SBE Chapter 36

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

SBE Chapter 36 - Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

Homegrown Pico Digital to Talk About Their Station in a Box

Many, if not most, radio stations these days have an Xpress box to bring them some flavor of satellite-delivered content, whether a talk show or syndicated music broadcast. But did you know these receivers are made in San Diego? Did you know they can be programmed to operate as self-contained radio automation systems? What can networks do with these store-and-forward devices?

Damon will talk about their watermarking and monitoring technology as well.

Pico Digital started as Pico Macom in 1969, selling TV modulators and related RF devices for the cable TV and hospitality markets. They still make and sell sophisticated cable RF modulators, but have widened their offerings to include radio and TV IRDs.

Damon Semprebon of Pico Digital will give a talk on the capabilities of the Xpress line of receivers and other Pico products of interest to TV and radio broadcasts Wednesday, August 10th at 12 noon at KFMB, 7677 Engineer Road in San Diego. We’ll have a small lunch provided by Pico Digital, then the presentation. Members and guests welcome.

About Our Presenter

Damon Semprebon has 30 years experience in technical project management, product development, and other technical services. Before coming to Pico Digital a year ago, he spent 25 years at the San Diego company variously known as Comstream, Tiernan, Radyne, Comtech, and International Datacasting.

Gangitano Rejoins KFMB

John Gangitano recently returned to KFMB Stations as Broadcast Engineer.

John Gangitano, KFMB

John Gangitano, KFMB

He had specialized in IT services during his stay from 2006 to 2008 and left to join L-3 Communications during the recession. He has over 16 years of widely varied IT and broadcast experience in San Diego, and has an MA in Educational Technology and BS in Business Administration from SDSU.

Scottie Rice to Take CE Helm at KSDS

Scottie Rice KOGO BasementScottie Rice will take the Chief Engineer job at City College’s KSDS and Radio, Television, and Film Department August 1st, 2016, the position left vacant after Larry Quick’s recent arrest on theft charges. Scottie has served as staff broadcast engineer at KFMB Stations since 2011, but also working part-time as engineer at KSDS. Since filling in, Scottie has made a noticeable improvement in audio processing at KSDS.

Before his stint at KFMB, he had worked for two years at Clear Channel with John Rigg, and at KHOU-TV in Houston.

Larry Quick is serving a probation term for theft of City College property.

Gary Stigall is Scottie’s supervisor at KFMB and wishes Scottie great success at KSDS. 

July Meeting: Tour the New NBC Plant

You read that right–KNSD has offered to host an SBE meeting with lunch and a tour in July. They just recently moved into their great new digs adjacent to iHeart Media, and want to show us how a modern TV facility is built.

The new KNSD

The new KNSD – NBC Universal TV San Diego

They have Ross production automation and robotic cameras, lots of other great new equipment, and best of all, free parking!

Pay close attention here because there are some changes in our format. First, this is on a Friday, July 22nd at noon at KNSD, 9680 Granite Ridge Drive, San Diego.

July 18 update: All tour slots have been reserved–no more can be added. Sorry if you missed your opportunity to join us. Those without reservations will be turned away. 

July 12 update: iHeart Media has graciously offered free overflow parking at their facility for the duration of the meeting and tour next door at KNSD. Thank you, John Rigg!

Many thanks to KNSD Director of Technology and Operations Dave MacKinnon for setting this up for us.

FCC Launches EAS Test Reporting System

The FCC EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) is up and running. The system is for EAS participants to file identifying information, day of test data, and post-test data related to a nationwide test. The ETRS provides several new features that ease the data-entry burden on EAS participants, encourage timely filings, and minimize input errors. The ETRS also offers new data fields that are responsive to stakeholder comments.

Read more about the new system at the SBE website.

FCC Fines KURS

The FCC has issued a $12,000 monetary forfeiture and short-term renewal for Station KURS(AM), 1040 kHz, San Diego for failure to prepare issues and program’s lists in the Station’s public file and to file biennial ownership reports. The station is owned by Quetzal Bilingual Communications, associated with Jaime Bonilla Valdez of Chula Vista.

The same station was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for violating output power limits in June 1999.

Bonilla’s group Media Sports de Mexico owns stations XHPRS Tecate (operated by Broadcasting Corporation of America as Max 105.7), XEPE 1700 kHz (also operated by BCA), XESDD 1030 kHz Tijuana, and XESS 620 kHz Rosarito, Mexico.

June Meeting: Lectrosonics to Talk About Wireless Mic Spectrum

With the FCC auctioning UHF-TV broadcast spectrum to telecom, “white space” is destined to be a mostly obsolete concept.lectrosonics

  • Will there be replacement spectrum for our wireless microphones?
  • How soon will we have to change channels again?
  • Will broadcasters and other users be reimbursed?
  • Can we use Part 74 spectrum for wireless mics and IFB?

Kelly Fair of Lectrosonics will discuss wireless microphone and IFB spectrum at  a Chapter 36 SBE meeting 12 noon on June 15, 2016 at KFMB Stations, 7677 Engineer Road, San Diego. Kelly will provide a lunch in the station deli, then move on to Studio A for the presentation. SBE members and guests are welcome.

About Kelly Fair

Kelly has been in technical broadcast audio sales for 27 years, representing Sennheiser, Riedel, Wohler, and most lately, Lectrosonics. Kelly lives, and occasionally beats a set of drums, in Los Angeles.

Time Warner Cable Purchased by Charter Communications

In much of San Diego County, your cable service provider is soon to be renamed. Charter Communications, who took over Time Warner Cable and Bright House Communications on May 18, is rebranding the combined company “Spectrum.” Support phone numbers are remaining the same as for Time Warner for the time being, but Charter is claiming their support staff is being brought back to the US from overseas, so presumably they will centralize. If you receive commercial fiber service from the old Time Warner system (TW Telecom), that part of the business was sold to Level 3 Communications in December 2014.

May 18 Meeting: RTS and Dante

By now, you’ve likely heard about the audio-over-IP protocol called Dante. It’s low-latency so that you can use it with live audio, and can pass through most data switches. Many of the largest broadcast suppliers have adopted it. RTS, the intercom company that has been around since the 1970s, will come to town and explain why their latest generation of products is knee-deep into Dante.telex-rts-logo

They can answer a few questions you might have:

  • What data rates are used?
  • What is the packet structure?
  • Does it play well in my network?
  • How many audio channels can fit at a time?
  • What is its latency? Will my air staff hear an echo?
  • When should I favor analog audio, if at all?
  • Are there phone apps that work with intercom systems now?

Jeff Shorsher of RTS/Telex will sort out these topics and more in a meeting Wednesday, May 18 at 12 noon at KFMB Stations, 7677 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa. Join us for a lunch provided by RTS, then a general meeting and presentation. Members and guests are all welcome.

About the Presenters

Jeff Shorsher is new to RTS, but has a long history in broadcast engineering, most recently as sales representative for Commscope. He worked as engineer at KTTY (now Fox 5), Paramount Pictures, and National Mobile Television. He has math and computer science degrees from UCSD and broadcast engineering training from Palomar College.

Calvin Ogawa has served as Field Support Engineer for RTS since 2011, but has served many broadcast engineering roles in southern California, including those for Fox Sports West, ABC Network News, Paramount Studios, KCET-TV, and NPR.

KURS Hit with FCC Fine and Short-Term Renewal

The FCC in mid-April announced it had issued a $12,000 monetary forfeiture and short-term renewal for KURS(AM) 1040 kHz, San Diego, CA for failure to retain issues and program’s lists in the Station’s public file and to file biennial ownership reports. Quetzal Bilingual Communications, Inc. owns the station, which shares the self-supporting tower along I-5 near its junction with CA-15.