MARCH 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
West Penn Wire/CDT - Michael J. La Porte - (650) 652-9080

Babes/SBE Luncheon on Wednesday Mar 26th

Comrex is coming! Dan Rau, representing Comrex, will present "Plain Old Telephone Service Mysteries: Everything you wanted to know about digital POTS codecs but were afraid to ask". Included will be the History of Comrex - Comrex product evolution, the history of remote broadcast equipment, live demo analyzing POTS lines & problems POTS codec applications, and The RBS (Remote Broadcast System) and future technologies. As a special incentive to come to the program Comrex is buying your meal AND providing a stylish Comrex Shirt as a door prize! We struggled to pick the right title of this meeting; here are some titles that almost made it: "History Of Telephone Equipment on Plain Old Telephone Service aka: HOTe POTS. Plain Old Telephone Service History of Equipment for Remote Deployment, aka: POTSHERD. Digital Audio Mysteries Neutralized, Plain Old Telephone Service, Helpful or Trouble Source? aka: DAMN POTSHOTS.

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.

Ray Smith Is Looking
After going east, Ray Smith want to some back to the Bay Area. He may be reached at

Farnsworth Scholarship
The Broadcast Education Association (BEA) is working to establish a scholarship in honor of Philo T. Farnsworth. Farnsworth was a pioneer behind the development of electronic television. He was first in patenting the system, first in public demonstrations; and, first to win a patent interference battle with RCA. He was a Utah farm boy with a zest for learning.

The Scholarship is offered through the BEA. The BEA is a nonprofit higher education 501(c)3 association. Offering this scholarship through the BEA means it is an opportunity offered to students from institutions all across the country. The BEA membership includes 1,500 faculty and 250 university and college institutions. The BEA organization represents a diversity of media related Interest Division including: interactive multiple media; law an policy; communication technology; multicultural studies; production; research; writing; gender issues and internet.

We are asking for donations from all interested parties for the Farnsworth Scholarship. These donations can be individual contributions or we welcome your assistance in opening the doors of any possible corporate donors. Our goal is to raise $20,000 in order to permanently endow a Farnsworth Scholarship. The tangible benefits to donating.... first is the opportunity to assist a student in his or her education. Second, there is recognition for corporate sponsors making significant donations. These sponsorship are noted in BEA Newsletters, membership communication, scholarship posters, and award presentations themselves. Third, BEA provides the corporate donor the most extensive educational networking opportunity anywhere in the world. Of course, the greatest benefit is the ability to "give something back and watch those students grow."

All donations are made to the Broadcast Education Association.

Professor Donald G. Godfrey is the primary BEA contact for this scholarship. He can be reached at: Donald G. Godfrey, Ph.D. Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1305 Phone (480) 965-8661 e-mail:

Robert K. Morrison Dies
Born October 2, 1925 Madera, CA. Graduated University of California with Bachelor of Arts, 1949. Worked for Office of War Information and Voice of America on both coasts. Was Chief Engineer of Central California Broadcasters 1950-1960. Worked on audio development for AMPEX. For more than 10 years was manager of AMPEX Standard Tape Laboratory until 1969 when he became founder of S.T.L. - Standard Tape Laboratory Inc. During this time he worked on over 200 audio visual films and was the official voice of the Standard Tape Laboratory, retired in 1980's and devoted time to video film production at Highland Laboratories, San Francisco. Was author of several books on audio and many technical journals. He is survived by his wife of 39 years Patricia Morrison. Organizations he belonged to include Golden Gate Sapphire Group, Society Of Motion Picture & Television Engineers and the Audio Engineering Society. It is his wish that no funeral services or memorial services ensue.

A few stories
By Roy Trumbull

Bob Morrison and Don Lincoln were joined at the hip when it came to humor. Once, when Bob was working at KRE in Berkeley in the 1950s and Don was working at the KGO-TV transmitter in the old Sutro mansion, Bob hatched one of his best gags. There was a minister who did a program on KRE who had no sense of time and often Bob would clip the remote line and wrap the show by doing his dead-on impression of the man. The minister actually appreciated Bobs inventiveness in getting him off on schedule.

At the time of this story, the telephone answering machine or automatic message machine was quite new and you had to order the service from the phone company for a monthly fee. The minister established one of the earliest dial a-prayer services. Upon dialing the number the response was: "Thank you for calling, now let us pray". The minister gave Bob some business cards that simply said:

When in trouble, call this number:

Once, when Bob was visiting Don at Sutro, he took one of those cards and taped it to the glass window in the middle cabinet of the KGO-TV transmitter. Sure enough, one evening, when a summer relief engineer was on duty, the transmitter kicked off and tried to restart several times before dying. The man spied the card: When in trouble, call this number: He did, and got so mad he kicked the transmitter and it went back on.

In the late 1960s, I was taking a VTR class at Ampex in Redwood City. One day I visited Bob in his lab where the audio test tapes were made. Several stories came out of that visit. Bob did not suffer fools and he especially didnt suffer corporate foolishness. He told me he was on a routing list that would deliver messages like, Mr. John Jones of Ampex International will be in England until June. In his absence, anyone needing to contact him should call... etc.. Bobs assessment was if the earth had opened and swallowed the guy, no one would be the wiser. Therefore, Bob originated a note via the same routing that began, Mr. Robert K. Morrison of the Ampex Standards Tape Lab will be in the mens room from 10AM until 10:15AM Monday through Friday, in his absence... etc.. His theory was that no one read these memos, and he was right.

My sojourn in Redwood City corresponded with an AES meeting to be held in the Ampex cafeteria. Bob and I had dinner together before the meeting. I told him I was rather put off by certain AES Journal articles that had math sidebars with partial differential equations or triple integrals. The identities of the variables usually wasnt given as the emperors subjects should know what they are. The body of the article gave scant mention of the math if it mentioned it at all. Bobs response was, Didnt you know? Know what? They hire that out. The math is done by ghostwriters. He also made comments to the effect that some of what was then happening in audio had crossed over into pseudo science.

Once, when I visited Bob in his Kensington Home, he told me a story about a blue jay in his back yard. Blue jays can be pretty bold and his one would land on his arm and take food from his hand. He called the bird Farnsworth. The blue jay would respond to that name and fly to Bob when he heard it. One day, when so engaged, he carried on a conversation with the bird. Whats that you say Farnsworth, General Motors going up 2 points? Proctor and Gamble down one? This did not go unnoticed by Bobs next door neighbor who was a UC Prof.. One day the blue jays market predictions were amazingly accurate. Bob was having coffee in the kitchen the next morning when he heard the neighbor calling, Farnsworth, oh, Farnsworth! Pretty nervy having a neighbor try to co-opt your blue jay.

Prior to AES meetings there was a group of 10 or 15 who would get together for dinner on the peninsula. One night they tried a French restaurant and ran into a problem when the waiter told them it would be Imposiblee to get separate checks. Bobs response was that if they were in the regular dining room at separate tables, it would not be imposiblee. This argument was going nowhere. Those nominally in charge informed the rest that they were leaving. Everyone got up and left with the maitre d and waiter following them into the parking lot imploring them to return. I wasnt there but I wish I had been.

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