November 1998 Newsletter  

November 1998 

360 Systems
Uncontested Officers Win Election By a Landslide; 
CBT Shows Off KCET "Tapeless" System  
LMA Lands Another Station 
KSWB Heads to Media Mesa 
KNSD Lays Off Eleven 
How the Networks Push Their Content; 
Gas-fired Generators You Can Wear
Murphy's Corner: 
Computer Prices 



November Meeting 

360 Systems 
and Its Fine Line of Cart Killers 

by Gary Stigall 

So you really can start in electronics making doo-dads for music bands and work your way into a "real" business. Robert Easton did. After 26 years, now they dominate in the niche product line of easy-to-access hard drive spot recorders. These aren't Windows NT units with menu-driven, run-of-the-mill operator assist automation. No--their most popular units use dedicated, single-button access to audio files, seemingly made for the kind of staccato radio shows Rick Dees has made famous at KIIS-FM in L.A. 

Steve Gordoni, is West Coast Sales Manager for 360, and LA SBE Chapter Chairman. He visits us in San Diego November 21 during a busy month, between the NAB Radio Convention in Seattle and SMPTE Convention in Pasadena. 

How did 360 Systems get involved in hard drive recorders? (Hint: it has nothing to do with broadcasting.) What did they do about storage during the dark ages of sub-100Mb hard drives? What can you do with their products that can't be done with an off-the-shelf PC? 

Come find out November 21 at 7:00 p.m., social hour before at 6:00 p.m. Location: KFMB AM/FM/TV facility, 7677 Engineer Road, Studio B. 

From Interstate 805, take Clairemont Mesa Boulevard exit east two long blocks to Ruffner Road (at the Unocal 76 station). Turn right (south). Proceed three blocks to Engineer Road. Station is on the corner. Turn left, then enter driveway at right. Enter parking lot through security gate,  and park in any unreserved space. Studio B is toward rear of building. Access through parking lot. Front offices will be closed. 

From State Route 163, take Clairemont Mesa Boulevard exit west about 1 mile to Ruffner Road (at the Unocal 76 station). (Do not confuse with Ruffin Road two miles east.) Turn left (south). Proceed three blocks to Engineer Road. Station is on the corner. Turn left, then enter driveway at right. Enter parking lot through security gate,  and park in any unreserved space. Studio B is toward rear of building. Access through parking lot. Front offices will be closed. 

STL's, transmitters, receivers, GPS tracking, presence camera systems,helicopter systems, GPS tracking. Call Sheridan Kirk at 800-669-9667. 

September Meeting 

New Officers Installed 
CBT Systems Hosts 

by Fred Gotwald and Gary Stigall 

The meeting was called to order a little after 7 pm at Creative Broadcast Technique Systems by Jack Moran, Chairman. The first order of business was the election of officers. 

The following were nominated and subsequently voted in: 

  • Gary Stigall, KFMB-TV, Chairman 
  • Bob Vaillancourt, KNSD (TV), Vice-Chairman 
  • Fred Gotwald, Sun Microsystems, Secretary/Treasurer 
  • Oscar Medina, KNSD (TV), Certification Chair. 
Bea Finley reported the bank balances of: $920.36 in Wells Fargo $1893.75 in Union Bank. 

A few words were said in memory of Steve Sellman. It was noted that the Sellman family appreciated the help from John Barcroft and Lee McGowan. 

Gary stated that a future meeting would be advertised at local colleges and be open for students to attend. A short discussion followed regarding whether it should be open to all or just those in a technical degree program. Gary expressed the desire for Chapter 36 to sponsor a local scholarship. 

Mike Tosch asked if any consideration could be given to holding meetings at lunchtime. Discussion followed without conclusion. John Barcroft moved that the Chapter hold a buffet lunch, free for members, or anyone who became a member at the lunch. Bea Finley seconded the motion, it was voted on and passed. The lunch is tentatively scheduled for December. [FG] 

The program:  

CBT Systems showed us a large, virtually tapeless, television system ready for shipment to KCET (PBS) Los Angeles. This ambitious system included countless Tektronix Profile drives and an expansive Philips router. The only tape is on an Ampex data archiving system. Further, they let us preview some of the plans for KABC-TV's new plant. Many found manager Darrell Wenhardt's narrative of system problem-solving inspirational. 

Many thanks for Doreen Kaarto's assistance with catering (great food!) and other organizing minutae. [GS] 



Panasonic Broadcast Digital Systems. Call Tom James for DVC Pro and DAT. (760) 489-2980 


Jacor Manages Another Station 

And XHRM Makes Eleven... 

by Gary Stigall, KFMB-TV 

On September 14, Jacor Communications subsidiary Citicasters took over the reins of XHRM (92.5 MHz) Tijuana in a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) with owners Radio Moderna. On that Monday, XHRM began playing the light urban gold "Magic" music, moving that format from 95.7 MHz recently acquired by Jacor. 

For now, the XHRM studios have not moved from National City, according to Jacor's San Diego Director of Engineering Kevin Douglass. 

