CHAPTER 24, Inc., MADISON, WI
Edited by: Mark Croom
Electronic Version: Leonard Charles
Electronically Distributed by Chris Cain
Contributors this month:
Articles Welcome!! Send correspondence to:
Chapter 24 Newsletter
34 Rustic Parkway
Madison, WI 53713-4700
or call (608) 271-1025 (home) or (608) 221-1979 (work)
SBE Family Picnic
Saturday, July 22, 1995
Greenfield Park Shelter in Fitchburg
11AM to 6PM
Call Denise Maney to RSVP (608-277-8001)
Visitors and Guests are welcome at all SBE meetings.
Tentative Program Subjects
Tue, Aug 22, 1995
Facility Security considerations
Wed, Sep 20, 1995
WTDY\WMGN\WJJO facility tour
Thu, Oct 19, 1995
WMTV Remodeled Master Control
Wed, Nov 15, 1995
Broadcasters Clinic/EAS Teleconference
Tue, Dec 19, 1995
Candelabra Project facility tour
Wed, Jan 17, 1996
Digital Radio Networks
Thu, Feb 22, 1996
JVC Digital "S" or Panasonic Digital
Tue, Mar 19, 1996
WP&L Center Tour (or Milwaukee area station tour)
Wed, Apr 24, 1996
Chapter Elections and annual NAB review
Thu, May 23, 1996
TCI Cable TV Technology
Tue, Jun 18, 1996
Related technology; Internet/software support
Sat, Jul 27, 1996
3rd annual Chapter 24 Family Picnic
CHAPTER 24 OFFICERS:
Paul Stoffel (WI Public TV)
W - 608-263-2175
H - 608-241-4621
F - 608-263-9763
Fred Sperry (ECB-TOC)
W - 608-264-9698
H - 608-833-6074
Neal McLain (CTI)
W - 608-831-4636
Stan Scharch (WISC TV)
W - 271-4321
H - 831-1168
CHAPTER 24 COMMITTEE APPOINTEES:
Membership - Leonard Charles
Sustaining Membership - Fred Sperry
Strategic Plan - Denny Behr
Newsletter - Mark Croom
Mark Croom 271-1025
Denise Maney 277-8001
Kerry Maki 833-0047
Steve Zimmerman 274-1234
Special Events - Kevin Ruppert
Certification and Education:
Jim Hermanson 836-8340
Tim Trendt (UW-Platteville)
Frequency Coordination: Tom Smith
SBE National Board Member & Chapter Liaison:
W - 271-4321
FAX - 271-1709
A quick reminder about the Chapter 24 Summer Picnic on Saturday,
July 22. Phone in your reservations to Denise Maney by July 17
at 277-8001. There will be plenty of good food, good
conversation and good recreation.
By now, most of you should have received a glossy brochure from
the National Office detailing the 1995 SBE Engineering
Conference. According to the AAA office in Madison, it's a 1,012
-mile automobile drive to New Orleans.
In the coming months, I will be filling out the necessary
application forms and paperwork from the IRS and state Attorney
General's office to incorporate Chapter 24. If you can be of any
assistance or have comments about this process, give me a call.
The purpose of incorporating is to release Chapter 24 officers
and members from any personal liability.
Preparations continue for the EAS Teleconference, scheduled for
November 15 at 8:00 p.m. (CST) on the Wednesday evening of the
1995 Broadcasters Clinic in Madison. The teleconference will be
uplinked from the hotel's parking lot. Viewer's nationwide will
have the opportunity to telephone in their questions to SBE and
FCC panelists. Volunteers are needed to help with the production
of the teleconference, as well as set up and strike. People are
needed for camera, Chyron, lighting, floor manager, and more.
Give me a call at work (263-2175) or home (224-0050). Speaking
of EAS, Chapter 24's Leonard Charles is the National SBE's EAS
Committee chair. This position is keeping Chuck very, very busy
both locally and nationally, including an EAS presentation last
month for our Chapter 24 June program, and future presentations
at the WBA Engineering Conference on July 19 in La Crosse and at
the 1995 SBE Engineering Conference (and World Media Expo) in New
Orleans, September 6-9!
Thanks to Chuck for all his hard work and dedication to the SBE
WBA SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT ANNOUNCED
Congratulations to Paul Stoffel who is this year's recipient of
the WBA Conference Scholarship offered by Chapter 24. The
scholarship makes funds available to cover expenses for the WBA
Conference which is being held on July 19th in La Crosse.
LOCAL ENGINEERS/ STATIONS ASSIST FOX AFFILIATE
By Chris Cain, WISC-TV
On Sunday morning July 2, 1995 WMSN-TV/ Channel 47 had the
nightmare scenario unfold that every Chief Engineer and General
While operating on a Standby/ Loaner antenna while its main
antenna was being moved to a new facility, the Standby Antenna
started arcing internally and the soot and firestorm spread down
ward into the main feedline for about 100 feet.
This ended up in the Standby antenna being totally out of service
and the former antenna needed several weeks or work yet to be
connected and matched to new feed lines.
WMSN was off the air and off the main cable system in Madison.
Within hours WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate) provided a ENG truck that
beamed their signal over to the TCI Cable headend so that the Fox
Affiliate signal could reach the approximate 70% penetration of
the City Grade contour that the Cable system has capacity.
After a day of using the ENG link, WISC-TV (CBS Affiliate)
offered and connected WMSN to TCI via their TSL Fiber Optic Link
and Direct Feed line that they have to TCI. This allowed WKOW-TV
to retrieve their ENG vehicle and allowed WMSN continued access
to TCI cable for a additional week.
A different standby Antenna arrived and was put into place on
Friday July 7th and returned WMSN to the air.
It is currently planned, weather permitting, that WMSN can start
operations from their new site within 7 to 10 days from the July
JUNE BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
Chapter 24 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers met on Thursday,
June 22, 1995, at the WISC-TV offices in Madison. There were 23
persons in attendance, 17 of whom were certified. The meeting
was chaired by Chapter 24 Chairman Paul Stoffel.
Call to order: 7:08 pm. The minutes of the previous meeting were
approved as published in the June Newsletter.
Newsletter Editor's Report (reported Mark Croom): The deadline
for the July Newsletter is midnight 7/7/95; the folding party is
5:30 pm 7/11/95 at WKOW-TV; check the BBS for changes.
Treasurer's Report (reported by Stan Scharch, Treasurer): the
chapter balance was reported. During the month, the annual
rebate check was received from SBE national headquarters.
Sustaining Membership Report (reported by Fred Sperry): one
renewal has been received; the total sustaining membership
remains steady at 24.
Program Committee (reported by Steve Zimmerman): The Annual SBE
Chapter Picnic is scheduled for July 22. The schedule for the
coming year was published in the June Newsletter.
Certification and Education (reported by Jim Hermanson): Six
people sat for the examination on June 17. Jim thanked Van
Steiner for serving as proctor. The next examinations will be
offered in September, at the SBE conference in New Orleans.
Frequency coordination (reported by Tom Smith): No local
activity. Tom noted that the telecommunications reform bill now
pending in the U.S. Senate would require all broadcast auxiliary
services presently operating in the 2-GHz band to move to the 4-
National liaison (reported by Leonard Charles): Chuck reported on
several pending issues.
Old business: none.
New business: none.
General Announcements: The annual WBA Scholarship has been
awarded to Paul Stoffel. This scholarship covers certain
expenses related to attendance at the July meeting of the
Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
The business meeting was adjourned at 7:26 pm. The program
featured a discussion of the FCC's Emergency Alert System rules,
presented by chapter member Leonard Charles, who also serves as
chairman of the national EAS committee.
EAS COMMITTEE REPORT
by Leonard J. Charles, Chair
Since its' inception, the EAS Committee has spent its collective
energy dissecting and fully understanding the new FCC Part 11
Rules. In so doing, we have identified a few areas we feel could
better serve the industry and the public with some minor changes.
Since the deadline to file petitions to reconsider passed shortly
after the Committee was formed, we were unable to make a formal
filing expressing our concerns. We have, however, filed exparte
comments explaining our observations and suggestions.
