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Clay’s Corner for September 2012

September 13, 2012

By Clay Freinwald SBE Seattle Chapter 16 Featuring News, Rumors and Views From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources

With sadness we note the passing of John Battison the founder of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Who passed at that age of 96 on August 28th.      I recall chatting with John at an SBE Meeting a couple of years ago.  He noted that my membership number was 714 and asked when I joined SBE, I told him that it was in February of 1968….A couple of years after SBE was formed…He smiled and asked why I waited so long…I responded that I wanted to make sure that this new group was going to be around.    We will miss you, John.  Thanks for all the great things you have done on behalf of those that work in this industry.

Another passing of note this past month was Kathi Goertzen who worked for KOMO for many years.   Kathi was a very brave soul who shared with her many fans her ordeal with her condition.   Kathi was a long supporter of WSU’s Murrow College.

The SBE Election results are in –

Ralph Hogan has been re-elected for a 2ND term as President, V.P – Joe Snelson,  Secretary – Jim Liefer, Treasurer – Jerry Massey

Elected to the Board of Directors – Tim Anderson, Gary Kline, Scott Mason, Andrea Cummis, John Heimerl and Wayne Pecena

It’s been reported that this year’s on-line voting system results in a 64% increase in the number of ballots cast.   A clear indication that we have indeed moved beyond snail-mail.   The new officers will be seated at the Society’s annual meeting on Oct 24th in Denver.

As I write this another hurricane is battering the Gulf Coast and New Orleans…And once again stories of how Broadcasters are the lifeline to so many with reportedly 75% of the city without power.

At long last the extension of the West Tiger Power line project has been completed.  On August 28th a small army of workers assembled on the summit of West Tiger to make the connections that resulted in the sites on the Summit of West Tiger being fed from the power line that was installed by PSE for the ATC Site about a half mile to the East.   Judging from the number of people involved…I could not help but recall the old joke about how many people it takes to screw in a ligh bulb (5 – One to hold the lamp and 4 to rotate the ladder).

The first broadcast station on West Tiger was 97.3 FM (then called KBSG) back in 1988.   To get the required 3-phase power to the site required the installation of 3 miles of new power line from a location on PSE Right-of-way near Highpoint.   Over the years this line had become exposed due to hikers that used the plowed in cable route as a trail up the mountain. The resulting erosion turned portions into a creek-bed leading to the once 3 foot deep wiring to be, in places, on the surface.   The time had come to plan on an alternative.     The new configuration has the Boeing facility, on West Tiger 2, to be fed from West Tiger 1 using that portion of the old underground wiring in reverse.

Understand that Madison Batt is leaving KPFF

From the – What in the World is That Dept. …..On KOMO/Fisher Broadcasting sign at the KOMO-AM transmitter site on Vashon Island – I could not help but notice this strange gizmo sitting on the ‘N’

Speaking of the SBE Picnic at KOMO – It was great to see Steve Allen is alive and well and enjoying Island life as the Editor and Publisher of the Vashon Island Newspaper The Vashon Loop.    Steve, in a previous life, was a radio CE in Seattle.    He brought along some great historic pictures of KIRO etc. that all enjoyed.    It’s great that there is a written and picture history of these great old stations.   Tragically, I fear, no one is doing the same for FM Radio..

If you have driven thru South Center (I-405 and I-5) and were listening to KOMO-FM on 97.7 you may have noticed that the signal is greatly improved thanks to the work of Jim Dalke and others there is now an operational on-channel booster serving this area.    The majority of the Seattle area FM’s are located on either Cougar or West Tiger which are much closer and more line of site to this freeway and retail hub.  KOMO, like KDDS, transmit from South Mountain west of Shelton some 50 miles away….add this to the fact there is a big hill to the West (Under Sea-Tac Airport) and you have a location with historically minimal signal.   What makes this unique is that this is, as far as I know, the first operational FM on-channel booster in this area…and it works really well.

While on the topic of Fisher….Understand that our home-town broadcast company will be paying out almost 90 million to their shareholders.    Interesting to note that last year they sold their home, Fisher Plaza, for $160 million.

Vandals are always a threat, especially to remote broadcast sites.   Recently they took their toll on a station north of San Francisco where they broke into the stations transmitter site and stole solar charging equipment that took the station off the air for 5-Days.   My feeling about vandalism at transmitter sites….If your site has not be hit….It will, it’s a matter of time and how aggressively you prepare for that day.

Question of the day –

Do you think the state of the electronics ‘art’ will reach the point where equipment will continue to operate properly without having to be power cycled?   We can all appreciate the many features that computer based technology have brought to us…However, we have all been frustrated by the fact that, in all too many cases, human intervention is required.

Looks like great strides are being made in the technology behind today’s Lithium-ion batteries. Our love affair with Ni-Cads has faded quickly.   Thanks to the push to get better batteries for vehicles, this technology is rapidly moving forward.

EAS News –

The next meeting of the Washington State EAS Committee (SECC) will be on Wednesday, Sept 12th.    I hope that many more broadcasters will consider getting involved with this activity.  Like a lot of efforts, what we get out of EAS is hugely dependent on what we put into it.

Meanwhile – The Committee that’s working on revising our States EAS Plan to bring it into compliance with the FCC’s new rules are meeting frequently addressing that issue.   The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept 5 at 130 PM at WEMD at Camp Murray.

I will be posting meeting info on the Washington State EAS Remailer.

Northwest Public Radio now has a new outlet in Yakima with the addition of KYVT 88.5.

This is a partnership between WSU’s NWPR and the Yakima School District.     This station will air the News/Talk service augmenting the existing Classical Music service of NWPR’s existing station in the area – KWWY 90.3.

Ever wonder what call letters might look like had the Left-Coast also used ‘W’ calls?

On the TV side we could have had – WOMO, WING, WIRO, WSTW and WCPQ


According to the Portland Oregon newspaper, The Oregonian, Greg Walden may be in line to become the chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee.   Greg has been a broadcast station owner in the Beaver State.

Occasional there will be discussion thread on one of the many list-serv’s I subscribe to that I wish to share – In one case the discussion was how to keep your tools, or other valuables, from being stolen from your car.    John Cone came up with this jewel ….’Pack them in old accordions…Then people will break into your car and put more in…..”

We all know that Vashon Islands biggest product is RF energy with all the big AM’s located over there.  But did you also know that Vashon is the home of Burn Design Lab?    This firm has developed a more efficient cook stove for use in poor countries where they presently cook over open files using wood from trees that have been cut down.  The so called ‘Jiko Poa’ stove or rocket stove is 43% more efficient that cooking over an open fire.   Check out

The FCC continues their enforcement activity –

WSKQ, In NYC, has been asked to pay 16 Grand for a classic violation of the Rules…Broadcasting a phone call without – first – advising the party on the phone that the call was being recorded for broadcast.  Meanwhile a station in San Juan Puerto Rico. WZNT-FM is looking at a 25K fine for a similar violation…..You’d think that this rule would be universally understood by now!

WBAV-FM in Gastonia, N.C. found out about their $10,000 fine after they did not follow their own rules for a contest.  Ooooops

Sometimes the FCC’s cuts the offender some slack, as was the case with a pirate operator in Ft Meyers Florida who saw his fine reduced from 15,000 to 1200 bucks when the operator provided documentation that he could not pay the earlier requested amount.

The operator of a pirate station in West Palm Beach, Fl.  Turned himself in to authorities.  The 23yr old faces 5 years in prison.   Reportedly he was playing rap and interfering with a licensed station on an adjacent channel.  In Florida there is a law against un-authorized transmissions

It happens, but not often….A university purchases a commercial band station.    In this case, The University of Texas Board of Regents, which operates KUT in Austin, is picking up an FM on 98.9

Nothing new to report regarding 91.7, the new silent FM channel in this area.   I have heard rumors of a pirate operating on the channel.   Certainly an open frequency on the FM band will be a magnet for this type of operation.

Now here is something that you don’t hear about in this area…..A snake causing a problem with a broadcast station.   In this case, Doug Fisher, local contract engineer, told me about one of the stations he does work for reporting that their transmitter was doing weird things.    Going to the site he found that indeed the stations Broadcast Tools remote control equipment was indeed operating in an unusual manner.    Removing the lid from the device revealed the source of the problem.

Doug added that ‘liquid’ from the snake had attacked components on the circuit board causing the ‘Site Sentinel’ to act abnormally.

More milestones for the satellite radio broadcaster, Sirius XM who recently reported there are now 50 million cars with their service in the dashboard.   Helping their effort is a high percentage of new vehicles that leave the factory with Sat-Radio installed.   No word on how many opt to keep paying for the service.   In a related move, Liberty Media has been purchasing shares of Sirius stock and now controls the company.

No news on the sale of the broadcast division of Harris.  The company did report that there are a number of potential bidders for the long time maker of broadcast equipment.

Sine Systems is reported to have gone out of business.  The small firm made a line of broadcast remote control systems.   Apparently the passing of company employees led to the decision.

So what is a big AM station in NYC worth?    Apparently $30 Million as that’s what Clear Channel has agreed to pay to pick up WOR which had been, for years, the flagship station of Buckley Broadcasting.

Nautel has announced they are moving beyond Beacon and Radio transmitters and will start making transmitters for TV, starting with low power models.

Here are some facts that you just might not have known-

Ø      Albert Einstein never learned how to drive a car.    Now that you know that, when someone things you are stupid…tell them that at least you know how to drive.

Ø      No US President has been an only child ….In light of the current season…No comment.

Ø      To keep their tools from flying around, Apollo 8 astronauts used Silly Putty to keep them in place.    And to think that there are those that poke fun at you for using duct-tape to do repairs!

Ø      Gasoline was once sold in small bottles as a cure for head-lice.    Betcha the price per gallon was over 4 bucks!

That’s it for this month – Put on your Kevlar, its election time !

Clay, CPBE, K7CR












August 2012 Meeting Report – Nikola Tesla Historical Visit

September 1, 2012
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM until ?
Location: Old Town Guest House, 115 S. 26th Street, Colorado Springs
Topic: Nikola Tesla Historical Visit
Cost: $15 Cash Contribution Requested
stock shot of tesla

What we hoped to see... Publicity photo of Nikola Tesla with his Magnifying Transmitter in Colorado Springs. Source: Wikipedia

So… more than a few folks have asked what the Tesla program last Thursday (8-23-12) in the Springs was like. Where to begin? Well… Peter Douglas and I, some 20-years ago looked for the Colorado Springs Tesla Museum… This is pre-WEB and GPS. We had a PO Box and an address we couldn’t find. We did see the first or oldest or whatever 3-phase generator at the Cripple Creek mine. Later I’ve been to the New York Hotel (no they don’t let you go up to room 2613 or whatever…) where Tesla lived most of his adult life, wandered Long Island looking for the death ray lab, and found the concrete block near the Staten Island ferry that the first Edison generator sat upon… and don’t even ask about how I feel about Howard Armstrong (point being that I spent a lot more time following Howard’s trail).

So, when the Colorado Springs guy; no we don’t know his name… well I do because he slipped on the phone… who you call and then he calls back… Well… the thing is that every Tesla fanatic I have ever met was a bit eccentric. So here is a real guy, with a real address, who really calls back when you call, who says he really wants to build a real Tesla Museum that isn’t about the nuttiness… Well… you just have to go see that…

There were plenty of cameras there, but no pictures… per our hosts rules.

There were toys, but not great ones. The presentation was better than I expected. I really did learn things and I really am glad that I went and not just to check off the bucket list item. If nothing else, it sure lead to a lot of conversation. He does have documents I didn’t know existed. He sure knew a lot. I don’t think for a moment that he realized that everyone in the room knew a lot more about electricity, science, and dare I say life in general than he did. Not the show Tesla did, where folks like Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain lost bowel control… but not bad either.

old town guest house

What we did see... Old Town Guest House... actually the basement of the Old Town Guest House

So, what is the truth about Tesla? Mad genius? I think in the end, he did make 3-phase happen, maybe even was useful getting Niagara Falls on line. I think after that, he discovered high voltage RF, and just had a grand old time entertaining. Magic then. I don’t think any free power or for that matter any useful power was sent wirelessly. I don’t think the death ray had any scientific basis. My take is that Nicola Tesla had one good idea, and then had a lot of fun entertaining. Wish there was more to the story, but it is what it is. Art Bell’s guests aside…

I think the best part is that some of the group offered to get him tubes and stuff, and of course our support for a permanent Tesla museum. Personally, I’m just glad it was better than I feared, but not what I could dream of. I’ll go back..

August Random Radio Thoughts

August 19, 2012

Cris Alexander, CPBE, AMD, DRB Crawford Broadcasting Company

Random Radio Thoughts

Online Public Files

Online public inspection files are now the law of the land for television stations. Last month the NAB was unsuccessful in its attempt to get the FCC to reverse that decision. There is still some faint hope that the rule could be changed or dropped, but my feeling is that it’s here and here to stay.

And of course it’s just a matter of time for radio as well. The same arguments that were applied for television also apply to radio. But it’s not here yet, nor is there to my knowledge a rulemaking in process to require online public files for radio.

When the issue came up for television, I gave it some serious thought. In consideration of some of my public file experiences of years past, my early reaction was that this is a good thing.

We have, in years past, had disgruntled employees remove documents from the public file, and we’ve had activists and possibly even plants from the competition come in and look at our public files with some agenda in mind. We have learned from these experiences (and from the Sandy Berger incident a few years ago) that you never, ever, ever allow a member of the public to touch the file, even closely supervised. You never leave that person in the room with the file unsupervised (while going to make a copy or whatever). And you take one person at a time to look at public file documents, even if there is a crowd of 20 in the lobby wanting to see the file.

An online public inspection file would eliminate the risks associated with an in-person encounter for sure. There is no way anyone could “Berger” a document out of the room in his sock and then complain to the FCC that the document is missing from the file. So from a broadcast licensee’s perspective, there really are some positives to maintaining online public files. But I think the risks and downsides outweigh those positives.

Consider for a moment that a number of documents have to be in the file by a certain deadline. For example, quarterly issues/programs lists must be in the file by the tenth of the first month of the subsequent quarter. Do you always and without fail make that deadline? What if the person responsible is out sick? Would anyone else even think about it? The same can be said of ownership reports and other documents.

Consider the case of letters and emails from the public. An activist could easily email the station with a correspondence that should go in the public file and then a few days later check the file to see if the email is there. If it’s not, they could contact the FCC with a complaint and written evidence to back it up. The same could happen with a letter. It would be easy for such a person to make trouble for the station.

And think about political advertising. All that documentation would have to be posted in a very timely manner, and if a station was late getting it scanned and into the file, the candidate could file a complaint. This is a very real risk in the short primary and general election windows.

In terms of enforcement, an online public file would be like hunting in a baited field. FCC EB personnel could generate NOVs without ever leaving their desks. How easy would it be to perform a “sweep” of every station in a district on the tenth of the month, for example, looking for those new issues/programs lists? A licensee’s “sins” would be displayed for all to see.

Finally, scanning all that paperwork to the public file would be a huge pain at the outset and a minor pain going forward. It would require some man-hours to complete and keep up with.

So when that rulemaking eventually comes out, I and my company will oppose it. I don’t think an online public inspection file is such a great idea after all.


Jack Roland has left Salem in Colorado Springs and is now chief engineer for the Rocky Mountain region for EMF Broadcasting (K-Love and AirOne). He started in early July and is already on the road making the rounds of the many EMF transmitter, translator and “satellator” sites in Colorado.

Down in the Springs, Tony Lopez is filling in at the Salem cluster until a full-time replacement for Jack Roland can be located and hired. Anyone interested in that gig should contact Cliff Mikkelson at Salem-Denver.

If you have news to share with the Rocky Mountain radio engineering community, drop me an email at


Clay’s Corner for August 2012

August 19, 2012

By Clay Freinwald SBE Seattle Chapter 16Featuring News, Rumors and Views From Usually Reliable and Irrefutable Sources

Clay’s Corner for August 2012

The big story in July had to be the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.  It was interesting to watch all the networks scramble to cover the story….Hopefully we won’t have another one of these.

August has some special meaning for me as it was back on August 1, 1961 that I got my first full-time job in Broadcasting….Looking in the mirror I can understand that this was 51 years ago.   I would have never dreamed that I would still be at it in 2012.   Wished I’d kept that 49 Ford however.

On July 28th – Many members and friends of Chapter 16 again gathered in the ‘backyard’ of KOMO-AM on Vashon Island for the annual SBE Picnic.    Again our thanks to Tim Moore and the crew at KOMO for opening the door to their historic facility and providing a great place for our event.  Thanks also to Shannon Nichols and BSW for again sponsoring this event.   The day started with overcast conditions and drizzle….By the time the first burgers were coming off the grill, the sun was winning the battle.

Did everyone get the EAS Equipment connected to the FEMA/IPAWS Server?   There have been a few wrinkles.   Our State EAS Remailer has been a wonderful tool with this change, especially having as subscribers the major manufacturers that have been quick to offer help. A big thank you goes out to Lowell Kiesow of KPLU for his tireless work of aiding those needing

Help.    By now everyone should have their EAS equipment connected to TWO CAP Servers- FEMA/IPAW – AND – The Washington State MyStateUSA system.    If you don’t – contact Lowell at KPLU (253-535-8758) for assistance.    Before I leave the topic of EAS – Remember that ALL your legacy Monitoring Assignments remain a requirement…These new CAP systems are – in addition to – what you have  been doing.

Weather across the country has been hot and dry with a lot of records set.  So how bad is it?

Water rationing is the law in many areas.   It’s been reported that ‘lawn painting’ is being done in some areas.  Then there is the stress caused to the power grids and, of course.  Let’s not forget the huge wind-storm that caused a massive power outage leaving many who can’t fathom being without A/C….in the heat.  That wind-storm and resulting power failures showed just how frail cell-phones really are.  (The Nisqually quake here proved that to many of us here years ago).  Broadcasting – again- came through and demonstrated how it can rise to the occasion.  Pretty hard to beat point-multi-point distribution systems.   Those that have been calling for having FM radios in cellphones were eager to tell all – See what I mean!

I heard a story on NPR where they interviewed a person that was sick and tired of the heat etc. and was moving to Portland.   This is a real reversal as most folks would never even consider moving to the PNW because they know – it rains ALL the time.    If the truth about our weather gets out we could be in real trouble, especially in light of the new determination that Seattle has the 4th worst traffic in the country.

Here in Western Washington we are enjoying (?) a relatively cool summer.   One thing that was quite unusual was several days of thunderstorms and a zillion lightning strikes.   KGY in Olympia apparently got hit with damage to their main transmitter, have not heard about anything else getting zapped.    Was certainly interesting watching the weather radar and seeing weather coming our way in reverse, i.e., over the Cascades from the East.

We recently lost a historic Seattle TV personality with the passing of Chris Wedes, aka, JP Patches.   He passed on July 22nd after a long battle with cancer.   Thinking about this a bit you need to understand that a huge number of people that never saw, or perhaps heard of JP Patches, Captain Puget, Stan Boreson or Brakeman Bill.   The thought of a major TV station doing programming aimed at children in the middle of the afternoon is complete foreign to them.

At this writing the Olympics are underway in the UK….The Internet is playing a major role this time with many watching the games – Live as opposed being delayed and broadcast at a time more suited for domestic program schedules.  This effort has taken the NBC effort to new levels.

The following picture is of the recently refurbished transmitter building for KVTI in Lakewood.

Hard to believe it’s the same place.   All new metal exterior, porches etc.   The 90.9 station is being operated cooperatively by CPTC and WSU’s Northwest Public Radio.   The red-stuff in the foreground is part of the Lakes High School new athletic field, immediately adjacent to the transmitter facility.

It happens now and then….In this case the Navy is suspected of being the cause of malfunctioning garage doors at a submarine base in Groton, CT.   Apparently, due to their low power, garage door opener transmitters don’t need a license.  Refreshing that the problem is not being caused by Amateur Radio or Broadcast operations.

I know, I’ve been saying this for a long time….But the Tribune bankruptcy could be coming to an end, with it could come the sale of its newspaper and flagship station, WGN, in Chicago.    Tribune, of course, owns 2 TV’s in Seattle.

For years it’s been suspected by the tin-foil-hat crowd that broadcast transmitters or power lines cause cancer.    Now a new study puts ‘light’ on a new suspect – CFL’s….Yep those curled up florescent light emitting devices .    Reportedly the Phosphor coatings on the bulbs wear off thereby causing them to leak high levels of UVC and UVA.   The study noted that old fashioned, power wasting and heat generating light bulbs are safe.

Recent studies have pointed out the aging of broadcast engineers.   Our industry appears to be much like Amateur Radio – Lots of Gray and White hair in our ranks.    Peters Almanac has a saying that appears to fit this situation “Early to bed and early to rise — till you get enough money to do otherwise.”    For the Senior Engineers out there – Think of it this way – You are not an old ____, elderly or a senior – You are just chronologically experienced

Being an official senior….I can’t help from noticing a recent ad in the newspaper for the “McIntosh 50th  Anniversary Edition Gold MC275 Vacuum Tube Power Amplifier” …Something to keep the house nice and warm on these summer days.   Sounds like back to the future to me.

The FCC is out with FY2012 Regulatory Fees for TV stations and wouldn’t you know it…the Commish had determine the amount paid should be based on the stations virtual channel and not the ‘real’ channel they occupy, even if that channel is in the higher end of the UHF band.  I guess that’s logical?

Can you believe that it’s time again for the NAB to call for papers for the next show in ‘Vegas?

In the event you have not marked your calendar, it’s April 6-11, 2013.  The deadline is Oct 19.

91.7, KXOT is now silent, in fact, they are officially silent as of June 29th    My memory of 91.7 goes back to when the station was operating as KTOY from a tower on top of Tacoma Vocational School at 11th and Yakima.  One morning, after a Pacific storm raked the area, that tower ended up lying across 11th street.   The stations transmitter was then moved to Indian Hill using the old KLAY-FM Transmitter and the call letters were changed to KBTC (as in Bates Technical College)    Later, after changing hands, the station made a number of upgrades and became KXOT and was operated by KUOW for some time.     Not sure what will happen to the station, or the plans to move to Gold Mountain.   Not often an FM goes dark in this market, NCE or Commercial.

A couple of names come to mind when I think of 91.7…..  One of the instructors at KTOY there was another broadcast legend in our area, Chuck Ellsworth. Chuck started 102.9 in Centralia (as KGME) that later became KELA-FM and is now known as KNBQ operated by Clear Channel and running the same programming as KJR-AM.   The other name, Terry Denbrook.  Terry spent many hours keeping KXOT on the air from Indian Hill.    Oh yes, one more thing about Indian Hill – that tower was used by KMO-AM prior to the 1360 AM moving to Browns Point.  It was erected in 1973….I know, I was there….and so was a very young Tom Pierson.

July 14th, about 11 AM, WA2MN was on the air on 42.8 (Megacycles) from the Armstrong tower in Alpine, NJ.   Very cool that the Major is still remembered in this way.
This past winter saw the broadcast site at South Mountain (West of Shelton) again sustained damage due to falling ice.    The following picture shows a damaged dish antenna belonging to KDDS.   Note how the feed is bent downward.    This cost the RSL about 20 db.

Speaking of South Mountain.   This site is about to become home to a third FM station with the addition of KANY on 93.7.   The station will operate with 33 kW at 677 Meters AAT using a directional antenna.   The City of License is Montesano, near Aberdeen.

Copper theft is a huge problem for many.    The following signs, on a government installation that’s been the victim of this activity is fighting back…Here are a couple of signs showing how they are dealing with the issue –


This month our Seattle SBE Chapter, working with one of our local utilities, Puget Sound Energy, will have a program dealing with this issue.   Watch the SBE-16 Remailer as well as Web-Site for more info.

On topic of copper theft – This just in from Kent Randles of Entercom-Portland

Some low-lifes broke into the old round green 1080 transmitter building last night.  There were not a lot of things worth stealing, since almost everything of use has been moved to the new site next door, but they were after anything of value, especially copper.

The obvious items of value were a small Honda portable generator and a Vertex UHF mobile 2-way radio.  For some reason they decided to take a big old Tek scope.  However, one of them knew enough to take the two sets of tubes to my Raytheon RA-1000 which I had been storing there.  A copy of the manual was in the tube box.  One set was wrapped in newspaper, but the other set was new in boxes.

So keep a look out for a group of the following tubes:
If you come across any of the items above and think they may have been stolen, please call or text me at 503-544-4289.

Sirius XM keeps growing with almost 30 million subscribers.   Can’t help but reflect on those that said this was a venture that was sure to fail.  Flush with cash the Sat-Broadcaster has announced they are going to be retiring $186 Million in Debt – Early.   Considering the economic climate the last few years for many firms, this is certainly a bright spot.

The July 8th Seattle Times NW Magazine had a picture in their Then and Now section that caused quite a buzz.   Shown was a staff picture of KRAB (Now KNDD).   Shown in the picture is a considerably younger Ben Dawson.

Another wonderful quote – If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners.  – Johnny Carson

If you are an Amateur Radio buff, or perhaps an electronic experimenter –The Radio Club of Tacoma is putting on its annual Electronic Flea Market – Date is August 11th at Bethel Junior High in Spanaway…For more info, check out

Here in Seattle we know well what it means for a print publication to go on line – Now comes news that Newsweek Magazine may be near doing the same thing.   Makes me wonder if the term  – News Stand –is going to be a short-timer ?

Many stations have been thinking about sustainability and have looked for ways to reduce their energy or carbon footprint.  In one case, which still causes me to smile….a, very non-technical person on the staff who was given the task to lead the charge, asked me to compare the energy use of the stations transmitter compared to a Ford Explorer, he then asked me if the transmitter could be converted to solar power.   Looking at this another way, why not push for greater receiver sensitivity so that broadcasters could turn the power down?   Next time you are faced with those that are looking for energy conservation toss this item their way….It’s been estimated that a single Google search takes about as much power as turning on and off a 60 wall light bulb for 17 seconds.   Explain to them how much power server farms consume and suggest they should be concerned about how much energy they waste surfing the web.

Got a note from old friend John Franz who used to work in this market – Happy to share –

It is with excitement that I tell you that I have accepted the Director of Engineering position with Max Media Montana. I plan to report to work in Missoula some time next week. MMM operates a HUB in Missoula pushing 12 streams (ABC on .1 and FOX on .2) to 6 stations and a stand alone NBC with 2 streams in Billings. Because of the topology of the state, MMM also operates translators and supports community translators in just about every habitable valley in the state. They also serve areas in Wyoming. It a different model than in most markets where all you have to do is feed the cable

Mt Rushmore Broadcasting in Wyoming has set some sort of record with a total of almost 70 Grand in FCC files…All related to lack of the required paperwork filed with the FCC for their STL’s.    It’s not unusual for some small broadcasters to make STL changes without going thru the required steps; in this case, the FCC has come down hard.  Perhaps causing others to scramble to make sure that their systems are operating within the Commission’s Rules.

And…The FCC has not forgotten about CB Radio…especially when a CB’er causes interference to fire department radio communications.    Refusing to let the FCC inspect his station didn’t help his case either.   So….Mr. Jones in Merced California has been fined $7,000

Before I end this month’s column…A big thank you for permitting me to chair the Seattle Chapter of SBE these past two years.    I will still be around one more year on the Board of Directors.  I’m excited about the direction of our Chapters new leadership and wish them the best.

That’s it for this month – Enjoy the rest of summer !

Clay Freinwald, K7CR, CPBE

The KE0VH Hamshack for August 2012

August 19, 2012
Jack Roland KEØ

Jack Roland KEØ

The KE0VH Hamshack will return next month!

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