Most Popular Articles
BE Radio Currents Online - May 27 - Jun 09, 2002Radio technology news updated as it happens.
Click here to view the Currents Online archive list.
News | Business | People | Internet Watch | Products
NWS Gets New Voices
Silver Spring, MD - June 4, 2002 - The National Weather Service (NWS) is in the process of implementing new, improved voices for NOAA Weather Radio (NWR). These voices are more understandable and human-sounding than the previous voice, which was nicknamed Perfect Paul, and will help NWS to deliver warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information more quickly and accurately. The new NOAA Weather Radio male and female voices, named Craig and Donna, will debut at NWS Forecast Offices nationwide in May and June 2002 with an expected national implementation by July.
After months of evaluating voice technologies and receiving public input, including over 19,000 Internet survey comments, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded Siemens Information and Communication Network of Boca Raton, FL, a contract for the voice improvement software product known as Speechify. Siemens has teamed with Speechworks International of Boston to provide software that combines phonetic sounds with natural language modeling. This software combines concatenated, prerecorded phonetic sounds with the emphasis and intonation of a human voice.
If the new voices are not yet on the air in your community, you can listen to them online, and compare them to the old voice. There are a total of seven voice files to listen to. Links to the samples can be found at 22.214.171.124/nwr/newvoice.htm. The files are stored in .WAV format.
FCC Investigation Leads to Equipment Seizure
Washington, DC - May 29, 2002 - The FCC has announced that an investigation by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau led to the seizure of unlicensed broadcast radio equipment operated by Amil Lugo-González. The station had been operating on 99.5MHz from Jayuya, Puerto Rico. The FCC San Juan Office, working in conjunction with the United States Marshals Service and the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, seized the broadcasting equipment on May 21, 2002. The FCC, on more than one occasion, had issued notices to Lugo-González directing him to cease operation of the unlicensed station.
The operation of an unlicensed broadcast station is a violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Operators of illegal unlicensed broadcast stations may be subject to monetary penalties of as much as $11,000 per violation, seizure by court order of all radio equipment involved in the operation and court order directing that those persons cease operation of the unlicensed station. In addition, unlicensed operators may be subject to criminal sanctions, including fines and imprisonment.
Partnership for Public Warning Calls for Input on National Strategic Plan
The Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) has called for help in formulating the first National Strategic Plan for Public Warning. Public warning systems and procedures have significantly reduced the casualties and other consequences of disasters, but the effectiveness of these systems and procedures can be improved further. The continuing threat of terrorism now makes this effort a national imperative.
The first step in drafting the National Plan is to collect all relevant information and experience from people and organizations with public safety and homeland security missions and interests. It is looking for input from all individuals, agencies and organizations with public warning missions and interests.
The PPW website, www.partnershipforpublicwarning.org, has more information about the project. To submit ideas, download the information package available through the link labeled Your Input is Urgently Needed, or go directly to the page through this link.
The available information includes a Request for Information Package, Partial List of Potential Issues to Trigger Thoughts and Responses and a Request for Manufacturers Information.
Arbitron Updates PPM Development Schedule
New York - June 4, 2002 - Arbitron released an updated development schedule for the Portable People Meter (PPM) and an update on the discussions with Nielsen Media Research regarding the proposed joint venture that would deploy the new audience measurement system that Arbitron is developing for use in local markets in the United States. Nielsen Media Research is providing financial support and its television survey research expertise in the U.S. market trial of the Portable People Meter. Nielsen also has an option to join Arbitron in the commercial deployment of the Arbitron Portable People Meter in the United States.
Beginning the first week in July, Arbitron will begin routine releases of specific audience estimates for radio, broadcast and cable TV to the participants in the U.S. market trial. The July release of specific audience estimates for radio, broadcast TV and cable TV, will cover audiences for the month of May. These estimates will be released to radio station, broadcast and cable TV participants along with a software analysis tool that will allow participants to evaluate the ratings in detail. Participating advertisers and agencies will receive the May television data one month after broadcast and cable TV participants. Subsequent ratings releases planned for the balance of 2002 will go to radio station, broadcast and cable TV and advertiser/agency participants simultaneously.
Radio station estimates
Broadcast and cable TV estimates
To radio stations
advertisers and others
To broadcast and cable TV
advertisers and others
Beginning with the release of the May audience estimates on July 2, Arbitron will begin releasing the first reports in a previously announced evaluation program that is designed to help the industry understand the differences reported by the Portable People Meter compared to the current Nielsen meter/diary estimates and Arbitron radio diary estimates. The evaluation program is scheduled to be completed by no later than the end of the third quarter 2002. The reports will examine:
Baffling Cincinnati RFI Case Solved
from the ARRL website
Cincinnati - May 31, 2002 - In what FCC Special Counsel for Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth called "a textbook example" of FCC-ARRL cooperation, a case of strange interference involving a power company and an AM broadcast station has been substantially resolved. As a result of their follow-up investigation, six Cincinnati-area amateur radio operators were awarded the ARRL Certificate of Merit.
In January, the FCC contacted WLW-AM, Cincinnati, and Cinergy, the electric utility serving the region, to help resolve the unusual and longstanding interference situation that was affecting local amateurs. Spurious signals associated with WLW transmissions had been monitored over a wide area and frequency range and were severely affecting some amateur bands.
The investigation focused on utility towers carrying 345kV lines in the vicinity of the WLW broadcast tower. Jay Adrick, K8CJY (who also works for Harris Communications in Cincinnati) - a member of the amateur team involved in tracking down the problem and one of those honored by the ARRL - explained at the Dayton ARRL Forum earlier this month that the primary problem seemed to stem from static lines, conductors that are placed on the top of the electrical towers to dissipate static charges in the air, on the towers. These lines do not carry electrical power. The static lines, he pointed out, were not sufficiently RF-bonded to the tower structure but loosely fitted into a hanging bracket. "At 60Hz, it’s a reasonable ground. At [radio frequencies], it's a non-linear junction," Adrick said. "What we have is the breakdown of a non-linear junction, which is a great noise generator." The result was something that sounded a bit like a spark gap modulated by WLW's audio being re-radiated by the static wires acting as a huge antenna.
Success did not come easily, and mop-up operations continue. Hollingsworth called the situation "a history-making RF interference case" that generated more investigative analysis than any other case in his years with the FCC.
Ohio ARRL Section Manager Joe Phillips, K8QOE, said the local amateurs brought the matter to the FCC's attention after working with WLW and Cinergy for almost two years to pin down the cause of the spurious signals.
At the ARRL Forum in Dayton those involved with the investigation effort were honored with certificates. The team consisted of Bob Reiff, WA8ULW; Ted Homan, WB8WFG; Herb Nichols, W3EOA; Geoff Mendenhall, W8GNM; and Paul Jellison, WD8KMX. Jellison is regional engineering manager of Clear Channel Communications, which owns WLW. Also honored were non-amateurs Jeff Antoni and Kelly McMahan, both of Cinergy.
The certificates were signed by ARRL Great Lakes Division Director George Race, WB8BGY, and ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, who assisted in the efforts to resolve the interference situation. The amateurs were cited for "creating an example of longtime and continuing corporate-amateur radio cooperation in an interference abatement of high power RF signals."
Though some interference remains, Phillips said, the local amateurs and both corporations discovered many possible sources of trouble and have established a working procedure for clearing these sources.
"Saying the interference is all cleared up would be foolhardy given the complex nature of the engineering involved," said Phillips, who recommended the awards, "but the two words that describe this historic work would be 'patience works.'"
Under FCC Part 15 and Part 73 rules, incidental noise radiated by power company equipment or spurious emissions from a broadcast transmitter must be corrected if they cause harmful interference to radio communications.
Librarian of Congress Rejects CARP Webcasting Rates and Terms
Washington - May 21, 2002 - The Librarian of Congress has rejected the determination of the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel (CARP) recommending rates and terms for the statutory license for eligible nonsubscription services to perform sound recordings publicly by means of digital audio transmissions ("webcasting") under 17 U.S.C. §114 and to make ephemeral recordings of sound recordings for use under the statutory license set forth in 17 U.S.C. §112. The Librarian's final determination on rates and terms will be due on June 20, 2002.
Cumulus Media and Dielectric Sign Agreement
Raymond, ME - June 5, 2002 - Cumulus Media joins the growing list of group owners to sign Preferred Customer Agreements with Dielectric. Under the terms of the agreement Dielectric will be Cumulus’ preferred supplier of antennas, transmission line and RF systems for its stations nationwide.
Cumulus Media, based in Atlanta, is the second largest group owner of FM and AM radio stations, with 254 stations in 53 markets throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Its holdings include stations in mid-sized markets. Cumulus was formed in 1997.
Microwave Networks Acquires Assets of Helioss Communications
Stafford, TX - June 4, 2002 – Microwave Networks, a provider of high-speed wireless transmission products and services, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Helioss Communications. Helioss is a privately held point-to-point microwave radio company located in Waltham, MA, and Yoqneam, Israel. The assets of Helioss were acquired in exchange for stock. Helioss specializes in the design and development high-speed microwave radio systems for the broadband wireless transport and access markets. Helioss’ architecture provides 128QAM performance. These radio products are designed to operate in the 7GHz, 13GHz, 15GHz, 18GHz, 23GHz, 26GHz and 38GHz frequency bands and provide OC3Mb/s to OC12Mb/s of payload capacity. Helioss’ technology provides flexible customer interfaces to accommodate mixed networks of both circuit-switched and packet-based applications.
ClearOne Completes Acquisition of E.mergent
Salt Lake City - May 31, 2002 - ClearOne Communications has completed its acquisition of E.mergent following approval from E.mergent’s stockholders. In the merger, ClearOne is paying $7.3 million in cash and has issued or reserved for issuance about 873,000 shares of ClearOne common stock. As a result, stockholders of E.mergent will receive about 0.1389 shares of ClearOne common stock plus a cash payment of $1.1667 for each share of E.mergent common stock. After May 31, E.mergent will no longer be traded on the Nasdaq Small Cap Market.
XM and Command Audio to Develop Data Applications Platform
Washington, DC - May 30, 2002 - XM Satellite Radio and Command Audio have entered into a licensing agreement for Command Audio’s advanced application audio technology. With this technology, XM will develop a data applications platform for future generations of XM radios. The Command Audio technology will enable XM to provide subscribers enhanced national information services currently in the early development phase dedicated to rural, trucking and other markets.
Command Audio owns and licenses a portfolio of intellectual property for the transmission, navigation and presentation of stored media. Founded in 1995, Command Audio has developed on-demand interactive audio. Command Audio’s intellectual property broadly covers the audio aspects of consumer devices and services that store broadcast media for playback at the consumer’s convenience.
Sirius Adds Nine States and DC
New York - May 30, 2002 - Sirius Satellite Radio will add nine additional states and Washington, DC, to its service coverage on June 1. This will bring the total number of states served to 37. As part of the company’s accelerated nationwide service roll out, Sirius will launch in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, upstate New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC. The company stated that it is on on target for its expected nationwide service availability date of July 1.
The 11 remaining states awaiting the formal service launch are California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Greater Media Installs Klotz
Atlanta - May 29, 2002 - Klotz Digital America was awarded a contract by Greater Media. Klotz will supply Greater Detroit Radio Group with its Vadis Audiomedia Platform. Greater Media purchased 23 Vadis 880s and 11 Vadis D.C. II digital audio broadcasting consoles for its new Detroit facility scheduled for completion in Q1 of 2003. The new facility will house 11 on-air news and production studios for stations WRIF, WMGC and WCSX. The Klotz platform will also provide central routing and signal distribution via its fiber optic network. Intercom, logic and remote control functions are supported under the central control of Klotz's facility management software.
The announcement was made by Chris Crump, director of sales and marketing for Klotz Digital America and Milford K. Smith, vice president radio engineering, Greater Media.
Founded in 1956, Greater Media headquartered in East Brunswick, NJ, owns and operates the nation's third-largest privately-held group of radio stations, in terms of audience size. The group includes 18 stations in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
P+P Nacrichtentechnik Appointed as Germany Telos Rep
Regenburg, Germany, and Cleveland, OH - May 9, 2002 - P+P Nachtrichtentechnik of Regensburg, Germany, and Telos Systems have signed an agreement appointing P+P Natchentechnik as the distributor of the Telos product line in Germany. P+P Natchentechnik has already represented the Omnia Audio line of Telos since December 2000.
As of February 2002, P+P Nachrichtentechnik is also the European repair center for Telos products.
Waves Expands with New Appointments
Knoxville, TN - June 3, 2002 - Waves, the multimedia audio signal processing developer, has announced several new corporate appointments. Paul Bundschuh, vice president of sales and marketing for Waves Semiconductor Division, is reducing his support for the Professional and Broadcast Products Divisons to focus exclusively on the rapidly increasing interest for Waves MaxxBass ASIC and other technologies. Recent design wins in automotive, multimedia, portable and other applications draw upon Bundschuh’s extensive background in the consumer audio market for semiconductors.
Bob Reardon has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing, North and South America, for Waves Professional Products Division. Reardon has worked with Waves for three years, holding positions in both International and Domestic Sales Divisions. In his new role, he will have additional responsibility for developing and implementing marketing programs for the Professional Products including advertising activities.
Didi Dori has been named marketing coordinator for Professional Products Division. Previously with Amdocs Software as an operations specialist, Dori will now assist Bob Reardon with marketing issues, focusing mainly on administrative aspects.
Pete Carty has been promoted to the position of product specialist, Professional Division. Previously a senior tech in Waves customer support, Carty will provide his considerable knowledge to the Waves sales force as well as conduct dealer product training, in-store clinics and seminars.
HHB USA Appoints National Sales Manager
Los Angeles - June 4, 2002 - HHB USA has appointed Tim Murray as national sales manager. Already well known in the audio industry, Murray brings with him a wealth of experience and joins HHB from Otari where he was sales manager for five years.
Murray will be the senior point of contact for HHB USA's dealers and rep network, with responsibility for the sales of HHB products and recording media, and HHB's exclusive distribution lines including Kamesan, Lynx audio interfaces, Rosendahl synchronizers, TL Audio tube mixers and processors and Kamesan location mixers.
HHB has also promoted Allen Steelgrave to the position of Ashdown Specialist for the Ashdown Engineering amplification range. A talented guitarist and a member of the HHB team for two years, Steelgrave's new role encompasses responsibility for dealer support, artist relations and sales of Ashdown products. Steelgrave will continue to combine this role with his technical support role as well.
Silent Key: Roger Johnson, CPBE
Sun Lake, AZ - May 22, 2002 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers announced that Roger Johnson, past president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers from 1984 to 1985, died May 22 at the age of 66 after a long battle with cancer. A 32-year member of SBE, Johnson is credited with helping to bring SBE greater exposure within the greater broadcast industry during his term as the society's president. He is survived by his wife, Villia, sons Craig, Sean and Carter, a grandson, two sisters and two brothers. Craig followed his father into the broadcast engineering business and is currently a contract engineer in the Phoenix area.
Johnson was a mentor to many broadcat engineers. Within the SBE, Johnson was a Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer, a Life Member and had earned the distinction of SBE Fellow.
Crown Names Whitehead to Tech Support/Service Mgr
Elkhart, IN - May 29, 2002 - Kip Whitehead has been promoted to the position of technical support/field service manager for Crown International. Whitehead reports directly to Mark Graham, Crown vice president of marketing, who made the announcement.
Whitehead now supervises Crown’s technical support department in addition to managing, supporting and training the worldwide organization of Crown-authorized service centers. He replaces Don Peterson, who recently left the company and moved with his family to Florida to pursue new career opportunities.
Prior to his promotion, Whitehead most recently spent several years as a Crown technical support representative. He has been with the manufacturer since 1994, originally coming onboard as a factory service technician.
Crown International, a Harman International company, manufactures amplifiers, microphones and systems control products for professional audio markets worldwide, with its corporate headquarters located in Elkhart, IN.
ERI's Silliman Featured on Discovery Channel
DotFM Allies with Key-Systems
San Francisco - June 6, 2002 - BRS Media’s DotFM division, the exclusive worldwide registry for Web addresses ending in .fm, has entered into a Strategic Affiliation with Key-Systems GmbH. Under the terms of the agreement, .fm Web addresses are available for registration through the two divisions of Key-Systems.
Key-Systems is the official registry for .CD domains. Key-Systems will promote the DotFM service throughout Europe.
V-Soft Launches Online FM Signal Locator
Cedar Falls, IA - May 28, 2002 - V-Soft Communications, a developer of RF communications software, has launched an online tool to locate FM signals in a given U.S. Zip code. Users specify a five-digit Zip code and are provided the results of the signals that are likely to cover the given area. The results include the predicted signal strength in dBu. The tool uses the FCC's F(50,50) propagation algorithm.
The FM Zip Lookup tool can be found at www.v-soft.com/NBT/default.asp.
Net-Log makes its Debut in Mexico
Irthlingborough, United Kingdom - Apr 8, 2002 - Sonifex has received an order for two Net-Log audio loggers from Nucleo Radio Mil Communicaciones. The radio group is based in Mexico City and is one of the main radio networks in Mexico. NRm was looking for a system capable of storing all day transmissions from each of its radio stations. The group has six radio stations, three on FM and three on AM wavebands.
Radio Automation System Released from Tunetracker
Oconto, WI - June 1, 2002 - Tunetracker Systems today unveiled the Tunetracker 2 Radio Automation System suite aimed at small commercial and non-commercial, LPFM, alternative radio station venues, and broadcast classes. Tunetracker 2 and its companion programs offer stable, professional-quality broadcast software.
Tunetracker 2 can do fully-automated or live-assist programming and includes features such as a configurable silence sensor, current and next song logging for listing to the Internet, full reboot recovery, flexibility in format clock design, unlimited number of unique program logs, Infinite Walkaway features for unattended operation, Internet/intranet streaming using MP3 and Ogg Vorbis, and special automation events allowing for time-corrects, time-sensitive fades and live radio network joins. The system supports and transitions between WAV, AIFF, MP3, MP2, ADPCM in mono and stereo, at every bit rate supported by the sound card. A ramp countdown timer lets DJs know when the singing will start. Built-in running-time counters and VU meter are also included, along with clear, easy-to-use controls, in an uncluttered interface that provides a broad, interactive view of the program log. A full output log file is created for each day’s broadcast, containing exact start times for each event that played, and the option to log Composer for BMI reporting purposes.
Tunestacker 2 music selection software lets users choose songs using controlled randomization and Proximityguard protection. Cuts may be selected by genre, tempo, album, artist, title, filename or any custom criteria set up by the user. Tunestacker 2 does program log generation at the same time as it selects music. Direct filepath playback, traditional cart-style cut rotations for commercials, PSAs, and a unique Playfolder production-saver are all features.
TimeTracker is the TuneTracker System’s free-standing background recording software. It allows the recording of live audio, in the user’s choice of file formats, for broadcast at a later time. An unlimited number of recording events of any length can be set up, each with its own start and end times. One-time and repetitive events can be scheduled. Repetitive events can occur hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, and can overwrite existing files or use datestamped or incrementally-numbered filenames.
Csacker is a report generator which allows users to filter their output logs to create lists of specific played events. This fast utility can create FCC reports of PSAs and other public affairs programming, BMI reports of music played, proof-of-performance reports of the commercials that played all day or for an individual sponsor, and reports by any other user-defined criteria.
KIRO Reporting Powered by Syntrillium
Seattle - June 3, 2002 — Donna Renae, a reporter and anchor for KIRO-AM, is a writer, reporter and interviewer known for her informative short features.
During her 10 years in broadcast journalism, Renae has worked with a variety of editing systems, but today uses Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software to produce most of her features, including two that have earned her Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association & Foundation (RTNDA).
Though the station has a newsroom automation system with audio editing capabilities, Renae prefers working with Cool Edit Pro to produce her features because of its versatility. Renae used Cool Edit Pro to produce both of her Edward R. Murrow award-winners—the "Experience Music Project Trivia Quiz," which won a national award for best feature (large market), and the five-part "Blue In Blue: Police Depression and Stress," which won a regional award for best news series and is up for a national award.
Dugan Releases D-2 Following Nightline Beta
Roanoke, VA - June 3, 2002 - After a final beta test on ABC Nightline’s town meeting from Roanoke, VA, Dan Dugan’s Model D-2 automatic mixing controller has been released for production. The D-2, Dugan’s first digital signal processor, was used to handle 14 guest mics on stage. A pair of the predecessor Model Ds were also on the job, mixing audience question mics.
Beta testing was also conducted by LMG, McCune A/V and motion picture recordist Nelson Stoll. Shipping will begin in June.
Studio Projects Ships B Series
Torrance, CA - May 31, 2002 - Studio Projects is now shipping its new, low-cost Series microphones. The new B Series has three models with prices starting at $99.00 retail.
All three units offer a 1" large-diaphragm capsule. The three mics are the B1, a fixed-pattern cardioid, the B3, a three-pattern element with a hi-pass filter and attenuator pad, and the TB1, a cardioid tube microphone.
Microboards Ships 40X Multi-CD Duplicator
Chanhassen, MN - May 15, 2002 - Microboards Technology is now shipping its duplicator line. The new model's features include support for 40X record speed and a new brushed-aluminum casing. The series of products, marketed under the Copywriter name, are configurable from two to eight recorders. The equipment comes with a built-in reader, enabling users to make as many as eight copies simultaneously from a single master. The Copywriter Pro version comes with an integrated hard drive and user-interface module that gives the user access to advanced features.
RDL Offers Sharewear Program
Carpinteria, CA - May 29, 2002 - Radio Design Labs has created an application idea exchange called Sharewear. System designers, technicians and installers routinely find new, interesting ways to use RDL modules. Sharewear is an RDL-sponsored program to help share new solutions with fellow RDL users. Application ideas using RDL modules are published on the RDL website. When a submission is selected, the applicant receives "Sharewear", a "Specialist in Practical Precision Engineering" official RDL shirt.
Submissions will be accepted for the following application categories:solutions, system "building block" use of modules (complete systems or subsystems) and clever (and unusual) functions using RDL modules. Application drawings must include one or more RDL products used either alone or in conjunction with other products. Drawings may be either block diagrams or specific wiring diagrams. They must be drawings of an actual application that is installed and working. Drawings of applications already published by RDL or ideas previously submitted do not qualify for selection. The RDL engineering department will review the drawing for technical accuracy.
For more details see the RDL website at www.rdlnet.com.
Today in Radio History
The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.
EAS Information More on EAS
The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.
Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.
Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.
When Northern Community Radio set out to build a new community radio station in rural northern Minnesota 38 years ago, naysayers said that it would be broadcasting “only to a bunch of gophers
Browse Back Issues[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Also in the July Issue
- Trends in Technology: Robust IP STL
- LPFM on The March
- RF Engineering: Modern Modulation Techniques
- Field Report: Tascam TH-2000 Headphones
- Battery Maintenance: Testing and Charging