The KE0VH Hamshack for November

November 2018                     

BUSY Fall SO FAR!  The weather turned wintry in Denver the week of October 8th!   An ice storm above 6500 feet, which of course effected Denver area broadcasters, then a 60 plus degree day, then a Sunday not out of the 20’s, then a week of clear sunny skies and 50’s to 60’s.  I LOVE COLORADO on the front range!

Now for the Monday Night SBE Chapter 73’ Of The Air, we are on the web with the live stream of the Rocky Mountain Radio League repeaters at: https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/25448/web. If you can’t check into the NET please listen in there and then email me that you are listening over the internet, and I will count that as a check in!

Details on how to join us on the NET are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

As many may or may not know, I am doing a radio show on WFLI Chattanooga Tennessee as they have gone back to their 60’s and 70’s Top 40 roots.  I am loving doing it for fun as an almost screaming Top 40 DJ really up tempo delivery like back in the day.  I’m on from 10-1a Eastern, 8-11 mountain with the same kind of fun we had back then!  With the setup in the Hamshack voice tracking is easy and pretty quick.  I was asked to show how I am doing it.  I get the logs from the FLI guys, then cold track them as the automation system they have at this time doesn’t have remote tracking capability.  I remember the music and can even preview a song thru my collection or hear it off YouTube these days J.

I am using Audacity as the recorder, Radio DJ for playing bits and drops, and the 3rd computer on the left for internet information and such.  A pretty functional radio studio as well as hamshack and flight simulator setup!  See this edition for the Flight Sim Setup:  http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201804April.pdf .

The voicetracking setup with the Heil Classic Pro microphone, Radio DJ computer using the “Instant Player” feature for playing drops and bits, essentially as a “cart” machine!

The log for the midnight hour and a voice track below in Audacity

Check it out the station when you can at:

www.WFLIOnline.com

And this is really cool!  The week of 11/14-17 I will be doing my show live from the WFLI control room in Chattanooga as I am taking time to visit my mom in the area and stopping in to have some fun ON AIR LIVE! 

Now the cool thing about this is that this is the very first Control Room I EVER WORKED in radio!  The station itself is largely unchanged over the years, and so it will be very nostalgic and fun!  I will post pictures here in a newsletter article soon, and even a video aircheck on my YouTube channel (I hope!)

MANY MANY things are going on in amateur radio in the KEØVH base and mobile hamshacks.  I am back into operating some DMR with the addition of the Zumspot DMR Hotspot.  Lots of activity with these very small and compact, plus easy to operate units when you can’t hit a DMR repeater or you are mobile using the hotspot thru the cell phone hotspots.

It sounds a bit complicated but really isn’t.  The little Zumspot is available thru HRO, and of course it isn’t the only offering available.  DMR to me had been troublesome and not really very effective with operating around Denver, with the exception of the RMHam (Rocky Mountain Ham) groups linked repeater systems around the state, but they are not hooked into the Brandmeister world wide networks to facilitate for instance talking to Kenny K4KR in the Chattanooga Tennessee area.

SO with the sale of several pieces of gear and a couple of radios, I was able to get some new gear for the KEØVH Mobile hamshack.  The first is the Yaesu FTM-400 true dual band Yaesu Fusion rig with built in GPS and APRS.  I absolutely love this radio with the 3.5 inch touch screen.  Menus are easy to navigate, something I have found that almost all Yaesu radios have in common.  50 watts out makes it a mobile with punch on both UHF and VHF.  APRS is fully operational in one band while monitoring on another frequency on the other.  This includes the digital Fusion C4FM system that is operational in many repeaters around the country.  You can also do DMR with this rig and a hotspot that translates the Fusion system to DMR.  With the screen size too it makes viewing during mobile operation really easy.  There are so many features available with this rig you need to check it out for yourself.  The faceplate is totally mountable to your dash in many configurations, or however you may want to do so.  It comes with a separation cable I have mounted my radio under the seat with the control head on a dash mount easily viewable.  The microphone plugs into the main radio, and not the control head, so that was one possible negative as you don’t have a lot of standard cable length to play with.  However, you may obtain a Yaesu factory microphone extension, but it is kind of pricey.  HRO actually has an aftermarket extension cable that they offer for much much less.  I bought one of these and am really pleased with the length and quality.  Works great in my installation.

The FTM-400 control head with dual band display.

As you see in the picture above, another great feature not selected here is a bandscope.  The radio will also with its onboard GPS will display altitude, number of GPS satellites in view, and more.

The APRS function of this radio being built in is surely a really big deal.  It will also display the information, distance to, and direction from the station being received.

HEY! It’s my buddy Robert KC8GPD with a status beacon just sent

A shot of the screen with me talking to Kenny K4KR using the radios Yaesu Fusion to DMR function of my hotspot utilizing simplex 446.075  & digital mode. More on that later!

AND, although there is a normally hefty price tag for this radio, Ham Radio Outlet has it on sale thru the beginning of the year that you simply must check out!

And, I decided to go ahead and get a companion backup rig to the 400, the Yaesu FTM-100, also on sale at HRO.  This radio is a perfect backup and addition to have in the office, and for utility carry around use.  I am actually taking this radio with me on my above mentioned trip to Chattanooga for APRS, beaconing as KE0VH-9, (look for it 11/14 thru 18) Fusion to DMR use with the hotspot (still to come in this article) and for talking on the analog AllStar W4YI repeater in Chattanooga to tie into K1DUN 449.450 in Denver.  This is going to be a fun trip with this radio along in the rental car!

The FTM-100 DR/DE front panel

This radio does basically all the 400 does except isn’t a “true” dual bander, doing only one function and band at a time, with the exception of being able to “Dual Watch”, listening on one frequency and frequently sampling another for a signal.  And, one more limitation, while beaconing APRS, you must manually turn off the APRS modem in a menu, otherwise a beacon could be sent out on the repeater frequency you are talking on.  All the menu functions of the 100 are essentially the same as the 400, without the touch screen.  Easy to get up and operating from the unboxing though.   By the way, this radio and the FTM-400 also include the Yaesu programming cable, and a separation cable for control face units.  The other difference here too is that the FTM-100 faceplate will attach to the radio unit making a single unit radio.  The FTM-400 faceplate control head does not.  It must be used separately.  They both come with control unit mounting brackets and mobile mounting brackets.

I hope that one day in a future firmware version you could program one of the Yaesu microphone buttons to turn the modem on and off.  Good idea for this radio huh?

SO finally, information on the Zumspot hotspot that I have been using with these radios and my TYT MD-380 DMR handheld.  My buddy and colleague Shane KØSDT turned me on to this really cool little unit that runs off USB power.  A wall wart power supply runs mine while in the shack or at home, and mine has a USB socket on it, so I can plug in the USB cable to a USB Battery charge, or a vehicle USB port.  The hotspot will allow you to setup your own simplex or duplex “repeater” on whatever UHF frequency you choose.  I am using a standard UHF simplex repeater frequency of 446.075.  This device will do DMR, D-Star, Yaesu Fusion, Yasue Fusion to DMR crossover mode, PX-25, and a couple of other modes I had never even heard of.   When you power up the unit for the first time, it will send out its own Wi-Fi signal that will allow you to connect to it and begin programming it for how you want it configured.  Then as with most Wi-Fi devices you can store different Wi-Fi connections in the unit so that it will automatically logon to the Wi-Fi at hand.  I have several set in mine, home, office, & cell phone hotspot at this time.  When in a new location it is easy again to get on for instance a hotel or airport Wi-Fi by simply using its on board Wi-Fi to access all configuration functions.  I am really pleased with this unit as well, and being that I had practically given up on DMR because of signal and data issues to many DMR repeaters, this has made me enthusiastic about being able to keep in touch with DMR advances in communications.

My Zumspot hotspot dashboard showing several stations that I talked to via the radio interface.  Kenny K4KR in Chattanooga TN, Shane KØSDT while in Kalispell Montana, and Glenn WN0EHE in the Phoenix Arizona area.

The unit is super compact.  Only 2.75×1.5×1 inch in size.  Note its little antenna.

The hotspot comes with the Zumspot board, a Raspberry Pi-0 board and the antenna.  The operating system and software for Pi-Star is included on a SD-Mini card that comes with the set.  The case you see it in above is extra, but really protects the two boards and is worth the extra $10 or so.  There is also as seen on the right hand side LED indicators for power, mode, receive status, and other functions.  If you would like more information, send me an email, and again these are available thru Ham Radio Outlet.  And of course there are many other hotspot systems in use and for sale you can find on the internet.  But for the price, the versatility, and the modes and ease of use available thru this unit I really like it and really look forward to using this a lot.

My good friend Matt KEØLNU and I got together on a Saturday recently and I rode the motorcycle on a beautiful Saturday to help him tune up his Alpha Delta DX-LP multiband 160 thru 10 dipole.  And of course I got to see his really nicely apportioned shack.  Tuning the antenna with the Sark 110 antenna analyzer went smoothly, and so now since Matt has upgraded to General Class and JUST barely missed the Extra exam, he is going to have a great time operating HF from his awesome home in the mountains NW of Golden Colorado!

The operating position for KEØLNU with the TS-2000. MFJ autotuner, and Heil Microphone!  It really sounds and looks GREAT!

KEØVH looking at the antenna measurements for the KEØLNU antenna via the Sark Plots software

Hey congrats to Harold W6IWI on his find at a local hamfest recently!  A Dentron Clipperton L Linear!

Harold had to replace a couple of resistors and caps, but now all is fine! 

So, I have had an old Alinco DR-570 working well dual band rig but the little incandescent light bulbs behind the display had quit working with age.  So I ordered some LED’s and lo and behold, it lit up beautifully!  Then I thought, well why not do the same with the backlighting on the buttons on the front?  Well the first one went great and the FUNCTION button lit up all pretty! Then on to the next one under the ABX button.  Should have stopped with the screen.  Did something, now the LCD display is all lit up but no numbers or indicators.  Perfectly operating true dual band rig with crossband repeat capability.  Now you just can’t tell what frequency you are on.  Robert KC8GPD decided to take on trying to repair this as I ran out of time.  A new display from a dead radio might do the trick.  So if you know of one…………

AND, seen on the Netflix show “Designated Survivor”.   Just happened to catch this in a scene from that (in my opinion) EXCELLENT SERIES!  Looks like a Baofeng to me, but can’t quite make it out.  Inexpensive prop probably huh?

 

A great article on setting up a node radio for AllStar!  Simply and inexpensively!

http://crompton.com/hamradio/baofeng888/     

 

What would happen if a DJi Drone hit a general aviation aircraft?

See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH0V7kp-xg0&feature=youtu.be

 

Flying a drone, please do it legally and check for TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) areas.  THIS APPLIES TO EVERYONE.  You may be being watched as YOU watch:

https://www.krqe.com/news/balloon-fiesta/hundreds-violate-faa-s-no-drone-fly-zone-at-balloon-fiesta/1510662538

See past editions of the newsletter at:

                                                                    

                                                                     2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/08/

 

3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/08/   

 

4 YEARS AGO

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/08/  

 

5 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2013/08/

 

6 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2012/08/

 

                                            Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

 I hope

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits!

 

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

Clay’s Corner for October 2018

Clay’s Corner for October 2018

Clay’s Corner

Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986

As I write this, in late September, our weather is pretty much back to normal. Much cooler temperatures, showers and breezes, noticeably shorter days and fall colors starting to show.  This past summer was indeed very dry in this area.  In fact we set a record for the driest May through August with just 1 inch of rain.  (Compare that to other places.)  Perhaps the smokiest (is that spelled right?) too with several weeks of breathing the output of BC forest fires.  The fact is, we went almost 3 months without clean air – violating federal smog standards for 87 consecutive days.  The low amount of precip took its toll on many trees.  You can see many of our evergreens that have been killed in the process.  Perhaps proving to some that it does not rain here all the time?

Other regions had their own issues – – California experienced terrible wildfires that will take years to heal.  This picture speaks volumes.  (Note the lights of an on-coming train coming around the curve.)

Hurricane Florence has made a mess of the things on the other coast with epic amounts of rainfall and flooding, power outages and, of course, failures of services and systems we depend on…Radio and TV Stations, Cable TV and Cellular telephone systems.

 

As we move into October, those of us that travel into the mountains of Western Washington are reminded that the ‘Windy Season’ is here.  The big historic October blow took place on Columbus Day in 1962…hopefully this year we won’t have any big storms to deal with.

A friend in Southern California sent me this picture of what it’s like to be heading to the transmitter site, after a wind storm, and finding a tree across the road.

I recall, a few years ago, after a big ‘Blow’ we had about 30 of these down across the road to West Tiger.  It took 3 of us a day just to get the road open.  Yes, I carry a chain saw, as do others that have to go up there this time of year.  Here’s Paul Carvalho, Chief at Bonneville/Seattle, getting in some practice at the KIRO-AM transmitter site on Vashon.

Perhaps by the time you read this, the EAS National Test, on Oct. 3rd, will have come and gone…The first scheduled date was scrubbed due to Florence.  This year’s test is the first one for both EAS and WEA alerting systems.  Will be interesting in how it turns out.  To find out, all EAS Participants are required to file an electronic report.  One wrinkle involved a great bit of Federal timing – EAS Participants had to update security certificates to all their EAS equipment shortly before the big test.  My guess is that some will not do this, meaning that their equipment won’t decode the test message.

On the topic of EAS – We have a committee of folks working on the revision and update of the Washington State EAS Plan – Several are broadcasters from this area.  The major reason for this is to bring our plan into full compliance with the most recent FCC EAS Report and Order.  If you would like to be a part of this process, please let me know.

In August we lost another whose name continues on today.  Jack Moseley passed.  Jack sold the company that we all know, back in 1977.  He was 91.  Could not help but note that his Obit mentioned that he enjoyed HAM Radio, like so many other pioneers in this industry.

It’s long been known that you could easily purchase two-way radios….for very low prices….at a number of on-line locations.  The FCC posted this item the last week in September –

  • TWO-WAY VHF/UHF RADIOS MAY NOT BE IMPORTED, ADVERTISED, OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THEY COMPLY WITH THE COMMISSION’S RULES.  Advises retailers and operators that VHF/UHF two-way radios must comply with FCC technical requirements before they may be marketed, imported or operated.  By Advisory. (DA No. 18-980). News Media Contact: Will Wiquist at (202) 418-0509, email: Wiquist@fcc.gov. EB. Contact: Jonathan Garvin at (202) 418-1130, email: Jonathan.Garvin@fcc.gov DA-18-980A1.doc  DA-18-980A1.pdf  DA-18-980A1.txt

 

I could not help but note a recent story written about legendary Seattle Top-40 DJ, Pat O’Day.  In the piece I learned that his dad was a preacher in a Tacoma Church and had a radio ministry on KMO, the station I was associated with from 1966 to 1985.  It would be interesting to know just how many people, whose names we would recognize, were associated with that station.  The piece also mentioned the Spanish Castle, one of Pat’s concert venues during the 60’s.  This was a big dance hall on the NW corner of Kent-Des Moines road and Pacific Highway.  Another path crossing, as I remember playing in a band there…way back when.

In the category of – it was bound to happen – an AM Radio station gets an FM Translator and then asks the FCC if they can turn off their AM.  The FM Translator deal was the FCC’s plan for helping struggling AM stations.  The most recent instance involves KVSL in Show Low, Arizona who proposed to do just that.  They did not propose to turn in their AM license, just turn off their AM ‘from time to time’.  In the end, the FCC said no to the proposa,l saying that it was at odds with their intended goals of AM Revitalization.  The rules are pretty simple – The FM is a translator, and like all translators, operate when the parent station is on the air.  I suspect that other AM radio broadcasters were watching this with a great deal of interest, especially an AM that has relatively poor facilities, or where they could sell the land where their AM tower is located and continue to operate their FM translator.

On the subject of Translators, did you see where a pair of FM translators in the Chicago area recently sold for 3.5 Million?  Wow!  It would not surprise me that in some circumstances the value of an FM Translator could exceed the value of a parent station, especially if that station was a small signal, or daytime only AM.

There are some job openings for Radio Techs in the New York City area that are having issues being filled.  The reason.. the cost of living in the Big Apple.  A similar situation is taking place here in the Seattle area.  Bottom line – Wages for technical workers in Broadcasting have not kept pace with those that do similar work in other technical industries.  Couple this with the number of people who are retiring or passing away…and you have a recipe for some, perhaps painful, adjustments to come for the broadcast industry.

Here’s a look at one of the openings in NYC, in this case, with EMF, that provides an interesting look at what people who do what I do are expected to know how to do (Love that sentence).

Responsibilities
As a Field Engineer, here’s what you will be doing…
•    Evaluate the overall technical operation of facilities within the New York area, and take corrective action as needed, to ensure equipment is functioning.
•    Install, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment (such as audio processors and mixers).
•    Install and maintain microwave and satellite equipment.
•    Regularly operate equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and sound.
•    Maintain knowledge of applicable FCC rules and regulations and ensure all equipment within area of responsibility is operating safely and legally.
•    Analyze and fix technical faults on equipment and systems to the module level.
•    Manage and partner with contract engineers to resolve technical problems.
•    Occasionally, carry out work on non-broadcast equipment (such as electrical generators, air conditioning units, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc.) as conditions dictate.
•    Make trips to sites to perform installations or repairs; and EMF headquarters for training or special projects.  The length of these trips varies depending on the specific needs.
•    If assigned, serve as Chief Operator/Engineer for one or more broadcast station(s).

Qualifications
To qualify for this position, here’s what you’ll need….
•    5+ years experience troubleshooting and repairing radio broadcast electronic equipment
•    Good understanding of the components necessary in a broadcast air-chain
•    Understanding of satellite technology
•    Understanding of radio frequency emissions
•    Ability to solder and de-solder electronic components
•    Knowledge of applicable, broadcast-related FCC rules and regulations
•    Proficiency using standard broadcast test equipment, such as VOMs, oscilloscopes, and RF spectrum analyzers.
•    Being highly organized, detail oriented and thorough as very strong skills/traits
•    Personal, relational, friendly
•    SBE Certification highly desirable
•    Candidates currently residing in Central New York preferred

Employment Requirements
•    Must pass a pre-employment background & reference check.
•    Must provide proof of legal authorization to work in the US.
•    Must have a valid driver’s license and an acceptable motor vehicle report.

According to Pew Research –
The audience for nearly every major sector of U.S. news media decreased in 2017. The sole medium that did not experience a decrease was radio. In Pew Research’s “State of the News Media 2017” the fact tank found that while local and network TV, digital-native news sites and daily newspapers saw their audience shrink last year, radio remained steady.
Citing Nielsen data, Pew notes that the overall audience reach for broadcast radio – which includes all formats, not just news – has been at around 90% for the past nine years. Local and network TV news declined 7%, while cable news fell 12%, according to comScore TV Essentials and StationView Essentials data. The audiences for digital-native news sites fell by 5% in terms of monthly unique visitors in 2017, comScore Media Metrix Multi-platform data shows. The biggest loss of audience was the circulation of U.S. daily newspapers, which fell by 11% last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM).

Certainly a finding that should make those that own and operate radio stations quite pleased.

News circulated this past month that there were plans to shut down legacy radio signals from WWV and WWVH due to budget  cuts.  Just think – That Atomic Clock you have would be ‘free to roam’.   For more information – Check out –

http://www.arrl.org/news/nist-fy-2019-budget-would-eliminate-wwv-and-wwvh

There is a  petition to request that funding be maintained

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-funding-nist-stations-wwv-wwvh

As we all know, newspapers are failing at an alarming rate.  Pittsburgh is about to have the distinction of being the largest city in the U.S. without a daily print newspaper, as the city’s Post-Gazette recently announced they will no longer be producing a weekend paper.  This paper began publication 232 years ago.  They did add that they will be publishing a digital edition 7 days a week…..Times do change.  You do remember holding a Seattle PI don’t you?

I recently ran across a piece titled –
“24 things that are considered ‘normal’ in the US but the rest of the world finds weird.”

One of the items has bugged me for a long time – Why do people in the U.S. use the term ‘American’ as if that were an exclusive term, or think that United States and American are interchangeable terms?  The rest of the world finds this weird.  After all, the U.S. is just one country in the Americas.  In my way of thinking Canadians are American’s too.  Most folks from other countries refer to the U.S. as ‘The States’.

Sirius XM Radio says it is buying Pandora in a stock deal valued at $3.5 billion, according to the Associated Press.  The satcaster says buying the pureplay webcaster will allow it to expand its service beyond cars and into homes and other mobile areas.

The after-effects of the Sinclair/Tribune deal continue to simmer.  Perhaps good news, the Inspector General concluded that the FCC didn’t show favoritism in their decision making process.  Now the two parties, that thought they’d have an approved deal are suing each other.  I’ve heard nothing as to the ownership status of the Tribune stations, other than that others are looking at them.
Around here we don’t get a lot of days with blue skies and white puffy clouds.  As I was driving into the KVTI transmitter site recently – I saw this –

No, it’s not your imagination.  The amount of spam phone calls is getting worse.

According to new data from First Orion, a call protection company, the amount of junk calls will reach 46% by mid-year 2019.  And by the end of that year, the amount is projected to finally cross the halfway point, meaning that half of all calls will be spam.

Collecting data from 50 billion calls over the past 18 months, the company was able to shed light on a phenomenon that many people have noticed and lamented: a severe uptick in calls, many of which use “neighborhood spoofing” techniques to entice people to pick up by having a fake caller ID that resembles the caller’s number.

The numbers weren’t nearly this high even a year ago.  In 2017, mobile call scams made up just 3.7% of total call volume.  By 2018, the number had shot up to 29.2% and projections for spam calls look on track to hit half of all call volume next year.

I had a recent experience that was ‘interesting’.  I was driving along when my cellphone rang and my truck’s ‘radio’ announced I was being called by Clay Freinwald.  Knowing that I rarely call myself I instantly knew it was a Robo-Call.  What was interesting was the displayed phone number – 000 000 0000.   Apparently they are able to not only spoof the phone number they are calling from, but they are able to gain access to your address book in your phone and use one of those names to make you think you are receiving a call from someone you know.  Perhaps the good news is that my home phone now rarely gets a Robo-Call as the scammers have shifted their attention to mobile devices.  Despite all the efforts of the FCC, FTC and others…they have done little to stamp out the practice.  Perhaps the sad part is that the fuel that keeps these outfits going is victims that fall for their baloney.  If everyone just hung up they would all go away.  A sad commentary.

Did you see the story about the big transformer that was being moved through Washington?  The media picked up the story about this big piece of electrical equipment and promptly called it a ‘Windmill’ transformer.  I recall having been sternly corrected a few years ago when I called those big machines ‘Windmills’….and being educated to the fact that they don’t mill anything.  They are to be called WIND-GENERATORS.  It was truly a big one – weighing just over 1-million pounds.

KRKO in Everett has been trying to sell their old transmitter site, hoping that some Ham Operator would want the place.  Comes complete with towers and a pretty good sized building…Check out –
https://www.redfin.com/WA/Everett/7115-Larimer-Rd-98208/home/145977378

In a similar category – the 1210 AM transmitter site, east of Auburn, that’s been used for many years as the 1210 ‘Night Site’ is going away.  The owner of the station, Amador Bustos, has received a construction permit to operate Nights at the 1210 Day Site on the west-side of Auburn, with much lower power.  The property owner has put the land on the market (minus the towers that have to be removed).  I was looking through the files on that site and found a purchase order I had signed for those 4 towers back in 1989!  The 10 kW transmitter from that site will be moving to Woodburn, Oregon.  Another example of the retraction of AM radio.

Looks likes Seattle is no longer the nation’s hottest housing market – We’ve been replaced by Las Vegas.  Apparently the folks at the King County Assessor’s office are not moved by this news as my ‘Value Notice’ showed my house value increase by about 5%…In a while I will find out what the 5% means in terms of actual tax increases.  I should add that I live in Auburn, not Seattle.

With that being said – the typical single family home in Vegas goes for just under $300K, while Seattle is at over $800K.

While stopped for my favorite beverage recently I could not help but notice this license plate:

I asked the driver if this was a radio station.  He said no, it was just assigned to him.  The following explains –
https://www.oregonlive.com/cycling/index.ssf/2013/04/share_the_road_license_plates.html
https://bikeportland.org/2007/12/18/first-look-at-oregons-new-share-the-road-license-plate-6216

Just for drill – I looked up KPEB in the FCC Data Base and could not find a station with those letters.

Radio transmitter manufacturer Nautel seems to be doing well of late with the sale of two more FM transmitters for use on Cougar Mt.  Hubbard is getting a new GV10 for use as an Auxiliary for their 98.9 station (The Bull) and Crista is getting a new GV30 for their KCMS/105.3.  The only recent sale for GatesAir (that I am aware of) in this area has been to KNHC (I wrote about that recently).  GatesAir may have an edge over Nautel with their offering of Liquid Cooled FM transmitters.  Liquid cooling has been S.O.P. for TV Transmitters for years.  Thus far I’ve not heard of anyone buying one in this area, however.  Nautel is a Canadian company based in Nova Scotia.  GatesAir is in Illinois.

It’s been a year since Hurricanes Irma and Maria blew into Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and there are still Radio and TV Stations that have not fully restored operations.  To be exact – The FCC  reports 10 AM stations, 8 FMs and 3 FM translators are currently silent.  That’s in addition to 11 full-power TV stations, 35 low-power TV stations and 3 TV translators.

Another country says goodbye to analog (or in their case, analogue) TV – This time it’s Ukraine.  One exception is the area’s bordering Russia.

Responses to what I have written

I recently posted a picture of a pickup truck tailgate that had a big RAM on the back suggesting it might be taken as an invitation to do just that.  A reader of this column reminded me that those vehicles say DODGE in the front.

Then there was the piece about the FCC Chairman climbing a tower.  A reader suggested that this was ‘Pai in the Sky’.

In response to my list of paraprosdokians, a reader suggested this one – ‘Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like an banana’.

And from John Schneider, who was active in the Seattle SBE Chapter when I started writing this thing – “Glad to see you are still doing your column, after all these years.  Who knew it would last so long when we started?“

I found this survey info to be quite interesting –

According to the 2018 Infinite Dial, 82% of respondents 18+ who have driven or ridden in a car over the past month currently tune into traditional radio in the car.  Likewise, the audio source used most often in-car is radio, at 56%.  Next in line among chosen     audio choices is a CD player, at 49%, then owned digital music (45%), online radio (28%), podcasts (23%) and satellite radio (21%).

Jacobs Media’s 2018 Techsurvey showed FM radio to be the No. 1 feature radio listeners want included in their next car purchase.
My question – Why is it that many vehicle makers want to remove the CD Player from new vehicle radios?

I often write about the radio ratings in Seattle.  This time, a look at the numbers in our neighbor to the south – Portland, Oregon.   First some market stats – Population 2.54 Million (Seattle is now just under 4 million) Market Rank – 22 (Seattle is 13).

  • The #1 Station is KOPB – Oregon Public Radio with an impressive 8.1
  • AM is not doing very well there either with the top rated station (KEX) at #18
  • Like Seattle, there are 3 Sports/Talk stations – All AM’s and 2 Country FM’s

If you recall my last column I wrote about how KNKX’s HD2 actually gathered some ratings with a minimal .1 share.  Portland is, apparently ahead of Seattle in terms of HD Channels getting ratings with THREE HD-2’s and HD-3’s showing…Each with a .8 and one with a .1.  Also ahead of Seattle is the KOPB Stream showing up with a .4.  I don’t know of any Seattle radio stream that has listed ratings.  One more thing.  Remember the call letters KMTT?  Long time letters for Entercom’s 103.7 in Seattle.  They are now ‘parked’ on an Entercom AM in Portland.

Interested in combining your IT skills with Broadcasting?

Entercom Communications is seeking an IT Manager for both Seattle and Portland Radio Markets.  The position allows living in either city.  The position requires a minimum of 3 years of experience and a strong understanding of Local Area Networking, Microsoft Outlook email administration, experience with MacOS, server maintenance and disaster recovery, Windows Server 2012, and teleconferencing and A/V systems.  For more information, go to https://entercom.avature.net/careers/JobDetail/IT-Manager-Portland-Seattle/13387

The following item was submitted by now retired NWS WCM from Seattle Ted Buehner

What’s the Forecast At My Transmitter Site?

Have you asked that question?  What source do you use to address that question?  Your smart phone weather app? A website? Your weather radio?

Some years ago, I pointed your Corner host Clay Freinwald to the site-specific National Weather Service (NWS) digital weather forecast to answer this question and he has used it ever since.  If you go to your local NWS forecast office website, you will find what Clay is using.  You can also find it on your smart phone by going to mobile.weather.gov, a mobile phone website application that you bookmark.

By using your local NWS forecast office digital weather forecast information, you get forecast information from experienced and local forecasters who live and work in your area.  Other sources like your phone weather app or other websites come from other parts of the country or in one phone app case – Russia!  Many of these resources use purely automated computer forecast output with no human input at all.  This fact helps explain why those weather forecasts ‘seem to be off’ at times.

Clay services many mountain top transmitter sites across mainly Western Washington.  One frequent site for him is West Tiger Mt. – about 20 miles east of Seattle.  The site has elevation of a little over 2500 feet with a great view of Mt. Rainier to the south. [plug in one of your Rainier photos]  So the weather at that higher elevation location is much different than in the lowlands near Puget Sound.

Over the years, Clay learned that the weather around Western Washington differs greatly from one location to another, thanks to the combination of complex terrain and the weather.  Knowing what weather to expect before ever heading to that targeted transmitter site is very important.  For example during the winter season, it can be raining in the Puget Sound area while snowing up at West Tiger.

What does he use again?  He visits http://www.weather.gov/seattle/ and has bookmarked his usual mountain top transmitter site-specific forecast locations for easy access before ever stepping into his vehicle.  It is the old slogan – know before you go, that has served him well over time.  If the weather at the site is going to be inclement, he is prepared for it.  And there have been times when it is snowing at the site, that he postpones that routine maintenance until the weather there improves.

