All posts by Michael D. Rhodes

2018 Annual Meeting Held

AFCCE held its 70th Annual Meeting last weekend in Seattle.  The meeting included a tour of five historic AM transmitter sites on Vashon Island, just west of the city.

The group picture below was taken on KVI Beach next to the KVI 570 tower.

2018 AFCCE Annual Meeting group picture

Thank you, Byron, for your Friendship and Mentorship to our Industry

The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers joins in celebrating the life of one of our longest active members, Dr. Byron St. Clair, who passed away May 20th at age 93 after a brief illness.

Byron St. Clair

Dr. Byron St. Clair – picture courtesy of the ATBA

AFCCE President John Lyons said, “I had the pleasure to sit and speak with with Byron over the last several years discussing his time in NY while attending Columbia for his BS and MA in Physics. He reminisced about living on the waterfront and his enjoyment of education.  I will always remember the look on his face and the thrill in his voice as he walked around the broadcast facilities at One World Trade Center and 4 Times Square as we toured both facilities during the 2017 Annual Meeting.”

We will all stand to toast Byron at our Annual Meeting next month in Seattle.

The National Translator Association, will be establishing The Byron W. St. Clair Memorial Scholarship Fund along with the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE). The fund will provide scholarships for promising undergraduate and graduate students at accredited U.S. universities and colleges interested in broadcast engineering. The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition, through its membership, has also agreed to provide funding for the NTA/AFCCE scholarship fund.

Dr. St. Clair was director of research and development for Adler Electronics, founder and president of EMCEE manufacturer and installer of TV translators.  Later he took his knowledge west to Colorado, and beginning in 1967 founded and was president of Television Technology Corp. in Arvada and later Larcan-TTC Inc. During his three decades in running TTC the company became the best-known supplier of TV translators.

Dr. St. Clair was inducted into the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance Hall of Fame in 2014, and received the Jules Cohen Award from the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society (BTS) in 2017. He was also President Emeritus of the National Translator Association and was the recipient of the SBE Chapter 48 Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  He received his PhD from Syracuse University in Physics.

He leaves behind Julie, his wife of 71 years, and daughter Susan Hansen of Arvada, Colorado as well as his son-in-law, two grand children and a brother.  A memorial service is planned for a date in June to be established.

May 2018 Luncheon Meeting

Friday, May 18, 2018

Streamlining the FM Translator Rules

Larry Walke
Associate General Counsel,
National Association of Broadcasters

Mr. Walke will give a presentation on the recent FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Streamlining the FM Translator Rules.

The growth in the number of FM translator stations has led to an increasing number of interference disputes between translator stations and full-service stations. However, resolving these fact-intensive disputes can currently be quite time-consuming. The measures proposed in the NPRM are designed to streamline the resolution of such interference complaints, strike an appropriate balance between the interests of translator stations and other licensees, and conserve licensee resources. This proposed NPRM is on the agenda for the FCC’s May 10th Open Meeting. A copy of the draft NPRM can be found here.

Mr. Walke joined the National Association of Broadcasters in October 2001 as associate general counsel. While at NAB, Larry has focused his efforts on safeguarding broadcasters’ spectrum, radio issues, the emergency alert system, Equal Employment Opportunity, license renewals, retransmission consent and various advertising issues, including political broadcasting.

Larry began his legal career at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he worked on a broad range of broadcast and cable television policy issues during the FCC’s implementation of the 1992 Cable Act and the 1996 Telecommunications Act. In 1997, Larry became an associate with the law firm of Swidler Berlin, LLP, where he represented competitive local and long-distance telecommunications companies. Larry moved to Winstar Communications in 1999 as regulatory counsel.

You can register for the meeting below.

If you have ideas for luncheon programs, please contact Martin Doczkat at martindoczkat@ieee.org.

Networking starts at 11:45 AM with Lunch beginning at 12:30 PM


Parking Changes:

The Holiday Inn has recently installed gates on the parking garages. Parking for the meeting is still free. Please take a ticket on your way in. You will need this ticket along with a validation ticket you will get at the meeting that will be used as the payment on your way out of the garage.


Luncheon meetings are open only to AFCCE members and their guests. The cost of the luncheon is $55.00 per person or $65.00 for reservations not received prior to the deadline.

Please RSVP online with the form below by 5 pm Monday, May 14th. To RSVP directly to John Reiser by phone at (703) 780-4824, or email rsvp@afcce.org.

All reservations requests and online payments will be confirmed by an email message or phone call. If you do not receive a confirmation email please email rsvp@afcce.org to verify it was received.


Meeting Location
Holiday Inn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Driving Directions: The Holiday Inn provides free parking however, they have recently installed gates on the parking garage. You will need to take a ticket on the way into the garage and get it validated at the meeting.

Metro: The Holiday Inn is two blocks north of the Rosslyn Metro Station – Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Exit the station through the “back door” (up the stairs) and turn right onto North Fort Myer Drive.
Map & Directions


Lunch Menu

If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please send a separate email to rsvp@afcce.org.

Main Course (Select one choice for all attendees in the form below)
Chicken Breast Marsala
Salmon
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Vegan)

Tossed Salad
Rice
Apple Pie


March 2018 Luncheon Meeting

Friday, March 16, 2018

Worlds First Radio Broadcast

James E. O’Neal

A look back in time to 1906 at what may be considered to be the first radio broadcast, the technology employed, as well as the events leading up to this event.

This is a closeup look at the fabled “world’s first radio broadcast” event on Dec. 24, 1906. James has done a lot of research on this broadcast in preparation for a commemorative article in 2006. He has discovered many things about this event that do not appear in the history books. Interesting aspects are Fessenden’s methodology for producing a carrier wave and amplitude-modulated it in an era before the vacuum tube or solid-state devices were available. He will share a number of pictures–some never seen in print or on the Internet before–that provide additional insight into what wireless transmission operations looked like more than 100 years ago.

James E. O’Neal has been involved in broadcasting for more than half a century, beginning with part-time employment at a hometown radio station during his high school years, and continuing on that basis in both radio and television operations throughout his high school and college years. Following graduation from the University of Arkansas in 1969, he embarked on a full-time broadcast engineering career that spanned nearly 37 years, with more than three decades at U.S. Government television operations, including the United States Information Agency’s Television and Film service, WORLDNET Television and VOA-TV.

James enjoys researching and writing about broadcasting history and persons making important contributions in this field. He also enjoys collecting and restoring both consumer radio and television items and commercial broadcasting equipment. He holds both commercial and amateur radio licenses and has earned SBE Professional Broadcast Engineer Life Certification. James serves as a member of the board of directors of the Early Television Foundation, and has previously served in the same capacity at the National Capital Museum of Radio and Television.

You can register for the meeting below.

If you have ideas for luncheon programs, please contact Martin Doczkat at martindoczkat@ieee.org.

Networking starts at 11:45 AM with Lunch beginning at 12:30 PM


Parking Changes:

The Holiday Inn has recently installed gates on the parking garages. Parking for the meeting is still free. Please take a ticket on your way in. You will need this ticket along with a validation ticket you will get at the meeting that will be used as the payment on your way out of the garage.


Luncheon meetings are open only to AFCCE members and their guests. The cost of the luncheon is $55.00 per person or $65.00 for reservations not received prior to the deadline.

Please RSVP online with the form below by 5 pm Monday, March 12th. To RSVP directly to John Reiser by phone at (703) 780-4824, or email rsvp@afcce.org.

All reservations requests and online payments will be confirmed by an email message or phone call. If you do not receive a confirmation email please email rsvp@afcce.org to verify it was received.


Meeting Location
Holiday Inn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Driving Directions: The Holiday Inn provides free parking however, they have recently installed gates on the parking garage. You will need to take a ticket on the way into the garage and get it validated at the meeting.

Metro: The Holiday Inn is two blocks north of the Rosslyn Metro Station – Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Exit the station through the “back door” (up the stairs) and turn right onto North Fort Myer Drive.
Map & Directions


Lunch Menu

If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please send a separate email to rsvp@afcce.org.

Main Course (Select one choice for all attendees in the form below)
Roast Top Round Sirloin
Salmon
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Vegan)

Tossed Salad
Potatoes
German Chocolate Cake


February 2018 Luncheon Meeting

The Future of TV Broadcasting:
Contribution and Distribution Enter a New Era

Graziano Casale
National Account Manager, Broadcasting
Rohde & Schwarz, USA

In the midst of the Repack many TV stations are in the process to upgrade their existing facilities with new products that go beyond a new TV transmitter. New challenges are present today that requires broadcasters to be more efficient and to do more with less. ATSC 3.0 is on the horizon, and IP cloud and virtualization are part of the agenda for broadcasters that aims to thrive in the new Digital TV economy.

Graziano has over 10 years of sales and management experience, including TV transmitters, Mobile DTV, Headend, Microwave Link and System integration. In his current role, his responsibilities include mainly the Full and Low Power TV transmitter market as well as introducing to the broadcast market the new R&S products portfolio, and developing and maintaining successful client business relationship with key accounts.

You can register for the meeting below.

If you have ideas for luncheon programs, please contact Martin Doczkat at martindoczkat@ieee.org.

Networking starts at 11:45 AM with Lunch beginning at 12:30 PM


Parking Changes:

The Holiday Inn has recently installed gates on the parking garages. Parking for the meeting is still free. Please take a ticket on your way in. You will need this ticket along with a validation ticket you will get at the meeting that will be used as the payment on your way out of the garage.


Luncheon meetings are open only to AFCCE members and their guests. The cost of the luncheon is $55.00 per person or $65.00 for reservations not received prior to the deadline.

Please RSVP online with the form below by 5 pm Friday, February 16th. To RSVP directly to John Reiser by phone at (703) 780-4824, or email rsvp@afcce.org.

All reservations requests and online payments will be confirmed by an email message or phone call. If you do not receive a confirmation email please email rsvp@afcce.org to verify it was received.


Meeting Location
Holiday Inn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Driving Directions: The Holiday Inn provides free parking however, they have recently installed gates on the parking garage. You will need to take a ticket on the way into the garage and get it validated at the meeting.

Metro: The Holiday Inn is two blocks north of the Rosslyn Metro Station – Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Exit the station through the “back door” (up the stairs) and turn right onto North Fort Myer Drive.
Map & Directions


Lunch Menu

If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please send a separate email to rsvp@afcce.org.

Main Course (Select one choice for all attendees in the form below)
Pork Champignon
Baked Stuffed Chicken Breast
Salmon
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Vegan)

Tossed Salad
Potatoes
German Chocolate Cake


January 2018 Luncheon Meeting

Overview of FCC Field Operations in the Post-Modernization Era

Charles Cooper, P.E., Field Director for the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau

Charles Cooper joined the Commission approximately five years ago from the consulting engineering firm of du Treil, Lundin & Rackley. While at du Treil, Charles was a partner and assisted many clients in their technical allocation matters before the Commission. When he joined this Commission, he managed the Los Angeles Field office. After receiving the appointment to Field Director, he has since relocated to DC. He holds a B.S.E.E. is a registered Professional Engineer and a Past President of AFCCE.

2015 FCC Field Operations Modernization News Release is here

You can register for the meeting below.

If you have ideas for luncheon programs, please contact Martin Doczkat at martindoczkat@ieee.org.

Networking starts at 11:45 AM with Lunch beginning at 12:30 PM


Parking Changes:

The Holiday Inn has recently installed gates on the parking garages. Parking for the meeting is still free. Please take a ticket on your way in and it will be validated at the meeting.


