Monthly Archives: January 2012

December 2011 Meeting Report

January 7, 2012

Annual Holiday Luncheon at Park Hill

Proposed Front Range 450 MHz BAS Band Plan

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Time: 11:30AM to 1PM
Location: Park Hill Golf Club, 4141 E. 35th Avenue, Denver, CO 80207
Topic: Proposed Front Range 450 MHz BAS Band Plan
Cost:  Bellaire Buffet, $15 per person
Presenters:  Ray Benedict, SBE Frequency Committee Chair; Paul Deeth, KCNC

Meeting Report:
The December meeting was held at the Park Hill Golf Club where members and guests enjoyed the usual delicious Holiday Buffet provided by the club’s catering staff. Following the meal SBE national board member Ray Benedict and Paul Deeth of the KCNC engineering staff provided a entertaining and informative talk on their efforts to license a new Motorola digital 2-way radio system in the 450/455 MHz Broadcast Auxiliary spectrum. The process has been hindered by regulatory confusion about the emission designators that can be licensed. Once this issue has been resolved, KCNC and KMGH will take advantage of new features such as GPS location information and multiplexed transmissions that the new radios enable. A new 450/455 MHz band plan will facilitate migration to the new digital service without disruption to existing analog frequency assignments. Mr. Benedict also discussed SBE’s educational efforts and other member benefits.

Notice of SBE Election:
At the December SMPTE-SBE48 meeting, SBE members elected Tony Roccanova or 5280 Broadcast as Chairman and Shane Toven of Wyoming Public Media as Vice Chairman of SBE Chapter 48. We would like to thank immediate past chairman Scott Barella of Larcan for his service to the Chapter.

Lunch included Park Hill’s Bellaire Holiday Buffet:

  • Baby Spinach, Dried Cranberries, Candied Pecans, and Feta Cheese with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Waldorf Salad
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Old Fashioned Stuffing
  • Sage Roasted Turkey with Sherry Mushroom Gravy
  • Sliced Smoked Ham with a Maple Glaze

We would like to thank 5280 Broadcast (Tony Roccanova), BTX (Cliff Wernet), Burst (Kirk Basefsky and Robin Heywood), KCNC (David Layne), and RF Specialties of TX (Denver Office – Jim Schoedler) for sponsoring the Holiday Luncheon. Their contributions to this event make it possible to keep the cost to members low.


Jim Schoedler,SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Chairman
Scott Barella, SBE Chapter 48 Chairman


KEØVH Hamshack for January 2012

January 7, 2012

Jack Roland KEØ


HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope and pray that all of you will enjoy a prosperous and joyful 2012 with the Lord, your families, and at your work.

Last month I had the picture of the General Electric radio that my wife and I bought from a used furniture store in downtown Denver in the December article.  We have really enjoyed listening to KEZW in Denver, which is a Standards/Nostalgia station in the area on this radio.  I have really enjoyed the big band/hits format of the station, especially when working on old tube radio’s.  They just sound better playing the older hits!  (BTW, Rick Crandall, the PD of the station, is a MOST EXCELLENT programmer).  We really enjoyed listening to the Christmas music on the station.  But I digress.

As my wife and I were listening to the radio in the kitchen during the holidays, I happened to notice these are the dial of the radio.

I saw the old “CD” for Civil Defense markings, “CD Mark” symbols like this (though generally shown as simple white triangles) were on every radio sold in the U.S., at the 640 kHz and 1240 kHz frequency points, to help listeners find the CONELRAD  stations.  There is some interesting information on all this at  Also about amateur radio in this wikipedia article, it states:

“Beginning January 2, 1957, U.S. amateur radio came under CONELRAD rules and all stations, while operating, were required to verify at least once every 10 minutes that a normal broadcast station was on the air. If not, the amateur operators were required to stop transmitting. Several companies marketed special receivers that would sound an alarm and automatically deactivate the amateur’s transmitter when the monitored broadcast station went off the air.”

A very interesting cold war amateur radio rule I didn’t know about.  There is a very interesting web site with all things Civil Defense at  There are many interesting websites and videos to be found on the net regarding this subject.

One fine day before Christmas I had to spend some time on Cheyenne Mountain cleaning and working on my transmitters, then took some lunch time and drove over to an adjacent hilltop close to the transmitters and operated 10 meter mobile for a lunch hour.  It was a great time, as I worked a bunch of east coast stations and back thru Pennsylvania, AND 1 station in New Zealand even!  25 watts out of my Realistic HTX-10 to a unity gain mag mount mobile antenna on the Durango.

