SBE Chapter 37
SBE Chapter 37
January 19, 2021  

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting the Washington DC Chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. We're glad you're here!

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is the only organization devoted to the advancement of all levels and types of broadcast engineering. With more than 5,000 members and 114 local chapters, the SBE provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of information to help you keep pace with our rapidly changing industry. The SBE amplifies the voices of broadcast engineers by validating your skills with professional certification, by offering educational opportunities to maintain and expand those skills, and by speaking out on technical regulatory issues that affect how you work.

SBE Chapter 37 is a very diverse group, including a variety of media professionals in the Nation's Capitol. Our members include local radio and television engineers, national and international network technicians, consulting engineers, electronics manufacturers and Federal employees working in media and broadcast related positions.

Regardless of your area of broadcast interest, you are sure to find a warm welcome at the Washington DC Chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Please join us at our next meeting and try us out for size. We hope you will enjoy your visit.

Upcoming Events

Please check out details of our next meeting. We hope to see you there!  Future SBE meetings include: 

  • January 18th (3:00 pm):  The January SBE WEBxtra brings SBE Education Committee Chair Geary Morrill, CPBE, CBNE, to talk with SBE Social Networking Committee Chair Kirk Harnack, CBRE, CBNE, about the SBE's new Technical Professional Training Program (see related article, below).  Watch the SBE WEBxtra live on GFQ Network and on the the SBE YouTube Channel.
  • February 9th (6:30 pm):  Michael Guthrie of Harmonic will be discussing ATSC 1.0 encoding improvements and new technologies.  Details are forthcoming.

SBE News and Events

Technical Professional TrainingThe Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, has developed a response to the ongoing concern about new technical talent choosing broadcasting as a career by creating the Technical Professional Training Program (TPTP). As technology and the average age and tenure of technical professionals advances (as shown in the annual SBE Compensation Survey), there is concern to adequately fulfill the technical staffing needs in the long term.

In the past, part-time employees and smaller market stations served as a training ground for new talent. Streamlining the workforce, consolidation of ownership and a reduction in the electronic technology programs at trade schools and colleges have culminated in a looming crisis. The SBE is uniquely positioned to provide a solution.

Drawing on existing SBE programs, the society has assembled a valuable service to the broadcast industry going forward. The goal: Training new entrants to the field of broadcast technology. There are four elements that combine to create the new Technical Professional Training Program.

The extensive Webinars by SBE collection developed and cataloged for on-demand use of SBE members is regularly expanded and updated to reflect the latest developments in the industry. The advent of SBE MemberPlus provides access to the library for a fixed annual fee.
 The SBE Engineering Handbook is a hard-copy reference volume for hands-on use in designing and maintaining technical facilities.
 The SBE Mentor Program provides new entrants to the technical broadcast field regular access and guidance from a seasoned professional – a personal touch not unlike days of old when the senior staff would take the new person under a wing to show him or her the ropes.
The SBE Certification Program entry-level certification (Certified Broadcast Technologist) demonstrates a comprehension of regulatory and technical requirements of station operation. The SBE CertPreview for this certification level can be utilized by a mentor to curate the preparation experience of a mentee utilizing the Webinars by SBE library supplemented with the mentor’s knowledge and experience.

The SBE Technical Professional Training Program is a membership option that includes all the elements listed above in one package. Stations and media outlets can groom young talent to fast track their technical skills with one application and one purchase. The cost of the SBE TPTP is $475. This includes a one-year SBE membership with SBE MemberPlus, a copy of SBE CertPreview, a copy of the SBE Engineering Handbook, enrollment in the SBE Mentor Program, and the SBE CBT certification exam application fee to be taken later.

The program is designed to be deployable by group broadcasters, independent broadcasters and even state broadcaster associations. Ideally, the mentor would come from within the ranks of the organization in which the mentee is employed, but the mentor role can be filled by any qualified engineer willing to invest the time. The SBE will assist in arranging a mentor for the TPTP applicant.

On the announcement, SBE Education Committee Chair Geary Morrill, CPBE, CBNE, said, “The TPTP simplifies the steps to engage someone new to the technical career path in broadcasting and media. This bundles the individual membership and education offerings to help broadcast and media outlets engage the next generation of technicians.”

SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, adds, “The SBE has significantly increased its education efforts over the last decade – and more. The TPTP is a natural step in making these efforts accessible and convenient to individuals for personal growth, and for groups to groom the next generation.”

The post Society of Broadcast Engineers to Launch Technical Professional Training Program appeared first on The Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Copyright © 2020 The Society of Broadcast Engineers. Used With Permission.

Deadline to register for first exam is Dec. 31, 2020

SBE CertifiedThe Society of Broadcast Engineers, in its continuing effort to advance its Program of Certification, has added a new Specialist Certification to its offerings: The ATSC3 Specialist. In addition to various certification levels that require a certain time of professional career experience and cover a broad knowledge base, the SBE offers several Specialist Certifications, each one focusing on a specific understanding of a technology. The SBE began its program of certification in 1975.

The new level of certification was developed by the Society of Broadcast Engineers Certification Committee, chaired by Ralph Hogan, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, with direct assistance from the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The first ATSC3 SBE Certification exams will be made available during the February 2021 SBE exam period. The application deadline to take those exams is Dec. 31, 2020. The initial idea to create the SBE ATSC3 Specialist Certification began in 2018. The SBE Certification Committee worked closely with key ATSC members for input on suitable information to include in the exam. The Certification Committee also worked with several SBE members with direct experience installing ATSC 3.0 systems. From this, a set of questions was created, beta tests were conducted, the questions were reviewed and adjusted and additional beta testing was held. The final question pool covers a mix of practical application and technology standards.

“The SBE is grateful to the ATSC for its help in assembling the exam question pool,” said SBE Certification Chair Ralph Hogan. “As is the practice in creating any level of SBE Certification, a group of subject matter experts is consulted.”

“I also extend my thanks to the ATSC members who helped in the exam development process. As the foremost experts on ATSC 3.0, their contributions were invaluable. I was also continually impressed by the SBE’s methodical exam development process, ensuring that the exam would fairly and accurately assess a candidate’s understanding of ATSC 3.0. Individuals who successfully pass the exam will have earned a truly meaningful certificate,” added Madeleine Noland, president of ATSC.

Like all SBE Certifications, the exam questions will continue an ongoing review process to ensure the information being covered is relevant and current. Certifications are valid for five years, and then must be renewed or advanced to a higher level.

On the announcement, SBE President Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNE, said, “Certification is one of the foundation blocks of the SBE. Just as the 8-VSB and DRB Specialist Certifications covered new technologies when they were introduced, so does the ATSC3 Specialist Certification.”

The first SBE Specialist Certification was offered in 2005. The existing Specialist Certifications are the 8-VSB Specialist (8-VSB), AM Directional Specialist (AMD) and Digital Radio Broadcast Specialist (DRB). To apply for a specialist certification, an individual must currently hold certification on the Broadcast Engineer, Senior Broadcast Engineer, Professional Broadcast Engineer or Broadcast Networking Engineer Certification level. Exams must be completed within three hours and consist of 50 multiple-choice questions (two points each) and one essay question (20 points maximum). Examinees are provided one essay question to answer. Exams are pass/fail, and a score of 84 is a passing grade.

The post Society of Broadcast Engineers Releases ATSC3 Specialist Certification appeared first on The Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Copyright © 2020 The Society of Broadcast Engineers. Used With Permission.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers presented its Membership Meeting & Awards Presentation (MMAP) webcast on Sept. 23. The program, held online after the in-person events had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, combined the SBE’s annual Membership Meeting and Awards Banquet presentations into one online event.

In addition to the previously announced awards, including the Robert W. Flanders SBE Engineer of the Year award to RJ Russell, CPBE, of Middletown, DE, and the 2020 James C. Wulliman SBE Educator of the Year awards to Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT, of Elizabeth, CO, and Roland Robinson, CBTE, CBNT, CTO, of Tacoma, WA, the event also recognized other individual and chapter efforts, as well as the two newest SBE Fellows, Ralph Beaver, CBT, and Jim Leifer, CPBE.

The MMAP also added a special surprise event. The SBE John H. Battison Award for Lifetime Achievement recognizes and pays tribute to individuals for their dedication, lifelong achievement and outstanding contribution to broadcast engineering. Nominees are SBE members in good standing and have been active for 40 years or more in the broadcast engineering industry or a closely allied field that benefits broadcast engineering. Nominations can be made by any member of the SBE and will include the endorsement of three other SBE members. There is no more than one recipient per calendar year. The recipient for 2020 is Mark Persons, CPBE, AMD, CBNT.

Mark Person Receives SBE Battison Award 2020

Mark, a life-long resident of Minnesota, followed in the footstep of his father, who was also a radio broadcast engineer. Mark started turning transmitter knobs more than 60 years ago.

While reaching the rank of sergeant in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969, Mark was in charge of an avionics repair shop for the OV-1 Mohawk high-tech surveillance aircraft in Vietnam. After his military service, he spent the next ten years with KVBR radio in Brainerd, MN, where he became chief engineer. In 1977, he opened his own radio engineering consulting business, which he operated for the next 40 years. He married his wife Paula in 1978, and she became instrumental in running the business side of the business out of their home.

Mark has been a respected engineer in Minnesota and the upper Midwest his entire career. He built 12 commercial AM and FM radio stations, and rebuilt, upgraded, maintained and repaired countless other radio stations for clients. He has endeavored to share his knowledge and experience with others in the field. He has written more than 140 articles that have appeared in industry magazines and made more than 25 speeches and presentations at industry conventions, conferences and meetings.

Mark joined the SBE in 1981, and is now a life member. He holds three life certifications from the SBE. Outside of his broadcasting career, Mark is a member of the American Legion, The VFW and Disabled American Veterans. He enjoys amateur radio as WØMH, and photography.
Retired several years ago, he and Paula are mentoring younger broadcast engineers through the SBE Mentor Program. Mentoring is his way of giving back to the industry that kept him employed for more than 50 years.

On receiving the honor during the webcast, Mark said, “This really was a lifetime experience for me. I never had a plan B. I was always going to be a broadcast engineer, and that’s exactly how it came out. I want to continue to contribute to the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Thank you.”

More information about the award is online.

The post Society of Broadcast Engineers Presents John H. Battison Award for Lifetime Achievement to Mark Persons appeared first on The Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Copyright © 2020 The Society of Broadcast Engineers. Used With Permission.
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