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June Last revision June 24, 2023

Next Meeting: Will be at Robert Nelson's home northeast of Emporia for our annual picnic on Tuesday July 11, 6:00 PM - dark. See map last pg. The chapter will furnish brats, hamburgers and soft drinks. Bring a side dish, dessert or chips. Don't forget your firearms if you want to participate in the clay pigeon shoot or target practice. Please RSVP to Robert by Wednesday, July 5, via email to rfnelson@ksu.edu. If we don't have enough attending, the event will be canceled, via e-mail.

Last Meeting: Seventeen members and guests met in Wichita May 16, at the studios of KPTS, hosted by Jessica Rye, Mgr Bdcst Ops & Technology. Our program was presented by "The Next Best Thing", a touring group representing ten or more vendors, from 11 AM to 2 PM. They set up several outside booths in the rear parking lot at KPTS, with gear from each of the associated vendors and literature showing access to their websites. Representing those vendors was Raun Feeny, SOCI; Jeff Williams, YellowTec; Shane Finch, Broadcast General Store; and Tony Peterle of Worldcast. All but one of these gentlemen were members of SBE!

The group also provided a Gift Shopping Card door prize at the outdoor display that was won by Kevin Block, KSU and a guest at our gathering. Later at the SBE-3 business meeting, they provided shirts for everyone who wanted one. Our business meeting was held in the KPTS Community Room at 2:30 PM. The meeting was called to order by Chair Dick Abraham at 2:20 PM. The minutes from the SBE-3 Newsletter were approved as published on motion of Robert Nelson, seconded by John Langer, and passed on vote of those present. The Treasurer's report was given by Robert Nelson. He also noted that all required reports to  National SBE were current. John Langer, Vice Chair and Program Chair, reported on future meetings. The June meeting is off, since the picnic at Robert Nelson's was moved from June to Tuesday, July 11, at 6:00 PM. Please note that RSVP's for the picnic are due to Robert by Wednesday, July 5, and should be sent via email to rfnelson@ksu.edu. If we have an insufficient number that plan to attend, the event will be canceled, via e-mail notice to all on the newsletter list.

Our well attended (seventeen) business meeting at KPTS Community Room on May 16. Following the business meeting there was much discussion and several tales of past experiences told - one of the benefits of attending our SBE-3 meetings. Come join us. Meetings are announced in the SBE-3 Newsletter.

The Chapter will provide hamburgers and brats on the grill, and soft drinks. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish or chips. Bring your shotguns or firearm for a clay pigeon shoot, target practice with your pistol, or good conversations on the rear deck at Robert's place. Later this summer, SBE- 3 will meet at WIBW radio for an update with Roy Baum hosting. Other programs in the works are one by Ron Jones of Jones Audio, who will show one or more of his audio system installations, including speakers he has designed and built from large PVC tubing. KAB will be in Overland Park, KS October of this year, and plans to host an SBE Ennes Workshop. More information on that event later, but in the meantime, Allison would like suggestions for a subject for that workshop. Let me know of your desires. I'm sure she will also want topics desired for the KAB Engineering sessions too, so please let me know your thoughts within a couple of weeks. Old business included revisiting an offer our Chapter made to Jacob Cummings, a new member. He has declared an interest in becoming SBE Certified, and the offer has been extended to him that the Chapter will purchase the study guide CD for his use, and pay the application fee for one test. Robert Nelson is investigating some of the study guides available, while Jacob selects which of the certifications he would like to attempt. Tracy Gibson commented he thought this was a good effort by the Chapter, and he would like to see it expanded. Jessica Rye expressed interest in taking advantage of such an offer, and the general consensus of those in the meeting was that this was a good practice, and that we should proceed with it. Under New Business, Robert Nelson said he had been in contact with National SBE and the chapter rebates were about to be announced. SBE-3's share this year is $354.25. Robert moved for SBE-3 to return the rebate to the Ennes Fund. The motion was seconded by Ron Jones and the motion passed. The business meeting was adjourned on motion by Robert Nelson, seconded By Ron Jones and we stood adjourned at 2:40 PM.

Next Best Thing show put up tents to display the products of varied vendors just opposite their truck.

Kevin Block, of KSU, won the Next Best Thing door prize, drawn for, just prior to the SBE-3 business meeting May 16, 2023 at KPTS-TV Studios in Wichita, KS.

Names of mention that are of interest to the Wichita broadcast community: 1.) The passing of John Kruse at age 93 on April 10, 2023. John was an instructor at Wichita Technical Institute, a contemporary of Don Hogg, and both were my instructors when I was studying there for my FCC First Class License. 2.) Jan Perez, Engineer for KSNW-TV in Wichita, celebrated 50 years employment with that firm where he continues to work. A stellar achievement! Another person just beginning his career, is Jacob Cummings. Jacob is an SBE and Chapter-3 member, is seeking SBE Certification and has studied Communications at Kansas State University. He is recently employed with Cumulus Radio in Kansas City. Congratulations to Jacob!

An observation when at the "Next Best Thing" show in May: The guys were telling about the purchase of their ENG truck that had been setting in someone's barn. It was an early 90's model, but had only 5,000 miles on it, and was perfect for their purposes. They pulled a four wheeled trailer used to store the tents, tables, and other gear used for the displays. Among the other gear, was a 3800 W generator which powered the gear racked up in the truck, and one air conditioner, if needed. I had to marvel at the equipment they had racked up. There was more processing power in that back half of the truck than we were able to carry in the first remote bus I was designated to drive as a newly selected Studio Supervisor at KARD-TV - now KSNW-TV, in Wichita, KS. That vehicle was a reworked City of Wichita public transportation bus outfitted with an underpowered White six cylinder motor, and the bus pulled a four wheeled trailer with a two cylinder diesel fueled, 30 KW generator and its fuel tank. That generator had to power several 1 KW incandescent lights; two TK-11 B&W tube type cameras; sync generator; B+ power supplies; Video processors and DA's; Video tape machine; an air conditioner for all the equipment and personnel; and sometimes a microwave to get the signal back to the station. The starter for the generator was powered by hydraulic oil pressurized against an air chamber. Once started, the motor drove a hydraulic pump to re-pressurize the hydraulic system for the next start. If you didn't get it started on the first try, you had a ten to fifteen minute job to hand pump the oil back into the air chamber until it had enough pressure to run the starter motor again, so an aerosol can of ether starter fluid was always kept close by to assist the start.

Once all of the gear was stabilized and thoroughly warmed up, the air-conditioner was locked in the on mode so the load wouldn't change, and the generator governor was manually adjusted one click at a time, while watching a scope whose vertical deflection plates were fed from from the equipment sync generator and the and the horizontal plates were fed from generator voltage. You adjusted the speed of the generator until the vertical sync block stopped moving on the scope. If you were really good, you got it to stop so the fine line from the ground loop was stationary near the bottom of the video frame where it was less noticeable than if moving up or down through the picture. We have come a long ways from those days, but it was always a thrill to find some innovative way to make things look or sound better, using what you had on hand at that time. The previous story was not told the day of the NBT Show, but many others were, bringing a laugh or two as we remembered struggles from times past and how they were overcome. The "Next Best Thing" Show (next best to being able to go to NAB) was as close to anything we have seen since Larry Bloomfield's "A Taste of NAB" that used to travel the continental USA in Larry's Dodge Sprinter Van. NBT was similar in that many vendors were represented.

We saw connector adapters; physically small optical transmission sets; audio mixers; codecs for remote use; cable layout, design, and labeling software programs; talent equipment rack-ups for small studio, remote use; or for media broadcasting; consulting and integration services; captioning gear; and many other accessories related to broadcasting. It was noted in conversation that not many local engineers are allowed to go to NAB since group ownership has moved the purchasing decisions back to the parent company headquarters, and all stations within that group use the same brand of products. All of the previous and more makes a tour like the "Next Best Thing" a valuable resource to help in the education of local engineers to the vast and fast changing array of gear and services available to the broadcasting industry. Our thanks to the gentlemen who helped put together and present the "Next Best Thing" to our SBE Chapter. It was appreciated.

I told you in a past issue of the necessity to create an antenna in my RV when its system quit working. I had studied up on Winegard RV antennas, and was going to check at a supply house in Hutchinson to see if they carried the replacement head. Though I hate crawling up on the RV roof, it was best that I check to make sure the jumper to the antenna was OK. Taking everything I thought I needed with me, I mounted the RV ladder and started dismantling the jumper at the antenna. Water came out at the last thread cleared. The inside was the remains of rusty water. I cleaned that out with an old toothbrush and some rubbing alcohol, and blew that as clean as I could. The stinger on the coax was eaten completely away, so much so I couldn't read the 12V supplied through the RG-59. The +12VDC power for the amplifier had only hastened the destruction of the copper-clad steel core center conductor. I remembered seeing an RG-59 fitting laying in my basket of tools and had my wife hand it up to me so I could use it in making a new proper connection to the antenna. I cut the old connector off, and with my pocket knife, cut through the dielectric, careful not to nick the center conductor. I didn't have my crimp tool with me, but the new fitting was tight enough going on, I thought it likely would hold until I got home and could complete the installation.

I did seal the fitting front and back with plumber's putty which did hold through an 1" rain and 70 MPH wind gusts days later that week. Once the antenna amplifier had power, rescanning the TV yielded 61 channels available, and having the antenna above us and some distance from the TV gave a much more stable picture than the clip lead contraption I had rigged up a few feet above the TV. There is always something to repair on an 11 year old RV, so having a few spare parts often saves a trip to town. As it turns out, the RV parts guy in Hutchinson did have the new antenna head at a reasonable price, should I ever need it.

KAB will soon be starting an engineering subcommittee whose goal will be to foster more broadcast engineers in Kansas. This is an excellent idea. They are working with radio and television management and engineering to accomplish this task. If you have any ideas on this subject that might be worthy of consideration, please get in contact with Allison Mazzei, Executive Director of KAB at: allison@KAB.net.

As noted previously, we have had some interest in SBE Cerification expressed as of late, so a review of the carious categories of certification are in order. There are nine engineering certifications, two operator certifications and two broadcast networking certifications – each to be valid for a period of five years. There are also four specialist certifications to establish a benchmark of individual strengths for those already certified at specific certification levels.

The certification designations are as follows:

    Certified Radio Operator (CRO)
    Certified Television Operator (CTO)
    Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT)
    The above are for a period of five years.

Engineering Level Certifications are:

    Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT)
    Certified Audio Engineer (CEA)
    Certified Video Engineer (CEV)
    Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE)
    Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE)
    Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer (CBNE)

After a period of 10 years at the above levels, one may apply for:

    Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE)

There are also specialist certifications for which one may apply after receiving the first level of certifications.

They are:

    8-VSB Specialist (8-VSB)
    AM Directional Specialist (AMD)
    ATSC 3 Specialist (ATSC3)
    Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB)

The following certifications, while still in active use, are no longer issued.

    Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer (CSBE)
    Certified Radio and Television Broadcast Engineer (CBRTE)
    Certified Senior Radio and Television Broadcast Engineer (CSRTE)

Finally, you may apply for
Life Certification if you meet the following requirements:
If you are currently 59 years of age and currently holding: Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE), Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE) or Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE) and have maintained SBE certification continuously for TWENTY years and are a current member of the SBE upon application, you may be granted certification for life. Check at SBE,com and click on Certification for more detailed information and for PDF applications you can print off, or check with your SBE Chapter Certification Chair. There are fees associated with each certification. You should check with your management to see if your company will pay all or part of the application fees.

Those fees are as follows and are listed in the format of:
Certification-/-Member Fee-/-Non-Member Fee-/-Non-Member Plus Fee
(Plus is an enhanced membership status allowing access to webinars)

    CBT – Certified Broadcast Technologist $59 $144 $234
    CBNT – Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist $68 $153 $243
    CEA – Certified Audio Engineer $73 $158 $248
    CEV – Certified Video Engineer $73 $158 $248
    CBRE – Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer $73 $158 $248
    CBTE – Certified Broadcast Television Engineer $73 $158 $248
    CBNE – Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer $86 $171 $261
    CSRE – Certified Senior Radio Engineer $98 $183 $273
    CSTE – Certified Senior Television Engineer $98 $183 $273
    CPBE – Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer $123 $208 $298
    8-VSB – 8-VSB Specialist $68 $153 $243
    AMD – AM Directional Specialist $68 $153 $243
    ATSC3 – ATSC 3 Specialist $68 $153 $243
    DRB – Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist $68 $153 $243

There are study guides available as follows:

    CTO – Certified Television Operator's Handbook $57
    CRO – Radio Operator's Certification Handbook $57

All details of an applicant's request for certification will be kept confidential. The Society of Broadcast Engineers will not disclose the names of those who fail, and you may re-apply to test again for a reduced fee, as soon as the next official testing period. There are many advantages to certifications other than a piece of paper you can hang on the wall.

    The satisfaction of passing the test, and recognition from your peers.
    You are authorized to use the SBE Certified logo on your business cards, letterhead, resume, website and email signature.
    You may purchase SBE Pins displaying your certification achievement.
    Those pins poked into your convention registration badge bring immediate recognition and respect from those who see it.
    Certification in your field usually does demand higher pay than without.
    It could make the difference if you were being considered along with others, in a company downsizing.

Think about it, with a little extra effort, SBE , Certification can be yours!

Pardon the distortions here. It was really too tight to take a panoramic view, but this is the inside of the NBT truck. Much gear here!

Newsletter Editor: R.W. Abraham

CPBE / CBNT Regional Engineer Cox Cable Wichita Retired


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