curious about the new program offerings via multicasting HD Radio stations…and have not yet purchased an HD Radio…another option is on the way…..A converter that will receive the HD signals and ship them into your car radio. This takes me back to 1963 when I had an FM-converter. Back then it was a novelty to be able to drive around and listen to FM….Yes folks cars did not come with FM radios and for several years you could not buy one in a vehicle.

The other day we had a failure of a piece of equipment that caused me to stop and think that we have 3 program and 3 digital elements now be transmitted – per FM station..and in some cases (considering FM sub-carriers) even more. Wow how times have changed.

Radio and TV stations are slowing coming around to the understanding that to survive we have to become ‘ content providers’ (Audio and Video) and not just be focused on what we send to the transmitter. TV is ahead of radio in the area where what gets transmitted is becoming a smaller percentage all the time. An example of this is what Clear Channel is doing where they have a new deal with Cingular where CCR is a

Content provider.

One place the growth of the internet has not taken off is in the air. Boeing has announced that they are going to pull the plug on the Connexion by Boeing system…According to Boeing – The market just was not there.

The FCC has been busy enforcing….In one case to the tune of 14Grand against a company that was selling unauthorized FM transmitters on a web-site. The outfit that got the fine complained that the FCC used a ‘secret shopper’. This is not the first time I’ve heard of this tactic….reportedly its also been done to nab those that try to get – for free satellite and cable TV via the use of magazine ads…..Those sneaky feds.

Wonder where those bucks paid to cable providers goes…well it not all to pay for content.….consider the fact the three largest cable firms have offered more than 2.3 billion-bucks for new wireless spectrum. The goal here is to again supply content to wireless data devices. Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are all in this game as well.

This item came to our attention from Jerry Massey in Greenville, SC. Apparently a fellow there died while trying to steel power lines. They found the victims body, a fallen power pole, a saw, wire strippers and other tools. A similar thing took place a while back in Fife, near Tacoma, where a fellow was attempting to steal those nice copper power lines for scrap value…only to learn (too late) that they were energized.

Who is going to be doing ratings for radio in the future? The change to multicasting has forced out the old diary system and created an apparent vacuum that a number of major players are looking to fill. One of the names mentioned – Neilson.

Interesting to see the makers of transmitters continue to come up with new schemes for doing AM. BE recently introduced an entirely new method of generating radios – first mode. Now its been announced they have sold a 100Kw model to a firm in Angola. In a similar vein….There were a lot of raised eyebrows when Continental announced their new HD transmitter was running a (horrors) a vacuum tube. It gave me a nice warm feeling to learn that Harris and BE were going to do the same. New AM transmitter designs and new used for tubes….gee these things are not supposed to happen.

Congratulations to Lowell Kiesow and Nick Winter of KPLU for getting their latest station on the air…KPLI in Olympia. Look for pictures of the installation in the Chapter 16 web-site.

That’s it for this time…..Til next month –

Clay, CPBE, K7CR

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WIRELESS CARRIERS APPARENT WINNERS IN SPECTRUM AUCTION

Chapter 124 – Portland

The largest spectrum auction in U.S. history has been in progress for the last couple of weeks. Some of this spectrum was reallocated from broadcasters.

After an initial foray into the fight, DBS providers Echostar and DirecTV have pulled out. Their joint venture was said to be to provide high-speed broadband communications. The apparent winners will be the otherwise already established big wireless companies, Verizon, Cingular, and T-Mobile. Basically, hoarding spectrum for future uses and preventing any new entrants into the market that would drive down rates. A joint venture by Time Warner and Comcast will also win some spectrum which is expected to be used for wireless data networks, not voice.