Luncheon meetings are open only to AFCCE members and their guests. The cost of the luncheon is $55.00 per person or $65.00 for reservations not received prior to the deadline.

Please RSVP online with the form below by 5 pm Friday, January 12th. To RSVP directly to John Reiser by phone at (703) 780-4824, or email rsvp@afcce.org.

All reservations requests and online payments will be confirmed by an email message or phone call. If you do not receive a confirmation email please email rsvp@afcce.org to verify it was received.


Meeting Location
Holiday Inn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Driving Directions: The Holiday Inn provides free parking however, they have recently installed gates on the parking garage. You will need to take a ticket on the way into the garage and get it validated at the meeting.

Metro: The Holiday Inn is two blocks north of the Rosslyn Metro Station – Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Exit the station through the “back door” (up the stairs) and turn right onto North Fort Myer Drive.
Map & Directions


Lunch Menu

If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please send a separate email to rsvp@afcce.org.

Main Course (Select one for all attendees in the form below)
Thai Grilled Chicken
Salmon
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Vegan)
Tossed Salad
Rice
Mixed Seasonal Berries


Membership Renewal

It’s time to renew your membership for 2018. Please visit the AFCCE web page at https://afcce.org/renew-your-membership/ to renew your membership.  Fees are unchanged from last year ($180/$140 for Full/Associate membership, respectively, with reduced fees for government, life, and student members).  The online application is the preferred method for renewing your membership since the entire process is electronic, including payment by credit card.

You can also download the renewal form here and mail it in, along with your payment.  Note that some of the information in the PDF renewal form information is not current – Student dues are now $20/year.

Please continue to support AFCCE’s work as a professional association and please join us at our monthly luncheons and social functions.

Happy New Year!

Bob Weller

AFCCE Secretary 2017-2018

FCC’S Rodolfo Bonacci Wins E. Noel Luddy Award

Rodolfo (“Rudy”) Bonacci was presented with the E. Noel Luddy Award for years of meritorious service to the telecommunications industry. Bonacci is Assistant Division Chief, Engineering, in the Audio Division in FCC’s Media Bureau. The award was presented November 30 at the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers’ annual FCC Reception, held at the National Press Club by AFCCE President John Lyons.

In his introduction of this year’s honoree, James Bradshaw, Deputy Division Chief, Engineering, in the Audio Division of the FCC’s Media Bureau, recalled the time from when Rudy joined the FCC to the present day and Bradshaw told anecdotes on Bonacci’s career and spoke of his prestige within the FCC.

 

Addressing the crowd of AFCCE members and guests, and FCC colleagues, Bonacci thanked the AFCCE for bestowing the award and expressed admiration for his colleagues, noting several whom he thought better deserved the honor than himself.

Rudy Bonacci joins an distinguished list of previous Luddy award winners that includes notables such as John Reiser (the first E. Noel Luddy awardee, pictured here with Bonacci and Lyons), Jules Cohen, Ann Gallagher and Julius Knapp.

The E. Noel Luddy Award (since 2000) is presented annually by the AFCCE Board of Directors. Its winner is frequently, but not always, an FCC employee who has provided notable and exemplary service to the telecommunications industry. Noel Luddy was a lifelong radio enthusiast who was in charge of all communications throughout the South Pacific during World War II. He served for many years in several engineering capacities with RCA. With Dielectric’s acquisition of the RCA broadcast antenna business, he joined Dielectric as a consultant, serving as a liaison to broadcast station engineers, consulting engineers and the FCC. He is well known for his years of service on the AFCCE Board of Directors and was recognized numerous times for his contributions to the association and the broadcast industry. Dielectric continues to fund the E. Noel Luddy Scholarship in Noel’s honor.

The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers is a membership organization comprised of engineers and other professionals engaged in telecommunications engineering. Its website notes that its main objective is to aid and promote the proper federal administration and regulation of those engineering and technical phases of communications which are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.