That there should be one man die ignorant
who had the capacity for knowledge, this I call tragedy.
- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
My Own Story
Jack L. Stone, Publisher
This column may be
appreciated by the prudent majority but
the ignorant few.
For those that respect the property rights of others, be not offended.
Only offenders may find this an uncomfortable read.
Que será será
his past month of April 2009 marks the passage one year ago of L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, one of my closest friends and business associates for more than 11 years. LB joined his beloved predeceased wife, Jean between the hours of 04:00 and 09:30 AM EDT on that dreadful day of April 18, 2008 (some others reported April 21 in error which actually was the date found). He stepped out through the shower door and into another dimension.
I was able to determine LB's situation three days later, after calling the Knoxville Sheriff's office and requesting they check on him. The detective called me back about 30 minutes later with the stunning news. I had been listening to the detective talk for a couple of minutes and was yet unsure of what their finding at the house was leading to. Finally, I asked him outright about what was LB's condition. Then the stunning reply: "He was deceased."
A year later, I am still haunted by that call. I have not felt the same since and blaming myself for not taking action sooner when my first feeling of dread started. Not that I would have been able to save him, but an unsettling picture of the circumstances remains in my mind that he had no one there to help him in time of dire need. LB had no children.
One cannot be in contact on a daily basis for 11+ years and not notice one's regular habits. LB lived alone and had ceased any extended travel long ago being basically a recluse. Even if he had a conflict as minor as a dental appointment during the day, LB usually let me know since we always had perpetual projects with associated deadlines. Without fail, he always got right back to me once back at his computer keyboard. He expected the same from me. He was a dedicated professional in every meaning of the word.
Since my company hosted his mail service, I was very familiar with when he picked up his mail and when he usually replied. It was a constant habit that could be depended upon. He would logon to retrieve his daily messages very early in the morning at about 04:00-04:30 AM. He would go offline, prepare his replies, log back on and send out the messages, then log off. Then usually late afternoon, he would repeat this manner of handling mail. On that one could bank. If there was something needing more urgent attention in between, we would do so via telecon. This manner of communication served us well in all respects over the many years and so many joint projects.
After the loss of Jean in November 2002, LB suffered greatly and became all the more reclusive, living alone, reduced social life and no travel. If losing Jean wasn't enough, he had lost his father just a few months earlier that same year. Although his father had lived a long life until age 96, he had become incapacitated with Alzheimers for the last 10 years of that life. Such bothered LB greatly and lamented that his father's eyes gave the look of a man scared, lost and trapped in his body. During the time of his father's passing, LB was dedicated to around the clock tending to Jean as she battled cancer. Although exhausted, LB still managed to keep up with his writing and consulting workload. Perhaps this gave him some relief, although I could tell he was very tired during our almost daily communications via email and/or telecons. Further, I could tell at times, LB had bouts of deep depression which can certainly be justified. Helping folks with their daily questions, I believe helped him fight off those down days. He once confided such to me over the phone.
We were close enough to be confidants and sometimes leaned a bit on each other for some solace in difficult times that invariably happens to us all. My own life became somewhat parallel to his in losing my own wife and mother shortly after, 2004 and 2006 respectively. Then losing LB, my best friend and confidant last year, was a crowning blow to my own ability to cope. Not unlike LB's method of coping, my various busy businesses helped to dampen the impact of my sorrows.
Because of the burst of activity following my announcement of LB's passing, I never felt I had enough down time to grieve adequately to this day. I worked with members of the family notifying them and then the flood of incoming emails and phone calls from others grief-stricken at the news. Some grown men actually cried over the phone. I tried my best to offer some comfort to the family and friends although I was feeling as though I was in some bad dream myself.
LB was just one year younger than I and I always felt he was like a rock and would be around far longer. It also caused me to consult my doctor about aneurism, a quiet, stealthy abrupt killer when undetected. BTW, one needs a full body scan because the aneurism can exist just about anywhere I was advised. The average age of the Ham community is about 50, so I am told. Weaker internal "plumbing" is expected during the aging process. Aging ravages the mind and body!
WHAT THIS STORY IS NOT
First and foremost, this is not any sort of expose' story about the intimate details of the relationship between LB and me for so many years. Instead, it is intended to remember the loss of a close dear friend and our business association for 11+ years. This "story" is also designed to educate some about the evolution of the www.cebik.com web site which has lead to some controversy among the few.