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The September issue of The Local Oscillator

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

The engineers at Crawford Broadcasting contribute to a company newsletter that is always interesting reading. The September issue of The Local Oscillator is hot off the virtual presses and available for online viewing at:
http://www.crawfordbroadcasting.com/~cbc/Local_Oscillator/September%202006%20Local%20Oscillator.pdf

 

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THE YXZ REPORT

by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
Co-Chair, Portland/Vancouver ECC
Chapter 124 Secretary
watercooled at sbe124.org

OLD TRANSMITTER RESCUE
You may have clicked on my "Old Transmitter Rescue" link at www.sbe124.org and have seen folks have done to save some old AM transmitters from a scrap- metal fate. On August 3rd, Ernie Hopseker and my wife Patti and I helped Randy Pugsley rescue an RCA BTA-1M that was once on the air at 1490 KBZY Salem. This model has the articulated sliding access doors on the front and back. Randy was KBZY's Chief Engineer for four years in the 70's when this was the backup transmitter. Their transmitter site lease expired and contract engineer John Mackey had already moved their most-current 1 kW transmitter to a temporary site across the street from the Salem Airport, and the station was to move their Bauer 707 backup there too. In the old building were also 30 years of maintenance logs, some with the signatures of Randy, Ernie Hopseker, James Boyd, and Gary Hilliard. We also rescued two vintage RCA racks with RCA mod and frequency monitors, and the Gates Antenna Tuning Unit. Pictures and story at http://www.sbe124.org/old_xmtr_rescue/KBZY_RCA_BTA-1M .

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

The www.radiosophy.com site says the following about their $269 table radio: "8/15/06 Update: There are still a few software issues to address but we are in the final stages before certification of the radio begins. Once certification is complete, manufacturing will begin. The manufacturing process will take several weeks. The next posted message will be when manufacturing has started. We'll then be able to give you a more accurate ship date. Thanks for being so patient. It's our objective to deliver a quality product to you. We're getting closer to that goal."

Meanwhile, Polk Audio is shipping their tabletop $599 I-Sonic HD Radio that has multicasting capability, a DVD player, and an XM receiver.

OUR KIND OF COMMERCIAL
Check out the video at http://www.pockethercules.com/broadcast_detail16.html . Do not cloud your mind with thoughts of OSHA, or why they didn't use the ladder.

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Travels with Fred - NY
September 2006

Fred Baumgartner
Director of Broadcast Engineering – MediaFLO USA
Featuring News, Rumors and Views From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources



Every now and then, it’s kind of fun to abuse the technology. Back in May of aught-6, we had a few moments before anyone was looking to hook up an original pong game, and a surprisingly large number of pieces of gear, including a Leitch/Harris X-75 synchronizer, an Evertz MVP multiviewer, and the displays are Clarity Puma’s. Something old, something new… something cheap and something rather expensive. The balding guys are me and John Bunton from DSI (system’s integrators) on the left and our first local hire to the engineering team, Derrik Cullison, previously from KFMB.

The feat was inspired by one of the integrators, who hooked up a Gamebox to the super-sized screen at a major league ball park… wouldn’t have been to much of a problem, except the speakers in the parking area were still on. Hence, we’ll leave names and pictures out of the story. I’ll have to give it to him… he used a wireless video transmitter so he could stand on the pitchers mound…



In all seriousness, this whole thing is about mobile television. Above is a “Form Factor Accurate” prototype used for testing. At about $7500 each, it will not be a production item… but then again, I’m seeing the Samsung and LG video phones on the market.

And I’ll leave you with this from our Nashville transmitter site… antenna installation day. Denver has one operating from the Quest Building downtown on UHF TV 55.

 

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Travels with Fred - W1AW
October 2006

Fred Baumgartner


Amateur radio operators, in particular those who join the American Radio Relay League (if for no other reason than to get a subscription to QST Magazine), or develop some sense of radio history, aspire to one day visit and maybe even operate W1AW in Newington, Connecticut.

For the last five years, the Boston chapter of the SBE has put on a show they call “BosCon” and Ennes has rolled out its next year traveling road show program here. Hence, the 2007 Ennes season started here, and I get to go to these things as I have some small role in setting up the program… which is pretty good year thanks to the dozen or so presenters who volunteered for the grueling cross-country schedule. The rest of the year’s schedule is being set, but if you get near an Ennes session, you might want to sign up for the day long program.

