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
Communications Law Center - Philip M. Kane - (650) 369-7373
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
Gentner Communications - Kelly Hanning - (800) 879-9317
Improbable Missions Fource - Mike Schweizer - (888) 4-ISDN4U
Svetlana Electron Devices - George Badger - (800) 578-3852
Broadcast Systems - (800) 801-2623
Audio Accessories - Rosie Alexander - (510) 787-3335
Brill Electronics - Larry or Sam - (510) 834-5888
Kathrein (Scala Division) - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
Harris - John Briskie - (650) 593-1837

Our speaker is Jack Andresen of ETS. They make the baluns that permit using twisted pairs and cat 5 cable for much more than data. As usual, our luncheon will be at Sinbad's just south of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero near the foot of Mission St.. Please RSVP to Carol Brahney at Zacks: 408-487-9302 ( We meet at 11:30 and are seated at 12:30.

Future Meetings

Chairman Dane Ericksen Named Engineer of the Year
While this news is a little old by now, I was delighted to see the nice write-up Dane got in the December 22nd issue of Radio World. Quite a few photos plus comments from longtime acquaintances.

Many years ago, when Dane left the FCC monitoring truck to go with Hammett & Edison, he made a comment that the job change meant he had to get his fangs filed down.

Having reviewed his recertification packet in the past, I can tell you the article didn't begin to cover all the things he's involved in.

Congratulations Dane.

Audio Recording
I record talks and lectures so I was delighted when a friend gave me his old portable DAT machine. I've used it for several years and had been considering replacing it with a new one. The price put me off a bit. But I was more concerned about the DAT features that never quite work right. Listening to a totally unrecoverable DAT tape is very frustrating.

I hadn't looked into audio cassettes for a few years so I was surprised to find that handheld cassette recorders are virtually extinct. You can get all kinds of players but the recorders are real hard to find. It made me wonder what the news radio stations are doing for field recording these days. The handheld cassette was king. But then, I've been out of radio for 24 years.

I finally settled on a consumer minidisc recorder. The discs are much cheaper than DAT tapes. The quality is fine for speech. I haven't tried dubbing music onto one but that is what they're promoted for. Looking on the web, I see that there are professional decks and editors but I haven't heard much about how, or even if, they're being used in radio. A possible topic for future consideration.

Motorola Bay Area Tests
Motorola came to town in December and borrowed the field truck from Sutro Tower to test their receiver chip. They picked 15 really nasty sites. At one site they had a bad cable and at another they got nobody. The remaining 13 sites were a mixed bag. For details see Doug Lungs The two stations received at most of the locations were KRON-TV and KBHK. We share an antenna at the top position on the DTV mast. KBHK has the lowest power of all the DTV stations at Sutro.

KRON uses a Zenith exciter with computer correction. Using an HP vector signal analyzer, a sample of the output of the mask filter is used to generate the correction information which is then stored in the modulator memory. No screwdrivers required.

Off Contact Thermometers
Several companies are offering point and read thermometers. I got one to look for transmission line hot spots. In some places I've had RF mess things up but otherwise I find it to be a useful tool.

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: