JULY 2003
San Francisco
Roy Trumbull - Editor
Bill Dempster - Artist
Advertisers for this month's newsletter are:

Projection Systems Inc. - Marci Mearns - (510) 259-2469
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 July 30th

We have a double header this month. Our main speaker will be Ed Fitzgerald from ClearCom. They are great folks to know when you need a little more communication at that special event than you'd counted on. Our other speaker will be Kevin Frost to tell us about the upcoming Wescon show.

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.

WWV Rocks

This is a pretty funny premise. What if one of the radio groups on steroids helped the government privatize WWV? What would it sound like? You're just a click away:

SBE Announces Awards

Broadcast Engineer of the Year - Doug Garlinger, CPBE CBNT. In recognition for the 5th Edition of the Television Operator

Educator of the Year - Terry Baun, CPBE CBNT.In recognition of his development of the CBNT tutorial.

Treasurer's Report

Starting Balance - 1/1/03 	5675.08
Newsletter Advertising		1100.00
SBE Chapter Rebate		1043.50
subtotal                   	2143.50

Postage				 356.03
Printing			 621.62
State Filing Fee		  20.00
Subtotal			 997.65

Ending Balance - 6/30/03	6820.93
I recently got a notice from our bank that they are moving our account to a different category so they can milk it for fees. We will probably change banks as a result.

With the resulting bad will generated by such moves they will have to buy radio and TV ads to woo back customers.

Roy Trumbull - Treasurer

July 24th SMPTE meeting

On July 24th at 7PM there will be a SMPTE meeting at KTVU in Oakland to which SBE members are invited. The speaker will be author Jim Boston and the topic will be mobile TV production. The program organizer is Gary Youngs and he has arranged for a modern production truck to be on-site for a tour. Gary tells me mobile audio is particularly daunting. For all the details go to the local SMPTE web site:

Deadly Retrofits

I don't know if anyone has kept a running tally but a lot of broadcast towers have come down while they were being retrofitted for DTV antennas.

In some cases this occurred very early in the process and not while something was being removed or hung on the tower. I've not seen any discussion of these failures or read any official determinations on the cause.

In one case, I suspect an inexperienced young rigger (who lost his life) may have been in over his head. In other cases there may have been some pre-existing problem that was missed during an inspection.

Some 40 years ago I was the bag boy for a rigger building a small self supporting tower. I put hardware and tools into a rigid cloth cylinder that he raised and lowered. He favored working from a boatswain's chair and nearly gave me heart failure one day when he kicked off from the tower and dropped 20 feet and landed on another tower face.

One thing I learned the hard way was that rigid line has a top and a bottom. The center conductor goes in one way. If that is the top, everything is fine. If you invert the line, the center conductor falls out.

This particular rigger was the most talkative person I've ever met. At the end of the day I had to backtime my exit by an hour. He had a continuous stream of interesting stories he loved to tell and it took an hour to break free.

He'd come up through the Depression and had worked a lot of jobs. He was an excellent machinist and could make antenna parts in his garage.

I had an FM antenna that kept shedding tuning rings into the blackberry bushes. He was a good guy to know.

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Web Page

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

Roy also posts the current newsletter at but the posting is without links.