It is especially targeted, once and for all, toward those who remained willfully ignorant of the relationship of this publishing company, antenneX and that web site and that it isn't a simple matter that LB passed away and that antenneX sprung up from nowhere, took possession of the site and abruptly "commercialized" it. Instead, antenneX (founded in early 1988) support activities have always been there more than a decade, but largely behind the scenes as far as its commercial connections. The evidence was always apparent, but some just didn't connect the dots. Such were part of the private business compensation affairs between LB and us, but there was very-much a commercial side to the activities of LB contrary to any who thought otherwise. With that said, without question, LB was always willing to help someone in need if he could. He would never ask anything in return for such personal assistance as hundreds may testify.
antenneX holds the copyright of the 800 articles now contained in the web site. LB was fully compensated for those articles with the understanding the site's content reverted back to antenneX upon his incapacitation or death. Moreover, the domain cebik.com is owned by us and again part of the overall comp package with LB. The large amount of content on the site attracted more traffic and gave LB added exposure he desired as he sought consulting work. All of the various comp agreements helped to fill the gap between our lower writing fees and other journals.
LB enjoyed his activities for 11+ years with antenneX as contributor, Technical Editor and author of some 30 books we published for him. LB once expressed to me that one such reason was that antenneX served a special niche and purpose in the field of radio/antennas. antenneX has never sought the revenue support of advertisers leaving us unencumbered or beholden to any maker/designer of products hence, making our product reviews absent of outside influence. Our readers like that and respect our evaluations. LB also believed antenneX provided a special outlet for some who may find it difficult to have their new concepts published. We could publish without fear, however we do not support publication of bad science except perhaps to reveal it. LB is an irreplaceable asset for us and other media where he contributed. It takes several skills to match the abilities of LB.
BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND
Indeed, the front page at www.cebik.com is now a bit more evident about the presence of antenneX, but is there to draw more attention to those things and products that were already on the market long ago with more added. (Those are the "jams 'n jellies" we sell in the Shopping Shack that fills the revenue void without ad support.) Additionally, a link was provided to help those who might send emails requesting help. Such is offered as an alternative to the help LB used to provide. The antenneX-sponsored antenna-discussion forum contains some the finest antenna experts around the globe. It is a place where LB often participated as well.
Anyone with even a peripheral vision of the pages within the site could see that links to antenneX existed throughout the site to direct those who may be interested in acquiring the products authored by LB and published and sold by antenneX for more than a decade. There were numerous private agreements between LB and antenneX regarding those products, including the web site itself and how it would be perpetuated after his death. Revenues from the continued sale of a CD-ROM of the Cebik Site, now in its 10th year of publication, were aimed at helping to support its future. Those who would mass download the site are thus pirating the site contrary to LB's wishes that have been displayed on the site for as many years with links to antenneX's order pages:
"....Please do not attempt to download the entire site using software designed for blind downloading. If you wish a record of the entire site, antenneX periodically produces a CDROM with the entire site on it. However, I have kept most (but, alas, not all) of the items at the site short enough to read at a single sitting. Pick something of interest, read, and digest. Then pick something else. Let your wandering interests be your guide. If you wish to read more on a subject, by all means, select a related item. ...[LB]"
The above notice about no attempts to mass-download the site is pretty clear but yet it was happening daily and attempts continue. Once the announcement went out about the loss of LB, a feeding frenzy erupted with mass-download attempts leaping by 30-40x as though it was somehow released to the public domain, which it is not now or ever been. This caused the immediate implementation of the login system, something already planned since the honor system wasn't working. So, don't blame us, but those with a total disregard for the wishes of LB clearly stated and copyright law. It's always the few that cause trouble for the many is it not?
On the lighter side, an anecdote contributed by David Jefferies:
Prime Minister Gladstone (a Victorian) was sent to see Michael Faraday in the Royal Institution. He was shown a dynamo and some flickering needles.
Gladstone:- "This electricity stuff is all very well, Mr Faraday, but what use is it?"
Faraday:- "One day, Mr Gladstone, you will be able to tax it".
THE WISHES OF LB
With respect to the Cebik Site, those affected by the "willfully ignorant syndrome," generally rationalized their bad behavior by stating their own skewed interpretation of what they qualified as being according to LB's wishes, which of course is ridiculous to think such rights come by osmosis. It is self-deception to think one once had exchanged an email or even met LB, or shook his hand and thus believe they somehow are clairvoyantly able to perceive what LB's wishes were then or would be in the future regarding his private business and/or personal matters that did not concern them.
One didn't have to guess about LB's wishes if one paid attention to his wishes in print on the web site:
SOME PRETEND TO KNOW
Some falsely claiming to "know LB's wishes" didn't even know his name, thinking the "L" stood for "Larry" or some other wild guess. It was LeRoy! Moreover, LB once said to me, outside of his immediate family and the IRS, no one other than I knew what his middle initial stood for: "Bruce." LeRoy Bruce Cebik was his full name (perhaps at times spelled in the lower case Leroy). He used LB for his amateur radio works, "Roy" (and Prof Cebik) was usually known at the University work and perhaps some close friends. He also held a PhD and sometimes referred to as Dr. Cebik. Now, I have shared his real name along with his true wishes in this column.
It's naive to think agreements didn't exist about the future of the site. I know for a fact LB never talked about matters private to himself or that of others. Moreover, I know he would never participate in idle rumor/gossip mills or condone anyone's theft of another's property. He certainly knew better than take possession of the property of others. Plus, I've never observed LB to say hurtful things or participate in unfounded gossip. He always avoided confrontations. If one ever did have contact with LB, they were certainly among the lucky ones for he always made a good and caring impression. I suspect his many years of teaching were a strong influence over his desire to serve and teach within the Ham community. He was gregarious and made lasting friendships easily.
But, those who are considered among the group of "willfully ignorant" are those who have ignored the obvious permitted use of the web site which statements were placed there by LB and have existed since the site's inception. Doing so blatantly ignored "LB's wishes" stated there in print. There is no way such clearly-stated permissions could have been disregarded except purposely by some. Perhaps some just didn't see the caveats, but should have. The use of willfully ignorant may sound harsh but appropriate to those who exceeded the permitted use of the site. Such only applies to a reader of this "if the shoe fits." Piracy has only served to hurt the plans intended for the future preservation of this valuable site for many others yet to come (or return) seeking the knowledge contained. For those visiting the site, we have added this link to make the house rules even more obvious:
See LB's own words about permitted use
of this content
~ ABOUT THIS SITE ~
Further, some have voiced some hurtful if not mean-spirited comments that were brought to my attention on some forums and through the many friends of antenneX. Those comments have been baseless and said without any support of the real facts and perhaps haven't ever read the site or the antenneX technical journal of which LB was the Technical Editor as well as contributor. Things said appear to stem more from concern of how change has affected them rather than the fact that nothing at all has changed at the site except perhaps for a simple registration now required for access. Essentially, such behavior says the passing of LB has caused them an intolerable imposition and need to lash out. There is truly no excuse for such irresponsible behavior, especially since so many are no doubt very bright adults otherwise. It is not that anyone here is all that thin-skinned, but at some point gossipers must be challenged for spreading manure. I have challenged some directly and most are contrite once they know better facts of what they have done in potential damages. Then a few may like to be warmed by the fire that burns others.
Folks around the world are always welcome to our sites as long as they respect the house rules.
Once inside, the content availability is the same with some 800 articles of which antenneX holds a copyright. antenneX holds a large investment well into 6 figures. Those who would say "what's so valuable in there" needs to consider this as one very logical reason. Plus, one should remember, reading the site is a privilege, not a right. As to whether a payment may be required in the future depends almost entirely on the level of attempts at piracy of the site to deprive the site of its CD-ROM sales, and/or the level expenses and efforts needed to protect against outright theft and attempts to distribute the content. Thus far, antenneX has absorbed such expense and loss of revenues earmarked for support of the site's overhead and to secure its future. And, don't try to rationalize such costs with comments about your $6.95/month hosting account or some belief that you have unlimited bandwidth. We own and operate our servers and very familiar with the fast ever-changing hosting market. At best it's unstable and changes are a constant so don't believe such invalid rationale. And, like any other journal, we pay the authors too.
antenneX has been a presence on the Internet since when online commerce had barely started. antenneX was first a subscriber paper technical journal and then among the first to convert to a subscriber online version. Nowadays, print media is desperately seeking to make that conversion or go out of business as some already have. Online subscriptions are becoming a wave of the future as we predicted it would. Those who believe everything on the "net" should be free will find their choices continue to dwindle. And, logins are already a way of life in the Internet if one hasn't noticed. If the content within the site isn't worth a few seconds to register, then little value is placed on it.
With 120,000/month visiting amateur radio sites associated with antenneX, we are fortunate enough to have readers, friends and correspondents in more than 200 countries. Thus, we have big ears and those that have tried to infringe on our copyright have been reported by fellow members of the Ham community and appropriate action taken against all perpetrators.
Further, we are fortunate that the vast majority of folks have enough common sense and an understanding that LB's passing meant something was bound to change. It was LB that chose antenneX to be his sole publisher of antenna books and monthly articles out of mutual respect and trust. It was also understood by LB that antenneX, is well-organized professionals, adequately capitalized and as a publishing company, well-suited to perpetuate the www.cebik.com web site for years to come subject to any change dictated by emerging circumstances. We wish to thank those many kind folks who have helped us preserve and protect this web site over this past year. We will continue to endeavor to keep the site freely accessible. All who help in this endeavor to prevent piracy help themselves and those yet to come.
