SBE Chapter 36

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

SBE Chapter 36 - Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

SBE to Expand Membership Scope, Support

The Society of Broadcast Engineers announced October 8 it will work to attract and serve those who work in technical broadcast and media related positions, in addition to its traditional broadcast engineering membership base. SBE president, Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, made the announcement in his address during the Society’s 50th anniversary Annual Membership Meeting held at the Turning Stone Resort, in Central New York State.    Continue reading

KNSN Gets New Owner, Transmitter

Bill Agresta of Crawford Broadcasting shows off the new KNSN Nautel J1000 transmitter. Photo courtesy Cris Alexander.

Engineer Bill Agresta of KBRT shows off the new KNSN transmitter, a Nautel J1000. Photo courtesy Crawford Broadcasting.

KNSN (AM 1240 kHz) last month updated its downtown transmitter after its recent acquisition by Crawford Broadcasting of Denver. The downtown site rebroadcasts the religious format 50kW KBRT (AM 740kHz) Costa Mesa in order to fill in some of the coverage lost when KBRT moved from Santa Catalina Island.

Multicultural Broadcasting sold KNSN at a loss to Crawford after having owned the station for only five years.

According to Cris Alexander’s entry in his Local Oscillator corporate engineering news blog, engineer Bill Agresta from KBRT replaced an aging Gates BC-1H transmitter with the new Nautel J1000. Cris was in town from Denver in September to help with some of the final touches.

The station broadcasts with only 550 watts due to its efficient 202° high tower. Agresta and Dick Warren will maintain the site.

October 15 SBE Meeting: Lectrosonics

The use of wireless microphones has been steadily increasing. At the same time, Sometime in mid-2015, the FCC plans to put another sizeable chunk of RF spectrum out for auction, this time in the 600-MHz range—the same range that many professional wireless microphone systems currently use. Come learn how Lectrosonics wireless microphone technology addresses the issue of RF bandwidth scarcity.

Join Chapter 36 in welcoming Scott Woolley of Lectrosonics to KGTV, 4600 Air Way, San Diego, Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 12 noon. Scott buys lunch in the cafeteria, then we see a presentation in one of the studios. Continue reading

Coming to Your TV: ATSC 3.0

The IEEE Broadcast Technical Society hosted presentations on Next Generation Television: ATSC 3.0 Tuesday, September 30. Presenters included Rich Chernock, of Triveni Digital and Luke Fay of Sony SCS.

SBE was well represented at the meeting at Sony US headquarters in Rancho Bernardo.

For a copy of the presentation and more information about the BTS, go here.


Currently under development, ATSC 3.0 is a suite of new standards and practices for the next generation of broadcast television – a system that will provide a wide range of services to viewers.

This presentation summarized foreseen use cases and provided a summary to date of the progress standardization to date. Luke Fay compared mobile device support performance of ATSC 3.0 and LTE. Continue reading

SBE National Board to Include Schecter

Past San Diego market Director of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Media, Eric Schecter was voted into a seat on the SBE Board of Directors last month. He’ll serve two years. Eric served as Chairman in San Diego in 2006 and later in Phoenix, where he’s Director of Engineering for the CBS radio cluster.

Re-elected to second terms in office were President Joe Snelson, CPBE, of Las Vegas; Vice President, CPBE, of Greenville, SC; Secretary Jim Leifer, CPBE, of Boynton Beach, FL; and Treasurer Andrea Cummis, CBT/CTO of Roseland, NJ.

Introducing Matt Anderson, Next Generation Broadcast Engineer

In July, John Rigg of Clear Channel’s San Diego cluster hired for his engineer opening a kid who would likely have been overlooked by just about any HR department. He has virtually no broadcast engineering experience and he’s never worked with NexGen automation or broadcast transmitters. He has no degree in engineering.

