SBE Chapter 36

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

SBE Chapter 36 - Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

FCC Memo Says San Diego Field Office May Close

Articles in Radio World and ARRL websites last week each quote internal FCC memos saying the Enforcement Bureau is set to reduce its field staff by half and close two-thirds of its field offices, including the one in San Diego. In the memo, EB Chief Travis LeBlanc and FCC Managing Director Jon Wilkins said the Bureau needed to take “a fresh look” at its 20-year-old operating model in light of technology changes and tighter budgets.

Under the plan, in the southwest, the Los Angeles field office would remain open, and Phoenix would have detection equipment in place but San Diego’s office would permanently close.

Part of the staff reduction plan would include creating a “Tiger Team” of agents “flexible enough to support other high-priority initiatives.” Under the plan, all field agents would have engineering backgrounds “to support the primary focus on RF spectrum enforcement.”

Apparently management would not be immune from the cuts, with director positions shrinking from 21 to 5, and administrative support positions from 10 down to 3.

March 18 Meeting: Orban Regarding Radio Loudness

We all went through the TV loudness discussion and regulations. How about radio and netcasting? Bob Orban will give a remote presentation to Chapter 36 about just this:

 My main topic will be the relationship between the fairly recent  ITU-R BS.1770 loudness measurement standard and non-television applications such as FM radio and audio-only netcasting: what “target loudness” is and how it applies to audio-only services. I will also briefly touch upon low bitrate compression artifacts and how things have changed with the widespread adoption of the MPEG4 HE-AAC codec.

Join us and learn something! It’s Wednesday, March 18, at 12 noon at iHeartMedia, 9660 Granite Ridge Road, San Diego. Orban will provide a light lunch. Members and guests welcome.

Woodson LPTV KZTC Flash Cuts to Digital

Mt. Woodson channel 7 VHF low power station KZTC flash cut to digital ATSC February 22. KZTC outputs a 1.5kW directional signal aimed at the southwest quadrant toward San Diego. The station had been rebroadcasting Entravision XHDTV’s MundoFox subchannel, but now rebroadcasts the same station’s English language services that include the Fox MyTV network and syndicated content.

KZTC is maintained, and partially owned, by Matt Lunati, who had been a fixture in San Diego broadcast engineering, but lately has been working servicing telecom sites in Arizona.

FCC Takes More San Diego Area LPFM Actions

On January 12, 2015, the FCC ordered in a single document the granting of an LPFM station for San Diego Catholic Radio and dismissal of applications from Active Pulse and Hi Neighbor. SDCR was given the right to construct its station on 93.7 MHz at iHeartMedia’s historic KLSD-AM/KGB-FM facility at Oak Park.

In summary, the FCC agreed with SDCR’s objection to Active Pulse’s application on grounds that the organization had no state record of being a non-profit organization. Hi Neighbor had earlier affiliated itself with AP in the mutually exclusive group.

93.7 MHz is currently occupied locally by 10W translator K229BO on Mt. Woodson rebroadcasting KPFK from Los Angeles after 90.7 MHz signed on in Tijuana.

 

February Meeting: Xtreme Power Conversion at KFMB

At our February 18 SBE meeting, Gina Galindo, Xtreme Power Conversion Inside Sales Manager, will present information about how their UPS models  address the 10 common problems associated with AC power.  She will also explain how to properly size a UPS for a given load, and the battery capacity needed for an expected runtime. In addition, Gina will present information about XPC’s range of inexpensive rack mount PDUs (Power Distribution Units), including the 1-RU IP controllable PDU and 1-RU AC Bypass Switch.

Join us Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 12 Noon at KFMB, 7677 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa, San Diego. Xtreme Power Conversion and RF Specialties of California will sponsor the lunch.

About XPC

Xtreme Power Conversion (XPC)  is a privately owned American company,  Headquartered in Denver Colorado.  From their  manufacturing plants in China and Taiwan XPC provides state-of-the-art uninterruptable power supplies, rack power distribution units, and portable cooling products for a global network of Customer OEMs and distributors.  XPC manufactures UPS products from 400VA to 20kVA in size.

Please join us for this informative meeting.

San Diego Broadcast Tech News

June Gonzalez, long-time San Diego office FCC agent, is retiring at the end of the month. She’s been with the FCC since they administered First Class Radiotelephone license tests.

Congratulations to new member Joshua Hager for passing his Certified Broadcast Technician (CBT) exam as part of a school course.

KPBS producer/operator Roberta Griego recently joined Chapter 36.

Zack Takes Over Western Radio Electronics Store

No sooner had Western Radio Electronics moved its store back to Kearny Mesa from Mira Mesa than Zack Electronics swept in and purchased its assets and sent its employees home. Mike Richards, who sold supplies at Western for 32 years total, said he was laid off in October.

It’s no secret that electronics retailing has suffered from a combination of increased web mail order purchasing and a decrease in do-it-yourself hobby activity as modern electronics has used large scale integration techniques increasingly difficult to build and test. In San Diego, only Willy’s Electronics remains as a strong source of audio/video installation supplies and electronic components. Gateway Electronics and its derivative SD Electronics have closed.

Mike said that all stock was sent to Zack during by end of August from a temporary facility on Convoy Court. “I understand Zack has a will call department and counter but no real storefront as majority of sales are by phone or internet,” he said.

“At the time I officially retired from Western Radio I had been with the company starting downtown in 1973 working in the stock room and shipping department, and filled in on counter sales for only 2 years, at which time I was hired by Honor Marine Communications to be a buyer and estimator for repairs and maintenance on the tuna boats (also did some bench repair work when needed in shop).

“I was re-hired by Western Radio in 1984 to become Purchasing Manager upon retirement of the head of that department. At the high of Western Radio I was managing 2 additional buyers, 1 purchasing clerk, and shipping and receiving personnel.”

Jim Dujiwich bought the company in 2004 and moved it to Mira Mesa, where it floundered with low inventory and a poor location.

Mike continued, “It was always fun and really enjoyed getting to know all the customers of Western Radio. It was sad for me to see an institution close down that had been in San Diego since 1932, but as we all know, times change and local distribution just could not maintain the kind of sales that almost all manufactures wanted to retain dealerships.”

Mike is continuing with a side business he has had since 1971, setting up live sound events, and consulting and design work for small- to medium-sized churches, resorts, and businesses. Anyone can email him at soundbymike@gmail.com.

Lombard Takes the Reins at KFMB Stations

Current KGTV Chief Engineer and Chapter 36 Chairman Andrew Lombard will assume the role of Director of Engineering beginning November 19 at KFMB-TV/AM/FM.

​This comes two months after Rich Lochmann suddenly retired from his position after nearly 20 years as Director and another 17 as Assistant Chief.

Lombard had been with KGTV for nearly seven years during challenging labor relations and then a transition to ownership by Scripps Media.

Nisie Leaves CBS Radio for Wide Orbit

Nisie Pimanmas (formerly Teeter) this month left her engineering position at CBS Radio in San Diego to become a project manager for Wide Orbit Automation for Radio at their San Francisco headquarters.

Nisie said, “The broadcast engineers in San Diego were very professional and always had a moment to spare when I had a question.  A special acknowledgement to Mike Prasser who took that leap of faith and hired an unemployed baker.  And to a special group of engineers who reached out to me or helped me get acquainted with lay of the land, thank you (Matt, Bill, Gary, John, Scott, and everone else)!”

Nisie said she resumed using her maiden name since moving to the Bay Area pending her divorce.

November 19 Meeting: GatesAir at 94th Aero Squadron

This month we catch up with GatesAir to learn what’s been happening to the company since their spin-off from Harris.

Representatives will review the capabilities of the GatesAir studio products, current and future Intraplex products, and discuss the current state of audio over IP (AoIP) in the broadcast industry. We’ll also look at the next steps that will make AoIP interoperability a reality. Topics will include AES 67, Ravenna, AVB, control needs, and Studio vs. Enterprise vs. WAN applications.

Should be a good time as the meeting is Wednesday, November 19th at 12 noon the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant at 8885 Balboa Avenue east of CA-163. Members and guests are welcome and GatesAir provides lunch. Continue reading