REVIEW OF January 24, 2006 SBE 18 MEETING






The January meeting of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter was held at WXPN, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA--Jay Goldman and Jared Styles hosting. There were 15 members and guests signed in. New attendees were Dave Laudenslager (new full time assistant engineer at B-101) and Don Train of Train's Towers. We welcome them both to the fold! The dinner, which was financed out of the Chapter's treasury, was purchased from Allegro Pizza in University City.


Mark Humphrey called the meeting to order with the following announcements:


(A) The February meeting will be tentatively held at the studios of Clear Channel pending the okay from Mike Guidotti. If Mike cannot host the meeting, it will be at a location to be announced with MacKay Communications the guest. The topic, if the alternate happens, will be Satellite Phones--radio and television people should be interested in this.


(B) The March meeting is tentatively at the Sequerra/Day (ATI) new location in New Jersey.


(C) The RF Safety presentation in New York was excellent. We may consider it for Chapter 18.




The presentation was made by John E. Rahtes, retiring District Engineer of the Philadelphia Office of the Federal Communications Commission, talking about the following:


*FCC Helped stations in New Orleans with diesel fuel, waivers, etc.


*Annual report covered inspection, Alternate Broadcast Inspection Program, what's new at the Commission and the new Chair and the cases that were done.


*The following are to be watched at the inspection especially: EAS--Technical versus non technical, public file and towers. Within the EAS, the trend was toward more fines. Fines were for no equipment or equipment malfunctions. People should follow the EAS checklist for what they must follow. Within the public file element, it was noted that if anything is missing, the station will be fined $10,000. Particular attention is paid to the programs and issues list.


Within the towers element:

  • Registration
  • Lighting--okay, reported to the FAA if out, etc.
  • Electrical hazard--Are the fence and doors unlocked?
  • If any violations are repeated t for two days, a fine will be assessed.
  • RFR to human beings
  • Pager or cell phone company is on your tower. You must determine if RF is within the limits.
  • Five or above in the violations? A $10,000 fine will be issued.
  • Licensee has responsibility, not the tower landlords.
  • Licensee must forewarn suppliers regarding the RFR element. Cover yourself with a written procedure.


*Rahtes stated that fines can be negotiated in court. Any NAL goes to Novo Court.


  • ABIP--The SBE should be into this.
  • 200 Stations in PAB enrolled in this process.
  • For information on the ABIP and what it costs, please see the pab website at and see the area on "Self Assessing Benefits Radio or Television Membership.
  • Can self assess.


ALL STATIONS, be they HD-2, etc need top of hour ID, EAS, public file, etc. Wherever there is a studio, there must be issues.


The new FCC Chair is Kevin Martin. He is very strict and is a micromanager. Nothing goes out unless there is a review. Everything must be approved by him or his staff. Martin places the emphasis on Public Safety and homeland security in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. EAS, Tower safety and RFR are also emphasized.


In the Philadelphia office, the new engineer is Palash Buru, who formerly worked for Nextel. He is getting trained and getting his Master's degree. Dave Dombrowski is two courses away from his Master's. The FCC is encouraging and paying for their staff to go and get their Master's degrees. Don March is the new technician. He is from Gettysburg.


The offices are down in their personnel. More monitoring is being done remotely. This proved itself during the DTV case in where a station in Boston created interference to the trunked system in Ocean County, New Jersey. TDOA over internet is also used.




Closed down 15 pirates including Lou Gentile locally.

DTV quiet.

Two FAA incidents

  • One involving Northwest Airlines when on strike. Pilots were jammed from communicating and a bearing and signal test was done to see what the problem was.
  • The other involved a pilot in Minneapolis, Minnesota who was jammed.
  • Another case involved a police complaint in Mullica Hill, New Jersey in where a fire alarm was set off by people who thought it was cute to set it off in the middle of the night.




Meeting notes taken and transcribed by Robert Weiss


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