Monthly eNews December 2020

Please support
our Sustaining Members.
To become a Sustaining
Member contact Fred Sperry.
Click here for display Ads.
Alpha Video
Bryan Nelson

Full Compass
Mike Ramirez

Heartland Video Systems
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


December Meeting Canceled

Sadly, due to COVID we cannot get together for our annual Holiday Dinner. Our December meeting is canceled. Enjoy the Holidays with your loved ones, we will resume monthly meetings in January.

Look Back 9 Years

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Russ Awe, Secretary

The SBE Chapter 24 meeting was called to order by Chapter Chair Britny Williams at 7:02pm, November 19, 2020 via a Zoom Teleconference. The meeting had 18 members present with 10 being certified and one guest.

The Secretary meeting minutes from 10/14/2020 were moved by Matthew Mommaerts, seconded by Leonard Charles and approved as submitted.

Mike Norton as Chapter Treasurer reported that one sustaining membership check was received in October from Token Creek Mobile Television. The Chapter 24 account balance remains in the black. Discussion was brought forward that some Sustaining Members would prefer automatic deposit of memberships via automatic funds transfer. Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers seems to be a preferred method for this to happen. More research on fees is being done on this matter.

With the eNews letter, Leonard Charles reported that the deadline for articles for the December eNews letter is Tuesday December 1st 5pm. Please forward any article of interest to Chapter 24 members to

Fred Sperry sent a report that Chapter 24 has 12 sustaining members. Thanks to Token Creek Mobile Television and Heartland Video for your support!

Britney reported that we have added a new member to the chapter. Please welcome Eric Schwierske to the group. Eric is an engineer with PBS Wisconsin focusing on live audio production and streaming technologies. We now have 47 members in our chapter. Welcome Eric!

Britny reported that we will not be meeting in December. Please enjoy the extra time and hopefully we can gather next year at the Maple Tree Supper Club. For a full list, dates and planned programs please see the Chapter 24 web site.

Tom Smith with Frequency Coordination reported that nothing is happening due to COVID.

With the National SBE news, Leonard Charles reported that if you didn't catch the live SBE webinar yesterday, you can watch the archive version of "HD Radio Streamlined and Redefined 4th Generation Hardware. This is a free webinar thanks to SBE Sustaining Member, HD Radio.

On Thursday, December 3 at 1 pm CST, SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay will present "Spectrum Allocations, Broadcast Auxiliary and Technical Regulatory Issues for Broadcast Engineers". Chris represents SBE's interests before the FCC and other government agencies. This Zoom webinar is FREE.

The first opportunity to take the new SBE ATSC3 Specialist Certification will be the February 5-15 exam period in local chapters. The application deadline is December 31. See the SBE website for details.

This is the last time that Chuck will be able to get the National Update from John Poray as he is retiring at the end of the year. John asked to please express his best wishes to all the members of Chapter 24. He says he has enjoyed working with us over the years and always cited Chapter 24 to others as an example of an effective, high performing chapter that serves it members well. Best wishes John. Enjoy!

With the Certification report, James Hermanson stated that the ATSC 3.0 exam registration deadline is December 31, 2020. Local exams will be held February 5-15, 2021. June 4-14, 2021 are the next local exam dates. Andrew Kennedy of Morgan Murphy Media passed the Certified Broadcast Television Engineer exam. Congratulations Andy! Jim also stated that he is looking for an exam location by the end of November.

Under announcements, James Hermanson noted that Chapter 24 member Russ Awe was highlighted in THE Signal, SBE's national newsletter for October.

There was no old business.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:14pm.

The meeting was followed with a presentation from Doug Ferber, VP Sales, and Jacob Daniluck, Tech Sales Expert, of Tieline. They presented "Remote Broadcasting Connections: Trends and Suggestions". A variety of different codecs and methods of remote connections during this time of Covid and how almost everyone working from home can be maintained after the pandemic.

Program Ideas Appreciated

The Chapter 24 2021 meeting schedule is available here. Is there a topic you would like to see covered at one of our local Chapter 24 meetings? Or, better yet, is there a topic that you'd like to speak on at an upcoming meeting? Please forward any ideas to Britny Williams or to one of the Chapter 24 officers for consideration. Open dates are available.

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

A SpaceX Dragon capsule carried four astronauts who are licensed amateur radio operators to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 17th after a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher carrying the precious payload went into space on Sunday, November 15, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. They comprise the ISS Expedition 64/65 crew.

"Well, the ISS is loaded with hams now," said Rosalie White, K1STO, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) US Delegate for ARRL. "These four arrived very early this morning Eastern Time: NASA astronauts Victor Glover, KI5BKC; Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, and Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, KD5TVP." This marks Glover's first time in space. The others all are ISS veterans.

Earlier this year, NASA ISS Ham Project Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, held amateur radio licensing study sessions for Glover, who passed the Technician-class exam on August 20.

White said all but Noguchi likely will take part in ARISS contacts with schools. White said the first school contact is tentatively scheduled for December 4 with Tecumseh High School in Oklahoma, home of the Tecumseh High School Amateur Radio Club, K5THS. She said the students have earned their ham licenses, and the club has built an antenna and is learning about satellites and circuits. Members of the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society of Norman, Oklahoma, are providing support and mentoring assistance.

The four astronaut-hams will remain on station until next spring. They joined Expedition 64 Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, on the ISS.

ARRL has urged the FCC to waive its proposed $50 amateur radio application fee. The Commission proposal was made last month in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD 20-270 (FCC-20-116A1). The proposal has already drawn more than 3,200 individual comments overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The fees, directed by Congress and imposed on all FCC-regulated services, are to recover the FCC's costs of handling and processing applications.

"Amateur radio applications were not listed when the Congress adopted its 1985 fee schedule for applications, and therefore amateur license applications were excluded from the collection of fees," ARRL said on November 16 in its formal comments on the proposal 111762316365. "Similarly, a decade later when regulatory fees were authorized, the Amateur Service was excluded, except for the costs associated with issuing vanity call signs." The new statutory provisions are similar. Amateur radio license applications are not addressed in the application fees section and explicitly excluded from regulatory fees," ARRL said, and there is "no evidence of any intent by Congress to change the exempt status of amateur applications and instead subject them to new fees."

ARRL argued that the FCC has explicit authority to waive the fees if it would be in the public interest, and should do so for the Amateur Radio Service. Unlike other FCC services, the Amateur Radio Service is all volunteer and largely self-governing, with examination preparation, administration, and grading handled by volunteers, who submit licensing paperwork to the FCC, ARRL pointed out.

"Increasingly, the required information is uploaded to the Commission's database, further freeing personnel from licensing paperwork as well as [from] day-to-day examination processes," ARRL said.

RadioShack® is back as an online retailer of electronics, offering some parts in its inventory that largely consists of radios, batteries, telephone gear, drones, computer accessories, and even cameras. The iconic company was recently purchased from General Wireless by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV).

No plans are in place to reopen RadioShack-owned stores, although some 400 brick-and-mortar outlets not affiliated with REV are operated by franchisees. REV, which specializes in online retail, has previously revamped the internet presence of such bankrupt businesses as Pier 1 Imports and Dressbarn, according to a news release.

During its heyday, RadioShack had some 8,000 retail outlets and once offered some amateur radio equipment, including some popular handheld transceivers and a 10-meter transceiver. RadioShack came out of its second bankruptcy in January 2018 with 400 dealers, an online retail presence, and a distribution center.

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

compiled by Tom Smith

Pai Leaving Commission
On November 30th, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he will leave the Commission on January 20, 2021. FCC Chairs normally leave the Commission when a new administration takes office particularly when the new President is of the opposite party. The FCC is made up of five Commissioners of which three are from the same party as the President with the other two from the opposing party. The Chairperson normally resigns to make room for the new President to appoint a new member from the new President's party. The new member either becomes the new chairperson or fills the seat for an existing Commissioner who may be elevated to chairperson.

Chairman Pai was appointed in 2012 by President Obama to fill an open Republican seat, and was appointed Chairman by President Trump on 2017. The announcement of his resignation can be found at DOC-368433A1.

Clarifying Channel Sharing Licensing
On November 24th, the FCC asked for comments (DA-20-1394A1) on a petition from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to clarify the licensing responsibilities between stations simulcasting another stations programming as part of the channel sharing requirement for the transition to ATSC 3.0. To transition to ATSC 3.0, at least one station in a market has to provide ATSC 1.0 nightlight service to other stations in the market as the FCC requires all stations converting to ATSC 3.0 to maintain an ATSC 1.0 signal for their main channel for a period of five years. The ATSC 1.0 nightlight station would also have their main channel air on an ATSC 3.0 station to fulfill their transition obligation. The NAB is asking for clarification as to the responsibilities of the licenses concerning violations of the FCC rules. The NAB would like any violation to be the responsibility of the station providing the program stream and not the station that the transmitter is licensed to. The NAB also ask for clarification concerning any simulcasting of a commercial station's program stream on a non-commercial station as part of the ATSC 3.0 transition and its effect on the commercial restrictions for non-commercial stations.

Comments are due on December 24th and replies due on January 25, 2021.

New TV Applications Accepted
On November 12th, a notice (2020-24996) was published in the Federal Register that lifted the freeze on TV applications. The FCC previously issued a notice lifting the freeze, but it did not go into effect until published in the Federal Register. By lifting the freeze, full power TV stations can now petition to change channels, allot new channels to construct new TV stations, change city of license and modify facilities including modification of operating parameters. Both full power and Class A stations may also apply to increase their service areas beyond that already served. This action ends a number of different freezes on station upgrades and the allocation of new stations over the last 30 years. These freezes were enacted to enable the transition to digital TV transmission including the allocation of a temporary second channel to allow for the analog/digital overlap operation.

