Monthly eNews March 2021

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WMSN-TV Fox 47

Our Next Meeting:
Thursday, March 25th

Remote Wireless Network Solutions
by MaxxKonnect

Josh Bohn, President and CEO of Bohn Broadcast Services, will discuss solutions for single carrier, prioritized high speed internet service designed for hard to reach transmitter sites and remote broadcasts.

We will also solicit final nominations in preparation of our 2021 Chapter Officers election.

7:00 PM - Meeting/Program
This meeting is Virtual
Connection information will be distributed
in the days just prior to the meeting.

Look Back 7 Years

Nominations are now Open

Nominations for the 2021 Chapter 24 Officers Election are now open. 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. Officer duties are described in Article V of our By Laws as published on the web site.

To submit a nomination please contact Leonard Charles or Kevin Ruppert who are serving on this year's Nominations Committee.

Nominations will remain open until the end of the Chapter's March 25th monthly meeting. The election will be held from April 1st until the close of the Chapter's April 21st monthly meeting. The preferred method of voting will be on line, a paper ballot will be available only by special request. Election results will be announced at the start of the Chapter's May 27th meeting with the new Officers assuming their duties at that meeting.

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, February 24, 2021 via Zoom. The meeting had 20 members present with 13 being certified and one guest.

The Secretary meeting minutes from 1/28/2021 were approved as submitted.

Mike Norton as Chapter Treasurer reported one recent sustaining membership check was received in February 2021 from Gray Television/WMTV-TV. Following this deposit, the Chapter 24 checking account has a positive balance.

Also, an existing Chapter 24 sustaining member requested to provide payment via Electronic Funds Transfer/ACH (direct deposit). This should streamline the process and make it faster for sustaining members. The only adjustment will be tracking the Chapter bank account balance. Currently paper checks are received and deposited, so it is straight-forward to update the Chapter 24 books then double-check against the bank account. With ACH deposits, the Chapter won't control when the deposits are made, so the bank will credit the account and that information will be used to update the Chapter 24 records.

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

Britney reported that the chapter has misplaced the Google Docs spreadsheet with memberships and sustaining members. More details will be available at the next meeting.

For a full list of upcoming SBE Chapter 24 meetings, please visit our web site . Thanks to Jim Hermanson for mentioning the food robot delivery program on the UW Madison campus as a possible future program.

Nominations remain open until the end of our March 25th meeting for this year's Chapter Officers Election. If you wish to nominate yourself or another member with his/her knowledge, please contact Leonard Charles or Kevin Ruppert. So far we have secured a full slate of candidates. They are:
Matt Mommaerts for Chair
Russ Awe for Vice Chair
Mike Travis for Secretary
Mike Norton for Treasurer
Thanks to these candidates who will keep our Chapter running and healthy by giving us a piece of their time and talent. The election takes place on line during the month of April. The newly elected will begin their term at our May 27th meeting. A very special thanks to Chuck and Kevin for working on this committee.

With certifications, Jim Hermanson reported that the chapter is continuing to certify members. Congratulations to Summer Coff for completing the Certified Radio Operator exam successfully! Congratulations to Tom Weeden of Dodgeville who is Life Certified with the SBE! The next exam session is June 4 -14. To apply for an exam during that time, April 16th is the deadline for registering with the national office. ATSC 3.0 exam is now available. A special thanks the Jim Hermanson for continuing the certification process during this time of Covid.

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

With the National SBE news, Leonard Charles reported that the SBE Technical Professional Training Program is already being recognized as a great way to educate new people entering the field of broadcast and multi-media engineering. If you know someone like that please direct them to the web site.

The due date for SBE membership renewal is April 1. You likely have already received your dues renewal letter and 2021 membership card or will very soon. You can also renew online at When renewing is a good time to check and confirm your chapter affiliation.

Part 2 of the new eight-part IP Networking webinar series takes place tomorrow February 25th at 1pm Central time. The subject is "A Focus on Ethernet Switching". Register at on the Education page. SBE president Wayne Pecena is the instructor.

The SBE 2020 4th Quarter Financial Statement is available for your review. If you have any questions about the statement or SBE's finances, please contact Executive Director Jim Ragsdale. His contact info is at under the ABOUT menu then click on HEADQUARTERS STAFF. There was no old business.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:14pm.

The meeting was followed with a presentation from Gates Air. Discussion was on making the most of your technical infrastructure. The presentation was hosted by Nick VanHaaster. Point to point OR high density - You Pick? Nick introduced the Ascent Media Gateway. The STL Codec for both Audio & Video. We learn about what signal distribution challenges other broadcasters are experiencing, what connection types are available today and how A/V is being distributed in the most cost efficient manner.

Rich and Joy Wood to Retire

After 40 years of doing projects for the Broadcasting Industry, Richard and Joy Wood are announcing their retirement. As married business partners, they were the owners of Skyline Communications from 1980 to 1999, specializing in tower construction and maintenance work. With over 500 towers built and many feet of structures maintained, the two of them then formed Resonant Results. This firm focused on testing and troubleshooting Broadcasting antenna systems plus providing in the field project logistics and installation services for station construction and refits.

"We have worked with so many good people and we would like to thank all of you for [the] help and support over these many years".

A special thanks goes out to: Jim Crooks, Clif Groth, Don Borchert (FM Clinic), Steve Brown, Leonard Charles (SBE), Tom Weeden, Kerry Maki, Bob Gorgance, Don Markley, Chris Kreger, Gary Dejarlis, Michelle Vetterkind (and the WBA), Troy and Karen Kyman plus all at PCI Tower, Terry and Linda Baun, Kent Aschenbrenner, Tim Laes, Duke Wright, Greg Albert, Terry and Sandy Shokley, and Mr. Nate Geotz.

Program Ideas Appreciated

The Chapter 24 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 about at an upcoming meeting? Please forward any ideas to Britny Williams or to one of the Chapter 24 officers for consideration. There are many open dates available.

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

Help in Texas
ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARESĀ®) and American Red Cross volunteers joined forces in Texas under the ARRL/Red Cross memorandum of understanding in responding to the situation resulting from unseasonably frigid weather. Kevin McCoy, KF5FUZ, said the Red Cross formally requested an ARES activation in Texas to address the effects of the natural disaster, which included a lack of drinking water, power outages, fuel shortages, and frozen plumbing. Red Cross in Central Texas supported more than 60 warming shelters at the request of governmental agencies.

"We made a special effort to use Winlink email over radio to get reports of infrastructure problems and unmet needs [and to] communicate information about warming centers," McCoy said, adding that Winlink operators provided the most valuable contribution in the disaster response. Several teams deployed to support emergency operations centers (EOCs) in Bexar, Brazos, Kerr, Travis, and Williamson counties, he added.

"Our effort in the start of the activity was to focus on folks with medical needs who required power, and to get those folks to safety," McCoy said. "Reports from operators were passed to Disaster Program Managers and Disaster Action Teams and to Red Cross Disaster Mental Health personnel for evaluation. Government partners and citizens provided transportation and Red Cross provided hotel rooms in areas with reliable power to keep these citizens safe while following COVID-19 protocols."

On February 20, the Red Cross made a formal stand-down request to Texas ARES sections from the Central and South Texas Red Cross Region. "Transportation, communication, and internet had restored sufficiently to allow for that change of status," McCoy said. "We did let all Winlink operators know that we would still monitor the tactical addresses until the disaster recovery was over."

Key issues remaining include the prolonged power outage and the freezing weather that left Texas with damaged water infrastructure. "Things are improving rapidly," McCoy said on February 22.

Application Fee Assistance
At its Annual Meeting in January, the ARRL Board of Directors considered a motion to offer a new service that would pay the new but not-yet-implemented $35 FCC application fee for a limited number of new radio amateurs younger than age 18 who, at the time of testing, belonged to an ARRL-affiliated 501(c)(3) charitable organization and passed their tests through an ARRL VEC-sponsored exam session. The proposal called for reducing the VEC fee for these candidates to $5. Supporters said the purpose behind the motion was to ameliorate the potential financial hardship the pending FCC application fee posed on certain minors applying for their first license, and to encourage new youth membership.