Here is an example of his West Tiger MT 7-day weather forecast off the www.weather.gov/seattle/ web site.  In this particular case, wildfire smoke was widespread throughout much of the region.

But as they say in some television commercials, there’s more!  Upon scrolling down a bit on the page, you get the hourly forecast for that same green box (about one nm x one nm) location.

Yes, that is a hourly forecast for temperatures, wind direction and speed, cloud cover, rain or snow amounts and more!

Has this information sparked your interest?  Can you get the same kind of weather forecast information where you work?  Yes, you can!  There are 122 NWS forecast offices across the country with at least one serving your area.

Start by visiting www.weather.gov to view the whole nation and then click on your neck of the woods – that click will get you to your local forecast office – bookmark that.  Then using the provided clickable forecast map, click on the spot for your transmitter site.  The next page to appear will provide a map with a green box on it – you can zoom in and click one more time if you need to ‘fine-tune’ the location.  Now you have the forecast for that transmitter site.  Scroll down and you can get the hourly forecast for that location as well.  You can bookmark both of these.

 

This process can be done for all your transmitter sites as well as any other desired locations for business or pleasure.  I hope you find this information quite helpful.  As always, when you are weather aware, you are weather prepared.

If you have other weather-related questions that you would like addressed, let Clay know and he will share with me.

Ted Buehner
Meteorologist
Retired – National Weather Service
Washington SECC Vice-Chair

If you are like me, you are always pleased when someone you know wins an award.  In this case…I want to congratulate Jeff Welton of Nautel on being named SBE Educator of the year.  I’ve known Jeff for many years.  Our first encounter was by telephone, dealing with an issue with an AM transmitter close to 30 years ago.  At that time, he was a customer service tech with the firm.  Later he moved into sales, becoming central U.S. sales manager, but, along the way, has made it a point to reach out and teach others about how to do it better at their transmitter plants.  I was chatting with Jeff most recently and he was telling me about a day-long technical session he was involved with in the U.P. of Michigan.  They had a great turn-out with engineers that are unlikely to go to the NAB show in the spring.  The subject matter was broad ranging and I could tell that he was abundantly pleased that he could share some of his knowledge with those that are unlikely to gain it any other way.  Those of you that know Jeff will agree that SBE is honoring a person who richly deserves it.

Really….Is it that time already?  I recently received word that the 2019 NAB Show hotel block is now open.  Prices in their promotional piece range from $257 at the Aria Resort and Casino to $190 at the Westgate (formally the Hilton, next to the Convention Center) to $119 at Harrahs,  Of course, the further you go from the Contention Center the lower the price.

Tim Moore, Transmitter Engineer for Sinclair in Seattle found a file folder full of wonderful historic pictures of KOMO Radio and TV.   See it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShToFTzMNTY

I’ve written about Smart Speakers quite a bit for the simple reason that they might be the only radio in a person’s home these days.  I know that this is the case with a young relative of mine.  So here are some of the latest news items in that world –

  • Ownership of these gizmos is rapidly growing – Now some 32% of consumers own one.  (Would be interesting to compare that growth curve to other consumer electric devices from the past)
  • Recent projections show that 48% of U.S. consumers will own one by the end of this year.
  • And as if this were not enough – 45% of consumers who presently own one, plan to buy another by the end of the year.
  • So what are people using them for?

Music – 70%
Weather forecast – 64% (So much for NOAA Weather Radio)
Fun questions – 53%
Online searches – 47%
Checking the news – 46%
Making a call – 36%
Research or information searches – 35%
Asking directions – 34%
Ordering items – 30%

  • How many people who have one are actually using them?

Using it more – 76%
Using it daily – 71%
More than once a day – 44%

Amazon, our locally based giant – is fully on board with all of this with their Echo products with a recent release of a number of new products – including items for when you are on the go, in a vehicle.

I did have an interesting thought or two about all of this –

  • What happens if you already have a person in your home named Alexa?
  • Wonder how many children will end up with that name?

I love this quote –

Susie Dent – ‘The joy of dictionaries is that they provide you with dozens of answers you were never looking for’.

Here are some words to ponder –
confelicity – The joy you experience when witnessing someone else’s happiness; the near opposite of Schadenfreude
scurryfunging – Term that describes the frantic rushing around the house we perform in a crazed effort to tidy up before guests arrive
absquatulate – To leave somewhere abruptly
clinomania – The overwhelming desire to lie down
mumpsimus – Someone who rigidly sticks to their opinions despite being proved wrong
quiddle – to waste time on trivial matters in order to avoid doing more important things.

Which aptly describes what we have just done

That’s it for this month….My brain has gone from empty to something more extreme.

Lord willing – I’ll have another installment next month in most of these same locations.

In the meantime – Your comments and pictures are always appreciated.

Don’t forget to Fall-Back.

Clay, K7CR, CPBE
SBE Member for over 50 years, #714

 

 

 

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for October

October 2018

 

Welcome to Fall!  To start off with, I want to congratulate Matt KEØLNU for his BEAUTIFUL blue LED display Kenwood TS-2000, which he bought from a ham in Louisiana from the QTH.com classifieds section

REALLY GREAT LOOKING SCREEN!  I may do this myself for mine!

There was a lot of work done on the KEØVH QTH the past couple of months, we had new windows, siding, and a roof installed.  Then I had to paint the exterior with 2 coats, BEFORE the work on antenna’s and upgrading some of the hamshack ops were done.  Looks beautiful and ready for winter!

So with that, one beautiful late day in September, Harold W6IWI came over and we put up the Alpha-Delta DX-LB Plus 160 thru 10m dipole for the KEØVH antenna farm.  It fits my space at 100 feet long with loading coils along its length for 80 and 160 meters, in a fan dipole configuration for 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.  I ordered mine from HRO (https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-005123) and it arrived in a few days, then with busy weekends on the house had to wait a bit for getting set up.

W6IWI unreeling the antenna and separating the fan section elements

 

KEØVH Hoisting up!

Hoisted up to about 25 feet.  Yes is needs to be more but for now this is its home.  Is quieter than the vertical and tunes fairly well on all bands!

Plus its much quieter on receive than the vertical.  And since the work on the house was done, it was time to remount the 6 meter/dual band j-pole antenna pole (after sitting on the ground for the past couple of months, see last month’s article).  Once again Harold W6IWI came over on a Sunday afternoon with a mount that he had in his junk box and helped me get the antenna back up and properly mounted to the hardibacker siding we had installed.

Installed and it ain’t goin’ nowhere!  That Hardibacker is tuff stuff!

You may remember from a previous hamshack article the “lazy susan” rig for tilting my 5 BTV vertical antenna.  To see that go to: http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201703Mar.pdf  .  I have been wanting to improve on that for some time so I thought and thought about it, and after looking at some commercial offerings (pretty pricey all the way around I came up with this:

A couple pieces of zinc coated angle iron (cut from 1 piece purchased at the Home Depot, some self-tapping screws and some planning resulted in a much sturdier, MUCH less expensive tilt mount for a vertical antenna!

The beauty here is that it will tilt both directions to make the coax mounting point easily accessible!  COOL and STURDY!  AND did I mention Inexpensive?  

Harold W6IWI with the antenna tilted 1 direction, then….

Tilted the other way!  Really more versatile than anything commercially I have seen!  KEØVH designed homebrew!

Also in the month of September my wife and I hiked 11,000 foot Estes Cone, seen here from the trailhead at Lily Lake just west of Estes Park CO.  14’ner Longs Peak is to the left in this pic.  Lots of fun but PAIN coming down.  The last .7 mile is very steep up the rocky slope of the summit.  Ham Radio fun here as with my TYT handheld I could hit the 449.450 repeater back in Denver and worked W9BNO, K0GPA, and KC8GPD.  Great day with my wife and ham radio!

 

KEØVH ON THE SUMMIT!

My good friend Lee NØVRD submitted this recently.  3D printing a KU Feed horn!  Will let you know how this works out.  What a cool idea!

And, seen on an episode of “Star Trek Enterprise”!

An alien version of a Heil Classic Pro?  J  Really interesting they should use this!

And, I got this “fortune” at a local Chinese Restaurant during lunch with my wife!  We HAD to LAUGH!  Only ME!

AND, FINALLY, Ham Radio across the Colorado Connection repeaters back to Rich W9BNO in Denver from 11,000 feet Castle Peak north of Eagle Colorado!  What a great Field Day site someday!

See past editions of the newsletter at:

                                   2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/08/

                                   3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/08/   

                                   4 YEARS AGO

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/08/  

                                   5 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2013/08/

                                  6 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2012/08/

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

 I hope You will be able to join us and share your engineering and Ham exploits! 

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for August and September

August & September 2018

Greetings all, this has been a CRAZY couple of months so we are going to revisit in part a couple of writings from last year.  I have had a lot of questions about AllStar for ham radio, so I want to look back at a previous article and include it again for informational purposes.

As you may know now we have a new AllStar remote base that ties into the 449.450 HUGE area coverage repeater in Denver.  It has now become our main base of operations both locally and thru AllStar.  It connects on command to the 46079 AllStar Skyhub system so that other AllStar nodes can connect into the hub and come out on 449.450 locally here in Denver.  There is a web interface that I will share with you if you want to connect to use here in Denver.  We are affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Radio League and I want to thank Dunnigan, K1DUN President and repeater trustee for allowing us to set up the Remote Base connection to 449.450.

Setting up a portable AllStar node for being able to get back into the Denver K1DUN 449.450 repeater and the Denver AllStar Skyhub (Skyler, KDØWHB) is something I have had a as a project for this summer.  Skyler has been so instrumental is setting up AllStar systems for myself and other folks here in Denver and we really appreciate the time and expertise of this fine young engineer.  Skyler has spent a lot of time experimenting and perfecting the software setup and hardware to make all of this work.  So one day he and I got together after I had gathered all the parts and he helped me to get my portable simplex node going.  I gathered up a Raspberry Pi3, a Syba USB CMedia CM119 Sound adapter, and a Yaesu VX-170, to use as a portable AllStar node (46372) for connecting to the AllStar systems via WiFi.  I am planning on using this when on the road thru my iPad hotspot, or in the hotel rooms I stay in thru their WiFi or Ethernet.  There are a lot of directions on how to do this available, but Skyler has figured out how to use these ($5 on Amazon) Syba sound cards instead of buying some of the $50 or more interfaces available.  Very simply done too.  The Raspberry Pi3 has on board WiFi so it can connect to the internet.  The soundcard is the interface to the radio for the transmit and receive audio, and the PTT to the radio.  The VX-170 I had on hand had a proper 4 conductor mini plug along with the interface wiring from an earlier data project.  The same line off the radio for mic audio had a capacitor and resistor already attached for the PTT thru the resistor and passing the audio down the line.  This speaker mic cable by the way, like just about everything else can be obtained thru Amazon.  Many other radios are usable and adaptable to this system.  Here soon it will be my intention to do a full “how to” write up on how we setup my node.

This is my schematic for the pinout on the waterproof cable for the Yaesu VX-170.  As you can see in the schematic below, I had already installed a capacitor and resistor on the cable from an earlier project for data in and out of the radio, so we incorporated that into the schematic for the Syba USB soundcard interface.  Skyler showed me how he had wired up the soundcard for past projects and he did a beautiful job putting the components in and getting them to fit into the case of the Syba as the pictures will show.

The Schematic for interfacing to the VX-170.  This interface should work for most radios, the cap/resistor upper right is for the VX-170 combined mic/PTT line from the radio:

$5.00 soundcard from Amazon.  Must be the CM108 or 119 Chip

One of the connections to the Syba USB soundcard, takes a little bit of care in soldering to the pins on the chip

 

The final component layout all connected to the soundcard and plugged into the Raspberry Pi3

Another view of the soundcard and Pi3

Since the Yaesu VX-170 is a 2 meter radio only, I am using a 2 meter frequency

coordinated for using as a simplex repeater node.  This also makes powering the easy as you can put 12 volts directly into the battery charging port.  I will be including pictures of the setup into a carry case in a later edition of “The Hamshack”.

The testing setup, using a Baofeng radio to test into the VX-170

Testing the node on the network at home

Another way to connect into the AllStar system is thru your cell phone!  It is a portal that will connect into whatever AllStar node/repeater you want to dial into.  Just think of it as a remote audio link to your radio, repeater, or connection into the AllStar system.  I have used this thru my motorcycle helmet blue tooth communicator into my iPhone to connect into the local Denver repeater or Skyler’s Skyhub.  Jeremy, N5JER showed me how to set up an automated dialer contact in my phone to one button dial like a regular phone number.  When you dial into the phone portal you must tell it what node you wish to connect to, your personal PIN number (given to you when you register with AllStar) and whether or not you want to use VOX or a command to “PTT”.  You can program this into your cell phone contacts.

My cellphone dialed into the KDØWHB AllStar hub (Node 46079).  You can see part of the automated dialing process, (my pin blocked out) easily done on a cell phone.  Once again, just think of it as a “long mic cord” to a radio system!

And below you can see the AllStar connection chart with the phone connected:

To use the phone portal, you must register with AllStar (https://allstarlink.org/).  You don’t have to setup a node or do anything other than register if you want.  Then even where there is no coverage by radio, repeater, or AllStar repeater you can get into whatever node you wish.  VERY COOL SYSTEM!

Thanks again Skyler!

And another radio prop from the FX series “The Americans”, A Hallicrafters receiver used by the “Russian” consulate in the series.  COOL PROP!

 

Thanks to Rich W9BNO for spotting this in Colorado during the VHF contest weekend!  Looks like this guy is ready to mountain top for sure!

The KEØVH 6 meter beam and dual band 2m/440 J-pole down for maintenance while the QTH gets new siding and painting.  Unfortunately this occurred during the VHF contest weekend. It does provide though a good chance to maintenance the antenna as it hasn’t been down in a few years.  Maybe almost 10!  All looks good as it will go back up when the siding and painting of the house is done in September.

Take a look at this.  Robert KC8GPD, who is a low power Part 15 enthusiast, has this beautiful little AM station on the air from his home in the Denver area.  Robert is a great radio engineer and assists me in the area that I work in, and really has the understanding of the FCC rules for low power unlicenced operation according to the FCC Part 15 rules for unlicensed stations.  More hobby than anything, many regular broadcast stations would be envious of his well appointed setup!

Roberts “control room” for his Part 15 AM, WOW!

Garden House AM and KC8GPD, Robert

The transmitting antenna and transmitter, plus official rules box at bottom of the support pole.  The part 15 station SOUNDS GREAT!

As seen ONLY in Wyoming!  Or maybe Nebraska!  J

And finally, thanks to Jim KCØRPS

See past editions of the newsletter at:

 2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/08/

 

3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/08/

 

4 YEARS AGO

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/08/

 

5 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2013/08/

 

6 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2012/08/

  

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits! 

