Providing news and views from a broadcast engineer's perspective since September 1986
here we are again …Getting rained on – Meanwhile Arizona and Alaska
have huge fires and California is trying to figure out how Saudi Arabia
does it. In Texas, some cities are reported to be 45 days
from being out of water. For those of us that call Western
Washington home, we are proud of our zillions of shades of green and the
lush vegetation our water provides….However we do have something to
fear…Population! The statistics are confirming that, despite our
rain, the Seattle area is seeing some rather large population
increases. New reports have Seattle gaining some 18,000 last year-
and that’s just within the city limits. Interesting to note that
Seattle rate of population increase is greater than the surrounding
area. The new numbers underscore the fact that Seattle is
officially the fastest growing big city in the country. One look
at all the cranes in Seattle and Bellevue putting up huge buildings is
enough to convince anyone. And here’s a shocker – There is even
talk of new high-rise buildings for Tacoma, Seattle’s little sister to
the south that has not seen a new downtown building in a very long
time. Broadcasters have every reason to love the news as more
people will, eventually, equal increases in revenue. Population of
the Seattle Metro is now 3.61 Million.
Lots of changes at West Tiger – First of all the area around the ATC
7500/7509 transmitter site was just logged opening up vista’s that we’ve
not seen for a very long time. The reason for this activity was
to provide some clearance for some Sat-Dishes as well as a fire barrier
between the forest and the site. Here’s a picture I recently took of Terry Spring (L) and Tim Moore (R) surveying the recently downed timber.
Here is what the site looks like now that the logging is
completed. Just to the left of the left tower is the top of Mt.
Si, the 4167 foot peak near North Bend.
Another big change is that KUNS (Ch. 50) has moved from West Tiger to
the KOMO tower on Queen Ann Hill. It’s my understanding that this
change had been in the works since before the sale of Fisher to
Sinclair. Certainly the superior elevation of West Tiger would
produce a larger coverage area, however, there are just not that many
outside antennas these days. Part of the change of KOMO from
Channel 4 to RF Channel 38 including making room on the tower for the
Ch. 50 array. Nothing like not having to pay rent for your
transmitter. KUNS is now operating with 1Mw at 244 meters.
The moving of KUNS means that the big ATC site on West Tiger will have
two less TV stations (Ch. 45 left a while ago). Time will tell whether
or not those suites will have new tenants.
Another change is a shuffle at American Tower. Joe Taylor has
taken over the position long held by Kent Keglovitz, who has had to
cover the entire country for ATC’s Broadcast Sites from his home in
eastern PA. Joe is based in Northern California. ATC
operates 2 broadcast sites on West Tiger and 2 on Cougar, in addition to
the Ch. 11 tower on Capitol Hill. My role with American Tower is
increasing as well, more on that perhaps next month.
Finally – Hubbard is making plans for the installation of their new
Nautel GV series transmitter at the ATC West Tiger 7509 site. This
unit will replace their present Continental 816HD and will permit
higher HD power levels.
Coming very soon (June 7 thru 9) is the annual Seaside Amateur Radio
event on the Oregon Coast. I’ve been going there for a very long
time finding it a great time to get away from the rat-race and see old
friends. Not as many old friends are there these day as our ranks
are thinning at an alarming rate with the passing of many. This
past month I attended the memorial for Jon Marcinko whose call was
W7FHZ. Thanks to the quick thinking of Nick Winter, K7MO, Jon’s
former call was secured for the Channel 1 (6 Meter) Repeater
Group. Speaking of Nick – I suppose you heard that he got laid off
at KPLU as part of a ‘shuffle’ in Parkland. WSU, not wanting to
let him get away, is going to add Nick to that team for some part time
work….in the meantime the BSNW Shingle is, once again, being displayed
as K7MO looks for things to do.
Did you ever wonder why reporters and newscasters use certain terms or
phrases? For example - ‘MID-AIR‘. Two aircraft nearly had a
mid-air collision. In the event you were wondering where mid-air
is relative to just ‘air’ or ‘in the air’ or airborne – official
definitions are of little help. Apparently the term is used to
differentiate being ‘mid-ground’ or not flying.
‘BROAD-DAYLIGHT’. The event took place in broad daylight.
The big question for me is what makes daylight ‘broad’. My guess
is the reporter is trying to tell us that -broad- daylight is different
than at dusk or twilight. I think they are finally getting over
the use of the term ‘Film at 11’…However they are still using the term
‘Tape’ when it comes to something being recorded. Another puzzling
term I hear from time to time is – ‘Steam-Roller’. How long since
there were any steam power rollers doing road work? The Urban
Dictionary says it’s a device used to spoke Pot…Hmmm! Never ever
wonder why someone trying to learn American English has such a difficult
time mastering our crazy language with more exceptions than
rules. Spelling is another pet peeve of mine…But, hey, I’m glad
they put a “K’ in knot – otherwise Scrabble would be a lot less
It took a long time, but – finally – our State has a new EAS Plan.
The document was approved last month at the State EAS Meeting (SECC) in
Ellensburg. Shortly the New Plan and its related ‘Tabs’ will have
a new home (Web Site) hosted by Washington State Emergency
Management. As soon as the address is known, I will be posting
this information on the Seattle SBE-16 and Washington State EAS
Remailers. Our thanks to Mark Allen and the WSAB for performing
this chore for many years.
