Monthly eNews June 2023

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Please note, this edition of the Chapter 24 eNews letter will be the final issue. With the multiple avenues of information gathering and exchange in this day of instant access, maintaining a monthly newsletter is not as crucial to Chapter operations as it once was. Therefore it has been decided to end this form of Chapter communications in lieu of news, information, and meeting notices to be distributed instead via the Chapter web site and the Chapter email group. Please see the "End of an Era" article later in this newsletter which commemorates the history of the SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter and those individuals who made it award winning.

No June Meeting

There is no scheduled Chapter 24 monthly meeting in June. Instead members are urged to attend the WBA Summer Conference at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake taking place June 14th and 15th. The Osthoff Resort is also the site of the three day WBA Duke Wright Media Technology Institute which begins on June 13th. For conference details click here.

The conference concludes with the WBA Foundation Hall of Fame induction ceremony on the evening of June 15th. For details on this year's inductees click here.

Last Meeting Minutes
Submitted by Mike Travis, Secretary

The SBE Chapter 24 meeting was called to order by Matt Mommaerts at 12:22pm on May 25th, 2023 at Rocky Rococo's on Mineral Point road in Madison, Wisconsin.

Nominations Committee Report
First let me thank the members of the Nominations Committee; Kevin Ruppert and Eric Schwierske along with myself. Thanks to everyone who voted in this year's officer election.

First let's thank the outgoing officers:
Treasurer Mike Norton
Secretary Mike Travis
Vice Chair Russ Awe
Chairman Matt Mommaerts

Now let's welcome the new slate of elected officers:
Treasurer Derek Murphy
Secretary and Vice Chair Mike Travis
Chairman Russ Awe
Thanks to all these people who have volunteered their time and talents to keep Chapter 24 alive and healthy. Chairman Awe, it's now your meeting.

Approval of Minutes
Pete Deets made a motion to approve the secretary meeting minutes from 04/26/2023, seconded by Leonard Charles and approved as submitted.

Treasurer's Report
Mike Norton reports this month a sustaining membership check was received for WMTV-TV/Madison. The Chapter 24 checking balance following that deposit was [in the black].

We were notified by SBE National that Chapter 24 is eligible for the 2022 national rebate check. That usually arrives in June. We have the option to return this to SBE National for the Ennes Foundation Trust.

Chapter Newsletter Report
Leonard Charles reports the deadline for articles for the June eNews letter is Thursday June 1st at 5pm. Please forward any article of interest to Chapter members to If you send an article expect a reply of acknowledgement within a day or so. If you don't get one you should follow up to make sure your article was received. Please note, the June eNews letter will be the final issue. It has been decided that there isn't enough interest in carrying on a newsletter so it will end. Any news, information, and meeting notices will be distributed instead via the Chapter website and the Chapter email group. Thanks to everyone who has served as editor and/or contributor over the past 37 years of our newsletter.

Sustaining Member Chair Report
Mike Travis reports there are no renewals and the chapter remains at 9 sustaining members.

Program Committee Report
Matt Mommaerts reports there are no programs for June and we plan on skipping a meeting for June. This will be up to the new leadership.

SBE National Report
Matt Mommaerts reports you can nominate the SBE chapter of the year at The SBE membership drive continues through the end of May. The SBE announced the 2023 candidate slate for the upcoming election. You can view that at

Certification and Education Report
Jim Hermanson reports the next exam session is August 4th - 14th. The application deadline for the August exam is June 16th, 2023. We have one exam to give for the June session at the Candelabra. The next webinar is Thursday, June 29th at 1pm on "Basic RF for IT Series - Module 1."

Frequency Coordination Report
Gary Trenda reports there is a PGA event coming to University Ridge in June. Requests are coming in for 450-455 Mhz and 2 Ghz video links. He has a spreadsheet that he is sharing with engineers so he can protect the existing licenses.

New Business
Russ Awe reports the WBA is asking each SBE chapter in the state to support the Don Borchert Fellowship by contributing $250 to the WBA in support of the Don Borchert Fellowship. Pete Deets made a motion to contribute $250, seconded by Matt Mommaerts, motion was approved.

Jim Hermanson made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Kevin Ruppert. Meeting adjourned at 12:35pm.

The meeting was followed with a tour of the Candelabra Suites.

Job Openings

WKOW PT MC Operator

Program Ideas Appreciated

The Chapter 24 2023 meeting schedule is available here. If you have any suggestions for program topics you'd like to see, or if there is a topic that you'd like to present at an upcoming meeting, please contact Matt Mommaerts or one of the Chapter 24 officers .

Amateur Radio News
Compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H

ARRL and FEMA Sign Agreement: Ham Radio is as Relevant as Ever
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, emphasizing the importance of skilled Amateur Radio Operators in times of crisis and the role of Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) leadership within the emergency communications space.

"The agreement is representative of the continued commitment and cooperation between FEMA and ARRL," said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. "Serving our country during emergencies is an important service provided by ARES volunteers and a principal purpose of our Amateur Radio Service. Our well-equipped volunteers bring their training, use of innovative technologies, and community partnerships together to serve before and during disasters."

FEMA announced the new agreement on Twitter stating, "We recently signed a new MOA with @arrl - establishing our partnership with licensed, voluntary amateur radio operators to support response & recovery efforts. We're honored to work side-by-side to meet the needs of millions in the wake of disasters."

ARRL Helps Radio Amateurs Comply with New RF Exposure Evaluation Rules
New FCC rules governing RF exposure evaluations went into effect on May 3, 2021, While the exposure limits were not changed, the requirement to conduct an evaluation was made more broadly applicable to amateur licensees. A 2-year transition period was implemented to allow existing amateur licensees to conduct evaluations and make any changes necessary to ensure that their station complies with the exposure rules. On May 3, the transition period ended. All licensees must now conduct evaluations of their current station and reassess compliance when making changes to their stations that would affect exposure going forward.

