MARCH 2004
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 Mar 31st 2004

This month our speaker is Bob Heil. Heil has developed hundreds of innovative audio products and has also done the mixing of live concert sounds for leading entertainment groups such as the "Who", Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Z.Z. Top, Jeff Beck, Dolly Parton, the Billy Graham Crusade and countless others. Bob is most famous for his invention of the Heil "Talk Box", an electro-mechanical device that he designed in 1970 for WB6ACU, Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" and brought to prominence with Peter Frampton's "Show Me The Way" album. He also was the "father" of multi KW concert sound systems being the first to hang tons of Heil Sound speakers from Rohn 25G tower in order to increase the sight lines of large auditoriums.

Heil Sound, Ltd. Enters the commercial broadcast industry with their introduction of the Heil PROLINE products. Heil"s new "PROLINE" microphone element has raised the bar on dynamic microphone technology and is winning the heart and ears of many commercial broadcasters.

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.

The first UHF TV station in San Francisco was KSAN ch32. It was owned by a company under the control of a radio evangelist. They made an effort to succeed but this happened prior to the FCC mandate that all TVs have UHF tuners. The station sold UHF converters to viewers but couldn't build a large enough audience to be competitive with the VHF channels. Thus they had to bide their time until the FCC acted upon their request to go dark. Since video tape hadn't been invented yet, they relied heavily on film programs.

Bob Morrison stopped by to see Berry Brose in Piedmont who just happened to be on the phone with Don. They were discussing reception as Barry fiddled with a converter box. A rather fuzzy Buck Jones western was tuned in on the TV. Barry said to Don, "Morrison is here, do you want to say hi?" At that, the movie audio faded just as Buck Jones was to about to speak, and instead, out of the speaker came: "Hi Morrison."

Lincoln and Morrison would exchange unusual gifts. Don's first wife once owned a frame shop and Don gave Bob a nicely framed picture of Warren G. Harding in his salad days. Bob felt that anyone who could be involved in the Teapot Domes scandal and also father a bastard, while in the White House, was his kind of man. I believe Bob had a cat named Gamaliel (Harding's middle name). For his part, Bob gave Don his recent finding from a secondhand bookstore.

Don worked at KPIX-TV (then on Van Ness Av.) and kept his gift book in the technical library along with the manuals for the cameras and video tape machines and other gear. When someone had a technical question, Don would scratch his head and beckon to his visitor to follow him. He'd take the visitor to the tech library, pull this book off the shelf, answer the question, return the book to the shelf and leave. Hardly anyone could resist taking this wonderful font of knowledge from the shelf as soon as Don's back was turned. Instantly they knew they'd been had. The book was "Tom Swift and His Electric Picture Phone."

Something Stupid This Way Comes

Every few years I'll get hung on solving a problem and start asking myself if something really stupid has been overlooked. Happened to me just recently. I was putting in a DBS dish on a parapet and I couldn't get anything. No rocket science required. I'd put them in before. I had an overhang about 12 feet above me. I needed an elevation angle of 45 degrees. After 4 frustrating days I finally sighted the overhang with the 45 degree bubble on a carpenter's level and had my "OOOPS" moment for the month. Worked fine mounted 3 feet lower.

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