SMPTE-SBE48 Newsletter Sustaining Membership Frequency Coordination Job Postings Useful Information
 
       
 

CONTENTS

Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

Random Radio Thoughts

Certification Exam Dates

Amature Radio News

Clay's Corner

Daylight Savings Time

Tougher Tower Rules

The YXZ Report

FCC Indecency Complaints

HD Radio & DTV Stats

GCC Communicator

Humor

Etc.

 

December, 2006

SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Meeting Report

SBE/SMPTE Networking Luncheon and Award Presentation

By Rome Chelsi, SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman

The joint SMPTE and SBE Chapter 48 annual networking and award luncheon was held December 8, 2006 at the Park Hill Golf Course in Denver. Thanks to Jim Schoedler for his efforts in organizing the event. This year’s Citation for Outstanding Service went to long time member John Helleyer of HSE. John was former Chief Engineer for KMGH prior to forming Helleyer communications – an RF consultancy. For many years he has served, on a volunteer basis, as game day frequency coordinator for the Denver Broncos. John provided us with an enlightening impromptu presentation on the logistics of coordinating in excess of 300 wireless frequencies. Most of us had no idea of the complexities of coordinating the various broadcast services, police and fire, coach to team communications, and stadium requirements. Thanks to John for his efforts, the Denver Broadcast Community salutes you for your fine work.



John Hellyer Recieves Citation for Outstanding Service

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Random Radio Thoughts


Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD
Crawford Broadcasting Company

Proofs
I mentioned last month that the FCC was once again taking a look at the AM directional antenna performance verification rules. Back in 2001, the FCC did a fairly extensive overhaul of the AM proof rules that had at that time been in place for close to 60 years. In that rulemaking, the FCC did away with base current monitoring/licensing and simplified partial proofs to essentially eight points between 3 and 16 km on the monitored radials. We were all very glad to see these changes come about. They greatly simplified our jobs without compromising the validity of the data.

One item considered in that same rulemaking was method-of-Moments (MoM) modeling of AM directional antennas. Some consulting engineers had proposed allowing MoM “proofs” to be used in lieu of traditional radial field measurements. The FCC did not reject this proposal out of hand but rather assigned it to a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Report and Order on the AM directional proof rulemaking. Comments were solicited and many responded, including a large group of broadcasters, equipment manufacturers, consultants and the NAB. The state of the modeling art at that point was such that a rather narrow window of eligibility was proposed for MOM modeling and proofing. But after the comment window closed… nothing. The issue, while still technically “alive” at the FCC, was given no more attention. Until last October, that is.

It was while I was on my way back to the office from the Audio Boot Camp that I got a call from Ben Dawson advising me that the MoM issue had once again floated to the top. He told me that an ad hoc committee was being formed to address the issue and invited me to attend the committee meeting in Washington in November. Having some experience in this area, I agreed and on the 14th of November I found myself in a Washington conference room in the august company of the “Who’s Who” in AM antenna engineering. Most of the big broadcast groups were represented along with a crowd from the consulting engineer and equipment manufacturing community. The FCC was also well represented with Ann Gallagher, Susan Crawford and Bin Nguyen in attendance.

At this meeting, we established that the state of the modeling art has advanced well beyond where it was in 2001, and many at the table had gained a considerable amount of experience in the years since the joint comments were filed. So a number of the constraints proposed earlier were set aside and the discussion centered on the requirements for “proofing” a sample system.

The idea behind MoM modeling and proofing of a directional antenna is that an array can be modeled using MININEC, NEC-4 or derivatives and a set of operating parameters (sample current or voltage phases and ratios) distilled from the model that will produce the required pattern in the far field when the antenna is adjusted to produce those parameters on the antenna monitor. The question is not whether the antenna will produce the desired far-field pattern if adjusted to the model parameters, but rather how to adjust the antenna to the model parameters. The sample system, including sample loops, transformers or voltage probes, sample lines and antenna monitor are all part of the test equipment used to set up the array to the model. The antenna monitor, which must be a Potomac 1900, is calibrated and can presumably be trusted. The sample pickups and lines, however, are variables and have to be “calibrated” in their installed locations. How to go about this initially was the big question. Perhaps the bigger question was how to periodically recalibrate or recertify the sample system (and how often).

The committee is going to meet again in January and hopefully put the remaining questions to rest, providing the FCC with a specific agreed-upon set of eligibility parameters and proof procedures that can be drafted into a rulemaking.

Over the years, I have set up a number of directional arrays using MoM modeling. It has been my experience that if great care is given to calibrating the sample system, setup time can be quite short. Back in 1996 I set up the KLTT 50 kW-D/1.4 kW-N four-tower array out near DIA in less than a week. More recently, we tuned up the KLDC four-tower nighttime array (collocated with the KLZ two-tower array) in two days. I think there is an excellent argument to be made that properly modeling and setting up a directional array can produce superior results in less time than traditional radial measurements. All the time, trouble and expense of imperfect magnetic field measurements can be eliminated. It is my hope and the hope of everyone on the committee (including the FCC) that opening this avenue with its lower and fixed costs will result in the rehabilitation of many existing directional arrays that now cause untold amounts of interference.

One last note: we are not proposing doing away with radial field measurements. Instead, we are proposing an option for those with eligible facilities who wish to go the MoM route. Just as topo maps are still the “final authority” over database terrain date when it comes to terrain data, field measurements will remain the final authority when interference is alleged or a challenge is raised.

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

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CERTIFICATION EXAM SESSION DATES:

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

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
Feb 9-19, 2007 Local Chapters December 29, 2006
April 17, 2007 NAB - Las Vegas March 2, 2007
June 1-11, 2007 Local Chapters April 20, 2007
Aug 10-20, 2007 Local Chapters June 8, 2007
Nov 9-19, 2007 Local Chapters September 21, 2007

Fees are as Follows:

Certification Level Member Non-Member
Broadcast Technologist $40 $100
Broadcast Networking Technologist $55 $115
Broadcast Engineer $55 $115
Audio/Video Engineer $55 $115
Senior Broadcast Engineer $80 $140
Professional Broadcast Engineer $105 $165
Specialist Certification    
AM Directional Specialist $50 $110
8VSB Specialist $50 $110

Please note: SBE Certification exams are administered only by SBE and are proctored in-person by qualified and approved representatives of SBE. No other organization is authorized to administer SBE exams.
Click here for more information about SBE Certification.

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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS

By Tom Weeden, WJ9H
From Chapter 24

Ending a protracted waiting period, the FCC’s Report and Order (R&O) in the so-called "omnibus" Amateur Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140, was adopted October 4 and released October 10. In it, the FCC adopted nearly all of the changes it had put forth in its 2004 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the proceeding. The R&O the FCC released does not include action on the Commission’s proposal to eliminate the Morse code requirement for all license classes.

In its October 10 Report and Order, the FCC:

• Expanded the phone subbands in the 75 and 40 meter bands;

• Agreed to allow Novice and Tech Plus (Technician with Element 1 credit) licensees to operate in the General class CW subbands on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters;

• Implemented rules to discourage multiple vanity call sign filings on the same day from the same applicant;

• Permitted auxiliary stations to transmit on portions of the 2 meter band;

• Permitted the use of spread spectrum on 222-225 MHz;

• Permitted amateurs to retransmit communications from the International Space Station;

• Permitted amateur licensees to designate a specific Amateur Radio club to receive their call sign in memoriam;

• Eliminated certain restrictions governing the manufacture, marketing and sale of external RF power amplifiers intended for Amateur Radio use;

• Clarified that "amateur stations may, at all times and on all frequencies authorized to the control operator, make transmissions necessary to meet essential communication needs and to facilitate relief actions;"

• Deleted the frequency bands and segments specified for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) stations;

• Deleted the requirement to publicly announce Amateur Radio examination locations and times;

• Permitted Amateur Radio stations in Alaska and surrounding waters more flexibility in providing emergency communications;

The FCC also took several other miscellaneous actions. The changes spelled out in the R&O go into effect 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League’s <arrl.org> web site)

SBE CHAPTER OF THE AIR:
HamNet meets the second Sunday of each month at 0000 GMT on 14.205 MHz. Hal Hostetler, WA7BGX is the Control Station.

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Clay's Corner

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

By Clay Freinwald
SBE Seattle Chapter 16

Wow does time fly !....It really hits you this time of year as I set here writing the last Corner for the year.

