Monthly eNews February 2019

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Alpha Video
Bryan Nelson

AVI Systems
Tom Sibenaller

Clark Wire & Cable
Shane Collins

Full Compass
Mike Ramirez

Heartland Video Systems, Inc.
Mark Bartolotta

Resonant Results, Ltd.
Richard Wood

Ross Video
Brian Stumpf

Sound Devices LLC
Jon Tatooles

The Mink Company
Scott Mink

Token Creek
John Salzwedel



WMSN-TV Fox 47


Our Next Chapter Meeting
Wednesday, February 20th
Videstra Live Cams / Nominations

Dan Desjardins will discuss the technology of camera streaming, including what to do and what not to do based on experience. The program will include a live demonstration of the VestraView live camera system.

Note: This is an encore presentation from last August when Dan was scheduled to present but, at the last minute, was unable to attend. Steve Smedberg sat in for Dan and gave a good overview of the product. With this encore presentation, Dan will take a deeper dive into the technology of camera streaming.

Dinner at 5:30 PM
2102 W. Beltline Hwy
Madison, WI

Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
Wisconsin Public Broadcast Center (ECB)
3319 W. Beltline Hwy
Madison, WI


Visitors and guests are welcome!

Area Job Opening
Apply by Feb 11th
PREC Scholarship
Apply by Feb 5th

Dane County is IPAWS Ready

According to Assistant Director Dave Janda, the office of Dane County Emergency Management has been working with FEMA and Gary Timm, the Broadcast Chair of the State EAS Committee, to ready themselves for emergency messaging via the IPAWS CAP distribution system. They are now ready to begin delivering a RWT once a month to local broadcasters.

Working together they have determined that the test will be sent each first Wednesday of the month at 12:10pm with THE FIRST TEST ON FEBRUARY 6TH. There should be no additional programming of your EAS decoder necessary to receive this test.

Please note that all broadcasters are required to log the reception of all tests including this one. Also note that in the event of a real emergency, Dave's office will be using the LAE (Local Area Emergency) event code. If your EAS decoder programming follows the recommendations in the Wisconsin State EAS Plan, that LAE code should already be programmed.


Nominations for the 2019 Chapter 24 Officers Election are now open. Any Chapter member in good standing may volunteer to run for one of four Officer positions; Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, or Treasurer. Any member in good standing can nominate another member in good standing but the nominee must be aware of the nomination and agree to run.

To date we have one candidate for each office. Nominations will close at the end of the Chapter's March 28th monthly meeting. The election will be held from April 1st until the close of the Chapter's April 24th monthly meeting. Election results will be announced before the Chapter's May 23rd meeting with the new Officers assuming their duties at that meeting.

Please contact Nominations Chair Leonard Charles with your nomination.

30 Years Ago This Month

Recently Chapter 24 member Tom Weeden turned over the hard copy of several issues of early Chapter 24 Newsletters. Tom discovered them in his basement. The Chapter Archives - Past Chapter Newsletters section of the Chapter web site was able to add issues from 1994 back to 1988. Thanks Tom! Meanwhile if you are doing an archeological dig and discover missing issues for our archives please let us know. We'll do the scanning.

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Mike Norton, Secretary

January, 2019

The Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 24 held its monthly meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at WKOW in Madison. There were 14 members present, 10 who held SBE certification

Chapter Chair Rich Wood called the meeting to order at 7:01pm, and asked everyone around the room to give quick introductions. No additions or corrections were made to the brief December meeting summary of the holiday party, so they were approved as posted on the Chapter 24 eNews page.

Leonard Charles reminded everyone that the deadline for Chapter 24 eNews items is the first of the month. Information and stories should be sent to by close of business on the first. Rich Wood gave a sustaining membership report that counts 14 companies as currently supporting the local chapter.

Rich summarized the upcoming program schedule, with the February 20 program by Videstra about their streaming live camera system, held at ECB. The March 28 program will be at Full Compass Systems learning about the CrewCom wireless intercom system, while the April 24 meeting will feature elections and an NAB review.

Certification and Education chair Jim Hermanson noted two people were recently recertified, and the next exam opportunity is April 9 at NAB; application deadline is March 1. The next local exam window is June 7 - 17, with an application deadline of April 19. Jim also noted a SBE webinar on ATSC 3.0 will be available on January 30.

Leonard Charles gave an SBE National report highlighting a full-day seminar on ATSC 3.0, held Saturday, April 6 before NAB in Las Vegas. The joint SBE/PBS TechCon tutorial day is open to anyone, with a cost of $95 for SBE members; see the web site for more details and to register. Also on the Saturday of NAB, SBE will present its annual Ennes Workshop covering various topics from the future of broadcasting, replacing retiring staff, and data center design concepts. For complete information and to register, visit

With a frequency coordination update, Tom Smith said there was nothing new to report. He did speak briefly that FCC filings are problematic due to the partial federal government shutdown.

There was no old business brought up. In new business Leonard Charles has agreed to lead the nominations committee for the upcoming chapter elections. The floor was opened for nominations; if you are interested in running for office or learning more please contact Leonard. Nominations will be accepted until the March 28 meeting, with elections happening in April.

In professional and general announcement, Britny Willams said that Association of Public Radio Engineers (APRE) is offering scholarships to their conference held Thursday to Saturday at NAB. The scholarship is targeted to public radio engineers who are new to the industry or have not attended the Public Radio Engineering Conference (PREC) in the last five years. See for more details and to apply. Rich talked briefly about the generator failure at the Dane County Regional Airport, and used it as an example of why full testing of backup systems is crucial. It was also mentioned that there are current engineering opportunities at WHA-TV and WORT-FM.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15pm. Rich turned the floor over to Greg Martin from Rhode and Schwarz, who gave an overview of the company. He also talked about the R&S RelayCaster product line, which allows professional video contribution links over public internet connections.


Gary Timm, Broadcast Chair
Wisconsin EAS Committee
...from a January 14th email release

On Friday, January 18, 2019, the Blue Alert EAS Event Code BLU becomes effective in the EAS rules. It would appear at this time that all of the EAS equipment manufacturers either now have this upgrade available on their websites, or will shortly.

Per FCC rules, the installation of this BLU Event Code into your EAS equipment is VOLUNTARY, not required. In Wisconsin, our State Department of Justice is responsible for issuing Blue Alerts, and they have said if they were to issue such an alert, they would NOT use EAS. It would instead be issued through the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network (WCAN) via email, cellphone text, and fax. This is the same method as WI DOJ uses to issue Silver Alerts and Green Alerts in our state, and this same system is used in tandem with the EAS alerts for Amber Alerts - the only alert of this type that uses EAS in Wisconsin. You can sign up for these WCAN email/text/fax alerts at:

So the upshot here is that you are NOT required to install this code, and Wisconsin will not be using it anyway.

I did note that some EAS equipment manufacturers are bundling the BLU Event Code upgrade with a new feature often called "triggered CAP polling". With this feature enabled, when your EAS unit receives an over-the-air Legacy EAS message, it immediately goes out to check if there is a duplicate message available via IPAWS, and if so, your EAS unit airs that version. Since the IPAWS alert usually has better audio quality and more descriptive text, TV stations in particular might prefer to air the IPAWS alerts by having this feature enabled.

I noted that at least one EAS equipment manufacturer is charging a fee to upgrade to the software version that offers the BLU Event Code, but that software version also includes the addition of the above "triggered CAP polling" feature, as well as other improvements. So EAS Participants with those EAS units will need to assess whether paying a fee to upgrade is worth the money to them. But again, upgrading to the new BLU Event Code is NOT required and Wisconsin will NOT be using it.

Contact your EAS equipment manufacturer with any unit-specific questions.

Amateur Radio News
compiled by Tom Weeden WJ9H

The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Volunteer Examiner Coordinator said on January 30th the FCC began processing Amateur Radio applications for the first time since early January, when it shut down because of the lapse in funding.

"The FCC worked through its backlog very quickly, and started processing our files about noon today (January 30th)," Assistant ARRL VEC Manager Amanda Grimaldi, N1NHL, said. "We're slowly submitting the files we have in queue - we don't want to bombard them! Assuming there are no hiccups, everyone should see their applications processed by the close of business on Thursday (January 31st)."

The ARRL VEC had piled up some 2,700 pending Amateur Radio applications, many of them from 425 ARRL VEC examination sessions that took place during the shutdown or immediately prior to it. These do not include files that the other 13 VECs may have ready to upload to the FCC.

For those just getting started on their Amateur Radio journey, ARRL is launching a new podcast aimed at answering questions, providing support and encouragement for newcomers to get the most out of the hobby. The podcast, "So Now What?," will launch on Thursday, March 7, and new episodes will be posted every other Thursday, alternating new-episode weeks with the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast.

Co-hosting "So Now What?" will be ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and ARRL Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. Presented as a lively conversation, with Patnode representing newer hams and Carcia the veteran operators, the podcast will explore questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep participants from staying active in the hobby. Some episodes will feature guests to answer questions on specific topic areas.

"No other podcast is really aimed at this segment of the Amateur Radio community...that is being underserved, that is not getting the answers to the many questions they have," said ARRL Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN, who will serve as the podcast's executive producer.

Topics to be discussed in the first several episodes include getting started, operating modes available to Technician licensees, VEC and licensing issues, sunspots and propagation, mobile operating, contesting, Amateur Radio in pop culture, and perceptions of Technician license holders.

Patnode said she is excited to ask questions she has about different aspects of Amateur Radio, such as how to incorporate ham radio with newer technologies like Raspberry Pi computers and Arduino microcontrollers, and to learn more about the hobby right along with the audience.

Two new Chinese satellites with Amateur Radio payloads are planned for an April 5 launch, CAMSAT (the Chinese amateur-satellite organization) has reported.

CAS-7A will carry HF/HF (21/29 MHz) and HF/UHF (21/435 MHz) mode linear transponders, VHF/UHF linear and VHF/UHF FM transponders, a UHF CW telemetry beacon, UHF GMSK telemetry, and 10 GHz GMSK image data transmission for an onboard camera.

CAS-7B is described as a 500-millimeter sphere spacecraft weighing 3 kilograms. It will carry a VHF/UHF transponder and a UHF CW telemetry beacon.

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's web site and FCC public notices)

compiled by Tom Smith


With the end of the shutdown of the Federal Government, the FCC reopened for business on Monday, January 28th. With the reopening of the FCC, the FCC websites started to allow electronic filing of applications and other documents to be uploaded. During the shutdown, the only filings that could be uploaded were applications for modifications and special temporary authorizations for construction permits for TV stations being repacked and the FCC continued to process and grant these applications.

During the shutdown, the only notices in the Daily Digest, which is where the FCC announces that day's actions, were for the accepting of applications and grants for TV stations being repacked. There were only two other announcements published in the Daily Digest during the shutdown. The first was on January 18th, when the FCC released a notice (DA-19-19A1.pdf) that they would start to accept Equipment Authorization System filings as authorizations are processed and granted by private labs. The FCC needs to be consulted for some specialized authorizations and those were not accepted as they could not be processed. The second notice not related to the repack was a notice that the FCC would hold its scheduled January 30th meeting. The notice stated that the meeting would not take any actions, but was required by law. A short meeting would have been held by conference call if the shutdown continued past January 30th, but because the FCC reopened on January 28th, the Commissioners did meet in person for the shortened meeting. On January 29th, the FCC announced (DOC-355941A1.pdf) that they were moving the February meeting to February 14th from February 21st. This is so the Commissioners can meet before the three week budget extension is over and the government could possibly shutdown again. The February meeting will take up the proposed actions that were not taken up during the January meeting.

Before the shutdown, the FCC said that any filings that were due during the shutdown such as the quarterly program and children's reports which were due January 10th would have had to have been filed on the first two days the FCC was reopened which would have been January 29th. On January 28th, the FCC extended the deadline by a day to January 30th. On January 29th, the FCC extended the filing deadline (DA-19-26A1.pdf) again for any filings due from January 8 to February 7th to a new deadline of February 8th. Filings due from January 3 to January 7th were still due no later than January 30th.

The auction for the 28 GHz band continued during the shutdown as auctions are funded by auction proceeds as well as the processing of repack applications which is why the repack application filings were continued to be processed. The 28 GHz auction ended on January 24th.

Processing of applications and other FCC actions may be delayed while the FCC catches up on any backlogs of previous unprocessed paperwork and the possible flood of applications that were able to be filed during the shutdown.

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Two recertification applications were received and chapter-approved recently. Those applications are now being reviewed by the national office and applicants should hear back soon.

The Open 2019 Exam Schedule

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)
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

Start Planning for Re-certification Now

The SBE National Certification Committee has produced a brochure that you can use to help keep track of the activities you have completed during the 5 years of your SBE certification.

There is also an excel spreadsheet that you may use if you prefer to keep track on your computer.

If your certification expires January 1, 2019, please fill out the re-certification application and send it in to maintain your SBE certification.

Upgrade your SBE Certification

If you currently hold a Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE) or a Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE) certification and you have worked in the industry for at least 20 years, you may want to consider upgrading to the Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE). There is no exam involved. You can find more information about the CPBE and applications here.

If you are interested in any of the other SBE certifications not mentioned here, please go to the SBE website, or contact Certification Director, Megan Clappe.

Participate in the 2019 Mentor Program

The SBE Mentor Program is now in its third year and off to a great start in 2019 with new pairings and another Kick-Off webinar. Of course, the SBE welcomes more mentors/mentees to the program. Contact Education Director Cathy Orosz at 317-846-9000 or

If you are attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, be sure to add the SBE Membership Meeting on Tuesday, April 9 to your schedule. Don't miss this opportunity to meet mentors and mentees face-to-face and be recognized for your participation in this program!

If you are planning on attending the NAB Show, email Education Director, Cathy Orosz at so we will be sure to look for you.


Several On-Demand Webinars ranging from ATSC 3.0 to cybersecurity to networking to RF courses are available at .

Look forward to the SBE RF 201 Series that will continue in 2019. Please take advantage of Modules 1-4 that are now available ON DEMAND.

The RF Safety 2019 course has been set for Thursday, May 2.

Look forward to announcements on the series, "Networking for ATSC 3.0" to be presented by Wayne Pecena. For more information, contact Education Director Cathy Orosz at 317-846-9000 or at

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. Articles of interest to Chapter 24 members are accepted up to the close of business the 1st day of each month. Send your article to .