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March Last revision Mar 9, 2021

Next Meeting: We meet in person, on site in Emporia !! The meeting will be hosted by Robert Nelson at First Congregational Church, 326 W 12th St, Wednesday, March 17 at 7:00 PM. Park on west side and enter via the west office door. The program will be presented by Ron Jones of Jones Audio on a vMix-based live streaming system he designed. For dinner, bring carryout and eat with the group in the church basement at 6:30 PM. Fast-food places are off the Industrial Road exit on I-35, and along 6th Avenue (Hwy 50 business loop).

Last Meeting: Eight members met via Zoom on Thursday February 18 at 2:15 PM. Chairman John Langer opened the meeting at 2:21PM. Those attending the meeting were: Robert Nelson, Vice Chair, KSU, meeting host, Emporia John Langer, Chair, KSU. Manhattan Dick Abraham, News Editor, Cox Retired, Wichita Jeff Gibson, KWCH, Wichita Duane Loyd, KTWU Retired, Topeka Martin Heffner, WSU MRC-Retired, Winfield. Mike Turner & Shane McMurdy, WIBW, Topeka. Marty's connection dropped part way through,and Mike and Shane were sharing an audio only connection, likely on a cell phone. The minutes of the January meeting were approved as published in the chapter newsletter, on motion of Robert Nelson, seconded by Jeff Gibson, and vote of those in attendance. Bob Locke had connection difficulties, but pre-sent the SBE-3 chapter bank balance to Dick Abraham, who gave that figure. Robert Nelson reported the March meeting would occur on March 16 on site, and in person, subject to approval, at the First Congregational Church in Emporia. The subject will be on the streaming equipment installed by Jones Audio. Meeting detail will be firmed up in time for the newsletter distribution for March and announced at that time. There will be no April meeting. Robert said he had been in contact with Marty Heffner about a tour of S&Y Industries in Winfield. The annual picnic will be this summer at Nelsons. Another possibility is a tour of KVOE radio in Emporia, or a tour of Radio KS in Hutchinson. This meeting had been scheduled to follow a virtual tour of a Telefunken facility for our program, but it had been postponed and will run at 1:00PM on February 25. There being no other business, Robert Nelson moved for adjournment, seconded by Duane Loyd, and we stood adjourned at 2:30 PM.


Early 1930's an 40's microphones of differing make are shown here. Telefunken, AES, are included along with other early makes. Telefunken has tried to replicate the sound from those days,

Our Telefunken tour was hosted by John Krivit, Past AES President, and the tour was given by Alan Vemitosh, of Telefunken. It was a one hour, one camera event, but offered glimpses of a 70K square foot facility that are rarely available. The Telefunken company is over 100 years old. Alan showed us a collection of the earliest Telefunken mikes, and later a collection of the early broadcast mikes, including RCA DX77, 44, and several other brands. We saw old but unused surplus military tubes made in 1985 they had purchased, which were testing and burning in, to see which ones could be used in current production. Some batches only yielded 1 out of 10. We saw a mike capsule testing station, a bit larger than a large microwave oven. They tested them with an audio sweep and measure frequency versus amplitude, then pairing those within 2 dB for stereo use. They used Buzz Measure software to do this. Next was an assembly and testing station where they tested U47 and C12 series mikes. There is no long assembly line in this factory. Almost everything is hand assembled and tested on the spot. Following that we saw power supplies for non phantom powered mikes. Some of those mikes use 7 pin XLR connectors to get the power there and the left and right audio back. Telefunken mikes can be field stripped, allowing an engineer to change a tube if necessary without sending the unit in for repairs.

 We saw the Copperhead series of mikes, then looked at their small diaphram mikes, which are good for local area pickup, such as acoustic guitars, or small groups within a choir, etc.One of the newest mikes is the F11, which is a single diaphram, cardiod only, that sells for under $1K. We saw more small dynamic mikes used for keyboard or guitar pickup, then moved on to an array of broadcast mikes on short booms in the M80, 81, 82 series. The 80 is similar to the Shure SM58, with the 80 being brighter and the 81 being more flat, allowing you to tailor the sound to your preferences. We saw a stereo mike with swivel capsules to allow you to adjust for acoustics of the auditorium, and mikes produced in almost any color desired. We moved on through a repair area for mikes sent in, then on to a mike design area that is almost like a clean room. Alan showed us the difference in center terminated diaphrams vs. edge terminated ones. The bass proximity effect is more pronounced on edge terminated. The diaphrams are tensioned and glued in place, then stored as a production part. They may have another component placed right next to the diaphram which applies filtering to the end product.Telefunken has a sound stage that is rented out to groups, and it may have Telefunken prototypes in the mix of mikes used. Some of these sessions are shown on a Telefunken U Tube channel, which you may be able to view, Telefunken has what is considered to be a lifetime supply of the vacuum tubes they use, along with spare parts for anything they built. This was a rare glimpse into the very specific world of manufacturing high end microphones. Thanks to Chriss Scherrer for alerting us to this program, and for Tekefunken for opening their facilities to our chapter.


There were several different brands of microphones from early days of broadcasting, including an RCA 77 and to its left, an RCA 44. Shure and some others makes are included here as well.


Alan Vemitosh on the Telefunken Sound Stage

 An article about rural Internet access in Rural Messenger, a weekly newspaper, piqued my interest recently. It started with a landowner a couple of miles out of Great Bend decrying the fact that even though a fiber optic cable for high speed Internet crossed his land, he had no access to it. Instead, when his family needed more bandwidth to accommodate virtual schooling and work at home during the CoVid19 pandemic, they had to buy a second $200 cellphone hotspot with a 15 GB/month data cap, for usable Internet. If they exceed their allocation, data speeds throttle down to 600KBs, roughly 2% of the federal definition of broadband Internet. Streaming just one two hour movie would take 6 GB of that 15 GB allowed. The access he wanted from the point-to-point fiber optic line was not to be, because it was not designed for that purpose when installed, nor was it economically feasible. If they granted him access, they would have to do the same for each landowner they crossed. Some 130,000 rural Kansans share his lack of broadband Internet access. Fiber Optic line costs roughly $27 K per mile to install. That can be made to pay out when the density of users is high, but not when most Kansas rural property has only an average of 31 persons per mile.

A solution may be developing, sooner than one might think. Elon Musk (SpaceX) is proposing space flights and even populating colonies on places such as Mars, but realizes that even those brave souls will need broadband access. His solution involves broadband Internet via satellite distribution and yes, that is being done at present via a belt of Low Earth Orbit (340 mile out) satellites near the US/Canadian border. So far, SpaceX has launched nearly 1,000 LEO's there for an Internet service called Starlink, and has announced plans to launch another belt of LEO's further south over the Midwest as soon as later this year! The service may be available for a price point of less than $100/month, and is technically possible because the velocity of propagation through space is about twice as fast as through fiber optics. Backers of they idea see satellite service serving 15-20% of the U.S. populace, and project that the service would be viable at the $100/month charge, figuring a network cost of $10 Billion. It would service not only rural America, but some of Europe and ships at sea. SpaceX now has federal approval to launch 12K satellites, and has already filed for approval of another 30K LEO's! Wouldn't geo-synchronous satellites reduce the number of required birds to accomplish the desired service? Keep in mind that the latency of that network would increase by some 53 times since they orbit at 18K miles. SpaceX is not the only one interested. Jeff Bezos is working on his own network (Project Kuiper), hiring an ex-SpaceX guy to help him. However, the sleeping giant may have been awakened. This action of SpaceX is now being challenged by those who foresee the expansion of LEO's, to the point they would interfere with humanity's view of the stars in the night sky - the very reason many people move away from light polluted cities. They want their kids to be able to observe the wonders of the night sky without having to view it through a grid of moving LEO's. Keep abreast of developments on this item!

