KPBS-FM Licenses Old Site as Aux

KPBS-FM 89.5 in San Diego can now fire up its legacy site on Mt. San Miguel in the event of some failure or maintenance needs at Mt. Soledad. The FCC issued the license this week. You might remember that the San Diego State University NPR affiliate moved to La Jolla last year, increasing power and overall increasing service to its strong donor base to the north and west. It only made sense to maintain the equipment at Miguel for backup purposes since the TV transmitter remains there anyway, and that’s what they’ve done.

IEEE Hosts Broadcast Symposium in San Diego

Murat Karsi of IEEE has extended an invitation to SBE members to attend and volunteer at this year’s Broadcast Symposium at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego October 9th to 11th.

The symposium provides volunteer opportunities to local university students and professionals as a part of its tradition.  Volunteers will be given complimentary registrations to the symposium.

The following assignments are available for volunteers:

  • Camera operators
  • Audio equipment operators.
  • Streaming media Q and A facilitators (people watching the web to relay live questions from online viewers to the session chairs).

Help for a part of the symposium duration is welcome as well. Volunteers can work part time and participate as a listener the rest of the time.

To professionals, volunteering in this event can provide exposure to the most recent technical developments in broadcasting and networking opportunities.
The IEEE also welcomes students as volunteers.  For students this event is an opportunity to experience a world class technical symposium, learn about state -of-the-art broadcast technologies, network with broadcast engineers and executives, and establish their volunteer portfolio.

Check out the IEEE BTS Symposium website to learn more.

And the Winner is…

The Society of Broadcast Engineers has had a long history of recognizing engineers for their professional and personal accomplishments.  Earlier this year, the SBE announced the creation of the Chapter Engineer of the Year award as a way for each local chapter to “recognize the efforts of a specific individual who best furthers the goals and objectives of their SBE Chapter, and provides an outstanding example of local/regional leadership and ethics.”

With this new charter, the San Diego chapter officers decided to solicit members to nominate a fellow engineer deserving of this award.  An announcement was made in the monthly newsletter along with an email request to all San Diego SBE members to send nominations directly to the chairman.  Nominations were then evaluated by a committee of well-respected engineers from the local television and radio broadcast community that were currently not serving as chapter officers.  After the votes were tallied, the award nomination was sent to SBE national office for final approval.

Speaking candidly about the award program and the importance of recognition, I had a bit of trepidation going into this process.  Mainly because the San Diego SBE chapter has a quite large cross-section of outstanding engineers and leaders to consider as potential award recipients.  My other concern was whether or not there would be any nominations at all.  Let’s face it; most of us have day jobs.  Although recognition programs are important, they frequently take the backseat to whatever is paying the bills.  Having said that, I can say I am proud that the San Diego SBE chapter was one of 12 local chapters out of 146 that nominated a Chapter Engineer of the Year.

Drum roll!  Please join me in congratulating Gary Stigall as the 2013 Chapter Engineer of the Year!

When you consider the criteria for this year’s award, it is no wonder why the members of the San Diego SBE chapter unanimously voted for Gary.  Quoting a fellow member, “Gary is the glue that keeps the chapter together.”  Although Gary presently holds “appointed” positions for the chapter (Certification Chair and Webmaster), he has served in virtually every position of leadership for the chapter during the past fifteen years.  Throughout his tenure with the San Diego chapter, Gary has coordinated over 100 meetings, seminars and functions.  He is also an elected member of the SBE National Board of Directors (2011-2013) – a first for our chapter!

Gary’s background includes working as an engineer, manager, consultant, and executive in the radio and television broadcast industry for over 35 years.  In 2012, Gary launched his own broadcast engineering/technical services business.  He also presently works for the National Football League as the Game-Day Frequency Coordinator for local San Diego Chargers’ games.

There is much more to say about Gary contributions and accomplishments, but I will close with offering my personal thanks for his outstanding leadership towards improving and promoting our local chapter.

Hal Grigsby Retires and You’re Invited

Local broadcasters, consultants, friends, and family of former San Diego FCC District Director Hal Grigsby are planning a retirement luncheon for July 26th in San Diego.

Writes Richard Rudman:

We want to let Hal know how much we appreciated his many contributions to spectrum cooperation in our region while he was with the FCC in San Diego. After facing many technical and diplomatic challenges with demonstrated successes, his skills came to the attention of the U.S. State Department leading to a distinguished second career there. Time to celebrate with Hal and wish him well for the future.
Please RSVP by noon, Friday, July 19. Restaurant space at Godfather is limited to 40 attendees, so please make your reservation now.

Stubs for Fun and Profit

A year ago I was helping out temporarily at Bext with technical service and a number of interesting challenges came up. One was from a customer whose low power FM transmitter shared a site with a mobile carrier. The carrier’s technician was complaining about the transmitter’s 8th harmonic getting into his  radios. The FM transmitter in question was clean far beyond FCC requirements of -80dB below assigned carrier level (as I remember, about -96dB) but on a spectrum analyzer, you could see a tiny bump down near the noise floor in the 800 MHz band. I used the analyzer and its tracking generator to trim a hunk of coax and knock down the 8th harmonic of the offending FM transmitter about 20 dB. That’s a pretty short piece of coax, by the way. Problem solved and nobody had to build a Faraday cage.

A June article in the BDR mentions this conflict between the very sensitive LTE mobile site receive inputs and their FM transmitter neighbors. These radios are attempting to discriminate data at -120 dBm and lower from distant tiny transmitters inside metal cars and buildings.

I first ran into an application for a stub with a TV translator site in the Oregon high desert in the early 80’s, where I was receiving a faint UHF signal beyond line-of-sight and picking up some birdy from my channel 5 output. With an N-connector “T” adapter and a quarter-wave length of RG-213, I fashioned an open-ended stub that resonated at the mixer product, attenuating it enough to remove the problem from the visual band of my UHF input.

Another recent article in Radio World magazine, this by Mark Persons, suggests putting a bandpass filter in the form of a quarter-wave shorted (not open) stub after a solid-state amplifier feeding a tube amplifier. This is brilliant. It serves to attenuate voltage spikes that might enter since only the resonant frequency passes without great loss–DC and pulses slow and fast are shorted out. By the way, this won’t work with TV or other broadband applications due to the high-Q of the stub.

Check out articles on construction of these stubs online.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego