Monthly eNews March 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
Thursday, March 28th
CrewCom by Pliant Technologies
and final Nominations

This meeting will be at Full Compass. Pliant Technologies has a really smart networked wireless (and wired) intercom solution called CrewCom. It's sophisticated RF design allows for a high level of user connections and area-of-connection management.

Dinner at 5:30 PM
Rocky Rococo
7952 Tree Lane
(Mineral Point at Beltline)
Madison, WI

Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
Full Compass Systems
9770 Silicon Prairie Parkway
Madison, WI


Visitors and guests are welcome!


Open Nominations for the 2019 Chapter 24 Officers Election will end with our March 28th meeting. 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. They are:
Britny Williams for Chair
Mike Norton for Vice Chair
Russ Awe for Secretary
Roy Henn for Treasurer (incumbent)

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.

29 Years Ago....

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Mike Norton, Secretary

February, 2019

Chapter 24 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at the Wisconsin Public Broadcasting Center. There were 5 members present, 3 who held SBE certification.

Chapter Chair Rich Wood delayed the start of the meeting to allow extra travel time due to the inclement weather. He then called the meeting to order at 7:15pm. No additions or corrections were offered for the January meeting minutes, so they remained as posted on the Chapter 24 eNews page.

Leonard Charles noted the deadline for the next Chapter 24 eNews submissions is March 1. Articles and stories of interest should be sent to by close of business on the first. Rich Wood then reported that 14 companies are currently sustaining members of the local chapter. Additionally Rich said the recent membership report counts 44 people belonging to Chapter 24.

Rich reviewed the future schedule: the March 28 program will be at Full Compass Systems about the Pliant CrewCom intercom system, along with any final officer nominations. Elections and the annual NAB review are scheduled at WISC-TV on April 24, and a program by Werner Electric about 4K connections is planned at the ECB on May 23.

Certification and Education chair Jim Hermanson mentioned the next exam session on April 9 at NAB, with an application deadline of March 1. A local exam window is June 7 - 17, with an application deadline of April 19. Jim also pointed out there is another in the series of SBE ATSC 3.0 webinars --this one on the ROUTE protocol-- happening on Wednesday, February 27 at 1pm. SBE is also trying WebExtra webinars as a pilot program, and viewing them can count for 1\2 recertification credit. Go to for more details.

With National news, Leonard Charles reported there is 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. On the same Saturday of NAB, an Ennes Workshop begins the Engineering and IT Conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more details and to register, go to website.

Leonard Charles then gave an update on the upcoming elections. With term limits, three of the four officer positions are up for election. Current candidates are: Britny Williams for Chair, Mike Norton for Vice Chair, Russ Awe for Secretary, and incumbent Roy Henn running again for Treasurer. Additional nominations will be accepted until the March 28 meeting; contact Leonard if you are interested. Elections close April 24.

There was no old or new business brought forward. In professional and general announcements, Rich Wood mentioned a radio story he heard regarding the global positioning system rolling over near the beginning April. A brief discussion about what the GPS roll over is and how it could affect various systems at broadcast facilities followed.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:29pm. Rich then introduced Dan Desjardins from Videstra who demonstrated the Vestraview system, complete with multiple live views from various TV station weather cameras. Dan also gave practical suggestions and troubleshooting suggestions for IP camera systems.

Y2K Lite????

GPS has become a reliable source of positioning, navigation and timing since its birth in 1980. To the extent that GPS may be used inside your broadcast plant to source time and date, you need to be aware of an upcoming GPS rollover and its possible affect on your plant. To better understand it will help to know how the GPS time and date system works.

The GPS clock started at zero when it was born on January 6, 1980. Within the GPS signal are counters used to determine how many weeks have passed since the zero start to calculate a date, and how many seconds have passed into that week for accurate time. The problem is with the weeks counter. The counter works on a 10 bit system which limits the maximum number of weeks it can count to 1023. When it reaches 1024, it resets to zero. 1023 weeks is just under 19.7 years so the reset has already happened once, on August 22, 1999. We are nearing the end of the second 1023 week cycle which will run out on April 6, 2019 when the third cycle begins.

The GPS time/date protocol contains no information that indicates which 1023 week cycle it is in. Therefore the GPS receiver must contain a way of deducing that information so that an accurate time and date can be output. It may be worth your time to check with your GPS manufacturer to determine how your receiver will deal with the April 6th GPS rollover.

Got a Drone, Display the ID

If your station owns and operates a drone you should be aware that the FAA has issued a new set of rules requiring all drones to display official registration numbers on the outside of the aircraft. Previously, the unique identifier could be stored inside the device under a removable cover so it could be viewed when closely handled.

The "Registration and Marking Requirements for Small Unmanned Aircraft" rule officially went into effect on February 25th but the FAA is currently requesting public comments on the changes through March 15th. The FAA has yet to issue a firm guide for how the external marking should appear.

A unique identifier is obtained when a drone is initially registered with the FAA and now must be marked on the exterior of the aircraft. The FAA is taking this action to address concerns expressed by law enforcement regarding the risk a concealed explosive device poses to first responders who must open a compartment to find the registration number.

Tarr Appointed to SBE Board of Directors

The SBE Executive Committee has appointed Milwaukee's Chris Tarr to fill an open position on the SBE Board of Directors. Tarr is director of technical operations for Entercom Milwaukee/Madison and will also take over as chair of the SBE Mentor Committee.

The director seat came available after the resignation of Kim Sacks for personal reasons. Tarr's term runs through Oct. 16, 2019. On his appointment, Tarr said, "As someone who is passionate about the future of our industry, and an SBE mentor of two engineers, I'm honored to be able to continue the great work Kim Sacks has done with the Mentor Program."

On the appointment, SBE President Jim Leifer said, "Chris has a boundless energy for broadcast engineering. With his previous experience on the board, I anticipate Chris will continue to grow the SBE Mentor Program, continuing on the great work Kim Sacks started."

compiled by Tom Smith


On February 8th, the FCC published a notice (2019-01491) in the Federal Register, a Notice of Final Rulemaking which eliminated the requirement for stations to post their licenses and certain other documents at the transmitter control point. Besides station licenses, the letter designating the chief operator was required to be posted with the licenses. With the elimination of the posting requirements, all the copies of the licenses must still be retained in the stations files. With the changes in the main studio rules along with the eliminations of the posting rules, it would be a good idea to review the new rules, particularly if the studio location is moved to a distant location as the new studio rules will allow the files to moved to the new studio location. The FCC does consider the online public file as the main source of this information to the general public.

For those stations that take advantage of the new studio rules and move the studio a great distance from the city of license, it may be to their advantage to keep copies of the licenses at the transmitter or other facility they have in the city of license for reference purposes in the event of a FCC inspection for staff reference.


At the February 14th Commission meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC-19-9A1) to ease the licensing process for all Non-Commercial Educational radio and TV stations and Low-power FM stations.

The following key points in the rulemaking were listed in the press release (DOC-356200A1) that was issued along with the full Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking.
o Eliminate the current requirement that NCE applicants amend their governing documents to pledge that localism/diversity be maintained in order to receive points as "established local applicants" and for "diversity of ownership"

o Improve the NCE tie-breaker process and reduce the need for mandatory time-sharing

o Clarify aspects of the "holding period" rule by which NCE permittees must maintain the characteristics for which they received comparative preferences and points

o Reclassify as "minor" gradual changes in governing boards with respect to non-stock and membership LPFM and NCE applicants

o Extend the LPFM construction period from 18-months to a full three years

o Allow the assignment/transfer of LPFM construction permits after an 18-month holding period and eliminate the three-year holding period on assigning LPFM licenses
There were some other changes proposed to clarify some other application rules such as ascertaining that applicants have assurance to use their proposed transmitter site.

Because NCE and LPFM stations still use comparative hearings when there are competing applications, the FCC is trying to further clarify what has historically been a messy process which was replaced for commercial broadcast applicants, first by lotteries and then auctions for determining the winner when there are two or more competing applicants. In most cases, it is difficult to determine who is the best applicant in a comparative hearing as there are few differences that would separate the applicants to determine who is most worthy. This has proven to be an ongoing issue for the FCC and maybe they will take a step on the improvement of the process.

This action was to be voted on at the January Commission meeting, but was delayed due to the shutdown of Federal Government.


The FCC eliminated the EEO mid-term 397 paper form at the February 14th meeting of the Commission. In this action, (FCC-19-10A1) the FCC eliminated the filing of form 397, but the FCC will still get the mid-term license period information in electronic filings that are required for stations online public file. The only information that form 397 provided that the online information did not ask was the number of employees that worked at the station. The number of employees that work at a station determine the EEO requirements for that station. The Commission will add the question asking for the number of employees to the electronic EEO filings.

This action is part of the deregulation process of the current FCC administration and is another step in the goal to ease the regulatory burden on broadcasters and other FCC licensees.


On February 4th, the FCC announced (DOC-356045A1) a phone number for a Consumer Assistance Center to provide information on rescanning televisions to viewers when stations change channels as they are repacked to their new channels. The FCC has a toll-free number 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322, press 6) and a website ( The toll free number is available from 8:00 AM to 1:00 AM Eastern time, seven days a week. On the website there is an interactive search page that will list all station that are able to be received in your area which gives the current channel, the new channel if applicable and the time period for the channel change. Mention of this toll-free number and website on station websites and in promo announcements may be of use for stations that are changing channels in getting help to viewers during the transition


On February 26th, the FCC released a notice (DA-19-120A1) asking for comments on the rating system for TV programs. As part of the bill that reopened the government on February 15th, Congress asked for a report from the FCC on the TV rating system and the Oversight Monitoring Board which is a TV industry board. The FCC is seeking comment on the accuracy of the ratings and on the effectiveness of the oversight from the board. The Parents Television Council recently sent a letter complaining that the TV ratings were misleading or deceptive as programs with graphic or gun violence were rated for viewing by children. PTC is a group that aggressively lobbies against TV content that it believes is unsuitable. Congress could be reacting to their lobbying.

Congress sent a 90 day deadline for the report which is May 15th. The deadline for comments to the FCC is March 12th with replies due March 19th.

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)
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

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.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019
ATSC 3.0: Module 6: Advanced Emergency Information System
Module 6 of the SBE ATSC 3.0 webinar series takes place on Wednesday, March 20 at 2 p.m. ET. The ATSC 3.0 Advanced Emergency Information system enables broadcasters to deliver timely, in-depth emergency-related information to their viewers, which can strengthen the connection between the audience and the station and provide critical information in times of need. The system includes methods for waking up devices in stand-by mode, message targeting, rich media delivery and more. In this webinar, attendees will learn about the elements of the ATSC 3.0 standards that enable advanced emergency messaging, along with methods and examples for implementing the system features.

Instructing is Madeleine Noland, consultant with LG Electronics, Zenith Electronics, LLC and chair of the Technology Group, ATSC 3.0 (TG3). SBE Traditional Members $59, SBE MemberPlus members FREE, Non Member $89. Register Here.

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

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.

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.

ATSC 3.0 Tutorials at PBS TechCon 2019

At least three tutorials on ATSC 3.0 will be offered at PBS TechCon 2019. For more information, see the listings under 2019 News and Headlines on this page.

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 .