Denver SBE Chapter 48 and Rocky Mountain SMPTE Hold Second Boot Camp
Meeting: IT Boot Camp all day technical seminar
The Rocky Mountain section and Denver SBE Chapter 48 held a second in its annual series of Boot Camps on Sept. 28, 2005. This year's theme was IT for Broadcast, aptly titled IT Boot Camp. In 2004 the section held an all day seminar called HD boot camp.
On each occasion, the format and material presented have been well received by membership. This year's session was held in conjunction with the VidXpo Broadcast Trade Show in Denver, CO.
The sessions were highlighted by a keynote address from Brad Gilmer of Broadcast Engineering Magazine. Brad provided the attendees with a terrific overview of IT evolution and in-depth presentation on Video and Audio Transport. Trent Hein of Applied Trust Engineering, a network security consultancy, provided insight into TCP/IP, Ethernet, and Real-World Networking Case Studies. Additional presentations were provided by Kirk Harnak of Telos: Audio over IP; John Pallett of Telestream: IT workflows in Broadcasting; Jeff Esposito and Vince Jacimsak of Front Porch Digital: Trends in Network Storage; Shane Brown of DigiTekS: Advances in IP switching; and Scott Barella of the Burst Group provided insight into future trends for Broadcasters. Jim Schoedler, Chapter Chairman for SBE Chapter 48 moderated the sessions and provided a nuts-and-bolts presentation on "Cabling Do's and Don'ts."
We wish to thank our sponsors who's generous financial support made the program possible: David Deils of Miranda Corporation; John Switzer of Sony Corporation; Jim Schoedler of Rocky Mtn. PBS, Brad Torr of Leitch Corporation; Rome Chelsi & Lyle Kaufman of Avid Corporation.; Steve Peck from Ross Video; and Broadcast Engineering Magazine for underwriting Brad Gilmer's visit.
Random Radio Thoughts
A Changing Landscape
On the AM band, we have:
That's a significant representation. If the price would come down some, that number of available HD Radio signals would make it worthwhile for a lot of folks to purchase HD Radio tuners.
Crawford plans to add HD Radio on KLDC (810) in the next couple of months (let us get through this DA project first!), and we're working on it in Colorado Springs at KCMN as well.
Another recent change to the Denver radio spectrum is the fire up of KSIR-FM from Bennett. KSIR was a class A licensed to Brush but with move-in possibilities. A lot of folks looked at it over the years, and the former owner put a booster up in Hudson to try and get some signal into the Denver market. He had limited success, and the station was never competitive. The signal from the new 2,000-foot tower, which is about 15 miles northwest of Last Chance, is doing a fair job with the east side of Denver metro. I haven't given it a listen west of the central valley, but I'll bet that shadowing from downtown buildings combined with reflections from the foothills will make for some areas of rough copy.
A DA Story
On that same day, the new phasing and coupling system arrived from Kintronics, so Ed Dulaney and his crew were ready with a forklift to extract the old phasor and two old transmitters from the transmitter building and set the new phasor and ATUs in place. The rest of that week was spent connecting everything, and by Friday the 28th, the daytime directional pattern had been "roughed in."
At the time of this writing (Nov. 2), Ed, Keith and Paul are focusing on the ND walk-in measurements. They should have those wrapped up shortly and begin with the ND far-field measurements. DA tuning is scheduled to start November 7.
Ed is always looking for help with this and other projects, so if you have some time and want to make a few bucks on the side, give Ed a call at (303) 433-5500.
Read all about it at:
If you have news you would like to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustaining Member Profile: Geckocom
Geckocom is now providing emergency power systems. We are dealing with Triton power generation systems that provide quality components at a fraction of the cost of the local dealers. We just completed the installation of a 350kW system at the KXKL/KRMT/Mt. Chief site. We can deliver everything from the generator to a complete turn-key system. Please see our listing on the SMPTE/Chapter 48 Web site.
Aloha, Ken Wooley
All The News About Certification
This month we are covering the Certification level of Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE).
