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The New Era of the Garage Hardware Hacker

Posted in Engineering on Apr 28, 2017

Paul McLane, Radio World

The NAB Show is a great place for picking up interesting tidbits and observations.

Tom Hartnett, technical director at Comrex, passed along a tip for Radio World readers.

“Before electronics became ‘miniaturized,’ it was possible for a garage hardware hacker to innovate and have huge success,” he wrote in an email. “Most of the more recent ‘little guy’ innovation has been on the software side (social media, etc.) and the hardware was left to the big guys who could ‘whip up’ ideas in their own, high-price manufacturing plants. Modern electronics is just not ‘garage friendly.’”

That, he says, is changing fast.

 

Hello, Space Station! Teens Chat with an Astronaut via Ham Radio

Posted in Engineering on Apr 20, 2017

Miriam Wallen, School Library Journal

For two terrifying minutes, I stood before some 300 library patrons while members of the Douglas County (KS) Amateur Radio Club (DCAR) tried to hail the International Space Station (ISS). Finally, the voice of astronaut Takuya Onishi crackled back a response to our exhilarated crowd. The teens who had arranged contact with the ISS began radioing in questions.

Our journey to this extraordinary moment began when I found out about the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. In collaboration with NASA, ARISS facilitates radio contact with the ISS and gives students a unique chance to apply their STEM studies to an amazing, real-life experience. It also places careers in space exploration at the forefront of their imaginations. To kickstart our process, I explored ARISS.org and ARRL.org (Amateur Radio Relay League), read the application, and checked out the resources.

 

Proposal Would Eliminate Main Studio Rule

Posted in Engineering on Apr 20, 2017

Inside Radio

Fewer offices with fewer employees could be the net result of a proposal circulating inside the Federal Communications Commission. The agency has been considering whether to ease radio’s Main Studio Rule ever since the AM revitalization proceeding began two years ago. Now a law firm that works with several media companies has formally petitioned the Commission to repeal the regulation for all radio and television stations.

Garvey Schubert Barer’s (GSB) Media, Telecom and Technology Group says doing away with the Main Studio Rule won’t reduce broadcasters’ “bedrock obligation” to serve the local community. “Instead, it is meant to recognize the technological and economic realities of today’s broadcast marketplace—that stations can serve their communities while realizing substantial and necessary cost savings by maintaining fewer offices and smaller staff,” the firm writes in its petition.

It goes on to say that most Americans reach out to local stations by telephone, email, social media or mail, making the need for a local office for someone to walk in the door to raise their concerns or ask questions a relic of the past. And with the FCC moving radio and TV station public inspection files to a centralized FCC-hosted online database, GSB says it only further undermines any rationale for maintaining a physical main studio location. In January the FCC removed one of the last vestiges of the paper trail when it voted to eliminate the 44-year-old requirement mandating commercial broadcasters to keep hard copies of emails and letters sent to the station in their public inspection file. “The Commission has eliminated most, if not all, of the other primary justifications for the Main Studio Rule,” GSB says.

 

ATSC 3.0 NPRM Adopted

Posted in Engineering on Feb 24, 2017

CommLawBlog

The FCC has adopted its anticipated Notice of Proposed Rule Making looking toward allowing television broadcasters to transition from the present ATSC 1.0 technical standard to the new, recently developed ATSC 3.0 standard. ATSC 3.0 is Internet Protocol (IP) based and offers many potential benefits, including both multiple broadcast streams and non-broadcast IP services; but it is not compatible with existing receivers, so viewers will have to buy add-on devices or new TV sets to receive the new services.

The transition will be completely voluntary. No station will have to convert to ATSC 3.0, and no multi-channel video program distributor (MVPD, cable or satellite) will have to carry an ATSC 3.0 signal under must-carry rules. The FCC has also tentatively concluded that it will not mandate that ATSC 3.0 reception capability be built into television receivers.

 

FCC Eases Translator Siting Limit for AMs

Posted in Radio on Feb 23, 2017

The 2,000 or so U.S. AM radio stations that rebroadcast on FM translators now have more flexibility in locating those FM signals.

The Federal Communications Commission today expanded the site limitations where translators can rebroadcast AM stations. This change was expected, having been discussed in the ongoing AM "revitalization" initiative, of which new Chairman Ajit Pai has been a vocal advocate.

The National Association of Broadcasters welcomed the rule change. Pai thanked the Media Bureau`s Audio Division, naming Jim Bradshaw, Peter Doyle, Tom Nessinger, and Lisa Scanlan for their work.

 

Dashboard “Mayhem” and Radio

Posted in Radio on Feb 21, 2017

Jacob Media Strategies

The last decade has been an important one for the auto industry. And we’re not just talking about the recession that nearly put General Motors and Chrysler out of business.

Consider that just ten years ago, it would have been illogical to see automakers at an event like CES. After all, what did cars have to do with the consumer electronics industry, the realm of brands like Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung?

But as technology began to transform the dashboard, the landscape of media and entertainment in cars changed with it. Ford’s SYNC platform was the early pioneer in the space, preceded by GM’s On-Star, which back in the day was an emergency services tool. You contacted On-Star when you were locked out of your car. You punched up SYNC when you paired your phone or started using embedded apps on your touchscreen.

 

A Purpose-Built Master Antenna System

Posted in Engineering on Feb 13, 2017

Radio World

Careful design results in excellent performance in this dual-band receive antenna rig

Over the last 20 years or so, I have put in several FM master antenna systems in various broadcast facilities, to drive everything from off-air monitors to test equipment to radios and receivers located throughout management offices and cubical farms. Some of those sites also had AM master antenna systems for off-air monitoring and feeding EAS receivers, but they were completely separate systems.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and the subject of master antenna systems presents itself once again; this time, the concept of having a single system with both AM and FM on a single coax gets a closer look.

 

Industry Roundtable: Trends in Transmitter Technology

Posted in Engineering on Nov 29, 2016

The transmitter is the final leg of the radio broadcast chain. No matter how good the chain is up to that point, failure at the transmitter will render the whole effort for naught.

But changes are coming, disrupting big iron. Radio World talked to some of the leading transmitter manufacturers about what is on their radar these days.

 

FCC to Vote on Local EAS Rules

Posted in EAS on Nov 28, 2016

Rules also said to preserve alerting security

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission will consider "a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to enhance the Emergency Alert System as a tool for community emergency preparedness," at its monthly open meeting scheduled for Dec. 15. The R&O is said to improve "alerting organization at the state and local levels, [build] stronger community-based alerting exercise programs, and [protect] the EAS against accidental misuse and malicious intrusion."

A Further Notice will seek feedback on proposals to "leverage technological advances to improve alerting and additional measures to preserve EAS security," the commission`s meeting announcement stated.

 

Update: New EAS Foreign-Language Reporting Requirement Now In Effect

Posted in EAS on Nov 03, 2016

From Harry Cole, CommLawBlog

But EAS Participants have a year to advise their SECCs of what, if anything, they’re doing to provide EAS alerts to non-English speaking audiences.

As we reported last spring, the FCC declined to require that non-English language announcements be provided by Emergency Alert System participants. But the Commission did decide that all State EAS Plans (which are routinely subject to FCC approval) include a description of what actions, if any, EAS participants in the geographic area covered by the Plan have taken – or plan to take – to make EAS content available for non-English speaking audience(s). Also to be included in State Plans: “[a]ny other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide, including state-specific demographics on languages other than English spoken within the state, and identification of resources used or necessary to originate current or proposed multilingual EAS alert content.”

 

2016 SBE Christmas Party

Posted in Meetings on Oct 18, 2016

You and your better half are invited to the
2016 SBE Christmas Dinner
on Tuesday, December 13 at 11:00am

Mr. Powdrells BBQ
5209 4th Street NW

Sponsored by Jay Brentlinger, Orban
David Zack, RFS
Ellis Terry, Nautel

Hosted by Dan & Tim Giesler, Giesler Broadcasting Supply
Dan Sessler, Wrya Reed, John Lackness and Don Jones of RF Specialties

 

Ugly EAS Snafu Creates Storm of Controversy.

Posted in EAS on Sep 06, 2016

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is looking into what caused a glitch in an Emergency Alert System activation over the weekend that left radio stations—and some residents—on New York’s Long Island scratching their heads. It snafu involved Suffolk County officials and an alarming twist to a message tied to tropical storm Hermine.

 

FCC Notice and new EAS operating handbook

Posted in EAS on Aug 19, 2016

The FCC has issued a notice reminding EAS participants about the deadlines for filing the various EAS test reporting system forms, and also issuing a revised EAS Operating Handbook. The Handbook is in the appendix of this notice. A copy of the Handbook must be located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations when an operator is required to be on duty and be immediately available to staff responsible for administering EAS tests.

 

New Tower Safety Standard Completed

Posted in Engineering on Aug 11, 2016

NATE helped American National Standards Institute and American Society of Safety Engineers to develop the new standard
Michael Balderston, Radio Magazine

WATERTOWN, S.D.—The American National Standards Institute and American Society of Safety Engineers have finalized the A10.48-2016 Standard on tower safety, the National Association of Tower Erectors announced in a press release. Officially titled A10.48 Standard – Criteria for Safety Practices with the Construction, Demolition, Modification and Maintenance of Communication Structures, the ANSI/ASSE standard encompasses the entire tower, construction, service and maintenance industry.

The new standard establishes minimum criteria for safe work practices and training for personnel performing work on communication structures, including antenna and antenna supporting structures. Other areas of construction addressed in the standard include pre-job planning; job site conditions; fall protection; radio frequency/electromagnetic energy; base mounted hoists used for overhead material lifting and personnel lifting; personnel lifting accessories and process; rigging; gin poles and other lifting devices; structural construction loading considerations; training program; capstan hoist; demolition; and helicopters used for lifting loads.

 

Japanese Broadcaster Starts 4K, 8K Tests

Posted in Engineering on Aug 04, 2016

Wants to popularize technology ahead of 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
Michael Balderston, TV Technology

TOKYO—School might be out here in the U.S., but Japanese broadcaster NHK is getting ready to test both 4K and 8K high-definition broadcasts on its BS satellite channels, according to a report from The Japan Times. The goal of these tests is to reportedly verify and popularize the technology ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, which will take place in Tokyo.

 

Sage Users, Note This Firmware Update

Posted in Engineering on Jul 26, 2016

Sage Alerting Systems has released a mandatory firmware update for its Sage Digital ENDEC model 3644. This update will enable users to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s Sixth Report and Order on the Emergency Alerting System, involving the national location code and NPT event processing. You must install the update to continue to receive IPAWS messages. Compliance with Part 11 rules requires implementation by July 30.

 

FAA to Require Marking for Some Towers 200 Feet or Less

Posted in Radio on Jul 25, 2016

by Ashley Ludlow, Radio World

If you own a tower that’s between 50 and 200 feet tall, the chances are that you don’t have to mark it to satisfy any FAA standards — all of which makes your life easy. But that may be about to change.

Congress recently passed, and the president signed, H.R. 636 – a/k/a the “FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016”. The primary purpose of this sweeping, 51-page piece of legislation is to ensure the continuity of the FAA’s operations for another year (through Sept. 30, 2017). But buried deep in its legislative bowels is Section 2110, a little-publicized provision that could have serious repercussions on small tower owners, particularly those in rural areas.

 

FM Translators for AM Stations: When One Window Closes, Another Opens

Posted in Radio on Jul 22, 2016

The FCC last year adopted a number of changes to its rules and policies aimed at revitalizing the AM radio service, which for many years has lived in the shadow of the more robust FM service. One of these changes was to expand the ability of AM broadcasters to use FM translators to rebroadcast their AM signals, thereby improving coverage, particularly at night. To accomplish this, the FCC gave each AM station the right to file one, and only one, application to move an FM translator up to 250 miles and change the translator’s frequency, provided that it is used to rebroadcast the designated AM station for the next four years. If that application does not make it through the FCC process for any reason, the broadcaster is barred from filing another.

The FCC gave smaller Class C and D AM stations first crack at its new policy by opening a window on January 29, 2016, during which Class C and D licensees could file modification applications on a first-come, first-served basis. In other words, if you filed your application on January 29, you trumped anyone who filed a conflicting application after that date. If parties file mutually exclusive applications on the same day, the applicants need to resolve the mutual exclusivity through settlement negotiations and/or technical amendments (e.g., one or both parties move to a different frequency).

 

Navigating the Translator Filing Maze for AM Stations

Posted in Engineering on Jul 14, 2016

As part of the FCC’s Revitalization of the AM Radio Service efforts, the FCC directed its Media Bureau to “…open two FM translator modification application windows for AM stations to modify and/or relocate FM translator stations.” This allows an AM broadcaster an opportunity to acquire and relocate one authorized non-reserved band (92.1 MHz–107.9 MHz) FM translator station up to 250 miles. 

The “First Modification Window,” for Class C and D AM stations, is from January 29, 2016 to 11:59 EDT July 28, 2016. The “Second Modification Window,” for all AM stations, begins July 29, 2016 and ends at 5:59 PM EDT October 31, 2016. The FCC Public Notice DA 1491 describing the process and scope can be read at: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-1491A1.pdf 

Cris Alexander writes about his experiences preparing his station’s applications for the First Modification Window, which readers may find useful for their preparation.

 

EAS Test Reporting System Now Open

Posted in EAS on Jul 05, 2016

All EAS participants have until August 26, 2016 to register and complete Form One of the new EAS Test Reporting System. This system will be used (a requirement for all EAS participants) during the upcoming National EAS test in September.

In the Public Notice just released, step-by-step instructions for registering are available. However, because some of these steps are not particularly intuitive, and in order to give you an opportunity to assemble the needed information before going to the web site, Barry Mishkind of Broadcasters’ Desktop Resources offers this helpful guide to getting through the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS).

 

New Satana ransomware encrypts user files and master boot record

Posted in Engineering on Jul 05, 2016

It`s the second ransomware threat after Petya that leaves computers unable to boot into the OS

Attackers are developing an aggressive new ransomware program for Windows machines that encrypts user files as well as the computer`s master boot record (MBR), leaving devices unable to load the OS.

The program is dubbed Satana -- meaning "Satan" in Italian and Romanian -- and, according to researchers from security firm Malwarebytes, it is functional but still under development.

 

Broadcasters and the payoffs of IP TV

Posted in Television on Jun 10, 2016

While the current MPEG transport stream has worked well, it’s time for a change that will let over-the-air TV broadcasting break free from its own self-imposed silo and transition into something “that could be thought of as an extension of the internet,” according to Triveni Digital’s Rich Chernock. He details the ways such a change could benefit both broadcasters and viewers.

By Phil Kurz
TVNewsCheck, June 9, 2016 10:32 AM EDT

The MPEG transport stream has served the broadcast television industry well for about two decades, providing the container format for transmission of video, audio and other data that makes DTV possible.

But all good things must come to an end, and it appears MPEG TS’s days in broadcasting are numbered.

“To be honest, there is nothing wrong with transport stream. It worked beautifully,” says Rich Chernock, chief science officer of Triveni Digital and chair of the Advanced Television Systems Committee technical group with overall responsibility for ATSC 3.0. “I think it was a brilliant design.”

However, the next-generation TV standard nearing completion by the ATSC and under consideration at the FCC ditches MPEG TS in favor of IP transport.

But why? Why replace a well-proven technology that delivers TV today to millions of over-the-air viewers with IP transport, and in the process ask viewers to make changes to their receivers and require broadcasters to make millions of dollars in new capital expenditures?

In other words, what’s the payoff for viewers and broadcasters alike?

 

Letter from the Chairman

Posted in Chairman's Letter on May 31, 2016

We are pleased to report that your SBE Chapter 34 officers, with lots of support of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association, have been able to deliver on our commitment thus far to hold meetings every other month so this year. Much of this credit also goes to Chapter 34 Vice Chair and Program Chairman Evan Baker and Past Chair and Secretary Scott Arthur. And, as an added bonus, complimentary lunch was part of the deal!

This week is the NMBA annual convention at the Marriott Hotel at I-40 and Louisiana. This year, their staff have put together a particularly attractive program package for the broadcast engineers. On Friday, June 3rd, a webinar about RF radiation will be held during the morning session presented by the leading authority on the subject, RF safety expert Richard Strickland of RF Safety Solutions. The course provides an overview of RF radiation issues and practices for broadcasters. Course content is updated regularly.

