Blog Archives

Passing of Byron St. Clair

May 26, 2018
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Dr. St. Clair Honored in 2008 by SBE48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain with Scott Barella

Byron W. St. Clair November 13, 1924 – May 20, 2018

Dr. St. Clair was known to most of us as a long time member and frequent attendee at our local events as well as for his outstanding contributions to our industry.  The following obituary was provided by Susan Hansen, his Daughter, who will continue his practice for the time being as he had so many LP and translator clients impacted by the repack:

Byron St. Clair, a renowned television and radio engineer who was instrumental in bringing early TV to the mountainous rural West, has died.

He had been diagnosed recently with a brain cancer, and died peacefully in Lakewood, Colorado aged 93. He leaves behind Julie, his wife of seventy one years, and a daughter, Susan Hansen of Arvada, Colorado.

At 2014 Christmas Party

St. Clair was President Emeritus of the National Translator Association, which he served as president for nineteen years. He made regular visits to Washington, D.C. where he worked tirelessly to preserve effective and universal free TV delivery. He pioneered the development of mountain-top repeaters that rebroadcast metropolitan signals on an automatically switched channel, devices known as TV translators.

St. Clair was director of research and development for Adler Electronics, and a founder and president of EMCEE, manufacturer and installer of TV translators. Later he took his knowledge West to Colorado, and beginning in 1967 founded and was president of Television Technology Corp. in Arvada, later Larcan-TTC, Inc. During his three decades in running TTC the company became the best-known supplier of TV translators to the Inter-Mountain West.

Gradually he moved from management to telecommunications consulting, and in that role he has strategized equipment design and channel selection, and submitted hundreds of engineering exhibits to the Federal Communications Commission.

At 2017 Christmas Party

In 1978 he became an informal advisor to the FCC Low Power Television Task Force, which was developing rules to enable TV translators to originate programs from any suitable source. The FCC adopted rules for low power television in 1982. Its growth into a broadcast service with thousands of licensed stations and its record of virtually no destructive interference are in major part the result of St. Clair’s technical expertise and vision.

St Clair obtained his B.S.E.E. (1945) and MA in Physics (1949) from Columbia University, and his Ph. D. in physics (1953) from Syracuse University. He was a member of the National High Definition Television Subcommittees, Systems Subcommittee Working Party to Field Test Task Force; a Board Member of the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance; a long-time member and active participant in the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE); and 33 years as a Member of the Board of Directors for Denver PBS station KBDI-TV. Last year the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional organization, recognized him with its Jules Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement. In his long career, St. Clair accomplishes a rare synthesis of theoretical knowledge, executive skill as a manufacturer, and expositor and advocate for rural America.

With Duane Evarts

In addition to his wife, daughter, and Son in Law Douglass West, St. Clair is survived by his brother, Dr. James O. St. Clair, Mull River, Canada and two grandsons, Michael and Peter Hansen. A memorial gathering is being planned in June.

The National Translator Association and the AFCCE are establishing a scholarship fund in his name, to foster education in the field of broadcast engineering.
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2017 SMPTE-SBE40 Annual Picnic Report

July 24, 2017
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This year, atop lookout mountain, our group held its 26th Annual SBE Chapter 48/SMPTE Rocky Mountain Section Picnic Luncheon

This annual tradition continued with another well attended and wonderful day atop good old Lookout Mountain. Old friends and colleagues had a chance to catch up and find out what’s going on in the Front Range professional television, radio, broadcast, and film community.  As usual, the catering was by Bennett’s BBQ and as always, delicious.

A number of our sustaining members who helped sponsor this year’s picnic made a quick presentation to the group including Steve Peck at Ross Video, Kirk Basefsky from Burst, Jim Schoedler at RF Specialties and JS Consulting, and Keith Hannon from Harmonic.

As always, a number of really cool giveaways were raffled off including the usual assortment of coveted t-shirts, coffee cups and flashlights, along with a grand prize of a $100 gift certificate from Peak Media.  SMPTE-SBE48 would like to thank all our sponsors for this year: Burst Communications, Harmonic, Peak Media, RF Specialties, Ross Video, & Sony.

July 2016 Meeting: 25th Annual Lookout Mountain Picnic Luncheon

July 11, 2016
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Date: Friday, July 8, 2016
Time: 11:30AM to 1:00PM
Location: Lookout Mountain Park
Lunch: Catering by Bennett’s: BBQ Beef, Pork, Turkey, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Brownies, Sodas
Cost: $12 suggested donation

_6006074This year, as always, we enjoyed another well attended and wonderful day atop good old Lookout Mountain. Rocky Mountain Front Range professional television, radio, broadcast, and film community members gathered again for our annual picnic. Some quibble about the exact number of years this has been going on, but but we figure this was the 25th year in a row we’ve enjoyed the event marking a quarter century! Originally, in the day when every station had their own antenna on Lookout, the picnic was held at transmitter sites.  We’ve been gathering under the pavilion at Lookout Mountain Park near Denver’s supertower to enjoy the fine barbecue catered by Bennett’s and to catch up with old friends and associates for at least a decade since we stopped baking on the roof of KWGN’s transmitter building.

_6006084This year’s picnic marked the start of our new SMPTE Chairman, Tom Craig of Rocky Mountain PBS, replacing the much appreciated and long serving leadership of Jim Schoedler. Along with SBE Chair, Shane Toven, announcements were made, sponsors thanked and door prizes raffled.

The gathering took a few moments to note the sad passing of John Switzer, former chairman of this organization, long-time video professional in the region and good friend of many of the attendees.

The Rocky Mountain SMPTE Chapter and SBE Chapter 48 would like to thank our sponsors for this year:
SAM, Quantum, Burst, 5280 and RMPBS.
Company sponsorships help offset the cost of this event and are much appreciated. This year along with the always appreciated t-shirts, coffee mugs and notepads, Quantum provided a grand prize of an Apple Watch which was embarrassingly won by this author.