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A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

October 1997

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The September 1997 Meeting
2nd Annual Technology Seminar
Monthly Update from the Society of Broadcast Engineers
RFYellow Locates RF Resources on the Internet
Warning Signs Available from NAB
The SBE Book Store
1998 SBE Certificaion Exam Dates
SBE/SMPTE Job Postings
Audio and Video Engineer Certificate
Fiber Optic Talk
Insurance Available for Engineers through SBE


Are you an amateur repeater owner or trustee? For a free coverage map of your system, contact Mark Stennett at

The September Meeting

Our September gathering was a special treat, a tour of KCNC TV's facilities in Denver, where "digital" is the word! KCNC recently embarked upon a quest to convert as much of the plant to pure digital storage and delivery as possible. While it is still necessary to interface with the world of "NTSC" (and we all know what that acronym means), Channel 4 has taken that first big step toward a truly digital system throughout.

We assembled at the KCNC studios on Lincoln about 6:00 pm, and after a hearty welcome from Chief Engineer David Layne, we broke up into smaller groups, each accompanied by an engineering staff member to see the facility. We saw the new main studio with computer controlled cameras and lighting. We saw the graphics department full of high tech computer gear, all tied together through a sophisticated network. The commercials are recorded on hard drive, rather than on tape. Our tour guide told us that with the satellite hookup with CBS in New York, they know within a matter of seconds when a particular spot airs on each of their affiliates. Even the transmitter remote control in master control, or rather "Air Operations", draws a picture of the flashing tower lights on the screen! Many thanks to David and his staff for showing us around.

Following the tour, we headed for the conference room for refreshments and a talk by David Layne on the state of the TV industry. After a brief business meeting conducted by SBE chair Andre' Smith, David began his talk. David covered some interesting points during his address. For example, KCNC just made a significant investment in a brand-new analog transmitter. It is David's view that digital/high definition television will not be implemented and accepted by the viewing public before the new transmitter has been reasonably depreciated! The use of a smaller, lighter digitally equipped remote truck allows non-CDOT drivers to drive the vehicle to and from longer events coverage, saving on manpower costs.

David admits that just six months ago the digital future of KCNC, and perhaps the industry in general, was much clearer. Now, however, with different companies taking very different stances on how they will utilize the additional bandwidth, things have become much less so.

Our thanks to David, his staff and KCNC for hosting our meeting, providing the much welcomed refreshments and sharing their experiences to date with the move to digital!

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 15 at the National Digital Television center. More details can be found in this letter. See you there!

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2nd Annual Technology Seminar

Joitly Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Region Chapters: SMPTE, SCTE, SBE
Date: Wednesday - November 12, 1997
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Place: TCI's National Digital Television Center Colorado Blvd. & Dry Creek Road

The program will be transmitted on Galaxy 7 C24, DigiCypher-II channel 74, fixed key. Tapes will be made available via the SBE tape library.
Cost: No Charge to members of SMPTE, SCTE, SBE $10.00 to non-members Lunch Provided by General Instruments & IHS Communications Products
Registration: RSVP to Amy Volleberg 303-267-5113


10:00 AM Opening Address, Peter Douglas, Vice President of Broadcast Operations, National Digital Center

10:10 David Karlman, VP of New Technologies, General Instruments: "The importance of preprocessing for digital compression and what is on the digital horizon".

10:55 Break #1 Video Roll In -- NDTC tour tape

11:10 Peter Symes, Tektronix/Grass Valley "HDTV and an electro-historical perspective"

12:05 PM Lunch Provided by General Instruments & IHS Communications Products

1:00 Keynote Address: Roger Ogden, General Manager KUSA-TV Denver, Colorado: "a view of the industry and technology from the Television Station's General Manager's perspective".

1:20 Ron Beyers, TCI's lead compression and digital encoding expert: "Practical pre-compression processing techniques and practices, answering the question, just how many TV services will fit on a high speed digital data stream?"