It will be interesting to see what effect the lifting of the freeze will have on broadcast television. Will there be an increase of stations in some growing markets, particularly Spanish language stations in growing markets with large Spanish speaking populations, or will we end up with an increase of stations in markets that cannot support another station. With the changes in ownership rules, will stations be able to provide new service in underserved areas including the expansion of satellite transmitters which has been limited by past ownership rules. Finally, will the rules allow for stations that gave up their channel in the incentive auction to try to apply for a new channel.

For the Record
(Wisconsin FCC Actions)
compiled by Leonard Charles
from the FCC Daily Digest

Applicant: Clear Channel Broadcasting Licenses, Inc.
          WOKY, 920 Khz, Milwaukee, WI
          WKKV-FM, 100.7 Mhz, Racine, WI
          WMIL-FM, 106.1 Mhz, Waukesha, WI
          WRIT-FM, 95.7 Mhz, Milwaukee, WI
Action: Voluntary Assignment of License
From: Clear Channel Broadcassting Licenses, Inc.
To: IHM Licenses, LLC
Applicant: Capstar TX, LLC
          WBIZ, 1400 Khz, Eau Claire, WI
          WIBA, 1310 Khz, Madison, WI
          WISN, 1130 Khz, Milwaukee, WI
          WMEQ, 880 Khz, Menomonie, WI
          WTSO, 1070 Khz, Madison, WI
          WATQ, 106.7 Mhz, Chetek, WI
          WBIZ-FM, 100.7 Mhz, Eau Claire, WI
          WIBA-FM, 101.5 Mhz, Sauk City, WI
          WMAD, 96.3 Mhz, Cross Plains, WI
          WMEQ-FM, 92.1 Mhz, Menomonie, WI
          WQRB, 95.1 Mhz, Bloomer, WI
          WRNW, 97.3 Mhz, Milwaukee, WI
          WXXM, 92.1 Mhz, Sun Prairie, WI
          WZEE, 104.1 Mhz, Madison, WI
          W292EG, 106.3 Mhz, Eau Claire, WI
Action: Voluntary Assignment of License
From: Capstar TX, LLC
To: IHM Licenses, LLC
Applicant: AMFM Radio Licenses, LLC
          W254CN, 98.7 Mhz, Eau Claire, WI
Action: Voluntary Assignment of License
From: AMFM Radio Licenses, LLC
To: IHM Licenses, LLC
Applicant: Relevant Radio, Inc.
          WKBH, 1570 Khz, Holmen, WI
Action: License to modify
Applicant: Durand Broadcasting
          WRDN, 1430 Khz, Durand, WI
Action: License to modify

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

The Open Exam Schedule
Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)

February 5-15, 2021

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

December 31, 2020

June 4-14, 2021

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

April 16, 2021

August 6-16, 2021

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

June 11, 2021

November 5-15, 2021

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

September 10, 2021

We are in need of use of a safe conference or meeting room for a one-hour certification exam. If you have or know of such a place that can be available for two people for one evening or weekend exam, please contact Certification Chair Jim Hermanson at Thank you!

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. Contact the SBE Chapter 24 chairperson or certification chairperson for more information.

When you are ready to take an SBE exam, note the open exam schedule, complete the appropriate application (found here... and send it directly to the SBE National office (see address below) with the respective fee. You will be notified once your application is approved. Your local certification chairman will receive a list of applicants and exams in his/her chapter and arrange for a proctor. He/she will then contact applicants to schedule a mutually agreeable date, time, and place for the exam(s) within the respective exam date window. This must be coordinated before the exam will be sent by SBE National. Completed exam(s) will be mailed back to SBE National for grading. Pass/fail results will be mailed directly to the applicants within approximately six weeks.

The majority of SBE certifications are open book and access to the Internet is allowed to give a more "real world" situation.

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

Please keep SBE up to date on your contact information. When your certification is due to expire, you should receive a letter from SBE six, three and one month prior to your certification expiring. You will also receive an email notification. The next expiration date is 1/1/2021. Please send in your re-certification paperwork by that date. If you have any questions contact Certification Director Megan Clappe.

December Live Webinar

December 03, 2020, 1:00 PM CT

Spectrum Allocations, Broadcast Auxiliary and Technical Regulatory Issues for Broadcast Engineers
In this Webinar by SBE, SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay brings us up to date on current technical regulatory topics, spectrum allocations, and broadcast auxiliary spectrum issues. This promises to be a lively discussion that will be both interesting and informative. Along with input from various SBE committees and the SBE Executive Board, Chris represents SBE's interests before the FCC and other government agencies. The webinar will be conducted using ZOOM and is FREE to all SBE members.

To view the event, you will need to have Zoom installed on your device.

Registration and Pricing

This webinar will be approximately 90 minutes long.

SBE Members: FREE

MemberPlus Members: FREE

Non-Members: $50

Registration link

Completion of each of these SBE webinars qualifies for one credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications.

Several state-of-the-art radio, TV, multimedia, and IT engineering training is available through this page...

More information on SBE Education Programs is available here...

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