Thirty-five years ago, our current chairman, Bob Locke, then a Microwave and RF Engineer for KSN, was in attendance at the SBE-3 meeting in
Salina. Besides an RF Spectrum Analyzer, one of the featured products shown by Chuck Hilger at that meeting was the Tektronix 380 Video test set. It integrated several video tests into one instrument, making life
easier for the microwave engineer. Bob took a good long look at it, and was heard to exclaim: "Sell one of the stations if you have to, but get one of these!" The Tektronix 380 was used in NTSC video systems and
functioned as a precision Waveform Monitor, Vectorscope or general purpose Oscilloscope. As a Waveform Monitor, it had Flat frequency response of 0-5 Mhz ± 2%; a full set of filters including: -Chroma band pass -IRE
or low pass -Differential phase and gain Its Coupling included AC, DC, or DC restored. Its vertical Input had Probe or Loop Through. As a Vectorscope, the model 380 could display; full field or vertical interval
signals, and was likely the first field scope to do so. It also decoded R-Y (or V) and Line sweep display was provided.
As an Oscilloscope, it had a time base from 50ms to 0.2μs per Div., and positive or
negative slope trigger. Being used to working with an Eico 460, which had a much dimmer screen and few of the above features, it's no wonder Bob got excited.
Thirty-five years ago was also my first effort at producing the combined meeting notice/newsletter for Chapter 3 SBE, the previous editor
having been Brad Dick. The mailing was one side of a standard letter sheet, and the master was produced on a nonelectric typewriter, then copied on a Xerox copy machine. There were no personal computers, and no
e-mail It was produced just as described and delivered exclusively by USPS. Be it noted: Multimedia CableVision, who had purchased KSN Cable TV, supplied paper, copier services, and postage for that first
newsletter, I did. Cablevision in Wichita from that time through Multimedia and then Cox, who purchased it, has continued to provide this service for our chapter, and as such, is definitely the oldest continuous
sponsor of our SBE Chapter 3 Newsletter.
My how things have changed! The newsletter now consists of six to eight pages, with eight to nine publications most years. It is assembled on
my personal laptop computer using software similar to Adobe Page Maker, which allows placement of pictures anywhere on a page, multiple columns, and with many features that make the process so much easier. An
earlier version of the same program prints labels from a member database.
I just saw on the 10 PM TV News that the state of Kansas now has an official gemstone, called Jelinite. Is it made from fossilized Jello? I
have never heard of such a mineral.
While I was composing a report the other day, and was trying to insert a pix from the wireless printer/fax/scanner when it bogged down. I was
just before lunch and my wife had begun warming some soup in the microwave. It was just a hunch, but I stopped for lunch, and when I went back to my project, the delays had resolved themselves. It proved to be the
microwave causing interference in the wireless data. Of course, I checked to see if there were any obvious leaks from food on the door seal, which did not appear to be the cause. Thinking about it, if the wireless
transmitter were 100 mW, that could be a power difference of at least 41.5 dB. I think my router is dual band, but the printer may not be, and its receiver may not be very selective either. I'll have to keep that in
mind the next time I use the printer.
KAB Pres. Kent Cornish, advises the FCC is updating its policy on C Band usage. As a result, they are requiring a reassessment of all satellite
communication sites. It sounds as though someone may be wanting access to the C Band for uses not previously allowed, but for what ever reason, if you have a C Band earth station, action is mandated. Kent writes:
"The FCC has opened a 90-day window during which entities that own or operate existing FSS earth stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band may file an
application to register or license the earth station if it is currently not registered or licensed, or may file an application to modify a current registration or license, in the International Bureau Filing System
(IBFS). As parties who have
receive-only C-Band dishes are currently not required to register (though registration does accord them some protection from microwave users in the band), the FCC currently has no
information about the total universe of users. So the FCC has imposed a freeze on the filing of registrations for new users of the spectrum, but allowed existing users to register on or before July 18."
This action quickly caused concerns with small station owners for unbudgeted fees brought on by this new FCC mandate. Kent replied:
"Following my earlier email regarding this, several of you have inquired about the FCC's fees for registering C Band earth stations.
Registration and frequency coordination are necessary to avoid interference from future 5G broadband systems that will be located in the C-Band. I learned this morning that the NAB plans to file with the FCC to ask
for a reduction or waiver of the fees. NAB expects to have something more definitive next week. I know it is a significant expense, especially for small radio stations. We will be following this issue closely, and
will work with NAB to see if we can obtain relief for stations."
Time quickly passes. If you are affected by these actions and have not yet decided what to do, please contact Kent at KAB.net to get up to
speed and find your best course to follow.
I have been thinking recently on the rate of change in technology, and I have been putting off re-reading Toffler's Future Shock, but it may be
time to do so. Perhaps my situation may be a case of being dragged into the present reality kicking and screaming, but your editor finally ordered a 3G cell phone after his spouse decided maybe she did need a cell
phone after all. She had one for a while, a prepaid unit, but decided she wasn't getting enough value for the money being expended, and let it lapse. Recently, as she was watching one of the shopping networks, a
TracPhone offer was made. It was a Samsung J3 phone with a prepaid card for 1500 minutes of voice, 1500 messages, and 1.5 GB of data included, along with free shipping and activation, for less than $90, so it was
ordered. One of our main concerns with cell phones, even from the time I first got one just after one of our great granddaughters was born (now just turned 12) was coverage while we were camping - usually within a
50 mile radius of home. That concern has long since been eliminated, and the next concern was cost. I have been able to get by on my prepaid plan with a major carrier (the big "V") for about $10/month, since I don't
pack it with me most of the time. I put the word out to our kids that I don't use it for casual conversation, and they have honored that, calling our home phone first. However, it occurred to me the other day as I
was getting ready to go someplace, that I really had a lot of pieces to pack. The list goes something like this:
• Hearing aids in with fresh batteries?
• Personal Digital Assistant in pocket and fully charged? (Fondly referred to as my digital brain)
• Find cell phone. Is it charged?
• Maybe find the GPS unit and its cable.
It gets to be a circus, and maybe it is time for me to at least consider a consolidation of devices and functions into one piece of gear
that will handle all of the above. My wife's new phone arrived and was easily set up. Our concerns with coverage were alleviated when we saw the carrier for TracPhone was Verizon (at least in this area), and the
probable cost after the present prepaid card expired in one year, is something like $11/month. That being said, I ended up ordering one of the same phones myself. My current account has built up to in excess of $80,
which I don't really want to lose, so I probably won't activate my new phone until I use enough of the current account down that can let go of the last $15 or $20, in order to switch accounts. Probably my
tightfisted nature, I suppose, but it is my money. However, I must admit, it has been pleasurable contemplating the ability to download some apps I have long wanted to try, but that my current PDA battery will not
support for daily use, at least without spending more time on the charger than actual time in use. I will have to reflect on this subject again later this summer, to see if the my acceptance of change of
technology in my life was worth the bother, the money expended, and giving up some more of my privacy to the purveyors of data concerning my habits and personal preferences. 30