KMCG Carlsbad/San Diego has begun playing a "Mix" format of automated contemporary music somewhat reminiscent of KUPR's ecclectic format on that frequency just two years ago. 

Kevin's supervision of the constant musical chair changes during the past two years led me to ask him if he was finally going to be able to take a vacation with what seems like a final move for Jacor in the market. 

Kevin answered, "A what??!!" 


The Dub-Dub-Double-You-Be Moves North

Chula Vista's only TV station has taken up residence in...Kearny Mesa. KSWB, acquired by Tribune Corporation two years ago for $70-million, has a new home in San Diego in the same neighborhood as most other local TV stations. 

Chief Engineer John Weigand told us that they started technical operations from 7191 Engineer Road (across the street from Jacor's Airwatch Traffic, formerly KGB/KPOP) on September 12 at 9 a.m. The administrative offices opened for business September 25. Their new phone number is 619-492-9269 (get it...WB69?). 

Asked to comment on details of the move, John said, it's a "work in progress. I would like to consider hosting an SBE meeting after the first of the year." 

A San Diego Union-Tribune report said that KSWB won't begin news operations until fall 1999. The UHF channel 69 station has been increasingly popular since becoming a Warner Brothers affiliate and changing their call sign from KTTY in 1996. 


KNSD Lays Off Eleven

Early in September, KNSD sent home eleven employees in a sudden staff reduction, one an engineer and SBE member. Kent Doetkott, eleven years experience, had the least seniority on staff. He had just undergone training in Panasonic DVC Pro maintenance and was considered an expert in Sony tape maintenance.

According to a Union-Tribune report, management projections of lower profits in the coming fiscal year led to the layoffs. Most layoffs were from the news department.



Tenco Towers. Since 1978, serving broadcast and telecommunications communities in the west.(916) 638-8833 


Internet Watch 

How the Networks do that Partner Thing 

by Gary Stigall, KFMB-TV 

When you go to, you're immediately redirected to cooperative frames with information from the stations' affiliated network, KFMB is similarly associated with KNSD has already returned to a more local look, but maintains links to, and national news from, MSNBC, the General Electric/Microsoft partnership. 

What are the mechanics behind these news behemoths? If you know your way around a network, you might be interested in a story Fred Gotwald caught on the "Oracle Technology Network": 
The story describes and how it "Provides for Sharing Content, Ads Between Network Affiliates." 

And Now the Award for the Best Technical Content on a Local Station Site...  

In case you thought TV station sites were largely portals to stale news updates and pop TV culture, you're...mostly right. But before you completely blow them off, check out the links at: 
Be prepared with Quicktime Virtual Reality to view the station's main control rooms and a panorama of the San Diego skyline. Be patient if you have a conventional modem, but you might be rewarded with an ooh and an aah. 

KGTV also treats you to some interesting glimpses into the past. Unfortunately, the 1933 picture of the precursor radio station KFSD isn't large enough to make out any detail, but the other photos are priceless. Did you know that the station has been in its present location for forty years? The rather futuristic design of the late 1950's has held up well. 

Elsewhere on the Web... 

Ron Foo of Jacor points out an interesting article in BusinessWeek regarding Massachusetts Institute of Technology research into "Micro Generators." These are "gas turbine engines with flow path diameters of one to several millimeters and rocket engines which look like a computer chip." And they're apparently just about ready for production. BusinessWeek charges for peeks to its archives, but you can find the original material at the MIT Gas Turbine Research site. Which is a good thing--this information is so bizarre, you might think it's a hoax. 

Leitch...Engineering the Big Picture. Call Steve Wong 818-525-2599 x226 

New Business 

Chapter Gains New Sustaining Members 

by Gary Stigall  

Leitch and Harris Communications Radio Transmission Products now help support the SBE San Diego Chapter. 

Steve Wong joined ASC, the video hard drive recorder specialists, in Los Angeles. You might remember their recent demonstration at our meeting at KGTV. The company was acquired by Leitch, and Steve has become their sales manager for this region. Leitch has made a wide variety of video and audio distribution and storage products for some time. Now they're a major player in digital distribution and "glue" products as well. 

Ed Longcrier of Harris has become a regular at chapter meetings now, and we've shared a few stories about radio in the 70's in the Pacific Northwest. We've both worked with Gates and Harris transmitters, and now he's proud to represent Harris for broadcast radio transmission products in southern California. 

Our thanks to you both. 



Global Microwave Systems: Innovation in Microwave Communication Technology. Miniature Transmitter/Receiver Systems. (760)631-8021 

Murphy's Corner 

The Computer Law: 
All computers cost $2,000: 

A $1,000 computer will need $500 of hardware upgrades and $500 of labor. A $1,500 computer will need $250 of hardware upgrades and $250 of supporting labor. A $2,000 computer needs no added hardware or support.

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Edited by Gary Stigall. Updated 30-Sep-98. Please feel free to quote our material, but please attribute or refer quotes to our writers. Thank you.