Get to know Matt, though, and you start to see the diamond-in-the-rough package of self-initiative and positive attitude with a base of electronic knowledge he brings to work that makes him a potentially huge win for Rigg’s team. You can train how to maintain software package in couple of months, transmitters are increasingly black boxes with a data port in one end and and RF port out the other. Teaching energy and a customer-service attitude are a lot harder. Continue reading

August 13, 2014 Meeting: Davicom Remote Control

Remote transmitter control has actually come a long way from old days of dial-up phone line command and response with stepper relays. Maybe you started when stations used Davicom VT-100 serial terminals with FSK transmission.

Paul Easter of Davicom will tell us about the latest in SNMP control and monitoring technology and how it fits in with today’s group multicast facilities.

Join us Wednesday, August 13, at 12 noon at Clear Channel Communications, 9660 Granite Ridge Drive in San Diego. Davicom picks up the tab for lunch. Expect to be out on your way back to work by 1:30PM.

About Paul Easter

Paul is an SBE Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer with over 35 years of broadcast engineering experience. He grew up in Lubbock, Texas where he learned electronics and was involved with KOHM at Texas Tech. Paul has built over 25 broadcast facilities, and currently serves as Technical Director of Houston Christian Broadcasters, a network of over 30 radio stations and translators throughout the southwestern United States.

A Move for the Love of Big Iron

We humans love our machines. We polish and parade our cars. We line up hours ahead to buy a new smartphone, tablet computer, or video game processor.

Scottie Rice KOGO Basement

Scottie Rice in the KOGO basement with Civil Defense water.

Scottie Rice, staff engineer at KFMB AM and FM, gives homes to elderly AM radio transmitters.

His latest project was moving the RCA BTA-5F 5kW transmitter from KOGO, and I’ll let him pick up the story from here. Note that like a captain describing his ship at sea, Scottie refers to his inheritance as “she.”

Continue reading

July 2014 Meeting: QPC Fiber

It’s quite possible you don’t know as much about fiber optic transmission of data as you think you do. Like every other technology, fiber is a moving target and there have been several advances in the past decade.

As luck would have it, we have experts in the neighborhood. QPC fiber from San Clemente will appear at our next SBE meeting Wednesday, July 9, at 12 noon at KGTV, 4600 Air Way, San Diego. QPC will buy lunch there in the cafeteria, then we’ll meet in a studio. Members and non-members are welcome.

Steve Wilkes of QPC will go over some current fiber terms and common industry fiber connector types. He’ll discuss expanded beam vs. physical contact pro’s & con’s, then give a live demonstration of the practical limits of different types of fiber optic assemblies. Continue reading

Western Radio Returns to Kearny Mesa

Mike Richards of Western Radio Electronics reports, “As of June 23, 2014 Western Radio Electronics has a new principal owner and relocated to 7374 Convoy Court, San Diego, CA 92111. Our primary phone and fax number will remain the same and for the immediate future you may contact me via email at”

Mike says the new owner has asked him to stay on as Store Manager. “This will be a new challenge for me, but having worked with many of the SBE members over the last 30 years, it can be successful implementing a focus on customer service and day to day inventory stock for the broadcasting industry here in San Diego. I look forward to talking with engineering staff and management over the next few weeks to get feedback on products we can provide at competitive pricing and good service.

“I will soon be looking for qualified sales persons to maintain contact with our client base. If any person may be interested in full or part time work, please feel free to email me your resume for consideration. I am especially interested in at least one person with recent military service to call on San Diego area installations.”

June 2014 Meeting: Path1 PiXiE

At our June meeting, Bart Schade, President and CTO of Path 1, discussed the technology behind the new Internet video streaming standard MPEG DASH, and how it contrasts to traditional real-time broadcast video transport. This was another presentation that could make you rethink your concept of codecs, since what you are sending with DASH technology are actual files–not just a stream of framed packets.

PiXiE is a contribution codec supporting SD/HD SDI and using MPEG-4 AVC video compression, HE-AAC/AAC-LC audio compression and pass-through audio. For those wanting advance information, see Bart’s recently released white paper “Real-Time Broadcast Video Services over the Internet using MPEG-DASH.”

Many thanks to KGTV for hosting the meeting.