The SBE RF Safety Course is designed for chief and assistant chief engineers, transmitter site engineers, ENG and SNG maintenance personnel and management that need to have an understanding of RF safety issues and regulations. A certificate of completion is available to participants who complete the webinar, providing evidence of RF safety awareness training. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to take an exam right after lunch about the course material. You will receive a separate certificate for successful completion of the exam. NMBA will issue those certificates later in June.

And remember: Completion of this webinar from Webinars by SBE qualifies for one credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications.

Registration will be near the ballroom this year. Please stop by and grab your name tag, NMBA gift along with a breakfast burrito and donut. Coffee will be in the room.

The conference room will open at 8am so you can chat with vendors prior to starting the training. There will be WiFi available in the room.

Attorney Frank Jazzo, always entertaining and informative, will join us in the afternoon session.

So, I hope to see you there, registration is at www.nmba.org.

Bill

 

Cord cutters should hope Vizio’s new smart TVs don`t spark a trend

Posted in Television on Mar 31, 2016

“Tuner-Free” means extra hardware and hassle for antenna users.
Jared Newman, PC World

Vizio is making some bold moves with its latest smart TVs, but the changes aren’t all great for cord cutters.

Replacing the traditional remote control with Google Cast and a dedicated Android tablet is a wonderful idea, but Vizio is also boasting that its SmartCast 4K TVs will be “Tuner-Free.” That means they won’t have ATSC tuners onboard and therefore won’t be able to receive over-the-air (OTA) digital broadcasts from major networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS. If you want to access the free (well, ad-supported) content available from those sources, you’ll need to buy an outboard tuner—along with the antenna you’d need anyway—and connect the tuner to one of the TV’s HDMI inputs. The changes will apply to all of Vizio’s 4K Ultra HD TVs with SmartCast, including the new P-Series and upcoming E- and M-Series sets.

 

February Meeting place has CHANGED!!

Posted in Meetings on Feb 18, 2016

We`ve moved the SBE meeting to the Cumulus Radio Center conference room for February 24th at Noon. Please RSVP to Evan Baker.

The location of Cumulus:
500 4th Street NW
5th Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Google map

Thanks everybody!

 

Stations Must Act Ahead of EAS Deadline

Posted in EAS on Feb 08, 2016

by Susan Ashworth, Radio World
WASHINGTON—A new year brought new deadlines and requirements for U.S. broadcasters in the realm of emergency alerting, including an important July 30 date.

iStockphoto/adventtr A new set of rules and guidelines were adopted when the Federal Communications Commission released its Emergency Alert System Sixth Report and Order in July of last year. Among other things, it established a new national location code, a new EAS Test Reporting System and rules for visual EAS messages. It also formalized requirements for the national periodic test event code. The Report and Order on EAS testing becomes effective July 30.

 

FCC Proposes New EAS Terminology, Procedures

Posted in EAS on Feb 05, 2016

Lengthy discussion on security included
by Paul McLane, TV Technology

WASHINGTON—The FCC has released its new 75-page notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at improving the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Among other things, it is considering adopting new EAS designations to more accurately reflect current roles and responsibilities of key EAS participants.

Paragraph No. 17 of the order states that some familiar nomenclature would be tweaked. The FCC would continue to designate the primary entry point for a Presidential Alert as a PEP, but for each state EAS plan, it proposes that the entity tasked with delivering the Presidential Alerts to other EAS participants in the state be designated as the “National Primary.”

Likewise, entity tasked with delivering state EAS alerts would be designated as a “State Primary.” An SP could be a broadcaster, state emergency management office or other authorized entity capable of initiating a state-based EAS alert. Further, where geography or other reasons require another layer of monitoring and retransmission between the LP and PN levels, the FCC wants to designate those stations in state EAS plans as “Relay Stations.”

 

FCC Turns Attention to EAS

Posted in EAS on Jan 29, 2016

Emergency alerting continues to be a priority for the Federal Communication Commission. It has adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking designed to strengthen the nation’s Emergency Alert System by encouraging authorities to take a more active effort in promoting participation, supporting greater testing and leveraging technological advances.

 

NBA to Deliver First Live 4K Broadcasts

Posted in Engineering on Jan 18, 2016

4K broadcasts will cover games between the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics
Michael Balderston, TV Technology

TORONTO, NEW YORK & LONDON - If you wondered what a slam dunk would look like in 4K, you won`t have to wait long to find out. On Thursday, Jan. 14, the National Basketball Association, Rogers Communications and BT Sport will broadcast the first live NBA game in 4K, a matchup between the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic in London. Raptor fans will get a second chance to see their team in 4K, when Canadian sports broadcaster TSN delivers a 4K broadcast of the Raptors host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

 

CommLawBlog: Davina Sashkin Explains the Incentive Auction

Posted in Engineering on Jan 13, 2016

If you’re still feeling a bit lost when people around you start talking about the upcoming Broadcast Incentive auction, check out the podcast of our own Davina Sashkin. Available for streaming or download, free, at Washingtech.com (a relatively new addition to the communications law/policy scene), the show provides a quick and painless briefing that covers a lot of ground. Over a 25-minute interview conducted by Joe Miller, the mainspring behind Washingtech.com, Davina explains the genesis of the auction as well as the mechanics of the complex auction process.

 

February 24 hosted by Sennheiser

Posted in Meetings on Jan 12, 2016

The next SBE meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24th at 12 noon at the NMBA offices. The meeting is hosted by Sennheiser and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to vicechair@sbe34.org.

 

Tower Lighting Changes Coming

Posted in Engineering on Dec 31, 2015

New Tower Lighting regs will be covered on January 21 during a live SBE webinar. This is an overview of the changes made to the 70/7460-1L advisory circular that was published Dec. 4, 2015, compared to the previous 70/7460-1K advisory circular. The changes affect new tower construction or tower alterations. This presentation will focus on the major changes all broadcasters should know. David Shepeard of Drake Lighting, Inc. will lead the webinar. For more information and to register, visit the SBE website, www.sbe.org. Happy New Year to you all! John John L. Poray, CAE Executive Director | Society of Broadcast Engineers jporay@sbe.org

 

Effective Date of Remaining EAS Revisions Announced

Posted in EAS on Dec 22, 2015

More than six months ago we reported on some tweaks of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) that the FCC had adopted after analyzing the results of its 2011 national EAS test. While most of the changes kicked in last July, two revised sections of the rules – Sections 11.21(a) and 11.61(a)(3)(iv) – did not. That’s because those two involve information collections that had to be run past the Office of Management and Budget (thanks, of course, to the hilariously named Paperwork Reduction Act).

But now, according to a notice in the Federal Register, OMB has signed off on the two sections, as a result of which both will be effective as of December 31, 2015. Happy New Year!

 

Repack Faces Tower Crew Shortage

Posted in Engineering on Dec 21, 2015

When the dust settles on the incentive spectrum auction and repacking commences, will there be enough tower crews to help stations relocate? A recent NAB report says no.

 

Drone Flight Still Challenged by FAA

Posted in Engineering on Dec 14, 2015

FAA`s limitations on commercial drone flight limits what production companies and engineers can do
Bill Hayes, TV Technology

JOHNSTON, IOWA—I have been doing some research recently on unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) both for the Iowa Public Television production department and for use in engineering to do tower inspections. There is no doubt about it, drones can provide some amazing footage for a production. I happen to think they could also provide some value to IPTV in doing inspections of our towers.

 

DoD Increases Presence in 2 GHz TV BAS Band

Posted in EAS on Dec 03, 2015

Dane E. Ericksen, TV Technology

WASHINGTON—In October 2004, the FCC gave the Department of Defense authority for limited operation in the 2,025–2,110 MHz TV Broadcast Auxiliary Services band (FCC Office of Engineering & Technology Docket 00-258 Seventh Report & Order). The operation was constrained to 11 fixed sites, for Space Ground Link System uplinks, which were then in federal government spectrum in the L-Band, at 1,761–1,862 MHz, (the 11 sites were specified in Footnote US346 to the FCC Table of Allotments). These uplinks were required to protect all existing 2 GHz TV BAS operations, including mobile (TV Pickup) ENG operations.

To that end, on April 30, 2009, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and the DoD negotiated a formal Memorandum of Understanding that required protecting the noise floor of ENG receivers not just to the 1 dB noise threshold degradation criteria specified in Section 2.5.5 of EIA/TIA TSB-10F, but intentionally to an even more stringent 0.5 dB noise threshold degradation. This MoU was uploaded to the ET Docket 00-258 record on Dec. 29, 2009, by the Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum, to ensure its availability.

