A monthly newsletter by Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 48

December 2000


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Contents

The November Meeting
Upcoming Meetings And Happenings
SBE Chairman's Corner
Denver FCC Office Relocates
Rome Talk
Maps Of Frequency Coordination Areas Now Available
New Clark Cable
PDX Radio Waves
Intel Introduces The Pentium 4 Processor
Clay's Corner
Amateur Radio News
Digital Radio and Digital Television
Happy Birthday SOS
Etc.

The November Meeting

Rome Chelsi opened the meeting, reminding SMPTE members that his term is ending, and that they need a new chair. He then talked about upcoming meetings. Check the upcoming meetings list in this issue for new information. Rome then introduced Steve Peck from Columbine/JDS, who introduced the plan for the evening. Steve introduced CJDS's Director of Operations and Engineering Richard Tyrell-Ead, who then began his slide presentation, which asked the question, "Will streaming eliminate broadcasting". John Patti from Westwind Media talked about his company, which originates and "turns around" radio streaming. Quality of the received signals is a major concern, people are used to high quality video and audio from other media. The Internet does not provide that now, at least not for everyone, particularly outside of the business environment. The discussion was quite spirited, with the general theme revolving around concerns about quality of the delivered signals, lack of control of the "last mile" in many cases, and government regulations that impede progress. IBeam was discussed..... Discussion turned to the interactive aspect of the Internet, and how it provides information not available to the 'broadcaster' in the traditional model. Clayton Waddell from Digital Metropolis then made a presentation from his company which included a look at some pretty clever and innovative video techniques. Clayton has developed some proprietary "matrix" approaches to file conversion. His mission is to provide as high quality as possible to the customer, regardless of the file format they are using, or the speed of their CD player! The discussion turned to quality, what is quality? There was also consideration of production values, and how they differ when creating or originating content for streaming, versus broadcast or other delivery methods. Steve then thanked the attendees and turned back to Rome, who conducted the raffle for "trinkets", as he put it. It was joked that one of the raffle tickets was the winner of the new SMPTE chairmanship! Rome reminded the group that Digital Metropolis will be hosting an upcoming meeting. He also reminded everyone to be sure to send their information updates to SMPTE headquarters.

And finally, the SBE officers for the coming year were elected at this meeting. Welcome Scott Barella from KCNC Channel 4 as our new chairman as Ron Vincent moves to vice-chair and Bill Harris continues as secretary-treasurer. Fred Baumgartner stays on as certification chair, Barry Walters as frequency coordinator and Eric Schultz will provide his excellent Webmaster skills for the Chapter 48 Web site.

That's it for this month. Be sure to check out our upcoming meetings elsewhere in this issue.

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Upcoming Meetings And Happenings

January 2001 No Meeting Planned...but stay tuned.
February 2001 Digital Metropolis "Son of Streaming" meeting.Digital Metropolis in Denver will host the meeting and discuss problems and solutions in conforming material for streaming content and creation of DVD material. Location: Digital Metropolis, 20th & Arapahoe, downtown Denver
March 2001 AgileVision, a spin off from Sarnoff Laboratories and Mercury computers presents The ATSC DTV stream, MPEG content splicing and broadcast transmission in the 19.39 domain. Location: TBA but probably downtown.
March 23, 2001 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the NAB in Las Vegas on April 24, 2001.
April 30, 2001 Deadline to apply to take an SBE Certification Exam during the June 8-18, 2001 local window.
May 16, 2001 6:00 ADMC, ATT Digital Media Center (was NDTC), Interactive TV, Demo, etc... Should be very interesting.

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SBE Chairman's Corner

Ron Vincent

November has brought the time for the changing of the guard. Scott Barella, Chief Engineer for CBS KCNC-TV, channel 4 will be taking over the Chairman duties for this next year. We look forward to having Scott at the lead. Thanks Scott for stepping up. I will be taking over the vice chair position and helping Scott in his duties. Bill Harris will continue in the secretary/treasurer position. We thank Bill for his gracious contributions in this position. Bill also gathers and assembles our monthly newsletter content which he does quite well as does Andre' Smith in the layout of our newsletter. Thanks Bill and Andre - much appreciated. I am thankful to have served in the chairman's position this past year and look forward to helping advance Chapter 48 in the next year. I invite everyone's participation in helping to accomplish this end. Your suggestions are encouraged and meeting content/locations are always an issue. We also welcome special events/educational seminars. One last thing concerning our newsletter, if you have beneficial information that you would like to pass on for publication, we want to encourage you to do so. Thanks everyone.

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Denver FCC Office Relocates

FCC - Denver Office Enforcement Bureau
215 S. Wadsworth Boulevard, Suite 303
Lakewood, CO 80226

303-231-5200 (fax) 303-231-5212 (not a public number, but for our broadcaster/smpte friends)

1-888-225-5322 (public number)

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Rome Talk

From Rocky Mountain SMPTE Chair Rome Chelsi

SMPTE Members! Does HQ Have Your Current E-Mail Address

If you are not getting email notifications about local chapter activities, it is because you either do not have or have an incorrect email address on file with SMPTE. Please send your current email address to Daureen Matera at SMPTE HQ : dmatera@smpte.org. SMPTE then advises us of the change. You also should send updates to Rome Chelsi, Section Chair at romec@compuserve.com.

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Maps Of Frequency Coordination Areas Now Available

Specially designed maps are now available on the SBE web site that helps people locate the proper frequency coordinator anywhere in the US. The maps were designed by Dane Ericksen, P.E., CSRTE of Hammett & Edison Consulting Engineers and member of the SBE National Board of Directors. There is a map for every state illustrating all its counties. Frequency coordination areas are depicted on the maps and there is also a list of counties covered by each coordinator. When used in conjunction with the list of coordinators, also found on the web site, users can easily determine which coordinator to contact. To view the maps, go to the SBE web site, www.sbe.org and click on Frequency Coordination.

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New Clark Cable

Mundelein, IL
November 3, 2000

Clark Wire & Cable announces their newest cable addition, a 22 gauge single pair audio wire with a NEC-CMP Halar (ECTFE) jacket. This plenum rated wire is available in 10 colors plus clear. The pricing is quite competitive, and the cable is available at a 10% discounted introductory price throughout the month of November. Click here http://clarkwc.com/specials.htm to access complete information with pricing, pictures and specifications. Also the new website is now online! Click on http://www.clarkwc.com to see this. They intend to be adding technical information as well as custom programs designed specifically to assist all A/V engineers. The custom punched panel design program is nearing completion.

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PDX Radio Waves

by Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Portland
Thanks to Chapter 124

Our job as engineers is to provide and maintain the best audio and video quality attainable. We like to believe that new technologies that improve this quality will be embraced by the public for those reasons alone. The reality, of course, is much more complicated: Variety and quality of content, marketing, timing, cost, convenience, and a certain amount of inertia are all higher on the Average-Joe's list than quality. The demise of Quad audio, consumer Beta video, AM Stereo, the stubborn persistence of music on cassette, and the slow acceptance of DTV, and (Canadian and European) DAB, to name a few, illustrate this factor. Beta and AM Stereo failed despite their technical superiority, while DAB and DTV have been embraced, so far, only by a small audio/video-phile minority. At least with DTV, you can actually buy a receiver.

In chatting with many "Joes" (and Jills) in recent months, I see wide awareness and excitement about Internet Radio and its probable wireless future, and of the coming satellite radio services of XM and Sirius. I see no awareness of IBOC, nor a feeling that it is needed. To "Joe", analog FM probably doesn't need fixing, and AM radio is, and always will be, Lo-Fi. Despite the rapid progress and consolidation of the IBOC companies (iBiquity), it appears likely that satellite radio-equipped car radios will appear before IBOC radios do. I for one was hoping that we didn't embark on IBOC before it was really ready, particularly since there continue to be rapid advances in the quality of low bit-rate coding algorithms. Why lock in the current iteration of 48 kb/s PAC for AM IBOC, for example, when it might be much better in two years? (A session at the recent AES convention in LA on recognizing the artifacts of low bit rate coding was particularly elucidating. Among the speakers were principal engineers from the Frauenhoffer Institute, who helped develop the MPEG formats. A demo CD is expected soon.)

On the other hand, the "timing" issue may be more important to iBiquity. If too many dual-mode (analog terrestrial and digital satellite) radios are sold before IBOC is ready, IBOC might just be left in the dust. The satellite services have the stronger "content" advantage - IBOC just has the weaker "quality" attribute, duplicating a service that is already available in analog. And then there's the marketing issue. Both satellite services' business plans call for a $9.95 per month subscription fee. I agree with those that surmise that the service may end up being free, with a method provided for regionalization or localization of ad (or even other local content) insertion in the larger markets.

Notice also the emphasis on cars. We already have cellphones, GPS-based mapping with voice prompting, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, and other distracting electronics built into many vehicles, with full mobile internet access as standard equipment just around the corner. Something like half of all restaurant lunches are eaten in the car. A sizeable percentage of women put on their morning makeup while driving to work. With increasing gridlock, about the only thing we don't do much of in our cars anymore is actually move.

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Intel Introduces The Pentium 4 Processor

SANTA CLARA, CA --(Nov. 20, 2000)--

Intel Corporation has introduced the Intel Pentium 4 processor, its newest microprocessor for high-performance desktop computers. The Pentium 4 processor delivers a new generation of performance for processing video and audio, exploiting modern Internet technologies, and displaying 3-D graphics. Its foundation is the new Intel NetBurst micro-architecture, a collection of unique technologies that will power Intel's most advanced 32-bit processors for consumer and business users over the next several years of computing.

Major computer makers and software suppliers around the world have spent months readying products based upon the Pentium 4 processor. All major desktop PC makers have Pentium 4 processor-based PCs or workstations under development. Many manufacturers are expected to start taking orders today and will begin delivery of PCs based on the Pentium 4 processor.

The Pentium 4 processor with Intel NetBurst technology is the first completely new desktop processor design from Intel since the Pentium Pro processor, with its P6 micro-architecture, was introduced in 1995. For higher performance, the Rapid Execution Engine allows frequently used Arithmetic Logic Unit instructions to be executed at double the core clock. The industry's first 400 MHz system bus speeds the transfer of data between the processor and main memory.

The Pentium 4 processor platform is based on the high-performance Intel 850 chipset. For more information on Pentium 4 processor performance, visit www.intel.com/procs/perf.

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Clay's Corner

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

It seems that with today's demand for technical employees that many are rejecting the notion that their job is 24/7 and telling their bosses that their time is theirs and that they don't want cell-phones or pagers. It seems that there is a growing trend in the high-tech industry to separate work from play. I can just imagine what would happen if this spread to our business. I can just see it now... a station FINALLY fills the slot they have had open for the past year, the person is VERY qualified, tons of experience, a great person, great people skills, etc., etc., and he announces that he will work 40 hours per week but WILL NOT carry a pager or cell-phone. It could just well be that this could be the next step in our tight labor market.

Here's another one. Vacation time. In Europe vacations are a whole lot more liberal than they are here. In the U.K. the norm is 10 days after one year; in Denmark vacations average 31 days a year (that's 6 weeks); in France, Norway and Sweden, 25 days; and in Germany 24 days. Could this trend spread across the pond?

I was reading the other day why the old time radios had round tops. Apparently to keep you from putting something up there that might melt or worse yet, catch fire. Apparently that practice was scrapped when the "All American Five" came along even though those five tubes (the 50L6 was the real hot one) put out plenty of heat. Like it's been said, real radios glow in the dark.

Have you heard about Blue Tooth yet? Well, you will. This is the name for the low power RF creations that are spreading rapidly in the computer industry that will enable you to have wireless connections between devices.

Puget Sound Energy, in their June 2000 'Energy Wise' publication (it comes with your bill) suggested some 'Hot tips for warm weather cooling'. The one that causes us to get a cold chill is this one.... "Keep the lights off during the day. A 100 watt light bulb produces 100 watts of heat". WOW ! (Read that again.) If this is true, and a 100 watt bulb makes 100 watts of heat then the light produced must be free!

Batwings - Those funny looking black things used on towers to keep birds away.
Feed line - What happens when lunch arrives at the project.
Rigid Line - An engineer being very stubborn about anything.
Bias - Something that will get you in trouble with the ACLU
Neutralization - What happens when you touch something you should not.
Termination - See Neutralization.
Bird Watcher - A man that stands lookout when men are working UNDER the tower.
Transfer Switch - When a worker gets to rotate with someone at the studio.
Processor - Something that makes little things out of larger ones.
Dehydrator - Something you put your lunch in to make it last longer
Traveling Wave - A female in the Navy changing locations.
Input Impedance - Difficulty in inserting plug into any device.
Exciter - Any electronic device that makes an engineer say Wow or Gee-Whiz.
Coax - A term meaning to urge something to perform.
Transistor - A cross dressing relative.
Reactance - A term that Engineers used to describe managers' reactions to going over budget.

CUL, Clay, CPBE, K7CR, BS et al. 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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Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H

The all-ham crew of US astronaut and ISS Expedition 1 Commander William "Shep" Shepherd, KD5GSL, and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, now is aboard the International Space Station. After blasting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan October 31, the crew arrived at the ISS aboard a Soyuz vehicle that remains docked with the space station. Operation from Amateur Radio's first permanent foothold in space is expected to debut soon. The ISS crew could be on the air by mid-November.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station-or ARISS-initial station gear includes VHF and UHF hand-held transceivers. The FCC granted vanity call signs NA1SS and NN1SS to the International Space Station Amateur Radio Club on October 11. The NA1SS call sign will be used on board the space station, while NN1SS will be for ground-based communications from Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. A Russian call sign, RZ3DZR, and a German call sign, DL0ISS, also have been issued for use aboard the ISS. Tentative operating frequencies are 145.80 MHz for downlink for voice and packet, 145.99 MHz for packet uplink, and 144.49 MHz for voice uplink in the US.

Amateur radio's next-generation Phase 3D satellite now has a firm launch date and time. The AMSAT News Service says it's been informed by "various sources" that the Ariane 507 carrying Phase 3D and other satellite payloads aloft will head into space Wednesday, November 15 from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French, Guiana. The Radio Club of Kourou's FY5KE has announced plans to broadcast the Phase 3D launch on 14.315 MHz in French "and probably in English."

Also atop the Ariane 5 rocket will be the PanAmSat 1R communications satellite, the largest and primary payload. Once in the geostationary transfer orbit and deployed, Phase 3D will fire its own motor and thrusters that eventually will put the satellite into a high elliptical orbit that's almost 30,000 miles from Earth at its farthest point. Establishing the satellite's final orbital configuration will take up to one year.

The FCC says it has reached an agreement with the eBay auction site that's aimed at curtailing the sale of clearly illegal radio equipment. FCC Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth says eBay has agreed to cooperate in removing advertisements in which the item for sale "is clearly non-certified" under FCC rules. Hollingsworth said most of the equipment involved falls into the CB category, including illegal amplifiers. He also said a review team within the Technical and Public Safety Division of the FCC Enforcement Bureau is screening eBay ads each week. He said the practice could be extended to other auction sites if the FCC learns of similar problems.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's "ARRL Letter")

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Digital Radio and Digital Television

by Ron Schacht, CPBE
Chapter #2

This past week, Bob Schacht told me about a web site he located on the Internet. Now he spends a lot of time on the net and stumbles on a lot of stuff. Since he knows that I spend about 1 hour a year "surfing" the net, he gives me sites to look up that he thinks I would like. The site ,the E.H. Armstrong web site, is where he sent me. Over the years I have read the books on Armstrong and have heard many stories of him. For those of you who remember WYZZ FM (now WMGS) and its owner Dick Evans, Major Armstrong is a familiar character. I worked for Dick for 25 years and heard stories of the Major. When Armstrong built his FM station in Alpine N.J. he wanted to build a network of FM stations to make FM successful. Penobscot knob, the site of the WYZZ (then WIZZ) transmitter was an area where Armstrong spent much of his time. WIZZ was the second station in the Armstrong network going west. Dick used to tell me that the Major would walk around on Penobscot with a wash tub over his head in the winter to keep from getting hit by ice falling from the towers.

Up until about 1975 when it was stolen, the original Armstrong relay receiver was at the transmitter site. I did manage to save some of the Armstrong receive antenna and still have that. If I remember correctly, there is still an original Armstrong receiver in storage at WEJL from the early days of FM and the network. Unfrotunately, Armstrong, who developed FM communications, superhetrodyne and superregenerative receivers, and radar, was continually in court with patent infringements and clashes with David Sarnoff, who wanted to "own the world" and own the new medium of television. It has been said that if it wasn't for Armstrong's developments, the U.S. would have probably lost WW2. It is interesting that this eccentric man, who rode his motorcycle to work all year , gave the world communications as we still know it, and probably kept the US a free country, ended his life by jumping out of his apartment window. If you are interested in the broadcasting business, and communications in general you should look into the Major and his accomplishments. By Armstrong's standards, Marconi was a piker.

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Happy Birthday SOS

From Chapter 124, Portland

(From Amateur Radio Newsline www.arnewsline.org, Copyright 2000)

On the International front, the Times of London says that October 3rd was the 94th anniversary of the SOS international distress radio signal. According to a Times article, the SOS replaced the CQD distress call on the 3rd of October 1906 at the International Wireless Telegraphic Conference in Berlin. The SOS was actually brought into use in 1908, but it's adoption by maritime stations was very slow. So slow in fact that at the time of the sinking of the Titanic on the 15th of April 1912, her radio operator, Harold Bride, used both the old 'CQ Distress' and the then newer SOS signals. As an aside, the SOS combination of letters was chosen because the "di di dit, dah dah dah, di di dit" sound was easily recognizable. It was only later that the suggestion was made that it might stand for 'Save Our Souls'. (G4NJH)

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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris........(303)756-4843 email: bharris4@ix.netcom.com
Garneth M. Harris..(303)756-4843
Andre' Smith.......(303)556-3549 email: asmith@carbon.cudenver.edu

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.