Monthly eNews September 2020

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Our Next Meeting:
Thursday, Sep 24th

Fiber Optics for HD Broadcast
by Nemal Electronics Intl Inc

This presentation covers basic fiber optic cable construction, termination types, testing, and practical applications in broadcast video, audio, and data.

7:00 PM - Meeting/Program
This meeting will be held virtually
Details including connection information will
be distributed in the days prior to the meeting.

Look Back 12 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 7:01pm, August 26, 2020 via a Google Hangouts virtual meeting. The meeting had 15 members present with 11 being certified.

The Secretary meeting minutes from 7/23/2020 were moved, seconded and approved as submitted.

Mike Norton as Chapter Treasurer reported that the Chapter Rebate check for 2019 was sent back to the SBE National office --as voted on at the July meeting-- with instructions to donate total amount to the Harold Ennes Educational Foundation Trust. The Chapter 24 checking account had a recent deposit. Full Compass renewed its sustaining membership. Thank You Full Compass. The account has a positive balance.

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

Britney reported that we have 46 members in our chapter.
Fred Sperry reported that the chapter remains steady with 12 Sustaining Memberships.

Britny reported that a virtual meeting is being held for the WBA Broadcasters Clinic in October. Many presenters are asking for virtual presentations. Britny will be making a list and deciding on presenters. For a full list, dates and planned programs please see the Chapter 24 web site. (

With the Certification Report Jim Hermanson stated that there were two exams given in August. A certification session is planned for November 6 - 16. Registration is due with the national office by September 21 for that session. Renewal for certifications are due after five years. Notice of renewals are sent out three months and six months prior to the renewal and are due back by January 1, 2021.

Tom Smith with Frequency Coordination reported that nothing is happening due to COVID. A reminder for stations to keep their public files up to date during this political season.

With the National SBE news, Leonard Charles reported that on Aug. 27 (tomorrow) SBE will present FM Broadcast Antenna and Combining Systems. Alex Perchevitch, president of Jampro Antennas, Inc., will present the webinar at 1:00 pm CDT. Register at In place of the cancelled 56th SBE National Meeting, the SBE will conduct the 2020 SBE Annual Membership Meeting and National Awards Presentation via the internet on Sept. 23. The program will include the induction of the newly elected officers and directors, individual and chapter awards, the Robert L. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year, James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year and Technology Award, and two new SBE Fellows. More details in early September.

No old or new business was brought forward.

Motion to adjourn was made by Leonard Charles and seconded by Matt Mommaerts. Motion passed.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:10pm.

The meeting was followed with a presentation from Jeff Welton of Nautel and MA3 mode -all digital- AM Radio and Xperi's recent tests with the platform. Jeff also commented that during this time of Covid, he now knows three chords on the guitar and can play in any Rock n Roll band!

Gary Mach Passes

Long time Broadcasters Clinic Committee member, Gary Mach, has passed away. Gary was 78.

Gary was employed as a Broadcast Engineer for nearly six decades. He successfully completed several facility upgrades during his career. Some of his other accomplishments include many award-winning television programs while working with Wisconsin Public Broadcasting and PBS. Gary also designed telecommunications facilities for the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts and the Center for Television Production, both of which are located at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he spent most of his career. Gary was an engineer and part owner of WJNR-FM radio station in Iron Mountain, MI, for ten years. He also consulted with Cellcom well into his retirement.

Gary was also on the Board of Directors for the National Railroad Museum and Chicago and Northwestern Historical Society. In addition to his 35 years on the Broadcasters Clinic Committee, he gave generously of his time and talent volunteering at the Green Bay Catholic Diocese and the Engineering Advisory Board for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Society of Broadcast Engineers 2020 National Meeting Goes Virtual

The SBE will present the Annual SBE Membership Meeting and National Awards Presentation via the internet at 6:00 p.m. CDT, Sept. 23. The program replaces the in-person SBE National Meeting that was to be held in Syracuse, NY on that date with the SBE Chapter 22 Broadcast Engineering & Technology Expo. Both events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The induction of new SBE Officers and Board members as well as several individual and national awards and the induction of two new SBE Fellows is on the virtual agenda. See the SBE website for more information.

Memoirs of a Broadcast Engineer

"Memoirs of a Broadcast Engineer" is the title of the book written by SBE Chapter 24 charter member and longtime broadcast engineer, Bob Zulesdorf. In the book, Bob describes his over 60 years in the business. He tells what it was like seeing the field from the 1930's to the present. Although the book contains enough technical information to satisfy others in the field, Bob also provides us with insight into life as he has seen it while being a member of this profession.

Bob has donated a signed copy of his book to Chapter 24. If you would like to borrow the book (and then pass it along to the next interested reader) please email Kevin Ruppert at and he'll get you the copy.

Program Ideas Appreciated

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. Open dates are available.

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

Amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed in late August. Included in the FCC's fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the "Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act" of 2018 - the so-called "Ray Baum's Act."

The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC's Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio Service that had been excluded by an earlier statute. The 2018 statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not from application fees.

"[A]pplications for personal licenses are mostly automated and do not have individualized staff costs for data input or review," the FCC said in its NPRM. "For these automated processes - new/major modifications, renewal, and minor modifications - we propose a nominal application fee of $50 due to automating the processes, routine ULS maintenance, and limited instances where staff input is required."

The same $50 fee would apply to all Amateur Service applications, including those for vanity call signs. "Although there is currently no fee for vanity call signs in the Amateur Radio Service, we find that such applications impose similar costs in aggregate on Commission resources as new applications and therefore propose a $50 fee," the FCC said.

The FCC is not proposing to charge for administrative updates, such as mailing address changes for amateur applications, and amateur radio will remain exempt from annual regulatory fees. "For administrative updates [and] modifications, which also are highly automated, we find that it is in the public interest to encourage licensees to update their [own] information without a charge," the FCC said.

The FCC also proposes to assess a $50 fee for individuals who want a printed copy of their license. "The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services - but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services," the FCC said.

Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Interested parties may file comments by using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) ( posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. This docket is already open to accept comments, even though deadlines have not yet been set.

Ham-astronauts abound among crew members assigned to pioneering commercial space missions by Boeing and SpaceX. Jeanette Epps, KF5QNU, is the latest astronaut assigned to the Boeing Starliner-1, a four-passenger vehicle that will undertake its first mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2021. Others on the crew will include veteran Sunita Williams, KD5PLB, and Josh Cassada, KI5CRH. Another crew member is yet to be named.

Epps, Williams, and Cassada will spend 6 months on the ISS. The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts. The spaceflight will be the first for Epps and Cassada and the third for Williams, who spent long-duration tours on the ISS for Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33. NASA assigned Williams and Cassada to the Starliner-1 mission in August 2018.

Four veteran astronauts are preparing to launch this fall on the SpaceX Crew 1 mission. They are Victor Glover, KI5BKC; Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG; Shannon Walker, KD5DXB, and Soichi Noguchi, KD5TVP, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than October 23 for the first operational flight with astronauts of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. The SpaceX Crew-1 mission will be the first regular rotational mission to the space station following completion of NASA certification. Astronauts Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS on a SpaceX Crew Dragon in late May, marking the first time that humans traveled into orbit via a commercial spacecraft.

NASA's Commercial Crew Program is working with the US aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and to the space station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time, and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost, NASA says.

