Clay’s Corner for March 2023        Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986







As we approach Spring – It’s Show Time!   Here’s a summary of some of the events on my Calendar –



APRIL 14-15

SBE Ennes Workshop at the NAB Convention, Las Vegas

SBE Schedule of Events

Friday, April 14
SBE Ennes Workshop @ the NAB Show
          9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• SBE registration required
Westgate Conference Rooms 7, 8, 9, 10

Saturday, April 15
SBE Ennes Workshop @ the NAB Show
          9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• SBE Conference registration required
Westgate Conference Rooms 7, 8, 9, 10
Certification Committee Meeting
          6:30 – 10 p.m.
          LVCC Meeting room TBD

Sunday, April 16
SBE Board of Directors Meeting

LVCC Meeting room TBD

SBE Booth Drawing $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
          5 p.m.
SBE Booth TBD, sponsored by Nemal Electronics

Monday, April 17
     SBE Membership Meeting
         5 – 6 p.m.
LVCC Meeting room TBD

SBE Booth Drawing $200 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
At the SBE Membership Meeting, LVCC W307/W309
drawing sponsored by Linkup Communications

Membership Meeting prize drawings:
• Prizes TBA
SBE Member Reception
         6:15 – 7:15 p.m.
         LVCC Meeting room TBD

APRIL 15-19

NAB Convention in Las Vegas, NV.

Reports are there will be over 1000 exhibitors.



And the Headline Read –

Three seconds of audio could end up costing Fox $500,000

Once again someone failed to understand that you don’t use EAS Tones for anything but – REAL – EAS Events.   In this case, Fox used the attention tone to promote an NFL show that aired on a number of channels.


This is, obviously, in the category of ‘When will they ever learn’


Kudos to the Seattle Times for an excellent story in the Feb 19th NW Magazine –

As tech jobs melt, the trades beckon. This Tacoma plumber makes $140K+.
You don’t need a four-year degree and massive college debt to make a very comfortable living.  Around Seattle, jobs — and money — are waiting in skilled trades.


The FCC is, once again, making changes to EAS. This change will require EAS Equipment Owners to purchase an upgrade that would cause the unit to favor an Internet feed of an alert over one that may have come from legacy sources such as a local radio station etc.   As is often the case, many broadcasters are pushing back citing how EAS is an un-funded federal mandate etc.   This has started many of the broadcast oriented remailers to be a sounding board for those that feel the whole EAS should be scrapped etc.

The Commission is also, via Docket 22-329, making it a requirement that EAS participants report un-authorized access to their EAS equipment.   This too has not been welcomed by many, including the NAB that’s gone on record of calling the proposals as ‘Expansive and Expensive’

The National Radio Systems Committee, NRSC, is out with some new guidelines for EAS – Here’s the link – Inside the NRSC’s New Guidelines for EAS Implementation – Radio World


One local firm has done very well in this industry – Tacoma based BSW – known then as Broadcast Supply West – Now Broadcast Supply Worldwide.    Their latest catalog notes how the firm was started by Irv Law back in 1973.      I too have memories of that little operation behind the Pinecone Café in Tacoma’s University Place neighborhood.   One of their businesses was re-winding audio cartridges.  Now the firm is one of the major players in the business.   The Pine Cone Café is still there, but BSW is now headquartered on 19th Street just about across the street from KBTC-TV.

AM Radio continues to make the news with the announcement by Audacy they are going to shut down two of their AM Stations in Las Vegas – KDWN and KXST.    One of the major factors in the decision was the pending sale of the property the stations towers sit on for $40,000,000.    Today, with the ever diminishing AM Radio Audience, it would perhaps be very difficult to obtain 40 mega-bucks in revenue from the stations.   Certainly, this is not the first time that a broadcaster has been faced with the fact that the land where the stations transmitter is located is worth far-more than projected income making the decision rather easy.

In terms of technical operation …These are not small stations.

KDWN operates on 720 kHz with 25,000 Watts Day and 7,500 watts at night via a 3-tower directional antenna system.   They were first licensed in 1975.


If you have ordered a piece of Broadcasting Equipment recently, you know that the time between the placement of the order and the receipt of the hardware has become extensive as supply issue continue to negatively impact manufacturers.    This makes planning a project quite difficult.   Often it takes quite a while to gain approval for some purchases, once granted, the expectation is that you will simply order the equipment and it will be operational in a few days…Not anymore!    I recall, recently, shopping for something to find the vendors stating delivery was out a year.

If you are a manufacturer this is a big problem.  Conventionally, you would not stock many of the components necessary to build a product but rather order them a bit ahead of need so your product could be constructed and shipped to the customer.   Then there is the impact of all of this on the price of the product.   Gone are the days when you could, safely, post the price for a piece of equipment.  A manufacturer may not know, until the last minute, what their costs will be.




They made that junction box too small for the number of holes on the side





Lord willing, I’ll see you here next month.




Clay, K7CR, CPBE

SBE Member # 714

Since March 1968