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March Last revision Mar 02, 2020

We meet in Wichita at KWCH Studios, Tuesday March 10 at 7:30PM , hosted by Steve Reiter, Chief Engineer. Our program has been arranged by Raun Hamilton of SAV, who will bring in Bruce Lane of Tektronix to demo some of the latest gear to test video streams. It's possible he may have the Tektronix WFM2300 hand held wave form monitor/analyzer you can get your hands on.   Tektronix is supplying a meal most likely pizza for our supper, so plan on being here at 7:00 PM if you want any. See you there !

Last Meeting: Eight members and guests met in Topeka at WIBW-TV studios, on February 11 at 7:30 PM. We were hosted by Mike Turner, Director of Engineering. Our program was arranged by Chris Kreger of RF Specialties of Missouri, who brought in Chris Crump of Comrex to tell us about 5G, and what that term means. Before the meeting, we were treated to Pizza and soft drinks provided by Chris and Chris. In addition, RF Specialties handed our some nice goodies and provided a door prize (Tascam TH-02 Studio Head Phones) following the meeting, which was won by Rod Rogers. Our thanks to both companies!

Chairman Robert Nelson opened the business meeting at 7:30 PM. In an effort to keep the meeting short, we postponed many of the usual committee reports, but did give a report of the current bank balance, and a report that he had received from Rod Hogg, the Doc Brinkley slide presentation and an audio recording which he will incorporate into a self contained Power Point program as time allows. Rod Rogers reported he was working on a tour of the Exide Battery plant in Salina for a future program. There being no further business, we adjourned to the program for the evening at 7:40 PM.

Chris Kreger introduced our speaker of the evening, Chris Crump, Sr, Director of Sales & Mkting for Comrex. Mr. Crump began with a very brief history of Comrex, which had its genesis in 1961, and since has made use of new and innovative technologies for radio and television well before they hit the mainstream. Beginning with audio frequency extenders allowing high quality audio over POTS lines, they moved into Codecs to further improve quality. Development continued with their ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs making use of sophisticated audio transmission technology to ensure reliable broadcasts over challenging IP networks. Comrex then branched out to develop their CrossLock tools to handle the unique demands of transmitting video, with the development of LiveShot IP video technology. Throughout it all, they have continued to refine their telephone hybrid technology with products like VH2, and broke new ground with products like Opal. Opal is a small package allowing easy real time audio over the Web for radio or TV interviews. The guest is sent an email with an Internet link to click, establishing a high quality 15 KHz IP link. It is easy and works well with several browsers, including Chrome, FireFox, Windows Edge, and Google. Opal resolves the need for an extra server in the middle of this process.

It's easy for remote guests to use, and the 15 Hz audio adds to the illusion that they are really there in the studio with the host of the show. The connection is encoded using Opus. Chris showed us a short clip of commercials presently running, which described 5G cell phone service, then pointed out some of the irregularities portrayed in it. He went on to say one large company has successfully established fixed link 5G services, but has not yet made the mobile end of it work very well. Most of the 5G has a fail safe to 4G and this has one company claiming much more coverage in 5G than is actually the case. The specifications for 5G are still in a state of flux, and the publication goal is to have the specs for all aspects of 5G to be available sometime in 2024! So be careful if you want to move into the latest offerings. It is known that successful 5G will require major expansion of the number of cells available in an area to make the mobile end of it work. These cells will be lower power, and lower height than 4G cells.

The 5G fixed service will be an asset to interstructure of large buildings, eliminating much of the messy wire cabling now required. It will be able to bring the "Internet of Things" to major business buildings. But, even that will require much more clean bandwidth than is now available to accomplish the wireless connections of security, office computers, scanners, printers, and the like within any one building of a major metropolis. Now multiply that by the number of companies located in Wichita or Kansas City, and you begin to see the scale of what is going to be required. And you thought the present repack was a mess! Another question Chris responded to was whether or not someone's 5G cell phone would be compatible worldwide. The answer is no, because different frequency bands are assigned for cell service in each country. Only in the event of a move in the direction of all satellite communications would this begin to be possible.

Chris also touched on the Adobe Flash demise, and said that Comrex had used this application in their equipment GUI's in the past, but they would furnish Comrex users a free upgrade to an HTML-5 replacement app. Our sincere thanks to Chris Kreger of RF Specialties, to Chris Crump of Comrex for the program, and to Mike Turner and WIBW for hosting an informative evening for us.

Evolution of "G" Data:

1.5 G = CSD @ 6.3 Kpbs

2 G = 1xRTT @ 150 Kbps

3 G = EVSO @ 600-1400 Kbps

4 G = LTE @ 5-12 Mbps/50 Mbps Bursts

5 G = Complete Specs due in 2024 !

Comrex ACCESS MultiRack
Five full-duplex 15 KHz IP audio codec circuits contained in one P-1 rackmount. They can be used for Simplex, Duplex, STL, Intercom and other broadcast chores.

