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Managing Change in the Broadcast Industry

Origin Of Spread Spectrum

SBE Signal To Become Bi-Monthly

FCC Rulemaking

FCC Watch

PDX Radio Waves

Dear Fellow Survivors

Mark Timpany

Little Dude

KKOL Temporary Transmitter Facilities

Amateur Radio News

Robert Hammett Passes Away At The Age Of 82




December, 2002

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Managing Change in the Broadcast Industry

Bryce Layman
General Manager
WCG Teleport Denver

Broadcasters have been dealing with change throughout the past year. With revenues cycling up and down, possible layoffs imminent and heavier workloads a reality of consolidation, many broadcasters have found themselves in a swirl of industry change, much of it unsettling.

Managing this change is difficult. Layoffs make the greatest impact on employees and create the most change to deal with. In downsizing, there is change for the survivors who remain after the layoffs just as there is change for those who were laid off.

Broadcasters "still employed" are challenged to keep a positive attitude and continue their high work ethic. While they may adjust to layoffs the "emotional spirit among the existing troops can be cautious at best" says Dr. Davele Bursor, a hiring-retaining-motivational expert. In our immediate-reaction broadcast industry, employees feeling uncertainty or direction-less can negatively affect our product's look, sound or feel. Too much stress can cause defensiveness, difficulty concentrating, on-the-job accidents and interpersonal conflict.

Developing good coping skills is important to your overall health. Susan M. Healthfield, author of "Tips for Managing Stress and Change at Work" tells us to set realistic goals, allocate our time and keep some control in our lives. Eliminate any activities that don't have to be done and carefully consider any time-based commitment made. Her idea is to use an electronic planner (like Outlook) to schedule each goal and activity you commit to, not just your appointments. If that report will take two hours, schedule it that way. The same applies with scheduling time to respond to email, repair the broken equipment or to study the latest FCC regulations.

Ms. Healthfield also says to reconsider all meetings. Meetings should only be held when interaction is required. They should start and end on time and should be an opportunity to share information and/or solve a critical problem.

Next, realize you cannot be all things to all people. Use time management skills to determine what your most important commitments are, then schedule the time to work on those commitments. You are in control over more events at work than you may realize. Also, trying to control those "uncontrollable" events is a major cause of stress and unhappiness and is a waste of time. Make time decisions based on analysis. Spend the majority of time on urgent and important items. Manage procrastination by breaking projects down into small tasks. Make a list of the tasks and prioritize them on your to do list. "Just start" is the best advice.

If you are unclear about the direction your company is going, ask your boss. You may need to see if you are still on track. Communication is critical during periods of change. If the "word" isn't getting to you, take the initiative and ask questions of your management. The answers you get may or may not be what you wanted to hear but at least they won't be gossip.

For the "unemployed" broadcasters, you already know how frustrating the job market is right now. Few opportunities are offered in the classifieds. Some of the jobs you used to do no longer exist (remember quad videotape machines or tube cameras?). According to Roberta Chinsky Matuson's "Bouncing Back After Being Laid Off", you need to start with some grieving time. Take some time to accept your loss. Then start a new exercise routine to get back in shape and increase your energy for the upcoming job search. There are no more work excuses now and no need to spend lots of money, so schedule a daily workout at home. Now take the time to reflect on what got you here. Have your job choices been good ones or are you setting yourself up for more failures? If your reflection tells you that you need to break a pattern of behavior, check to see if counseling sessions are still offered by your previous employer's health plan.

Invest in career counseling to make sure you are headed in the right direction. A good career counselor can help you chose your path or assist you in transitioning your skills to another career. Developing a plan is next. Write down everything you will need to do while job hunting and set deadlines. Then post this job hunt To Do List where you will see it every day. Manage your job search as you would any "work" project. Check off the tasks and keep track of where you are and make changes as needed to keep on track.

Accentuating the positive is the next step. Your attitude must be good to cope with the amount of time job-hunting takes and with presenting yourself at your best for an interview. Use all of the strategies available to you. James C. Gonyea writes in his article "Job Hunting Ideas That Really Work", to research and identify employers you would like to work for, contact them indicating how you can be of value and ask for an opportunity to visit and discuss employment. Contact your friends, relatives and professional colleagues to network about jobs. Contact employment recruiters or state employment services.

Get on the Internet. Check out all the trade magazines. Search the local newspaper site and each potential employer's web site daily. SBE Members may post resumes for free at

Whether employed or not, change is never without stress and anxiety. Talk to friends, family and co-workers about the changes you are going through. Seek their support and assistance. Get out and be seen in your industry by attending SBE & SMPTE meetings and visiting trade shows. Begin volunteering in your community. Keep yourself active and involved in the world and stay open to new possibilities. Manage the changes so they don't "manage" you.

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Origin Of Spread Spectrum

By Vicki W. Kipp

Can you think of any applications in your daily life that rely on spread spectrum technology? Consider cellular phones, pagers, wireless internet, garage door openers, traffic signals, and cordless phones, just to name a few. The concept of spread spectrum may seem like a new development, but it has actually existed for more than 60 years. Do you know where it originated? Would you believe that spread spectrum technology is credited to a glamorous Hollywood star and an experimental music pioneer? This is the true history of spread spectrum.

Born November 9, 1914 in Austria, Hedy Lamarr was a bright and beautiful woman. She married leading arms manufacturer Fritz Mandl. Mr. Mandl wanted his wife by his side constantly, even during his business meetings. Lamarr silently noted the pre-World War II military technology discussions that she heard while with Mandl. Although she didn't have formal instruction in military technology, the highly intelligent young woman was able to comprehend the dialogues. Mandl was researching the design of remote controlled torpedoes using radio waves.

Torpedoes were a key military weapon, but they were difficult to aim properly. Hitting a target usually required launching several torpedoes. Once launched, torpedoes could veer off target because of unpredictable ocean currents or because the target moved out of its path. The military had no way to alter the course of a torpedo once launched, and needed a means of controlling the weapon post-launch. One proposed solution involved controlling torpedoes by extremely long wires. The problem was that the wires sometimes broke, leaving the torpedo to run its own path. Another potential solution was to steer launched torpedoes via radio waves. This system was never produced because it was too vulnerable to disruption by enemy signal jamming.

Hedy Lamarr later divorced Fritz Mandl. She subsequently met film mogul Louis B Mayer in London. Mayer brought her to Hollywood to make films for MGM. Lamarr became famous for the movies she made in the 1930s and 1940s. Despite her film success, Hedy soon became concerned with the impending war. The eyes of the world were on Europe as World War II began in 1939.

Hedy become acquainted with musician George Antheil in 1940. Antheil established the player piano as an accepted instrument for composed music. Sharing a common view on WWII, Lamarr and Antheil were both strongly opposed to the Nazis. Realizing that whichever country controlled the Atlantic Ocean would win the war, they vowed to collaborate on an effective radio-controlled torpedo.

Inspiration struck when Hedy and George were sitting at a piano bench playing together. George played the keys and Hedy followed him on a different octave. Hedy exclaimed, "Hey, look, we're talking to each other and changing all the time." Hedy developed her insight into a plan to disperse a torpedo guidance radio signal over numerous frequencies to avoid enemy interception or jamming.

She envisioned sending information in a random pattern over multiple frequencies. Just like the number of keys on a piano, the communications system was designed to use eighty-eight frequencies. The signal would move across the spectrum so quickly that anyone monitoring a particular frequency would only hear a blip. The challenge remaining was how to keep the transmitter and receiver synchronized as they moved through the frequencies.

Hoping that Antheil could help resolve the synchronization quandary, Hedy Lamarr shared her idea with him. Drawing on his player piano expertise, Antheil proposed that two paper rolls -perforated with the same pseudo-random pattern to define the frequency path- be installed at the launch point transmitter and launched torpedo receiver. The rolls must start simultaneously. The rolls could maintain synchronization right up until the torpedo hit the ship, if the motors driving them had good rotary stability.

Realizing that their idea could help the US war effort, Lamarr and Antheil submitted their invention to the National Inventors Council. They were advised to patent the simple continuous wave frequency hopping system, and their secret communications system received US Patent Number 2,292,386 on August 11, 1942. They gave their patent to the government for the war effort instead of exploiting it commercially. Neither Lamarr nor Antheil ever received a dime for their invention. Unfortunately, the government chose not to use the secret communications system for World War II due to cost and their skepticism. It wasn't until 1962 that the US Navy finally installed spread spectrum technology aboard their ships. Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil were at last recognized for their contribution when they received the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997. George Antheil died in 1959, and Hedy Lamarr in 2000. In 2002, Lamarr was inducted to the Electronic Design magazine Engineering Hall of Fame for her landmark achievement.


Spread spectrum technology is popular because it resists jamming, has a low probability of intercept, is so inconspicuous that it can be considered transparent, is unlikely to interfere with other business and consumer use signals, and is a highly efficient way to use the frequency spectrum. Spread spectrum technology increases capacity and reduces cost of the crowded spectrum by enabling multiple users to share radio frequencies concurrently, without interfering with each other.

Spread spectrum signal bandwidth is purposely designed to be much wider than the information carried. Spread spectrum requires a wider signal bandwidth in exchange for an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Noise-like spread spectrum signals are hard to detect with narrowband equipment because the signal's energy is spread over a bandwidth of many times the information bandwidth. For a signal to be considered spread spectrum, a signal's resultant transmitted bandwidth must be determined by some function other than the information being transmitted. A typical spread spectrum RF signal bandwidth is 20 to 254 times the information bandwidth, although the RF bandwidth can be up to 1000 times the information bandwidth.

Spread spectrum and narrow band signals can share the same band without causing interference to each other. Although spread spectrum and narrow band are both transmitted at similar power levels, spread spectrum signals are so wide that they transmit at a much lower spectral power density.

All types of spread spectrum transmit signals rely on pseudo noise code techniques. Spread spectrum receivers de-spread with a locally produced replica pseudo noise code and a receiver correlator to detach only the desired coded information from all possible signals. De-spreading is the process used by a correlator to recover narrowband information from a spread spectrum signal. A correlator is a specialized matched filter that demodulates a spread spectrum signal. It responds only to signals that are encoded with identical matched signal characteristics and with a pseudo noise code that matches its own code. By changing its local code, a correlator can be "tuned" to different codes. A correlator does not respond to manmade, natural, or artificial noise or interference.

Spread spectrum comes in two varieties: direct sequence (figure 1) and frequency hopping (figure 2). Direct sequence spread spectrum modulates its carrier with a high-speed code sequence, along with information being sent. With frequency hopping spread spectrum, the transmission hops from frequency to frequency over a wide band. Code sequence determines the order in which the frequencies are occupied. The information rate determines the frequency hopping rate.

Figure 1. Illustration of direct sequence spread spectrum signal.

Figure 2. Illustration of frequency hop spread spectrum signal (as viewed over time).


Spread spectrum technology is widely implemented today in wireless LANs, radio modem barcode scanners for warehousing, digital dispatch, digital cellular CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) communications, and newer commercial satellites. In frequency-congested metropolitan areas, broadcasters use spread spectrum microwave equipment for RPU, ICR, and STL transmission. Spread spectrum technology spares broadcasters the expense of buying a dedicated connection to transmit a signal from one location to another and the task of frequency coordination. Plus, the robust modulation scheme protects their signal from interference. Future applications of spread spectrum are likely to include helmet-based communications, military defense satellites, and battlefield combat identification systems.

Information for this article came from the following sources: www.sss-,,

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SBE SIGNAL To Become Bi-Monthly

The SBE Board of Directors has approved the expansion of the Society's primary publication, the SBE SIGNAL. Beginning in June of 2003, The SIGNAL will leave its quarterly publication schedule and become a bi-monthly publication. "Over the last several years, The SIGNAL has expanded in quality, both in content and appearance," said SBE President Troy Pennington. He went on to say, "We can be very proud of our publication and we are looking forward to delivering more information and news to our members more often."

Executive Director, John Poray said, "The SIGNAL, in part because of its improved look and content, has also become self-sustaining for the first time in the last year. The cooperation of our advertisers has made this growth possible." Angel Bates, the Society's Membership Services Director and the one who is responsible for The SIGNAL's production, says that the increased number of issues each year will provide the opportunity to expand the quantity and scope of the material that appears. Bates said, "we are planning on new content that deals with frequency coordination, technical information and SBE chapter and member activities."

Five issues of The SIGNAL will be released in 2003 during the months of March, June, August, October and December. Beginning in 2004, the SIGNAL will be issued six times per year beginning with the February issue.

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FCC Rulemakings

Compiled By Tom Smith - Chapter 24 - Madison

MM Docket 99-325
Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems And Their Impact on the Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service.

The FCC has approved the use on an In-Band On-Channel ( IBOC ) system for digital transmission of broadcast Audio in the AM and FM Bands. They also selected as a standard the IBOC system developed by iBiquity Digital Corporation. In this rulemaking the FCC rejected the use of either TV channel 6 or the use of L-band frequencies of 1452-1492 MHz for digital only systems such as Eureka 147. They noted the difficulty in the clearing of both bands and the expected analog operation of TV broadcasts beyond 2006.

The FCC issued a number of rules for the interim basis. The FCC will issue rules for a formal setting of standards and licensing procedures in the future. In the interim rules, FM stations must operate through the existing antenna. FM stations will not be allowed to use a separate antenna for digital transmission.

AM stations are required to follow even more restrictions including limiting audio response on the analog part of the signal to 5 KHz, no stereo operation, and limiting the use of the IBOC signal to daytime operations with additional use during pre and post sunrise periods which is 6 AM to sunrise and sunset to 6 PM..

No station is required to transmit an IBOC signal, and the FCC did not set a date for ceasing analog operation. The FCC did acknowledge that the system can be converted to a digital only system.

The FCC released a 42 page iBiquity standards paper for FM and a 32 page standards paper for AM. These papers list the system specs and standards, and are published by iBiquity.

This notice was adopted on October 10th and released on October 11th.

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau seeks to Verify ITFS, MDS And MMDS License Status and Pending Applications.

DA 02-2752
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau seeks to Verify ITFS, MDS And MMDS Pending Legal Matters

The FCC has moved responsibility of all Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) from the old Mass Media Bureau, which is now the Media Bureau, to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

As the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau moves the data about these licenses from the Broadband Licensing System to the Universal Licensing System, they are reviewing all the information on the licenses in these services. They are asking all licenses to go to an FCC web site to check if their license information matches the FCC information.

The FCC is requesting that licenses send in all corrections of FCC data that does not agree with their paperwork. The FCC is seeking copies of licenses from stations that are operating and whose information is missing from the FCC database, and wants stations that have ceased operation to turn in their licenses. The website for license and application information is
http:/ /

Those stations with legal actions pending should check the appendix attached to the notice. This action is similar to what broadcasters were required to do when the FCC transferred Part 74 broadcast licenses to the ULS database.

The notice was released on October 18th and the responses from the licensees are due on December 17, 2002.

From FCC Notices (

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FCC Watch

From Chapter 124 - Portland
Kent Randles

When I attended the Electronic Equipment Expo in Seattle, Chris McCowen, an Inspector out of the Federal Communications Commission's Seattle office, gave a chilling statement to those assembled. Her comments should be taken very seriously and spread around the state with much effort to all stations.

In the past it was the at the FCC inspectors' discretion to find violations, notify the station that they were out of compliance, give them an opportunity to repair the problem, re-inspect, and then if everything was in order, you were golden. Times have changed. Those N.A.L.'s (Notice of Apparent Liability) will be issued automatically without any grace. We at the meeting asked if quota was the operative word here. She declined to say that, but her supervisors are making us aware that inspections will happen and fines will be a normal course of action. On a more positive note, she also mentioned that only a small percentage of stations have subscribed to "Self Inspections." Subscribing to them is a very good idea. These inspections, performed by an independent engineer hired by the Broadcast Associations, do give stations grace periods to correct compliance issues and keep the FCC away from your door. The warning was given however that stations should make sure that their EAS equipment is functioning, and that monitoring assignments match what is in the Tab 4 of the state plan. It's most important that a Local Plan for each operational area be available at the station during inspection.

Her comments on testing were a little less severe. We asked her about Monthly Tests that fail. If it failed, log as to why it failed and don't make it a habit. Failed tests are not a source of NAL's. Ignoring them all together, however, may force your owner to get out the check book. Most violations from EAS are about monitoring assignments and failure to perform weekly tests.

I did ask her about her supervisors' comments about weekly testing, and she also mentioned the random-day-and-time issue with a simple statement. The inspector will look at any seven day period and find two weekly tests during that period. Stations are free to determine in any way they wish how to define when that seven day period begins.

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PDX Radio Waves

by Michael D. Brown N7AXC CSRE
Brown Broadcast Services, Inc., Portland

Whatever eventually becomes of IBOC/HD Radio, the FCC's issuance of a First Report and Order on digital radio is a historic milestone. The Commission left the door open to future new-band DAB, and recognized that the technology is still a work in progress, especially on the AM side. The R&O gives Ibiquity the ammunition it needs to give the receiver manufacturers more confidence. Yet, the R&O is mostly, in effect, a blanket STA for the test markets and seed stations. Ultimately, one of the very biggest factors deciding the fate of HD Radio will be if, and how quickly, CHEAP receivers become available. The failing European DAB system underscores just how vital this factor can be.

The emergence of IBOC/HD Radio is causing many of us to reexamine our thought processes and attitudes. Are our uncertainties about the technology the result of a healthy skepticism honed from years of spurious product claims and botched "improvements" such as AM Stereo? Or are we just being crotchety old guys liable to be left behind in the dust heap of history if we don't wake up and smell the roses? Are we protecting our stations', clients', and companies' bottom lines by our reticence, or are we clinging to an outdated concept of radio broadcasting (i.e. local, small, live, important, and analog) that is dead and gone? Is this the savior of radio, or just an interesting technology that will stagnate like European DAB? Does the public demand and expect everything to be "digital", as FCC Chairman Powell appears to be convinced, and anything that isn't is destined to die? And just how soon does Ibiquity expect receivers to really saturate the market, if they're just now beginning to test IBOC-AM (IBAC) at night, and may yet tinker with the technology? I continue to be a cautious supporter of the FM system (albeit with real concerns about 1st adjacent interference), very skeptical of the AM system, and in agreement with Ibiquity that the data services are a key to its success. The radio listservers (admittedly including some questionable "flamers") are burning up with reception reports from 880 KIXI Mercer Island/Seattle and WOR New York, regarding annoying noise on the sidebands. AM DX'ers are particularly concerned. A wideband-radio recording of WOR just before and after IBOC was switched off has been circulating at: Am I out of line suggesting that perhaps we just drop AM-IBAC?

And then, just to muddy the waters a little bit, Motorola has officially announced the introduction of the Symphony™ Digital (tuned) Radio Chipset, which promises "less static, fading, pops and hisses; automatic tuning so that adjacent stations won't interfere with each other; extended listening range from existing signals; and overall improved audio clarity and volume." The chipset includes diversity receiver technology, 5.1 surround sound capability, and has built-in RDS. Motorola's press release went on with a direct attack at IBOC and Satellite Radio: "Unlike other digital radio offerings, the Symphony Digital Radio Chipset does not require broadcasters to buy new digital broadcast equipment. Neither does it require consumers to pay a monthly subscription fee like those charged by satellite services because it operates on traditional AM/FM analog broadcasts." As crazy as it sounds, Motorola might just have a strong competitor to IBOC radio on their hands if the performance lives up to the promises.

Meanwhile, at the monthly meeting of SBE Chapter 43 in Sacramento, Mike Dorrough presented an AM "Advanced Modulation System" that can "increase carrier modulation to 200%, improving the performance, range and sound quality of AM radio." (Source: RW Online 10/22/02).

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Dear Fellow Survivors

(From Chapter member Larry Bloomfield & Technotes)

Well the ancient (nearly 24 years), honored, exalted (and a few other accolades I can't think of right now) Order of the Iron Test Pattern has survived our leadership for a month now. In that time, we've completely overhauled the website. Take a look: If you look at the membership list page, you probably will recognize some of your friends.

Through snow and glitches, dropouts, ghosts, and now the cliff-effect, we survive - undaunted. Our association serves no purpose other than to recognize one another for what we are - survivors! There are no dues. The only cost is if you want one of our outstanding certificates of membership which, when placed on a prominent place, will attract notice, attention, and sometimes flies. You can see one on our website. We also have lapel pins which can double for both a tie-tack and for holding up your pants, in an emergency.

Take a moment to look us over and possibly join, but only if you want to have fun and are truly a SURVIVOR. We'll even take people from the cable industry - we have no shame. We are survivors! Please forward this invitation on to anyone you think is deserving of such an honor, or that you're trying to get even with. Respond to:

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Mark Timpany

From: Mark Timpany
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 10:45 AM
To: Baumgartner, Fred M
Subject: Tucson

Well, Tucson it is. I'll be working at the seven station cluster that is Clear Channel Tucson.. We finally picked a realtor for the sale on this end. Finally got the roof repaired from the summer's hail. Haven't got the old Subaru packed yet for the drive down. I wanted to get out on Wednesday. Probably will make it out tomorrow.

The rest of the family will probably make it down about Christmas with a week's visit over Thanksgiving for house hunting and turkey. I'm looking forward to some warmer weather. Feel free to ask how I like the weather in Tucson come June or July.

I will be going through and maybe even stopping overnight at Socorro, but I understand the VLA is about 50 miles out from the city. Maybe it will make a nice family vacation from Tucson.

Tucson has somewhat of a dormant chapter. Maybe some time invested there would save on those long trips to Phoenix for meetings.

Best regards,


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Little Dude

Fred Baumgartner

Keith (Ericson) picked this guy up and writes..." Don't know if it works. I am going to hook my RCA 44BX into it, ride gain, output goes to the Texar Audio Prism and then into the Gates BC1J now tuned on 1915 kc. Antenna is a 1/4 wave sloping vertical with a couple of radials underneath. As you remember the BC1J is originally from KDKO 1510 then to KMXA 1090 to K0KE 1915. Any broadcast donations....mixers, mikes, coils vacuum caps. mod transformers (of a reasonable size) always appreciated."

BTW, I've called on every Collins 20V to hit the used pages (about one every quarter) and the are always sold, they decided to keep it, or no answer... besides some of these are a long U-haul trip away from here... If anyone is getting near to that time to part with a 20V or similar... I'd like a chance at getting it...

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KKOL Temporary Transmitter Facilities

From: Fred Baumgartner

Pat Griffith is an avid AM DX'er, and his web sites are extrodinarilly interesting, if for no other reason that I have visited about half his sites, and he half of mine... he has far great old radio stuff and pictures in his collection, and thus, I think it certainly of interest to the SBE newsletter community.

fmb DXer/

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Amateur Radio News

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
Origin: Chapter 24

o The American Radio Relay League has asked the FCC to deny a petition, filed by a Virginia amateur, that would set aside eight channels in the 70-cm band on which visitors from Europe and the United Kingdom would be permitted to use their Personal Mobile Radio (PMR 446) transceivers while in the US. PMR 446 is similar to the US Family Radio Service (FRS), which uses frequencies in the 462- 467 MHz range.

The FCC put the Petition for Rule Making from Dr Michael Trahos, KB4PGC, on public notice in August. Trahos said his proposal would help to promote international goodwill. The General-class licensee asked the FCC to amend its Amateur Service "and/or" Family Radio Service rules to allow "visiting/transient/tourist non-amateur non-United States resident foreign nationals" unlicensed access to certain frequencies between 446.0 and 446.1 MHz at up to a half watt PEP output. Trahos also asserted that existing Part 97 Amateur Service rules precluding the use of PMR 446 radios in the US were "essentially unenforceable" and that granting his petition would have minimal impact on existing amateur operations. The ARRL contended, however, that there are "obvious" enforcement problems associated with the petition and that putting the unlicensed users on a ham band was "a formula for serious interference."

The ARRL band plan for 70 cm designates 446.0 MHz as a national calling channel. Other frequencies in the segment are for simplex or repeater use. In the US, government radiolocation services are primary and amateur radio is secondary on that portion of the 70-cm band.

o A new web site featuring "the bleeding edge of Amateur Radio technology" has hit the internet. Chris Karpinsky, AA1VL, recently developed the site to identify and encourage technological development in amateur radio. He wants the site to become a reference point for all the latest advances in the various ham radio niches including software- defined radios (SDRs), digital modes, and networking.

In an interview, Chris commented, "A problem I have found in the past is that I've stumbled across (by accident) many great projects people have done..." So, he thought it would be a good thing to develop a Slashdot-type news site just for amateur radio technology scoop. (The Slashdot site bills itself as the web site of "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.")

Like the Slashdot site, neoamateur features synopses of the latest news with links that permit you read the whole story. Chris says is a collaborative place where the site visitors develop much of the site content.

(Excerpts from "The ARRL Letter" and the web site)

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Robert Hammett Passes Away At The Age Of 82

From the CGC Communicator,

Robert L. Hammett, P.E., died peacefully on October 11, at age 82. He is survived by Luana, his wife of 57 years, by his three children, and by nine grandchildren.

Bob Hammett was raised in Bakersfield, California, and he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors at Stanford (1942) and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 1943. During WWII, he conducted radio research at Harvard Labs, and afterward began his career with A. Earl Cullem in Dallas, Texas.

In 1952, Bob started his own consulting practice in San Francisco, which grew to national renown maximizing coverage for AM, TV, and FM broadcasters. Bob fostered innovations in computer analysis and frequency utilization. He retired in 1988, and the firm of Hammett & Edison, Inc., Consulting Engineers, continues to this day, under the leadership of Bob's son.

Bob is remembered for his sharp mind, quiet wit, high ethics, and gracious manner. He was instrumental in several projects preserving the beauty of Fallen Leaf Lake, California, and he loved sailing. Remembrances in Bob's name may be made to Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

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Bumper Stickers You Probably Missed Because You Were Driving So Fast...

If You Can Read This, I've Lost My Trailer.

The Earth Is Full - Go Home.

Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult.

Honk If Anything Falls Off.

Cover Me, I'm Changing Lanes.

If You Can Read This, Please Flip Me Back Over...
(Seen Upside Down On A Jeep)

Boldly Going Nowhere.

Money Isn't Everything, But It Sure Keeps The Kids In Touch.

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Adult Excuses

Real notes written from parents in a Texas school district, original spellings left intact:

These are actual excuse notes from parents (including original spelling) collected by Nisheeth Parekh, University Texas Medical Branch @ Galveston

My son is under a doctor's care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot. Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31,32, and also 33.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don't know what size she wear.

Sally won't be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

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You Might be an Engineer If...
Thanks to Larry Ellis of Softwright!

Buying flowers for your girlfriend or spending the money to upgrade your RAM is a moral dilemma.

The salespeople at Radio Shack can't answer any of your questions.

You are at an air show and know how fast the skydivers are falling.

You comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.

You have ever saved the power cord from a broken appliance.

You know what http:// stands for.

You see a good design and still have to change it.

You spent more on your calculator than you did on your wedding ring.

You still own a slide rule and you know how to use it.

You think a pocket protector is a fashion accessory.

Your laptop computer costs more than your car.

Your wife hasn't the foggiest idea of what you do at work.

You've ever tried to repair a $5 radio.

You've already calculated how much you make per second.

My dad was an engineer and our family once went on a cruise. Everyone else on the cruise is on deck peering at the scenery, and my dad was still on a personal tour of the engine room!

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Newsletter Committee

Bill Harris

Garneth M. Harris

Newsletter archives are available online.
Visit for an index of newsletter back issues.
Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Societies, its officers, or its members. We regret, but are not liable for, any omissions or errors. The Denver SBE and SMPTE Newsletter is published approximately twelve times per year. It is prepared with a combination of text and graphic data. Submission deadline is 10 days before the last day of each month. Other SBE or SMPTE chapters are permitted to use excerpts if attributed to the original authors, sources, and/or the Denver SBE/SMPTE Newsletter.