CHAPTER 24, Inc., MADISON, WI
Our Next Chapter Meeting:
Gregory Levesque, Director of Local Relations for ATC, will provide a brief overview of American Transmission Company and how the bulk electric system works. He will also discuss the changing dynamics of fuel sources for electricity (more renewables and less coal) and how companies like ATC are supporting that shift.
Thursday, November 15th
American Transmission Company, ATC
Dinner at 5:30 PM
BABE'S BAR & GRILL
5614 Schroeder Road
Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
615 Forward Drive
Visitors and guests are welcome!
Nationwide WEA/EAS Test
Wisconsin Broadcasters and Cable Operators, if you had difficulties in accessing the FCC's ETRS to file your Form 2 in time, the FCC will keep this form open for filing through November 19 (which is the deadline date to also have Form 3 filed).
From Gary Timm
Broadcast Chair Wisconsin EAS Committee
So if you've had difficulties filing Form 2 or Form 3, the FCC requests that you try again to file these forms before November 19.
Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Mike Norton, Secretary
The Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 24 meeting happened during the 2018 Broadcasters Clinic, held at the Madison Marriott West on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. It also served as an Upper Midwest SBE Regional Meeting. There were 16 Chapter 24 members present, including 8 who were certified. In total there were 59 people present, with 54 SBE members representing 16 chapters, along with 5 guests.
After a taco bar and beverages were enjoyed, Chapter 24 Chair Rich Wood thanked the attendees for gathering together and then recognized the multiple SBE Chapters present. There was not a formal business meeting held.
The evening program was a good-natured debate about FM transmitter cooling techniques. Jeff Welton of Nautel and Don Backus of Rohde & Schwarz each made the case for air cooling and liquid cooling, respectively. Technical information along with plenty of verbal jabs and puns were traded back and forth.
Amateur Radio News
In an FCC Enforcement Bureau case going back to early 2015, a Paterson, New Jersey, Amateur Radio licensee has been penalized in the amount of $25,000 for allegedly continuing to operate an unlicensed FM radio station. The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order on October 30 to Winston A. Tulloch, KC2ALN, a General class licensee. The fine followed an April 2018 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) issued to Tulloch for alleged "willful and repeated violation" of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, by operating an unlicensed FM radio station on 90.9 MHz in Paterson. Tulloch did not respond to the NAL, the FCC indicated.
compiled by Tom Weeden WJ9H
Following up on February 2015 complaints regarding pirate radio operations in Paterson, FCC agents spotted a signal on 90.9 MHz that "appeared to be an unauthorized radio station." Agents determined the signal was emanating from a multi-family dwelling and noticed an FM antenna on the structure. The measured field strength exceeded the limits allowed for Part 15 unlicensed devices.
Through a solicitation broadcast on the station for advertisers and a vehicle parked outside the building, the FCC agents were able to determine that the telephone number in the announcement belonged to Tulloch, and the car was registered in his name. FCC agents made several visits to Paterson in late 2015 and early 2016. In October of 2016, agents returned to Paterson and determined that the signal source had relocated to another nearby multi-family structure. A Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO) was posted on the door of the building and the following month, the FCC mailed an NOUO to Tulloch.
Subsequent visits revealed that the station was still in operation, and, at some point, had moved back to its prior location. Additional NOUOs were issued. Finally, on September 15, 2017, two agents returned to Paterson and determined that the station no longer was on the air.
The Tulloch case is among dozens that the FCC Enforcement Bureau has initiated in the past couple of years in efforts to shut down pirate broadcasters across the US, the vast majority of which are not FCC amateur licensees.
The American Radio Relay League is opposing a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11815) by several vehicle manufacturers that calls on the FCC to "adopt field strength limits in Section 18.305 that will allow higher-power wireless charging technologies operating in the 79 - 90 kHz range" to accommodate what the petitioners call "next-generation" wireless power transfer for electric vehicles (WPT-EV). Comments filed on October 29 by ARRL contend that the petition is "woefully incomplete and inadequate" in its analysis of consequent out-of-band emissions from WPT-EV systems in the low- and medium-frequency ranges using upward of 11 kW of power. Given the high power levels, ARRL said harmonic emissions from WPT-EV systems could be appreciable, with the AM Broadcast Band and Amateur Radio as potential interference victims. "Interference potential from intentional radiators requires substantial evaluation," ARRL asserted in its remarks.
The issue of WPT-EV is a World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) agenda item, for which studies are still under way. The Petition "quite obviously prejudges the outcome of WRC-19 Agenda Item 9.1.6," ARRL said, stressing that the Petition is simply premature at this point.
"The Petition is typical [of those that] tout a new application of old technology," ARRL commented. "So as to establish a sense of urgency, the bulk of the Petition is dedicated to establishing a public interest justification for making a rule change now, in order to accommodate the technology."
The Petition seeks a specific field strength limit of 74.4 dBuA/meter (at a distance of 10 meters), regardless of the charging system's operating environment. That works out to about 2.07 V per meter (at 10 meters) or 126 dBuV -- 126 dB above 1 uV. The Petition presumes that the optimum internationally harmonized frequency range for WPT-EV is already known to be 79 - 90 kHz and that the optimum field strength to minimize any impact on radiocommunication services has been established, ARRL commented.
"The problem, however, is that there is nothing in the four corners of the Petition that would justify those assumptions," ARRL told the FCC. ARRL said the rollout of WPT-EV "has profound implications in terms of its ubiquity in future years," and called on the Commission to deny the petition without prejudice or dismiss it altogether.
(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's arrl.org web site)
compiled by Tom Smith
MORE UNLICENSED SPECTRUM
The FCC released a copy of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (DOC-354364A1.pdf) on October 2 that was taken up at the Commission's October 23rd meeting that would allow un-licensed Wi-Fi systems on the 5.925 to 7.125 GHz microwave spectrum of which the 6.425 to 6.525 and the 6.875 to 7.125 GHz auxiliary spectrum are used by TV broadcasters and cable programmers for mobile and fixed STL service. According to the FCC there are 47,665 licensees on these bands. In the broadcast portion of the band, the FCC also allows low-power devices such as wireless microphones, intercoms and other cueing systems and recently allowed other users to construct fixed microwave links on the band particularly for linking wireless cell towers together. The non-broadcast part of the band is used for fixed point to point microwave links and satellite uplinks in conjunction with C-Band downlinks.
The FCC is proposing to allow un-licensed WI-FI systems on the 5.925 to 7.125 spectrum with a requirement that they must be coordinated with a data base in order to protect the existing users of the band. The coordination of the un-licensed Wi-Fi systems would be similar to that used for TV white space devices. There is an additional restriction in the proposed un-licensed Wi-Fi systems. Those systems operating in the 6.425 to 6.525 and the 6.875 to 7.125 broadcast auxiliary spectrum may only be operated indoors and with reduced power limits.
Most of the discussion concerning the proposed database methods and requirements was similar to that discussed and adopted for TV white space devices. Proposed operation of the database system would have database managers like those in TV white space devices that the WI-Fi device would have to register with and contact before operation. The Wi-Fi devices may have to use GPS for location information. Power levels and antenna restrictions were discussed in the notice and were similar to that of TV white space devices. One issue discussed that is of interest to TV broadcasters was methods for insuring that the Wi-Fi devices in the TV auxiliary part of the spectrum will stay indoors such as tying the system to a wall mounted power outlet or shutting down if it receives a GPS signal as it would have to be outdoors to see the satellite.
Because of the number of licensed microwave links, their protection was stressed through-out the notice and the Commission seems to make this an important consideration in fashioning the rules. The comment period will last for 60 days with a 30 day reply period and start with publication in the Federal Register.
FCC ELIMANATES PAPER FILING
At its October 23 meeting the Commission ended the requirement that radio and TV stations have to file paper copies of their contracts with the FCC. Some of those contracts include network agreements, local marketing agreements, joint sales agreements and time brokerage agreements. Stations will still have to post them on their FCC online public file and can redact confidential information. Stations would have to be able to produce paper copies of the documents if requested by the FCC. The notice can be found here: (DOC-354373A1.pdf).
ANOTHER AM IMPROVEMENT PLAN
On October 5th, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Rulemaking (FCC-18-139A1.pdf) in an effort to promote improvement of the AM radio band. The FCC is proposing a reduction in the protected day and night contours for class A AM stations (clear channel). The FCC is proposing that the protected daytime contour for class A stations be changed from the 0.1 millivolt groundwave contour to the 0.5 millivolt groundwave contour. The argument is the with all the electrical noise today, it is impossible to hear a usable signal at 0.1 millivolt. There are two other proposals concern critical hours and nighttime protections to class A station. There are two alternatives proposed for critical hour protections. Critical hours are the two hours before sunrise and the two hours after sunset. The first alternative for critical hours is that Class A stations receive no protection during those hours and the second alternative is class A stations receive protection to their 0.5 millivolt groundwave contour. For nighttime hours, the first alternative is the a class A stations 0.5 millivolt groundwave contour be protected from overlap from any station's .025 millivolt 10% skywave contour. The second alternative is that Class A stations would receive the same protection as class B stations(full-time regional stations) and may not increase above the current 0.5 millivolt contour of either station.
In the notice, the FCC noted that the clear channel class A stations have objected to earlier proposals to reduce protections to their signals. This has been an ongoing conflict since the early days of radio as the clear channel stations have attempted to protect their vast coverage areas. There are also concerns in how any reduction of protection to clear channel stations will affect the delivery of national EAS information as most of those stations are a primary relay of the Presidential messages. There will be a 60 day comment period with 30 days for replys.
LPTV AND FM REPACK COST COMMENTS
On October 22nd, the FCC issued a notice seeking comment on the reimbursing LPTV, TV translators and FM stations for costs incurred due to the repacking of the UHF TV band, The FCC has been authorized to reimburse LPTV and translator stations for their costs for changing channels because they were displaced either by having to move from channels 39 through 51 because of the reallocation to wireless broadband or having been displaced by a full power TV stations moving to the channel they were located on. The FCC will also reimburse FM stations which have either had to move to a different tower site to either temporally or permanently make room for antenna construction of a TV station that is changing channels in the repack. In addition to the notice , there was a appendix that listed the possible reimbursement costs for LPTV, TV translators and FM stations affected. Comments are due on November 21st and replies are due on December 6th. The links to the notice and appendix are located HERE.
Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson
The Open 2018 - 2019 Exam Schedule
(to SBE National Office)
|February 1-11, 2019
||Local Chapters (Madison Area)
||December 31, 2018
|April 9, 2019
||NAB Show (Las Vegas)
||March 1, 2019
|Jun 7-17, 2019
||Local Chapters (Madison Area)
||April 19, 2019
|August 2-12, 2019
||Local Chapters (Madison Area)
||June 3, 2019
|November 1-11, 2019
||Local Chapters (Madison Area)
||September 24, 2019
A reminder that each year, account balance permitting, Chapter 24 will reimburse half the application fee to any member of Chapter 24 in good standing who successfully obtains any SBE certification level not previously held by that member.
When you are ready to take an SBE exam, please fill out the appropriate application and send it into the SBE National office (see address below). You will be notified once your application has been approved. Approximately 3 weeks before the exam time, your local certification chairman will receive a list of applicants in his/her area. He/she will then contact those applicants to schedule a date, time and place for the exams. The exams will be mailed back to the National office for grading. The pass/fail grades will then be mailed directly to the applicants.
You may mail, email or fax your applications to:
Megan E. Clappe|
9102 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46260
ATSC 3.0, Module 3: Understanding and Implementing ATSC 3.0 Transport and
S. Merrill Weiss, President of the Merrill Weiss Group will be presenting. Look for more information on course content. The cost is $59 for SBE members and $89 for non members. Click here to register.
The SBE is saddened to learn of the passing of industry leader Richard Strickland. With that, the 2018 RF Safety course previously scheduled for November 15 has been postponed.
Look for future announcements for the continued Advanced RF Series and an ATSC 3.0/Next Gen TV Series in 2018. Please also look forward to announcements on the series, "Networking for ATSC 3.0" to be presented by Wayne Pecena.
The SBE RF 201 Series is a series not to be missed. Please take advantage of Modules 1-4 that are now available ON DEMAND. RF 201 Module 1 - FM Transmitter Systems, Module 2 - FM Transmitter Systems, Module 3 - AM Directional and Module 4 - Transmitter Site Grounding are archived and now available at www.sbe.org. Look for future announcements on other RF 201 Topics that will be presented in the coming year.
Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), its officers, or its members. SBE Chapter 24, Inc. regrets, but is not liable for, any omissions or errors.