San Diego FCC Field Office to Close in Compromise Plan

The FCC Enforcement Bureau July 16th adopted a plan to keep more field offices open than originally proposed, but San Diego still did not make the cut, instead relying on services from the Los Angeles office. The FCC came under fire for its planned reduction in force from Greg Walden of the House of Representatives and from the SBE and broadcast industry lobbyists concerned about piracy and RF noise sources. The FCC responded to Congressional inquiries with a letter and Q & A document outlining their reasoning for the cutbacks.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler responded to concerns about staffing in May, defending their plans to close offices, citing analysis that showed poor efficiency of services. SBE President Joe Snelson, in a Radio World interview, said their own input regarding field services indicated critically overworked staff, though he said they could not analyze the input  from consultants regarding their recommendations because they were not made public.

Precise closure dates have not been announced.

 

Importance of Proper Grounding Webinar

The “Importance of Proper Grounding” SBE webinar will be presented on Thursday, July 23 at 2 p.m. ET. The one-hour program will review the elements of a building’s wiring and grounding systems (including lightning protection) that pertain to power quality at communications facilities and improve up-time. Proper wiring and grounding, beyond those minimal requirements of the NEC, can greatly alleviate power quality problems in broadcast and public service communications facilities. These improvements can be very cost-effective, usually simple in description, and help prevent costly downtime and equipment damage. The presentation concentrates on actual experiences at broadcast facilities where grounding and lightning protection were of paramount importance in maintaining system availability.

Continue reading Importance of Proper Grounding Webinar

SBE 36 Welcomes “Blue”

Chapter 36 welcomes new member LaDarien LaBlue. He’s a broadcast engineer at KGTV 10 and word has it he’s fast learner and a strong contributor to the team.

“I come from a pure HR and IT background working at illumina for past seven years as Senior Executive IT Technician. I played baseball at LSU and Northwestern State University. I’m from Louisiana and have 4 older brothers and a beautiful daughter named Jordyn. I love what I do here at KGTV.

“It’s really no different, other than things move very fast in broadcast. What I’m learning is that most broadcast equipment is going IP-based and I’m really excited about that.”

Transfer of San Diego’s Lincoln Financial Stations to Entercom Complete

The FCC today announced the approval of transferring ownership of Lincoln Financial radio stations to Entercom. In San Diego, this includes rocker KBZT 94.9 MHz, country KSON 97.3 MHz, and soft rock KIFM 98.1 MHz, In Escondido, this includes the KSON repeater Class A KSOQ 92.1 MHz.The Department of Justice still has to approve the buy-out from an antitrust perspective.If approved, Entercom will own over 110 stations in 26 markets. Entercom took over management of Lincoln Financial stations early this year with a limited marketing agreement (LMA).

Bill Eisenhamer continues to lead the local engineering effort and reports no major changes yet.

July Meeting: What’s New at Nautel

For several decades, the technological, bandwidth, and cost differences between television and radio made them two different electronic media. Information technology erases many of those differences. For example, IBOC has provisions for video while ATSC has provisions for radio, and IP has provisions for both. If broadcast engineering was separated into TV and radio in the past, this generation of engineers is divided between the over-the-air and content technologists. Broadcasting’s future is always bright and the nature of its creators, transmission, content and business plans constantly changing. There are practical things broadcast engineers can do for their stations and themselves, and some things broadcast engineers at some level already mostly know we can expect of the future.

Nautel has been working on both TV and radio transmitters of late, and are especially known for their products’ condition reporting that leads to predictive servicing and a tight design loop.

Join us Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 12 noon at KFMB, 7677 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa, San Diego. Nautel buys lunch.

About Our Guest Speaker

Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, is a fellow in the Society of Broadcast Engineers, a trustee of the Ennes Foundation, Fellow of the Radio Club of America and Nautel’s TV product manager. Fred was Director of Broadcast Engineering for Qualcomm’s MediaFLO project. Previously, he directed Leitch/Harris’ Systems Engineering group. Up to that time, he served as Director of Engineering for the Comcast Media Center in Denver. Before joining the satellite and cable origination world, he held the positions of Chief Engineer in Denver, Indianapolis, and Madison. Fred was also heavily involved with the development of EAS, and has authored several hundred articles on radio and TV engineering.

Matthew Anderson Gets CBRE Certification

Matthew Anderson, the latest addition to iHeartMedia’s engineering crew, passed his SBE Certified Broadcast Radio Engineering exam earlier in June.

Congratulations Matt!

If you would like to get an SBE certification, they’re easier than ever to study for with the study guide CD. Tests are given periodically in San Diego. For more information check out our information page.

KHHS to Stay Silent

After years of non-operation, Horizon Christian Fellowship’s low power station, KHHS-LP at 107.5 in La Jolla (near the intersection of Genesee and La Jolla Village Dr.), finally met its end. The FCC announced this week that it was pulling its license and deleting the callsign. An attorney for Horizon wrote the FCC stating that the station could not return to the air by the June 25, 2015, the date of an the expiration of their last Special Temporary Authority to remain silent.

The station has filed since 2007 for STAs to allow it to remain off-the-air, complaining in FCC STA filings about nagging co-channel interference from KLVE 107.5 MHz in Los Angeles.

The station had filed for a move to 103.3 MHz, but that application became moot when they chose not to return to the air by the June deadline.

June 10 Meeting: Dialight for Your Tower

What do you know about current practices in tower lighting? Are the latest LED arrays always legal? Can you just have tower crews unscrew your old incandescent bulbs and replace them with LEDs? If so, what about your flasher? Are there better ways to power your lamps on an AM tower? What do you know about the trend to lamp fewer towers? Will LEDs really save money?

Whether or not you know all of the answers to these questions, why not join us at the June 10, 2015 SBE Chapter 36 meeting at 12 noon? It’s at KFMB, 7677 Engineer Road, in Kearny Mesa. Parking on the street. Dialight buys lunch.

About Presenter Craig Franck

Craig lives in Littleton, Colorado and manages sales in 19 western states. He worked in the telecom field for 25 years in the area of analog and digital voice and data, microwave radios, and power systems with companies such as Tellabs, Motorola, Eltec/Valere. He has electronics and business degrees.

Check Out This Component Tester

Sometimes it seems like we broadcast engineers now live in a black box era, when we tend to just retire and recycle a failed piece of equipment instead of repairing it. This can be due to the faster obsolescence cycle as devices are marketed with vast improvements in performance and storage. Besides, what devices now come with schematics? And even if they did, you would have to contend with multilayer boards and tiny surface-mount components. Continue reading Check Out This Component Tester

UT-TV Lays Off Remaining Employees

After its sale to Tribune Corporation, publishers of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union Tribune management immediately laid off 178 employees, including all printing press and UT-TV staff. Manny Cervantes, SBE Chapter 36 Vice Chairman and the last engineer at UT-TV. He had been the facility’s Chief Engineer during its three-year attempt to bring live and recorded news video to the utsandiego.com website and cable TV. Manny said yesterday that the UT-TV staff recently numbered only 12 until the May final layoff. Manny had been a systems engineer for TV Magic until the company failed in 2012.

UCSD-TV Flash Cuts to Digital

K35DG on Mt. Soledad switched to an ATSC broadcast on channel 35 on May 28, 2015, just one day ahead of an FCC-imposed deadline that would have eliminated their eligibility for spectrum auction participation as a Class A low power TV station. The flash cut was conducted by yours truly with a new Anywave 5X exciter and PA140W power amplifier from RF Specialties. The new system has an ERP of only 150 watts due to spacing restrictions and Mexican treaty limitations. UCSD is retiring its Larcan NTSC transmitter installed in the early 1990’s.

May 20 Meeting: Grass Valley and the Role of IP Broadcast Infrastructure

The presentation will be an overview of IP based broadcast infrastructures.  We address some of the fundamental questions broadcasters have been asking.  Why do we even want IP at our core?  What advantages do IP-based designs bring to my facility?  What liabilities do IP designs bring to broadcast systems? We’ll cover current and emerging SMTPE standards on equipment and how current baseband technology will migrate into the IP world.

Join us Wednesday, May 20, at noon at KGTV, 4600 Air Way in San Diego, at I-805 and CA-94. Grass Valley will buy lunch. Everyone is welcome.

About Our Presenter

Robert Erickson is the Regional Account Manager for Grass Valley a Belden Brand, covering Broadcast, Post-Production, Government and Military sales for the San Diego and Los Angeles Markets.  Robert started with Grass Valley in 2008 as a Senior System Engineer designing critical infrastructure systems for broadcast networks worldwide.  In late 2013 Robert moved to Los Angeles to embark in his new sales role for Southern California.  Prior to joining Grass Valley, he was the Director of Engineering for KTUZ Telemundo in Oklahoma City, and Chief Engineer for KOKH/KOCB FOX and CW in Oklahoma City.  Outside of work Robert is an amateur radio operator, avid motorcycle rider and outdoorsman.  On weekends he can usually be found exploring the southern California region and all the eccentricities that go along with it.

 

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego