Strong technical program highlights Texas Association of Broadcasters convention

Broadcast engineers who are located in or plan to be in Texas in mid-August might want to consider setting aside two days (Aug. 11 - 12) for the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) and Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin.

I had the opportunity to chair a session debating COFDM versus 8-VSB technology at a TAB convention in San Antonio a few years ago, and was impressed with the scope of the convention - both the technical sessions and the exhibits. A free event at this year's convention involves a tour of Active Power's Austin facility that includes a BBQ dinner. Active Power manufacturers the flywheel UPS systems that are becoming popular for conditioning and maintaining AC power at high-power transmission facilities.

The technical sessions include topics such as "Affordable UPS Strategies," "Broadcast Auxiliary Services (TV)," presented by Karl Voss; "RF Safety and Compliance for the Workplace," presented by Steven Walz with Radiofrequency Safety International; "RF System Analysis and Preventive Maintenance," by Peter Eckmann and Chuck Cluck with Eckmann Broadcast Consultants; and "Safety Protocols for Live Shots and Remotes," by Keith Land, Jim Thompson and Jennifer Cavazos.

TAB has an active Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) and one session will be devoted to new ABIP policies and procedures. An inspection under the ABIP can provide protection against surprise FCC inspections. David Layer, NAB director of Advanced Engineering and David Oxenford will present a "Technical and Regulatory Update" that will cover issues such as interference from Mexican stations, the proliferation of translators, the DTV transition and "satellite issues."

The fee to attend the TAB convention is minimal. The cost to attend all engineering sessions and the trade show is only $35, including a lunch on Thursday, or $25 without the lunch.

More information is available on the TAB Web site for Technical Sessions, Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Registration.