Monthly eNews October 2019

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Our Next Meeting:
Wednesday, October 16th

The SBE National will be holding the events surrounding their National Meeting at this year's Broadcasters Clinic. All members are invited to attend the National SBE Membership meeting. Chapter 24 will forgo a monthly meeting and instead invite Chapter members to attend this National meeting. Be sure to sign the attendance sheet because you'll get recert credit for attending just like a Chapter meeting. Please note the 3pm early start time for this meeting.

Then at 5pm there will be an Awards Reception followed by the annual SBE Awards Dinner at 6pm. Chapter 24 will receive two national awards at this dinner. As well Chapter 80's Bill Hubbard will receive the 2019 SBE Educator of the Year award.

Please note that the awards reception and dinner require separate registration that is not included in the Broadcasters Clinic registration. The cost is $16 and is available in advance at

3:00 PM - SBE National Meeting
Visitors and guests are welcome!
Marriot-West, Ballroom D
1313 John Q. Hammons Drive
Middleton, WI

5:00 PM - Awards Reception
(see above for admission details)
Marriot-West, Atrium

6:00 PM - Awards Banquet
(see above for admission details)
Marriot-West, Ballroom E

Click to Enlarge

Look Back 22 Years

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Russ Awe, Secretary

September 26, 2019

The meeting was brought to order by Chair Britny Williams at 7:00 PM at Madison College, Truax Campus. There were 15 people present for the meeting. Eight were SBE members with five being certified and seven guests.

Secretary Russ Awe made a motion to approve last months meeting minutes. There was a correction to the minutes proposed by Jim Hermanson. The minutes should have stated "October 24th is the next exam session." Rich Wood made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Seconded by Tom Smith. The motion passed.

Treasurer Roy Henn via Tom Smith reported that we received two sustaining membership renewals.

The Newsletter report was given by Leonard Charles. He stated that the deadline for articles for the October eNews letter is the close of business on Tuesday October 1st. Please forward any article of interest to members of Chapter 24 to .

If you are not receiving the eNews letter and want it, send an email addressed to to be added to the distribution list.

Britny reported that the current membership remains steady.

Sustaining membership chair Fred Sperry reported that there are no new renewals to report. The chapter is remaining steady with 13 sustaining members.

Britny ran down the programs for the next few months.

The October 16 meeting will take place during the Broadcaster's Clinic in conjunction with the National SBE Membership Meeting in Madison. Chapter 24 will be receiving an award for most Certified Chapter. Please plan on attending.

The November 21 meeting will be held at WISC and will be about the Candelabra Channel Change Project with Kevin Ruppert. Delays in tower work might cause shuffling of programs. Our December 11 meeting will be a dinner at Maple Tree restaurant. Al Ritchie submitted an idea that an upcoming meeting take place at the Charter Cable head end. The last time the Chapter met there was in 2008. Please submit your ideas for programs in 2020.

Certification and Education chair Jim Hermanson pointed out that the next local exam session is February 7 - 17. Application deadline is December 31 with the National office. Jim also congratulated Chapter 24 on being the Class B most certified chapter in the nation this year.

Frequency Coordinator Tom Smith says that he received a request for last Saturday's football game - sky shot, airplane. Tom Smith also recommends local broadcasters register their wireless frequencies through the white space data bank with the FCC.

National liaison Leonard Charles reported that the SBE National Meeting is with the Broadcasters Clinic this year and we hope to see many of you there. Plan to attend the 3 pm Wednesday Annual Membership Meeting and the National Awards Reception and Dinner at 5 and 6 pm respectively. Several Wisconsin members and chapters will be among those recognized with awards. A $250 Amazon gift card will be given away at the dinner, compliments of our sponsor, The Telos Alliance. Reception/Dinner tickets are just $16 and available on-line at Click on the National Meeting link.

If you are not able to attend the Annual Membership Meeting in person on October 16, you can tune into the live webcast at 3 pm CDT. Click on the webcast link on the SBE website beginning at 2:45 pm.

Tom King, president of Kintronic Labs, will lead an SBE webinar on October 23, talking about AM Combiners. It's part of the SBE RF 201 webinar series. Register at the SBE website. It's free for SBE MemberPlus members.

Under Professional Announcements, Tom Weeden via Mike Norton announced that WMTV will be opening their garage to SBE members and amateur radio operators who may want to rummage through old WMTV equipment and take home some parts for projects for free. Included will be old VTRs, analog and standard definition video equipment, a legacy PBX phone system, obsolete transmitter parts, and miscellaneous electronics. The e-rummage event will be on Wednesday, October 9th from 5-7 PM. Location is 615 Forward Drive in Madison. Either park on the street or in visitor parking, then walk to the brown garage building. There was no old business.

A motion was made by Tom Smith to adjourn the meeting. Majority vote adjourned the meeting at 7:15. Britny then moved the evening into the 5G Technology discussion that was presented by Damian Roth from Madison College.

2019 Broadcasters Clinic
hosts the SBE National

The SBE National meetings will be held in conjunction with this year's Broadcasters Clinic. All Clinic Sessions will be held in the Superior Room at the newly renovated Madison Marriott West Hotel, located at 1313 John Q. Hammons Drive in Middleton. For a listing of all the SBE National meetings and their locations click here.

Check out the 2019 Clinic session agenda. On line registration is available here.

SBE National Awards

SBE Chapter 24 attained two national awards recently announced by the SBE.

Most Certified Chapter (Class B) is a reflection of the relentless efforts of the Chapter's long time Certification Chair Jim Hermanson (26 years) to make sure the membership is aware of all the certification classifications available, the application deadlines, and arranging the test sites as well as proctoring the exams. THANK YOU JIM!

Best Regional Educational Event was awarded to all of the Wisconsin SBE Chapters for the 2018 Broadcasters Clinic. The Broadcasters Clinic is underwritten by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association with session planning shared by members of SBE Chapters 80 (Fox Valley), 28 (Milwaukee), 24 (Madison), and 112 (Western Wisconsin). Congratulations to them all!

Wisconsin's own Bill Hubbard (SBE Chapter 80, Fox Valley) was selected as the 2019 SBE Educator of the Year. The award reflects Bill's many years of mentoring during his broadcast engineering career, his certification initiative work in his home Chapter 80, his work on the annual Broadcasters Clinic Program Committee, and his many year involvement with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association's Media Technology Institute. Congratulations Bill!

For more on these and other awards click here. The Awards will be given out at the annual SBE Awards Banquet in conjunction with the SBE National Meetings held this year at the Broadcasters Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin October 16th.

WMTV E-rummage "Event"
from Tom Weeden

Before we send a bunch of old and obsolete electronics to a recycler, WMTV will be opening up our garage to SBE members and amateur radio operators who may want to rummage through our equipment and take home some parts for projects for free. Included will be old VTRs, analog and standard definition video equipment, a legacy PBX phone system, obsolete transmitter parts, and miscellaneous electronics.

Our e-rummage event will be on Wednesday, October 9th from 5-7 PM. Location is 615 Forward Drive in Madison. Either park on the street or in visitor parking, then walk to the brown garage building.

Program Ideas Needed

The Chapter 24 2020 meeting schedule has been published. The Chapter is in need of program ideas to fill the schedule. If you have a program or program suggestion please send it to Britny Williams for consideration. There are several open dates available.

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

WWV Special Event Station
The culmination of months of planning came to a head last weekend as the WWV Centennial Celebration and the related WW0WWV Amateur Radio special event got under way. WW0WWV began operation late on Friday, September 27th and continued through Tuesday evening October 1st. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club (NCARC), and the WWV Amateur Radio Club teamed up to organize 100th anniversary events. WW0WWV was active around the clock on 160 - 6 meters on CW, SSB, and digital modes. WW0WWV operated from the challenging RF environment at the WWV site near Fort Collins, Colorado.

WWV is reputed to be among the oldest continuously operating radio stations in the world. It started out as an experimental station that eventually became a time and frequency standard, and WWV often broadcast music in its early years. WWV served as a beacon for Amateur Radio pioneers, who may only have had a rough idea of where they were transmitting. When they began, early time announcements were in CW. Voice announcements did not start until 1950. Time announcements used to be every 5 minutes, but WWV switched to announcing the time every 60 seconds in 1971.

ARRL Renews Request for FCC to Replace Symbol Rate with Bandwidth Limit
In ex parte comments filed on September 17 in WT Docket 16-239, ARRL renewed its request that the FCC delete symbol rate limits below 29.7 MHz for data transmissions in the Amateur Service rules. As it did in its initial filing, ARRL asked the FCC to couple the removal of the symbol rate limits with the adoption of a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit. In response to ARRL's 2013 ARRL Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11708), the FCC proposed deleting the symbol rate limits but declined to replace them with the 2.8 kHz bandwidth that ARRL wanted.

"This proceeding addresses an update to the Commission's rules that is needed because a limitation in the rules unintentionally is inhibiting US amateurs from employing the latest improvements to some of the digital modes," ARRL said in its remarks. "Data signals commonly used for daily communications as well as in disaster situations have bandwidths in the range of 2.5 kHz and must co-exist with other modes that use bandwidths as narrow as 50 Hz."

ARRL said the 1980s-era symbol rate limits today inhibit the use of some efficient data modes. Repealing the symbol rate limit, ARRL contended, would "allow shortened transmission times for the same amount of data without increasing the bandwidth occupied by the signal. Other Amateurs would benefit by the resulting reduction in potential interference."

1921 Solar Event May Have Been Bigger than Carrington Event
Scientific American reports <> that, according to new data, the "New York Railroad Storm" of 1921 may have surpassed the intensity of the famous Carrington Event of 1859. In his paper published in the journal Space Weather, Jeffrey Love of the US Geological Survey and his colleagues reexamined the intensity of the 1921 event in greater detail than previously.

Although different measures of intensity exist, geomagnetic storms are often rated on an index called disturbance storm time (Dst) -- a way of gauging global magnetic activity by averaging out values for the strength of Earth's magnetic field measured at multiple locations. Earth's baseline Dst level is about -20 nanoteslas (nT), with a "superstorm" condition occurring when levels fall below -250 nT. Studies of the very limited magnetic data from the Carrington Event peg its intensity at anywhere from -850 to -1,050 nT. According to Love's study, the 1921 storm came in at about -907 nT.

Peter Ward in his 2017 New York History Blog article "Strange Phenomena: The New York Railroad Storm" recounted that theatre-goers in New York City "marveled at the spectacle" of an iridescent cloud that was brighter than the moon. "On the roof of the Times Building, reporters, having discovered the telegraph lines to be curiously blocked, gathered to watch the aerial kaleidoscope," he wrote.

As with the earlier Carrington Event, telegraph operators experienced wild fluctuations in the current on their circuits, while wireless propagation was enhanced. "The next day, papers reported that the Central New England railroad station (also home to the telegraph switchboard) had burned to the ground." Railroad officials later blamed the fire on the aurora.

According to Ward's article, the lights were visible in New York, California, and Nevada. Especially in rural areas, "the lights were said to be brighter, appear closer to the ground, and even move with a swishing sound."

Railroad and telegraph service were restored the following week, although one Western Union transatlantic cable showed signs of damage. "Delays and damage lead to some referring to it as the New York Railroad Storm," Ward wrote.

A dramatic description of the event on the website said, "At 7:04 AM on May 15, the entire signal and switching system of the New York Central Railroad below 125th Street was put out of operation, followed by a fire in the control tower at 57th Street and Park Avenue."

The short article said a telegraph operator reported being driven away from his station by flames that enveloped his switchboard and set the building on fire. "In Sweden a telephone station was reported to have been 'burned out,' and the storm interfered with telephone, telegraph, and cable traffic over most of Europe," the article said.

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

compiled by Tom Smith

Children's TV Update
On September 3rd, the FCC issued a public notice (DA-19-864A1) to provide guidance on the new rules concerning children's TV requirements. According to the notice, stations were required under the old rules to maintain the three hours of children's programming on both the main channel and each of the sub-channels through September 15th. Stations will still be required to file a quarterly report for all of their children's programming through September 15th. The new rules took effect on September 16th. Stations are now required to air 156 hours of children's programming per year of which two thirds must air on the main channel. The other third may air on either the main channel or one of the sub-channels. From September 16th to the end of this year a stations must air 45 hours of children's programming of which 30 hours must air on the main channel. The new rules allow for more flexibility in scheduling including allowing some of the programming outside a regularly scheduled core of children's programming and the use of some short form children's programming. The new rules also allow for more flexibility in rescheduling preempted children's programming due to special programming such as a sporting event or news report. Children's programming from September 16th to the end of the year will be reported to the FCC in the new yearly Children's Television Report in January 2020. Reports will be due on January 30th.

Stations should either review the public notice or consult with their attorneys to understand any possible issues in meeting the new requirements.

FM Applications to Move
On September 10th, the FCC announced (DA-19-891A1) that all electronic filing of all FM applications will be move to the Licensing and Management System (LMS) from the CDBS database system. The FCC will move to the new system on September 25th. AM applications will be moved to the mew system at a later date. Instruction on using the new system including links to the system are included in the notice that the FCC issued.

