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

Zack Electronics - Judi Lomas - (888) 329-0225
Advanced Marketing - Frank A. Santucci - (650) 365-3944
Belden - Steve Lampen - (415) 440-8393
Orban - - (510) 351-3500
MARCOM - Martin Jackson - (408) 768-8668
William F. Ruck, Jr. Broadcast Engineer - (415) 564-1450
Audio Accessories - Rosie Alexander - (510) 787-3335
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
Econco - George Badger - 650-327-7599
RF Specialties of California - Bill Newbrough - (888) 737-7321
Kathrein (Scala Division) - Michael Wm. Bach - (541) 779-6500
ADC - Russ Erickson - (877) 440-7877
Enco Systems - Steve Rooney - 800-ENCO-SYS

Babes/SBE Luncheon on Wednesday Oct 31st

For the October meeting, Marty Acuff and Paul Black of Orban will discuss the Model 6200/6200S Digital Audio Processor. These units are designed for use in webcasting and (future) digital audio broadcasting, and are in use today by the satellite radio providers. They will also be providing a "sneak peak" at some new products that are coming from the company soon. Hint; if you're into remotes, or RENG, you'll find this very interesting.

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.

Zenith ATSC Seminar Saturday Oct. 27th at KTVU

By now you should have gotten the flyer on this seminar. If not, the PDF file is available at our website.

To recap the information, the fee is $75 per person and includes a light lunch. Make checks payable to Zenith Electronics. Reservations need to go into Mike Gianneschi at Zenith. His phone number is 847-941-8043. His email is His fax number is 847-941-8826. October 24th is the deadline for reservation.

The speaker will be Gary Sgrignoli from Zenith. Gary holds 34 patents. If you don't get your information from him, you're talking to the wrong end of the horse. Gary is bringing a lot of equipment with him for show and tell so this is a very special program. Again, the location is KTVU from 8:30AM to 5:15PM on Saturday Oct. 27th.

Death Claims Two Well Known Figures

Earl "Mac" Mehaffey, whom many knew as the RCA salesman who had his order book open when Sutro Tower was built, died in March of this year. He once told me about how the Broadcast Equipment Div. tried to stiff him on part of his commission when he'd been too successful. Mac also worked for Sony and, in recent years, was at GESI in Berkeley.

David Fowler died Sept 27th. To say David was difficult is to be polite. One day at KCBS he fled from me for good reason. David was an extremely dedicated newsman and was on duty almost continuously during the Patti Hearst kidnapping story. At one point he worked himself to exhaustion. Somewhere in his stuff there is an old piano key style Sony cassette recorder. Please don't put it in the trash even if it's moldy! It belongs in the Broadcast Museum. Between union rules and the perennial tight KCBS equipment budget, a mixer couldn't be spared for David's assignment. There was a telco leased line installed on a tree in the Hearst's front yard and David fed it with the line output from the Sony. The unit was kept hooked up at all times and David put it in a plastic bag in a hole he dug in the ground near the base of the tree. When there was a break in the story, all he had to do was pop in some fresh batteries and he was on the air.

David later worked as a talent at KPIX and KRON but, in recent years, he was mostly involved with police public safety radio.

Once we were both out of KCBS, we could laugh about the way it had been. I would get a call from him from time to time; the last time being about SFPD readiness a few weeks prior to the Y2K witching hour.


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

Tim is also keeping track of email addresses and you can subscribe to the mailing list at:

Getting to KTVU

2 Jack London Square is a vanity address that's down the road from JLS. Look on your map and note where Oak St. runs into Embarcadero W. KTVU is just before that intersection. For the faint of heart, I suggest getting off at Broadway and taking a left on Embarcadero W. Please note that online maps are worthless and online directions less than worthless.

Investment Notes

(What follows are not recommendations of SBE Ch40)

One of the people I pay attention to is Floyd Norris who writes in the business section of the New York Times. He recently pointed out that, due to declining earnings, the S&P 500 PE ratio is at an all time high. While some analysts have made a case for stocks going up based upon projected future earnings, the floor under stocks is not all that solid. This is a time to be watching the market very closely and taking in information. Don't count on past patterns to repeat themselves. We've moved into uncharted territory and the market has to find it's direction. We will face many more terrorist attacks and that will create uncertainty which is bad for stocks.

At times such as this it becomes very apparent how much "me too" investing was going on. There are only so many original thinkers and lots of copy cats. It's time to discover who has real insight and who's just treading water.

Roy Trumbull