The BIG news this time around has to be the sale of Clear Channel. Seems to me that in most cases where a broadcast company goes through the selling thing that it starts with lots of rumors, a big media build up followed by lots of denial and finally it happens. This deal came together in a couple of weeks. This is indeed a big deal, 18.7 Billion… apparently one of the biggest deals of its type in history. To put this into perspective, the new owners, an investor group, get to assume a mountain of debt also…also in the Billions. The big question is what does this mean to us locally where Clear Channel operates a number of radio stations (KJR AM/FM, KUBE, etc) as well as KVOS-TV in Bellingham? At this stage not a lot is known other than the announcement that they will be selling their radio stations in markets below #100, almost 450 of them.…Meaning that stations in Tri-Cities, Yakima and Centralia in WaState may well be sold off…and they are going to sell their 42 station TV group, meaning that Ch12 will get a new owner. Apparently the Mays family that put this whole thing together will remain at the helm.

What I find the most interesting about this whole deal is the fact that conventional broadcasting (Radio and TV) can’t seem to gain any respect with Wall-Street. The Stock-Market is not interested in profit but rather in growth therefore upstart systems like XM and Sirius upstage businesses that have been around a long time. A lot of excuses are made for this citing the popularity of alternative sources and means for program delivery (IPOD’s and TV/Cellphone combo’s). The fact that Clear Channel was sold so quickly is a testimony to the fact that broadcasting has the ability to make money. I have to think that this may well be sending big-signals to other firms who may well consider doing the same thing. Time will tell.

Speaking of big-bucks…I see where some big names in television evangelism have started work on a 98 Mega-buck broadcast center on 93 acres in South Carolina….by the way, the group condemned commercial TV as evil.

The other big news item around here has been the weather. I had just left for Buffalo NY when the weather hit here. Kinda spooky to see stories about floods ‘back-home’ on local channels there. I found it interesting that one of the engineers I was working with back there had XM on his car radio and was able to get Seattle area traffic reports (chalk up one for Sat-Radio). I was checking email daily to find that the road to West Tiger was suffering from the heavy rain and at one point there was fear that the road might be washed out. This would have isolated 4 TV and a dozen radio station transmitters…something that does not happen too often. Luckily we came through this pretty well.

Birthday greetings to KPLU who has reached the ripe old age of 40. I recall (all too well) the humble start this little station has back then as a little 10 watter, then later when it increased power and gained a lot of TV coverage (of the wrong kind). This problem was resolved by moving to an old rail-road tower out by the Ch11 – North-40 – transmitter site south of Port Orchard. Almost 20 years ago the station joined my little project on West Tiger….a move that really put the station on the map. Since then they have added translators and transmitters providing them with coverage of much of Western Washington. Congrats to my friends at PLU for the milestone.

Another milestone was celebrated recently – The Radio Club of Tacoma had a homecoming dinner on Oct 21st to celebrate the occasion of the clubs 90th. I sat next to Mike Scott who now teaches at Bates Technical College in Tacoma. The highlight of the night was being able to chat with and listen to stories from one of their oldest members, Ken Keigley, W7DM. Ken is in his 90’s and drove himself to the dinner. For many years Ken taught broadcasting in Tacoma.

Seven big names in consumer electronics have teamed up to develop wireless technology to carry HD video around the house with the expressed goal of elimination of the behind the set mess of cables etc. Reportedly this stuff will work in the 60 gig band.

CBS now has all 4 of their local FM stations operating in HD as Arne Skoog completed the installation of the 96.5 operation at the ATC site on West Tiger, aka, WTM-II. In this installation all 4 of the FM signals come from Continental transmitters while the HD signal is generated by Harris equipment. Adding in the two Sandusky operations, this site now is the home to 6 of the area’s FM/HD operations. On the subject of HDR – Have you noticed the spots running for Crutchfield the on-line retailer for HD radio products? Have not heard much about HDR offerings from conventional walk-in stores.

HDR is sprouting up all over the place. Most recently an announcement was made that Broadcasters in Brazil have formed an organization to promote the system in their country. It’s becoming clear that the – FM Version – of the Ibiquity system is spreading beyond the US. My spies tell me that Canada is not far from making an announcement.. As for the AM version (currently on the air locally on KHHO) the road is certainly rougher due to considerable issues with post-sunset operations.

Auburn is busy installing camera’s at various intersections around the town…a recent survey from another city with a similar system showed 50% of those running red lights had cellphones to their ears. These systems are turning out to be great revenue generators.

Had my first chance to take a look at the new 99.3 transmitter site on South Mountain the other day as Nick Winter took me on a tour. Eventually this new facility will be the home to 97.7 as well. As usual, they wish to build it in the winter-time. If you think the road to West Tiger is bad…you ought to see this one!. If you are wondering where this site is…it’s a few miles west of Shelton and about 3000 feet up. The name apparently comes from the fact that it’s the most southern mountain in the Olympics.

Looking back at the elections – a recent pole showed the 23 million tuned into the election night coverage…this is 4 times the number that tuned into cable where Fox continued to be the winner in the cable news race. The elections generated over 2 Billion for TV alone.

More changes to local TV…It appears the Ch 11 is getting smaller all the time with the announcement that central-casting (credit to Kelly Alford) is coming to this station too. Reportedly their ‘Master’ will be in San Francisco. This has become all too common these days. Channel 13 here locally runs not only Ch22 but a PDX station from their Westlake facility. It’s my understanding that KVOS is handled from somewhere in Oklahoma…but this might change. I remember working at Ch11 when they were just moving into their new facilities in Tacoma….It kinda hurts to see a broadcaster down-size to this degree.

Do towers – really – kill birds? Seems that the US Fish and Wildlife think they do…and now the FCC has jumped into the act with the possibility that some sort of rule-making could be in the works. Now I don’t know about your experience…but I’ve been around towers for 45 years now and have yet to find any evidence of bird-kills. The only thing I have found tends to support the contention that many birds use our towers for landing locations so they might alter the color scheme via their digestive process. IMHO – This is just another attempt by those that don’t like towers to find a way to discredit them…If you can’t do it with NIER….then claim bird kill. I suspect the FCC will be receiving a lot of comment on this one. Too bad the FCC can’t seem to crank out rules for HD Radio and yet has time to deal with this one. Perhaps if the Department of Fish and Wildlife could join forces with Ibiquity……………Hmmmm

The senate recently gave Kevin Martin another term on the FCC, he has been on the Commission since 2001.

I’ve have given a lot of space in this column to multicasting in radio…Here’s a TV item that caught my attention. KALB-TV in Alexandria, La will be multicasting two networks…NBC and CBS.

It’s fascinating to watch how broadcasters scramble to integrate their products with on-line systems. For example – Radio is streaming and pod-casting…meanwhile TV station are enhancing their web-sites with expanded news stories and links to items mentioned on the air. The networks are using the ‘net’ to help build viewership by running samples of new programs on-line. Much the same way that movie makers have been doing for their products that are shown at the local multi-screen.

The FCC has also been busy tweaking the Amateur Rules by making a number of changes. Big change is the creation of more spectrum for ‘phone’ operation and less exclusively for CW etc. Contrary to the wishes of many that want to see the CW requirement go away…the FCC has yet to take that step. All I can say about that is that If I can do it….anyone can!

Received an email the other day from Jack Barnes….sounds like he is enjoying retirement…something that – someday- I will get to do also. On that subject – I am still working on coming up with what I will be doing after the first of the year….I’m getting closer, but at this writing it’s not final so I should not say more than that. Thanks for all the support.

Terry Spring reported that Ron Krouse passed away in Yakima in June. He said he used to work with Ron at KNDO in Yakima.

Another passing was that of Ed Bradley of 60 minutes/CBS fame. He was 65.

Chatted with Buzz Anderson recently. He has been busy over in Chelan building a new FM facility on 94.7 licensed to Manson. KZAL is the call. 10.2Kw on Bear Mountain. He was telling me about their tower. It’s a laminated wood pole 76 feet tall. Apparently similar to the ones used by cellular/PCS outfits and also support power and comm.. lines. Sounds like he is really enjoying working with small-town-radio. I have to admit, there is something to be said for that.

Also heard from Rich Petschke…Rich is now working for BSW in Tacoma selling broadcast equipment ‘ and loving it’. Thanks for reading the Waveguide Rich !

In cleaning out my office recently I ran across this item – A memo from John Forbes to the General Manager of KEZX dated Feb 22, 1977, providing him with a list of 950/aural STL frequencies in use in the Seattle area. Here are the call letters listed – KYYX, KIXI,KEZX,KBLE,KISW, KVI, KTAC, KZOK,KZAM,KERI, KEUT and KRAB. Anyone remember all of those?...if so you are getting OLD. This was back when John was in Radio…he’s been with KOMO doing video stuff for a number of years now. On the EAS Front – The 2007 RMT schedule is out. The schedule was distributed on the WaState EAS Remailer. It will also be posted on the WSAB Web-Site.

