San Francisco
Roy Trumbull - Editor
Bill Dempster - Artist
Advertisers for this month's newsletter are:

Santucci Video Systems - Sandra Santucci - (818) 704-6324
Belden - Steve Lampen - (415) 440-8393
Media Technical Consulting - Paul T. Black - (925) 827-9511
MARCOM - Martin Jackson - (408) 768-8668
William F. Ruck, Jr. Broadcast Engineer - (415) 564-1450
Ross Marketing Associates - Kevin Frost - (408) 988-8111
Kathrein (Scala Division) - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
Hammett & Edison, Inc. - Dane E. Ericksen, P.E. - (707) 996-5200
Howell Communications - Mike Howell - (559) 674-8989
Econco - George Badger - 650-327-7599
Improbable Missions Fource - Mike Schweizer - (888) 4-ISDN4U
Digi-Gear / Cancomm - Eric Lane - (818) 980-9188
West Penn Wire/CDT - Michael J. La Porte - (650) 652-9080
Microwave Radio Communications - Clark Rhoads - (909) 246-1602

Babes/SBE Luncheon on Wednesday Feb 25th, 2004

Our speaker this month is Steve Bliek, the Broadcast Sales Manager for L-3 Communications Electron Devices (formerly Litton), in Williamsport, PA, where he has been employed since 1990. He is a former VHF TV site engineer and has also served as the chief engineer in the R&D group responsible for the pay-per-view CATV concept.

He will be talking about the "Constant Efficiency Amplifier" which is another advance in the design of IOTs. His talk will provide a chronology of UHF transmitter output amplifiers used over the last forty years and conveys basic theory of operation for the klystron, MSDC klystron, and the Inductive Output Tube (IOT). This serves as a background for his main focus, which is the Constant Efficiency Amplifier (CEA).

Although standard IOT*s are over forty-percent efficient in NTSC analog transmitters, they can be as low as 12% efficient with an 8VSB digital signal. The CEA offers operating efficiencies of up to sixty-three percent in digital and analog operation. This leads to an average saving of $20K/year for every CEA installation.

As usual, our luncheon will be at Sinbad's just south of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero near the foot of Mission St. We meet at 11:30 and are seated at 12:30. To make reservations call Paul Black at 925-827-9511 and leave a message on his machine.

Bob and Don

With the passing of Don Lincoln and Bob Morrison, the industry lost two of the finest and funniest. While Don rarely told a story on himself, Bob told quite a few and most of them were about Don. I collected them over the years and after Don's death I asked Bob to read what I had written and make some corrections. While they might not be 100% accurate, they are definitely amusing. Starting this month I will share the Bob and Don stories with you.

In the early 1950s a couple of young men could make quick money putting up TV antennas on houses. And Bob and Don did just that. As they depended on referrals, Bob felt that Don's brusque manner might be hurting business. He told Don to be a bit more pleasant and conversational with the customers.

One day they arrived at a house with no curtains or drapes, no rugs, and scant furniture. The most commanding presence in the dwelling was the new TV console. As they crossed the threshold, Don said to the lady of the house, "Nice hovel you have here." Then, with a look over his shoulder, he added: "How's that Morrison?" The lady took it as a compliment.

A few years later Don was involved in a recording company with two other men. One recurring source of income was to record and transcribe to disk the services of various "scream and shout" churches. The divine in charge would then hawk the discs to his flock.

One minister figured he could save money if he had his own tape recorder and they offered to supply one. As luck would have it, their cash flow had gone to zip and the selling of this tape recorder was all that stood between the partners and their date with destitution. One Friday afternoon, the divine showed up at the appointed hour and requested a demo before parting with his money.

They turned on the machine and a few seconds later a wisp of smoke and the unmistakable odor of carbon was in the air. Don kept his cool and said, "A slight technical adjustment is required." He then took the recorder into the next room, found the smoking resistor, and replaced it with a higher wattage. Thus they postponed their fate for a few more days.

Some Interesting Products

A year ago I got a fly sheet from Neutrik that promoted a patch panel where each patch consisted of a circuit card with two quarter inch phone jacks on the front and two on the back. The back connectors were the inputs and the front jacks were half normalled. I thought it might work for a temporary installation where things are added and removed all the time. I placed an order and when the product came I found that it was imported from China by ACE Products Group in San Rafael. They call it an AP Patchbay. No one seems to stock it locally. It's really cheap.

At check under boxes and cases for their number 227CA2318. This is a travel case into which will fit most rack mounted items. It comes with sheets of foam and a knife so you can pad around the front back and sides. It is 22 13/16" by 17 5/16" and 13" deep.

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