Consideration of the motion, which was subject to considerable discussion, was deferred to an ad hoc committee. The Board directed the panel to review and more fully develop the proposal and report back to the Board by the end of March with a recommendation as to whether such a program should be adopted and, if adopted, how it should be implemented.

Supporters expressed the belief that recruitment and training of young radio amateurs "is a necessary and proper mission of the ARRL" and that subsidizing the $35 fee "will reduce the number of new amateurs that otherwise would be lost from these groups."

In December, the FCC agreed with ARRL and other commenters that the initially proposed $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was "too high to account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications." In a Report and Order (R&O), the FCC scaled the fee back to $35 for a new license application, a special temporary authority (STA) request, a rule waiver request, a license renewal application, and a vanity call sign application. All fees are per application. There will be no fee for administrative updates, such as a change of mailing or email address.

The Titanic Radios
RMS Titanic, Inc., (RMST) the company that owns salvage rights to the Titanic shipwreck, has indefinitely put off its plans to retrieve the vessel's radio equipment for exhibit. The company cited the coronavirus pandemic for the delay, according to a January 29 court filing. The Atlanta-based company said its plans have faced "increasing difficulty associated with international travel and logistics, and the associated health risks to the expedition team." RMST's primary source of revenue comes from its exhibits of its vast collection of Titanic relics, which have been closed or seen only limited attendance due to virus-related restrictions.

RMST -- a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions and the "salvor-in-possession" of the Titanic wreck site -- said its planned expedition to recover the ship's wireless station equipment remains a top priority, however, and will "take place as soon as reasonably practicable." The Marconi-equipped station transmitted the distress calls after the Titanic (on its maiden voyage) struck an iceberg some 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in 1912 and began sinking. The transmissions, heard by some nearby vessels, have been credited with helping rescue some 700 passengers in lifeboats deployed from the Titanic, but about 1,500 passengers were lost.

RMST has been in an ongoing legal battle with the US government over whether the recovery operation would be legal. In May 2020, a US federal judge in Virginia gave permission to retrieve the wireless gear, ruling that the company would be permitted "minimally to cut into the wreck" to access the radio room.

RMST has said the radio room may be reachable via an already-open skylight. But, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has contended that the retrieval expedition is still prohibited under US law and under an international agreement between the US and the UK.

The wreck, some 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface, remained undiscovered until 1985.

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

compiled by Tom Smith

Top C-Band Winners Announced
On February 24th, the FCC announced (DOC-370267A1) the final amount paid in the auction for the 3.7 to 3.98 GHz C-band spectrum currently used for satellite program transmission. The final amount bid was $81,168,677,645 for the gross total and $81,114,481,921 for the net total. The net total is the amount after credits given for minority and small businesses. There were 5,684 licenses awarded in the auction.

The five top winning bidders and amounts bid are:
Cellco Partnership (Verizon)$45,454,843,197
AT&T Spectrum Frontier LLC$23,406,860,839
T-Mobile License LLC$ 9,336,125,147
United States Cellular Corp.$ 1.282,641,542
New Level II LP$ 1,277,395,688
The amounts listed are the gross amounts.

The five top winners for number of licenses won are:
Cellco Partnership (Verizon)3,511
AT&T Spectrum Frontier LLC1,621
United States Cellular Corp254
T-Mobile License LLC142
Canopy Spectrum LLC84

Lists of all the winning bidders and the amount bid can be found on the FCC website.

