Monthly eNews September 2018

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Heartland Video Systems, Inc.
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WMSN-TV Fox 47


Our Next Chapter Meeting
September 26th
TV Processing & Loudness by Bob Orban

This live interactive web presentation will cover Orban's approach to automatic, CALM-Act-compliant loudness control as embodied in the Optimod-TV 8685 Surround Loudness Controller, and will discuss the features of the 8685 in detail. It will discuss how Orban combines the CBS Technology Center and ITU-R BS.1770 approaches to obtain the advantages of both. It will cover the concept of "genre" in the context of BS.1770, as first introduced in a 2015 AES Recommendation, and how taking genre into account can reduce some of the practical objections that have been raised as a result of experience with normalizing all program material to the same BS.1770 target loudness. It will present measurements showing the effectiveness of Orban's approach.

Pizza & Soda provided by Orban 6:00 PM
WISC Conference Room B
7025 Raymond Road
Madison, WI

Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
WISC Conference Room B
7025 Raymond Road
Madison, WI

Park in front parking lot;
enter via front lobby entrance

Directions Here

Visitors and guests are welcome!

Meeting Minutes
Submitted by Mike Norton, Secretary

August, 2018

Chapter 24 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers held its monthly meeting on Thursday, August 23, 2018, at the Wisconsin Public Broadcasting Center in Madison. There were 9 members present, 6 who earned SBE certification, and 2 guests.

Chapter Vice Chair Clif Groth called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. No additions or corrections were made to the July meeting minutes, as posted on the Chapter 24 eNews page, so on a motion by Stan Scharch and a second by Leonard Charles they were approved.

There were no treasurer, membership, or sustaining membership reports available. Leonard Charles informed the group that the deadline for the Chapter 24 eNews page on the website is the first of the month. Articles or items of interest should be emailed to

Clif summarized the upcoming program schedule, starting with the Wednesday, September 26 program at WISC-TV by Bob Orban, who will give a talk about TV audio processing and loudness. The October 17 meeting at the Broadcast Clinic will cover liquid vs air cooling of transmitters, while the November meeting at WMTV will be a presentation by American Transmission Company. The annual holiday party in December will wrap up the calendar year.

For frequency coordination, Tom Smith indicated there were no recent frequency requests received.

Leonard Charles provided a SBE National report, listing the recently elected SBE Board of Directors. All four officers were re-elected to a one-year term and six director positions were filled, including Steve Brown from Fox Valley Chapter 80. Another educational webinar will be presented by the SBE on Thursday, August 30, titled RF 201: Module 3: AM Directional Antenna Systems. It will be presented by Tom King, CEO of Kintronic Labs. Go to for more details and to register.

In old business, Clif reviewed that Chapter 24 funds will sponsor the Tuesday Nuts & Bolts session beer and brat dinner at the upcoming 2018 Broadcast Clinic. Clif encouraged everyone to participate in the clinic session. There were no new business items brought up for discussion.

For professional and general announcements Tom Smith mentioned that the NAB has filed comments with the FCC regarding problems with the TV 'white space' database. Al Ritchie noted that Will Schifflett will be the new chief engineer for WHA-TV, starting later this fall.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:12pm. The planned presenter had an unexpected emergency so Steve Smedberg, VP of Business Development, stepped in and gave an overview of the Videstra IP camera system and answered general questions about remote weather cameras for broadcast.

2018 SBE Election Results

Jim Leifer, CPBE, Tewksbury, MA

Vice President:
RJ Russell, CPBE, Middletown, DE

Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, College Station, TX

Jim Bernier, CPBE, CBNE, Alpharetta, GA

Elected to two-year terms as directors are:
Stephen J. Brown, CPBE, CBNT Appleton, WI - Chapter 80
Roz Clark, CPBE, CBNT Clearwater, FL Chapter 39
Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE Nashville, TN Chapter 103
Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT Syracuse, NY Chapter 22
Tom McGinley, CPBE, AMD, CBNT Missoula, MT Chapter 16
Shane Toven, CBRE, CBNT Laramie, WY Chapter 48

2018 Broadcasters Clinic

Registration is now open for the 2018 Broadcasters Clinic. The event will be held October 16th thru 18th at the Madison Marriott West. Enter the dates in your calendar and book your seat now.

Agenda and Registration.

Amateur Radio News
compiled by Tom Weeden WJ9H

Amateur radio operators are expressing increased concern over the inclusion of WWV and WWVH on a list of proposed cuts in the White House's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. The proposed cuts, which only recently came to light, would also include the Atomic Clock signal from WWVB, which most radio-controlled clocks in the US use to automatically set the time. Online petitions soliciting signatures include one established by Tom Kelly II, W7NSS, of Portland, Oregon, who would like to see funding for the stations maintained. The decision is up to Congress.