 At our last SBE chapter meeting Rod Rogers presented Don Hogg a book, Elements of Electronics, by Hickey & Villines. It had a dark blue-green cover on it showing many years of use. It was the book Don used during his first semester in Wichita Technical
Institute. I asked Rod how he happened to have the book, and he responded: "Don's brother, Wilbur, was a teacher of mine in high school. Don had given him the book, as he was interested in hi-fi and electronics in general. I guess he had digested all he wanted, and knowing I was interested, he gave the book to me. That was about 1970 or so, so I had the book for about 50 yrs!

From being in SBE, I made the connection of these two brothers some years ago. Later, I remembered the book & looked to see if I still had it.… I did! I finally remembered to bring it. Don was a bit surprised and all smiles, so I asked if he would like to have it. He responded quickly that he would, so I gladly gave it back to him. From the name & address written inside, he says he used the book in 1956 to 1957. Was neat to get the book "back home" after 63-64 yrs total!" I was familiar with that book as well, having attended WTI, so when I got home, I looked for mine but couldn't find it. I have Basic Television by Grob, and the color TV book, but could not find the Elements of Electronics. If the dim memory of more than 60 years ago serves me right, I may have had to borrow one to finish the semester, when mine was knocked off a third story window sill into the alley. The window, without a screen, was wide open to allow better air circulation. By the time I got to the alley to look for it, it was gone. That's why we don't have horseplay in the classroom, right? Anyway, Don went on to be an instructor at WTI, and taught many of us as we were training to get our FCC Licenses - back when you had to have an FCC First Class Radio Telephone Operator License to get hired on at a broadcast station. Said licenses were to be posted at your place of employment, by law, while you were on duty. If you were working at the transmitter site, meter readings were to be entered and initialed once you signed on, to an official log and kept for presentation, if asked during an FCC inspection.

Bob Locke tipped me to the fact early in February, that KSNWTV (virtual channel 3) in Wichita had changed frequency from Ch 45 to Ch 15. KSN is not my primary channel of choice, but we usually watch straight through from 4 to 7 PM beginning with Jeopardy, through local and national news and finishing with Wheel of Fortune weekdays, and had heard no indication of this. Bob said you had to dig quite a bit on their website to find anything relating to this change, and he was right! I finally found the application in KSN's FCC public files. Since I am on cable most of the time, I didn't notice loss of their channel 45 signal, but one would think they would be frequently advising viewers to re-scan their off air sets. Don Hogg says he has one TV receiving OTA, and found his reception improved, but Bob thought his reception was iffy. KSN does indicate they have 0.75 beam tilt on the new antenna, even so, they may be overshooting Bob since he is only three miles from the transmitter. Bob, you might try rabbit ears ! Finally, on February 21, KSN showed during the 5 & 6 PM News, a helicopter assisting with their transmitting antenna change-out, and a notice that over the air viewers would need to re-scan after March 12, when all the modifications were to be complete. The news anchor said that OTA viewers may not have been able to get their lower power signal lately. The video of the chopper lifting the old antenna off and the new one onto the top of KSN's Digital TV tower was interesting though. February 27, Marty Heffner reports: "Attached is a picture (See PDF file) of KSN on my big screen that wouldn't get the low power but works great on full power. Warren contacted me and wanted me to take a look, for he was running the full power xmtr into the new antenna. He was running a test for about six hours earlier today, then had to shut it down. He officially goes on the air March 11th at noon with full power on ch15. TPO is 53KW with 14w reflected. Warren said the studio didn't count but I qualify as the first home viewer. My distance is 47 miles; my antenna is 7ft from the ground, and approximately 30 years old - a VHF/UHF combo.

I believe it's rated for medium range. None the less I receive all Wichita full power except KPTS. Weather conditions permitting I get one or two of the low powers. I do have a channel master amp (inline}. Not sure of the age. Chris Crump gave an interesting comparison of improved communications between fixed and mobile telephone and Internet service, LEO satellites and later, Geo-synchronous satellites. He likes Elon Musk's idea on satellites, but it could take most of 15 Billion to implement. The advantage here is about 43 ms latency with full duplex, and it does overcome shadowing that plagues land based 5G But there is a disadvantage in that astronomers are already complaining about the amount of space junk in orbit, which is disturbing their view of the galaxies, and this won't help that problem. Chris noted it has been said another $150 Billion could be required to finish installation of fiber optics to all homes and commercial buildings in small cities and rural structures, for providing access of the Internet of things desired by the communications prognosticators, and this is only for fixed service. 30

Our crew listens as Chris Crump describe the attributes of 5G Cellular Telephone Service.

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired


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