No Newspaper Notices
On September 26th, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC-19-97A1) proposing that broadcast stations would no longer be required to place notices in their local newspapers whenever they file an application with the FCC. Currently the FCC requires stations to place notices in their local newspaper whenever they file applications for new stations, transfers of ownership, station renewals and major changes. Under the proposed rules, stations would no longer have to publish these notices in the local newspaper, but would instead have to post a notice on their website or another website related to the station if the station itself does not have its own website. This could be a joint website for a station group. The notice would have to be on the website's homepage and have a link to the stations public file or the application itself on the FCC website. The notices would have to be on the website for 30 days.

Stations would also have to make on air announcements that they are filing the application such as they now have to do at license renewal. The FCC presented some proposed scripts for the announcements and to be made into graphics for TV stations. There would be a required number of times that the announcements have to be made and the time of day that the announcements are to be aired.

For applications for new stations and for low power stations and translators, the FCC is proposing that the announcements be place on some type of community website and the FCC is asking for comment on what type of community websites would be available.

In previous comments on the subject, objections were raised by newspapers which would lose revenue and public interest groups who feel that people without internet access would not be aware of the proposed applications, Also, the notices would not be available to sites that compile public notices as they normally are taken from newspapers, It should be noted that all station applications are announced in the Daily Digest which the FCC publishes on the internet daily. That should make all applications available to most public interest groups. Public interest groups and other broadcasters are mainly the ones interested in a stations applications.

LPFM Comments Set
On September 30th, the FCC announced (DA-19-972A1) that the proposed rules for modifications of LPFM stations was published in the Federal register in September 19th starting the comment period. The comment period will end on October 21st with replies due on November 4th. The proposed rules will make it easier for LPFM stations to move transmitter sites, allowing for some use of directional antennas and eliminating of TV channel 6 protections by FM stations in the 88.1 to 91.9 reserved band. For more information, see the June newsletter. The rulemaking can be found at FCC-19-74A1.

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Well Done!
Chapter 24! Congratulations for being named the recipient of the Most Certified Chapter (Class B) award for the 2019 awards program. This award will be presented at the society's annual awards dinner on Wednesday, October 16, as part of the SBE National Meeting which is being held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Clinic in Madison, WI. For more information visit

The Open 2019 - 2020 Exam Schedule

Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)
February 7-17, 2020 Local Chapters (Madison Area) December 31, 2019
April 21, 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas March 9, 2020
June 5-15, 2020 Local Chapters (Madison Area) April 17, 2020
August 7-17, 2020 Local Chapters (Madison Area) June 12, 2020
November 6-16, 2020 Local Chapters (Madison Area) September 21, 2020

What certifications am I eligible for? Click here

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

Upcoming Webinars

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
RF 201: Module 8: AM Multiplexed Antenna Systems
Tom F. King, President and CEO of Kintronic Labs, Inc., presents this AM Multiplexing webinar that covers the feasibility criteria for multiplexing two or more AM stations. Basic isolation filter designs and tower feed methods for improved audio bandwidth of multiplexed AM stations will also be covered. Omnidirectional AM multiplexed design approach and directional AM multiplexed design approach as well as analog versus HD digital and AM multiplexed design approach will also be discussed. Members $59, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non-Members $89. Register Here.

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Implementing SNMP: Part 2
The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) was created as a means to monitor and control devices in an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Implementing SNMP: Part 2 of this series will build upon the SNMP fundamentals presented in Part 1 by looking at implementation of a SNMP platform in the broadcast environment to provide a robust monitoring and notification alerting environment from IT equipment to the transmitter. The focus will include commercial and open-source options available to implement your own SNMP system. Members $59, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non-Members $89. Register Here.

Thursday, December 12, 2019
Workbench Tips
The author of Radio World's popular column and Telos Alliance Western Regional Radio Sales Manager, John Bisset, will bring a combination of tips from his column and discuss the conversion to AoIP and what AES67 means to you. In this session, you will learn useful tips to do your job more efficiently as well as other things to consider when upgrading an analog facility to AoIP.

Thanks to sponsor Telos Alliance this webinar is complimentary to SBE members and non-members. Register Here

Several On-Demand Webinars are available, and for information on acquiring the NOW AVAILABLE ATSC 3.0 Tutorial Videos from SBE@PBS TechCon 2019, see

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 .