All posts by Gary Stigall

October 2012 Member News

KSDS Chief Engineer Larry Quick joined SBE recently.

Chapter 36 has its first Certified Broadcast Network Engineer. Mina Zaki of KFMB got his in August. Congratulations!

Note that TV Magic has changed location. The systems integrator has moved from Kearny Mesa to 9240 Mira Este Ct. San Diego, CA 92126, with a new phone number, 858-800-5000.

Election of the Local Kind

November is the month by charter that our SBE chapter has its annual election for leaders.

Yes, we know you think you are too busy, especially with all the corporate consolidation and fewer employees to take the workload.

But that’s a cop out. You still have an idle moment here and there, and most of the work is in just showing up for the meetings, most time of which is taken in eating, like you do every day at lunchtime. Most of the leadership jobs take an average of less than an hour a month outside of the meetings.

What’s in it for you?

Hopefully, you want more of what you have gotten from the SBE. The way to assure that is to make it happen through your leadership. Yes, your leadership. More insightful, educational meetings. More networking opportunities. More certification exams given. Make it happen. It’s barely any more work than just watching it happen.

If you are more interested in getting than in giving back, let us count the ways:

  • Win points toward certification renewal. You need points. This is an easy way to get them.
  • Put some leadership on your resume. When you show leadership experience, you are taken more seriously before your next interview or customer sales experience.
  • Kick your networking into high gear. The more people who know you, the easier it is getting your next job, even if you are self-employed. Especially if you are self-employed, because you are being interviewed every time you sell a new client.

What Positions are Available?

  • Chair – The person who leads the meeting. Occasionally you have to make a decision about funding or lead an executive meeting, usually over lunch. Figure on attending the meetings plus perhaps an hour or less per month.
  • Vice-chair – The person who leads the meeting when the Chair doesn’t show up. Figure on attending every meeting. Not a position for someone who travels a lot. Do not volunteer for this if you are a regional sales account manager.
  • Secretary-Treasurer – The person who keeps the checking account and turns in a meeting report after every meeting. About an hour a month more than attending a meeting. Again, this isn’t a position for someone who spends a lot of time out of town.
  • Program Chair – The person who sets up the upcoming meetings. This is usually the most important role, and sets the agenda for the success of the chapter. You must fish for good speakers, using other chapters’ or national ideas, or inquiries as leads. Again, very little time, but some communication is required and the secret to success is lining up the meetings many months in advance. This is a position OK for someone who travels, especially if you do a lot of networking.
  • Webmaster – Not an elective position, but an important one. If you like writing, the rest is easy because WordPress is all set up.

How We Plan to Conduct the Election

This year we’re trying something different. Chapter 36 will use to actually conduct the election electronically. We like the website because it’s free, they have a  public service charter, absolute privacy (no spam use of email), and a simple interface. Can’t stuff the ballot box and that sort of thing.

How Do You Sign-up?

Please send an email message to the current Chair Doug Alman through this contact form. Tell him what position you are interested in. We need this information before our October 17 meeting. Thank you.

KPBS-FM Lights Up on Soledad

After two decades of talk and planning, KPBS-FM finally completed its move to Mt. Soledad, beginning transmissions at 10:30 AM on Monday, October 1, 2012. The new coverage area better matches its listener profile of college-educated, relatively affluent coastal and north county residents.

Leon Messenie, Director of Engineering, said they are using the shared Dielectric make FM antenna known as “Quadzilla” along with host KFMB-FM 100.7 MHz, KIFM 98.1, and KBZT 94.9. The antenna, originally designed to carry 105.3 MHz, had to be replaced by KPBS to handle the lower channel. KFMB’s RF supervisor Rick Bosscher said that they were able to tune one of the combiner ports from 105.3 to 89.5, but came close to losing a tuning slug into the cavity doing so.

Besides the new antenna, KPBS RF Engineer Rockley Curless oversaw the installation of a new Nautel NV-20 transmitter outputting 9.4kW with an accompanying Ibiquity HD signal combined at low level. The station’s new ERP is 26kW non-directional. The station will lose some coverage in the shadows of east county hills, but gain much more coverage in the north county and La Jolla. The west-facing slopes of east county will continue to receive excellent signals.

One of the changes loyal listeners are likely to notice is full-time stereo. Yes, KPBS-FM used daypart scheduling to broadcast a monaural signal during talk programming. This extended their effective coverage area by hundreds of square miles when they eliminated that pesky little 19kHz pilot and L-R 38kHz subcarrier that fools a radio into demodulating it even when too weak, making for a noisy listener experience. For the time being, Messenie says they will keep the stereo pilot on full-time.

Messenie says the quest for a Soledad location began with an application in 1994 that was issued in 1997, but it was to be at the US Navy radio site and the person who granted permission to use the site was not authorized to do so, and permission was withdrawn. XETV in Tijuana fought other efforts to move KPBS, concerned that the FM signal would overwhelm its channel 6 TV signal in San Diego. That fight became moot in 2007 when the FCC ruled in favor of KSDS upgrading to 20kW 88.3 MHz signal at its Mesa College site, saying that there were no specific rules protecting US coverage of Mexican TV channel 6 broadcasters.

Will KPBS-FM will use its old site, where KPBS-TV continues to operate, as an aux standby location? Messenie says they plan to, but will have to install a directional antenna to keep its coverage within the new area.

They don’t have backup power on Soledad, but will work toward that end. The Soledad site has long been served by two electric feeds that switch automatically in the event of an outage on one side of the hill.

Project partners included Wireless Infrastructures for tower work, Juice Electric for electrical wiring, and Hammett and Edison for the RFR study.

October 2012 Meeting: Digital Broadcast Archiving

Our speaker at the October 17 meeting, Arnold Taylor of Digital Broadcast, will discuss the three levels of archiving—online, near line and off line. What purpose does each serve and how are they intelligently managed in a newsroom or master control environment?

Arnold has been with Digital Broadcast for nearly 10 years, first as an Area Manager for the Southwest based in Plano, TX and now a VP of the Western Area including the Southwest and Western Regions. He was a radio CE with a First Class Radiotelephone license, a TV engineer, worked for Ampex for over 13  years as a field service engineer, and later in technical sales for Sony, RCA, and Compact Video. He served as CEO at Quanta and later Rank Cintel.

A New Venue

Join us October 17 at noon at Sizzler restaurant, 3755 Murphy Canyon Road at Aero Drive, I-15 freeway convenient from the Aero Drive exit. This will be conducted in the tradition of Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles chapters as you buy your own lunch. We have the banquet room in the back. Get in line as you come in, ordering a steak or sandwich, or a plate for their enormous salad bar (recommended). They will serve you in the banquet room if you didn’t buy the salad bar.

Making this a regular venue will depend on high attendance, so we would appreciate your making a special effort to join us this month. As always, members and guests are invited.

We should be finished by 1:30PM.

September 2012 Meeting: Harris Studio Design Show

A great meeting September 12 at KPBS as Nick Van Haaster of Harris showed off some photos of recent studio rebuild projects foreign and domestic. Many thanks to Ron Lane of Harris for lunch and Leon Messenie for his tour of recently remodeled studios on the SDSU campus.

Nick gave us a primer on project management for broadcasters and demonstrated some highly professional examples of planning documents and studio sketches.

In chapter business, Chairman Doug Alman told us about the upcoming election, encouraged members to sign up for offices, and mentioned that we will try electronic voting this time.