Monthly eNews March 2020

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Alpha Video
Bryan Nelson

AVI Systems
Tom Sibenaller

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


Our Next Meeting:
Thursday, March 26th
NDI IP Video Production

This meeting was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Look Back 18 Years

Election Season is Here


The future of SBE Chapter 24 depends on members to volunteer as Chapter Officers. We have been blessed with a long line of members who have done just that to keep our Chapter alive and well over many years. Now, however, many of those members who have served multiple times, and for many different Officer positions, have reached retirement, or soon will. For the sake of our Chapter's future, it is time for others to step up. Please consider serving Chapter 24 as an Officer.

Thanks to Britny Williams and Russ Awe who will be running for their second consecutive term as Chair and Secretary respectively. For this year's elections we really need candidates for Vice Chair and Treasurer.

If you are ready to become a Chapter 24 Officer please contact Leonard Charles or Kevin Ruppert, who are serving on the Nominations Committee, to get on the ballot for the April election.

Last Meeting's Minutes
Submitted by Mike Norton, acting Secretary

The Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 24 monthly meeting was held on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 on the UW-Madison campus. The business meeting was held in the lobby of the recently opened Hamel Music Center. There were seven members present, along with six guests.

The meeting was called to order at 5:19pm by chapter Chair Britny Williams. The secretary's minutes from the January meeting, as published in the February Monthly eNews, were approved as listed.

A sustaining membership report indicated three recent renewals, including Ross Video, Sound Devices, and WMTV-TV. The Chapter Sustaining Members consist of 13 supporting businesses. There was no treasurers report, and the Chapter balance remains steady.

Britny Williams noted that local membership shows 48 official members of the National SBE are assigned to Chapter 24.

Leonard Charles had submitted a Newsletter report listing the next eNews deadline as Monday, March 2. Please forward eNews items for consideration to If you would like to receive the eNews delivered via email, send a message to to have your address added to the distribution list.

For the SBE National report, Leonard Charles provided three upcoming items. On the Saturday prior to the NAB Show, SBE will be present two half-day tutorials at "Beyond TechCon" titled "Audio for Radio, TV, Performance" and "Managing Modulation for NextGen Broadcast." Both will happen at the MGM Grand Hotel, and details and registration can be found at the SBE website. Also, on Saturday, April 18, SBE will present the annual NAB Ennes Workshop titled "Multiplatform SuperSession" with details and registration at the NAB Show website. There will be two new SBE webinars coming in March: "RF 201 Module 9 - TV Combiners" on March 12, and "AoIP Series, Module 1 - AoIP Basics" on March 24; details and registration for these are available on the SBE website.

Program Committee chair Britny Williams announced the March 26th program is planned to be a presentation by Alpha Video, while the April program is currently open. The May 28 program will be the NAB Review. The Program Committee is looking for program ideas, so please submit your suggestions to Britny Williams.

For Frequency Coordination, Tom Smith said there were no new local requests. Tom Smith did mention that the FCC is expected to issue a rulemaking soon which will remove a significant portion of the C-band satellite frequency allocation. The FCC is also proposing allowing increased power for broadband devices operating in the TV white space.

Britny Williams announced that nominations remain open until the end of the March 26 meeting for Chapter officer elections. This year there are openings for vice chair and treasurer, and Britny encouraged those interested to please contact Leonard Charles or Kevin Ruppert if you would like to run for office. Elections take place during the month of April.

There was no old business, new business, or professional announcements. The meeting adjourned at 5:29pm. The program began with Brian Heller, Facilities Director for the UW School of Music, giving an overview of the new Hamel Music Center. He provided some background on the building construction and materials, then gave a detailed tour of the rehearsal hall, recital hall, and concert hall. Some behind-the-scenes areas were revealed, which touched on the supporting technology and acoustics of the performance spaces.

Program Ideas Needed

The Chapter 24 2020 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. There are several open dates available.

Madison's TV Repack

At our January meeting we learned that all Madison TV stations had switched to their new channel but that two stations, WISC TV and WMSN TV, were still transmitting from auxiliary antennas on the side of the tower and thus continue to operate at less than authorized facilities. The original tower crew, after completing the reconfiguration of all top mounted antennas, abandoned the project before swapping out the WISC and WMSN main transmission lines. The onset of winter weather was a factor.

Update: Higgins tower service out of Milwaukee, contracted to complete the project, is on site and is currently removing the old main transmission lines for WISC and WMSN. Once that is done they will mount the new main transmission lines for both stations and the project will be complete. It is anticipated that the project will be completed around the 1st of April.

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

A jury for the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois has awarded Motorola Solutions damages of $764.6 million in its theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit against Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China - the maximum Motorola Solutions had sought.

In early 2017 Motorola filed complaints in federal court alleging that Hytera's digital mobile radio (DMR) products employed techniques and systems that infringed on Motorola Solutions' patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market in 2016. Its ham products include the Hytera AR482Gi digital mobile radio.

Motorola alleged that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who went to work for Hytera, as "part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy" its technology. The company said it would seek a global injunction to prevent Hytera from trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement, a Motorola spokesperson said following the verdict.

Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring former Motorola engineers in 2008, according to the lawsuit.

The court victory marks Motorola's fourth legal win against Hytera. In 2018, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Hytera had infringed several Motorola patents and issued an exclusion order preventing the importation, distribution, or sale of Hytera products found to be infringing the Motorola patents. Two courts in Germany also ruled that Hytera infringed on Motorola patents and implemented injunctions against those infringing products.

A new 122 GHz world distance record of 139 kilometers (86.2 miles) is being claimed by radio amateurs in northern California. This tops the record of 114 kilometers set in 2005 by WA1ZMS and W4WWQ, according to the Distance Records on the ARRL website.

The February 17, 2020, contact was between Mike Lavelle, K6ML, on Mount Vaca at 2,739.5 feet above sea level, and Oliver Barrett, KB6BA (at 1225 UTC), and Jim Moss, N9JIM (at 1250 UTC), who were both on Mount Umunhum at 3333.3 feet above sea level.

Lavelle reports the dew point was -11 °C, the air temperature was 15 °C, the path loss was about 225 dB, and atmospheric loss was approximately 0.35 dB/kilometer.

"CW (continuous wave/Morse Code) was used, 122 GHz signals were very weak (7 dB above the noise in 22 Hz; -13 in 2500 Hz equivalent) with [fading] down to the noise floor," Lavelle told ARRL. "Dishes were aligned on 24 GHz (71 dB above the noise) prior to [moving] to 122 GHz; we heard signals right away on 122 GHz." The stations employed 60-centimeter satellite TV dishes and ran "somewhat less than half a milliwatt" on 122 GHz, Lavelle said.

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

compiled by Tom Smith

C-Band Satellite Spectrum Reduced
At the February 28th meeting of the FCC, a Report and Order (DOC-362359A1) was adopted that will reduce the spectrum for satellite transmission in the C-band from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz to 4.0 to 4.2 GHz. That is a reduction of 60% of the usable spectrum for satellite transmission. This will reduce the number of usable transponders on the existing satellites from 24 to 9. The 3.7 to 4.0 GHz portion of the band will be reallocated to mobile operation or wireless broadband with the first 280 MHz to be used for mobile flexible use operations with the remaining 20 MHz just below 4.0 GHz used as a guard band between the mobile use and the satellite downlink transmissions. Besides the loss of the spectrum for satellite downlink transmission, any remaining point to point microwave systems will have to move to another microwave band. Terrestrial microwave originally used the band and was used in common carrier use by the telephone companies.

The rules require the spectrum to be cleared by September 30, 2025 with an option for the satellite operators to clear the lower 120 MHz by September 30, 2021 and the remaining 180 MHz by September 30, 2023 in order to receive accelerated relocation payments from the new mobile broadband providers on the band. The terrestrial microwave systems must clear the band by September 30, 2023. There are under 100 systems in use currently as the telephone companies have moved to fiber for their long distance transmission of phone traffic and the fiber cables now also include internet traffic.

The new wireless band will consist of three blocks of 20 MHz channels with two of the blocks having 5 channels and the third block four channels. To accommodate the wireless services, earth stations will have to replace their low noise preamplifiers or converters and add band filters if not included in the LNB's. Stations and cable systems may have to repoint their dishes if services have to move to different satellites and may even have to add more dishes due to satellite changes by program providers. There will be a program for stations to be reimbursed for the new equipment, but it will likely be limited to those who have registered their dishes. The satellite operators will be compensated also if they meet early clearance deadlines. The satellite operators will be losing the 60% of their satellites capacity which cost over 500 million dollars to build and launch. Because many of the satellites also have KU band transponders, that lowers their losses.

The Report and Order is 185 pages and contains large sections on the auction of the 3.7-3.98 MHz part of the C-band, reimbursement of the existing users, and the technical rules for the new service. The auction and reimbursement sections include discussion on using an auction instead of a proposal by the satellite operators that the wireless operators pay the satellite operators directly for clearing the spectrum. Instead the satellite operators will get reimbursed from the FCC for early clearing of the band from the auction proceeds.

Stations will have up to a year and a half before they may need to make any changes for the new band plan, but will need to watch for any news from satellite service providers and equipment manufacturers to plan for the transition. They should watch for some program suppliers to move to alternate delivery systems such as KU band satellite or internet delivery.