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clay’s Corner for August 2018

Clay’s Corner

Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986

 

Have you been enjoying summer?  Hot enough for yah?  From what I hear, this July has been the 2nd hottest on record.  Perhaps all part of global warming….Heard someone say recently that the Pacific Northwest is the only place in the country where Climate Change is making things better.  Perhaps, frankly I’d trade some of these 90 degree days for some 70’s in October.

Well the big news has certainly got to be the action of the FCC regarding the Sinclair/Tribune deal.  Media watchers were all saying that the deal was about to be approved by the FCC when – BOOM!  The FCC honcho, Ajit Pai announced that he is recommending that the merger be reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  As a result, those same outlets did a ‘180’ saying that this move could kill the deal.  Sinclair has been scrambling to make modifications in the hope that the FCC would back down.  Thus far this does not seem to be happening.  Some have been so bold as to suggest that Sinclair has shot themselves in the foot due to the way they were handling the matter of divesting of some stations.  In other situations, sending a merger to an ALJ can mean a ‘dead-deal’.  If you recall, AT&T tried to buy local cell provider, T-Mobile – In that case the FCC just threatened to send the matter to an ALJ for review causing AT&T to give up.

Then there is the political side of this….Sinclair is known for having a very conservative position on things.  As such, many figured the FCC Chairman, being a Republican would help…Apparently it did not…Perhaps surprising a lot of media-watchers.

So what’s going to take place in the Emerald City with the two Tribune Stations?  Not sure anyone is bold enough to be making bets.

Right after this bombshell – Cox, owner of KIRO-TV, announced that they are putting their 14 TV stations up for sale!  In an interesting reversal, where we have seen Radio/TV groups shed their Radio stations (CBS for example), Cox owns 61 Radio stations.

My heart goes out to all of those that work for the Tribune and Cox stations as they deal with a special kind of ‘Limbo’.  In my career I endured several ownership changes…In the end, most of them ended up being positive….However, getting there can be very unsettling.  In all of these it was pretty cut and dried…The old owners announced they were selling and identified the new ones…Then you waited for the FCC to approve the sale followed by the introduction of new management and, with fingers crossed, the announcement came that you had a job with the new firm.  In this case, things are far from clear, which is a breeding ground for anxiety.

On a much more cheerful note….I took my camera to the transmitter site recently and captured some scenes to share.  This first one is looking north at the ridge that is West Tiger Mountain with a foreground of wild flowers.  This is not a setup…There is a ton of nature’s color up there this year.

On the left is what we call West Tiger #1 or WTM-1.  It was the first broadcast site developed on the mountain back in 1988.  On the right, the two towers are at WTM-2, a site developed some years later by American Tower.  Although it does not look like it from this angle, the tops of all three towers are at the same elevation, 3148 feet above sea-level.

In recent columns I’ve written about Smart Speakers.  New reports are the sales of these devices will reach 100 million by the end of this year….and there will be 225 million of them by 2020.  Of special interest locally is the news that the Amazon Echo will account for more than 50% of sales.  Pretty impressive.  This is another classic case of a lot of people asking the question ….’Why didn’t I think of that?’

One of our area’s Non-Comms…KUOW is making use of these devices.  They’ve been chosen as a test station to receive donations from listeners who stream the station via the Alexa.  Amazon teamed up with NPR and KUOW on the project.

Time to look at the Seattle Radio (6+) Ratings in what Nielsen calls ‘Market #12’ –

  • Hubbard is at #1with their CHR formatted KQMV (92.5)
  • Close behind is KIRO-FM with News/Talk
  • Non-Comm, KUOW has dropped to a tie for 4th place with KISW
  • The top-rated AM station is KIRO/710.  Perhaps the hot Mariners having a role here?
  • The other highly rated Non-Comm, KNKX comes in at #10
  • The two Country Music stations, KKWF and KNUC (The Wolf and Bull) are tied
  • The next highest rated AM is KOMO at #16
  • Of the bottom 10 stations – 4 are AM’s with 3 of them 50 Kilowatts.

More examples of wildflowers along the road to West Tiger.  There are still some that think I’m crazy for preferring to drive up this ‘rustic’ road than drive on a freeway.

 

 

Road and Track magazine recently had a headline that read:

The 100 Worst American Cities for Driving – Adding – “You don’t want to be in the driver’s seat when visiting these cities.”

Sure, you knew where I was going with this one …Ranking #96 is Seattle…They added –

“Downtown Seattle is surrounded by a collection of lakes and peninsulas, meaning a lot of choke points for drivers trying to get places.”

We are joined at the bottom of the list of desirable places to drive by Oakland and San Francisco, Detroit and Philadelphia.  So what about Portland, Oregon?  Not much to brag about.  They came in at #60.

Meanwhile – Back to the tranquil road to West Tiger Mountain…and Foxgloves

The battle over what we call ‘C-Band’ continues to rage (3.7 to 4.2 GHz).  As time goes by, it appears that indeed wireless will end up with a portion of the band.  The question remains, where and how much.  Clearly the message that this spectrum is being used has been heard, with the FCC acknowledging that the existing users of this spectrum need to be accommodated.  I have contended that we will be looking at another ‘repack’ on this band.  That position is being echoed by others now as well.  One segment that has been very vocal has been Non-Commercial users.  Even Chairman Pai is on record that no action should be taken that threatens Public Radio.  Driving all this is the desire by the Wireless industry for spectrum for their 5G systems.  So now we wait for announcements to come from the east.

An interesting story out of NPR this past month.  They are reporting a spike in donations for Non-Comm Radio and TV Stations.  Interesting to note that this is the first time in decades that these facilities have seen increases in donors and revenue.  I wonder how much that is a result of the current battle between elected officials and news organizations?

So now that IHeart Media is Bankrupt – What’s next?  Sensing there is ‘blood in the water’, some organizations with money to spend are circling.  Already some of them have trotted out offers sparking comments of a coming bidding war.  Will the media giant be parted out…or what is the question?  Like all of these issues, only time will tell.

Just when we are getting used to the term ‘Fake News’ comes word on how ‘Fake Video’ could mess with our heads in the future.  Think of it a photo-shop for video.  I recall the term – You can’t fool a camera – Well, sorry Grandpa….Today you can using facial mapping and AI.

Received news that Kelly Alford is moving back home.  He recently wrote –

We’re in the process of packing and putting our Virginia house on the market to move back to the PNW in the coming months.  I don’t want to disclose where yet, but I start in my new position August 1st.  I’m sure there will be announcements accordingly.  Suffice it to say it will be nice to get back to my roots, with no more endless overseas work-related travel.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed getting to know the various cultures and customs in my prior gig, but at my age, 14 to 16 hour flights through numerous time zones, including dangerous places for American’s like Baghdad, was taking a toll.

Not everyday that the retirement of a local Radio General Manager makes the news.  However, a lot of attention is being given to the retirement announcement that Hubbard’s Marc Kaye is going to hang it up.  Marc’s been in the business 45 years.  He was the Cluster Manager for the Sandusky group in Bellevue and continued in that role with Hubbard.

Whereas I am one of those ‘older people’ that has elected to keep working beyond conventional retirement age (whatever that is) I found this item interesting –

The headline read – A record number of folks age 85 and older are working.

70 may be the new 60 and 80 may be the new 70…but 85 is still pretty old to work in the U.S.  Interestingly 255,000 people 85 and older are working, the highest number on record.  So what are they doing?  All kinds of things…crossing guards, farmers and ranchers and even truckers.  The number has doubled since the last depression.  There are a number of supporting reasons for all of this.  Longer life expectancies, lack of retirement plans, less physically demanding work.

What is not mentioned is doing what you like.  This is the situation in my case.  Frankly, I like what I do, perhaps because of its relationship to my hobby.  For the last eight plus years I have been working for a number of different firms…pretty much doing what I’ve done for the last 55 plus years.  The best part is I don’t have to deal with any politics and my hours are pretty flexible.  The best part is knowing that I could quit any one, or all, of these jobs any time I want and live comfortably thanks to doing some good financial planning.

Does the name Randy McCune ring a bell?  I first met Randy over eight years ago as he was leaving WSU after 15 years, in Pullman as I was coming in.  He moved on to KIRO-TV here in Seattle.  Where is he now?  Director of Engineering at Sinclair in Memphis.

A name that is very familiar with Radio Broadcast Engineers is Nautel.  There have more more new Nautel radio transmitters installed in the Seattle area made by the Canadian company than any other in recent years.  What you may not know is that Nautel has been awarded the prestigious, “Canada’s Best Managed Companies” designation.

For those of you that are members of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, SBE, you know that elections have taken place.  I have not heard any results.  One of the members of the Seattle Chapter is running for the board, Tom McGinley.  If he is elected he will be the 3rd member of our Chapter to serve at the national level.  The others were John Schnider and myself.

We lost Mike Scott, who passed away July 5th.  In recent years, you would see Mike’s picture in the Seattle SBE Chapter newletter – The Waveguide.  Mike had retired from teaching broadcast technology at Bates Technical College in Tacoma.  Prior to that, he was on the Engineering Staff at Channel 11.  Those that knew Mike, will long remember that twinkle in his eye and his wonderful sense of humor.

I recall traveling to various SBE Functions with Mike and his wife.  In fact, one of the pictures that showed him with his hair blowing in the wind was taken on one of those jaunts.  When I posted the news of his passing on the Chapter Remailer, the rapid response and volume of comments underscored how much Mike was thought of, and his incredible value to our industry.  Many of his students work in broadcasting in this area.

WSU’s Northwest Public Broadcasting deploys technical support people in various locations in the State.  One of those locations is Wenatchee.  Replacing the recently retired Don Eckis is Brady Aldrich.  I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with Brady visiting some of the Western Washington sites I look after.  Brady is a familiar name in these parts, having worked for KOMO in years past, having roots on Vashon Island.  Most recently he had been working in Mississippi and was (as you might guess) anxious to return to the PNW.  I found it interesting that he happened to have relatives in Wenatchee.  I got this picture of Brady will visiting KVTI in Lakewood recently.

 

In recent years I have been receiving emails from readers of this column.  Many reach out to me, perhaps concluding that I have become a historian in this market.  One such email was from Charles Reinsch.  To be honest, the name was not familiar.  Chuck wrote –

It would be highly unlikely, but thought I would ask anyway: Could one of those old Collins on Cougar Mtn be KRAB’s?  It was a 737A that Lorenzo claimed was SN 1.  I would very much like to find some photographs.  All I have right now is a Collins sales brochure, and a pretty awful scan of a student newspaper photo of the front panels of the exciter and final.

Chuck Reinsch

I did not have the answer to his question, so I reached out to Dwight Small who worked at 107.7 with Sunbelt back on the air in 1984.  Dwight reported that the old Collins was gone by that time.

Chuck and I had several email exchanges and from this I received the following information about the type of transmitter that was used by KRAB.  Take a look –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things have changed a great deal since that old transmitter was made – For openers, there are no longer Vacuum Tubes in modern 5Kw FM Transmitters.

 

Here is a comparison of the old, circa 1948,  Collins 737A with a modern Nautel GV5

 

 

Collins 737A Nautel GV5
Width 93 ¼ inches 23 inches
Height 79 inches 72 ½ inches
Depth 37 1/3 inches 33 inches
Weight 4700 Pounds 333 Pounds

 

 

As I mentioned earlier – I receive some interesting emails – Here is one I recently received.

Hello Clay, I enjoyed your recent article about the improvements to AM….it
was mostly spot on!

However, you said “The old “Clear Channels” are not there anymore, folks.
Just turn on your AM radio at night and try and find them”

Here in Massachusetts I can get WFAN(660), WABC(770), WCBS(880),WBAL(1090),
WQEW(1560), WFED(1500), WTAM (1100), CFZM(740), WBT(1110), WPHT(1210), WWVA
(1170).

These listed above come in at night regularly….and reliably.  So, from my
standpoint…they are “still there”.

Now, is there any programming on them that anyone would be interested in?
That’s another story!  😉

He signed his email with a simple ‘D’ However his address included his Amateur Radio Call Sign, so I looked him up.  He is David Boucher, KB1USP from Methuen, Ma.

A question for you, my readers here in the Pacific Northwest – How many Clear Channel AM Stations can you receive?  David sent along this link to a fascinating site that shows all the AM Nighttime patterns:

http://www.nf8m.com/patternmaps_night.html

I’m always happy to hear from you – feel free to drop me a note – if you work in the industry.  Let me know what’s going on, and send a picture while you are at it.

Speaking of pictures – Thanks to Kent Randles of Entercom Portland for this picture of one of the big FM Station Combiners in that city.  A lot of plumbing for sure!

Before I forget it – Congratulations to Kent on his promotion.  He is now overseeing the technical operation of Entercom’s cluster of Stations in Seattle as well as Portland.  He was up here recently spending a day with me while I showed him the transmitters and systems used in Seattle.  The following is Kent taking a picture of me. J

Well that’s about it for this month.  Not a lot of news, but certainly some interesting happenings non-the-less.  We have a month or so of Summer left – make the most of it.

Lord willing I will catch you next month with more.

Clay, K7CR, CPBE
SBE Member for over 50 years, #714.

The KE0Vh Hamshack for July

SUMMER IS HERE!  Lots of projects completed and ongoing!

SO I have written a lot lately about the BIG JET FLI!  I am now voice tracking the 7p-12 midnight (Eastern Time) Top 40 of the 60’s and 70’s show on Monday and Tuesday nights, filling in other time slots when needed!  It feels AMAZING to be on the radio again having fun and playin’ the hits!  You can check it out at

https://tunein.com/radio/WFLI-1070AM-The-Legend-s28777/ or the WFLI App on the phones.

SO when you can tune in and check it out!  Jack Rockin’Roland!  (Works well huh?)

 

As of this writing, this past weekend myself,  Jim Langsted KCØRPS and Skyler Fennell KDØWHB just climbed Torreys Peak, one of the 53 mountains out here over 14,000 feet, topping out at 14,275 feet above sea level.  https://www.14ers.com/route.php?route=torr5&peak=Grays+Peak+and+Torreys+Peak

We all brought HT’s, and so worked Rich W9BNO, Cris W5WCA, and Robert KC8GPD on simplex and thru the 449.450 Rocky Mountain Radio League repeater.  GREAT WEATHER, an early start, and a great round trip hike of 8 miles and a total elevation gain (and down) of 3040 feet from the trailhead in Stevens Gulch near the “ghost town” of Bakerville on I-70 west of Denver.

Hams on the SUMMIT!

Getting started at the trailhead about 5:15am

An hour or so later! Torreys on the right.

 

KCØRPS on the trail about 11,500 feet!

 

KDØWHB heading over the snow trail to the saddle at 13,500 feet

 

Above the snowfield to the SUMMIT at the saddle between Grays and Torreys

 

ALMOST THERE!

View back down the mountain from the summit to the I-70 Exit leading to the trailhead

View off to the WSW of Mount of the Holy Cross, which I hope to SUMMIT this summer!  You can almost make out the “cross” snowfield in this picture

KCØRPS and the EOSS group (www.EOSS.org, Edge of Space Sciences) launched a 2 mylar balloon set carrying a micro solar powered 20 meter APRS transmitter this past June that had quite the adventure and actually really became lost in a circular eddy of winds the the Bermuda Triangle.  NO KIDDING!  It circled for about 3 days in a pattern of wind and finally the signal was lost as it traveled no more.  It was tracked by WSPR stations on the frequency of 14.097 mhz.  It generally remained above an altitude of 30,000 feet until its last day when it dropped to around 21,000 feet and then was finally not heard from again.  The transmitter was a super micro 20 meter unit, flea weight, and was suspended by half of a 20 meter thin wire antenna with the other half of the dipole suspended from the transmitter.  Check the prep and launch of the system here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RVhlBpa1k0

KCØRPS should have a full article up soon about the flight and I will report on that here as soon as possible.

 

Another activity I am involved with and very happy to have become a member of is the Christian Motorcycle Association, the “Riders In The Light” Lakewood Chapter.  I am looking forward to a very long association with this fine group of folks who love the Lord and motorcycles.  Look them up sometime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Todd, KEØVH Jack, VP Tony giving me my RTL patch

Here is the new “remote base” AllStar Node in my shack.  We are using it to connect the AllStar Network to the 449.450 K1DUN repeater in Denver.

The 449.450 repeater covers from Cheyenne Wyoming down to Monument hill and HUGE area’s of eastern Colorado from 11,440 feet on Squaw Mountain 35 miles west of Denver.  Think almost a “clear channel” frequency repeater and it is a BLOWTORCH coverage wise.  We can control the AllStar link radio seen here with a GUI interface and are developing its use on the Rocky Mountain Radio Leagues (http://www.rmrl.org/) repeater.  More to come on this exciting development, and we hope you will join us on the Monday Night Society of Broadcast Engineers “Chapter 73’ of the Air” net at 7pm Mountain time, 9pm Eastern.  Details on how to join us are below in the newsletter article.  Thanks to Skyler again, KDØWHB for the setting up and administration of the link radio AllStar system.

 

And speaking of KDØWHB, here is his well setup APRS system using an old Motorola Radio and Raspberry Pi3 being fed by an inexpensive GPS antenna.

 

And the ham of the month!  Amanda KDØCIC in her neat hamshack here in CO

 

And FINALLY THIS MONTH, trying to learn OHMS LAW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

I hope

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits!

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

Clay’s Corner for July 2018

Clay’s Corner

Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986

The headline read –

Broadcasters Raise Red Flag Over FCC’s C-Band Plans.

Sitting just a few feet from FCC Chairman Pai at NAB recently I came away thinking that he is not anti-broadcast…Then I learned his position regarding C-Band (3.7-4.2 Gig) Called Mid-Band by the wireless industry.  Once again we are in a defensive position in terms of spectrum.  The wireless industry is not dumb – They want additional spectrum and they consider any of that is not heavily used fair-game…On the surface, apparently, our C-Band qualified.

Remember the battle over the 2 Gig spectrum when the wireless industry set its sights on that band?  Broadcasters were scrambling to show the FCC that we did indeed use the spectrum a lot more than they thought.  The issue was the lack of information regarding the number and location of receivers.  Frankly, we were caught short on this one…As a result we experienced our first dose of ‘repacking’…(even if it was not called that).  In the end, we lost spectrum.

Then it was deemed that Broadcasters were never going to use all the TV spectrum they were allocated….and, on top of that, the FCC had done a poor job of spectrum management with the switch from analog to digital and the case was made to ‘re-pack’ TV….One more time, we lost ground.

Now the wireless ‘cross-hairs’ are on C-Band.  This spectrum has been used for a very long time for program/network distribution and, in the minds of many, is un-utilized…..”Wireless Speak’ for ‘We want it’.  Much like the 2-Gig issue, broadcasters have laid back thinking that the FCC was never going to let anyone else use this band…Nothing to fear.  All it took is for the Wireless crowd to assert that the band was under-utilized and contend that, at least, it could be shared by them.  IMHO, much of the blame here rests with Broadcasters, in particular Radio Stations, that have sprinkled satellite receiving antennas all over the land and not bothered to have any formal data documenting all this use.  This ‘under-counting’ is proving to be dangerous.  Now, all of a sudden there is this scramble to try and make a case that this is not a suitable location for shared use.  Whether or not we will be successful at beating back this threat remains to be seen.

History has shown that, when confronted with this kind of a situation, that we may well be looking for a loss of spectrum in exchange for a smaller piece of the pie with some protection.  Several organizations are involved in this battle – NAB, NPR, iHeartMedia, program distributors, networks etc.

Has this has put the FCC in a position that, perhaps, they did not see coming?

On the Wireless side – they are making it clear that they need the spectrum, and this particular piece is ideal for their new 5G systems.  Seems to me that this pits the desire of new ‘Gee-Whiz’ wireless toys up against old fashioned systems that are frequency hogs anyway.  Let’s face it – 5G is being pre-sold as the do-all, end-all, wireless system that’s likely exciting to the policy makers while Broadcasting is being pushed to the rear of the bus as old technology.

We were being told that the FCC would be voting in July on the proposal….Then we got word that the filing deadline had been extended to October 17.  As a lot of media coverage has pointed out.  Our C-Band systems impact a huge amount of Radio and TV operations.  A lot of fingers are crossed – My Guess – Standby for more re-packing.  See GN Docket Nos. 18-122.

Remember the 103.3 Oak Harbor Station?  It was on the air playing a Country format using the old call letters imported to the Seattle area from Hood River, KMCQ.  The station is now KZNW and part of the Bustos family of stations airing their Le Zeta format.  The Transmitter, operating with 1400 watts, is SE of Mt Vernon.  Le Zeta is the same format they run at their 1210 AM  Auburn Station.  I’ve found there are a number of locations in the Everett area that you can hear both quite well.  Now the question is who will be next to pick up the KMCQ call-letters?  As of early June the only station on the air with it is KMCQ-LP in Salem,  Oregon.

Congratulations to Sue Qualls who is retiring from KUOW in Seattle after 32 years.  Now she can have time to come to the SBE Chapter Meetings and make all the working-stiffs feel bad Sue recently posted this on Pubtech –

After 32 years at KUOW it is time to retire.  This list has been oh so helpful (and entertaining!).  I will miss my fellow public radio engineers but who knows I might show up for the PREC some year!  Hard to let go some times.  I leave KUOW in the capable hands of Sam Roffe and Tim Meinig.  There is a lot on their plate but with the help of Dane Johnson and crew nothing they can’t handle.

All the best,
~Sue

Apparently the Retirement Bug is ‘catchy’.  I was at Daniels on South Lake Union recently to attend the Tom Pierson Retirement Gathering.  Tom has changed his email signature to read –

Paul Carvalho is the new Chief Engineer for Bonneville Seattle
You can contact him at Pcarvalho@bonneville.com

The very best to both of you.  To be very honest, I too would like to retire…Unlike these folks, I will likely begin to do this in phases by cutting back on the amount of work I do.  The problem is how to start the process.  I figured by now that it would be ‘others’ that make the first move.

I attended the 35th annual gathering of Amateur Radio operators in Seaside the first weekend in June.  The weather was spectacular.  Here’s a picture taken from the balcony of our hotel looking east at the Coast Range.  I actually bought a new radio too!

Unfortunately, on May 31st, another broadcast tower fell.  This time the cause was not related to re-packing but rather a pilot of a crop-duster clipping a guy wire.  The pilot died and the 1040 foot tower for KTUZ-FM in Okarche, Oklahoma (NW of Oklahoma City) went crashing to the ground.  I am reminded of the time an aircraft clipped a guy wire on the Channel 13 tower on Gold Mountain.  In that case the tower survived, the plane and pilot did not.

There is a lot of buzz these days about SFN’s (Translation: Single Frequency Networks) for TV.  Locally Buzz Anderson has been working on a radio version of this with the addition of a number of on-frequency boosters for the Bustos Media’s KDDS on 99.3, to my knowledge the first of its kind in this area.  Perhaps he could come tell us about it at a future SBE-16 Chapter Meeting?

A number of years ago this column started appearing on the Northwest Broadcasters website.  This provided access to my musings to an additional number of readers.  This change meant that I would be receiving incoming mail from many of them.  Often, very interesting.  One of those new readers was named John Ashbridge.  John never wrote about what he did, but would rather make comments about something I had written.  I was saddened recently to receive an email from Gord Lansdell, the NW Broadcasters webmaster,  informing me that John had recently passed.  He passed on his Obit where I learned that he was the longtime PA Announcer for the Canuck’s in addition to being a newsman at CKNW.  It’s always great to have new readers, but always hard to lose an old one.  He was 71.

On the 13th of June we learned of the Passing of Dick Harris.   Thanks to John Price for coming up with this picture of Dick standing next to some fellow (on left) who was an obvious shutterbug (A young Dwight Small)  I recall hearing Dicks great voice on KIRO and the Crista Stations.

Like many of us in Broadcast Engineering, Dick was a Ham with the Call of K7VCD.   The following is a picture of Dick that he had posted to QRZ-

He also posted these comments –

 

Back in the 50’s while working at the RCA plant in Camden, NJ, and being surrounded at work by a lot of Hams, I succeeded in getting my first license, KN2MBT and plunged in as a Novice. Not being satisfied with Novice limitations I worked hard and earned my general in 1955. In 1962 we moved out to Washington State and became K7VCD. For the next 43years I was satisfied with my General class privileges, until March 23rd, 2005. After much persuasion, encouragement from a friend, N6TZ, and hours of studying practice exams, I earned my Extra Class privilege and decided to keep my call, K7VCD, because it has been me since 1962. My current station includes a Kenwood TS570, Ameritron AL-811 linear amp, working into an inverted V fed with ladder-line, a Hy-gain DX-88 all-band vertical. My Hy-gain 20-10 Triband beam was completely restored again on Memorial Day weekend 2005, with a lot of help from family and friends. It’s now working better than ever, and is my window to the world of Ham radio once again. I’ve been in radio broadcasting since 1949, starting as a board announcer/disc jockey gravitating over to the engineering side. Finally retired as fulltime Corporate Project Engineer with Salem Communications in the Spring of 2003 after 19 years.

 

Dick was a warm and wonderful person, loved and appreciated by all that knew him…and a reader of my column…I know this for he too would occasionally drop me a note about something I had written.  To say the least, another great loss.

John Price located a prior business card from when Dick was in NYC –

A spy in our midst?  That’s what a lot of people were wondering on learning that the Amazon Echo smart speaker could be listening in to our conversations….or that someone, somewhere, could be.  Many news organizations jumped all over this one.

In the years that I’ve been around I’ve seen many things come and go.  When I started in broadcasting, back in the last century, AM was king and FM was something that some experimented with.  Now that has completely reversed.  Not long ago, Medium Wave (or so it’s called in other lands), was also the predominant audio delivery.  Now with AM’s popularity fading all over the world, some are suggesting that moving from Amplitude Modulation to Digital might give the medium a new lease on life.  In this country our experiences with HD Radio have been less than stellar….Those that are advocating Digital Radio Mondiale are viewing things a bit differently.  Regardless of what music lovers will tell you, there is still an audience for non-music programming – News, Talk, Sports etc.  The latest ratings surge of KIRO-AM-710 is a great example.  The problem with AM is not so much the lack of stereo or fidelity, but rather the ever increasing noise level that effectively, progressively, reduces the coverage of AM Stations.  Operating with a different modulation scheme, one that is less subject to noise would certainly be a move in the right direction.  The potential is likely great.   However…There are a couple of minor problems with DRM….1) No one has a receiver for it,  2) Owners of broadcast stations are not going to invest money in transmitting equipment to broadcast to no-one (much less invest in new AM equipment) and 3) You can’t buy a receiver at Best Buy, Costco, Walmart etc.  However, you can buy one from Amazon… https://www.amazon.in/Avion-DRM-Digital-Radio-DRM-AM-FM-M/dp/B012GIDF1O

The problem here is the classic – Should we do it just because we can?  Can anyone tell me just how we could make a transition from today’s AM to a DRM system in the US or Canada?  In other countries they have it easy….Just sunset AM and mandate that everyone do DRM.

Oh oh….I forgot – 5G is going to eliminate all broadcasting anyway….What was I thinking?

Appears that KZQM in Sequim has been granted a license by the FCC.  The little station had to deal with the objections of the neighbors on Dungeness Heights.  KZQM is on 104.9 operating with 6 kW ERP with a directional antenna, providing a broad null to the NNW.

They are not the only station facing objections.  Apparently there are those on Bainbridge Island that don’t like the idea of a 3rd station at the Salem transmitter site. in this case KKOL/1300.  The City of Bainbridge Island is one of the objectors.

Nice to know that it’s not just broadcasting that’s causing objections…So is the roll out of 5G.  With about 300,000 new antennas sprouting from all kinds of structures across the land, it’s not the visual impact that is raising concerns, it’s the old fear that this new service will cause cancer and this cancer causing emitter could be on a light pole in your front yard.  This is going to be interesting to watch.  New broadcast station transmitters rarely have a lot of support ….However, with all the hype about 5G there is likely going to be a lot of pressure to overlook objections.  The old fear that having a transmitter in your backyard will lower property values may not hold true this time.  The fact is that a property that does not have 5G coverage may well suffer because of it.

July 10th at 9:30 a.m. is the date and time of the next SECC Meeting at Clover Park Technical College.
The SECC is in the process of re-structuring some of its procedures as our To-Do-List continues to grow and our mission expands.  One of our biggest assignments will be to re-write our EAS Plan.  If you have an interest in working with this group – please do make plans to attend, either in person, or via telephone conference bridge.  To help facilitate participation we will be adding other methods of joining the meeting very soon.

On the subject of EAS – This fall we will likely, once-again, have a National Test.  At this time it’s not known whether this will come via the Internet and the FEMA/IPAWS CAP system or if it will be via the legacy EAS (Analog) system we’ve had for years.  There are some suggesting that FEMA may ‘stress-test’ the system by surprising us.

If you attend the NAB Convention in Las Vegas, and deal with broadcast transmitters, you have probably looked at the giant Stratosphere Tower and wondered how it would work as a broadcast transmitter site.  The wondering is over as Beasley now has a 250 watt translator there (translator for their 720 AM).  Reports are that it works very well, nearly the same as the higher powered stations on Black Mountain.

Here’s a view that you don’t often get of a tower.  In this case, we are looking down on the top of the original broadcast tower at West Tiger Mountain, all thanks to Martin Gibbs and his UAV.  The elevation of the top of this tower is 3148 ft (or about 960 Meters) above sea-level which helps explain why FM stations located here cover such a large area.

  • The Black items at the top of frame is the transmit antenna for KIRO-FM-97.3.  97.3 was the first station at this site, some 30 years ago.  Below the KIRO-FM Antenna, and not visible in this view, is the Master FM Antenna used by 7 other stations at the site.
  • The white ‘round thing’ in the middle of the tower is one of the 3 TV ENG receive antennas.
  • The transmitter building is the rectangular item below the tower.
  • The red item on the right is my pickup truck.

 

More from CNBC

The Headline read –

What salary do you need to afford a Seattle-area home?

This was followed with this question –

How much do you reasonably need to be earning to afford a median-priced home in the Seattle-area compared to the rest of the U.S.?

The following information comes from Lending Tree, who made the following assumptions about the borrowers –

  • Secured a mortgage with a 4.5% interest rate
  • Had a 10% down payment
  • Paid a private mortgage insurance premium of 0.25%
  • Had a debt-to-income ratio of 28%

Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, Wash. – Median home price: $410,000 – Monthly mortgage payment: $1,870 – Salary required: $97,554

Portland/Hillsboro, Ore., Vancouver, Wash. – Median home price: $348,050 –  Monthly mortgage payment: $1,587 – Salary required: $83,311

Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, Colo. – Median home price: $360,000 – Monthly mortgage payment: $1,642 – Salary required: $81,157.

If you think that buying a home in Seattle is expensive….We are far below San Francisco…But that is another story.

On a personal note – I just received my Official Property Value Notice from King County…My 2018 to 2019 change is $50,000.   A friend of mine in Seattle had his valuation increase just under $100,000.  We can only guess the impact this will have on the property taxes we will be paying next year.  Is it any wonder why retiree’s look to move out of the area?

XL Media has announced they are buying KZIZ/1560 and KKDZ/1250 for $850,000.  For those old-timers in the area, KKDZ/1250 started back in the 1920’s as KTW.

Local, Seattle area, station KNKX uplinks it’s program streams to a Satellite.  Recently that system went down on June 9th sending Lowell Kiesow on a mission to discover what happened.  The cause was quite unique.  Apparently a local high school was holding their graduation nearby and let loose a number of balloons.  A bouquet of metalized, Mylar balloons stuck in front of the uplink feed horn which is 14 feet off the ground.

Look closely at the feed on the antenna – As Lowell said…’It’s a first for me’.

Perhaps a new term – ‘Balloon Fade’??

I’ve written, in past columns, about ‘parking of call letters’.  This is a common practice by big companies who feel the need to change call letters in a market but don’t wish to give up letters that they feel have value.  iHeartMedia recently did this with KUBE, likely knowing that a lot of other broadcasters would love to have them (pronounceable call letters are very hard to come by) so they changed the call of a co-owned AM in California to KUBE.  Now, after some format shuffling, KUBE is back in Seattle on 93.3.  I recently spotted a billboard reading ‘KUBE 93.3 is Back’.

Apparently AM stations that are operating FM Translators, in some cases, have discovered HD Radio.  Whereas many of these translators are operating with very low power or highly directional arrays.  It’s not likely that a station owner will make the investment in the equipment required.  However, some of them, with 250 Watts and a decent location have.  Could it be that some of these operations might even devote some time and energy to their HD and HD2’s?

HD Radio certainly has grown, with some 2200 Stations now broadcasting with HD.  Radio’s version of  Multicasting is growing also, with almost 1500 stations operating HD2 (a second program channel) and close to 500 operating HD3  (a third program channel).

Installing HD Radio systems for a station is a matter of receiver penetration.  According to Xperi – 51% of all cars sold in 2018 came with HD Radio.  Breaking this down further…There are 40 brands with 253 different models that come with the mode.  Penetration bottom line – over 16% of all cars on the road have HD Radios or a total of 45 million vehicles, a figure that is growing at the rate of about 10 million vehicles per year.  That’s a pretty compelling reason for broadcasters to get on the band-wagon.  The owners of 107.7 in Vancouver are the latest in SW B.C. to jump on the bandwagon.

I recall when HD multicasting was just being talked about.  Back then broadcasters were excited to have a multicast channel, as they considered it to be ‘another radio station’ they could make money with.  Then the reality of the matter sunk in.  They were fearful of putting on compelling programming or cross promoting the new system for fear it would mean moving listeners away from their FM station that was paying the bills.  Many made it clear – If it can’t make money on day-one…they were not interested.

Then there is the problem of educating consumers.  An owner of a new vehicle may stumble across the fact that their car-radio can receive content that they like, but have never heard about and have little chance of getting additional information.  Most HD program streams do little to explain how it works.  Auto dealers are, generally clueless.  You would think that broadcasters in a given market area would have a printed hand-out that comes with every new vehicle that explains how HD Radio works and promotes the content that is available.  Nope – Not happening.  My ‘technical mind’ obviously operates on a different plane than those that could really do a lot more to make HD Radio into the money maker that we all want.

Again this is so much like the roll-out of FM many years ago.  Then AM Station owners, not realizing the advantages and potential for FM were afraid to promote it for fear it would hurt their AM operations.  Sure it had better fidelity, Stereo, less noise, worked in places that AM would not, etc.  FM finally had to almost make it on its own…and that it did.  In many cases consumers were the leaders and station owners were the followers.

I am beginning to have hope that attitudes are changing with young and more techno-savvy managers taking the reins that HD Radio and other new technologies will be embraced rather than being feared.

Speaking of new things – No, not Smart Speakers …Podcasting.

So what is a Podcast?  According to Wikipedia:

A podcast, or generically netcast, is an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download and listen to.  It is often available for subscription, so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.  [1] It is very similar to, and may overlap with, Internet radio, though perhaps distinct in revolving around topics personalized exactly to listener preferences, [2] plus podcasts are often able to be streamed or downloaded on demand.

Some broadcasters are very much Involved with Podcasting…Especially those stations that have non-music content.  Some podcasts are, essentially, recordings of previously aired programming.  NPR and their affiliates are naturals for this mode as they do more long-form content that lends itself to becoming a podcast.  In some respects this reminds me of being able to access old-time radio shows.

Meanwhile iHeartMedia is working on its own Podcasts.  These will be scripted episodes targeting teens.  There is nothing like a great story, in audio form.  As a kid I grew up listening to wonderful stories on the Radio.  The mind can paint pictures just as good as you can find on TV or in the movies.  Interestingly there has been a huge gap between the days when Radio was the story teller and today when Podcasting is catching on as something ‘cool and new’.  If you have a story about some locally produced Podcasts – Let me know.

Many were wondering if Cumulus Media would be parted out and sold off as part of their re-organization.  Sounds like they did exit a few properties, but not as many as some suspected.  The major change was to cut their debt load by about a Billion Bucks.

Time to look at the highlights of the latest Seattle Radio – 6+ – numbers…

  • KISW has grabbed the #1 Spot.
  • Apparently KIRO-AM did not get the memo that AM Radio is dead showing up at #8.
  • KIRO-AM’s sport format appears to be dominating the competition with the other 2 AM Sports-Talkers way down the list.
  • The spread between the two FM country stations is getting narrower with KKWF at 3.6 and KNUC at 2.8.
  • Looking at the Christian CHR format, locally owned Crista/KCMS is leading that race with a 2.6 compared to EMF’s KLSW with 1.1.

Did you ever think that someone would develop a device like a UAV or Drone?…Obviously advancements in computers and electronics have made these devices not only possible but common.  The earlier picture of the top of the West Tiger tower would have required a big helicopter with a pilot and camera operator in the past.  Now, with something that can be stored in a small case, you can launch your camera in minutes, for a fraction of the cost.  TV news has certainly discovered the usefulness of these devices, so has spot or commercial generation.  A recent look at one of those real-estate magazines showed aerial views of a lot of properties.  Fire fighters are using them to locate hot-spots in wildfires.  Ranchers are using them to keep track of their cattle.  Farmers are using them to look over their crops.  The list goes on.  With any kind of device like this there are going to be those that fly them where they should not…and there are those that don’t want to be snooped on.

And of course, you will find this sign –

And the Headline read…

WiFi Now Available at Potholes State Park!

I suppose you could ask – Why would someone want a park named after a hole in a road?
Wonder how many others noticed that in Washington State, Pot has another, and popular meaning? (Canada is not that far behind.)

At least there is Wi Fi there!

What’s happening to KUIK in Hillsboro, OR (West of Portland)?  Recently I received a list of equipment that was for sale at the station…Could it be that it was off the air and selling parts and pieces?  Apparently this is the case.  I ran across this on-line:

https://portlandtribune.com/ht/117-hillsboro-tribune-news/390339-281853-updated-radio-station-kuik-to-cease-operation-march-31

The following U-Tube video gives you a look around the station on their last day of broadcasting.  Note how their studios were at the airport.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfifrPprCAs

According to the FCC, KUIK was first licensed in November of 1954.  It appears they were operating with 5 kW Non-Directional Day and 5 kW Directional at night with 4 towers.  There are rumors that they lost their lease at their transmitter site.  Others report the station was sold and will be back, in some form.

The bottom line appears to be that yet another AM will become nothing more than history.  Sadly, I suspect the trend will continue.

To wind up my column for this month….Some miscellaneous, off the top, ramblings, all of which will likely confirm what many of you have suspected for a long time…

Have you ever noticed how we have a habit of asking the wrong question ?   Let me give you an example –

You have just arrived at your hotel.  You walk up to the desk and the person there asks you, “What brought you here today?”  My typical response – ‘I drove’ – at which point the clerk is clearly set back.  If they had asked – What is the reason for your visit here today, that would have been a better question.  Why do we do this?

Another favorite of mine is when in a restaurant many servers will ask  – “Can I grab something else for you?”  What!!  Did they really mean to ask if they could bring me something else?

How about that question on a form at a medical provider’s office – “In case of an emergency who should be called?”  I like to write ‘Ambulance’ .. Just to see if anyone actually reads those things.

Some questions are just an invitation to have a little fun.  For example when at the checkout of the grocery store they will often ask “Did  you find everything OK?”  Responding with something like “I couldn’t locate the Pickup Trucks” will often stop them cold, leaving them with no idea of what to say.

Responding with a totally unexpected answer is also fun – Example – When people see a cat’s litter box they will often ask if you have a cat….Responding with, “No, that’s for company” is certain to generate an interesting expression.

I’m among the few that have no middle name.  Often, when filling out a form, I am asked to complete my name at which time I write NMI.  Occasionally someone will ask me how I pronounce it.  Thinking about this a bit more I have concluded that I am a very lucky follow.  I determined long ago, the only reason people have middle names is so a child will really know they are in trouble when a parent uses it.

I recall, several years ago, I was on my way to, or from, an Amateur Radio event.  I stopped at a grocery store while wearing a little pin on badge that looked like this.

CLAY
K7CR

 

The checker kept looking at me ….and finally she took a deep breath and said, “How do you pronounce your last name?” (She was very serious.)

When you reach my age you have come to the point in life that you have no choice to accept what the passing of time has done.  A lot of people have trouble admitting how old they are and will try and hide it, or will subtract a few years from the actual number.  I have a lot more fun approaching this differently.  I like to ADD about 10 years to the actual number.  The response is amazing….People will often remark about how good you look.  Hard to get compliments at this point!

Well that’s it for this month.  Thanks for permitting me to share these items with you.  If you have a thought – feel free to drop me a note – always happy to know that someone, somewhere is reading it.

Have a wonderful Summer.  Remember, at this latitude, it is our shortest season.

Clay, K7CR, CPBE
SBE Member for over 50 years, #714

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for June 2018

                                                     

June 2018

SUMMER IS HERE! Lots of projects completed and ongoing!

Gotta thank my boyz from Galvanized Endeavors for the great and fun install of the antenna’s at the Loveland translator site in May!

Up goes the receive antenna on the VERY busy tower site and the antenna installed:

Thanks to Victor, Shane, Chuck, and Hodges! GREAT JOB GUYS!
Also Daniel and Alex from the best tower guy company!
As I wrote about previously, I’ve been helping out the guys at WFLI in Chattanooga Tennessee. My original first job in radio station. 50,000 watts on 1070 AM, 2500 night. They are going to open up the National Top 40 Radio Museum at the station here this summer. Visit when you can!

And how about this! Still operational, and a part of the museum to open, this 1964 Gates Gateway console from the late 60’s that was still on air when I started in 1976!

More summertime work! Proofs of our stations go on, using the connection back to HQ, the Field Fox, and Bird BPME’s. Makes it easy and quick!

 

Watching on Amazon, in a series called “ Man in the High Castle”, low and behold, a D-104 microphone on the podium!

Pretty cool movie prop!
Well for those of you who know W9BNO Rich, you know that he carries a virtual office with him almost anywhere he goes. So one Sunday afternoon as I am talking to him on the local 449.450 repeater he sends me a picture of his “mobile office” on a Denver RTD Light rail train! Leave it to him! 🙂

Radio in the window on the left, yes he is checking station logs on his laptop! Even on the train! Had to laugh out loud!

Well we had scehduled the new antenna installation at our Denver station for this month and that is why the newsletter is a little bit late! First of all I have to thank my crew from Galvanized Endeavors again for the 2 days of hard work to get this beautiful antenna up and operating, and then our good friend Steve KE6FIO for the QUICK tuning and proofing of the antenna and Nautel GV40 system.

Thanks to the guys from GE!

Chris, Hodges, Tor, Vic (not pictured Brett)

One of the shiny new antenna bays unboxed

The old antenna bay number 1 and tuner unit

The old antenna removed and new antenna ready to be deployed

The Chris and Brett removing the old antenna (drone shot)

Hodges and Tor mounting the top bay
Thanks again to all the crew, and Alex and Daniel at Galvanized Endeavors! By the way I will have some great video of the guys doing the install up soon. I will let you know by email when it is ready.

So again about Rich, while at a Wyoming transmitter site near Laramie, he had just finished getting our station up there back on the air. He walked out the door and saw this!

This thing has to be at least an F3! It passed to the North of our transmitter site there. Rich and I were talking on the IRLP link repeater in Laramie to Denver as the storm marched thru. Some great video of this very photogenic twister here:
https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/2018-06-07-wyoming-tornado-laramie-albany-county-june-6

There is also animation on this page of the radar and satellite views of the storm. Some of the most AMAZING video I have ever seen!

https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/2018-06-07-wyoming-tornado-laramie-albany-county-june-6

And finally, if you haven’t seen this:

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air
AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING
At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both
Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.
Details on how to join us are at
http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

I hope
You will be able to join us and share your engineering and
Ham exploits!

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

 

Clay’s Corner for June 2018

Clay’s Corner for June 2018

Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986

One of the big items in the news recently has been the eruption of Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii.  It’s not that the eruption of Kilauea is something new as it has been in eruptive mode for many years spilling lava into the Pacific Ocean and making the Big Island bigger.  This time the lava has been erupting along what’s called a ‘Rift’ or crack in the earth some distance away from the actual summit of the volcano and impacting populated regions of the island.   The below picture shows how a cracks in the earth have opened up spilling lava onto the land, covering roads and destroying structures and flowing into the ocean.

Kilauea is unlike the volcanos we have here in the Pacific Northwest…It’s what’s called a ‘Shield Volcano’….Much like a large dome with gently sloping sides.    The shape of it, unlike our steep volcanos, is due to the type of lava they have there….Very ‘runny’.  A type that spreads out across the land rather than building mountains.

Of course with a volcano doing its thing elsewhere is good cause for the News Industry to begin asking questions and making comparisons to the PNW Volcanos.      AP’s Headline read-

Hawaii volcano raises concerns of eruptions along West Coast

The story featured pictures of many of the well-known mountains including the one below of

Mt Rainier as viewed through the, landmark, 11th Street Bridge in Tacoma.    Mt Rainier has long been mentioned as being one of the most dangerous volcano’s and has been subject of a number of stories on TV and in Print.     What is perhaps not well known is that the danger from Mt Rainier is not from flowing lava, like Hawaii, but rather from large land-slides called Lahars.

We have an extensive warning system set up to monitor for just such an event that is tied into our EAS system here in this area.  In fact, the Earthquake EAS Event Code came from the work of Washington State Emergency Management.    Another little known fact is that the towns of Enumclaw, Orting, Puyallup, Sumner and Auburn are all built on top of material that, long ago, slid off Mt Rainier.

A good place to go to monitor volcano earthquake activity in our areas is –

https://pnsn.org/volcanoes.   Checking this site on May 26th I learned that Mt St Helens has had 130 earthquakes in the last 30 days.

According to the USGS, there are about 160 active volcanoes in US …10 of them are considered the most active and should be watched.  Here’s the list-

Volcano Name   Last Erupted

Kilauea,  Big Island, Hawaii           Doing it now

Redoubt, Alaska               2009

Mt St Helens      2004-2008 (Still having quakes)

Mauna Loa, Big Island, Hawaii     1984

Lassen (South end of Cascades, California  )          1914-1917

Mt Hood, Oregon             About 200 years ago

Mt Shasta, Northern California   200-300 years ago

Mt Rainier           About 1100 years ago

South Sister, Oregon       About 2000 years ago

Yellowstone, Wyoming  70,000 years ago

Will T-Mobile and Sprint really come together as one?  Will there be a $26 Billion Dollar deal that will create a formidable competitor to AT&T and Verizon that will be based in the Seattle Area with some 100 million customers?    Whereas we have heard this before, I guess we will have to wait and see what happens.

One of the big topics in the world of wireless is 5G.  Those promoting the latest ‘G-Whiz’ system are promising lightning fast speeds designed to thrill the makers of wireless gizmo’s who see this as a pathway to even greater profits.    So where are they going to get all the spectrum for this new technology? The FCC announced last year that it is looking at the band of frequencies between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz….Hardly anyone is using it now    Just a bunch of broadcasters !!

On the surface there does not appear to many because the existing transmitters are in orbit and the receivers are scattered about here and there…and who knows how many there are?   Therein lies one of the problems.   The FCC’s lack of knowledge of where the receivers are located because many of the owners of them did not feel a need to tell the Commish where they were!.   Afterall – Who cares where the receivers are ….Right?

 

In this case broadcasting is being asked share the spectrum with other users spectrum….FCC Chairman, Pai, put it this way – He wants to ‘make more intensive use of the spectrum’. The decision is likely to come soon, perhaps in July.

This sounds like another chapter from the old 2Gig battle of several years ago.   Broadcasters would be careful to license their 2 Gig transmitters but did not feel the need to make sure the locations and azimuth of their companion receivers was known.   Not to mention those 2Gig systems with rotatable receive systems using with ENG.   That was another scramble to get those receivers locations made known to the regulators.

Now it’s up to the Sat Receiver owners to stand up and be heard.    Funny, in the process, there are those that are whining about the cost of doing it.    Lets face it, in this day and age when others want the spectrum that you thought was yours…you’d better be ready to ‘Pay for Protection’.     Has a funny ring to it, does it not?

Typing the word protection reminds me of another topic – Robo-Calls.     I don’t know anyone that is not receiving those anoying calls these days.   Most of them call my cellphone with only a few to the home land-line.   I find, perhaps, the most amusing is the one, supposedly, coming from the IRS that informs me that there is a warrant out for my arrest and how they are going to call ‘The Cops’ if I don’t call them back.  Of course there are those that promised to lower your cedit card balance or offer a free vacation to the Bahama’s etc.     It was a number of years ago that I first experienced ‘number spoofing’ (The ability of the ‘perp’ to make your phone display a number that makes you think you should answer it) In that case it was the ‘front-desk’ number from a client – So I answered thinking is was a business call….It was not.    Just the other day I experiences a different variation.   The caller used my own Cellphone number…My (not-too) smart phone looked at the number and displayed MY NAME.    Whereas I don’t often call myself I knew what was going on.   I played along as long as I could and heard in the background a rather young sounding voice chuckling.   This issue has gotten the attention of many who are turning to law-makers for relief.   Caught a recent news story about the matter where the report played back some very familiar pitches (Including the IRS lady)…They then reported on some firms that are selling means to block these calls.    What struck me was that some of these outfits could be connected to those making the calls. …A classic ‘Protection Racket’.

The sad part about all of this is the fact that if people were not falling for the scam, and calling them providing credit card info etc. there would be no profit and the scam would dry-up.   The bottom line is that that there are thousands out there that are encouraging this kind of behavior proving, once again, that P.T. was very correct about a sucker being born every minute.

The term ‘Smart Watch’ seems logical, expecially compared to the old ‘flip-phone’  but who would have though that we’d have ‘Smart Speakers’.      Come to think of it…When did the term ‘Loudspeaker’ fade away?   Were not early day ‘loudspeakers’ designed to reproduce human voices?   Perhaps playing music through a ‘speaker’ is a contradiction in terms? …I digress.

The Smart Speaker seems to be a great gift to radio – afterall it is an audio device.   According to a recent survey,…Radio’s biggest users are likely to own one….perhaps 20% now do.   In my experience Radio broadcasters have some education to do as many that own smart speakers don’t know that they will function as a radio.  I recently read about a radio station that jumped on the name ‘My favorite radio station’.    Being the early bird, they are catching all the users of smart speakers that ask their device for ‘My favorite Radio Station.   This is nothing new as Radio is historically bad about advertising things enhance the medium.  Witness the almost total lack of promotion of HD Radio.  Interesting how Radio is getting more active in promoting Podcasting ….Smart Speakers being a natural play-out device for the mode.   Remember that these devices are not really radios.   They don’t receive OTA Radio signals…but rather use the stations streaming on the Internet.    This is where ‘branding’ comes in.   Smart Speakers respond to call letters – IF – the stations stream uses their call letters as their brand.   Today’s FM stations may well stream their FM Signal as well as several HD Channels…Each one need to have an identifier that the gizmo’s will recognize.    Who wudda thunk?

What I find interesting is the potential for the technology.   Don’t think for a moment that the makers of motor vehicles have not taken notice.   Many vehicles today feature voice commands with that feature often associated with vehicular use of cell phones.  I know that all I have to do is push one button in my truck and say ‘Call Home’ and it does.    Stands to reason that we will soon see the ability to select radio stations using voice commands.      This could get interesting with others in your car talking ….or comments you might make about some bozo cutting you off!

Congratulations on the new set of license plates for Dwight Small.    What makes this ‘Ham-Call’ interesting is that the previous owner was Jon Marcinko who passed a couple of years ago.  Dwight knew him.  Not often that happens.   Makes me wonder if someone I know will seek K7CR after I’m gone?

We, in this area especially, talk about how big Amazon or Microsoft is …Consider for a moment the really big elephant in the room – Apple.  Here are some interesting Stats –

             Apple earns almost twice as much as the second most profitable company in the U.S.

             Their Smartphone generated $48.35 billion in profit in fiscal 2017 and made $13.9 billion in net income during the March 2018 quarter.

             Compare this to Amazon who has had $9.6 billion in sales since it started.

Amazing !

The raging success of Seattle in recent years has recently hit a speed bump in the form of the City’s new ‘Head Tax’ (No,  it’s not a tax on toilet use).   Taking a page from ‘Robin Hood’  the City has decided to take (Tax) the rich to give to the poor.   Remains to be seen whether or not this will continue.    A petition drive has been launched to roll back the decision.   Probably the more interesting are the remarks of other cities that are openly proclaiming that Seattle is now anti-business while inviting relocation to their town.  Even sleepy Tacoma has jumped into the fray by offering to pay an amount equal to Seattle’s Head Tax to companies that would like to move south about 25 miles.

There is no denying that Seattle has been growing fast…Some say it’s the fastest growing big city in the country with the population within the city now close to 750,000.   The Metro Population is nudging 4-Million.     Apparently the long-held notion that it rains all the time no longer is working to keep growth in check.    The bottom line is …People want to live here and the stats prove it.   Seattle has been in the top 4 for growth among major cities for the last 5 years .  Because they are often compared – Seattle grew 3.1% in 2016….Portland grew about 1%.   Other cities in the Seattle area posted significant gains – Redmond and Auburn grew at the same rate as Seattle, while Bellevue grew 2.3% .  Tacoma grew by only 1.5%…but, if they have their way, this may change ….Thanks to Seattle’s new ‘Head-Tax’

Many of you have read this column on the Web Site ‘Northwest Broadcasters’ hosted by Gord Lansdell and have perhaps missed recent editions.   This is because Gord has been dealing with a serious medical issue.   He hopes to resume his activities ASAP.   Your prays are appreciated.

It was back in March of 2014 that a helicopter fell from the roof of the KOMO TV building onto the street below.   Now, just over 4 years later, it was announced that KOMO and an aviation contractor have agreed to a $40 Million settlement in the matter.   The process revealed a number of things that went wrong….Including ignoring long standing safety concerns in addition to pilot error.    One of the released statements said – It was the wrong pilot with the wrong helicopter landing in the wrong place.

Speaking of KOMO- Congratulations to their DOE, Gabe Joseph, who recently mentioned that has accepted a job with Sinclair in Chicago.    He said the company had not determined who would be replacing him.

Coming soon – The exit from Chapter 11 of Cumulus.   Presumably free from a large amount of he debt, It will be interesting to see what happens going forward.  It was back in November of last year when they filed for voluntary Chapter 11 with nearly $2 Billon in debt.

A brief update on EAS Events –

 

             The last WaState SECC Meeting was held in Ellensburg on May 15th.   Minutes were posted by Terry Spring soon after to the EAS-WA Remailer.

             On May 24th there was an EPIS meeting at KIRO-TV.  Work is progressing on establishing a VHF Radio system to link the Radio/TV news operations with EOC’s.   Testing is scheduled with KCEM to verify that circuit.   Phil Johnson is chairing this activity.

             June 5th there will be a planning session at CPTC to discuss the future of public warning systems of all kinds in our State.

             The Next SECC Meeting will be July 10th at CPTC (You are invited to attend) Details will be posted on the WaState EAS Remailer.

             In September a Committee to undertake the re-writing of the Washington State EAS Plan will begin work.   If you would like to participate, we’d love to have you join us.   Contact me for details

             Also in September the next WECCWG Conference will take place, perhaps in Ellensburg,  The topic – Public Alert and Warning.

Here’s another license plate I spotted while in the Boise area recently visiting our Kids – The owner is likely an ex-marine and an electrician (just a guess)

Lots of FCC activity around here recently-

Remember the situation between the owners of the 103.3 north of Seattle and Entercom who has operated a Translator on that frequency downtown for many years?   Apparently the matter Is now moot with the station having new owners.  Busto’s Media and a new Latino format

Bicoastal Media’s historic KELA in Centralia has a CP for an AM Translator on 101.3.   From the FCC data it appears the new emitter will be on Crego Hill (SW of Chehalis) at the same site as their FM, KMNT on 104.3.

Remember the application by Pamplin Broadcasting to build a 740 AM near Redmond a few years back?  Apparently it’s not going to happen as he CP has been dismissed.

Looks like EMF’s operation on 88.1 from Capital Peak is going to be moving to South Mountain (West of Shelton) with 65Kw Direction.    Who would have thought that this site would become one of the major FM sites in this area?

The folks at Hubbard in Bellevue are also jumping into the AM Translator on FM movement with two applications for their two AM’s.   The KIXI (880) translator will be on 92.9 while the KKWN (1150) will be on 96.1.   Location for both appears to be their studio building in the Eastgate area.

KLAY (1180) in Lakewood is thinking of a translator on 107.3.  Site is the AM Transmitter located east of Lakewood near Parkland.

KBRC (AM) in Mt Vernon may soon be heard on 102.9.

One of the more interesting stories involves the old KOL.    If you recall the station moved from Harbor Island to a boat, then to a site in the Tacoma Industrial area.  More recently the station went dark with plans to Tri-Plax the Salem AM site on Bainbridge Island…Then the news that Salem has traded 1300 for 860/KPAM in Portland.   Not sure how this will Impact the 1300 move to Bainbridge.

Bustos Media has filed for licenses for several of their KDDS/99.3 Boosters in Kent, Tukwila and Seattle.

Across the pond, news from the UK is that more analog FM stations may be going dark as listening to digital radio has passed the 50% mark.    Don’t think we have to worry about this happening here.

A political story with a broadcast flavor – Greg Walden, is running for re-election, won his GOP primary recently in Oregon.  He previously owned stations in the Columbia Gorge.  I should mention that Greg is also a Ham – W7EQI.

The May issue of TV Technology has a story titled ‘The Most Dangerous Job in America’.  The writer points out how the rush to re-pack may be contributing to the number of accidents.   He mentions the recent tower failure at KOZK in Fordland, Mo that took the life of Western Washington based Steve LeMay.

The FCC continues to deal with Pirate Radio Stations.   Recently shutting down a Station calling itself ‘LaRumba’  FM and operating on 95.3.   Pirate operators have become a lot more brazen these days.  No longer a CD Juke-box connected to some cheap little transmitter.   These guys operate as if they were licensed.  In many case having Web-Sites and selling spots.

Now the Commish is getting help from other federal agencies, like the U.S. Marshals Service and is seizing their equipment and going after building owners who permit illegal activities on their roof tops.    Congress is getting involved in a, perhaps, unique way…with legislation what would require the FCC to make ‘sweeps’ in top markets to rid the airwaves of these unlicensed operations.  If would also permit the FCC to levy larger fines.    The problem is, as I have pointed out previously, is getting these folks to actually pay them.

Major cities are not the only locations for these operations…Witness the fact that the Commish recently tracked down a pirate operator at a Motel in La Grande, Oregon.   Usually they yeah-who’ are trying to attract attention.  Hard to believe there was much of that going on in La Grande with a population of just over 13,000.   Perhaps contributing to the pirate operation in La Grande is the fact that the radio dial is relatively quiet.    Just for drill, I looked a Radio Locator who showed 13 vacant channels on the FM dial there.

https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/vacant?select=city&city=La%20Grande&state=OR

Reportedly there have been 36 pirate-related FCC actions in Oregon between 2003 and April of this year.   Compare this to 513 in New York.

The Site ‘Radio Locator’ is interesting, but hardly an accurate, or FCC acceptable means of locating a frequency for a radio station.   In fact, it may encourage some into thinking that no-one will be bothered with their operation.   The Site fails to consider international agreements, adjacent channels etc.   For example – The site should 75 vacant FM channels in Forks.

Apparently ignoring rules and regulations is not a problem for one pirate station owner…A Pastor of a church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who was not only operating an unlicensed station on 87.9 …but an AM on 1710.    Not often you hear of a pirate AM Station.    Perhaps this pirate felt he was given authority from ‘higher authority’?

The April Seattle- Tacoma Radio (6+) numbers are out – Here again is my thoughts, from an Engineers perspective…

Non-Comm. KUOW claimed the #1 Spot – Perhaps because of shuffling of ratings of those below like KISW and KZOK that enjoyed some modest increases.   KRWM, who usually hovers near the top of the heap has not really come back from their Christmas break.

Looking at the top 10 – It appears the iHeart is doing very well compared to the other big ownership, Entercom, with four of the top 10 compared to Entercom’s two.

The country music audience, now shared by Entercom’s KKWF and Hubbard KNUC, is still below the days when KMPS and KKWF shared that segment.  Underscoring this situation, KKWF is tied with Entercom’s hip-hop KHTP …and KNUC is tied with Bonneville’s conservative talk KTTH-AM.  Both are just behind Classical KING-FM  (Truth is there are a number of situations where stations are tied)

ESPN/KIRO-AM appears to be the clear winner in the Sports-Talk segment with KJR-AM and KFNQ near the bottom of the list. In fact KIRO-AM continues to move ahead of all-news KOMO-AM

Just below the top-10 is KNKX at #11 proving that a Non-Comm.  can do well in this market.  Speaking of which …Little KEXP beats out 11 other stations whose numbers are lower.

I have to admit I don’t understand this one.    According a UK Newspaper article – Schools in the UK are beginning to remove analog clocks from the classroom because students are complaining they can’t read them….They are being replaced with Digital models.     The obvious question is – Why don’t they teach them how? –    Seems to me that was part of education….Teaching students how to deal with things in life.  Over here there are likely many that have no clue what you are saying when you use terms like – Quarter after 3 or half-passed 4 etc.   The other challenge involves math- How many can tell how many minutes before the bell-rings when it rings at :58 and the lock reads ;37?    Don’t tell me they all have mastered the math.   Working in broadcasting where you had to time-breaks and net-work re-join times using an analog clock was easy…Perhaps another sign that I am indeed getting old.

In a matter somewhat related…Dwight Small sent me this item – Shure has announced that the discontinuation of their phone products after 90 years.   No more needles for that Shure Cartridge!

Still no news regarding the future of KCPQ and Joe TV in our town.  The most popular rumor remains FOX will be the winner.   Should know soon….Or so they keep saying.

 

In another, wait and see, situation involving the Tribune/Sinclair deal ….This time in Chicago.   The question of who will end up with legendary WGN Radio.

 

 

In deploying my home garden hoses for the summer season…I discovered that the little short hose between the faucet and the reel had seen better days…So off to the big-box store to purchase a replacement.    I described to the clerk what I wanted and he quickly brought me to just what I needed.    This was when I learned what they call these things .   Not being able to tame my thoughts I quickly asked the young fellow if these were made in Germany?     Obviously this one went way over his head 

I too have dreams –

About the electric car in Seattle–

             Conventional auto repair shops are needing fewer conventional mechanics and more electronic techs providing a great opportunity for employment of former broadcast engineers.

             With more electric cars on the roads cities (Like Seattle) will discover a new means for income…Combine parking meters with charging stations…and great way to penalize those that have the money to own a Tesla.

About electrical power generation –

             With all the demand for clean power….Will we, at last, see power generators in the Tacoma Narrows?

             How about PV Shingles being required so that everyone contributes to the grid?

The power of the Cloud –

             Laws and Case-Law are all on the cloud eliminating many face-to-face meetings with lawyers…of course Google will charge for the service.

             Judges could be replaced with Alexa too.

Cloud based Medicine –

             Medicine is already changing.   Today your doctor carries a tablet when he sees you…This is so he can enter your symptoms into his diagnosis software that almost instantly tells him where to look, what tests to order etc.   Much of this work will no longer require a highly trained human.  All this is done with your new really-smart phone….or Alexa.   Are we getting close to having a Tricorder?

Personal Identification –

             Identification will change.   Everyone can have a chip implanted at birth…Works for Dogs and Cats now.

One of my readers sent me this collection of interesting facts-

             More people live in New York City than in 40 of the 50 states.

             The word “Pennsylvania” is misspelled on the Liberty Bell.

             There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in one foot of liquid.

             In 1872, Russia sold Alaska to the Unites States for about 2 cents per acre. (Wonder of Putin has nightmares about it?)

             It would take you more than 400 years to spend a night in all of Las Vegas’s hotel rooms.

             Boston has the worst drivers out of the nation’s 200 largest cities. Kansas City has the best drivers.   (Wonder what end of that spectrum Seattle ranks?)

             The entire Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan.

             A highway in Lancaster, California plays the “William Tell Overture” as you drive over it, thanks to some well-placed grooves in the road

             The inventor of the Ouija board lived and died in Baltimore; his tombstone stands as a reflection of his achievement.

             Only one-third of all $100 bills are actually inside the United States.

Now that your head is filled with things you never knew –     It’s time to wrap up this column for another month.     From the looks of things outside – Summer is here….So get out and enjoy it while you can, remember this is our SHORTEST Season.

Lord willing, till next month –

Clay, K7CR, CPBE

SBE Member for over 50 years, #714.

The KE0VH Hamshack for May 2018

A BLAST FROM THE PAST!  Circa 1979!

Currently “KEØVH” then “WD4HPO” ON AIR  in Lafayette Georgia (35 miles or so SE of Chattanooga TN) on then 1590 WLFA, now WQCH!  Look how young!  Doin’ the afternoon show!  This 5000 watt daytimer was my 3rd job at the time.  The station still exists pretty much now as was then, the cart machines and McMartin control board are of course long gone.  Then GM and PD Rich Gwyn is still there today, having taken over from his father the late Charlie Gwyn who founded and owned the station.  You can see the station’s website at http://wqch.net/ .  The building and 5/8’s wave antenna are still pretty much the same too.  Take a look!  Part of my history!  It was a very exciting time for this then 19 year old!  I actually have an aircheck from this station at this time.  If I get brave enough I may put it on YouTube!

And, this is really cool, just before the above part of my DJ career, as I have written before, WFLI Lookout Mountain Chattanooga, a 50,000 watt mid-south powerhouse top station in the 60’s and 70’s has come back on air playing the HITS from the time period.  This station was beloved by so many of us growing up in the area, and is the only station in town to have the same call letters and the same building on O’Grady drive just west of the city.  Still to this day I have dreams about WFLI!  It has been a lifelong radio love to many who were on the station.  Now so many of us remember those years when Top 40 boss jock type of radio was king of the airwaves and the DJ’s of the era were upbeat, LIVE, and very entertaining.  I was very fortunate to get on the air there as a young almost 16 year old High School guy!  That was in the day just after you had to have a 1st Class radiotelephone certificate to operate a directional AM, thank God!  I still though had to study and go to Atlanta FCC office to test for my 3rd Class Radio Telephone operator permit (I still have it).  I learned about radio from my first program directors Jim Pirkle and Max O’Brien, and had a lot of fun being on air, driving station vehicles, meeting people, and the music was just incredible.  SO I was SO sad to hear that the heritage station was going dark after nearly 50 years of broadcasting!  But then, a couple of entrepreneurs  in the Chattanooga area, Evan Stone and Marshall Bandy, longtime fans of WFLI were going to buy the station and a week after the sale turned it back on with basically a news/talk format with some of the original music thrown in here and there.  Evan told me that the response to the music blocks was such that they decided to return to the stations roots and put the “pop, soul and Rock n’Roll back on the station full time.  So Monday April 23rd, the station after its morning news show (very good I might add, wish Denver had a REAL news station, they could take lessons from these guys) turned on the old WFLI music with all the old production elements, positioning statements, and format!  Of course today they are also streaming, taking the audio off a real air monitor!  This is SO COOL because for me, I can stream the station here in Denver and pipe it thru to my old tube Zenith radios and such.  Man the nostalgia of this is absolutely amazing!

The station was known as “The Big Jet Fli”, with a special jet sound effect that was a staple of the station, and so many times that sound was the signature effect of the programming.  There are a lot of great stories about that.  One of the really cool things too about the transmitter plant for the station was the distilled water cooled Western Electric transmitter that started its life actually at WTOP in the NE. See a full article on this at https://www.thebdr.net/articles/prof/history/HPH-WFLI.pdf.  (Thanks Barry)  Back in 1992 there was a video shot by Stanley Adams and put up on YouTube that gave a nice tour of the facility, and believe it or not little has changed since the 70’s, it is almost like a time capsule of what the times were like in radio back then.  Now, the Western Electric is still there and is capable of operation, but a Harris DX-50 handles the daily on air operations and of course is much cheaper to operate.  And these days parts for the Western Electric are nearly impossible to find, but ran until just a few years ago, being lovingly maintained and kept on air by a couple of longtime broadcast engineers from FLI.

My Kawasaki Vulcan in front of the still there WFLI building during a visit last year

So after hearing the news about music coming back to WFLI from my friend David Carroll of WRCB TV3 in Chattanooga, I got in touch with Evan Stone, and offered to do liners and voiceovers for the station, and sure enough, I sent some promo’s and production to them, and now you can hear ME on WFLI!  AFTER 40 YEARS!  Glad I have improved since then!  Unfortunately I don’t have any air checks from my days there, but you may hear me again on WFLI as a jock just for fun!  Stay “TUNED”!  Check it all out at https://tunein.com/radio/WFLI-1070AM-The-Legend-s28777/

Speaking of “vintage”, check out these OLD films on ham radio.  These are really AWESOME!  A real look at what is was YEARS AGO!  Old chirpy code, a look at Field Day, homemade antennas and more!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0igVLrt3uY

And some of you may remember K6DUE (SK), Roy Neal of NBC back covering the space program.  I actually got to contact him and have Roy’s QSL card!  Check out his video here on YouTube promoting ham radio.  In this video he is talking about upgrading from CB Radio to Ham Radio!  I have to admit that I was a fan of his when he covered many Apollo flights and more, then I got to contact him via ham radio!  SO COOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1S6bnyr1s

By the way if you aren’t familiar with hamspeak, SK means “Silent Key”.  Roy passed on in August 2003

By the way, yes I have a real affinity and affection for CB Radio.  That’s how I got started in 2 way communications!  I also happened to live in an area growing up that had some very friendly and helpful people on the CB!  In this video, in the first few minutes, you can see my first ever CB, a Realistic TRC-24C 23 channel radio.  AND a Signal Kicker antenna.  So that along with shortwave listening, was the beginning of what I do today!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMeFe68vDCc

My first CB!

Another activity with ham radio this month I got running was setting up my Kenwood TS-2000 and Winlink RMS Express and then setting up the TS-2000 internal TNC and using WInlink to send and receive email via VHF packet radio.  Its text based email, so nothing fancy, send me one at ke0vh@winlink.org.   I have been doing this via HF for a while and have a demo video on running this at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR5dnDS65DA .  I will try to get a demo up of doing it on VHF and how to setup the TS-2000.  Actually very easy to do, and a lot of negative reviews on the Kenwood TS-2000 on board packet TNC are out there but with the right setup works great!  There is already a video on how to do this from Rick, K4REF.  You can see it at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XTGlp2Gkow

See Ricks ENTIRE Kenwood TS-2000 training series at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxvd7Hts-hw&list=PL0-gH_7Nm60Zkogw5sdlSTcOseWaefHI6

This month I have installed a small buffer board in my TS-2000 to be able to have basically a full SDR panadapter utilizing a RTL SDR dongle and rig control from the free HDSDR and Omni-rig software available.  You can also use SDR Sharp.  This essentially takes just about any HF rigs 1st or 2nd IF and uses it to feed the dongle and display the range of frequencies for whatever band you are using.  This really almost can replace any of the higher priced SDR radios that are on the market. Plus this allows you the pleasure of operating your older HF rig with all the advantages, filtering, and visual display of the full SDR radios.  I really have been fascinated with this, and love working on projects in the Hamshack so this was a fun and pretty easy effort too, thanks to all those whose information can be looked up so easily!

And again just about any rig where you can tap into the IF can be done in this manner.  Some of them even have an IF port on the outside of the radio, but modifying is pretty easy regardless.  The TS-2000 has a readymade spot for the buffer circuit to go in where for a digital voice recorder could go, so that was easy.  Connections for the 1st IF required just a small modification of the connection point, the first IF connection (giving more visible bandwidth due the fact that it is before the roofing filter which limits you to about 30 kHz bandwidth but does provide some susceptibility to dongle front end overload) is an open pinned test point easily accessible.  I then used the HF receive only RCA antenna connection to get the buffered signal out of the radio and with a piece of coax connects to the dongle.  Works GREAT.

The bottom cover of the TS-2000 has to come off to get to the connections needed.  As you see in the picture below the buffer board (a PAT 12 from https://www.sdr-kits.net/ is in the upper left, the connection to the input of the board is from TP 4 or CN6 which is right after the 1st IF before the roofing filter.   The red wire is from a 12 volt tap off a diode on the other side of the radio’s RF board to power the PAT 12.  The coax on the left side output is going to (in my case unused) HF receive only antenna input to the radio.  The buffer board gets its negative power from the coax shield.

Another couple of good websites to check for more information are:

http://www.hamradioandvision.com/hdsdr-accessibility/

https://kd2c.com/

And by the way, live near a high powered broadcast facility and RF is wiping out your receive on HF?  Check this out:

https://kd2c.com/filters

 

Our friend Skyler KDØWHB while in school in Socorro New Mexico is getting a chance to intern at the Very Large Array radio telescope facility this year.  Take a look at how they move these gigantic antenna’s in this video shot and edited by KDØWHB https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyLfQjxrYYk

You know you can find anything on YouTube of course, and I really enjoyed watching this set of 2 videos on the repair of the sensitivity of a Kenwood TS-2000 from the “TRX Bench” YouTuber.  A fine example of systematic troubleshooting and repair.  Glad to know where this one is in case I ever need it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FjSme0C5B8

One night on the Monday night SBE NET George, NO7O brought this up as a topic of discussion.  You may want to check this out:

From Amazon:

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

 

Code Girls reveals a hidden army of female cryptographers, whose work played a crucial role in ending World War II…. Mundy has rescued a piece of forgotten history, and given these American heroes the recognition they deserve.”—Nathalia Holt, bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls

Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Thanks George, sure this would be really great reading!

Visiting my friend Harold, W6IWI at his home QTH was a lot of fun one day earlier in April.  Harold has a very nice setup in his shack and his HF rig is a Seacomm SEA245

Harold at his operating position

Harold’s remote antenna tuner.  It tunes his multiband dipole seen in the picture below.

 

A close up of Harold’s rig

 

The power for the radio and power conditioner/charger for the battery power

 

See Harold’s site at www.w6iwi.org for more details

 

What do you do when you drive up to a site (to investigate an off air situation) and find this:

Unfortunately one day someone had accidently backed into the dish feed and broke the feed horn!  But he is a great guy and left a note and STUFF happens!  So, take it apart, re-piece it together, a little electrical tape, and station BACK ON THE AIR!

The BUC just temporarily taped up until the new mount arrived

Repaired, cross-poled, and note the reflectors for future reference!  J

 

                                                                    2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/05/

 

3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/05/   

 

 

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

 I hope

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits! 

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