 

FCC Plans Webinars to Explain Website Changes

Posted in Engineering on Dec 03, 2015

Leslie Stimson, Radio and Television Business Report

The FCC plans to debut its new website the morning of Dec. 10. The agency has a prototype up and is asking for feedback.

 

Letter From The Chairman

Posted in Chairman's Letter on Dec 02, 2015

Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Chapter 34 Chairman`s Letter.

As your incoming Chapter Chairman, I thank you for your votes and I hope that you will welcome Evan Baker as your new Vice Chairman and immediate past Chairman Scott Arthur as your new Secretary. Dennis Vigil continues as the chapter certification secretary. Additionally, Evan Baker is taking on the position of chapter program chair. More on that in a minute.

I would like to recognize several folks who have had an impact on the success of Chapter 34 and the web site. First, Sean Anker, recently of Lin Broadcastings KRQE TV in Albuquerque. Sean not only served as chapter chair, but he kept the web site alive over quite a length of time with his time and personal contributions.

Picking up the web site duties is Suzan Strong of the New Mexico Broadcaster`s Association. Suzan is getting the site up and running and considerably updated in the process on the NMBA`s server. Look for new features to make the site easier to navigate and more useful for everyone. She is also integrating functions from the NMBA`s site that will be welcome additions. All of this at little or no cost to the chapter.

Thanks to NMBA Executive Director Paula Maes for her continued support of the activities of Chapter 34. Having the NMBA conference room available for meetings and events is much appreciated. And for hungry engineers, the lunches really hit the spot!

And of course, our ongoing appreciation for everything that `actively retired` Mike Langner does in support of engineering in general, and all matters EAS in particular.

I want to emphasize that our meetings and programs are open to everyone who has an interest. Though there are certainly benefits to SBE membership and/or certification, I hope that anyone who desires to share a little technical fraternity and potentially to learn something new will always feel welcome.

Heading into 2016, we, your officers, are planning to have meetings as close to every other month as possible, beginning in February. It is important that we have at least five meetings per year to maintain our accreditation as a chapter and to receive a rebate from the national office. Two are already lined up, the NMBA convention in June, and the Christmas lunch in December. Evan is working on getting some interesting programs for the meetings, most of which will probably be lunches, sometimes catered!

On a more somber note, we lost one of our own on November 20th. Mike Stark, whom nearly everyone in the business knew from his varied engineering endeavors, died of complications from a rare form of degenerative brain disease. Mike drove me around the market in May of 2004 when I was interviewing for the job at Citadel Radio. He cautioned me to always have a bottle or two of water in my vehicle here in the high desert. Great advice, I found. Rest in peace, Mike. You will be missed. Bill Harris Chairman Chapter 34

 

Drone Illegally Flies Over Macy`s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Posted in Television on Dec 01, 2015

Police issued summons to 41-year-old drone operator
Michael Balderston, TVTechnology

NEW YORK—The Thanksgiving holiday didn’t get off to such a great start for one drone enthusiast. According to ABC7 New York, a 41-year-old man was cited and issued a summons by the New York Police Department after he allegedly flew a drone over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 26. The operator was charged with flying a drone, which is an administrative violation.

 

New Bill Would Fix Signals Faster In Emergencies.

Posted in Radio on Nov 19, 2015

If recent weather emergencies - and the massive communication breakdowns they can cause - have taught us anything, it`s that better measures to keep the ties of communication open and in motion are of ever-greater value. And a new bill introduced Monday in Congress would allow radio stations to repair outages faster.

The bill, from a ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J), follows the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and his so-called SANDy (The Securing Access to Networks in Disasters) Act looks to maintain and/or quickly restore effective cellular, landline, TV and Internet communications during emergencies.

 

FAA Warns Against Drone Registration Shysters

Posted in Television on Nov 19, 2015

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration is warning drone owners away from companies offering registration services. The FAA said it would announce the registration protocol within the next couple of weeks.

The task force assigned to provide FAA Administrator Michael Huerta with recommendations on the registration process is still days away from delivering this information, the FAA said. It also said that at least one company had launched a drone registration service.