The Durango on the mountain top                  

HTX-10 on 28.480 mHz

It was fun to be on the “DX” station end, as I had a mini pileup on me when I called “CQ from the top of 9600 foot Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs”.  I worked solid stations calling me for about 30 minutes, including the New Zealand station.  LOTS of ham radio fun!  Try it sometime from one of your transmitter sites if you are so equipped.  With 10 meters being open as of late, a great time is to be had!  6 Meters has been open a lot lately too, so I think I may try to contrive a 6 meter antenna (I have a dipole I cut for my trip operating 6 meters from the top of Mount Lincoln back in August of 2008.  You can read about that ham radio adventure at  I think I may take the Ranger RCI-5054 DX-100 up Cheyenne Mountain sometime towards the summer season and see what I can work from the same spot.

Don’t forget the SBE IRLP/ECHOLINK Hamnet, the 1st Saturday of the month and the 3rd Thursdays now.  Details on how to join us are at


Clay’s Corner for January 2012

January 7, 2012

Welcome to 2012 !

Lots of news this month….

Contrary to what we were hearing, the FCC did not release their new EAS Rules…so the waiting continues.   We do know that FEMA has been testing the new IP based national system called IPAWS open.   For those of you that have Dasdec EAS equipment, you can receive the test messages being sent by the Feds.

On the subject of EAS, the next SECC meeting will be on January 11th at the NWS facility at Sand Point at 930 AM.   If you are interested in EAS, please join us.

Apparently KSTW is continuing to take apart their station.   Sad to watch this station continue to get smaller.  First they sold their, very nice, studio complex in Tacoma to move to Tukwila, and then they moved into the transmitter building (Shades of Channel 13 in the 60’s).   They sold their tower on Capitol Hill to Richland Towers and now they have elected to shut down their translator near Pt. Townsend.   I remember Paul Crittenden working to get that system on the air.   Thankfully Paul is not able to see the station he worked so hard to build be dismantled, piece by piece.

Fisher has joined KSTW in selling assets, in their case, by selling Fisher Plaza for 160 megabucks.    Now they can look forward to paying about 285 Grand a month for rent to stay there.   Bet their GM just loves that move.

We have another new FM station on the air in this area.  KLOP-FM is on the air from Capital Peak with 76 Kw on 88.1.   This change marks the end of KPLU’s long running translator on that frequency from their former main site south of Port Orchard at View Park.   KLOP is the 2nd FM on the air from the site southwest of Olympia, the other is KNBQ which is now simulcasting KJR.   KPLU will be moving that translator to 92.1.

Everyone is still talking about the sale of KVOS-TV for 2.9 Million.   It’s hard to believe that a TV station is now worth less than many radio stations.   As they say….Who wudda thunk?  The stations new owner also owns KFFV that is broadcasting from the Richland/KSTW tower on Capitol Hill.   The stations new Chief is Rick Kemp who used to be the chief of Channel 22 and more recently was working for Journal Broadcasting in Boise.

Speaking of money…How about the Clear Channel debt?   It’s in the Billions!

Every once in a while you read about a tower worker falling from a tower to their death in what has been described as the most dangerous occupation in the world.   On Dec 26th a tower contractor in Florida died while 600 feet up a tower.   Apparently he was changing out tower lamps at the time.  I took 4 hours to recover the victim.   Tragically, his grandson was working on the ground and was the one that called rescue workers.

Seattle area radio ratings are out and Sandusky’s Warm-106 is enjoying a solid #1 rating.

Other observations – KIRO-FM is #2 followed by KISW.  Showing that AM still works, KOMO comes in at #4.   NCE’s are a huge factor with KUOW at # 5 and KPLU at #10

Looks like this year could be a real winner for those stations that are able to cash-in on the political bucks….especially if what’s happening in Iowa is any indication.  Reported $10 Million has already been spent.

The FCC has extended the dead line for comments to permit asymmetrical power levels in HD Sidebands.  The situation is this ….Some FM stations are limited as to how much they can increase their HD power levels (from -20dbc) due to adjacent channel stations.  After all, those HD carriers are actually on adjacent frequencies.   In some cases a station could be ‘clear’ on one side permitting -10dbc operation, while limited to some lessor power level on the ‘other’ side.   The proposed rule would permit those stations to increase HD power levels to the maximum permitted by running different amounts of power in each side-band.   The delay is apparently due to the Holidays.

Here’s an interesting situation – What happens when an AM Station applies for and is granted an FM Translator…and then, for perhaps a very good reason, turns off their AM …Can they continue to operate their FM?

Copper theft continues to make the news.  Recently about 300 folks in Florida were without phone service as thieves pulled wire out of telephone company boxes.    There have been a couple of interesting ideas surface recently.    1) Include in your ground system some copper tubing filled with Freon.  When the thief cuts into it, letting the Freon escape, they are breaking EPA laws and (perhaps) be subject to more enforcement action.   2) Again use some copper tubing in your grounding system, pressurize it with the same air you use for your transmission lines.   Install a valve to isolate it from the antenna system and install a pressure sensing switch on the tubing.   This way when the thief cuts into the tube (assuming you put the tubing on top) the release of air causes the switch to change state which is connected to a silent alarm.  This should enable the thieves to be caught before they get into the ‘good stuff’…Baiting a trap is not really a new idea; however, I don’t know many broadcasters that have used this old trick.     Got an idea, let me know.

A station in Papillion, Nebraska had an un-usual theft…In this case thieves stole their Satellite Antenna, several LP Gas Tanks and the fence that surround it.    I get the impression that everything made of metal is subject to being taken these days.   Seems like only a matter of time before some major station gets hit.   Then the money will be spent on the alarm system.

I’ve written about KOMO adding an FM (97.7) and, more recently KJR with 102.9…Over in Yakima, KIT has added a FM simulcast.    This is just another example of an action that is making more and more people ask the question….is the AM band going to fade away?  Meanwhile it’s reported that Radio added about 1.4 million listeners in 2011.   The new study shows that radio now reaches some 241.3 million people over age 12 each week or 93% of the population.   Not too bad for a medium this old.

While in Durango, Colorado this past fall I could not help but notice the picture on the elevator door.   I just have to share this with you …

I have to wonder if the hotel had any idea of the significance of the sign on the old truck?

Looking closer –


It’s the time of year for predictions and the USC Annenberg Center is out with theirs…Printed newspapers will virtually disappear in 5 years.    I guess I’m really an old fogey…but I enjoy going to a restaurant for breakfast while reading the paper.   I guess I am supposed to take a “pad” with me …or read the on-line edition on my smartphone?

KWDB in Oak Harbor has been sold and, for some odd reason, the media trades are stating that this station is in the Seattle-Tacoma area.  Someone needs a geography lesson.

The FCC has new environmental rules in the works for towers that require ASR’s.  After 8 years of study they have concluded there is some impact on migratory birds.   If you really want to know…check out –

The CALM Act and FCC Rules designed to deal with loud TV Spots is on the way …December 13, 2012 is the date.

Interesting to follow the troubles for LightSquared.  This is the firm that proposed to build systems using spectrum adjacent to the existing GPS band.   Let’s put it this way…Glad I did not invest in this one.

A really bad windstorm in SoCal a month ago caused an antenna to fall off a tower, perhaps more correctly, was blown off a tower.   In this case, KSCI’s UHF-TV Antenna consisted of a 60 foot Andrew slot array on top of a big 20 foot pipe.   Remarkably the antenna fell away from other users of the tower causing minimal damage to other equipment.  Thankfully it was on a remote mountain top near LA and did not injure anyone.    I can’t imagine what would happen if something similar took place on Queen Anne or Capitol Hill.

Not long ago there were those that were predicting that Satellite Radio was doomed to fail….Perhaps their demise is yet to come….for now Sirius-XM is predicting there will be 100 million cars equipped with Sat-Radio in 2012.   Perhaps they are counting folks like me whose car came with one.  After losing the signal every time a grove of firs got in the way I decided to pass.

Ever since computers and the Internet have become part of the average home, broadcasters have been concerned about this new competitor for people’s time.    Now we have a new study that looks into why people go online….the conclusion – ‘for no particular reason’ or to just past the time.  Now if broadcasters can figure out how to combat that one.

In an interesting move….The Alabama Broadcasters Association has announced they are going to establish a Broadcast Engineering Academy at the ABA office.   They are working with the SBE to insure that their work is eligible for SBE Certification.   I asked Mark Allen of the WSAB if he was aware of this, he said he was, but there were no plans to do this here in this state.

Last month we played with the over use of the work ‘UP’….and thanks for the contributions, I may re-visit this in the future.