TV White Space Power Increase
The FCC issued a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (DOC-362361A1) at the February 28th meeting that would increase the power and height of Fixed TV White Space devices. They proposed an increase in effective radiated power from 10 watts to 16 watts in uncongested areas which are areas where TV stations occupy less than half of the existing TV spectrum. The antenna height above average terrain was lifted from 250 meters to 500 meters in less congested areas after coordination with possibly affected TV stations. The current rules limit the antenna height of fixed TV white space devices to 250 meters above average terrain. These rules remain for all other areas along with a 4 watt power limit for fixed TV white space devices. Another proposed rule change would allow certain types of mobile operation with fixed site power levels. These could be TV white space devices on school buses and on certain agricultural equipment. These devices would be geo-fenced to avoid operation outside a permissible area. The FCC asked for comment on allowing higher power fixed TV white space devices on adjacent channels to operating TV stations which is currently prohibited. Personal mobile devices would still be limited to 100 milliwatts and further limited to 40 milliwatts on channels adjacent to a TV station's channel. To allow for these rule changes, the FCC has proposed a new separation table between TV stations contour limits and a fixed TV whitespace transmitter as well as a table of power limits for narrow band TV white space devices using less spectrum than a full 6 MHz TV channel. This rulemaking is based on proposals from Microsoft to further Internet service in rural areas. To promote TV white space use in rural areas, Microsoft objected to the proposal by the America's Public Television Stations and the NAB to allow ATSC 3.0 TV stations using Single Frequency Networks to slightly exceed the contour of the main transmitter in order to provide better coverage to locations on the edge of the stations main coverage area. They objected that such operation would limit TV white space use which is secondary to broadcast TV and are not a licensed or protected service. Microsoft has been lobbying the FCC heavily based on the number of comments and Ex Parte meetings listed with the FCC on this petition and on their TV white space proposal.

More 3 GHZ Spectrum for 5G
The FCC has issued two notices pertaining to the 3 GHz spectrum below the current C-band satellite spectrum. On December 12, 2019, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC-19-130A1) to reallocate spectrum from 3.3 to 3.55 GHz for wireless broadband 5G use. The spectrum is currently assigned for Federal and non-federal radiolocation use and amateur radio satellite uses. There are only 8 current licensed non-Federal users in the band, mostly TV station weather radars. This action is the first step with an FCC freeze on any new uses of the band and asking for comment on moving current users to a new band. This action is the part of a proposal to free spectrum from 3.1 to 3.55 GHz for wireless broadband use. The spectrum from 3.1 to 3.3 GHz is currently used for research use from satellites. In another action at the February 28th meeting, the FCC has issued a notice (DOC-362360A1) publishing the rules for an auction of the spectrum from 3.55to 3.65 GHz which is in the 3.55 to 3.7 GHz Citizens Band. The Citizen Band is a combination of licensed Priority channels which are 10 MHz wide and unlicensed spectrum which is registered by private band administrators similar to the TV white space spectrum management. The band is allocated for broadband use much like the unlicensed wide area internet providers in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band. On January 27th, the FCC announced (DA-20-110A1) that it certified 4 administrators which are CommScope, Federated Wireless, Google and Sony. If all this band is reallocated, 900 MHz of the 3 GHz band from 3.1 to 4.0 GHz will be used for some type of wireless broadband use including 5G.

NAB Users Group Meeting
Qualifies for Recertification Credit

by Jeff Welton

Nautel's annual NUG@NAB Radio Technology Forum is a free, must-attend industry event with over 300 broadcasters and we'd like to invite all engineers/broadcasters to join us this April 19th. We're excited to share that this event now qualifies for a ½ SBE recertification credit.

Full event details are available HERE. There's also a short video here. I hope to see some of you in Vegas this year!

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Well Done!
Congratulations to…
Todd Hausser for being recently recertified as a Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT)
Craig Wood for being recently recertified as a Certified Television Operator (CTO)

The Open 2020 Exam Schedule
Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)
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

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.

Ready to Take an Exam?
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.

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
Ready to Recertify?
When you are ready to recertify, see the following page for forms and information.

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 7/1/2020. Please send in your re-certification paperwork by that date.

If you have any questions contact Certification Director Megan Clappe.

March Webinars

Thursday, March 12, 2020
RF 201 Module 9 - TV Combiners
Once unthinkable in American terrestrial broadcasting, combined antennas systems have become widely accepted and even widespread. Changes in the current repack continue to add to the increases in deployment that occurred during the transition to ATSC 1.0 from NTSC. In this presentation, Jeremy Ruck, PE, Jeremy Ruck & Associates, Inc. provides some of the history and theory behind combined antenna systems, as well as some of their plusses and minuses. The discussion rounds out with some real-world examples of systems that have been deployed.
Members $62, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non-Members $92. Register Here

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
AoIP Series, Module 2 - AoIP Basics

This webinar provides an entry-level understanding of the concept of what Audio Over IP is and how it can be utilized in a modern facility. This session will cover the different standards, how they can be integrated into modern facilities, and how they compare to the traditional analog and digital studio systems.
Members $62, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non-Members $92. Register Here

Tons of 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