FM Auction Plans Proceed
On February 8th, the FCC made two announcements concerning the upcoming auction for new AM and FM licenses. The auction is scheduled to start on July 27th, 2021. The first announcement (DA-21-132A1) was for a freeze on any changes affecting the allocations of the proposed FM stations to be licensed. This is common before any FM auction in order to protect the value of the allotted potential license. The second announcement (DA-21-131A1) is for comments on the procedures for the auction. Comments are due on March 15th with replies due on March 22nd. An attachment (DA-21-131A2) to the announcement for comments lists the FM allocations to be bid on and the minimum bids for each allocation as well as a list of four AM allocations in the St. Louis area to be auctioned. These four licenses were returned to the FCC and the FCC is giving an opportunity for these licenses to be revived. The FCC is asking for a minimum bid of $50,000 for each of the AM licenses without regard for their classification. There is a class C local allocation, A class D daytime license and two class B regional licenses. There are 136 FM allocations to be bid on including two in Wisconsin. They are a class A license (6kw at 328m) in Crandon on 103.1 MHz and a class C3 (25kw at 328M) in Tomahawk on 100.9 MHz. The minimum bid for Crandon is $1,500 and the minimum bid for Tomahawk is $10,000. If there is only one applicant, the license will be awarded without going to auction. Auctions are reserved to determine which applicant will be awarded a license when there are multiple applicants.

TV Station Protection List in T-Band Updated
On February 17th, the FCC updated the list of TV stations to be protected when applying for a T-Band land mobile license. A T-band mobile license is a 2-way land mobile license using an allocation in the channel 14 to 20 portion of the TV band. These allocations are limited to several TV large markets. There are 3 TV stations in Wisconsin that receive this protection as they are affected by T-Band allocations in the Chicago metro area on TV channels 14 and 15. The stations to be protected are WGBA operating on channel 14 in Green Bay and WCWF on channel 15 in Green Bay. The third station that is listed to be protected is WMTV in Madison on channel 15. That has to be an error on the list as WMTV operates on channel 19. The station to be protected on channel 15 in Madison could be WMWD-LD which is moving from Channel 38 to channel 15. WMWD-LD protection may be limited as it is a regular low-power station and not a Class A TV low power station which gets the same protections as a full power TV station.

The notice can be found at DA-21-190A1 and the list of stations to be protected can be found at tvstationprotections_lm.pdf.

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

Dodge Point Broadcasting Company, INC
          WZRK, 810 Khz, Dodgeville, WI
Direct Measurement

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

Well Done!
Congratulations to...
Thomas Weeden for his achievement of SBE Life Certification!

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

  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

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

ATSC3 Specialist Certification Now Available

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, in its continuing effort to advance its Program of Certification has added a new Specialist Certification to its offerings: The ATSC3 Specialist. In addition to various certification levels that require a certain time of professional career experience and cover a broad knowledge base, the SBE offers several Specialist Certifications, each one focusing on a specific understanding of a technology. The SBE began its program of certification in 1975.

"The SBE is grateful to the ATSC for its help in assembling the exam question pool," said SBE Certification Chair Ralph Hogan. "As is the practice in creating any level of SBE Certification, a group of subject matter experts is consulted."

Like all SBE Certifications, the exam questions will continue an ongoing review process to ensure the information being covered is relevant and current. Certifications are valid for five years, and then must be renewed or advanced to a higher level.

On the announcement, SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, said, "Certification is one of the foundation blocks of the SBE. Just as the 8-VSB and DRB Specialist Certifications covered new technologies when they were introduced, so does the ATSC3 Specialist Certification."

To apply for a specialist certification, an individual must currently hold certification on the Broadcast Engineer, Senior Broadcast Engineer, Professional Broadcast Engineer or Broadcast Networking Engineer Certification level. Exams must be completed within three hours and consist of 50 multiple-choice questions (two points each) and one essay question (20 points maximum). Examinees are provided one essay question to answer. Exams are pass/fail, and a score of 84 is a passing grade.

SBE Rolls Out Training Program for New Broadcast/Media Engineers

Utilizing a number of current SBE programs, the SBE is uniquely positioned to provide a valuable service to the broadcast industry: training new entrants to the field. The SBE is offering the SBE Technical Professional Training Program, an affordable and time sensitive way to train newer and entry level technical professionals at television and radio stations. The program includes:
SBE's extensive technical webinar offerings developed and cataloged for on-demand use that reflect the latest developments in the industry. The program includes SBE MemberPlus membership - access to all SBE webinars - more than 100.
The SBE Engineering Handbook, published by McGraw Hill and SBE, is a hard copy reference volume for hands-on use in designing and maintaining technical facilities.
The SBE Mentor Program - providing new entrants (mentees) to our profession with regular access and guidance from a seasoned professional.
The SBE Certification Program entry-level certification, Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) exam, demonstrating a comprehension of technical and regulatory requirements of station operation.
The SBE CertPreview (exam preparation) for the CBT certification, along with the mentor's knowledge and experience, in support of the TPT participant to help prepare for the CBT exam.
This program is designed to be deployable by group broadcasters, independent broadcasters and even state associations. Ideally, the mentor would come from within the ranks of the organization in which the mentee is employed. However, it can be performed by any qualified engineer willing to invest the time. SBE facilitates the establishment of the mentor-mentee relationship.

For more information contact Education Director Cathy Orosz at the SBE National Office.

March Webinars

Cybersecurity for Remote Transmitter Sites
March 18, 2021, 1 PM CT

LIVE Webinar

This presentation will explain how broadcast engineers can effectively integrate remote transmitter site operation including studio, NOC and field access while keeping the IT department happy. Topics covered include: the impact of cybersecurity breaches; specific vulnerabilities to IoT devices; why off-the-shelf-solutions fail; the need for science; how business and tech can coexist safely; why NOCs create special challenges; and how to choose cloud vs on-premises.

Your Instructor
Brian Reese, President
Reese Tower Services

Brian Reese, president of Reese Tower Services brings more than 25 years of experience to the tower industry and was the chair of the TIA-222 tower standard committee from 2006 to 2012. He is the current chair of the American Society of Civil Engineer's Design of Steel Lighting System Support Pole Structures (ASCE 72) committee. Reese has experience in tower manufacturing, modifications to tower structures, mapping and condition assessments, and weld inspections including non-destructive examination techniques. He is a registered PE and a certified weld inspector.

SBE Recertification Credit

The completion of a Webinar from Webinars by SBE qualifies for 1 credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications.

Registration and Pricing

This Webinar will be approximately 90 minutes long.

SBE Members: $62

MemberPlus Members FREE

Non-Members: $92

Registration Link


If you have questions regarding this course, contact Cathy Orosz via email or by phone at 317-846-9000.

A Focus On Everything Layer 3
March 25, 2021, 1 PM CT

Part 3 of the 2021 IP Networking: A Focus On Everything Layer 3 is Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET. This webinar will focus on understanding Layer 3 protocols and implementation. These topics will be discussed: the IP packet; virtual addressing - the IP addressing; the broadcast domain subnet; IP routing: Static & Dynamic; and IP Routing Protocol (s): The routing table & metrics. Choosing a routing protocol and knowing when to switch and when you will route will also be discussed.

Your Instructor
Wayne Pecena

Wayne M. Pecena is the Associate Director of Educational Broadcast Services at Texas A&M University. Wayne has over 48 years of broadcast and IP network engineering experience and holds BS and MS degrees from Texas A&M University. Wayne is a Fellow of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) and holds the Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE) and Certified Broadcast Network Engineer (CBNE) certifications from the SBE. He currently serves in his second term as the national President of the SBE. He was named the 2012 SBE Educator of the Year, the 2014 Radio World Engineer of the year, and named an IEEE-BTS Distinguished Lecturer in 2018. He is a frequent industry speaker on IP Networking and cybersecurity topics for the broadcast and media technology professional.

SBE Recertification Credit

The completion of a Webinar from Webinars by SBE qualifies for 1 credit, identified under Category I of the Recertification Schedule for SBE Certifications.

Registration and Pricing

This Webinar will be approximately 90 minutes long.

SBE Members: $62

MemberPlus Members FREE

Non-Members: $92

Registration Link


If you have questions regarding this course, contact Cathy Orosz via email or by phone at 317-846-9000.

Several state-of-the-art radio, TV, multimedia, and IT engineering training webinars are 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