As detailed in a May 2023 QST article by Greg Lapin, N9GL, the rules now require amateur radio operators to perform station evaluations. The Amateur Radio Service is no longer categorically excluded from certain aspects of the RF exposure rules, and licensees can no longer avoid performing an exposure assessment simply because they are transmitting below a given power level.

The ARRL website features an RF Exposure landing page with resources, such as an RF exposure calculator, the entire RF Safety section from the 100th Edition of the ARRL The Handbook, a video explaining the topic, FAQs about the subject, and more. These tools and resources are available to the public without an ARRL membership or website account.

A Personal Note
It's been my pleasure to bring you Amateur Radio News in the Chapter 24 newsletter. If I'm not mistaken, it was sometime in 1989 when Leonard Charles encouraged me to start a monthly column about ham radio. (I went back through the chapter's web archives, and the earliest edition of Amateur Radio News I found was December, 1989.) My challenge was finding stories about the hobby that had some plausible relationship with broadcast engineering. But what made it easier was knowing that several of our chapter's members were also licensed hams. Thanks to the various newsletter editors who would often have to remind me at deadline time (and sometimes post-deadline)..."Hey Tom, do you have anything for us this month?"

Kudos to Chuck, Paul Stoffel, Mike Norton, and Mark Croom (and anyone else I forgot) for their work in putting together this award-winning newsletter each month since I've been involved.

If you're not yet a ham, get your license. You're already an engineer!

See you on the radio. 73, WJ9H -SK-

(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay League's
Email Tom

End of an Era
by Leonard Charles CPBE

As this issue is the last ever SBE Chapter 24 newsletter I believe some reflection is in order. The earliest archived edition on our Chapter 24 website is October of 1988. As its first editor I recall earlier editions (which were not saved for archive) perhaps back as far as 1985. Indeed the first editions were written on a "state of the art" Commodore 64 computer with a program called Paper Clip and printed on a dot matrix printer. Wikipedia puts the evolution of that computer beginning with the unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 1982, so the timeline tracks.

Over the years there have been many Best Local Chapter Newsletter Editor awards by several Chapter members who served as its editor. After my first tenure ended in 1991 Deanna Morris took over followed by Paul Stoffel in 1992, and Mark Croom in 1995. Mike Norton began a long run as newsletter editor in 1996 for 11 years to 2007 when John Salzwedel took over. In 2008 Paul Stofel began his second run as editor lasting until 2018 ranking him as the longest tenured editor with a combined 15 years over his two runs. In 2018 I again took over and remained through this the last issue.

In addition to the Editor awards the Chapter 24 newsletter won several years of the SBE National Best Chapter Newsletter award in its class. Those years were 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015 which was the last year the award was given.

Of course awards don't happen without worthy content. Our newsletter has been blessed over the years to have many contributors committed to publishing the latest in industry and career news for Chapter members. In addition to the editors, who themselves were often major content contributors, some fairly consistent long term contributions over the years were made by Doug McDonell (deceased), Chris Cain (deceased), Kevin Ruppert, Doug Smith, Phil Mikalofsky, Stan Scharch, Neal McLain, Mark Croom, Vicki Way Kipp, Fred Sperry, and Gary Timm. There were also several other one time or occasional contributors, too many to mention here.

Without a doubt the longest tenured contributors in the newsletter's history were Tom Weeden, Tom Smith, and Jim Hermanson. Tom Weeden's earliest archived contribution is in 1988 and his long running Amateur Radio News column began in 1989 and ran through this last and final issue. Tom Smith began his streak of FCC News and Local Legals columns in 1993 which continued faithfully until his passing in 2022. Jim Hermanson has been a frequent contributor since 1990 with his long running every-issue Certification/Education column beginning in 1993 until his last in this final issue. Hats off to Tom, Tom, and Jim for their part in making the newsletter what it is and was over the years.

There have been many a deadline passed over the past 38 years. Who could forget all those "folding parties" where a core group of volunteers would gather at a member station to copy, collate, fold and stamp each monthly mailing up until full electronic distribution started in 2009. The Chapter 24 monthly newsletter leaves behind many fond memories to those who shepherded it through its existence over the years. THANK YOU to each and every one of you!

Broadcast Engineering Origin Stories
By Vicki Way Kipp, CPBE, CBNT, ATSC3

Broadcast engineering is generally not a high-profile career. We work behind the scenes.

When I tell someone outside of broadcasting what field I work in, they usually say that they've never heard of broadcast engineering, followed by, "Is that a job?"

Each of us had likely had to go out of our way to discover that broadcast engineering is a real job, except for our former chapter chair, Bill Hamilton, whose father, also named Bill Hamilton, was a broadcast engineer in St. Louis for decades.

Out of the thousands of occupations we could have chosen, it's a wonder that we all-- except for Bill Hamilton, who had an inside track-- found our way to this occupation. Chapter 24 members and alumni shared our backstories of how we discovered broadcast engineering, or in some cases, how the FCC inspector discovered us.

Tom Adams, W9LBB:
The threat of imminent starvation led me into broadcasting. I needed the money.

Trained as a high school Social Studies teacher, I discovered in student teaching that I don't have the temperament to deal with a bunch of teenaged bags of hormones. Since school boards tend to frown on teachers committing homicide on school property, I never used my license.

Became an orderly in a psychiatric hospital, and the pay was so lousy that I joined USAF Reserve (one weekend a month... DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!) to grab the pay there. Likewise, worked as a security guard.

Got my 1st Class Radiotelephone license out of desperation, and signed on with ECB.

Part 2: I got that SAME brush off from AFRTS. That audition tape was The End for a LOT of applicants. I told 'em I was interested in the ENGINEERING end of things, not in being a disc jockey... but to no avail. I still have the rejection letter from Fort Benjamin Harrison. It's framed and hanging on my ham shack wall !!! 😆

Russ Awe:
My career in TV started in high school when I was asked to video tape the boys basketball home games. The high school AV club (I was president) arranged a tour of WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, WI and I was hooked. I started out on the production crew at WEAU a couple years later and when a full-time master control operator job came along, I jumped at the chance as it was with Engineering and more responsibility. Sending signals through the air and signal paths intrigued me. The RCA TCR-100 2" Quad videotape cart machine was my favorite.

I have been in love with my job ever since. There is something magical about live TV that I just can't shake.

Fred Baumgartner, k0fmb:
Don't remember a time when I didn't love radio. My very first memory is sticking something into an electric outlet. By the time my neighborhood buddy and I were 12, the Detroit police had come by to say to our Moms that, "they didn't know exactly what laws were being broken," but they were pretty sure we should shut down the AM station we built from dead TVs found on the curb (our mistake was pitching the corner drug store to advertise). On graduation, I was pretty sure I couldn't afford to be in broadcasting without outside income, so I taught at Burlington H.S., where the $8,800/year and their WBSD-FM let me play radio on weekends and holidays. After 2-years, I couldn't afford to teach any more as contract work and fill-in gigs took up my time. WIBA was my first station that didn't sign off at night.

Leonard "Chuck" Charles:
I was attending school in Madison and working full time 2nd shift at Gardner Baking. On the ride home from work I usually listened to WYXE FM in Sun Prairie which signed off at Midnight near the end of my trip. One night as midnight approached the DJ decided to lock the doors and just continue playing records. After unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep I drove over to the studio in the north end of the Wisconsin Cheeseman building (now a patio furniture warehouse) where I opened my car doors, turned up the radio, and scared the crap out of the DJ when he noticed I was watching him through a large bay window looking into the control room. I became intrigued by what he was doing as it related to what I was hearing from my car radio. Later that week I visited the PD who gave me options on how to get into the business.

After finishing my degree in Electronic Design Theory I spent some time at Brown Institute in Minneapolis before getting my first job as announcer/engineer at WAGO in Oshkosh. Eventually I found a path in engineering at WIBA in Madison working for Fred Baumgartner and later switched to TV at WISC TV where I spent the bulk of my career.

Pete Deets, N0GA:
At a very young age, I managed to get one hand in contact with a wall socket, which forever gave me a learned respect of 110 AC (and perhaps shorted something in my brain).

A bit later I expressed a passion to become a railroad engineer but the railroads were failing at that point in time. A family friend suggested there were other professions that would allow the moniker of engineer as he was an EE.

In high school I found I had a talent and liking for electronics and also got mixed up in the Radio Club (electronics) as well as Radio Announcing on the speech team. In that time frame, I decided to go into Radio Engineering, stumbled into the broadcasting program at UW-Platteville and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bob Dischler, KB9UOJ:
I was never a broadcaster, but used broadcast, satellite, and cablecast systems, via WHA and ECB to distribute interactive university for credit classes, for 21 years, while at the IMDC (Instructional Media Distribution Center) at the School of Education, UW Madison.

I was the IMDC audio and video engineer, designed, built, and rebuilt with student employee help, several of our production, teaching, and auditorium systems. Our telecourse system could produce out of three different auditoriums.

I got interested in communication systems work, using wideband tropo scatter radio, and submarine cable, while in the Air Force, in Greenland and Alaska.

Mike Engel:
I went to Madison Media Institute [MMI] when it was still around from '05 to '08 and went straight thru each summer without taking off as it was an option. I got to stay with over 90% of my classmates because we all agreed that sticking with it would be better for all of us in the long-run.

After MMI, I received an internship from the ol' Madison CW (WBUW) when it was owned and operated by ACME Communications out of Albuquerque, NM. After a week in the internship, I was hired as a Master Control Operator. My first day, I met our Engineer, and it was his last day before he retired! (I believe his name was Frank but I'm fuzzy on the details)

Anyhow, we didn't have any Engineering staff for almost 3-years, so any equipment that came in would be installed by my Supervisor and I (like Flip Factory, for instance). We also didn't have an IT Department, so running networking cables and installing networking switches was also a part of the routine. The company was eventually sold and we all got canned by the new owner.

In between, I worked at a Plastic Injection Molding facility in Verona, WI where I started as a Press Operator and eventually moved on to Journeyman work where I felt extremely comfortable working with my hands and large equipment again.

Eventually I landed with WISC-TV after receiving an offer, where my primary position was Master Control Operator, but I also worked as an Editor, Camera Operator, and Floor Manager (lots and lots of OT, no doubt). One day, after being with the company for nearly 4-years, the GM at the time came into MC and asked me where I saw myself in 5-years. I told him "I'll need the weekend to think about that because I really don't know."

On that following Monday, I expressed my interest in becoming an Engineer stating that "each day would be different while I would be learning something new every day, and I enjoy that type of day-to-day diversity" and, given my previous experience with it, I felt like I had the chops. Turns out, others thought so, too (!) and the rest is history!

Clif Groth, KD9OZH:
After helping out at a Radio-TV shop I migrated to the local radio station, WTTN, while in high school 1958.

Laura Gutknecht:
The usual progression of life events. A Knight Kit wireless broadcaster/amplifier and Lafayette four channel mixer in a bedroom radio studio. Building a Heathkit amateur receiver and transmitter in my high school ham club. A tour of WTOS given by Bob Reitman, my favorite DJ. Spending way too much time at carrier current station WLHA at UW-Madison. A job at WHA Recording Service, just after Vilas Hall was opened and getting to operate all the brand new gear. Being encouraged to apply to become Chief Operator/Engineer at WORT, and actually landing the position.

Bill Hamilton:
My dad started in radio in the '60s. He used to take me (and my brothers) to the station on Sundays, then to the transmitter that evening for maintenance. I spent a lot of Sundays at KSTL-AM in those days. Then in the mid-70s, the radio engineers were locked out in a labor dispute, and he wound up working at KPLR-TV, just doing odd jobs at first. My uncle (his younger brother who followed him into radio had already moved to KPLR). My dad worked his way up to Chief Engineer. I spent a bit of time with him there as well. He left KPLR for KSDK, and I would visit there often. By then, I was working at KDNL. He also spent a good deal of time freelancing as a remote engineer, including several high-profile sporting events. That is how I got the "bug"!

Jim Hermanson, N9ORY: For me it was the little 100 milliWatt FM radio station I built in my parent's home in my high school years. It was a Radio Shack Apollo FM 90 wireless microphone transmitter, connected to an outdoor antenna, with audio fed from a basement studio with two cassette machines, a turntable, a microphone, an audio switching panel, mixer, and audio processor. Many hours were spent tinkering with the audio. When area people started listening and calling in requests, and had guest DJs, it was great fun, and I found it to be a DJ and broadcast engineering path I wanted to follow.

Steve Johnston, WD8DAS:
In my teen years I got deeply into the ham radio hobby. A friend suggested that a good part time job for me would be as an announcer-operator at a local radio station. I was hired at WHLO in Akron, Ohio. Gradually it leaked out that I could maintain the equipment and I started assisting engineering as well. When the Chief Engineer position opened up, the GM offered me the job and I became Chief at 19 years old. The Corporate engineers wondered about this young whipper-snapper but it worked out nicely as I stayed with that company 20 years! As the company expanded, I moved through engineering management in progressively larger markets until I was at the headquarters myself!

Jeff Juniet:
I fell into the engineering role at a small TV station in Ft Myers, FL. I spent some years doing video production and working in a recording studio when I started as a master control operator at WRXY. Early one morning, when the transmitter didn't come up, the Chief Engineer talked me through how to get it going over the phone. This operation included going inside a heavily modified high-voltage cabinet. I am sure I am misremembering that Chief Engineer's words, but later he said, "You know how to use a meter and soldering iron; I can work with that." That Chief Engineer was Phil Scott, the first engineer that pushed me into this line of work. Since then, I have worked with some great veteran Engineers who fueled my interest in technology and focused it on the broadcast industry. Some of the other fantastic Engineers were Brent Stephenson, Ed Murlatte, and my good friend, the late Rick Ervin.

Vicki Kipp, WB9WBA:
My home life contributed to my lifework. My dad was a ham. My mom earned her ham radio license just because she likes to learn. My brothers and I would play with the rig's heavy Motorola palm mic. My family had a little Rohn tower for our TV antenna. Us kids begged for a rotor so we could pull in WREX Channel 13 from Rockford to watch cartoons. DXing starts young.

My dad taught industrial technology at a high school, and I liked to make circuits in the electronics lab. When my dad's friend started Wave Communications, he started to climb towers part-time. When my mom had to work, us kids tagged along to the tower site.

I took a "TV in the Making" summer school class taught by a patient teacher, Lyle Laufenberg. I went back for the next few summers. That class led to a high school job at the cable access station, WOW. I went on a tour at the ECB and heard about the broadcast engineering degree at UW-Platteville. I had found my path.

Jim Magee:
I was born to do TV. My mom was pregnant with me when she worked at a TV station and my father worked with computers in the early 60s. So it was pre-natal RF radiation exposure that did it. Later in junior high school, I fell in love with the Sony AV-3600 EIAJ open reel-to-reel VTR and was the first student permitted to take the equipment home to record programs for later playback in classrooms (The Ascent of Man was one series in particular I remember recording).

Barry Mishkind:
I was doing an all night shift on a Phoenix station, and the PD called one night to ask me to change the finals [tubes] at 3 AM. (I did have a First Phone)

That was sort of the start of me doing tech stuff on a regular basis. I went on to align all the tape machines and made sure the wiring was in the right places.

Later, when I moved to LA and auditioned for several stations, I ended up being picked up by KFI as a board op. I straddled the tech and production side for several years, but when I returned to Tucson, I started doing contracting. A good friend at another station gave me a push saying "if you get into trouble, just call me." As it turned out, he was never available, and I learned how to manage on my own ... but never breaking anything by putting my hands where I did not know what to do.

Wayne Mills:
I became interested in Radio in High School...there was a small AM/FM station in the town where I grew up. It was mono (still is today over forty years later 😊!). Not much opportunity for a good paying job, and the recession in the early '80's made staying in the area a virtually impossibility, so I joined the Army. I envisioned being an on-air talent, but that was one of the few MOS's [Military Occupational Specialty] in the Army you actually had to audition for. In the course of the audition, I found out that I had a face for radio, and a voice for silent I went into the technical arena for my MOS. After four years in the Army, I had two years of college under my belt, so I went back home to finish my degree. At the university, I caught on at the University-owned PBS station as a Master Control Operator...and rest is history, so to speak.

Matt Mommaerts:
I used to go to Chicago White Sox games as a kid and always admired the camera operators. I wanted to get behind the scenes and I was slightly involved in video club and radio in high school. It came time to choose college and UW Platteville was the place to go for broadcast engineering... I never did get to work in live pro sports behind the scenes but all the rest of broadcasting is still cool too.

Matt Rockwell:
For a long time, I considered my adult profession to be a 35 mm projectionist, although I think I may have passed the threshold to where I've been a broadcast engineer longer now. Of course, it started with asking a pretty cashier at a Marcus movie theater for an application and then actually getting hired. I'd already known from high school that I fit better backstage than on stage, so Marcus put me in the projection booth.

From there, I made it to NYC as a projectionist for Dolby Laboratories when THX and Dolby Digital were getting popular, and I acquired digital audio skills.

