August 1999
San Francisco
Roy Trumbull - Editor
Bill Dempster - Artist
Advertisers for this month's newsletter are:
Zack Electronics - (800) 998-3947
Advanced Marketing - Frank A. Santucci - (650) 365-3944
Belden - Steve Lampen - (415) 440-8393
Orban - Rick Sawyer - (360) 715-1913
MARCOM - Martin Jackson - (408) 768-8668
William F. Ruck, Jr. Broadcast Engineer - (415) 995-6969
RF Specialties of California - Bill Newbrough - (888) 737-7321
Hammett & Edison, Inc. - Dane E. Ericksen, P.E. - (707) 996-5200
LeBLANC - David A. Hill - (650) 574-4600
Pacific Research & Engineering Corp. - William Hopkins - (760) 438-3911
Keith Davidson & Company - Keith Davidson, CSBE - (707) 648-0412
Improbable Missions Fource - Mike Schweizer - (888) 4-ISDN4U
Svetlana Electron Devices - George Badger - (800) 578-3852
TFT Inc. - Jesse J. Piatte, Jr. - (408) 727-7272 x504
Audio Accessories - Rosie Alexander - (510) 787-3335
Brill Electronics - Larry Shore / Inside Sales - (510) 834-5888
Scala - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
Scala - Everett E. Helm, CPBE - (541) 779-6500
Harris - John Briskie - (650) 593-1837
Anixter - Judy Conner - (510) 489-7430

Our Chairman, Dane Ericksen of Hammett & Edison will speak on the hows and whys of microwave frequency coordination.

As usual our luncheon will be at Sinbad's. Sinbad's is just south of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero near the foot of Mission Street. Please RSVP to Carol Brahney at Zacks: 408-324-5514 ( We meet at 11:30 and are seated at 12:30.

Future Meetings
Good News From Webmeister Tim
Got an email birth annoucement 8/1 from Tim Pozar. Please welcome Benjamin David Olizar. Mother Sue and baby are doing fine.

How's your YYYY?
I don't know if this is a windows myth but give it a try. You've already checked your clock and date functions and have achieved a level of smugness regarding Y2K. Now go to the control panel, click on regional settings, Click on date and check the short date style. Do you have yy or yyyy? If just yy you can change it with the pulldown to yyyy.

I'm told that this is the date that software references for date functions.

Watson Sells to American Tower
American Tower is rapidly becoming the only store in town when it comes to mountain tops. Watson was a second generation site owner who built on the business his father started. Of his many properties, the best known one is Mt. San Bruno.

I received a second generation set top box last month for DTV. I can't tell you who made it but it will be on the market by October. It's more sensitive and has a better equalizer than the first generation boxes available up until now.

At our studio, as luck would have it, the box we've been using can't quite correct for the multipath and KRON cuts out and KBHK can't be received at all. We share the same transmitting antenna. With the new box, no problem. All the stations lock up solid.

There is an on-screen signal level indicator that indicates the corrected carrier to noise ratio. That is the C/N after the signal has been equalized. A 100 corresponds to a 27 dB or better C/N. DTV threshold is an indication of 40. Below that the receiver squelches.

This receiver has all the electronics for DSS and puts out HD video, S video, and NTSC as well as signal on Ch 3/4. There are two antenna inputs.

While I have no doubts about the eventual triumph of the Internet, there are certainly some fad-like aspects that should burn off. Any businessman will tell you no one ever made money dealing with small orders. Your average order must exceed a certain amount (your amount may vary) or you'll fail.

As salty Mike Quinn, self styled "junkman", once put it to me: "Trumbull, if you got it for free and sold it for $2, you'd lose money." I once asked Mike the price of a transformer. He asked me, "How many do you want?" When I said, "One", he turned his back and walked away.

I was looking for some information on cameras. One manufacturers' net site featured product pictures and a brief paragraph. The other had that plus the full specs. When looking up a different product I found a site that had everything but the phone number of the sales office. Are we unclear on the concept or what?

For those interested in massive tomes, the PDF file format has been very helpful. But even with a high speed connection, don't expect your computer and printer to handle a 90 page document in one session. Try it in 10 page chunks instead.

If you have an email address, please contact Warren Reese at Warren is in charge of our email list, which we use when we need to notify members when something has happened between newsletters.

Webmeister Tim Pozar has the current newsletter plus newsletters all the way back to 1996 at: