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March Last revision March 5, 2018

Next Meeting: March 13 will find us in Topeka in KTWU's second floor Conference Room, at 7:30 PM. Our host will be Gary Krohe, KTWU Director of Engineering. Raun Hamilton of Southwest Audio/Video, has arranged for a program from Black Magic, presented by Bob Cagnilia. We will learn of new products to be presented soon, and Bob will give us a preliminary expectation of what to see at NAB. Black Magic will also be providing pizza in the break room (also on the second floor) before the meeting! See you there!

Thirteen members and guests met in Wichita at the studios of KWCH-TV, hosted by Steve Reiter, Chief Engineer, on February 13, at 7:30 PM. Heartland Video supplied our Chapter meeting with pizza, bread sticks with dipping sauce, and lots of Pam Sortland's home made brownies. Chairman Bob Locke opened the meeting at 8:08 PM, and called for a motion to accept the minutes of the past meeting as printed in the Chapter newsletter. A motion to do this was made by Frank Santucci, seconded by Martin Heffner, and approved by vote of those present.

Future meetings include March 13 in Topeka at KTWU studios, with Southwest Audio/Video arranging a program from Black Magic. They will furnish pizza before the meeting as well.

A tour of Westar's Topeka Distribution Control Room in the afternoon is still on, except for date, and could be arranged for April, or later, perhaps in the summer. Martin Heffner has been working on a program of a wind farm, but has not heard back on arrangements for some time. He will check again to see if it is possible.

Don Hogg said his brother Rod, had planned to convert his program on Doc Brinkley from slide to DVD format, but had not yet completed that task. He still might be able to present it in the original format. Don will check to see when and if that might be possible. Rod presented it at a state Ham convention in Salina, and usually attends that function on a June weekend. The somewhat infamous Doc Brinkley, also known as "the Goat Gland Doctor", was an early Kansas radio pioneer who used radio as a new medium to attract new customers for his dubious practice.

Marty Heffner, retired WSU-TV Chief Engineer, was the only one of our group intending to go to NAB this year, when a query was made at the chapter meeting. There being no other business to present, Don Hogg moved, seconded by Steve Reiter to adjourn. We stood adjourned from the business meeting at 8:44 PM.

We were expecting a program from John Muldrow of Lectrosonics, however, due to a mix up in scheduling, John had booked us for Wednesday, Feb. 14, and was not in the area for our Tues. meeting. Pam tried calling, even as we met, but was unable to contact him until Wed. AM. However, the evening was not lost, and we all enjoyed an extended period of visiting, with many
stories of times past recalled. John Muldrow still wants to present a program for our group, and will work with Duane Loyd, Chapter 3 Vice Chair to arrange a date that will work for both parties. Pam assures us HVS will be glad to provide pizza and brownies for our chapter anytime she is needed.

One of the stories told that evening, was by Mark Statzer of KWCH, who recalled a sign-on event at WPMI in Mobile, AL sometime in 1992 where he previously worked as Assistant Chief. The event occurred just prior to Mark's employment there. "WPMI had just moved from the ground floor of a retirement home into a previously long-vacant Racquetball Court/health club." The normal sign-on routine was for the Master Control guy to get the station on the air with the typical station ID, playing of the national anthem, after which he started a one inch tape machine that held a half hour paid program. That being done, he leaned back in his wheeled chair - only a bit too far, and toppled over backward, knocking himself unconscious on the raised computer flooring in the process. "After being in black for 10-15 minutes several people off site were called when phone calls to the studio went un-answered, and once someone arrived with a key the Master Control Op was found out cold on the floor," the one inch tape reel, still rotating with the end of the tape going, `flap, flap, flap`. Fortunately, the injured and somewhat sheepish Master Control guy was quickly revived. Other than a headache, he suffered no lasting damage, and programming was returned to normal post haste.

Talk ceases when the pizza is served!

May of 1983 was the first Chapter 3 Newsletter I published - almost 35 years ago. Realizing that made me look back in the archives of newsletters I have on file - many from the early days are there thanks to the efficient filing of Harold Newby, Chief Engineer of KAKE-TV. When Harold was thinning out files when preparing for retirement, he brought me his file of SBE-3 newsletters, which has become an invaluable resource. The newsletter of Chapter 3 in May of 1983 told of the meeting previous to May in Great Bend at the Highland Manor.

The program was presented by Dick Ogle and read as follows: "We had 16 people, representing 9 different stations and/or companies including 7 visitors, assembled at the Highland Manor in Great Bend to hear Dick Ogle disperse his years of accumulated knowledge of tower maintenance. The questions and tales of times remembered continued long after Dick had concluded his standup routine, until he reverted to his present occupation to end the meeting by asking the of the group: 'What do I have to do to get you guys to leave, pray or something?' It was a good presentation Dick, and one that we will remember and cherish." ….. "The door prize, a Casio FX-502 programmable calculator, was donated by RSC Electronics (formerly Radio Supply). It was won by a visitor to our meeting, Jim Bowers, of KSNC-TV (formerly KCKT-TV) Great Bend. We are glad to welcome Jim to our group - He was seen with an application form. We can't guarantee you the door prize every time Jim, but we do have a good time.

The meeting adjourned to a tour of Radio Station KVGB, hosted by Gail Scheuerman." Some explanations are in order. Dick Ogle was the proprietor of a tower maintenance company, but was also a preacher. He still lives in the Great Bend / Hoisington area. Jim Bowers, I believe, was the Assistant Chief Engineer, under C.E. Bill Ranker. Bill died a number of years ago, and Jim passed just one year ago on January 22. That newsletter was a one page mailing, quite a bit smaller than the six to eight pages done now. Of course, back then it was hacked out on a manual typewriter, which is all we had at the time, but the master was copied off, likely on a Xerox copy machine. It is still reproduced on a modern copy machine that jams far less than those early models, and they do a far better job of reproducing photographs and other graphics. The big change is the ease afforded with computers and software page managing programs of today. They allow variable sized text frames and placement of graphics anywhere on a page, making production of a document, newsletter, or even a book a much easier task than in 1983.

KWCH lost signal on the Cox Cable system a week or so before our last chapter meeting. While not a complete loss, it was enough of a disturbance to the digital signal that it looked as though perhaps the KWCH server had encountered a problem, and was not an air worthy delivery. That was not the case, and as it turned out, the problem was a back hoe fade, affecting only the Cox feed - on air was not bothered. A construction company was digging, and got too close to the optical fiber carrying KWCH studio signals from the station to Cox for distribution on their cable plants. I suppose Cox did not upgrade off air receiving capabilities to include digital receivers when NTSC went away, and depended solely on a fiber optic connection to obtain programming from broadcasters carried on their system. I'll have to check on that item to be accurate. I might even still have one of those VSB- 8 decoders that spit out baseband audio and video they could have used temporarily, but such measures really have to be in place, ready to go when such an emergency arises. However that may be, the repair crew from Cox soon was dispatched, once they were convinced the problem was not originating at KWCH, and temporary repairs on the damaged fiber optic cable were put in place until they could get their splicing trailer with its glass fusion splicer set up on site to complete more permanent repairs of the break. One bit of prevention that can be put in place in advance to minimize the duration of an outage, is to exchange direct contact information between the technical people involved who can tend to such an emergency, and to review or confirm the accuracy of that list at least annually, or whenever a change occurs, such as one or the other of those companies changing ownership. While it may not eliminate an emergency caused by a third party, it may shorten or minimize the duration of the resulting outage.

I was having breakfast with a a fellow recently who was cautioning me on the dangers of mal-ware that could power up your computer anytime they desired - presumably in the middle of the night, then perform all manner of evil actions. He advised me to put an additional switchable power bar between the wall outlet and my computer as a safeguard. He didn't have an answer though, when I asked him how that would benefit anyone using a laptop, which are powered by internal batteries. Some people just don't analyze the logic of what they hear carefully enough to pass on to other people.

A lighthouse Triode and socket. These were used at UHF frequencies. This one likely came from a Channel 18 NTSC Translator (494-500 Mhz), and could put out out 60 Avg. Watts in linear mode while the video is in black. This one would compress sync slightly when at full power, and would yield 100 W into the 1-5/8" Coaxial transmission line to the antenna. The antenna gave 10dB gain, so you had not quite 1 KW ERP.

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired

KWCH Studio tower at sunset. This 400 foot tower plus Rohn 45 extension on top for KMUW was formerly the site used for studio and transmitter of KEDD-TV, Channel 16, and the only UHF in Wichita/Hutchinson market in the early 1950's.


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