Newsletter - SBE Chapter 24

Society of
Broadcast Engineers
March 2015
Next Meeting
Thursday, March 12
Since April of 2014,
Madison’s WMSN Channel 47’s
master control has been run out
of the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s
Milwaukee hub, including all
program streams.
Matt Mommaerts, Multimedia
Engineer for WMSM, will describe
the technical facilities that make
this possible and give us a tour of
the Channel 47 facility.
Dutch Treat Dinner 5:30 PM
World Buffet (formally Pedro’s)
499 D’Onofrio Drive
Madison, WI
(no reservation - just gather
Meeting and Program at 7:00 PM
WMSN-TV Studio
7847 Big Sky Drive
Madison, WI
Updated Incentive Auction
Presentation Released
>>> by Tom Smith
On February 6th, the FCC released
an updated presentation from Greenhill
and Company LLC (http://wireless.fcc.
Information_Sessions_2_13_15.pdf) to
help explain the workings of the Incentive
Auction for broadcasters interested in
participating. The presentation is similar
to the one that Greenhill produced
last October (
ia-opportunities-book.pdf). In the
new presentation, they updated their
comparisons of past auctions to include
the recent AWS-3 auction that concluded
at the end of January. They also added
information about the differential in
opening offers between either giving up
a UHF license or moving to a high or
low band VHF channel. But the biggest
change was that they changed the table
of possible compensation that stations
could receive for giving up a UHF
channel to a table of proposed opening
bid prices which is the amount that the
Commission may offer to a broadcaster
in the opening round of the Incentive
Auction. The proposed opening prices
were computed from a base value of 900
million dollars, instead of the value of
the spectrum that was used to determine
possible compensation based on a value
of $1.50 per megahertz times the number
of persons within the market that is to
be auctioned. An example amount for
one TV channel in a market with one
million population would be $1.50 times
6 megahertz times one million which
would give a value of $9 million. From
either of the base figures, an adjustment
factor is computed based on the amount of
stations that would suffer interference that
Chapter 24
Madison, Wisconsin
would prevent them from being repacked
by the station wishing to participate in
the incentive auction and the population
covered by those the affected stations
and the station wishing participate in the
auction. The more stations that could be
blocked from being repacked and the large
population of the stations involved would
increase both the initial opening bid price
and the hopefully the final compensation.
After the release of the second
Greenhill presentation, the National
Association of Broadcasters released on
October 18th, a number of spread sheets
participationbyMarket.asp) that showed
the comparisons of the opening bid
prices from the latest Greenhill report
and the possible compensation from the
first Greenhill presentation in all 210 TV
markets. The NAB also showed the high
and low numbers of UHF stations the FCC
would need to cease operation to clear
spectrum, if either 84 or 120 megahertz of
spectrum was to be recovered for wireless
use. This table came from a release from
the FCC in June of 2014 (http://data.
Simulation_Results/) of the results of 100
various repacking scenarios of the UHF
TV band and the number of stations that
>>> AUCTION continued on page 5
Coming Up
Tues., April 7 IPv6 Tutorial
& Elections
Wed., May 6 NAB Wrap-Up
Thur., June 11 SBE Summer Picnic
In this Issue
Meeting Minutes.......................3
Amateur Radio News................4
AM Station Goes Dark..............5
Page 2
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
Chapter Contacts
Kevin Trueblood, CBNT
Wisconsin Public Radio
[email protected]
Vice Chair
Kevin Ruppert, CPBE, CBNT
W: 608-271-4321
[email protected]
Pete Deets, CBT
W: 608-274-1515
[email protected]
Treasurer &
Leonard Charles, CPBE
[email protected]
Past Chair
Bill Hamilton, CBT
[email protected]
Committee Appointees
Program Committee
Steve Paugh, CPBE, CBNT
[email protected]
Volunteer for the
program committee!
Membership / Newsletter Editor
Paul Stoffel, CPBE
[email protected]
Sustaining Membership
Fred Sperry, CPBE
[email protected]
March 2015
Meeting Minutes
from the February 2015 Business Meeting
The February meeting of Chapter 24 of the Society of Broadcast Engineers
was held Wednesday, February 11th at 7:00pm at Token Creek Productions is
Waunakee, WI. Of the 21 attendees, 13 were members and 9 were certified.
Chair Kevin Trueblood called the meeting to order at 7:00pm, followed by
The secretary’s report was accepted as published.
The Treasurer Leonard Charles forwarded a report stating that since our last
meeting there has been one Sustaining Member deposit and the chapter balance
remains positive.
There was nothing new to report from newsletter, frequency coordination and
Fred Sperry forwarded a report that there were two Sustaining Membership
Steve Paugh reported our next meeting will be at WMSN-TV on March 12th.
Upcoming meetings will include an IT Version 6 tutorial on April 7th , NAB
Wrap-up on May 6th and our June Summer Picnic.
The next national certification exam session will be at NAB April 14th, with
a registration deadline of March 20th. Local testing will be June 5-15th with a
registration deadline of April 10th.
Leonard Charles forwarded a National report that included an announcement
that SBE will be providing forwarding e-mail addresses free to members
in good standing. There was also a request that members renew early so the
Chapter gets credit for your membership. An SBE webinar on ATSC 3.0 is to
be presented on Thursday, February 19th at 1:00pm Central Time.
There was no old business or new business. Steve Paugh opened the first
round of nominations for chapter officers. Vice-Chair Kevin Ruppert accepted
a nomination for Chairman. Richard Wood accepted a nomination for ViceChair. Treasurer Leonard Charles and Secretary Pete Deets accepted re-
nominations for their respective seats.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:10pm and Dave Malinowski of the
Splon Company gave a presentation on and a demonstration of optical
fiber splicing.
ML Deets
Certification & Education
Frequency Coordination
Tom Smith, CPBE
[email protected]
Shane Collins
Clark Wire & Cable Sales
Unit A
408 Washington Blvd
Mundelein, IL 60060-4401
(800) CABLE-IT
(847) 949-9944
Fax: (847) 949-9595
e-mail: [email protected]
Jim Hermanson, CPBE, CBNT
[email protected]
Page 3
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
compiled by Tom Smith
WT Docket No. 15-36
Permitting Remote Pickup Broadcast
Auxiliary Stations to Utilize Modern
Digital Technologies
Petition for Rulemaking Regarding
Amendment of Part 74, Subpart D of
the Commission’s Rules
Petition for Rulemaking Regarding
Amendment of the Part 74, Subpart D
Remote Pickup (RPU)
Request for Temporary Waiver of Section 74.462 of the Commission’s Rules
to Permit Licensee of Remote Pickup
Broadcast Auxiliary Stations to Utilize
Digital Radio Telephony and Data
On February 13th, the FCC adopted a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (http://
Daily_Business/2015/db0218/FCC15-22A1.pdf) that covered a number
of issues concerning Remote Pickup
The Commission is proposing the
elimination of the use of 100 Kilohertz
bandwidth in the UHF RPU band,
harmonizing the rules to allow Part 90
(2-way mobile) equipment, particularly
for operational communications,
and allow digital transmission and
clarification of the center frequency used
when stacking a number of channels
together to provide greater bandwidth to
provide higher audio response.
This action is in response to
petitions by the Society of Broadcast
Engineers (SBE) and the Engineers for
the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary
Services Spectrum (EIBASS).
Comments are due 30 days after the
notice is published in the Federal
Register with replies due 15 days later.
March 2015
Discount Registration
Available to SBE
Members for NAB Show
Portable, Professional Audio
Sound Devices, LLC
E7556 State Rd. 23/33
P.O. Box 576
Reedsburg, Wisconsin 53959
Phone: (608) 524-0625
Fax: (608) 524-0655
SBE members who do not have the
NAB member rate available to them
may register for the 2015 NAB Show
and receive $100 off the non-NAB
member rate. Use the special discount
code, SD02. Members can also go
directly to the NAB Show registration
page (the code, SD02, is already
imbedded in the link). The discount
is good for $100 off Flex or SMART
pass non-member registration, or a
free Expo-Only registration. After
March 27, 2015, the NAB will
include a processing fee of $25 with
all registrations that use the discount
code. Complete information about SBE
activities at the 2015 NAB Show is
available at the SBE website.
(608) 833-0047 • FAX (608) 833-5055
Gepco International, Inc.
500 Thorndale Avenue, Suite F
Wood Dale, IL 60191-1267
Tel: 1-630-496-0486
Matt Hayes
Inside Sales
[email protected]
© 2015 by SBE Chapter 24, Inc. Views
expressed herein do not necessarily
reflect the official positions of the Society,
its officers, or its members. SBE Chapter
24, Inc. regrets, but is not liable for, any
omissions or errors. The Chapter 24
Newsletter is published twelve times per
year. Other SBE Chapters are permitted
to use excerpts if attributed to the original
author, sources, and SBE Chapter 24.
5727 Tokay Boulevard
Madison, Wisconsin 53719
(608) 274-1234
Fax: (608) 274-9514
Antenna System Specialist
Sweep Testing
Infrared Testing
Richard Wood
Page 4
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
Amateur Radio News
compiled by Tom Weeden, WJ9H
● The American Radio Relay League
has asked a Massachusetts company
that plans to conduct experimental
transmissions over wide portions of the
HF spectrum to investigate high data
rate communication systems either to
avoid Amateur Radio allocations or to
announce the times and frequencies of
their transmissions in advance. The FCC
last fall granted MITRE Corporation of
Bedford, Massachusetts, a 2-year Part
5 Experimental License, WH2XCI, to
operate 21 transmitters at 10 fixed New
York and Massachusetts sites. MITRE
plans to test wideband HF communication
techniques on a variety of bands between
2.5 MHz and 16 MHz.
“[I]t will not be possible for MITRE
to operate these transmitters within the
Amateur Radio Service allocations...
without causing harmful interference to a
large number of Amateur Radio operators
on an ongoing basis,” ARRL Chief
Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said in a
February 12 letter to MITRE.
Imlay said that if MITRE does not
agree to avoid ham radio bands or to
announce times and frequencies of
transmissions ahead of time, it will
ask the FCC to rescind the company’s
Experimental License or to impose a prior
notification requirement “in real time for
each and every use of the transmitters
authorized at each site.”
The WH2XCI Experimental License
authorizes maximum bandwidths of 5
kHz, 500 kHz, and 1 MHz at effective
radiated power levels of 6 W, 24 W, or
122 W. MITRE has indicated that most
bandwidths would be between 100 and
300 kHz.
“At these power levels with the
operating parameters proposed, it will be
impossible to conduct your tests at any
time within the Amateur Radio allocations
and, at the same time, avoid harmful
interference,” Imlay said. He noted that
MITRE already conceded this point in a
technical exhibit submitted to the FCC
with respect to its 1 MHz bandwidth
● Four NASA Educational Launch of
Nanosatellites (ELaNA-X) CubeSats
carrying Amateur Radio payloads
launched successfully on January 31
from California’s Vandenberg Air Force
Base. The primary payload for the Delta
II launcher was the Soil Moisture Active
Passive (SMAP) satellite. The SMAP
on-board radar will share Amateur Radio
spectrum at 1.26 GHz. Amateur Radio
is secondary on the 23 centimeter band,
which covers 1240 to 1300 MHz.
SMAP and the four CubeSats all
deployed successfully. One of the
research CubeSats, ExoCube (CP-10)
is a space weather satellite developed
by the University of Wisconsin and the
California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis Obispo in partnership with
NASA, and sponsored by the National
Science Foundation. The CubeSats will
downlink their telemetry on the 70 cm
band between 437-438 MHz.
SMAP carries a “synthetic aperture
radar.” The L band (1.26 GHz) radar is
designed to measure backscatter off the
Earth’s surface. The amount of backscatter
returned to the radar changes with the
amount of moisture in the soil. RF pulses
at this frequency are less affected by
weather or by a moderate vegetation
cover. The satellite is approximately 425
miles up in a near-polar, sun-synchronous
orbit. SMAP also includes a radiometer
operating at 1.41 GHz to measure
naturally occurring RF energy given off
by Earth’s surface.
(Excerpts from the American Radio Relay
League’s <> web site)
March 2015
Closed Captioning and the
Elimination of POTS Lines
The Plain Old Telephone Service
(POTS) phone lines serve as the
distribution method for a large amount of
closed captioning data transmitted in the
United States. The captions are generated
by the individual broadcast captioner
and sent to the television station across
POTS lines. The telephone industry’s
process of eliminating POTS lines has
begun a disruption of service pattern
across the country. The station as well as
the caption provider may not realize data
compression within the telephone system
is causing garbled captions or intermittent
phone drops. While captioners are able to
receive audio through VoIP, transmitting
captions through VoIP presents significant
problems and results in garbled and
incorrect captions.
POTS lines are becoming increasingly
difficult for consumers to obtain as
telephone providers upgrade their
equipment to more efficient fiber optic,
digital lines, or VoIP lines as opposed to
maintaining existing POTS infrastructure.
While POTS may continue in the future
for emergency systems, captioners
cannot rely on continued access for the
foreseeable future. Fiber optics and other
digital lines can transmit caption data
successfully; however, these lines are
routinely rerouted to long-distance VoIP
lines, which then can introduce disruption
to the transmission of the caption data.
Caption data cannot be delivered over
internet-based telephone systems, or VoIP.
• VoIP compresses the caption data, which
damages the captions to the point of
making the data unusable on the air. It can
also cause random phone line drops.
• POTS lines are the only phone-based
system that can reliably deliver caption
At this point, POTS lines are
being slowly phased out by telephone
• A significant number of television
stations rely on POTS lines to receive
caption data from their captioners for
live and near-live programming such as
sporting events and news broadcasts.
>>> continued on page 6
Page 5
continued from page 1
would be needed in each market to cease
operation in each of the scenarios. This
author did an article on this release of
those results in the August newsletter
which was republished in the October
and December SBE Signal. The NAB
looked at all 100 scenarios, while in
the Newsletter article only the last 25
scenarios based on a limited number of
markets were compared. Because the
NAB looked at all of the scenarios instead
of the 25 scenarios in the newsletter
article, the sum of the numbers of stations
needed to be cleared differed from the
August article by a small number in some
of the markets.
In the release from the NAB, there
were links to four different spreadsheets
and an interactive map. Each spreadsheet,
listed the high and average opening
bid price, high and average possible
compensation and the high and low
numbers of stations needed to be cleared,
depending if either the FCC was clearing
84 or 120 megahertz. One spreadsheet
listed all 210 TV markets and the other
three spreadsheets broke out the numbers
of stations needed in each market to
be clear if either 84 or 120 megahertz
of spectrum. One of the three other
spreadsheets listed 37 markets where half
or more of the stations would be needed
to be cleared. Another spreadsheet listed
61 markets where one or none would be
needed depending on the results of each
scenario. The last spreadsheet listed 55
markets where no stations would need to
be cleared in any scenario. There were
57 markets that were not broken out into a
separate spreadsheet that could have up to
half the stations needing to be cleared for
the desired amount of spectrum depending
on the various spectrum clearing
scenarios. The interactive map allowed
the user to click on each state and show
all the information on the spreadsheets for
all the markets in that state.
While it is fairly clear what number
of stations may be needed to be cleared
for the FCC to get the required spectrum
to auction for wireless use. Figuring
what stations could receive if they gave
up their TV channel is less clear. The
figures listed differed greatly. The listed
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
proposed opening bid prices could go
from an amount that is less than the listed
original possible compensation to an
amount that is 10 or more times the listed
original possible compensation. Markets
where no stations would be needed to
be cleared even had proposed opening
bid prices and possible compensation
amounts. Trying to figure how much
stations may receive is an inexact guess
at best. Much of what a station could
receive depends on its coverage and how
it affects other stations, besides how much
spectrum that is needed to be freed in its
market. Looking at the largest markets
only, the total amounts for all stations
from the FCC’s first compensation
estimates makes it look to be large.
Multiplying the number of stations needed
to be cleared for 120 megahertz times the
average compensation in each of the top
10 markets and adding the totals for the
10 markets gave a rough estimate where
the FCC would have to pay out over
$40 billion, with another 145 markets
still needed added in. For the next 10
markets, the estimated compensation
came to between $1-4 billion per market.
With the first Greenhill presentation
figuring a possible $45 billion from the
wireless industry, to an estimate of up
to $80 billion in various trade articles
after the AWS-3 auction took in $45
billion, it is difficult to know how much
is available for compensation to TV
stations giving up spectrum. Also $1.75
billion will be needed for repacking costs
and additional money for conducting the
auction. Congress would probably like
to see some money for debt reduction
also, even though the bill authorizing
the incentive auction does not require
it. There have been recent articles in the
broadcast trades that a number of large
broadcasters are now looking at possible
participation because of the large possible
compensation amounts Greenhill has
published. Particularly interested are
these broadcasters that own duopolies
looking to place their second stations into
the auction.
With many issues on how the final
conduct of the auction will proceed and
still needing to be finalized, there are
many questions to be answered before
stations make the final determination to
March 2015
Society of Broadcast
The Association
of Broadcast and Multimedia
Technical Professionals
5201 Femrite Drive
Madison, WI 53718
p 608.221.8888 f 608.221.9252
Tom Sibenaller
Systems Sales Specialist
e [email protected]
d 608.807.1860 c 608.386.2611
615 Forward Drive
Madison, WI 53711
John C. Purvey
BAV Specialist
Broadcast & AV Solutions
[email protected]
PHONE: 815.441.5298
447 Hampshire Lane Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Page 6
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
March 2015
Notice of Elections
By Steve Paugh, Nominations Chair
In April SBE Chapter 24 will hold elections for offices of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer for the
2015-2016 term. Our current nominations for officers are:
Candidate for Chair- Candidate for Vice Chair- Candidate for Treasurer- Candidate for Secretary- Kevin Ruppert
Rich Wood
Leonard Charles Pete Deets
Appointed Officers
The appointed offices do not fall under the jurisdiction of the nominations committee and are appointed by the
Chair of Chapter 24. Traditionally, the existing appointed officers continue for another term automatically.