The problem with my HP laptop has been resolved! As I described last month, I had been dealing with HP warranty repair since mid-November of 2020, the computer sent in early in December, and that repair was on hold until their out-of-stock hinge supply could be replenished. Finally, toward the end of January, a lady named Carlene called me unannounced, saying she was with HP, and in charge of an executive escalation of my repair case. She said in light of the delay, HP would send me a new computer if I desired, rather than wait for the hinges to arrive. Yes! Although they could not match exactly the model I had, she gave me three options, and once I researched the specs for each option and announced my choice, she cut an order for it and forwarded a tracking number for Fed Ex shipment to me by Thursday February 11. Finally, I was talking to an empowered person who was cognizant of my time and need for the tool that had been denied me for an inordinate amount of time. She was polite, gave me choices, and did what she said she would do when she said it would be done. She was careful to update me on each phase of what she was doing along the way, confirming our phone conversations with e-mails. She confirmed delivery and checked to make sure I was satisfied with the solution provided. Among the dross, HP has a jewel here. I hope they are aware of her excellence, and reward her well enough they can retain her services, because she is one of those persons who will be successful wherever she is employed. Carlene represents HP Customer Service very well, and in the manner I knew HP in the past.

NewTek sent me an interesting offer the other day, It was an ebook download on the subject of 1.) how to create a better streaming program, 2.) how to measure the quality of your creation, 3.) How to use the Tri-Caster to accomplish the above and keep your audiences. By tying and recording the number of persons connected to the streaming program time base, it has created a real time rating service. You can then analyze where and when you lose your streaming audience, allowing you to improve the quality of your product as you strive for excellence. The tools used for broadcasting have grown more and more complex, with precious little written information available on how to best apply and use them. I applaud NewTek. The book is only about six pages long, but puts forth good suggestions and tells you how to implement them. Some are as simple as trying differing transitions between scenes. The Tri- Caster 2 Elite has a 60x45 router built in, with many new features including cropping on all inputs of their router. A built-in proc amp helps with keying These are not features you will find on most routers, It's definitely worth checking out! All these items help to improve the excellence of your streaming video. I know many think the Tri-Caster is kind of an emergency studio, or at best, a poor boy's switcher, but they have come along way from their beginnings, and can no longer be considered using the above criteria. If your organization streams programming at all, you may want to acquire this informative book for your library. It was not a surprise that one of the topics of discussion before the last chapter meeting opened, was how power outages, cold weather, and rolling blackouts had affected each person.

Jeff Gibson said the affiliates of KWCH had several outages, covered in most cases by their standby generators, except for Dodge City, whose generator did not start. Needless to say, Chief Steve Reiter was making rounds in western Kansas during our meeting, keeping those stations on the air. Dale Morrell, KAKELAND Chief, had a short outage at KUPK-TV ch. 13 near Garden City with loss of electricity due to rolling blackouts. He had no damage due to tower ice. Robert Nelson said his home Generac performed flawlessly during an outage. Ron Jones, who fortified his Topeka home with solar panels, said he had seen no problems. I did hear at one point, that power distribution from the wind turbine farms in Texas, was set up to transport power to the north, but those lines could not be used to bring power south. At first that didn't make much sense, but when I got to thinking about it, that is the case with the Elk River wind farm located near Beaumont, KS. It was built by Empire Power and Gas located in Joplin, MO, who built a transmission line from Beaumont to Joplin to bring the wind power generated to their switch point in Joplin There is no tie from the Beaumont end back into a power grid to the west of that location. Neither did I realize the power coop in which Evergy is a partner, is so large it covers territory from the Canadian-US border south to much of northern Texas. What ever the case, it is apparent there is considerable work needed on transmission and distribution lines in our power grids. Another thing I thought was true earlier, was that any capacity gained by installation of wind generators still had to be covered by traditional generation methods to allow for days when the wind did not blow enough to operate the alternate source. Is that no longer so?

