Category Archives: Best of Site

Longer articles featuring the best of SBE36.org. Biographies of local engineers, news event coverage, and “Making Waves” commentary.

FCC Publishes List of New Non-Comm FM Applications

The FCC on November 15, 2021 published a list of applicants for the latest non-commercial educational FM station filing window, and San Diego County was well-represented. It appears as though some applications used software that failed to take into account Mexican licensees, and those applications will likely be dismissed. Keep in mind, too, that some applicants get cold feet after considering the time and money commitment of a radio station, or may have requested more stations than they can outfit, or may have not yet negotiated to occupy the space they have applied for. Any of these filers may ask to have their applications canceled. Here’s a list of San Diego County applications that the FCC has received and marked as “pending”:

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Venture Technologies Now Transmitting Hybrid FM NextGen Signals on TV Channel 6

KRPE-LD San Diego, low power TV channel 6, atop Mt. San Miguel, is the first local station to broadcast ATSC 3.0, marketed as “NextGen”. The FCC granted a Special Temporary Authorization (STA) for a signal that includes an innovative analog FM carrier at 87.75 MHz. According to Director of Engineering Daniel Bissett, licensee Venture Technologies Group, LLC completed construction of the new signal on October 7, 2021.

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Dennis Younker Retiring from Long Career at Cox Communications

If you’ve been in TV broadcast engineering management at any time over the past 27 years, you’ve had the pleasure of working with Dennis Younker, Cox Communications Headend Manager, regarding getting your signal on cable TV. He’s told you if you had issues with color, lip-sync, signal dropout, and even digital drift or jitter. In other words, he’s had your backside. After 43 years in the business, he’s hanging up his keys and will be doing exactly what he wants to from now on. Dennis sat down and wrote this memoir about the cable business and his part in it for SBE 36. Enjoy.

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Dave MacKinnon is Leaving KNSD

NBCUniversal San Diego’s VP of Technology and Operations since 2008, Dave MacKinnon announced recently he’s leaving the station on September 1, 2020. I asked Dave about his years at the station and his goals.

Dave MacKinnon
David MacKinnon

Q: You were hired to lead the Engineering Department at KNSD though you had come from a non-broadcast background, right? That speaks highly of your impressing the hiring staff. What had you done before taking that job?

A: I worked for the Dept of Defense. This was my first job in TV. I had to learn a lot very quickly, but I was helped by an amazing team at KNSD, an industry changing to look more like IT, and similarities between broadcast and DoD standards.

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KWFN 97.3 Pioneers New FM HD Booster Network

Entercom San Diego, through technical consultants GEO Broadcast Solutions, has built out a significantly advanced Single Frequency Network (SFN) for their 97.3 MHz station, KWFN (FM), “The Fan.” The team added analog-digital hybrid Xperi HD Radio on February 19, 2020 to help KWFN reach an audience that now extends past some significant terrain barriers within their licensed service contour. KWFN, with its sports talk format, hosts the current Padres Radio Network. The SFN includes the booster KWFN-FM1 La Jolla (in the Bird Rock neighborhood), KWFN-FM2 Ramona, KWFN-FM3 San Marcos (from Whitney Peak), and KWFN-FM4 Escondido (from Black Mountain). GEO is working to add the KWFN-FM5 booster in Encinitas that they have an FCC Construction Permit for. 

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