MAY 1998
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
Riggins Electronics Sales - George Riggins - (662) 598-7007
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
Pacific Research & Engineering Corp. - William Hopkins - (760) 438-3911
Keith Davidson & Company - Keith Davidson, CSBE - (707) 648-0412
Improbable Missions Fource - Mike Schweizer - (888) 4-ISDN4U
Svetlana Electron Devices - George Badger - (800) 578-3852
TFT Inc. - Jesse J. Piatte, Jr. - (408) 727-7272 x504
Audio Accessories - Rosie Alexander - (510) 787-3335
Brill Electronics - Marcie Mearns / Field Sales - (510) 308-1248
Brill Electronics - Larry Shore / Inside Sales - (510) 834-5888
Scala - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
Scala - Everett E. Helm, CPBE - (541) 779-6500
Harris - Ed Longcrier - (800) 315-7285
Anixter - Judy Conner - (510) 489-7430

Our speaker this month will be Greg Doyle from Sparling Technology Consultants who will talk about their design for the DTV facilities of KCPQ, Tacoma, WA.

As usual our luncheon will be at Sinbad's. Sinbad's is just south of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero near the foot of Mission Street. Please RSVP to Karen Prasek at Zack's: 408-324-0551 x126 as we've been running out of tables and chairs. We meet at 11:30 and are seated at 12:30.

Future Meetings
JUNE - Eric Lane will talk about the Avocet Instruments AV-2000 Delay Canceller.

I went back to Washington, DC for the model station meeting the last week in April. It appears that all of the set manufacturers will support 1080I as a "native format" and convert all other formats to 1080I. Whether any sets will be built that can actually switch display formats remains to be seen. The consensus was that it isn't a good idea to do format switching on the fly. There's no way to know how the receivers will respond. If you use 480P during the day, you should convert everything to that format. Likewise with 1080I when you're in the network. When splicing of streams takes place there should be two frames of black at the splice point. When a format switch occurs there should be 15 frames of black to let the receivers recover. The details remain to be spelled out.

From my experience with MPEG I learned that it takes a pretty sophisticated receiver to recover on its own. You don't want to make the viewer reboot the TV 10 times a night.

The dynamic pre-correction several firms have been promoting to make the signal fit into the RF mask has a downside. It can put spurious signals into channels that are 5 or 6 channels away.

Linear correction appears to work but non-linear correction is still very much in the lab.

There is a lot of equipment out there that either sort of works, might work someday, or just plain doesn't work. Hold onto your checkbook and don't buy anything that hasn't been checked out at the model station.

After I got back, a major company brought its DTV encoder to the model station. It was video only. Well maybe silent pictures are coming back.

The model station hasn't had any participation from any of the manufacturers of digital audio consoles.

Zenith is promising a set top receiver with RGB outputs for delivery in July or August. According to recent headlines in the business pages there is some question as to whether Zenith will be in the receiver business that long.

Thirty years ago all the jerks were on AM and now they're on FM. Time to rediscover AM. It's nice to hear Jim Lange and Carter B. Smith on KABL along with refuges from KNBR and other jabber huts. It takes me back to the old KSFO. For years the 10AM slot was held down by Del Courtney who wasn't exactly Mr. Excitement. Don Sherwood liked to ride him pretty hard. Then Al Jazzbo Collins held that time down for many years. It was nice to hear him on KCSM up until his death. No way you could mistake either the voice or the attitude.

Sherwood wasn't too regular about showing up and so they hired Carter B to keep the mic warm. When both of them were there they often did a sort of humorous medical Q&A and Carter read the questions. Sherwood called him Nurse Carter and that's stuck in my head.

When running some wire at the old 601 Ashby Av. studios of KPAT (KRE) I found a note on the top of an air duct in pencil: "Carter B. Smith was here."

Hearing classical music at 1510 on the dial is weird. That spot was the start of the disease. Imagine a high pitched rather cracked teenage voice from yours truly on a Saturday morning high school radio program. My partner in crime was Alex Bennett. KTIM was home to Clementino's Portuguese Voice of the North Bay as well as Ollie Freeman's Gospel Traveler show.

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.

The Gate, which features material from the Chronicle and Examiner as well as KRON, will be publishing one of my tomes on DTV in their technology section next month.