If you are a current appointed officer and would like to step down, please contact the current Chair Kevin
Trueblood. If you would like to serve as an appointed officer please make your desire known to the Chair.
The current appointed offices are Program Committee Chair- Steve Paugh and we have two vacancies on the
on the Program Committee, Newsletter Editor- Paul Stoffel, Membership Chair- Paul Stoffel, Sustaining
Membership- Fred Sperry, Certification and Education- Jim Hermanson, Frequency Coordination- Tom Smith
and National Liaison- Leonard Charles.
Voting will be done on-line, with the polls opening on April 7th. We will also publish the election ballot in the
April on-line newsletter. You can either vote on-line or print the on-line ballot and mail it to the Nominations
Chair. Ballots will also be available at the April meeting for on-site voting. The deadline for nominations and
the submission of biographies will be March 28th, 2015. The nominations committee consists of Steve Paugh
(Chair), Mike Kulis and Leonard Charles.
>>> continued from page 4
• Regardless of market size, television
networks and stations need to consider
that captioners may not have access to
POTS lines.
The onus falls on the broadcaster to
ensure that it is in compliance with the
captioning regulations from the FCC.
Several simple steps can be taken to
ensure that captions are successfully
delivered to the station using a static IP
• All modern caption encoders with HD
capability can receive captions through IP
• If a TV station does not have the option
of IP delivery with its current caption
encoders, it will need to replace the
encoders with equipment that does have
the IP delivery option.
• Broadcasters should coordinate the
transition to a caption IP-delivery option
on their own timeframe, as opposed to one
set by the FCC.
For additional information, contact
NCRA Director, Government Relations
Adam Finkel at [email protected] or 703556-6272 ext. 159.
Page 7
SBE Chapter 24 Newsletter
April 2015 Chapter 24
Newsletter Deadline:
Thanks to Leonard Charles
for maintaining the Chapter 24
web site and to Steve Paugh
for mailing the meeting
reminder postcards.
Friday, April 3, midnight
[email protected]
edited using Adobe InDesign 2014
SBE Certification
The SBE Certification Committee has established the following exam dates.
Choose the exam period that is best for you.
Exam Dates Location Application Deadline
April 14, 2015
Exams at the
NAB Show March 20, 2015
June 5-15, 2015 Local Chapters
April 10, 2015 August 7-17, 2015
June 5, 2015 March 2015
Local Chapters
November 6-16, 2015 Local Chapters
October 2, 2015 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
[email protected]
Upon passing an SBE Certification Exam, you will be authorized to display the SBE
Certified logo on your business cards, letterhead, resume, website or email signature.
For proper use of this logo and to download, visit the Logo Requests page on the SBE
Jim Hermanson, CPBE, CBNT
SBE Chapter 24 Certification/Education Chair
Passing Scores for the Exams:
● Certified Television Operator (CTO) - 90%
● Certified Radio Operator (CRO) - 90%
● Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) - 70%
● Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT) - 70%
● Certified Video Engineer (CEV) - 70%
● Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) - 70%
● Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE) - 70%
● Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer (CBRE) - 70%
● Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer (CBNE) - 84% combined score of multiple
choice and essay question
● Certified Senior Television Engineer (CSTE) - 84% combined score of multiple choice
and essay question
● Certified Senior Radio Engineer (CSRE) - 84% combined score of multiple choice and
essay question
● 8-VSB Specialist (8-VSB) - 84% combined score of multiple choice and essay
● AM Directional Specialist (AMD) - 84% combined score of multiple choice and essay
● Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB) - 84% combined score of multiple choice and
essay question
AVI Systems
Ross Video
Thanks to all our
Sustaining Members:
Alpha Video
Belden, Inc.
Clark Wire and Cable
Full Compass Systems
GEPCO International, Inc.
Heartland Video Systems
Resonant Results, Ltd.
Scharch Electronics
Sound Devices, LLC
Token Creek Productions