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... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

The Southern View
The NAB Spring Show 2014

Some comments on NAB's 2014 Spring Show
Alan Alsobrook reporting

[4-17-14]  The NAB 2014 show has come to a close, so let me go ahead and share some of my thoughts on the whole event.

Thinking back to the first time I made it to the “Big Show,” I remember how I was wowed and amazed by all the fancy toys I saw - gear that few of the stations I work for would ever be able to afford.

Nowadays my biggest thrill comes from meeting friends and fellow engineers from all over the country - and around the world for that matter. It is such a pleasure to get the chance to meet people with whom I have talked with via the various email reflectors of (Side note: If you are in the broadcast technical world and you are not subscribed to the reflectors you are really missing out on a valuable information resource.)


I hit the floor right after opening Monday and walked it for four days straight and know I still missed many things. In no particular order, here are some of the things that did catch my eye as I wandered around.


Of course there was the new “GV” FM transmitter from Nautel.

This one is even more efficient AC to RF than any of their previous transmitters, and will easily handle high power hybrid digital operations.



There were other transmitter folks there, too: Gates Air made their debut on the floor and somehow the products and people seemed like the same friendly faces that we used to know as Harris. And Rohde Schwarz was found hiding down with the TV crowd in the South Lower hall. They were showing their water cooled transmitter that you may recall I mentioned when covering the Radio Show in Orlando.


The Broadcasters' General Store booth, is always a favorite stopping place. Not only did I find the friendly BGS sales people, I also found several other company representivtives, including Kyle Magrill, who was showing all his Circuit Werkes boxes.

Magrill also had an upgrade in the works for the Sicon-8 to improve its webserver. Just around the corner from Kyle I saw the Broadcast Tools boxes which can supply some nice custom solutions.


It seems I always find something interesting around the side of the Kintronics booth, this year it was a demonstration of CQUAM AM Stereo. Oh did it ever sound good.

I thought the timing of finding this was rather unique as I had just had a discussion with Bob Orban, about the impact of the NRSC filters on AM Stereo, and now I was listening to full bandwidth AM stereo exactly the way I remembered it from back in the Early 80’s. 

For those who never had the opportunity to listen to a full bandwidth AM stereo signal you would never think that AM could sound so good. Of course Bobby Cox and Tom King were in the booth to answer any questions about networks and phasors.


While in the subject of transmission hardware Kurt Gorman with Phasetek was showing his Pi network filtering circuit. Look in The BDR for an article from him on that subject. At the time I read the article I really did not grasp what Kurt was trying to say. After looking at the circuit and the way it functions I was quite impressed to see how it could help in diplexing circuits. 

Kurt has promised that he will be doing a follow up article going into greater detail on the circuit.  The circuit is actually quite simple, but the benefit is very substantial when close-spaced frequencies are involved. Using the design will likely allow some stations to be diplexed that were previously considered unworkable.


I also noticed yet another batch of LED tower lighting products on the floor. It seems the manufactures are changing the design of the lights on a regular basis. While I had seen a several offerings of high intensity LED lights last year, this year they were scarce. It seems talking to a few of the light companies that they may not have made it through the FAA approval process yet. I also saw a LED replacement for a conventional beacon bulb, but again when questioned specifically about approvals I did not get a specific yes. If you happen to be looking for an LED replacement for your tower lighting you might want to do a bit of homework before purchasing.

An interesting find was the Rip-Tie booth attractive to those of us who are building studios, they have all sorts of hook-loop type fasteners that can come in really handy for wire management.  

As always, you know it is getting near the end of the show when you see the Telos Alliance getting ready to put on their end of show Show. Getting their “shades” on and all the specialty guitars inflated for use had to be completed on time, perhaps even a bit of practice strumming was needed to make sure a sour note was not hit. A few moments later the music cranked up and the guitars and the F-bombs began to fly!

You gotta love it!






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