Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    

Dielectric Antennas


Greetings from the your friends out on the Desert...

Here are some things you might want to know about:

We sincerely hope you continue to be well and free of the virus that is plaguing many
parts of the world. As you can imagine, the situation has put an awful lot of people
into a "pause" condition - staying in unless something bad happens to the signal. And
we hope that does not happen to you. Even though transmitter buildings may be a
"safe" location, with so many engineers at the top end of the age scale, getting there
might be a problem. What follows in sort of "let's find a way to keep going,
without repeating the constant programming about the virus."

It seems like even more studios than normal are empty this week, with air personnel
working from home or locations that permit "social distancing." One good result may be
that many stations have learned, under pressure, how to program remotely.  It is
likely that we will see more of it, even after the current situation resolves.

This is a great time to develop plans for the next flu or virus season, or any disaster.

You may be thinking about the upcoming Q1 Issues and Programs list that is
to be uploaded by April 10th. If possible, file it on time. But, if you are not
able to access the materials in time due to lack of access to your station's
files, you should plan to file as quickly as possible, *noting the delay was
caused by governmental requirements to stay at home, etc.*  This should
be sufficient to avoid any fines, but if you will be late, do check with your
DC Attorney, just to be sure.

Especially since the inauguration of the on-line Public Information File,
and now the fears of coronavirus contagion, the FCC has emphasized
that they do not want paper filings. In the extreme case of something
confidential, it must be sent to the FCC's Annapolis MD mailbox.

Microsoft has announced a - wait for it - a "critical" security flaw. This
concerns how Windows handles and renders fonts. The exploit will not
be fixed until next month. In the meantime be very careful of opening
or previewing Word documents/attachments. If opened or previewed
it could permit remote installation of ransomware or other malware.

If you are stuck at home, and want something of interest to do, may
we suggest two series that will likely grab your attention, if you have
not seen them as yet.
        1. How Wire Works. This series from a few years back take a
                look at just what is going on as you push a signal down
                the wire.
        2. A History of Audio Processing.  We are up to seven parts as
                we update the series.           
        3. We guarantee you will find a lot more to keep you busy reading!

The FCC announced delays in these auctions, due to current events.

The only Broadcast Technology college course in Canada - at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology - (SAIT) - is being dropped due to lack of interest and poor enrollment.  Some 200 employees involved in training engineers, including broadcast techs to serve Canada's 1700 stations, were laid off. Clint Hollinger, President of the Western Association of Broadcast Engineers in Canada, said the cut will have a wide-ranging impact on the industry, leaving the industry to find and train engineers itself.  (A tip of the hat to Chris Cleaver, who notes: "It looks like us old guys will have to work forever!!!")

With the NAB Spring Show cancelled, we wanted to make sure that companies which had planned to unveil new products or services had a place to show them off to you. The Top Menu on the BDR has a choice: Spring Showcase. You can also click here.

Someone is looking for a 21 kW transmitter near 104.9 in the SE and an Omnitronix on 1290 for sale are among the new items on the ForSale page. Check them out here.

Dielectric Antennas

Some recent articles of interest:

Dielectric Antennas


Oops.... we have NAB-Interruptis!

A lot of great equipment and services would have been shown at NAB this year. Since the convention was called off, we invite you to take a look at some of what you would have seen in Las Vegas on the Show Floor. We will add to this as the Manufacturers' let us know.

Also, GatesAir will produce several web seminars during April to show off things they would have demonstrated at NAB. Starting on April 7th and 9th, seminars that discuss their 5 to 150 kW VHF and UHF transmitters with updated HTML5 GUIs, featuring advanced security, and a review of products and features for radio content delivery - HD, DAB, DRM, and more.

Check out the whole schedule here to and reserve your seat - or arrange a personal call from GatesAir. 

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More news from manufacturers (and links) are coming, and at:

Dielectric Antennas

Do You Remember?  This week in history:
Broadcast related:

 44 years ago (1976) Steve J and Steve W started Apple.
 46 years ago (1974) ABBA won the Eurovision song contest with "Waterloo."
 46 years ago (1974) when Intel introduced the 8080 microprocessor.
 50 years ago (1970) Nixon banned tobacco from broadcast programs.
 52 years ago (1968) the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" was released.
 56 years ago (1964) contestants first were put in "Jeopardy."
 72 years ago (1948) Ampex delivered the first Model 200 tape recorder to Bing Crosby.
 72 years ago (1948) the Louisiana Hayride debuted on KWKH, Shreveport, LA.
 98 years ago (1922) these stations were first licensed by the Dept of Commerce:
(the actual First Day of Broadcast was not always the same as the license date for the early stations.)

  • WPE (later KMBZ-980)
  • WDZ
  • KOB (now KKOB)
  • WBAA
  • WAAF (later WNTD)

121 years ago (1899) Marconi transmits across English Channel
145 years ago (1875) when Alexander Bell was granted a patent for multiple harmonic telegraph.

Also of interest:
 32 years ago (1998) FDA Approves Viagra and restores Bob Dole?s career
 39 years ago (1981) President Reagan was shot
 41 years ago (1979) Three Mile Island had a nuclear ?event?
 41 years ago (1979) Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin signed a peace treaty at The White House.
 47 years ago (1973) The US withdraws from Vietnam
 52 years ago (1968) Martin Luther King was assassinated.
 69 years ago (1951) the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death for spying.
155 years ago (1865) Robert E. Lee surrendered, ending the Civil War.
160 years ago (1860) the Pony Express started carrying mail. Just think! You could send a letter coast to coast in only ten days - much less than the then standard "one to two months!"

Dielectric Antennas

If you need some more distractions, this list of "The 66 Best Inventions of the Past 66 Years"
from Popular Mechanics will keep you busy for a while.

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Again, whether the Coronavirus turns out to be less deadly or containment and quarantine efforts are effective in moderating the virus until warm weather, we hope you are able to remain safe and healthy.

Let us know of any special stories and issues you faced in trying to keep the air content flowing.

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We sure do appreciate you spending time with our Newsletter.  And even more so when you recommend us to your colleagues and friends.



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