I returned to Madison to work for the UW at Vilas Hall where Communication Arts has a 35 mm screening room and small archive.

When a lateral transfer opportunity to apply for the WSUM engineer position opened, I applied and was hired right away by Dave Black. I didn't know about broadcasting then, but he gave me the opportunity anyway. The digital audio skills definitely served me well in building the new WSUM studio with Livewire though, which was one of the first audio over IP studios in Wisconsin.

Kevin Ruppert:
I knew that I wanted to be in broadcasting since I was about 4 years old while listening to Gordon Hinkley on WTMJ and Fritz the Plumber on WYLO in Milwaukee. I had a clothespin with a string on it that served as a microphone which I used to entertain my family as I would do the intro to records.

I really caught the radio bug while in college, spending much of my time at the student radio station, WLHA where I had several excellent mentors.

After a couple of years at WNNO in Wisconsin Dells doing news and DJ shifts, I realized that my talents were better used at the transmitter site and behind the racks.

John Roger Salzwedel:
Armed Forces Radio & TV in Southeast Asia 1968.

Stan Scharch, N9HMA:
I started by tinkering with the radio's and one black and white TV that our family owned, then expanded to fixing things for neighbors, also installing TV antennas on roofs. My high school had a newly equipped electronics lab in the industrial arts department along with a 4-year program. After high school I enrolled in a broadcast engineering correspondence program with CIE - Cleveland Institute of Electronics.

Eric Schwierske:
I volunteered with my fellow high school student council members for the Wisconsin Public Television Auction each spring. I worked various positions over the years but as high schoolers we loved working the late night shift because it meant we got to stay out past midnight. I remember walking into Studio A and the air was electric with an energy of excitement and community. Witnessing the studio in full-swing production was something special and I knew I was hooked.

Fred Sperry:
A childhood love and fascination of radio. The chance to be on Jonathan Green's radio show on WTMJ-AM and a tour of WZUU in Milwaukee sealed the deal!

More than anything I wanted to be a radio DJ, but I also was interested in electronics and audio so I figured I could probably meld the two together. Soon I realized the technical end of things was the way to go if I was going to make a career of broadcasting.

Paul Stoffel:
A shout out to Milwaukee Area Technical College's Electronic Communications program and WMVS/WMVT located on its campus in downtown Milwaukee.

My high school junior year, a skeptical career guidance counselor said newspaper jobs are going away. "How about trying television production?"

I started at MATC at age 17, leaving the future's farm work to my brothers.

I chose the television production engineering track and tangentially was exposed to television transmitters.

Through the years I enjoyed the day-to-day variety of productions, equipment installation projects, the evolving technologies, the broadcast television community and the people I met through the SBE.

Chris Tarr, W9JOL:
I got into it when the FCC inspectors told my parents that the transmitter that their 12 year-old son built was pretty well done - but they still had to confiscate it.

Tom Weeden, WJ9H:
I was fascinated by listening to distant AM stations at night, and got my amateur radio license to get in on the electromagnetic fun.

Rich Wood:
I started at WMXM radio, a 10 watt college station in Illinois. One night while spinning a whole side of a record I opened the Gates console and then went and found the book for it...

Going to School in Broadcast Engineering
by Vicki W. Kipp

We are grappling with how to recruit new broadcast engineers to replace us so we can retire. Broadcast engineers prepare. We want to find and train our replacement. But there is a dire shortage of new broadcast engineers.

Until a decade or two ago, Wisconsin was home to two SBE certified schools: UW-Platteville and Milwaukee Area Technical College. Unfortunately, those broadcast engineering programs have ended.

There are no longer SBE certified schools in Wisconsin.

So, if Wisconsinites want a degree related to broadcast engineering, where could they go?

If someone can go out of state for college, some excellent SBE certified schools are available.

Students who attend an SBE certified school may apply for the SBE's Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) designation within one year of graduation.

Colleges that wish to become "SBE certified" should apply to SBE Certification Director Megan Clappe.

2320 South 19th Street Tacoma, WA 98405

Bates Technical College's Broadcasting / Video Production (BVP) program lists job outcomes such as chief engineer and audio engineer. Isn't it fun to read the words "broadcasting" and "engineer" in the same sentence? They mention the call signs of broadcast stations and production studios where their alumni work.

Based on data from O*Net ( captured on June 2021, Bates College estimates there are potentially 3,000 annual job openings in broadcast engineering, operations, production, and audio, with a national median salary of $55,160. Students are encouraged to take an SBE certification exam after they complete their academic program.

Bates Technical College has four academic quarters per calendar year.


DC Electronics Theory (5)
AC Electronics Theory (5)
Basics Electronics Lab (5)
Intro to Studio & Field Production (4)
Principles of Lighting (4)
Production Process Theory (3)
Basic Digital Video Editing (4)
BVP Safety Principles (2)
Employment Preparation (3)
Master Control Operations I (5)
Control Room Equipment I (5)
Broadcast station Operations (5)
Characteristics of Sound (5)
Basic Audio Equipment (5)
Intro to Digital Audio Recording (5)

Receivers & Transmitters (5)
Content Delivery Systems (5)
Networking for Video & Audio (5)
Audio Engineering (5)
Video Engineering (5)
Practicum I (5)

Audio / Video Pre-Production App (5)
Advanced Editing Projects (5)
Field Production (5)
Production Capstone I (5)
Production Capstone II (5)
Practicum II (5)

Program Editing (5)
Basic Maintenance & Troubleshooting (5)
Remote / Robotic Camera Systems (5)
Master Control Operations II (5)
Video Graphics Applications II (5)
Technical Directing (5)
Emerging Technologies (5)
Practicum III (5)
Practicum IV (5)
Practicum V (5)

For more information, contact
Bob Traufler, Career Advisor

Other Contacts:
Ken Witkoe

Roland Robinson

495 N. Indian Creek Dr. Clarkston, GA 30021-2397
Piedmont-verified students who complete the program with a grade of B or better and who apply for the SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) designation will be approved.
Piedmont Technical College offers a Design and Media Production associate degree. The production emphasis might be most relevant to broadcast engineering.

Design and Media Production Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree (61 credits)

Language Arts / Communication (3)Intro to Photography (4)Intro to Video Compositing and Broadcast Animation (4)
Social / Behavioral Sciences (3) Production Photography (4) Basic Video Editing (4)
Natural Sciences / Mathematics (3) Intro to Animation (4) Intro to Video Compositing and Broadcast Animation (4)
Humanities / Fine Arts (3) Intro to Television Production (4) Intermediate Video Compositing and Broadcast Animation (4)
Elective: General Education (3) Intro to Video Production (4) Intermediate Video Editing (4)
Identity Design (4) Post-Production Audio (4)
OCCUPATIONAL COURSES (16) Page Layout (4) Color Grading (4)
Intro to Design (4) Publication Design (4) Visual Effects (4)
Vector Graphics (4) Advanced Raster Imaging (4) Special Projects (4)
Raster Imaging (4) Documentary Photography (4) Portraiture Photography (4)
Exit Review (4) Foundations Interface Design (4) Photography II (4)
Basic 3D Modeling and Animation (4) Intermediate Video Production (4)
TECHNOLOGY COURSE (3 or 4) Intermediate 3D Modeling (4) Narrative Filmmaking (4)
Intro to Computer Literacy (3) Digital, Texture & Lighting (4) Documentary Filmmaking (4)
OR Character Rigging (4)
Intro to Media Technology (4) 3D Production and Animation (4)SELECT 7 CREDITS BELOW:
2-Dimensional Animation (4) Any DMPT course above
Overview of Video Game Art and Design (4) OR
2-Dimensional Character Animation (4) Intro to the Music Industry (3)
Lighting for Television (4) Intro to Sound Production (3)
Writing for Broadcast (4) Business Regulations and Compliance (3)
Basic Video Editing (4) Small Business Management (3)
Entrepreneurship (6)

Obrin Griffin
404-297-9522 ext 1213

Defense Information School
6500 Mapes Rd. Ft. Meade, MD 20755
*Must enlist in the US military.

Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) certification is granted upon satisfactory completion of the military training program and a review by the National Certification Committee for BTVEM and BRTSM.

(71 Days)
Computer Systems
Fundamentals of Television
Cameras and Media Storage
Conference Room Maintenance

(124 Days)
Intro To Electronics
Voltage and Current
Direct Current
Alternating Current
Solid State Electronics
Power Supplies
Amplifier Currents
Oscillator Currents
Digital Circuits
Principles of Troubleshooting

Michael Gannon,
Director, Institutional and Academic Affairs


School of Digital Media 1349 Cramer Circle, BIS 303 Big Rapids, MI 49307 231.591.2712

Ferris Television Engineer Bill Jung has just added another college where students can study broadcast engineering. Jung turned his master's degree capstone project into a full-fledged broadcast engineering minor, which is set to begin in the Fall of 2023.

Bill Jung recognized the need for a broadcast engineering minor. He collaborated with School of Digital Media Director Glen Okonoski to create a broadcast engineering minor from existing courses in television, digital media, computer science, electronics, and troubleshooting.

Read more about engineer Bill Jung and this in-demand degree at


Communication Competency (9 Credits)
Quantitative Literacy Competency (3 to 4 Credits)
Natural Sciences Competency (6 Credits)
Culture Competency (9 Credits Required)
Global Diversity Competency (1 Course Required)
Collaboration Competency (If not met by College Requirements)
Problem Solving Competency (If not met in College Requirements)

Digital Media Art and Technology
Audio Production
Field Production
Motion Design
Online Media Management
Cinematic Story Production
Television Operations
Television Studio Production
Seminar in Television and Digital Media
Instructional Design
Television and Digital Media Internship
Advanced Producing and Directing

3D Modeling and Animation 1
Type & Technology
Type & Visual Interfaces
Entertainment Arts and Production
Lighting for Film and Video
Remote Television Production
Film and Digital Media Practicum
Advanced Compositing for Video
Color Grading
Digital Cinematography
Special Studies in Television and Digital Media Production

Networking, Troubleshooting, Circuits, etc...

Bill Jung, Television Engineer
Ferris State University, School of Digital Media


Program Code: 10-605-1A (70 Credits)
DC and AC Electronics 1 (4)
Digital Electronics (3)
Computer Systems (3)
DC and AC Electronics 2 (3)
Electronic Devices & Circuits (4)
Microprocessors (3)
Fabrication Techniques (1)
Electronic Communications (3)
Computing with C (3)
TV Broadcast Systems (4)
Telephone Systems (2)
Advanced Electronic Comm (4)
Digital Communications Syst (2)
Computer Networks (3)
Motors and Controls (4)
Programmable Controllers (3)
Hydraulics and Pneumatics (2)
Adv PLCs (3)
Automated Systems (3)

ENG (6)
MATH (5)

ELECTIVES (Choose one)
Electronics Co-op (3)
TV Broadcast Workshop 1 (3)
TV Broadcast Workshop 2 (3)


UW-Platteville BSLocal Technical College AAS

(39 credits)
Intro to TV Electrical Systems?
Intro to Mass MediaWireless Topics
Intro to Telecom TechVoIP Convergence Fundamentals
Applied Communication-Television (semester of
producing campus news broadcast)
Advanced Video Production
Public SpeakingOral / Interpersonal Communication
Television ProductionVideo Production
Radio ProductionSound Production Techniques
Digital Communication Systems (early IP, audio,
video data networks)
Wireless Topics
Business CommunicationsWritten Communication
Practicum: TelethonEvent Production
Comm Technologies ManagementVideo Project Management
Facilities Plan & Design (Gannt Chart, Drafting]?
Communication Internship?
Advanced Audio Techniques

Basic ElectronicsAnalog Circuit Techniques
Basic ElectricityAC / DC Electronics 1
Semiconductor ApplicationsDigital Circuit Principles
Linear CircuitsAC / DC Circuit Techniques and Principles
Digital and Micro ElectronicsDigital Circuit Techniques
Modulation and Transmission (RF)?

Analog Circuit Principles
Exploration of Information Technology
Intro to Cloud Computing
Intro to Cisco Networking
IT Security Awareness
Python Scripting

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: (15 credits)Various

At UW-Platteville, a formerly SBE Certified School, I earned a broadcast engineering degree from a program that no longer exists. The Broadcast Technology Management BS had four components: broadcast, technology, management, and an emphasis on Engineering / Operations.

Could someone assemble a similar combination of courses at a local technical college? Let's see…


Program Number: 902061CERT
Video Production (3)
Story & Pre-Production (2)
Video and Design (3)
Advanced Video Production (3)
Video Project Management (3)

Program Number: 901502CERT
Intro to Cisco Networking (3)
Cisco Networking 2 (3)
Cisco Networking 3 (3)

Program Number: 316052
Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS) A-610 (1)
Certified IPC Application Specialist (CIS) J-STD-001 (1)
AC/DC Electronics 1 (3)
Analog Circuit Techniques (3)
Digital Circuit Techniques (3)
Applied Electronic Math 2 (2)
Written Communication (3)
AC/DC Electronics 2 (3)
Analog Circuit Principles (3)
Digital Circuit Principles (3)
Embedded Device Concepts (3)

Program Number: 901029CERT
Financial Accounting (4)
Introduction to Business (3)
English 1 (3)
Micro Economics (3)
Management Accounting (4)
Management Techniques (3)
Speech (3)
Intro Psychology (3)

I feel like there is a good overlap between my bachelor's degree and a combination of four programs at the technical college.

What is missing is a campus radio station, a campus TV station. Perhaps these experiences could be found at a cable access TV station or a community radio station.

This combination of degrees is missing an electronics course in Modulation and Transmission (RF).

So, if the local technical college doesn't offer an RF course, can that course be accessed elsewhere?

With my SBE Member-Plus classification, I can attend any SBE University Course or webinar at no cost. The SBE has many RF courses.

SBE University's online self-study courses include an electronic book, chapter quizzes, and a final exam. Students have six months to complete an SBE University course after starting.

Intro to Broadcast Audio Processing
Intro to AM Antenna Systems
Intro to Matching AM Networks and AM Phasing
Intro to FM Transmission Systems
Intro to Television Video and Audio
Intro to TV ENG (Electronic News Gathering) Truck Operations
Intro to Computer Networking for Broadcast Engineers
Intro to File-Based Architecture and Workflows
Voice Telco Networks and Studio Interface Systems Course
Simple Network Management Protocol in Broadcast Monitoring and Control Systems

The SBE adds new webinars often.

AoIP, Audio Streaming, CBNT & CBNE Study, Containerized Software, IP Networking, EAS, SNMP, Troubleshooting, Transmitter Maintenance, AM Directional Antenna Modeling, BXF Workflow, IP Microwave STLs, Last-Mile for Cloud, Studio Lighting, All-Digital AM, Co-locating with AM Broadcast Antennas, SIP Series, Real-Time Media, SMPTE - ST 2110, Tower Lighting, ATSC 3.0, Tower Design, Tower Leases, WebRTC, Mobile Video, Virtualized Environment, ANSI / TIA-222-H, Broadcast Operations, The Manager's Engineering Notebook, Cybersecurity for Remote Transmitter Sites, HD Radio, Chief Operator, Translators and Boosters, Job Security, Workbench Tips, Managing a Project, Outside Contractors, Your Contract Engineering Business, Math of Reliability, EAS, RF 101 (Eight Parts), RF Safety, Springtime Maintenance, Streaming Radio, Transmitter Site Safety, Drones, Wireshark, Advanced RF Series: RF 201 (Nine Parts), Power Meter, Multiplex Over AES, ATSC 3.0 (Six Parts), ATSC 3.0 Networking (Three Parts), Virtualization, Grounding / Lightning Protection, Basic RF for IT Series, FCC Rules and Regulations, AM, C-Band, FM, Spectrum Allocations, Broadcast Auxiliary, White Spaces, Wireless Mics.

Amateur radio concepts overlap with those in an RF transmission and reception course.

If a student doesn't live near an SBE certified school, they may be able to piece together an equivalent broadcast engineering education with courses from multiple organizations. And employers may find broadcast engineering candidates by considering someone whose knowledge and job experience partially matches with a traditional broadcast engineering background.

SBE Compensation Survey

The SBE is conducting its eighth annual compensation survey for those working in radio and television engineering, IT and related fields. This independent survey measures the salaries and benefits earned by those in our industry. All survey responses are anonymous. Survey results will be available to all SBE members for free, in July. Take the Survey.

SBE Board Nominations Open

Nominations are open through June 30 for candidates to run for the national SBE Board of Directors. Nominations for the six open director seats must be in writing and be endorsed by ten voting SBE members. Nominations are made to SBE Secretary Jason Ornellas at For more information click here.

SBE National Awards Nominations Are Open

The annual SBE National Awards program recognizes those who have contributed to the SBE, the industry or their chapters in a number of categories. Winners receive their recognition during the Membership Meeting and Awards Program at the annual SBE National Meeting in the fall. Applications for individual awards are available here. Applications for chapter awards are available here.

Certification and Education
compiled by Jim Hermanson

2023 Exam Schedule
Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
(to SBE National Office)

  August 4-14, 2023

  Local Chapters (Madison Area)

  June 16, 2023

  November 3-13, 2023

  Local Chapters (Madison Area)

  September 8, 2023

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. Before the exam time, your local certification chairman will receive a list of applicants and exams in his/her area 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.

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

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 Certification Exam Preparation
To help prepare for an SBE certification exam, for information on taking the test, and to see passing scores, visit this page

Listing Your Certification
One way to show off your certification(s) is by adding them to your email signature. This is an easy way for those who are not familiar with the SBE and the certification program to get more information on your particular certification.

Here is an example of an email signature with the certifications linked to a description on the SBE website.

John Smith, CPBE, ATSC3, CBNT
Chief Engineer
Your local Station

You can also utilize the SBE Certified logo, as long as you use it in conjunction with your certifications. Download the logo here.

If you have any questions contact Certification Director Megan Clappe.

Tracking Re-certification credit:
The SBE National Certification Committee has produced a brochure that you can use to help keep track of the activities you have completed during the 5 years of your SBE certification.

There is also an excel spreadsheet that you may use if you prefer to keep track on your computer.

Access the brochure or excel spreadsheet here.

If your certification expires July 1, 2023, please fill out the re-certification application and send it in to maintain your SBE certification.

Upgrade your SBE Certification

If you currently hold a Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE) or a Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE) certification and you have worked in the industry for at least 20 years, you may want to consider upgrading to the Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE). There is no exam involved. You can find more information about the CPBE and applications here.

If you have any questions contact Certification Director Megan Clappe.

SBE Education Committee Launches Disability Survey

The SBE Education Committee is undertaking a survey that could have far-reaching benefits for some of our current membership, as well as future membership. Spearheading the initiative is SBE Education Committee member Len Watson, CPBE. The goal is to help those members connect with opportunities or to help those who were forced to leave due to challenges.


June Webinar

Basic RF for IT Series - Module 1

Thursday, June 29, 2023 | 1 p.m. CT

SBE is pleased to announce a new course, in two parts: Basic RF for IT Series and Applied RF for IT Series. The two-part course is designed for newer engineers who may come from an IT or non-technical background and need some training on the theory and components involved in generating radio frequency signals, as well as the principals involved with respect to maintaining and optimizing operation. While not intended to be an in-depth electronics education, this course provides familiarization with the theory and math involved in RF generation, as well as practical applications of that theory. Each series of the course will consist of four modules and can be viewed individually or taken sequentially. Modules will be discussion-based, with theory and references provided throughout.

Basic RF for IT Series Module 1 will start with an overview and an introduction to Ohm's Law and the basic math that is used for RF calculations (finding cutoff frequency of a filter, for example, or determining the capacitance required to tune a network). Further modules will help provide the tools needed to safely and efficiently work on RF amplifiers, including instruction relating to both tube and solid-state transmission equipment. Again, this is not intended to replace comprehensive electronics theory training, however, the goal is to provide the fundamentals needed to effectively troubleshoot and maintain transmitters, STLs and other RF devices.

Below are the dates of the Basic RF for IT Series Modules:
  • Module 1 - June 29, 2023
  • Module 2 - July 27, 2023
  • Module 3 - August 31, 2023
  • Module 4 - September 21, 2023
Dates for the Applied RF for IT Series to be announced.

Your Instructors

Jeff Welton, CPBE, Nautel
Jeff Welton took his training in the Radio College of Canada (RCC) Electronics Engineering Technologist program, finishing in 1985. Jeff has performed component level repair, field installation and service, technical support and quality assurance roles with various companies and has been with Nautel for over 26 years, the first 17 of which were spent in field service and technical support positions, as well as assisting Engineering with design review of new products and improvement of existing systems. Since moving to Sales in 2007, Jeff keeps finding ways to get his hands dirty and can frequently be found assisting in the install of a transmitter he's sold, as well as performing site inspections and the occasional repair.

Gary Cavell, Cavell Mertz & Associates, Inc.
A 40-plus year broadcast veteran, Gary Cavell is a recipient of the NAB Engineering Achievement Award for Radio, and the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society's Award for Outstanding Broadcast Engineering. He served as Editor-in-Chief for the 11th edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook and has published many articles on practical aspects of broadcasting over the years.

Gary has been a lecturer and faculty member of the NAB Educational Foundation's Broadcast Leadership Training program, has been a lecturer for the NAB's Broadcast Technology and Engineering Internship Program, the Voice of America's / IBB US Technical Training Institute, and was a developer and co-presenter of "RF Bootcamp" sessions during several NAB conventions.

Gary is a member of several professional organizations including the SBE and is Life Member of both SMPTE and IEEE. He is a Past President of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society. Gary is a Certified Master Thermographer, holds a "Drone Aircraft" Pilot Certificate, an amateur radio Extra Class operator's license, an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator's License, and is an instrument rated private pilot.

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.

More information about registering using the SBE MemberPlus benefit
All SBE webinars are included at no additional cost for members who renew or join using the $175 SBE MemberPlus membership option. You get all the live and archived Webinars by SBE in the SBE catalog plus any new webinars the SBE adds during the membership year, all for no extra cost. Members can renew and newcomers may join online at the SBE website using the SBE MemberPlus option.

Access to the SBE webinars through the SBE MemberPlus program is limited to the MemberPlus-purchaser only. You are not permitted to distribute, sell, copy, share, project or otherwise make the webinars available to any other individual or group without express written permission by the SBE.

Take Advantage of SBE's Comprehensive Archive of Webinars

Did you know that the SBE offers more than 140 archived webinars on technical, regulatory and management topics? Go to On-Demand Webinars - The Society of Broadcast Engineers ( to see what is available to you. Is there a topic that is missing from our archives that you would like to see? Contact Education Director Cathy Orosz at with your requests!

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