SBE Chapter 36

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

SBE Chapter 36 - Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego

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.

Bob’s Back in Town!

KGTV named Bob Vaillancourt Director of Operations in late April after living and working in Honolulu for the previous seven years. He replaces Patrick Givans, who left recently to become Director of News Operations for KCBS/KCAL in Los Angeles.

You might remember that Bob was Director of Engineering at KNSD, but left in October 2007 to become DOE at KHON Fox 2 in Honolulu.

Bob says, “The move to Honolulu was a great experience as I was first tasked to upgrade the station’s automation and server playout system, replaced a very aged analog transmitter while at the same time relocate the DTV transmitter facility including antenna. When Lin Media took over the station from New Vision Television, a directive to move the station to full HD including the upgrade of infrastructure and news set was made and this allowed for me the opportunity to put KHON on the map with some of the best equipment and talent with the help of LIN corporate and cooperation. Finally, the remote satellite facility located approximately 16 miles from the studio was converted from an L-band, multi-channel fiber system to full IP interconnect with the cooperation of Hawaiian Telecom allowed for major cost savings over time with an immediate ROI compared to the older L-band interconnect.

“Although Honolulu and KHON was a fabulous experience which allowed us time to be with some of our family members who live on Oahu, San Diego was always considered ‘home’.

“Timing was perfect when KGTV offered the opportunity for me to join their excellent staff as Director of Operations. The bags were packed, the movers arrived, and we moved back to our home in San Diego.”

Bob’s known for his customer-service attitude and collaborative style learned in his early years with IBM. The staff at KGTV are enthused about his return to San Diego.

KNSN Applies for Sale to Crawford

KNSN 1240kHz, with its self-supporting tower just southeast of downtown San Diego, applied to the FCC on May 22, 2014 for sale to Kiertron, the operating division of religious broadcaster Crawford, for $1.5-million. The current owner, Multicultural Broadcasting, purchased the station from Lincoln Financial in June of 2009 for $7.25-million.

Speculation is that this could set-up a San Diego relay for KBRT-AM 740kHz, which recently moved its transmitter location from Santa Catalina Island to Anaheim Hills.

You might remember that KNSN, previously known as KSON-AM, lost its tower in a storm December 29, 2004.


KYDO Granted Non-comm Status

KYDO 96.1 MHz Campo completed its transition from Imperial Valley CHR powerhouse to satellite-sourced Christian broadcaster with FCC approval April 23 of a change to non-commercial status. The station, owned by the Educational Media Foundation, broadcasts “Air-1″ format.

EMF bought KSIQ late in 2013 from Cherry Creek Broadcasting, who had in 2010 moved the station from Brawley to near San Diego to increase its listenership. The 25kW ERP transmitter site is north of Campo on a water tower. KYDO has a 700 watt booster atop Mt. San Miguel with its city of license Santee.

CBNE Course in a Day, Test the Next

Advanced IP Networking for Broadcast Engineers is an intensive instructor led day long course. It is assumed that student attendees have experienced the “IP Networking for Broadcast Engineers” course or webinar series, or have a solid understanding of IP Networking fundamentals. This course will focus on deeper understanding and application of the fundamentals in real-world IP networking environment. Emphasis will be placed upon designing an IPv4 Addressing plan, IP Subnetting, Ethernet Switching with VLAN implementation, IP Routing, Network Security, and transport of audio and video content in an IP network infrastructure. Additional topics will include an overview of related content found on the Society of Broadcast Engineers CBNE examination including a practical exercise designed to help prepare for the CBNE exam essay question(s).

In order to take the certification exam on Saturday, June 28th you must fill out the CBNE or CBNT application and mail, email, or fax it to Megan Clappe, Certification Director by June 13th.

This seminar is designed to be a tool to prepare you for the CBNE exam not CBNT. However, both exams will be available to take on Saturday.

A big “thank you” to SBE Chapter 47 for hosting this workshop and certification exam opportunity. Continue reading