Interesting that many feel that Radio is way too cluttered with commercials….a new study just out has some interesting findings. Radio averages 9.42 Ads per hour while television averages 12-14.

That’s it for this month and this year…

Clay- CPBE-K7CR

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DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME - 007

By Stan Scharch
Thanks to Chapter 24 - Madison

In 2005, Congress passed an energy bill which included extending Daylight Saving Time by 4 weeks. It became law on August 8, 2005. Beginning in 2007, DST will start on the second Sunday of March and end on the first Sunday of November. In 1998 and 1999 we were patching computer systems for the ‘y2k bug.’ That was made necessary because many computer operating systems were not ready to recognize a 4-digit year in the code. They had been using 2-digits to represent the year and did not fully anticipate the potential y2k problem. To further complicate matters it was not immediately clear to users which systems were compliant and which were not.

Now it’s 2006 and we have a problem I’ll refer to as ‘DST-007’ which begins on March 11, 2007. Like y2k, this problem looms because of an unforeseen change that is needed in computer operating systems. Unlike y2k, this change is made necessary by the U.S. Federal Government. Unlike y2k, it is more easily understood which systems are DST-007 compliant and which are not. Most systems require a corrective measure to become compliant. The measure ranges from changing existing time zone definitions that already exist on some systems to installing patches on other systems where mechanisms to redefine it do not already exist. Some systems may require that the user revert to manually making the semi-annual DST changes. Lastly some systems don’t care about DST (wish I could say the same!). Users are already accustomed to changing such systems manually. They must begin doing this on a new schedule in 2007.

Here is a basic explanation of how time works on most computer systems. The computer clock keeps track of time in UTC (Universal Coordinated Time, aka: Zulu, Greenwich, etc...) which is the same everywhere in the world. No time zones, no DST. The local OS (Operating System) then calculates and displays the correct local time based on UTC. Example: Madison, WI in the summer(DST). UTC -6:00(CST) +1:00(DST). In other words, 18:00 UTC = 13:00 local. If Madison in winter (non-DST) then UTC -6:00. 18:00 UTC = 12:00 local.
An important thing to be aware of is the time zone calculations are made locally on each computer system. So if your computer receives the clock reference from a corporate server or from one of the many time servers on the internet, it’s getting UTC – not the local time in most cases. The correct local time depends on the calculation described above which takes place in the background on your computer – even those on most corporate networks.

Microsoft says it will release free patches for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Windows Vista will be shipped with the patch already installed. Older Microsoft operating systems (Windows 2000 and beyond) are no longer under full support so it is unclear what patches will be made available (Windows 2000 users that have an ‘extended support contract’ will qualify for a patch). Microsoft also has a tzedit.exe utility that can be used to manually fix the DST-007 problem on each computer – including the older ones.

After all the y2k hoopla, Jan. 1, 2000 itself ended up being pretty much a non event. Maybe it’s because we spent a lot of time and money working on the problem in 1998 and 1999, or maybe it’s because it just didn’t matter all that much if January 2000 was represented as Jan 00 or Jan 100. As with many things the truth is somewhere in the middle. The best thing to do at this point is to determine the importance of DST on your systems and what action is required to adapt to the new DST-007 schedule. We will probably read more about this in the next few months.

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FAA Tougher Tower Rules

Thanks to Chapter 43 - Sacramento

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed major changes to the factors it considers in determining whether proposed construction of new towers or modifications to existing communications facilities are hazards to air navigation. The proposed changes would have a significant effect on broadcasters by preventing or delaying tower construction, and restricting changes in existing facilities even where no new tower construction is proposed.

Under the existing FCC rules broadcasters must notify the FAA of any proposed new tower construction or modification that is 200 feet or higher or that lies within certain specified airport approach paths. The FAA evaluates these notifications to determine whether the tower is a potential physical obstruction to aircraft and, in the case of FM radio and VHF-TV facilities, whether the facility will potentially cause electromagnetic interference (EMI) to aircraft navigation equipment.

In its pending rule making, the FAA is proposing to expand the scope of its review of FCC-licensed communications facility applications, particularly their EMI effect. At a minimum the new rules, if adopted, will cause significant delays in the construction timetable for otherwise routine towers. Additionally, whole new classes of FCC applications will be made subject to prior FAA approval.

For more information see web site at http://beradio.com/fcc/radio_faa_proposes_tougher/

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THE YXZ REPORT

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

RANDY PUGSLEY TO CHURCHILL MEDIA
Former Infinity-Portland Director of Engineering then Educational Media Foundation contract transmitter-site and audio-processing guru Randy Pugsley is now Director of Engineering for Churchill Media, headquartered in Eugene.

A COUPLE MORE LOCAL COPPER-THEFT STORIES
John White K7RUN quotes Loren Flindt KB7APU on the OR-ENG remailer about copper theft at the Larch Mountain communications site: "...copper grounding plates off the building and cut the grounding cables off the tower legs. They also cut the ground wires from the hardline. They also tried to dig up the ground wires from the ground near the base of the tower."

Tim VanDenBos W7TRV of KOIN reports: "Two weeks ago our site at Grizzly Mt. shared with KATU, KGW, KPTV and KFXO had a similar problem. They cut the tower ground wires and pulled them out of the ground as far as possible before cutting them off. They also took our large multi-strand ground wire to the grounding plate mounted outside the building. Fortunately they left the ground wires from the waveguides and the copper ground buss alone. Bob (KFXO) and I went up there last week and replaced the ground wires.
Unfortunately this kind of activity will not stop as long as recyclers keep taking the stolen material from these guys. Word to the wise, keep all your spare coax, Heliax, waveguide, etc. inside and protect the outside material as best you can. We have had incidents on our Sylvan Hill property cutting 4" Heliax into six or seven foot sections, hauled over our fence and then they drive around to pick them up.

MORE WEBSITES WITH PICTURES OF TRANSMITTER SITES
Gray Haertig reports through the OR-ENG remailer: " Some of you on these lists have been following my building projects up in the Healy Heights tower farm here in Portland. I've posted a few before and after pictures of the old KXL-FM transmitter building for your enjoyment at: http://www.well.com/user/dmsml/stonehenge/index.html .

Consultant Don Mussell has been kind enough to host these pictures on his web site. There are also a bunch of pictures of the Stonehenge Tower installation at this URL.

As I get the time, I will post some pictures of the progress on the Harold Singleton house which I am remodeling for myself. It is located between the old KXL building and Stonehenge. While you're there, check out all the other pictures Don has on his web site - http://www.well.com/user/dmsml/look.html . Thanks, Don!"

LIFE WITH HD RADIO
Holding at 12 FM HD signals (nine with HD2) and two AM HD signals on the air in the Portland market.
1330 KKPZ turned on their HD Radio signal.

I took a trip to my nearest Radio Shack after hearing in one of the ever-present (at least on commercial radio) HD Radio spots that they have HD Radios now. The manager knew a little about HD Radio, and said they had exactly ONE coming and he wasn't sure if it was a Boston Acoustics Receptor HD, or an Accurian Tabletop HD Radio (Captain? The Accurian ship is powering up its weapons!) which is on their website at http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2460834&cp and is $174.99 after rebate. The info says it has 24 presets.

Ironically, an actual radio listener walked in right after me and asked about HD Radio. After we found out they had nothing on display yet, I suggested that he go down the street to Magnolia Audio Video. Boston Acoustics is not on Magnolia's website, but Magnolia is on Boston's site as a Receptor HD dealer, as is Fry's.

From http://www.radiosophy.com/status/:
" 10/13/2006 Update - Our radio has been certified by iBiquity! We can now begin the manufacturing process and will post a firm product ship date soon.
Thank you for your patience during this long process - we're almost there!
Orders placed today will be an additional 2 to 3 weeks from our first ship date."

The Taste of NAB Road Show had a powered and working Radiosophy MultiStream HD radio on display. I got to play with it for a few minutes, and it's pretty cool. Easier to use than the Receptor, but no where near the bass response. No problem receiving most of the Portland FM HD signals with its whip antenna.

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FCC GETS COMMENTS ON INDECENCY COMPLAINTS

By Tom Smith
Madison – Chapter 24

On March 15, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit remanded back to the FCC for review an order in Complaints Regarding Various Television Broadcasts Between February 2, 2002 and March 8, 2005.
The Court ordered review of the part of the order that the FCC found in violation of the rules. The shows were NYPD Blue, The Early Show, and the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards. FOX and CBS filed a joint petition to the Court asking for Review.

On September 7, 2006, the FCC opened a two-week comment period on the issue. On September 21st, the FCC did something they normally don’t do: they placed a link on the home page of the FCC website with links to the 16 comments they received. There were joint comments from FOX and CBS as well as comments from Minnesota Public Broadcasting. There were 13 comments from public interest groups and a group link to e-mail comments from the public.

From the openness of the comment process, the FCC considers this issue as very important on its agenda.
During 2004, the FCC imposed monetary sanctions for indecency violations up to $1,183,000, for an aggregate annual total of $3,658,000. In addition, some entities chose to settle claims against them and made voluntary payments to the U.S. Treasury, totaling $7,928,080 in 2004.

The FCC has information regarding the regulation of obsenity, indecency, and profanity at http://www.fcc.gov/eb/oip/Welcome.html, as part of the scope of the FCC Enforcement Bureau.
From FCC Releases (www.fcc.gov)

 

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HD RADIO & DTV STATISTICS

OVER 1000 HD RADIO STATIONS NOW BROADCASTING
According to the iBiquity Digital, there are 1046 HD radio stations that are on the air in the US. According to the iBiquity web site, approximately one new HD Radio broadcaster goes on the air each day, reaching every major U.S. city and 60% of all listeners.

NEARLY 1600 DTV STATIONS ARE ON THE AIR
As of November 8th, there are 1584 DTV stations in 211 markets providing programming. Over 99.98% of all US homes are in markets with at least one DTV signal on the air.
In Wisconsin there are 44 DTV stations currently on air. The National Association of Broadcasters maintains a list of DTV stations that are in operation. This can be found at the NAB web site (www.nab.org).

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FROM THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

by Bob Gonsett W6VR
Copyright 2006 Communications General(r) Corporation (CGC)
http://www.bext.com/_CGC/

LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT SKY, AND CAPTURING THE SIGNAL
Just for fun, I fired up the 150W high pressure sodium (HPS) lamp in my backyard the other night (see CGC #760) to light up the coastal low clouds, and was able to copy the signal three miles away. I have attached a JPEG of an audio spectrum screen capture using Spectrum Lab software.

The 120 Hz line is all of the other lights in the county, and the 135 Hz line is the 150W HPS lamp received three miles away. The lamp is being driven at 67.5 Hz, so it flickers at twice that rate, or 135 Hz.

Although the lamp was being driven with straight 67.5 Hz power for this test, the received signal is strong enough that we could easily copy text using Jason serial tone modulation. We'll probably set up to do a two-way text QSO using Jason and the HPS lamps via clouds soon. Kerry Banke, N6IZW, kbanke (at) qualcomm.com http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Images/0610082054.jpg .

VULNERABILITIES OF CELLPHONES STUDIED
U.C. Davis Assistant Professor Hao Chen and a team of graduate students are looking into the potential for cyber-attacks focused on cellphones and cellular networks. Chen's team has already found ways to use a PC to flood mobile phones with data streams, quickly accelerating battery drain, a technique that could simultaneously target 5,000 phones. Read about "zombies" and more: http://www.sacbee.com/103/story/43930.html

CRTs FAST BECOMING EXTINCT
By 2010, iSuppli predicts CRTs will account for only 2.1 million (or 5%) of the 44 million TV sets sold. Flat screens will be all the rage. http://tinyurl.com/yy8e53

SOFTWARE DEFINED RADIOS HAILED FOR INTEROPERABILITY
Software defined radios (SDRs) will allow emergency responders from various agencies to communicate with each other according to this report from Government Computer News, so SDRs may become the technology of choice for "interoperability." And the prices of SDRs are expected to drop in the near future. http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/42398-1.html .

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Humor

Grand-Humor

My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, "62." He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What's it about?" he asked. "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting," she said, "How do you make babies?" "It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'"

 

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Etc.

Newsletter Committee

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

Garneth M. Harris

Newsletter archives are available online.

Visit www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews for an index of newsletter back issues.
Note: Old newsletters may contain outdated information, web links or email addresses. News archives are not updated when relevant information changes.

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


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

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