2:05 Break: Titan Tour tape P> 2:20 Paul Depperschmidt, Faroudja Laboratories: "The state of Digital Television"

3:05 Adjournment

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Monthly Update from the Society of Brodcast Engineers

John L. Poray, CAE Executive Director


Votes were tabulated August 28, for the 1997 election of officers and board members of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Edward J. Miller, CPBE has been elected President of the Society. Ed is Engineering Manager at WEWS-TV5 in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been SBE's Vice President for the last two years. Elected Vice-President is Troy D. Pennington, CSRE. Troy is Chief Engineer at WZZK AM/FM, WODL-FM in Birmingham, Alabama. Troy has served as SBE's Treasurer the past two years. Elected Secretary is Thomas P. Weber, CPBE. Tom will be serving as an officer for the first time after three years on the Board. He is Engineering Maintenance Supervisor at WISH-TV 8 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Elected Treasurer of the Society is James "Andy" Butler, CPBE. Andy has served on the Board for two years. He is Director of Engineering for Public Broadcasting Service in Alexandria, Virginia. Terms for officers are one year. Elected to serve two year terms on the Board of Directors are: Richard L. Edwards, CPBE Coral Gables, Florida; Dane E. Ericksen, P.E., San Francisco, California; Ralph Hogan, CPBE, Boise, Idaho; Keith M. Kintner, CPBE, Los Angeles, California; Christopher H. Scherer, CBRE, Overland Park, Kansas and Larry J. Wilkins, CPBE, Montgomery, Alabama. They will join six other members of the Board who are in the middle of their two-year terms. They are: Raymond Benedict, CPBE, Washington, D.C.; Leonard J. Charles, CPBE, Madison, Wisconsin; Robert P. Hess, CPBE, Boston, Massachusetts; Christopher Hudgins, CSRE, Dallas, Texas and Jerry W. Nichols, CSTE, Eugene, Oregon. Outgoing President, Terrence M. Baun, CPBE, will continue to serve on the Board as Immediate Past President. The new officers and board members will be inducted and begin their terms during the SBE Annual Membership Meeting, September 26, in Syracuse, New York.

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RFYellow Locates RF Resources on the Internet

RFYellow is a new Internet search engine for locating products and services for everyone who needs information about the radio communications industry. RFYellow can help you locate web sites and send email directly to these companies. You can search on key words to locate specific types of rf products, services or specifice companies on the Internet. In addition there are listings and links to industry trade shows, radio communication organizations, regulatory agencies and access to read on-line radio industry related magazines. There is no cost to access RFYellow. More detailed information and banner adds can also be provided. Check it out at

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Warning Signs Available from NAB

You may have received a mailing recently from NAB about their high voltage and RF warning signs. Take a close look at the pricing details, and you'll see that the prices apply to both members of the NAB and the SBE!

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The SBE Book Store

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, in conjunction with CRC Press, Inc., McGraw-Hill Professional Book Group, Focal Press, Prentice Hall, and other publishers have made it possible for SBE members to purchase the best industry resources at up to 20% off the retail price. This collection of books is authored by the most outstanding group of experts in the industry. Following is a sample list of some of the fine publications available to SBE members.

Audio Measurement Handbook
A Handbook of Circuit Mathematics for Technical Engineers
Interconnecting Electronic Systems
AC Power Systems Handbook
Pocket Book of Integrals and Mathematical Formulas
Microphones: Technology and Technique
Maintaining Electronic Systems
Fiber Optic Communications
The Mobile Communications Handbook
The Electronics Handbook
The Electrical Engineering Handbook
Broadcast Transmission Engineering Practice
Television & Video Engineer's Pocket Book, 2nd Edition
An Introduction to Digital Audio

For more information, go to the SBE Web Site at WWW.SBE.ORG, or contact Teresa Ransdell at the SBE national office at (317) 253-1640.

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Plan now to become SBE Certified and receive the recognition you have earned in your profession. Register today to take a SBE Certification Exam. Exam dates for 1998 have been released. For more information about SBE Certification, see your Chapter Certification Chairman or contact Linda Godby- Emerick, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640.

April 7, 1998 at the NAB Convention - Las Vegas
Application Deadline: February 20, 1998

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SBE/SMPTE Job Postings

As a service to Rocky Mountain regional SBE/SMPTE members, technical and production oriented job postings are published at no charge.

Please send postings to:

Rome Chelsi
IHS Communications Products
15 Inverness Way East
Englewood, CO 80112-5776
Fax: (303)486-1700

KSL TV & Radio, Salt Lake City, have numerous positions available, call the job line at (801) 575-5780

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Earlier this year, the SBE announced the creation of new certification programs for Audio and Video Engineers. These are five year level programs (require five years experience) and require an exam. The exam is similar to the broadcast engineer exam but does not include any RF or FCC-related questions and concentrates only on audio or video engineering. The Audio and Video Engineering exams are given during the same bi-yearly periods as SBE's other certification exams.

If you are interested, call the SBE National Office at (317) 253-1640 and request information about either the Certified Engineer/Audio or Certified Engineer/Video programs.

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Fiber Optic Talk

Chapter 18, Philadelphia

Boy! We saw a lot of different faces for Rik Berkbigler's talk on Fiber Optics, a subject which his company, ADC Telecommunications, knows quite a bit about. Rik discussed the history of fiber optics, going back into the 1800s. Was it 1859? And how it has blossomed since the 1970s to the significant growth of today.

In his chat, Rik brought out a few facts such as the difference between multi- mode and single mode fiber. Single-mode is about 1/9 the diameter of multi- mode and both are finer than a human hair. Single-mode cost about 10% more but is a better carrier. Since Fiber is so fragile, it must be protected by Cladding, and a cover that protect the cladding. When installing fiber great care must be exercised to prevent kinks or even small breaks, ant departure from smooth bends could affect the signal. Another fact noted by Rik is that the entire RF spectrum can be carried on just one fiber optic cable, with room to spare for more information.

The highlight of the evening was when Rik. who is a technologist, sat down and installed a connector on the end of a fiber. Total time about 15 minutes. Expect to spend about an hour your first time and don't be surprised if you blow it and have to redo it if you are not careful. Final inspection is looking through a magnifier at the end of the connector, looking for smoothness and lack of crack in the fiber.

(Ed note: Rick Cabalka, also of ADC presented a similar program to Chapter 48 last August.)

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Insurance Available for Engineers Through SBE

PROinsure is your association's sponsored Professional Liability "Errors and Omissions" insurance program that provides profession-specific tailored coverage for its participating members. PROinsure was developed in response to a lack of profession-specific protection for professionals who are increasingly threatened by professional liability litigation. Professional Liability coverage is not provided by a Commercial General Liability policy, and Miscellaneous Professional Liability policies may not necessarily provide adequate coverage for a professional's services' risk exposures. Because PROinsure is a profession-specific developed program, association members' professional risks are properly priced and covered.

Unlike Miscellaneous Professional Liability policy forms, which provide generic coverage and may even exclude an insured's professional activities, PROinsure designs coverage that is tailored to a profession.

PROinsure is affordable because insureds are actuarially grouped within their own profession, instead of being grouped with other insureds from unrelated professions.

In the event of a claim, the insured may continue conducting business because coverage provides legal defense. If damages are awarded to the plaintiff, there is coverage available up to the stated policy limits.

Contact the SBE National office at (317) 253-1640 for complete information.

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Society of Broadcast Engineers
Chapter 48

2950 South Birch Street
Denver, Colorado 80222

SBE Officers

Andre' Smith (303) 871-4204

Eric Schultz (303) 486-3872

Bill Harris (303) 756-4843

Certification Chairman
Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

SMPTE Officers

Fred Baumgartner (303) 486-3946

Rick Craddock (719) 634-2844

Myron Olinger
Dick Phannenstiel
George Sollenberger

SMPTE Govenor (National Liason)
Rome Chelsi

Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris.......(303)756-4843 email:
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)871-4204 email:

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Society, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE & 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 chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE Newsletter.