The candidate for Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer must have at least twenty (20) years of professional broadcast engineering or related technologies experience in radio and/or television, exclusive of any educational credit. Because the CPBE requires twenty years of professional experience in broadcast engineering, educational credits will not be counted toward that total. CPBE candidates must verify 20 years of compensated professional experience excluding educational credits. The candidate must presently be certified on the Senior Broadcast Engineer level unless registered as a State Professional Electrical Engineer. The candidate must submit evidence satisfactory to the Committee that he or she has the appropriate engineering background, experience and training. The candidate must demonstrate a degree of knowledge and participation in one or more of (but not limited to) the following:
A state registered Professional Engineer's license will count as four (4) years. However, if you are a state registered Professional Electrical Engineer and meet the 20 years of service in broadcast or related technology, you may obtain Professional Broadcast Engineer Certification without taking a test. The candidate must have three (3) letters of reference. Two (2) must be from Certified Professional Broadcast Engineers, Certified Senior Broadcast Engineers or State Registered Professional Engineers. At least one letter of reference must be from a person who has supervised his/her work. This person does not necessarily have to be certified; however, if he or she is certified at one of the above-mentioned levels, that reference will be counted as two (2) letters. The required letters of reference, written specifically for the 20-year certification level, must accompany the application. In addition to the completed application form, a resume attached to the application is most helpful to the National Certification Committee in reviewing the application. You must also submit a statement showing why you believe your professional experience, educational background and training qualifies you for certification under this provision of the Certification Program. The review procedure for Professional Broadcast Engineer certification will be the same as that used for recertification. The application for CPBE will be reviewed by the SBE Local Chapter Certification Committee before final evaluation by the National Certification Committee.
Dates to Remember:
Featuring News, Rumors and Views
I have a confession - In last month's column I stated that I was Best Man at Nick Winters' wedding - That's what I get for anticipating ! The morning of the wedding my (concrete) garage floor suddenly leaped up and smashed into my right knee; reluctantly, I chose the ER instead of the wedding….Sorry Nick! I am not 2 weeks past the event and am still having trouble getting around.
SBE has launched a voluntary accreditation program for its frequency coordinators with the goal of maintaining the equality and professionalism of coordination by ensuring consistency of approach and accountability to established procedures. For more information, see the SBE Web Site at SBE.org. Another recent event in this area was the announcement that David Otey would be leaving SBE to work with a firm that is training stations as part of the shift to COFDM.
Big news in TV is 2009 and the proposed sunset date for analog TV. Wonder what the odds makers in Vegas have to say on whether this date will slide? (Again).
News in Radio continues to be IBOC or HD Radio. The Request for Comments by the Commish on rules for this new mode have yielded a mountain of responses. Looks like FM is generally getting good comments, but the AM Ibiquity system is being pretty heavily beat up. This is going to be interesting as a number of Broadcast outfits have already installed AM IBOC equipment and are on the air with them. Just how this will all turn out is anyone's guess. The NAB has asked the FCC to move swiftly; under the weight of all the comments, this might be quite a chore.
One of the battlegrounds now is the Automobile with XM, Sirius and HD all wanting the car makers to install their- system. Thus far, HD is a distant 3rd in that race with only one car maker, BMW, announcing that HD will be available from the factory. The only advantage that HD has in this horse race is that it does not come with a subscription cost as to the Sat providers.
Another wait and see situation is the matter of revisions to the FCC's EAS rules that could well spell the biggest change to that system yet.
Enjoying the cost of vehicle fuel? If you do budgeting for your facility, keep in mind that the cost of fuel for that Generator is going to go up also. The hardest part of all this for the average joe to figure out is that Petro is a - Commodity - and as such its price is a reflection of a lot of things, including supply and demand.
Entercom has been making policy regarding energy use. For instance, all of the company's towers are making the switch to LED lamps. That in itself makes quite a difference!. Recently it was announced that all new station vehicles must be Hybrids; and in the case of heavy duty rigs, they will have to be diesel-powered and be able to operate on Bio-Diesel.
XM has been in the news with the announcement that they will be running emergency warnings for certain local areas, a traditional role for local Broadcasters.
Local test equipment maker, Fluke, has purchased a European maker of test gear…
Most all FM stations are now running RDS. This sub-carrier system of transmitting text to car radios has turned out to be quite popular. What is not often talked about is what happens in a weak signal area. I was recently listening to KCMS in such an area and their normal SPIRIT 105 started displaying such goodies as - SPLIT 105, SPIRFT 05..and SPLITING.
A funny-tragic story out of Portland where gas stations do not let you pump your own--Reports are that the attendant at a local gas station managed to not put gas in the tank but rather unscrewed a cap that was used to occasionally run cables into the ENG rig and pumped about 10 gallons inside….. Yikes ! Luckily there was no fire. Yes it was the attendant's first day on the job. In a nice gesture, the assistant manager of the station informed the crew that they could not be charged for the gas. The insurance company declared the truck a total loss.
We recently lost who could have been the most famous 'Chief Engineer' in memory. James Doohan recently passed away (Yes he lived here in this area) at the age of 85. To most he was known as Scotty, the Chief Engineer of the Enterprise on Star-Trek. I wrote some comments about Scotty; they were recently published in Radio World.
Hilmer Swanson passed away in Mid July. Hilmer had his hand in many products produced by Harris. He was 72.
Correction department - In a recent column I noted the station that was set up to honor Major Armstrong. For some reason I stated that the original station's call was WA2XMN. Obviously the FCC was not issuing WA calls back then. The call was W2XMN. Thanks Mike Bach, WB6FFC, of Kathrein/Scala who obviously reads my stuff very carefully!
Speaking of Amateur Radio related things. Looks like the FCC is about to revise the Ham Radio rules again. This time word is that the Morse Code requirement may go away completely. Not sure if it's related, but Italy recently made that move. For many years the requirement to learn 'The Code' has been stated by many as a reason why they did not get a Ham Radio license. The FCC a while back reduced the requirement to 5 words per minute.
In the event you were not aware, the Commish has a new process. If you are granted a CP and have not advised them that the construction has been completed or have requested an extension the friendly FCC Computer will start its automated termination process. Don't get caught with this one!
Guess who's back? ABC has announced that they are rejoining NAB after a 2 year dispute over policy. This still leaves the other top networks as non-members.
My wife ran across an old newspaper from 1948. In it was an ad for a program on a local AM and FM station. The AM frequency was listed in KC and the FM in MGC. For those of you that have forgotten, that was Kilocycles and Megacycles.
In Nashville, group owner Sinclair has asked the FCC for approval to operate 3 TV stations in the market.
In Hurricane Katrina News:
WLOX-TV (Biloxi) Severely Damaged But Still on the Air! Read the story at: http://www.rtnda.org/sow/bill_taylor.shtml
Well friends, I have run out of space for this month, thanks for the read !
Clay, CPBE, K7CR
Chapter 24 News
HURRICANES RENEW CALLS FOR ANALOG TV SHUTDOWN
The next question is how much of an effect is the continued use of the spectrum for analog TV on future public safety use of spectrum in the UHF TV band. The TV channels that will be converted for public safety use after the DTV transition are channels 63, 64, 68 and 69. Because they were high in the band and have poor signal propagation issues and the fact that transmitters are not as efficient as in the lower frequency, the channels were not very popular and have few full power TV stations on them. In fact there are only 36 analog stations and three DTV stations on the four channels. There are also two Class A community TV Licenses on the four channels as well as pending applications for new analog station in four cities. These stations are located in 20 states and Puerto Rico. An additional two states each have an application for a new analog station. The rest of the states have translators and low-power TV stations, which have secondary status. With secondary status, a LPTV or translator can be shut down to allow for the operation of a full power station in the same area. There are about 350 LPTV stations and translators on the four channels with another 100 construction permits and applications for LPTV and translators. Some of these CPs may have stations operating under test authority. whilend some of the CPs and applied for stations may never be built.
public service system would not be completed in the next 15 months considering the possible political infighting and turf wars, which was shown to be quite possible considering the examples shown during the recent disaster. Construction of a new system would most likely not be started for two to three years and by the time everyone would be ready to use the entire spectrum available, the DTV transition would be complete if the government does actually end analog transmission on January 1, 2009, which is only three years and three months away. And consideration has to be given for the transition of the public service users in the 800 MHz band to a new band plan because of the Nextel rebanding which ends in less then two years.
The main problem in the hurricane disaster areas was not spectrum, but lack of working infrastructure. Communications becomes very difficult when towers are blown down, telephone switches and generators are under water and battery back-up at cell sites are good for only the few hours that it take to repair a power line after a car hits a pole or lighting takes out a transformer. The hardening of infrastructure by both public and commercial communications may be the more important task, but it may be easier for Congress to pass a law to shut off three dozen TV stations with the economic fallout for the station owners and staff then spend the money needed to a communications system that will provide the service require in disasters.
USDTV TO EXPAND
USDTV has signed a $25.75 million agreement with an investment group that includes Fox Television Stations, Inc, Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting, LIN TV Corp, Morgan-Murphy Stations, and Telcom DTV, LLC. This agreement will expand its financial and strategic support to expand its low cost over-the-air cable alternative.
USDTV offers a service that combines over-the-air free DTV with a 12 channel subscription services that uses part of a broadcasters DTV data stream. USDTV currently operates pilot projects in Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas.
The USDTV service provides 12 subscription channels including ESPN, ESPN2, Discovery, TLC, The Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, HGTV, The Food Channel, Starz, and the FOX News Channel. The service uses a proprietary set-top DTV box which also receives regular DTV transmissions. The service sells for $19.95 a month and with the regular DTV channels, a viewer has a selection of 20-30 channels. The service is aimed at those off-the-air viewers that have refused to subscribe to cable or DBS, and cable or DBS subscribers whom wish to pay less for TV service. USDTV figures there are 20 million homes that rely on off-the-air viewing that they can draw subscribers from. Other services planned for future set-top boxes are video-on-demand and digital video recording.
Three of the USDTV financial partners have stations in Wisconsin. FOX owns Channel 6, WITI in Milwaukee, Hearst-Argyle owns Channel 12, WISN in Milwaukee, and Morgan-Murphy owns Channel 3, WISC in Madison and Channel 8, WBKT in LaCrosse.
The web address for USDTV is www.usdtv.com. and has a large amount of information on the service.
(From USDTV press release)
SBE's SHORT CIRCUITS - OCTOBER 2005
SBE ADDS TO CERTIFIED SCHOOL LIST
Michigan Career & Technical Institute (MCTI) has been added to the SBE Certifed School List following approval by the SBE Certification Committee. MCTI, located in Plainwell, Mich., just north of Kalamazoo, will award students who complete their program with a B or better average and who apply for SBE certification, with the SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT). For more information about MCTI, call Philip Schmitt at (269) 664-9249 or e-mail him at email@example.com. The school's web site is www.michigan.gov/mcti.
AMATEUR RADIO NEWS
o The Chief Operating Officer of the American Radio Relay League, Harold Kramer, WJ1B, testified September 29 before the US House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Addressing the hearing topic, "Public Safety Communications from 9/11 to Katrina: Critical Public Policy Lessons," Kramer reiterated and amplified comments ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, delivered earlier this month to the House Government Reform Committee. Kramer testified on the successful efforts of amateur radio operators who provided communications during the Hurricane Katrina response.
"Amateur radio was uniquely suited to this task by virtue of the availability of HF communications covering long distances without fixed infrastructure," Kramer pointed out in his testimony. In addition to those who responded to support relief agencies in hurricane-devastated areas, thousands more radio amateurs outside the affected area monitored radio traffic and relayed health-and-welfare messages, he said.
Kramer noted that there's been a lot of discussion in recent years about public safety interoperability. "The Amateur Radio Service provides a good deal of interoperability communications for first responders in disaster relief incidents," he told the subcommittee. He said ham radio is able to fill this crucial role because even the "interoperability channels" that exist in most public safety allocations are useless when the public safety communication infrastructure goes down.
"Interoperability, in short, presumes operability of Public Safety facilities," Kramer said. "While some 'hardening' of public safety facilities is called for, there is in our view an increasing role for decentralized, portable amateur radio stations which are not infrastructure-dependent in providing interoperability communication on site."
Kramer told Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and his House colleagues that amateur radio "is largely invisible to both the FCC and to Congress on a daily basis, because it is virtually self-regulating and self-administered," he said. "It is only during emergencies that the Amateur Radio Service is in the spotlight." Also testifying at the subcommittee session was FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, and Kramer said he had the opportunity to introduce himself to the chairman before the subcommittee convened.
Kramer noted that for the first time ever, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has provided $170,000 in grant supplements to the ARRL to support the efforts of Hurricane Katrina emergency communicators in the Gulf Coast. The grants to the ARRL's "Ham Aid" fund enable the League to reimburse some volunteers' out-of-pocket expenses on a per diem basis.
o A dozen youngsters from two NASA Explorer Schools (NES) spoke September 16 via amateur radio with International Space Station Expedition 11 NASA Science Officer John Phillips, KE5DRY. The contact between W1ACT at the Matthew J. Kuss Middle School in Fall River, Massachusetts, and NA1SS in space was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program.
The audience of more than 100 parents, faculty members, fellow students, and dignitaries was split between two locations, reports Roland Daignault, N1JOY, of the Fall River Amateur Radio Club/Bristol County Repeater Association. Club members, who have set up a club station and conducted licensing classes at Kuss Middle School, assisted in the contact.
(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's www.arrl.org web site)
News From The CGC Communicator
By Robert F. Gonsett W6VR
AMATEUR RADIO EARNS PRAISE, RESPECT IN KATRINA RELIEF
ARRL President Jim Haynie W5JBP has provided written testimony on Amateur Radio's response in the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the US House Government Reform Committee. Haynie submitted the testimony to the congressional panel September 15 "on the successful efforts of Amateur Radio operators providing communications for first responders, disaster relief agencies and countless individuals in connection with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort" on behalf of the League.
"As has been proven consistently and repeatedly in the past, when communications systems fail due to a wide-area or localized natural disaster, Amateur Radio works, right away, all the time," Haynie's statement said. "This report is not, therefore, a statement of concern about what must be changed or improved. It is, rather, a report on what is going right, and what works, in emergency communications in the Gulf Coast and what can be depended on to work the next time there is a natural disaster, and the times after that."
The first URL below focuses on solid ham radio achievements as recounted by the ARRL. The second URL links to a Christian Science Monitor article on ham radio and Katrina, one of the few media reports showing what went right (namely ham radio) during the disaster.
The YXZ Report
by Kent Randles K7YXZ CBRE
LIFE WITH HD RADIO
I was concerned about how unavoidably-data-reduced audio from satellites and ISDN remotes would sound being coded again through HD Radio, but the satellite stuff is OK, and MPEG Layer 3 Stereo ISDN with two channels at 64 kbps and 48 kHz (with 20 kHz of audio bandwidth) sounds great.
STL SETUP PROGRAM
You Know You're From Colorado When...
The humidity gets above 25% and you consider it "muggy".
You only go to Central City when friends are in from out of town.
You have been skiing less than 10 times in your life
You say things like "I don't care how big Golden is, it's still a one-horse town".
When giving directions, you never say "Turn left, turn right", it's always go West, then South.
If it rains more than 2 days straight you compare the weather to being in Seattle.
The only RTD bus you've been on is the 16th Street shuttle.
You think "South Park" is a place to stop for gas on your way to Buena Vista.
You cast out your fishing line while white-water rafting.
You've never seen the tourist attractions in your own city.
You think a pass does not involve a football or a woman.
You get depressed after one day of foggy weather.
You think that formal wear is ironed denim.
You go anywhere else on the planet and the air feels "sticky" and you notice the sky is no longer blue.
You see your East Coast relatives now more than when you lived there.
You think gun control is a steady hand.
You've stood on solid ground and looked down on an airplane in flight.
You know the correct pronunciation of Buena Vista.
Your car insurance costs more than your car.
You have surge protectors on every outlet.
Your golf bag has a 9-iron, a 3-wood and a lightning-rod.
People from other states breathe 5 times as often as you do.
Thunder has set off your car alarm.
Driving directions usually include 'Go over ____ Pass...'
You've gone skiing in July. You've gone sunbathing in January. They were both in the same year.
You get a certain feeling of satisfaction from knowing that California and Texas are both downstream
You know the elevation of a town, but not its population.
You never pack away your coat and sweaters.
You can name only two people you know who were actually born in Colorado.
You or someone you know plays golf 12 months of the year.
You don't have AC in your home, but you use it in your car all winter long.
If it snows in the morning you expect it to be gone by lunchtime.
You can name the states that make up the Four Corners.
You know what and where the Continental Divide is.
Garneth M. Harris
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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.