These and many other questions remain to be answered by executives of our energy companies and their regulators. The problem this has caused is spiking prices on the open commodity market for natural gas and electricity. People in Texas that dumped local electric utilities in favor of spring up companies that sold cheaply from the open market, didn't read the fine print, and were astounded to find their monthly bills hundreds of times greater than they were the previous month. Municipalities who bought electricity and natural gas off the open markets were faced with the same problems, and have little resources to avoid passing that cost on to their consumers. The problem may well bankrupt small towns if a solution is not found, Yes, it likely will be prevented if the Feds step in with relief, but that will simply get tacked on to the federal deficit, which must be dealt with eventually. I have noticed last fall and winter, seasoned firewood is selling for over $100 to $120 per rick! When I was burning hedge wood as little as six years ago, hedge was selling for half that. If we do not have predicted rising temperatures with the predicted climate change, I don't know how we are going to afford to heat our homes in the winter. If not, there may be mass migrations of people moving toward the tropics!

The Kansas Corporation Commission has finally ruled against Evergy, who wanted to charge those with solar arrays on their home, and were using Evergy at least some of the time, an extra $3 per KWH. Ron Jones, SBE-3 member whose Manhattan home is 95%+ energy sufficient with solar panels, had likened this action to Kroger charging their customers who had home gardens an extra fee to shop at their stores. Not a bad analogy at all. Barring the first order, Evergy had also sought to charge all customers a $35 per month minimum charge for connecting to their grid. Neither ruling was allowed by the KCC. They cannot apply for another rate increase for two years, but it will be interesting to see what they come up with at that time. It does seem the utilities are leaning toward fixed fees which do no drop if you use less of their product, and they do love to itemize. There are basic connection fees, Energy use fees*, Fuel used in generation*, Property tax surcharge, Transmission fees*, and Energy Efficiency (whatever that is). Starred items above are variable, based on usage. I'm a little surprised they don't charge a usage fee for the meter on the house. The KCC, regulatory overseer, received more than one thousand comments, mostly against the proposed rate increases, and the Kansas Supreme Court had ruled in April of 2020 that the proposed rate increase would have been discriminatory to both solar panel and wind turbine owners. I'm not sure why it took the KCC nearly a year to officially decline the rate hike request. Solar advocates cheered the ruling, and said the power company's efforts were not conducive to expanding green practices and reducing carbon emissions. It is beginning to look, however, as though solar array and wind turbine owners are going to have to increase the capacity of their solar systems, or buy their own standby generators to be able to tell Evergy to "get off my property", and escape the power supplier's greed.

I know it may seem a bit odd to both blast and praise the electric utilities in the same issue of the newsletter. I understand the need of the utilities to avoid buying on the open market in stressed times, and I've seen sweat break out on the brow of those charged with running the company during high use times when it looked as though they would have to buy power to cover an emergency situation. I do not think punishing those consumers who have taken measures to reduce the load the utilities must produce is the correct way to increase their revenues After all, most all of the electric utilities have interests in wind turbines, and some in solar voltaic arrays themselves, which makes it seem hypocritical. New SAE standards are being developed for no-plug-in charge for electric vehicles. There are three overlapping ranges of vehicle ground clearances from 100 to 250 mm (3.9 to 9.8") and three levels of grid input to the GA up to 11.1 kVA. Parking tolerances are 75 mm (3.0") in the direction of travel and 100 mm (3.9") in the lateral direction. You simply park your car over the charging unit to recharge. These could be installed for home use or in company parking lots. If installed in public parking lots, a way to swipe your credit card to activate the charger would have to be installed. Either a standard for uniform placement of the charging receiver on vehicles would have to be made, or wheel guides for each make of vehicle would have to be devised. March is here with with it come spring thunderstorms. How long has it been since you have checked your facility's grounding system, including ground rod connections? I was shopping at the Yard surplus store recently and noticed some 3/4" braided tinned copper strapping that could be used to make grounding straps, or use copper sheet strips if you need to replace faulty connections found during an inspection. 30


Alan shows us the construction of one of the Telefunken microphones, noted for their stringent standards and pride in what they build.

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired


A number of Triad Transformers are being evaluated here. All components used are carefully checked to see if they meet the quality promised.


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