"It is important to note that no changes to NIST services have occurred, and if the proposal were to be implemented, public notice would be provided," NIST said this week.

The American Radio Relay League is suggesting that members of the Amateur Radio community who value the stations for their precise time and frequency signals and other information sign the petition and/or contact their members of Congress promptly, explaining how the stations are important to them, beyond government and military use. WWV is among the oldest radio stations in the US and has broadcast the official time for nearly a century.

According to the NIST Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget request, the specific cut would come from the NIST Fundamental Measurement, Quantum Science, and Measurement Dissemination budget and would amount to $6.3 million.

"NIST has a long-standing history of providing time and frequency services through our radio stations and we appreciate that many people use these services," NIST said in a statement. "WWV is the longest continuously operating radio service in the US. At the same time, the proposed NIST budget for FY 2019 required difficult choices about budget priorities."

NIST said that it plans to eliminate "efforts that have been replaced by newer technologies, measurement science research that lies outside NIST's core mission space, and programs that can no longer be supported due to facility deterioration."

WWV in Fort Collins, Colorado and WWVH in Kauai, Hawaii broadcast 24/7. Announcements include time announcements, standard time intervals, standard frequencies, UT1 time corrections, a BCD time code, geophysical alerts, and marine storm warnings. Transmissions are broadcast from separate transmitters on 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz. An experimental 25 MHz signal is also currently on the air. WWVB transmits standard Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) signals on 60 kHz to appropriately equipped devices.

Link to petition

The US Coast Guard says it's received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors, and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC), and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of LED lighting systems. This could include interior and exterior lighting, navigation lights, searchlights, and floodlights found on vessels of all sizes.

"Radio frequency interference caused by these LED lamps [was] found to create potential safety hazards," the Coast Guard said in an August 15 Marine Safety Alert. "For example, the maritime rescue coordination center in one port was unable to contact a ship involved in a traffic separation scheme incident by VHF radio. That ship also experienced very poor AIS reception. Other ships in different ports have experienced degradation of the VHF receivers, including AIS, caused by their LED navigation lights. LED lighting installed near VHF antennas has also shown to compound the reception."

ARRL has determined a wide range of interference-causing potential from consumer lighting devices. "While some are relatively quiet, other devices -- even those that meet the required FCC emissions limits -- can still cause harmful interference," said ARRL Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineer Mike Gruber, W1MG. "My best recommendation is to try LED lights before you buy, especially if there is a possibility that the device will be used while you're operating. Once you have determined that a particular LED device is quiet, then purchase as many as you need from that same store."

Over the past few years, ARRL has provided the FCC with reports of LED and other lighting systems that are not in compliance with FCC regulations. In several instances, these devices greatly exceeded the FCC's emissions limits, in one case by as much as 58 dB, creating as much noise as 650,000 legal devices, Gruber said. "Several recent FCC enforcement actions involving LED manufacturers have been encouraging," he added. "These actions can and will make a difference."

Gruber said ARRL remains committed to working with both the FCC and manufacturers to help facilitate that positive difference in every possible way. "It is possible for LED and other lighting technologies to coexist with both amateurs and other users of the radio spectrum," he said.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's web site)

compiled by Tom Smith


On August 29th, the FCC published in the Federal Register the notice (2018-18288.pdf) setting the comment dates for the proposed rules for sharing the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz bands between the existing satellite services and the proposed terrestrial wireless broadband services. The notice is a condensed version of the official rulemaking notice (FCC-18-91A1.pdf) that was released on July 13th. The comment period closes on October 29th and reply comments are due on November 27th.

In other C-Band news, satellite transmission provider SES announced a reimbursement program to operators of C-Band downlinks for the cost of registering their antenna sites. Operators must file by October 31st proof of payment to the FCC for their registration of their antenna site to receive reimbursement. Information on filing an earth station registration and reimbursement can be found here. The satellite transmission provider Intelstat also has an information sheet on registering a satellite earth station which can be found here.


On August 2nd, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and an Order (FCC-18-113A1.pdf) that would allow low-power TV stations, TV translators and FM stations to receive payment for costs relating to the repack of full power and Class A TV stations. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, it is proposed that low-power TV stations that have to move to a new channel because they are being displaced by full power or Class A stations that are moving to a channel that the LPTV station is currently occupying will be eligible for reimbursement from the FCC for their costs to move to a new channel. The proposed rules are similar to the rules that apply to full power and Class A stations for reimbursement with the requirement the LPTV stations and translators reuse any equipment that is able to operate on the new channel.

For FM stations, the FCC could pay for up to 100% of the costs for an FM station that is affected by the repack of TV stations. This would include the construction of any auxiliary facilities that a FM station may need to build because they would otherwise have to shut down during construction of a repacked TV station facilities on a co-occupied tower. The FCC will also cover the cost if the FM station has to move to a new transmitter site because they are being displaced due to required tower modifications on the co-occupied tower for the construction of the TV stations new facilities. Reimbursement rules for FM stations will be similar to those of TV stations.

The Order that was issued with the Notice Of Proposed rulemaking requires the Media Bureau to select a contractor to manage the payment system and set the procedures. The order took effect with publication in the Federal Register on August 27th. The comment dates on the proposed rules for reimbursement were also published in the Federal Register on August 27th with the comments due on September 26th and replies due on October 26th.


On August 28th, the Media Bureau published in the Federal Register a Final Action (2018-18289.pdf) that creates an incubator program to help persons or small businesses that wish to became broadcasters or expand as a broadcaster. This action could help increase the number of female and minority broadcasters, but is open to all small broadcasters. The program is for radio only and is open to persons or businesses seeking their first station or currently own three or fewer radio stations. The program is limited to radio because it is less costly to enter into business compared to television and the FCC thought that by limiting it to radio-only the program would be more successful. The small broadcaster must also meet the Small Business Administration's definition of a small business. They must have meet the SBA requirement and not have had more than three stations in the previous three years before applying for the program. The new small broadcaster is limited to one station in the market that they are interested in, which would require that any other co-owned station they may own be located in another market.

The main part of the program would be the pairing of the small broadcaster with a larger established broadcaster which can provide management and financial assistance. The incubator station will not count against the larger broadcaster ownership limits even if they hold a financial interest. The station that they are assisting must be mainly operated by the small broadcaster even though they can provide management and technical operating assistance. After three to six years, the station must be completely owned and managed by the new owner. There is also restrictions on any joint sales and shared services agreements and the percentage of financial interest between the new station owner and the larger broadcaster. Local Management Agreements are prohibited and any JSA or SSA may only be in effect for the first two years.

As part of the program, there is a reward for the larger broadcaster which is a waiver that would allow them to add an additional station over the normal market ownership limit. If the larger broadcaster wishes to sell its stations in a market, they would have to separately spin off the additional station. There are a number of other safeguards in the plan to prevent increased domination of a market by the larger broadcaster through this program.


On August 27th, the FCC announced the start of a podcast series called "More than Seven Dirty Words" which refers to the ruling concerning the George Carlin monologue which in a FCC ruling declared the seven words in the monologue indecent to broadcast. The goal of the podcast is to provide a connection to the public that the function of the FCC is more than the controversies of a George Carlin recording or a clothing malfunction during the Super Bowl halftime. The podcast can be found at here or at the Apple or Google podcast websites or as a RSS feed.


Sage Alerting Systems announced on August 28th a new required software update. The update is for a new certificate in order for the Sage EAS Encoder/Decoder to access the CAP server. The Software update must be installed by 11:55 PM on September 24th. For information and the software update go to the Sage website available here. Expect the other EAS Encoder/Decoder manufacturers to follow with their own software updates.

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

2019 exam dates are released!

The Open 2018 - 2019 Exam Schedule

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)
October 20, 2018 at AES (in New York City) September 21, 2018
November 2-12, 2018 Local Chapters (Madison Area) September 24, 2018
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
Certification Director
9102 N. Meridian St.
Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260

317-846-9120 Fax

September Webinars

Wednesday, September 12, 1 pm - 2:30 pm CT
ATSC 3.0 Module 1: Introduction to ATSC 3.0 Webinar, presented by Madeleine Noland, consultant LG Electronics, Zenith Electronics, LLC, Chair of the Technology Group, ATSC 3.0 (TG3).

This webinar will provide an overview of the ATSC 3.0 system capabilities including physical layer, signaling, audio, video, captions, interactivity, and advanced emergency messaging. You will receive an introduction to the suite of Standards and Recommended Practices documents and an overview of the SBE ATSC 3.0 Specialist Certification.

The cost is $59 for SBE members and $89 for non-members. SBE MemberPlus members participate in the webinar for FREE.

Wednesday, September 26, 1 pm - 2:30 pm CT
Advanced RF Series: RF 201: Module 4: Transmitter Site Grounding, presented by David Brender, P.E., Copper Development Association, Inc.

This webinar covers the elements of a building's wiring, bonding and grounding (including lightning protection) that pertain to proper operation and improved up-time at communications facilities at little cost. The presentation provides some basic theory and concentrates on actual experiences at broadcast facilities where grounding and lightning protection were of paramount importance in maintaining system availability.

The cost is $59 for SBE members and $89 for non-members. SBE MemberPlus members participate in the webinar for FREE.

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.