Some of the ham-astronauts will be available for ham radio contacts from the ISS with schools and educational groups via the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program (

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

compiled by Tom Smith

FCC Keeps Targeting Politico Files
In last month's newsletter, it was reported that the FCC had issued a number of consent decrees concerning the Politico Files of a number of broadcast stations and groups including a number of the nation's largest groups. During August, the FCC issued over 60 consent decrees to a number of stations and smaller groups. The decrees are the result of the stations being unable to certify during license renewal that they had placed in their public files information concerning political advertising purchases in a timely matter. The consent decrees require stations to appoint a compliance officer, create a compliance plan and training, provide the FCC with compliance reports during the 2020 political period and reporting any non-compliance reports within 10 days of discovering any acts of non-compliance. On August 31st, the FCC canceled the consent decrees for seven stations after they had shown that they had complied with their consent decrees and had satisfied the FCC that they had met their political file obligations. These actions are a reminder for all stations to post any information onto their political file in a timely fashion which should be as soon as possible after closing political ad buys and any other information required for any political broadcasts that aired on the station.

FCC Repeals Duplication Rules
On August 6th, the FCC repealed the duplication rules for commonly owned radio stations. In the Report and Order (FCC-20-109A1), the FCC repealed the rules that prohibited commonly owned stations from duplicating programming on either AM-AM combinations, AM-FM combinations or FM-FM combinations. The FCC stated that the repeal of the rules will allow for helping struggling AM stations survive by reducing programming costs and would allow for the possible all-digital conversion of AM radio transmission by allow commonly owned stations to broadcast a digital signal on one station and an analog signal on either a sister AM or FM station. The FCC noted the ongoing issues AM stations have with increased interference, declining listenership and cost of operation including the maintenance of the large transmission sites for directional antennas with high land values.

The FCC stated that allowing commonly owned FM stations to duplicate programming would allow for efficient broadcasting of special programming during emergencies and crisis by allowing stations to combine resources and allow for format changes by duplicating programming for a time between stations. It is not uncommon for group operations to move formats from one station to another and the overlap between station could assure continuity of the programming. The Commission stated that a group would be inclined to program their FM stations with separate programming in order to maximize listenership.

The duplication rules were created in 1964 when one could only own one AM and one FM station in a market and was created as a way to increase the growth of FM radio. The FCC at that time limited the amount of duplication of programming between a commonly owned AM and FM station to 50% in communities with a population of more than 100,000. In 1976, the FCC decreased the amount of duplication to 25% in communities larger than 25,000. In 1986, the FCC repealed the duplication rules between commonly owned AM and FM stations as FM had grown to the point that FM was competitive. In 1992, with the increase of the number of stations that could have common ownership, the FCC reinstated a duplication limit between commonly owned stations of 25% of each station broadcast hours per week. This limit was adopted in part as a spectrum efficiency issue. The FCC considered the duplication of programming on more than one station in a coverage area as an inefficient use of spectrum.

Antenna Siting Rules Repealed
On August 4th, the FCC issued a Report and Order (FCC-20-106A1) repealing the rule requiring antenna site sharing. The FCC issued rules 75 years ago, that required an applicant for a new TV or FM station to make available their tower site to a competing station. At that time tower sites were limited in part due to the after effects of material shortages from World War Two and limited suitable transmission sites at the time. With the growth of transmission sites as the number of TV and FM stations have grown and the advent of tower leasing companies, the FCC considers that there are sufficient tower sites available for use by TV and FM broadcasters.

C-Band Transition Continues
On August 3rd, the FCC released a number of public notices concerning the C-band transition payments to existing users of satellite services in the band to transition to the smaller spectrum band. The one that affects most users of the band are the notice of the list of registration of satellite downlink and uplink sites. This list documents the sites that are eligible for reimbursement for modifications for receiving from or transmitting to satellites in the now smaller C-band. The release includes the notice (DA-20-823A1) and a very large 365 page spreadsheet (DA-20-823A2).

Two other notices were issued concerning the selection of the coordinator of the transition and the payment clearing house. The FCC is asking in one notice (DA-20-828A1) if the firm CohnReznick and its subcontractors Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP (Squire Patton Poggs), and Intellicom Technologies meet the criteria for the payment clearinghouse. The second notice (DA-20-827A1) asks if the coordinator selected by the eligible space station operators meet the following duties performance criteria set by the FCC.
  1. coordinating the schedule for clearing the band
  2. performing engineering analysis, as necessary, to determine necessary earth station migration actions
  3. assigning obligations, as necessary, for earth station migrations and filtering
  4. coordinating with overlay licensees throughout the transition process
  5. assessing the completion of the transition in each PEA and determining overlay licensees' ability to commence operations
  6. mediating scheduling disputes
Comments were due on August 18th and replies were due on August 28th

The final action concerning the transition was the FCC extending the deadline for the election of a lump sum payment to September 14th from the original deadline of August 31st. The FCC issued a notice (DA-20-909A1) on August 20th in response to a petition from the Society of Broadcast Engineers for a 30 day extension.

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

Applicant: ION Media Milwaukee License Inc.
          WPXE-TV, Chan-30, Kenosha, WI
Action: Voluntary Assignment of License

Applicant: Milwaukee Radio Alliance, LLC
          WLDB, 93.3 Mhz, Milwaukee, WI
          WLUM-FM, 102.1 Mhz, Milwaukee, WI
          W262CJ, 100.3 Mhz, Milwaukee, WI
          W297BY, 107.3 Mhz, Franklin, WI
Action: Involuntary Transfer of Control, as amended

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Chapter 24 gave two exams during the August exam window, at safe distance locations for each examinee.

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

November 6-16, 2020

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

September 21, 2020

February 5-15, 2021

Local Chapters (Madison Area)

December 31, 2020

April 13, 2021

NAB Show Las Vegas

March 5, 2021

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

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.

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.

September-October Live Webinars

Thursday, September 10, 2020
AoIP Module 7: Interconnecting AoIP Systems, Making It All Work Together
In many ways, AoIP has simplified infrastructure of broadcast facilities considerably. Join us as Shane Toven, CSRE, CBNT Senior Broadcast Engineer, Educational Media Foundation presents. Once you get beyond a handful of devices or start using multiple AoIP technologies in the same facility, however, it becomes anything but "plug and play." In this presentation, we will discuss best practices for AoIP networking as well as techniques for interconnecting different AoIP technologies using AES67.

Members $62, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non Members $92. Register Here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Fiber Optic Cables for HD Broadcast
This presentation provides an overview of the practical applications for fiber optics in HD, AV and broadcast, including a demonstration of fiber termination, cleaning and testing. Join us as Benjamin Nemser, CEO of Nemal Electronics and Daniel Ritts, VP of Engineering at Nemal present different types of fiber optic cables, connectors and media converters used in AV applications, including SMPTE, opticalICON and tactical fiber products. Installation considerations and maintenance for inside plant, arenas and other venues, studios and mobile use will also be covered. Termination, cleaning and testing procedures including interferometry and insertion loss will also be demonstrated.

Members $62, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non Members $92. Register Here.

Thursday, October 15, 2020
AoIP Module 8: Troubleshooting IP Systems
It has been said that the future of audio and video is on packet-switched networks. In the past, a label on a cable and the points it was connected between told you almost everything you needed to know about the circuit and signal flowing. The circuit and the signal were almost one in the same. As system topologies for professional audio & video progressed from analog to digital, much of broadcasting technology remained connected by point-to-point circuits. To change a signal path, you changed a circuit path.

Join us for this webinar as Edwin Bukont, M.Sc., CTS, CSRE, E2 Technical Services & Solutions and Shane Toven, CSRE, CBNT, Senior Broadcast Engineer, Educational Media Foundation, discuss the advances in modern packet-switched networks or IP Networks. This webinar will help you understand how to trouble shoot IP networks and differentiate between physical and logical concerns. Participants should already have a grasp of the basics of modern networking through Layer 4 of the OSI model.

Members $62, MemberPlus Members FREE and Non Members $92. Register Here.

Completion of each of these SBE webinars qualifies for one credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications. The fee for SBE members $62. SBE Members with SBE MemberPlus are FREE. The non-member fee is $92.

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