Keep in mind that the FCC would, very much, like to know that your
station has a copy of the New Plan….In fact, during some recent
inspections in Oregon, stations were ‘dinged’ for not having a copy of
that states EAS Plan available.
The next Washington SECC meeting will be on Wednesday, July 9th at WEMD
at Camp Murray. If you would be willing to participate in this
endeavor – we’d love to have you join us. I should note that I
would like to be replaced as Chairman of this organization – if you are
interested – let any member of the SECC know about it! Meanwhile
- On June 18th I will be conducting a, day-long, EAS
workshop in Helena, Montana. This activity is an outgrowth of a
chance meeting at NAB with the president of the Montana broadcasters
Looks like Port Angeles will be getting a new FM Station. The FCC
has recently assigned the call letters of KSTI to a new station to be on
South Mountain, west of Shelton at the south end of the Olympic
Mountains is the home of 3 FM Stations, one of which is on 93.7 and is
now using the call letters once used in Bellevue, KLSY. The
station is now running Latino Christian programming. The former
call, KANY, has moved it’s programming to 107.3 at a site closer to the
coast. I know…You need a program!
Here’s some advice from the late David Rockefeller - “If necessity is
the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress."
We recently had a visit by an FCC Commissioner to our area.
Jessica Rosenworcel not only visited with folks at a couple of local
firms (T-Mobile, Microsoft etc.) but also visited the scene of the
SR530/Oso Slide. Her interest in disaster recovery and recovery of
communications systems should be noted.
More consolidation in the news – This time it’s the 48.5 Billion Buck
proposed merger of AT&T and Direct TV. This kind of activity
will likely lead to other mega-mergers as the other players will want to
‘gang-up’ on the merged. Makes one wonder how the Feds really
view all this. On one hand they appear to love to be very critical
of cooperative ventures by broadcasters but turn the other way when it
comes to other communications outfits. Hmmm?
Here’s a profound statement – The digital age hasn’t redefined etiquette…In many ways it has eliminated it!
Prayer time – Long time broadcast engineer and former Chapter 16
Officer, Gary Engard is dealing with some serious health issues.
Meanwhile, Doug Fisher is facing some serious surgery soon.
From time to time a new study is released that proposes that cellphones
cause cancer. Here’s a new one…You could be allergic to your
mobile phone. A new study suggests that some of the materials used
in smart phone construction can cause skin irritations. Nickel
and cobalt seems to be the source. Not to mention those whose
thumbs have issues due to repetitive motions…or users that walk into
objects while texting.
WSU is enhancing their Everett offerings according to a recent memo from
Lawrence Pintak. The Board approved a proposal to add BS programs
in Electrical Engineering, Communications and Hospitality to the WSU
North Puget Sound facility.
NAB’s Gordon Smith, speaking at a recent ATSC conference stated - "In
order for TV to succeed, we must continue to move quickly to increase
the number of distribution channels and platforms for our valuable local
content, and we must respond to the needs of an ever-more mobile
audience," Smith said. "As broadcasters, it is our job to make sure our
signals are available on every device and everywhere -- smartphones,
laptops, tablets -- and of course, multiple channels of digital
TV." Clearly the days when the only outlet for a broadcaster was
their transmitter has past. Perhaps the move of KUNS to the KOMO
tower in Seattle is easier to understand in light of his remarks?
I often write about how the Seattle area is the best for this or
that…Forbes recently published a list of the best places for retirement –
Making that list Is Beaverton, Oregon. For those of you not
familiar with Beaverton, the suburb of Portland is the longtime home of
Tektronix. Plusses listed are – Good Weather, air quality, rail
connection to Portland etc. Oh yes, they call Portland
‘Trendy’….Perhaps making Seattle ‘Spendy’? With that being
said….For the 7th straight year, Washington has been named the most
bike-friendly state. To be fair to my other readers….Oregon comes
in #5 and Colorado #6. Here’s a statistic to ponder - Estately.com
has ranked Washington as one of the ‘nerdiest’ states in the country at
#6. So who is more ‘nerdy’? - Utah, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho
and Colorado. The least nerdy is Washington DC …but as we all
know, they have other issues.
Colorado and Washington share another distinction – A friend of mine sent me this picture – no further comment needs to be made.
Here’s one for all my Engineering friends. As we well know, there
is a power tool for just about every job these days. The next time
you are asked to help in the kitchen with peeling apples for that pie –
Try this – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=335893426565493. (Let me know how it turns out.)
In my many trips to Bellingham working with WSU’s KZAZ I find I can
listen to various Seattle FM stations, with various levels of
success. Looking forward, KUOW will no longer be on that list as
the FCC has granted a CP for a new LPFM in Bellingham to operate on
94.9. According to Mike Gilbert, they will be on the same roof as
KMRE, the local station at the Museum.
I will leave you with this contribution from Milton Holladay –
Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a
sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.
Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Women will never be equal to men
until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and
still think they are sexy.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure..
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
And this last one really hits home with this old guy………………..
I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
Well that’s it from this end for this month –
Enjoy the warmer weather – and remember to take advantage of it – At this latitude summer is our shortest season!