Category Archives: News

GPS Date to Rollover April 6 on Some Electronic Devices

Some compare the change to the famous “Y2K” transition at the end of the twentieth century. An information security expert said at the RSA 2019 conference in San Francisco last week, “I’m not going to be flying on April 6.”

Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers limited the number of stored digits needed to count the date, so some devices will roll back to zero on April 6, 2019.

Broadcasters seldom directly use GPS to supervise station activities. Most often, a GPS-based device might be used to indirectly correct a wandering computer clock, or as a time standard in a precise oscillator where its pulses are measured but the date may be ignored.

However, GPS is used often for time stamping video and for displaying time of day. I contacted Bill at El Segundo Electronics, ESE, about whether his ES-series clocks, used widely around broadcast stations, might have the 10-digit time problem. He replied, “The supplier for our GPS receivers assures us that there will be no problem with the WNRO (Week Number Roll Over) on April 6, 2019. Our Chief Engineer recommends that you keep the unit powered up and running over the WNRO.”

Thanks for the news tip, Bill Lipis.

FCC Drops Rules Requiring Physical Posting of Licenses

The Federal Communications Commission in late 2018 issued a Report and Order eliminating the long-standing requirement that radio and television stations of all types post physical copies of their licenses at their transmitter sites. A posting in the February 8, 2019 Federal Register made this official.

The FCC said,¬†“These rules have become redundant and obsolete now that licensing information is readily accessible online through the Commission’s databases, including CDBS, LMS, and ULS. It therefore finds that eliminating these rules, which apply in some form to all broadcast licensees, will serve the public interest.”

You may officially take down those dusty old license frames.

Rick Bosscher Leaves KFMB After Four Decades of Work

We’ve learned that Rick Bosscher, longtime RF Supervisor at KFMB-AM-FM-TV, turned in his keys for good in mid-December 2018, less than a year after Tegna bought the stations. He was hired by Chief Engineer Charlie Abel in 1977 after installing and servicing the FM and TV transmitters in 1976 as a technician for RCA.

Charlie recognized in Rick a deep knowledge of electronics given him by RCA as well as an attention to detail that would serve him throughout his career. He started in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a young technician at a local broadcast station and decided to further his training with RCA.

His job became unique in San Diego. As the KFMB Stations RF specialist, he installed all of their radio and TV transmitters, microwave and satellite systems, and related control systems. He oversaw much of the station facilities management and news mobile technical maintenance as well. His sites were known for their tidy and high-quality “fit and finish.” Because of his maintenance skills, the equipment he oversaw tended to last longer than standard. The KFMB-AM Harris and Collins transmitters, for example, are 27 and 37 years old and still operate like new.

Bosscher is an amateur metallurgist who’s made his own automobile engines in his spare time. He recently restored a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray he inherited from a neighbor.

He’s a ham radio operator, callsign K6FMB, who owns and modified for use on the lower HF bands a Bauer 707 AM transmitter that KFMB staff had originally assembled as a spare in 1959.

Bosscher told me he is relaxing and completing some projects around his Clairemont home and taking his Stingray for drives to the beach.

SBE Leader Barry Thomas Passes

(From SBE National Headquarters) We are deeply saddened by the passing of Barry Thomas, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, who died on Dec. 6, 2018. Barry devoted a great deal of his time and talents to the Society of Broadcast Engineers. He joined the SBE in 1986 and served the SBE with involvement in several local SBE chapters and on the national level. His national involvement included two terms on the SBE Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005, and two terms as treasurer from 2005 to 2007. He served as the society’s 25th president from 2007 to 2009 and immediate past president from 2009 to 2011. In 2017 he was elected to serve on the board again¬†but decided to step down early in his term. In 2011, Barry was elevated to the membership grade of Fellow.

Barry Thomas, past SBE President

On Barry’s passing, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Barry served the SBE in many capacities and has been a voice for many engineers in our industry for decades. After hearing this news, I remembered so many occasions where Barry spent time developing younger engineers and being that mentor so many of us talk about. He was a devoted father, son, brother and fellow engineer who will be sorely missed by all.”

Local note: Barry was Corporate Director of Engineering for Lincoln Financial Broadcasting when that company owned San Diego broadcasters KIFM 98.1, KBZT 94.9, and KSON 97.3 FM. Eric Schecter, local market DOE in the mid-2000s, remembers Barry. “I have a fond memory of driving the KSON signal with Barry and getting sushi. Barry loved good sushi. He gave us the resources to do our jobs and build out great studios, as well as permission to purchase new transmitters for Mt. Soledad.”