[SBE Chapter 3] [Newsletter] [Links] [Officers] [Sponsors] [Freq Coordination]

November Last revision Nov 4, 2020

Next Meeting: Our November meeting will occur on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:00 PM via Zoom. Our presenter will be Karl Kuhns of Telestream who will tell us about "The Transition from SDI to ST 2110 IP and ST 2059 PTP - Best Practices and Lessons Learned" Note date is a week later than normal & time earlier. Karl is tied up on our regular second Tuesday with an SMPTE virtual show, and we were a couple of days short of the 3 weeks between meetings from our last one at KAB. Mark your calendar now and join us on Zoom that night!

Last Meeting:
Our October meeting was held at the conclusion of the KAB Engineering day via Zoom, on October 22. Chairman Robert Nelson opened the meeting at 4:37 PM. The November meeting could be in Emporia, with a show of the installation of vMix streaming in the Congregational Church that Robert Nelson attends, if the CoVid- 19 issues eases up. If it doesn't, we may do a virtual meeting if one can be put together, or we may not have one at all. We have enough meetings for the year to qualify for the SBE Rebate program as it is. There will not be a December meeting, as is our usual custom. Normally there are too many activities competing for our time, but the CoVid-19 may play a part here as well, such that it would be better not to have a meeting. Chairman Nelson noted there was no Treasurer's report, nor Certification report. There was no old business to consider, nor new business. A comment was made that perhaps several of us may have been experiencing screen fatigue, from watching so much of the KAB programs.

The chapter officer elections for 2020-2021 were conducted, with Dick Abraham opening the ten valid ballots received from the USPS mail and showing each to the camera, so all could see. Rod Rogers and Robert Nelson tallied the votes, confirmed by Dick Abraham. The results of the election are as follows: Chairman is: John Langer, KSU Vice Chair is: Robert Nelson, KSU Sec/Treasurer is Robert (Bob) Locke, KPTS-Ret.

It was noted that a future change of chapter bylaws should be made allowing for e-mail balloting, in the hope we get better participation in the election process. The meeting stood adjourned at 5:12 PM 

Our program for this month was the presentations made at the KAB. Since the convention was totally virtual, engineers who registered were allowed access to most sessions, whether they were aimed at management, sales, or engineering. I watched the Keynote address and Welcome; the Storm Report; the DC Landscape; the Bias in Reporting; Jeff Welton's Engineering Tips; and David Layer's ATSC 3.0 update. One thing I did not find addressed very well, was the distrust of major network reporting, and loss of confidence in current polls. That is a personal observation, but one I believe is becoming more widespread.

The Bias in Reporting session, did indirectly broach my first concern. It did say that we cannot assess the biases of others if we don't realize our own biases. A good visual of biases was given, and is shown above. It is natural that we tend to agree with and seek out persons with biases similar to those we hold dear. I must say that the speaker could have benefited from the services of an Audio Engineer to ensure the audio levels of the clips he inserted were at the same level as the rest of his presentation. I have found in my experience, that speakers who have had experience riding levels on their own voice, such as booth announcers, have the most steady delivery of audio, with the least variation between high and low volumes, as seen on a VU meter. None the less, there was good information in this session, and it did provoke the listener to some introspection. The Storm Report made one think of what you might say, if you were the only person in a radio station, at the time that a weather emergency arose. How you couch a phrase can instill either fear or healthy caution in your listeners, and a bit of forethought before you speak is a good thing. This was a good panel discussion, and I was surprised to learn Dan Holiday was from my hometown of El Dorado, KS. David Oxenford's FCC Update on the Washington DC Landscape was well delivered and timely.

The FCC has been in virtual operation mode for most of the CoVid-19 Pandemic, but has been more effective than most in doing so. In the midst of all this, the FCC has moved their offices to a new location, close to the new NAB location, but still maintains a virtual operation, until the CoVid restrictions are eased. It is likely there may be changes in the Commission makeup regardless of who wins the Office of the President. Commissioner Riley will probably be leaving, and Ajit Pai may change status from head of the Commission to that of Commissioner. 2021 will bring license renewal to Kansas, with radio stations first, and TV following in 2022. EEO will be a big issue in this process. Political Ads will be scrutinized more intensely than in the past. For those who are involved in running them on their stations, much data is involved, with special attention paid to timely posting of such to your FCC files. The identity of all officials of PACs, and identification of issues covered in ads run must also be uploaded to your FCC files, if you are to be relieved of liability of issues covered in those ads broadcast in those ads - at least on the federal level.

Further complications with launching ATSC 3.0 - the FCC wants to help you! If you launch ATSC 3.0, you must also carry a 1.x version of your 3.0 programming on a sub-channel of another station in your market for at least a year. This means you must make some arrangements with your competitors in your market, perhaps to reciprocate such services with them, as they launch 3.0 at the same time. The FCC may also allow for Distributed Transmission Services, meaning your delivery could be delivered more like cell phones are, with less emphasis on a huge amount of power from one centrally located transmitter. Perhaps not to the extent of cell phones, but it could certainly help fill those pesky holes in coverage. This could also allow more pointed advertising to differing groups within your coverage area by showing split ads to different neighborhoods.

The issue of C4 classified FM stations is still dangling. Look for more intense enforcement against pirate radios. C Band Earth Station relocation is now underway. Look for all digital AM's to be approved, and there is more attention being focused on Non-Commercial Educational stations running underwriting promotions that the FCC thinks look too much like advertising spots - this to the extent that some fines have been issued!

A thorough coverage of the issues, David! Jeff Welton of Nautel gave us a session packed with good tips and hints on how to avoid pitfalls and for better operation. This is a session you would do well to visit again, for there is more there than can be covered by this reporter's note taking abilities.

We will start with this listing: • Calculate your heat load at the transmitter. TPO/efficiency = power consumed*. *Power consumed = TPO - waste heat (Watts) Waste Heat x 3.413 = BTU/hr. BTU/Hr/12K = Tons of AC required! • Use an Infrared camera to take pictures of your circuit breaker box and all high current connections. File them for reference and recheck on a periodic schedule. • Use stainless steel scrubbies and expanding poly-foam to keep critters out• Use ferrite beads on wiring after you clean up your grounding system. • Secure your IP gear. Change passwords from the default ones supplied. Use VPNs on sensitive gear. Here is a good freebie: https://www.techradar.com/VPN/best-freevpn

If your requirements surpass this one, buy one that satisfies your needs. • Do Not skip regular inspection or checklist dates. File the results for future review. • Calculate the true cost of ownership: Purchase cost + cost of operation (spare parts+Engine ering time & costs+power bill) + Learning curve & pain of use! • Interface with others. Someone else has likely had the same issue you now face. • Full Backup - at least monthly. Store offsite. • Use Surge Protection, but connect to the station reference ground. • Bond your grounds to avoid corrosion problems. Exothermic welds are best when possible. • Standardize your audio levels throughout your facility! • Update your software, but do check to see what is changing. You may not want to change certain parts of the update if it messes up previous data you keep. • Calculate your breaker loads at no more than 75% of rated value. • Use a vacuum to clean rather than a blower. • Check Nautel tool kit online for an RF coverage program. There is so much more here! I do recommend you revisit this session.

Good work Jeff! David Layer of NAB revisited and updated us on the latest developments in ATSC 3.0. Strangely, the CoVid-19 pandemic seems to have increased the use of digital radio. Streaming, especially- of music, incurs extra costs because it is considered a separate performance. This does not usually happen with talk shows, but is something one should consider. Hybrid operation on radio (OTA/streaming via IP) allows listening continuity even if you lose the OTA signal when traveling through rough terrain on the outskirts of the signal. This is done by linking your AM or FM station programming analog content via an SI file with a Radio DNS server. Check with NAB for a tutorial on how to do this. An all digital AM has been being aired since July of 2018, and has now been joined with WOIE of Ft Wayne, IN in this endeavor. Up until now this has been done by applying for an experimental license, but the FCC will consider this issue October 27, and it is expected to approve a standard license application for this service.

ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with ATSC 1.0 or 1.5, but it does support 4K and HDR (High Dynamic Range) video. Version 3.0 also uses Ip, some call it a CoFM like modulation that seems to be better adapted to mobile applications than is the case for versions 1.0 or 1.5. An experimental station in Boise, ID launched two Low Powered stations with a multi-service platform not unlike wireless cable, only they were broadcast in High Definition. They only ran 3 Watts each, but the endeavor seemed to be successful. David concluded his presentation with a preview of the new NAB building. It is a bit eerie, because no one is there since they are still working from home because of the CoVid-19 protocols. Overall, it looks as though the Virtual KAB was a success, although I did miss getting to visit with the vendors and exchange news and views with them.

A screen shot of our SBE-3 October Meeting, saved by Robert Nelson. Thank you, Robert.

Our thanks to Kent and Allison for their effort as they charged into the unknown, uncertain of the outcome! Prior to and during the week of our last SBE-3 meeting, the wife and I were out camping a couple of miles northeast of Halstead. I had a Wichita appointment in the morning of that Thursday, so I didn't get to participate In the morning sessions, but I did manage to catch the afternoon sessions. Although I had set a bag with the HP laptop and a few other items beside the camper door, I somehow managed to forget it in the rush to get on the road, so I had to rely on my old Dell laptop. It shouldn't have been a problem if I allowed enough time for it to get all the updates it had missed downloaded and installed. It had Zoom installed on it already, so I thought it would be fine. Well, the updates went well and I was able to get the afternoon sessions, except the camera didn't come on. As soon as the KAB finished, I started trying to get the rest of Zoom to work, and finally did get the camera switched on in the computer's settings, but even with the guys trying to help out, we never did get Zoom to recognize the Sound card. We managed without sound to conduct the SBE-3 election of officers, but I must apologize for wasting so much of your time. 30

Kent Cornish, Lawrence has been awarded the DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD as well as being inducted into the KAB Hall of Fame. Kent has been a Kansas broadcaster for over 40 years, starting as an intern at WIBW in Topeka in 1975 and concluding his career as President of the KAB later this year. In between, Kent was a news anchor and assistant news director and operations manager at WIBW for 12 years, and general manager for 10 years at KTKA TV in Topeka and 7 years at KSAS/KMTW TV in Wichita. He served as President of the National Alliance of State Broadcast Associations in 2015. We wish him well as he steps into retirement.

To revisit any of the sessions presented at the 2020 KAB, go to KAB.net; Click on Convention Information; If you registered sign in, and click on the "Schedule" to bring up a listing by days of the sessions presented at the KAB this year; click on "View Now" to see the recorded presentation. If you registered, you can view most of the sessions, regardless of whether it is intended for Sales, Management, or Engineering, until the end of this year. Our thanks to Allison and Kent for arranging and keeping the best of what we are used to seeing at KAB. These times certainly require thinking out of the box, and I believe they have succeeded in preserving the KAB's mission of educating and training those in the industry.

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired


PDF version

[SBE Chapter 3] [Newsletter] [Links] [Officers] [Sponsors] [Freq Coordination]

Copyright© 2020.  All rights reserved by Kansas Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 3.