Chapter 9/36 Online Meeting: Copper Mountain VNAs

Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs) have been in conversations lately among both amateur and professional radio enthusiasts because their prices have come down with new chips available. VNAs analyze complex impedances, so can be used to analyze antennas, feedlines, and even small circuits at frequencies from near DC to near daylight. Copper Mountain makes VNAs for all purposes, and in a presentation this month, they will discuss the principles of VNAs, what they can be used for, and some common measurements used by broadcasters.

Find out more at an online meeting we’re sharing with Phoenix SBE Chapter 9 on September 30, 2020, at 12 noon. Join the meeting using this Microsoft Teams link.

About the Presenters

Brian Walker is the Senior RF Engineer at Copper Mountain Technologies where he helps customers to resolve technical issues and works to develop new solutions for applications of VNAs in test and measurement. Previously, he was the Manager of RF design at Bird Electronics, where he managed a team of RF Designers and designed new and innovative products. Prior to that he worked for Motorola Component Products Group and was responsible for the design of ceramic comb-line filters for communications devices. Brian graduated from the University of New Mexico, has 40 years of RF Design experience, and has authored 3 U.S. Patents.

Heather Enayat is the Southwest Territory Sales Manager for Copper Mountain Technologies and is local to San Diego, California. She has a strong electrical engineering background, as well as over 13 years of experience in the RF and fiber optic industry. She began her career as a Functional Test Engineer and has experience with software and hardware integration as well as C#.Net, LabVIEW and NI TestStand. She has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Dalhousie University and a Master of Engineering degree in Technology Innovation Management from Carleton University in Canada.

Analyzers (VNAs) have been in conversations lately among both amateur and professional radio enthusiasts because their prices have come down with new chips available. VNAs analyze complex impedances, so can be used to analyze antennas, feedlines, and even small circuits at frequencies from near DC to near daylight. Copper Mountain makes VNAs for all purposes, and they will share some of their secret sauce with us in a presentation this month.

SBE 47 Online Presentation: Streamline Your Remotes

With the rapid global growth of podcasting and radio on-demand, the need has never been higher for professional, easy-to-use solutions that handle technical problems intuitively, without sacrificing feature set.

RØDE Microphones, and Australian-based manufacturer of professional microphones and audio equipment, released the RØDECaster Pro, the world’s first fully integrated podcast production studio, in December 2018, initially for the podcast production audience. Since that time RØDE has listened to the broadcast community, and has developed dozens of additional features that make the Rodecaster Pro perfect for remote broadcasting in almost any situation, both private and professional. Ryan Burke and Tristan Salter from RØDE Microphones HQ, will present the Rodecaster Pro, along with a range of other RØDE solutions on offer, followed by a discussion on the continuing evolution of remote production gear at RØDE.

Join SBE Los Angeles Chapter 47 Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 6:30 PM PDT. Sign up here.

Got Dishes? Take a Lump!

The FCC is clearing for auction some of the C-Band spectrum that broadcasters have used over the past decades. It seems they are in a bit of a hurry, so they’ve put into place some pretty good incentives to get out of the way of 5G telecom companies ready to bid.

KSDY-LD San Diego C-band dish, photo by Gary S.

If your company owns and has registered satellite dishes, the FCC has put together a catalog of reimbursable expenses you may incur to rearrange your C-band receiving habits. For example, if your programming syndicator is continuing its broadcasts without any interruption or change of frequency, you may only need a new inline receive filter. If you are part of a network that will need tighter compression, you might need a whole new receiver, along with that filter, plus the labor to install it. All the costs associated with those changes can be claimed, and your network provider, satellite owner, or your own corporate engineering crew can help with getting your organization reimbursed.

One interesting wrinkle is that in the interest of expeditiousness, the FCC is offering another route, and this is not to be ignored. They will pay a lump sum of $9,000 for a usable port to get you off the band. I installed a four-feed multibeam modification a few years ago for a client and now they are eligible for $42,000 as a lump sum, even if they only need to buy four passband filters for a total of about $2,500, including installation. That means they can pocket $39,500 without guilt or fear of prosecution. Pretty good, no?

What’s the catch? Well, the deadline for filing was pretty tight–August 31–but the FCC has extended that for two more weeks to September 14. If you are using an Intelsat satellite, you have probably already been contacted about this. Others, like NPR, Premiere Networks, or your TV network, has likely been in touch with you. If you are independent, contact your station attorney or vendors like Dawnco or SEG Wesco to see how to get your money.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego