When cleaning out some files recently, I ran across a folder labeled "Murphy's Laws." When I examined the contents, I found they were pretty
much still true today. Here are a couple of them:
The Six Phases of a Project:
4. Search for the Guilty
5. Punishment of the Innocent
6. Praises and Honors for non-participants.……. and:
Dilbert's Salary Theorum: Postulate 1.) Knowledge is Power. Postulate 2.) Time is Money.
Now as every engineer knows: Power = Work/Time. Since Knowledge = Power and Time = Money, Solving for Money, we get: Money = Work/Knowledge
Thus, as knowledge approaches zero, money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of work done. Conclusion: The less you know, the more you make. These could apply to politics as well, but we won't go there
today. Does anyone else have a favorite or two of this type of humor?
On a more somber subject, Larry Means, longtime Assistant Chief Engineer at KAKETV in Wichita, passed away unexpectedly in December. He was only 67 years old when he passed
away Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. He was born and raised near Lawrence, Kansas., attending Lawrence High School and the University of Kansas. Following that, he received further training
in an electronic school in Kansas City. He was an Assistant Chief Engineer for KAKE TV in Wichita, employed at the same station for over 40 years, a feat not easily accomplished in this day and age.
Reports on some of our chapter members who have been battling cancer look favorable. Don
Hogg reports: "I was informed that the last PET scan indicated no presence of cancer so it was classified as CLEAR. Not detectable. I will be on a maintenance schedule which will be a single
chemical every two months." Unfortunately, the bad news here, is that after all of the above, the heavy doses of chemo caused an imbalance in Don's electrolytes, as well as a gall bladder
attack, which came on while he was attempting to drive away from his Chiropractor's office. As he left the parking lot, he was involved in an automobile accident. Later in the hospital, he was
checked to see if he would need to have a gall stone removed that was causing him much pain.
However, by the time he went home, he still had not had an operation to remove the stones nor the entire gall bladder. They may
be able to do something with diet and meds that will help that situation. It usually takes several days in the hospital to get
electrolytes back in balance, but once that was done, he began improving rapidly. He was soon out of ICU and spent about a
week in a rehab and therapy facility, and is, as of this writing, at his home with therapy persons visiting him frequently there. The
last visit I made to see him was encouraging, and he is looking much better. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Dick Abraham just finished a series of 39 radiation treatments for prostrate cancer. The Linear Accelerator used was made by
Varian, making him somewhat more at ease, although this big boy used power in the MegaVolt range. The beam was highly
focused and modulated based on patterns determined from an MRI described in previous articles. Dick reports no burns, no
irritation nor pain during the procedures. He also thanks those who offered prayer for him during that time, attributing God's
intervention in preventing fatigue - the most common side effect, and good health during that time. He did catch a cold after the
procedure finished, but not while he was in treatment, though his wife had one at that time. Don Hogg also reported on a recent
trip to Best Buy. "I went in to Best Buy to look for one of those pocket pals to put on (wife) Loretta's tablet and while I was there I
asked about an Off-Air antenna. The young man said they didn't stock those but he had a TV antenna. So happens we were
standing within a few feet of the shelves that had the selection and TV antenna's to choose from. Off-Air just didn't register with
him." That's true, Don. But people don't know where their food comes from either. While touring the Walmart Electronics section
recently, I noticed they to had a stack of boxes labeled "TV Antennas", but there weren't any sales persons close by for me to ask about Off Air Antennas. Too much fun.
Rod Rogers tells of the time in a bar, when he called a friend to find out what the channel number for KSNW-DTV3 was. The
bartender nearly cut him off, and called a taxi to take him home. The Federal government shutdown is now the longest in history.
I think the silliest waste of taxpayer money I've seen, is a sign posted on a trash can, saying, "This trash can is closed because
of the Federal shutdown." The shutdown has even affected the FCC, with many employees being furloughed. This did not apply to
the Commissioners however, who have remained at work each day. Their salaries are paid from a fund other than the one used for
most of the FCC's operations.The FCC website and several of their databases have remained available online, although they are
not being updated. I wonder if government shut downs would be considerably shorter if all members of Congress were not paid
until the problem was resolved, rather than causing most of the "non-essential" employees to be the ones to suffer. And that
brings up another thing that should be apparent - why do we have non-essential employees in our government? Perhaps those
who are now working during the shutdown should be called "key" employees, rather than label all the rest as "non-essential
persons". While we are relabeling things, maybe some of those who are upset with the term of "wall, or barrier" might allow the
building of a "non-authorized person restrictive device" on our nation's southern border. Come on Trump, you just gotta use the language they understand!
I seem to be using several stories from Don Hogg, but when I visited him in the hospital, he was ready for some company, and
since we couldn't do much else, we talked quite a bit. He told me of a 40's Firestone radio his son-inlaw brought back from
cleaning out his Dad's place. Not knowing whether it would work, and to be on the safe side, Don fired it up with a 120V
incandescent light bulb of about the same wattage as the radio in series with it, and, it warmed up at about half voltage with
everything seeming OK. They removed the series light bulb, firing it up at full voltage. It did work for a time, then a wire
underneath began glowing a bit red, and they shut it off until a check of the power and blocking capacitors can be made.
Remember, these old radios were produced without power transformers, using line voltage across tube heaters in series with
each other. Most times, the chassis of that gear had live voltage on it, but it did make them cheaper to build, and it didn't
consume copper and iron for the transformers, which were needed for the war effort. Obviously, if the light bulb had lit at full
brilliance, they would have assumed a dead short. A prudent tip from the past to be remembered the next time someone hands you an old piece of gear and says, "Hey, will this thing still work?"
Posted on SBE Website, January 10, 2019: EAS Blue Alert Code Becomes Effective January 18, 2019, By Larry Wilkins, CPBE,
chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group In January 2018 the FCC amended its regulations governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to add a new event code, BLU, to allow alert originators to issue an alert whenever a law
enforcement officer is injured or killed, missing in connection with his or her official duties, or there is an imminent and credible threat to cause death or serious injury to law enforcement officers.
Delivery of Blue Alerts over EAS will be implemented January 18, 2019. Sage Endec users: Updated firmware will be available
next week. DasDec users: The BLU event code is in the v4.0 software update. Trilithic/Viavi: includes BLU event code in its v18
.10 software update. Gorman-Redlich: has an update, contact the company for details. As a reminder the BLU event code is in
the "voluntary" list, that is, it is not one of the FCC required relay alerts (EAN, NPT, RMT). Stations can elect to relay these alerts or not, with guidance from their state and local EAS plan.
Broadcasters and Cable Operators should watch for information updates from your SECC (State Emergency Communication
Committee). Blue Alerts over WEA takes effect July 18, 2019.
Kent Cornish of KAB says you can get a Sage EAS update at this lnk:
https://sagealertingsystems.com/support-firmware-new.htm (ignore hyphen in "firmware");
and check with Monroe at:
www.monroeelectronics.com/EAS_DAS/V4_software.html (include hyphen after monroe).
He also notes their likely is a fee with the Monroe update, but does not know the amount.
When my printer sometimes started slowing down after I added a "Ring Audio/Video Doorbell" to the home Wi-Fi network, I
decided I'd better reassess my home network's capacity. Besides the video doorbell, the kids had given us a new Blu Ray DVD
player at Christmas, which included all the current functions of a Smart TV, so we could have Internet and other niceties such as
4K streaming showing on our family room 1080i TV. So far, I only have it installed for playback functions, but as the assessment
progressed, I could see as many as seven different input devices all vying for bandwidth and time on the home router. The old
router was a single channel 2.4 Ghz band 802.11n that had been in service for several years. The new products available were
802.11ac, with some running up to three bands simultaneously on those units labeled MU-MIMO (Multiple User - Multiple Input,
Multiple Output) rather than switching between all the input devices, they supposedly run on parallel paths, as much as is
possible. The router I finally chose is a Linksys AC2200 MU-MIMO tri band router, model EA8300, supposed to be able to handle 15 input devices, including 4K streaming.
It runs in the 2.4 GHz band, and in two segments of the 5 Ghz band. All bands combined are the way it rates its throughput at 2
.2 Gbps. I am going to give some thought before installing the new unit, with different SSID and passwords than the old ones,
ready and written out, but making sure to replace all factory default names and passwords. Once the new router is up and
running, I will have the pleasure of visiting all my current devices one by one, and getting them switched over to the new home
network. We will see how this all works out, but if you don't hear from me for a while, I probably got hung up on the new
installation and couldn't re-establish the old router connections. Just today, I saw a salesguy on a TV Shopping channel, trying to
sell a device that would interrupt power each night for one minute on devices plugged into it, supposedly to "reset' equipment like
your router or modem. He thought this was a good security feature. It seems to me, this would simply restore the default SSID
and factory provided password on these devices, eliminating those you carefully changed them to be. It might be a good idea if
we all checked from time to time, to be sure our user or SSID names and passwords have not defaulted to the manufacturer
defaults - especially if you don't have your equipment on an uninterruptible power source, or have you forgotten the password to your router too? 30