By East coast standards, it is a hike from Boston to Newington. By Western standards, it’s not as far as WWV is from KOA. I had enough time the day after the show (my birthday I might add) to hit the ARRL headquarters when it opened at 10:00 AM, spend 30-minutes, and make the plane back at Logan. Above is me… making my only contact this year… pretty ugly contact actually… but a contact is a contact.


The above is a portion of the ARRL laboratories. This whole place is in a residential neighborhood, they are working on the towers, and the town is pretty tiny and very New England. They have a small gift shop, with radio type gifts… you get the idea.

There is one other thing you might be interested in… the Woff-fong. Silliness I’m sure… but lore has it that it possesses some magic powers…


No real magic me thinks, but they have a mirror behind it, so you wind up with a photo that looks like this, and the ghostly image is Steve Ford, explaining that 80% of submissions don’t make the magazine, so I shouldn’t be too disappointed (and that would be correct, they have rejected exactly 80% of my submissions so far). BTW, some believe the Woff-fong is just a piece of junk that came off some farm machine a hundred years ago. Lore is lore.

Now, this whole place is about founding father, Hiram Percy Maxim. Mr. Maxim does have a small display in the museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton too, as he was one of those guys who made an airplane that almost, but didn’t quite fly. The part few talk about is that Hiram’s son is the inventor of the muffler. He invented it making a silencer for his dad’s machine guns. Yes, Mr. Maxim’s fortune, allowing him to be the father of amateur radio, came from the invention and royalties on the Maxim Machine Gun. This isn’t a minor thing… the weapon revolutionized warfare. It was the Weapon of Mass Destruction of its time, that being 1885. At one point, 50 British soldiers dispatched 5,000 African natives in one “battle.”

BTW, the deal with the ARRL, is that in those days, radio didn’t go too far. The radio relay league allowed messages to be passed from one station to another, and that’s how I wound up chatting with some guy in Oklahoma and getting my name in the W1AW log book of guest operators.

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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
From Chapter 24

• September was US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Preparedness Month, and Saturday, September 16, was Amateur Radio Awareness Day. For the third straight year, the American Radio Relay League and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups across the US joined a coalition of more than 200 national, regional, state and local organizations taking part in Preparedness Month activities. ARES is a partner with DHS through the Citizen Corps program.

ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, says local ARES groups and clubs will be making presentations to civic organizations, at schools and at regional fairs to showcase Amateur Radio. To highlight Amateur Radio Awareness Day, ARRL public information officers (PIOs) will promote the DHS’s "30 Tips for Emergency Preparedness" to attract news media coverage.

ARRL Public Service Team Manager Steve Ewald, WV1X, notes that the underlying theme of National Preparedness Month is to encourage everyone to be aware of and prepare for emergencies all year long. "Amateur Radio operators, led by ARRL Field Organization leaders across the country, are encouraged to consider this year’s ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) –as well as all preparations and post-SET evaluations– as a demonstration of your participation in National Preparedness Month," Ewald said. The target weekend for the 2006 SET is October 7-8.

• The recent appearance on the sun of two so-called "backward sunspots" may mean solar Cycle 23 is drawing to a close and Cycle 24 now is under way or soon will be. At least that’s the thinking of some scientists.

" We’ve been waiting for this," said Solar Physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, after the first backward spot showed up. "A backward sunspot is a sign that the next solar cycle is beginning." The term "backward" refers to the sunspots’ magnetic polarity. One such sunspot appeared briefly July 31, then disappeared, but its significance was that its magnetic polarity was just the opposite of current Cycle 23 spots. Another more robust backward spot, Sunspot 905, appeared in late August – although it subsequently began to dissipate – and some sungazers are saying Cycle 24 already has begun.

" Eventually there will be more of the new reversed sunspots than old ones from Cycle 23, and that occurrence is one way to mark the beginning of the next sunspot cycle," he said. Ionospheric radio conditions will not improve any time soon but over a period of several years of the course of the 11-year cycle, perhaps peaking around 2010.

Sunspot observations have been made since the invention of the telescope around 1610, but interest declined when sunspots almost disappeared between 1645 and 1715. After regular patterns in solar activity were discovered in the mid-1840s, Swiss astronomer Rudolf Wolf dubbed the 1755-1766 sunspot cycle as "Cycle 1." Amateur radio operators have followed the interaction between solar activity and long-range radio propagation since around 1930.

(Excerpts from the Amercian Radio Relay Leage web site, www.arrl.org, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR.edu) and NASA.gov)

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Coke Commercial for Tower Guys

Fred Baumgartner provides a little engineering
entertainment for us this month!

I think I know this guy…

http://www.pockethercules.com/broadcast_detail16.html

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Humor

DEEP OBSERVATIONS ON LIFE

WILL THE REAL DUMMY PLEASE STAND UP?
AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months , saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it's not Walter who's lacking intelligence.

WHAT WAS PLAN B???
An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.

DID I SAY THAT???
Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn't control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: "Give me all your money or I'll shoot", the man shouted, "That's not what I said!".

ARE WE COMMUNICATING???
A man spoke frantically into the phone: "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart". "Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No!" the man shouted, "This is her husband!"

NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED!
In Modesto , CA , Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun. Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. (hellooooooo)!

 

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Etc.

Newsletter Committee

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

Garneth M. Harris

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.


Total:  <% 'Dimension variables Dim fsoTotal 'File System Object Dim tsTotal 'Text Stream Object Dim filTotal 'File Object Dim lngVisitorNumberTotal 'Holds the visitor number 'Create a File System Object variable Set fsoTotal = Server.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") 'Initialise a File Object with the path and name of text file to open Set filTotal = fsoTotal.GetFile(Server.MapPath("hits_news.dat")) 'Open the visitor counter text file Set tsTotal = filTotal.OpenAsTextStream 'Read in the visitor number from the visitor counter file lngVisitorNumberTotal = CLng(tsTotal.ReadAll) 'Increment the visitor counter number by 1 lngVisitorNumberTotal = lngVisitorNumberTotal + 1 'Create a new visitor counter text file over writing the previous one Set tsTotal = fsoTotal.CreateTextFile(Server.MapPath("hits_news.dat")) 'Write the new visitor number to the text file tsTotal.Write CStr(lngVisitorNumberTotal) 'Reset server objects Set fsoTotal = Nothing Set tsTotal = Nothing Set filTotal = Nothing 'Display the hit count as text Response.Write(lngVisitorNumberTotal) %>

Month:  <% 'Dimension variables Dim fsoMonth 'File System Object Dim tsMonth 'Text Stream Object Dim filMonth 'File Object Dim lngVisitorNumberMonth 'Holds the visitor number 'Create a File System Object variable Set fsoMonth = Server.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") 'Initialise a File Object with the path and name of text file to open Set filMonth = fsoMonth.GetFile(Server.MapPath("hits_mon.dat")) 'Open the visitor counter text file Set tsMonth = filMonth.OpenAsTextStream 'Read in the visitor number from the visitor counter file lngVisitorNumberMonth = CLng(tsMonth.ReadAll) 'Increment the visitor counter number by 1 lngVisitorNumberMonth = lngVisitorNumberMonth + 1 'Create a new visitor counter text file over writing the previous one Set tsMonth = fsoMonth.CreateTextFile(Server.MapPath("hits_mon.dat")) 'Write the new visitor number to the text file tsMonth.Write CStr(lngVisitorNumberMonth) 'Reset server objects Set fsoMonth = Nothing Set tsMonth = Nothing Set filMonth = Nothing 'Display the hit count as text Response.Write(lngVisitorNumberMonth) %>