All posts by Gary Stigall

February 19 Meeting: Orban Update

Radio broadcast engineers have been battling a certain inelegance in system design since the advent of hybrid analog/digital FM broadcasting. When you combine the complexities of stereo pilot, stereo L-R, and SCA subcarriers with the complexities of the Ibiquity digital sidebands, you’ve got some serious filter design issues and a lot of hardware.

On February 19th, 2014, Orban Founder and VP of Engineering Bob Orban gave a presentation via Skype reviewing his “A Full Bandwidth Standard” Radio World article discussing a new compositing standard designed to simplify the hybrid FM broadcast and decrease filter aliasing. Additionally, he commented on efficient codecs for audio streaming.

Many thanks to Orban’s rep David Rusch and RF Specialties rep Steve Moreen for lunch, a terrific presentation, and to John Rigg of Clear Channel for hosting the meeting and giving us a full tour of his plant. The place is really buttoned down. Continue reading February 19 Meeting: Orban Update

ProSound Going Out of Business

While they were known mostly for their interaction with musicians, ProSound has been a source of professional audio equipment, advice, and repair for broadcasters as well. Shane Alexander told me today they expect to close the doors at the end of December, a victim of poor economic conditions and internet sales.

You can call or stop by to give your wishes or buy a few closeout items. They’re at 4593 Mission Gorge Place near Mission Gorge Road east of Qualcomm Stadium. Call (619) 583-7851.

FCC Posts Long List of San Diego Area LPFM Hopefuls

The FCC wasted no time in posting to its database all of the 2,819 LPFM applications filed during the October-November 2013 window.

A search of all L1 FM applications entered during November finds 18 San Diego County listings within 80km of Mt. Woodson.

A number of interesting patterns emerge. Most applicants are area churches. Many are mutually exclusive, with four applicants each on 93.7 and 101.1 MHz and two each on 95.3 and 103.3 MHz. Interestingly, some of the applicants, including one in Chula Vista, were registered as being given 100W when they are within the Mexican border zone that limits maximum power to 50W ERP. Since only one station will occupy each channel, the FCC will have to work with the mutually exclusive applicants using a published scoring system to determine the winner of the channel. In the event of a tie, licensees will be asked to share or give up their claim for a construction permit.

When the FCC will issue the construction permits associated with this filing window is unknown. There was speculation that it might take five to six months to sort through the applications, but with the FCC out of business for nearly a month during the October government shutdown, the backlog of filings may delay release of those construction permits.

Lee McGowan of CBS Radio Passes

CBS Radio San Diego GM Bob Bollinger announced that long time Chief Engineer Lee McGowan passed away Monday, November 11 “battling cancer and cardiac issues.”

“Lee meant so much to so many in a successful career that spanned two decades here and stops at KCBQ, San Francisco, Las Vegas and other western markets. His selfless spirit, integrity, huge heart, dry humor and mostly Lee just being Lee will be sorely missed by us all.”

Lee had worked as Chief Engineer at KYXY under various owners since the mid-1980s. I had first met him when he was a staff engineer at KABC/KLOS in Los Angeles in 1984. He had even been on-the-air in the early 1970s at KDES Palm Springs. At SBE meetings, he was always the inquisitive guy who asked multiple follow-up questions of presenters. He was known for his attention to detail and straightforward interaction with his coworkers.

A memorial for Lee will be held at Lindbergh Park on 11/25 at 2pm. Lindbergh Park is at 4101 Ashford St. San Diego, CA 92111.