Monthly eNews July 2019

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Our Next Meeting:
Thursday, July 25th
Tower Responsibility
Christopher Mallon, Tower MRL

Tower site maintenance falls on the shoulders of the station Engineering department but in these days of less people covering more responsibility that maintenance sometimes takes a back seat to more front line issues. And, how much does that landscaping company you hire know about what's under those towers and what to be careful of. Christopher T. Mallon, PE and President of TowerMRL (Maintenance, Repair, and Landscaping) will refresh us on tower maintenance issues and planning. He will also speak to the new ANSI rigging standards and NATE as an organization.

Dinner at 5:30 PM
The Food Court
in West Towne Mall
(near JC Penny)
Madison, WI

Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
7025 Raymond Road
Madison, WI

Visitors and guests are welcome!

Click to Enlarge

Look Back 25 Years

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Russ Awe, Secretary

June, 2019

Members of SBE Chapter 24 attended the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Summer Conference in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin at the Osthoff Resort. It included an Engineering Day on Wednesday, June 12 that had many topics such as Network Security, ATSC 3.0, Raspberry Pi, Podcasting, Emergency Operations and the Spectrum Repack - What have we learned so far. This was a joint SBE Chapter meeting that included members from Chapters 24, 26, 28, 80 and 112. SBE Chapter 24 had seven members present with three guests. This meeting did not have a Chapter business component.

Also, on Thursday June 13 the WBA inducted SBE Chapter 24-member Clif Groth into the Wisconsin Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Congratulations Clif on over 60 years of broadcasting engineering excellence!

Amateur Radio News
compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

The FCC has put on public notice for comment a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11843) that seeks the creation of a new 8-meter Amateur Radio allocation on a secondary basis. The Petition suggests the new band could be centered on an industrial-scientific-medical (ISM) segment somewhere between 40.51 and 40.70 MHz. The spectrum between 40 and 41 MHz is currently allocated to the Federal Government and, as such, within the purview of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Michelle Bradley, KU3N, of Maryland, filed the petition in May on behalf of REC Networks, which she founded and described in the Petition as "a leading advocate for a citizen's access to spectrum," including Amateur Radio spectrum.

"REC feels that the time is right for the Commission to open a Notice of Inquiry and eventually a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and in cooperation with the NTIA, this new band opportunity can be realized to spark the next generation of 'makers' in the fields of science, technology, education, and math (STEM), especially women and girls," Bradley told the FCC in the Petition. "The more opportunities we give to make things, the more opportunities we have to build a pool of experts in STEM, right here at home."

The Petition said the objective of a new band would be "an effort to foster experimentation into the propagation characteristics of this band midway between the 10- and 6-meter bands." An allocation in the 8-meter band is available to radio amateurs in Ireland, where the Irish Radio Transmitters Society has developed a band plan for 40 - 41 MHz.

"REC perceives this spectrum can be used for weak signal experimentation and eventually general amateur use, especially along transatlantic paths using CW, SSB, digital modes such as FT8 and digital voice," the Petition said. "As no radios are mass-produced for this band at this time, this opens up new opportunities for 'makers' to construct transmitters, receivers, and antenna systems that can be used in this spectrum."

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 CubeSat, launched on June 25, will transmit Morse code from space. LightSail is a citizen-funded project to send a small spacecraft, propelled solely by sunlight, into Earth's orbit. The innovative satellite is due to be deployed on July 2 from Prox-1, a Georgia Tech student-built spacecraft the size of a small washing machine. Once deployed, LightSail 2 will automatically transmit a beacon packet every few seconds, which can be decoded into 238 lines of text telemetry describing the spacecraft's health and status, including everything from battery status to solar sail deployment motor state. Every 45 seconds, the spacecraft will transmit "LS2" on the spacecraft's frequency of 437.025 MHz, within the Amateur Radio 70-centimeter band.

LightSail 2 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carried by the SpaceX triple-booster Falcon Heavy rocket. The launcher also carried aloft two dozen spacecraft for the US Air Force STP-2 mission. Launch had been set to occur late on June 24, but SpaceX delayed the liftoff to make additional ground system checks.

Two other Amateur Radio payloads were on the launch, riding with satellites built by US Naval Academy students. BRICSat-2 (call sign USNAP1) will function as a 1.2/9.6 k APRS digipeater on 145.825 MHz. Telemetry will be transmitted on 437.975 MHz. PSAT-2 also will operate on 145.825 MHz with APRS to voice and DTMF to voice/APRS, and it will carry a 28.120 MHz up/435.350 MHz down PSK31 transponder. An SSTV camera will transmit on the same downlink.

The emerging wireless power transmission (WPT) technology and associated applications came under closer scrutiny during the May/June meeting of International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Study Group 1 and its Working Parties. Participants wrapped up 7 days of sessions in Geneva on June 7, with International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) President Don Beattie, G3BJ, representing the IARU. The primary concern over WPT centers on its interference potential.

"Work was advanced on reports on WPT at 100 - 148.5 kHz for low-power charging of portable devices, for WPT for electric vehicles (WPT-EV) at around 20, 60, and 85 kHz, and for 'beam' WPT for remote charging," IARU Region 1 reported. "All of these technologies have the potential for harmful interference to radiocommunication services if not carefully managed, particularly the harmonics of the WPT systems."

IARU says it's advocating "proper emission limits" to protect radio services and is working with other spectrum users and administrations that share its concerns.

The ITU meetings discussed emerging proposals for WPT-EV emission limits from the International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR), where there is a level of concern that these limits fall short of providing the necessary protection to radiocommunication services. Founded in 1934, CISPR sets standards for controlling electromagnetic interference in electrical and electronic devices and equipment.

The issue of WPT-EV is World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) Agenda Item 9.1.6. In a WPT status report at the IARU Region 1 Interim Meeting in Vienna in late April, Beattie said the Amateur Service is "highly susceptible to any increase in the background noise level," such as that WPT might generate.

He said frequencies being planned for WPT are 19 - 21 kHz for high power; 55 - 65 kHz and 79 - 90 kHz for medium power, and 100 - 148.5 kHz for lower power -- but still up to 2.4 kW.

"WPT is generally high duty cycle, located in residential areas, and its harmonics are likely to be spread across a band of frequencies, in some cases the whole of the HF spectrum," Beattie said in his presentation to the Vienna interim meeting.

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

compiled by Tom Smith


On June 3rd, the FCC announced that there would be a national EAS test on Wednesday, August 7th 2:20 PM EDT. The backup day is Wednesday, August 17th. This test will only involve the daisy chain broadcast relay system and is a test to determine if the national EAS system will be effective should the internet be unavailable.

The FCC wants stations in conjunction with their state EAS committee to do the following:
  • Ensure that a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook is located at normal duty positions, or EAS equipment locations, and is otherwise immediately available to operators

  • Review the EAS Operating Handbook for the actions to be taken by operators upon receipt of the test alert, and tailoring any actions as necessary that are specific to the EAS Participant's facilities

  • Review their State EAS Plan for monitoring assignments, and ensure that EAS equipment is accurately configured to monitor those sources

  • Ensure that EAS equipment can receive and process the NPT code, the "six zeroes" national location code, and otherwise operate in compliance with the Commission rules

  • Upgrade EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent version

  • Manually synchronizing EAS equipment clocks to the official time provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, if an EAS Participant's equipment does not automatically synchronize to an Internet time source
Stations also need to review their 2018 ETRS Form One filings to identify and make necessary updates to the information previously provided. Stations are/were required to update their forms by July 3rd. Stations will have to file Form Two by 11:59 EDT on August 7th and the more detailed Form Three by 11:59 EDT on September 23rd. The notice can be found here (DA-19-505A1).


On June 25th, the FCC announce that they would be having a webinar for low power broadcasters on July 11th at 1:00 PM EDT. The webinar will last for 45 minutes and cover the EAS system and filing information for the EAS reporting system. The notice did not say it was aimed at either LPFM or LPTV broadcasters, which would indicate it was for all low power broadcasters in either TV or FM. Information on the webinar can be found at (DA-19-591A1).


On June 12th, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC-19-54A1) asking for comments on improvements on Equal Employment Opportunity rules enforcement. The notice is mainly asking for comments on the overall effectiveness of the EEO program with no specific part of the program signaled out other than a call for improvements in its auditing procedures. The notice did call for comments that paid special attention to audits specifically for ensuring that hiring decisions were made after a notice of an employment opening was posted. This is to prevent the posting of a job opening as a formality even though the employer had already made a offer to someone to fill the opening. They also asked if the auditing process was sufficient to detect discrimination in recruitment, interviewing and selection. There will be a 30 day comment period with a 15 day reply period starting with publication in the Federal Register.

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Well Done!

Congratulations to Derek Murphey of WNWC Radio for being recently recertified as a Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE)!

The Open 2019 Exam Schedule

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)
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

July Webinar

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
ATSC 3.0 Networking: Module 3: IP Routing
Module 3 completes the ATSC 3.0 Networking Series presented by Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE. In this final Module, IP Routing, secure remote access and security best practices to insure reliable system operation and ongoing support capability will be discussed. ATSC 3.0 promises to revolutionize the television broadcast industry with integration of traditional over-the-air (OTA) signals and broadband delivered IP content.

Members $59, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non Members $89. Register Here.

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

Recertification Credits for SBE WEBxtra

For those holding SBE certification, viewing the SBE WEBxtra qualifies for 0.5 points in category G (attendance), just like attending a local chapter meeting.

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 .