Here is the situation as of this writing. The FCC has yet to
reply to the petitions to reconsider. Until they do, we cannot
be sure that Part 11 will remain unchanged. The FCC could, as
part of their reply to those petitions, make some modifications
to the Rule. They also could leave it un-changed. We just won't
know until they reply.
The EAS Committee is poised to publish an EAS Primer that will
help your Chapter understand and implement an effective EAS. Of
special concern to the Committee is the construction of your
LOCAL EAS. We have many suggestions to help you in the process
of building that local system; suggestions we think will make the
process easier and more uniform across the country.
Our dilemma is this; we cannot publish the Primer until we are
sure of what the final Part 11 Rules will be. So, we can't begin
the publishing process until the FCC formally replies to those
petitions to reconsider.
In the meantime, we must assume that the current writing of Part
11 will stand and, as such, the first deadline has already
passed. As of July 1, 1995, you must have reduced your two-tone
EBS decoder to demute in 3 to 4 seconds of received tones. You
also have the option of decreasing your two-tone EBS encoder from
its current time of 25 seconds, down to anytime between 8 and 25
seconds. However, in a June 29th press release, the FCC cautions
that some "consumer-non FCC certified" decoders will not respond
to an attention signal as short as 8 seconds. These decoders are
usually found in the tornado belt and near nuclear power plants.
The FCC encourages Broadcasters to continue to transmit the
longer two-tone signal when they know that these consumer grade
decoders are in their coverage area and tuned to their broadcast
frequency. (See complete FCC release later in this newsletter)
The next deadline is July 1, 1996. If the FCC changes nothing,
you must have the digital EAS equipment installed and operating
on that date. But, as of now, you cannot even buy that equipment
as the FCC will not start certifying it until they dispose of the
petitions to reconsider.
Right now, your State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC)
is at work considering what, if any, changes need to be made at
that level. Your Chapter should contact your SECC Chairman to
determine what role it can play in this phase of the EAS process.
To find out your SECC Chairman, contact the FCC at 202-418-1220.
(In Wisconsin, it's Gary Timm at WTMJ in Milwaukee)
PATENT SNAFU MAY HINDER EAS ROLL-OUT
By Mark Croom
Quad Dimension, a Kansas company which has patented a system
called SAFE (Storm Alert For Emergencies) believes it has a
patent on the requirements for the new geographically-directed
alerting system. According to an article in Radio World (7/12/95
issue), manufacturers of EAS equipment received, in June, a
letter from Quad Dimension informing them that they need a
licensing agreement to use the technology covered by their
Quad Dimension believes the digital message specified in the EAS
Report and Order, and the geography-specific portion of the
message are covered under their patent, issued a full two and one-
half years before the FCC Report and Order on EAS. According to
Radio World, Quad Dimension Vice-President Larry Ganzer has
stated the company's willingness to license the technology to
anyone who is interested. Royalties paid for the use of the
technology could result in higher EAS implementation costs for
stations and cable companies which are required to purchase
According to Radio World, FCC is aware of the patent question.
Ganzer in fact had filed comments and his patent with the FCC
during the EAS development process. The Commission's EAS chief,
Frank Lucia says his office is looking into the patent matter now
that the manufacturers have expressed concern over increased
costs and licensing fees.
As reported elsewhere in this publication, FCC certification of
EAS equipment has been held up until the Commission disposes of
several Petitions for Reconsideration submitted after the
December 1994 ruling finalizing the EAS rules. According to
Radio World, a re-examination of the patent issue could take
longer than a year.
AMATEUR RADIO NEWS
by Tom Weeden, WJ9H
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a fee for
amateur vanity call signs of three dollars per year, to be
collected for the entire 10-year term at the time of application
for such a call sign. The beginning date for these fees is
September 18, 1995. These fees are the result of a mandate from
Congress that the FCC collect fees to recover some of its
regulatory costs. The FCC estimates that it will process 28,000
applications for vanity call signs. No start date for
applications for vanity call signs has yet been announced, and
the necessary FCC Form 610-Vs have not yet been released. These
fees apply only to vanity call sign applications, not to any
other amateur license transaction.
New rules governing automatic control of digital stations on the
high-frequency (HF) bands went into effect July 1. Small
segments of each amateur band between 80 and 10 meters have been
allocated for automatically-controlled digital stations to
communicate with each other. Manually-controlled stations may
now connect with stations under automatic control on any
frequency authorized for data communications with some minor
conditions. Automatic control of data stations was authorized on
VHF bands in 1986. HF stations can cover greater distances in
the packet-radio bulletin-board network for forwarding messages,
and now the control operator no longer needs to be present for
automatic forwarding through their station.
The nationally syndicated talk show "Ham Radio and More"
celebrated its 4th anniversary last April, now boasting more than
30 broadcast affiliates. The show originates in Phoenix and airs
at 6 PM Eastern Time on the Talk America Network. Major markets
covered include Miami, Phoenix, Chicago, Boston, Tampa/St
Petersburg, St Louis, Raleigh-Durham, Oklahoma City, Salt Lake
City, Knoxville and Portland. The show can also be heard live on
Spacenet 3, transponder 9, 6.8 MHz audio.
(From July 1995 QST Magazine and packet-radio bulletins)
SENATE PASSES TELECOMMUNICATIONS BILL
By Tom Smith
The U.S. Senate passed their version of the Telecommunications
Bill at the end of June with a vote of 81 to 18. The most
discussed part of the bill is provisions for the control of
indecent material on the Internet and for the mandating of a V-
chip in TV sets to control kids viewing of violent programming.
The senate bill also keeps intact the FCC's control of ownership
rule enforcement. There were proposals to transfer some or most
of that enforcement to the Justice Department. Most of the rest
of the bill was similar to what has been proposed earlier.
The House will now take up their version of the bill. Their bill
has been passed by committee and now needs to be debated and
voted on by the full House. Since the Senate bill and the
proposed House bill still have many differences, both bills will
have to go to conference committee before final passage and being
sent to the President. It will be fall or later before the bill
(Compiled from Broadcasting&Cable, Wisconsin State Journal, and
CABLE-TEC EXPO '95 - A FIRSTHAND REPORT
Contributed by Neal McLain
Cable-Tec Expo '95, the annual convention of the Society of Cable
Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), met in June in Las Vegas.
The top item of discussion was, as always, network construction
progress. As I noted in these pages two years ago ("Meanwhile,
in Atlanta and Orlando...", Newsletter, May, 1993), the cable
industry's great dream is to construct a switched broadband fiber-
coax network before the telephone industry can do it.
Several cable operators reported successful launches of new
networks with surprisingly little competitive reaction from the
telephone companies: Time Warner in Syracuse, New York; Cox
Communications in New Orleans; Media General Cable in Fairfax
County, Virginia. These networks provide various combinations of
two-way digital transmission service, including voice telephony,
point-to-point leased access, connections to on-line services,
and Internet access.
But the telephone industry's lack of activity seems to be a
response to regulatory indecision on the part of the FCC and
Congress rather than any kind of competitive strategy. The
telephone companies want to build fiber-coax networks so they can
get into the video distribution business. The big question they
face is regulatory: do they operate these networks on a common-
carrier basis, open to all users (the so-called "video dialtone"
service), or do they operate them as cable television systems,
subject to local franchise requirements?
The answer appears to be the latter: they'd prefer to operate as
franchised cable operators rather than as video dialtone
providers. The problem with that, of course, is legal: the
Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 prohibits cross-ownership
of cable systems and telephone systems in the same geographic
But the cross-ownership ban is rapidly falling apart. During the
past two years, virtually every telephone company -- all seven
Baby Bells, GTE, and a consortium of smaller companies -- has
successfully sued to overturn it. Two of these cases were
reaffirmed on appeal, and the Bell Atlantic case is now headed to
the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, most of the telecommunications
reform bills now pending in Congress propose of repeal it.
Some telephone companies are already pursuing cable franchises.
Ameritech recently acquired a franchise in Plymouth Township,
Michigan, and it's now negotiating another with the Village of
Once these franchises are awarded, the telephone industry will
undoubtedly launch a massive burst of construction activity. The
federal government's indecision has given the cable industry a
two-year head start, but it won't take the telephone companies
long to catch up.
In the meantime, the cable industry continues to push ahead as
fast as it can.
A side note: when re-reading my 1993 article, I was struck by the
fact that the term "information superhighway" hadn't even been
invented two years ago!
Other items, briefly noted:
The Society formally adopted a new name: Society of Cable
Telecommunications Engineers. This name replaces the former name
(Society of Cable Television Engineers) to underscore the
industry's commitment to two-way non-video services.
Frank Lucia, the FCC's EAS guru, gave a presentation about EAS.
It was remarkably similar to Chuck's presentation at the last
Chapter meeting (same graphics; same audio tape), but with
emphasis on cable-industry requirements. Following Frank's
presentation, there was much discussion about the pros and cons
of overriding local broadcast stations. This looks like a topic
which SBE and SCTE could pursue in a joint effort.
Cable modems were hot items on the exhibit floor (although,
surprisingly, Intel did not exhibit). Most modems are
"asymmetrical": they provide high downstream bandwidth and
relatively narrow upstream bandwidth.
Several on-line service providers announced plans to offer access
via coax-fiber networks. The current crop of providers (AOL,
CompuServe, GEnie, and Prodigy) will soon face competition from
two new services: Microsoft (MSN, The Microsoft Network) and TCI
Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs) reported the results of
a year-long study of the infamous "return path": the 5-30 MHz
portion of the coax bandwidth used for upstream signals. In a
nutshell: the biggest problems are random bursts of "impulse
noise", and fixing it will cost a lot of money. For many
operators, it may not be worth the money; indeed, some of those
asymmetrical cable modems use a telephone line for the upstream
Compared to the NAB convention last April, the Las Vegas
Convention Center looked empty. SCTE occupied maybe a quarter of
its capacity; meanwhile, another group (AERA, whatever that is)
held its convention at the other end of the building, separated
by what looked like a couple acres of vacant exhibit space.
Las Vegas is beastly hot in June. The day we arrived, the
temperature was 107 F.
FCC NEWS RELEASE
June 29, 1995
COMMISSION REAFFIRMS USE OF SHORTENED EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM
TWO-TONE ATTENTION SIGNAL BEGINNING JULY 1, 1995
On November 10, 1995, the Commission adopted a Report and Order
replacing the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) with the Emergency
Alert System (EAS). Part of the phase-out of the EBS included a
shortening of the existing EBS two-tone Attention Signal.
The Report and Order requires that all EBS two-tone decoders
certified for use at broadcast stations be modified by July 1,
1995, so that they are activated after receipt of three to four
seconds of two-tone signal. Effective July 1, 1995, broadcast
stations may transmit from their EBS encoders a two-tone signal
as short as eight seconds or as long as 25 seconds.
The Commission has received questions about the hundreds of
consumer grade EBS decoders (many of these are not FCC-certified)
used in homes, hospitals, etc., that require receipt of more than
eight seconds of two-tone signal. Most of these decoders are
used in the tornado belt and near nuclear power plants. We
encourage broadcast stations to continue to transmit the longer
two-tone signal when they know that these consumer grade decoders
are in their coverage area and tuned to their broadcast
frequency. As before, the Commission encourages all broadcasters
to transmit the two-tone signal prior to disseminating all
This summer, the Commission is planning to release a new EAS
Operating Handbook and Operator Instruction cards. These
documents will include procedures for operating the old EBS
equipment and the new EAS equipment with appropriate test script
examples. In the meantime, broadcasters should continue using
the EBS Checklist.
For further information, please contact the EAS Staff in the FCC
Compliance and Information Bureau at (202) 418-1220.
By Tom Smith
Proposed Transfer: WTOQ(AM)/WKPL(FM) Platteville, WI, AM is on
1590 khz with 1 kW day, 500W night, FM operates on 107.1 MHz with
3 kW at 235 ft. Platteville Broadcasting Inc. of Madison, WI,
(Paul Braun, President) is proposing to purchase the stations
from Kramer Broadcasting of Platteville Inc. (Edward Kramer,
President) for $500,000. Platteville Broadcasting has no other
broadcasting interests while Kramer Broadcasting also owns WPDR-
AM/WDDC-FM in Portage, WI.
(Compiled from Broadcasting and Cable)
BROADCASTERS MAY LOOSE 2 GHz BAND
By Tom Smith
One amendment to the Senate version of the telecommunications
bill would force broadcasters to move from the 2 GHz microwave
band to the 4.635 to 4.685 GHz band. The senate would like to
free the 2 GHz band for use by PCS services which could earn up
to $3.8 billion in a spectrum auction. Broadcasters would have
up to seven years to move to the new band.
(From Broadcasting&Cable magazine)
CHAPTER 24 SUSTAINING MEMBERS:
Our latest renewals:
Fuji Film I&I
Thanks to all our
Clark Wire and Cable
3M Audio & Video
NATIONAL SBE PHONE DIRECTORY
SBE National Office
8445 Keystone Crossing Suite 140
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Main Number 317-253-1640
Engineering Conference Line 317-253-0122
Job Line 317-253-0474
President: Chuck Kelly CBT
P.O. Box 3606
Quincy, IL 62305
CIS ID# 70307,2642
Vice President: Terrence Baun CPBE
Criterion Broadcast Services
5300 W. Garfield Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208
CIS ID# 71525,1060
Secretary: Keith Kintner CSTE
KLCS TV 58
1061 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
CIS ID# 72530,620
Treasurer: Bob Goza CPBE
3315 Highway 50
Beaufort, MO 63013
Executive Director: John Poray CAE
SBE National Office
8445 Keystone Crossing Suite 140
Indianapolis, IN 46240
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jim Bernier CBT
980 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13203
David Carr CPBE
P.O. Box 11
Houston, TX 77001
Leonard Charles CSTE
7025 Raymond Road
Madison, WI 53719
Dane Ericksen PE CSRE CSTE
Hammett & Edison, Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94128-0068
Michael Fast CPBE
1303 Burleigh Road
Lutherville, MD 21093
Michael McCarthy CBRE
WLIT FM/Viacom International
150 N. Michigan Ave., #1135
Chicago, IL 60601
Edward Miller CPBE
WEWS Scripps Howard
3001 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115
Troy Pennington CSRE
WZZK AM/FM, WODL FM Radio
530 Beacon Parkway W. #300
Birmingham, AL 35209
Robert Reymont CPBE
Nationwide Communications, Inc.
P.O. Box 5159
Mesa, AZ 85211-0500
CIS ID# 71645,254
Martin "Sandy" Sandberg CPBE
9807 Edgecove Drive
Dallas, TX 75238
John Schneider CBRE
RF Specialties of Washington, Inc.
19237 Aurora Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98133
CIS ID# 74603,3342
Tom Weber CSTE
WISH TV 8
1950 N Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
CIS ID#: 73250,215
Chris Imlay, Esq.
SBE General Counsel
Booth, Freret & Imlay
1233 20th St. NW Suite 204
Washington, DC 20036
James Wulliman, CPBE
721 W. Calle Del Regalo
Green Valley, AZ 85614
Phone and Fax 602-648-1250
NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Linda Godby, Certification
Peggy Hall, Membership
Sarah Hayden, Signal/Conferences
Julie Dinger, Secretary
Job Line 317-253-0474
BBS (N,8,1) 317-253-7555
NATIONAL COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCE CHAIRS
By Laws Committee..................................Sandy Sandberg
Certification Committee..............................Jim Wulliman
Chapter Awards Committee..........................Leonard Charles
Chapter Liaison Committee..........................John Schneider
Electronic Communication Committee....................Jim Bernier
Engineering Conference Committee...................Jerry Whitaker
Engineering Conference Promotion Committee..........Mike McCarthy
FCC Liaison Committee...............................Dane Ericksen
Fellowship Committee...................................David Carr
Finance Committee.................................Troy Pennington
Frequency Coordination Committee.......................David Carr
High Frequency Broadcasting Task Force.............Doug Garlinger
Industry Relations Committee...........................Terry Baun
International Committee............................Sandy Sandberg
Membership Committee.................................Michael Fast
Nomination Committee...............................Robert Reymont
Sustaining Membership Committee.....................Edward Miller