This month we will continue our educational series with a wonderful collection of nouns for various groups of animals……A – HERD of cows, a FLOCK of Chickens, a SCHOOL of fish,

And a GAGGLE of geese.   Then there is a PRIDE of lions, a MURDER of crows, an EXALTATION of doves…or, a PARLIAMENT of owls…..But what about a bunch of Baboons?

And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons?   Believe it or not….’a CONGRESS !

Enjoy this election year !
Till next month

Clay, K7CR, CPBE



‘Twas The Night at the Site…

January 7, 2012

I know you can relate to this one!
Merry Christmas from the Heartland!

– Tom Beattie


‘Twas The Night at the Site…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and up at the site,
Not a creature was stirring, not the kind that can bite.
The gear had been checked and checked twice with great care,
In the hopes that on Christmas I’d be home and not there.
The GM was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of dollar signs danced in his head.
The station was fine; I hung up my cap,
And planned to relax with a long winter’s nap.

When there on the nightstand the phone raised a clatter,
Remote control calling, its mechanical chatter
Confirmed what I feared and knew in a flash:
The plates read “point zero.” I’d just have to dash.

To the site with the moon on the new fallen snow,
I pulled on my boots and made ready to go.
When I got up the mountain the problem was clear
Some guy thought our building looked just like a deer.

With a dead RF final and drive way too hot
I knew in my gut what it was that got shot.
A hole in the tube! That’ll cause it to fail.
“But where is the spare?” I started to wail.

On a shelf? In the cabinet! Where is that darned spare?
In a box marked “Still Good”? Nope, not even there.
I looked on the porch, on the shelf on the wall
I dashed this way and that way and dashed down the hall.

And then in a twinkling, I found what I needed
And did a quick check as the job was completed.
I pushed the plates on, and was turning around
When up the tube’s chimney, smoke came with a bound.

I was frozen with fear, from my head to my foot,
As my clothes got all covered with ashes and soot.
A bundle of money had just flown up that stack
And I cursed that guy’s gun hanging back in its rack.

My eyes were not merry, my smile likewise buried.
My cheeks were all bristly, my mood was still harried.
My droll little mouth was locked tight in a frown
As I worked toward “back on” instead of “still down.”

The shorting rod shook as I gritted my teeth
And the smoke? It circled my head like a wreath.
Now, I have a broad face, some say a round belly
But there was no laughter that night, no bowlful of jelly.

I was crabby and tired, not a Christmas Eve elf
As I yelled and I stammered and felt bad for myself.
In the blink of an eye and a punch of a button
I’d burned up big bucks, just all of a sudden.

I spoke not a word, went straight back to work,
And found a new cap and plugged it in with a jerk.
And keeping my finger real close to “Plate Off,”
Punched it back on with a small, nervous cough.

A new spring in my step, I gave up a shout.
It powered right up! I can finally get out!
The sun was just up as I drove from the site
Merry Christmas to me; I’m done! …
For tonight.

Amateur Radio News

January 7, 2012

by Tom Weeden WJ9H: Thanks to Chapter 24 

In their regular meeting late last year, the four FCC Commissioners unanimously agreed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). These devices will be used on a secondary basis as part of the Medical Data Radiocommunication Service in Part 95 of the FCC rules. The Amateur Radio Service also has a secondary allocation on the 70 cm band. These new rules are the result of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that the FCC released in March 2009. A Report & Order that will define these new rules is expected soon. According to the FCC, these devices would greatly expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to those persons with paralyzed limbs and organs; they would be implanted in a patient and function as wireless broadband medical micropower networks (MMNs). Calling the new rules an “advance[ment of] its mobile broadband agenda,” the FCC said this will create “a new generation of wireless medical devices that could be used to restore functions to paralyzed limbs. Medical Micropower Networks (MMNs) are ultra-low power wideband networks consisting of multiple transmitters implanted in the body that use electric currents to activate and monitor nerves and muscles.”

The Commission also noted that its National Broadband Plan — released in 2010 — observed “that the use of spectrum-agile radios and other techniques can significantly increase the efficient use of radio spectrum to meet growing demand for this valuable resource. MMNs illustrate how advanced technology can enable the more efficient use of spectrum to deliver innovative new services.” The American Radio Relay League, in comments filed in 2009, said, “The Amateur Service has a practical inability to protect patients wearing RF susceptible MMNs from interference from ongoing amateur operations in the 420-450 MHz band, and therefore all MMN operation is going to have to be conditioned on the ability to withstand and operate in the presence of such high-power signals, and thus subordinate in allocation status to the Amateur Service.”