LB led a remarkably distinguished life while on this planet and helped many generations that sought to be better educated. I feel compelled to carry on his contributions to the radio/antenna-related fields for as long as possible. That was my promise to him, my dearest friend.
I have disclosed as much as I care or dare about LB and Me in this story out of respect for him and family. Just read this in the vein intended: to clear up the confusion or misrepresentations about "LB's wishes."
WHO IS HE?
Since founding the antenneX journal more than 21 years ago, some have wondered and asked "who is Jack L. Stone?" You won't find my biography anywhere on the web sites because I never felt my own background was of any importance and that the journal spoke for itself through the fine authors from 25+ countries. And who really cares how it got published as long as we delivered a good product? Our subscription renewal rate is very high, so I'm satisfied we're doing a pretty good job.
However, recently the question of who I am was posted on another busy forum and it came to my attention. In the interest of quelling any misinformation on that forum about this rather personal question, I felt a reply was necessary, at least in some brief form, something I've avoided for all the years. The poster of the question on the other forum read my brief bio and suggested it should become a part of the "About Us" section of this website. But, for now, suffice it to say I'll repeat an abridged edited portion in this column of my response to the other forum:
First, I am not a Ham. Just a financial guy turned publisher with the help of a Ham, Richard Morrow, K5CNF. It was with his help I identified a suitable niche of interest in early 1988. I liked the technical aspects of antennas/radio/electronics and the people called Hams. But, many from broadcast have been added to our readership as have scientists, academics, engineers and enthusiastic experimenters.
In brief, I was CFO for some of this country's leading corporations, including for Bill Lear (of Lear Jet, Lear, Inc., etc.) where 3 executives and I started up from an empty building Lear's invention of the newly-invented 8-track stereo operation in Detroit in the mid-60's. Bill Lear who invented the first auto radio (and possessed 150+ patents for electronics and aircraft/aviation design) was a true genius and a privilege to work with.
Was CFO of Boston Capital that put up the seed capital for the first Sea World in San Diego -- I sold the 33% ownership of stock for about $60 million later. This is only one of many, but familiar to most around the globe.
Was CFO for other hi-tech corporations working with missile & space DOD, plus computers and other proprietary hi-tech electronics including one of the first radioisotope scanners for the health industry. Commonly worked with some of brightest scientists in America throughout my career. With antenneX, I still do so.
This was followed by the founding of my own investment company that grew from zero to over $100 million within 6 years. Founded 50 new companies over 25-year span.
Founded antenneX 21 years ago to plan for my retirement years to continue with leading-edge (and bleeding-edge) technology. It wasn't founded for the sake of money. antenneX was founded to give me something to keep challenging my mind and within a technical niche that was of interest to me. antenneX is published without support of any advertisers so not to be obligated to anyone should we write a negative product review. I personally support any shortfalls when capital is needed and have quite a bit invested. antenneX has well-served the radio/antenna community as well as the scientific and academic worlds for those 20+ years.
Since we are read by 200+ countries, what better way to get out the word, plus or minus about a concept? Thanks to the Internet, folks can be better informed in even the most remote parts of the world.
antenneX is here to provide news about things evolving in the field of antennae and related devices, again, the bleeding edge. We report things as they happen in hopes of informing our readers of the true story about new things as they evolve. However, we do not knowingly support bad science.
Finally, antenneX has produced/published nearly 100 products besides the journal containing technical books and software for this antenna/radio-related field. - Jack L. Stone
PS: I am also the proud father of a daughter that has obtained
her MBA soon to follow with her PhD, and developed a successful career and
lectures all over the country. I fondly refer to her as a "chip off the ole
rock." She has a website too at:
So, there it is and I ask, does any of it really make any difference to the publication of this journal except it may explain how we possess sufficient capital and skills to operate a publishing company and I am committed to the publication? To me it has proved to be an excellent choice for the autumn season of my life and has been a labor of love and a privilege to work and relate with so many nice, bright people. I have found many lasting friendships around the globe! (see below for more about the antenneX mission)
Some that rather maintain a sullen attitude may still carry a chip on their shoulder no matter the real facts presented here. Some by nature continue to believe things should stay the way they were as though LB were still alive and that is their burden to carry. But, it's time to turn those rusty knobs to another channel on the radio. The only constant in life is change. Some just simply fear it and resist it. Que sera' sera', "whatever will be will be." (translation close enough)
That there should be one man die ignorant
who had the capacity for knowledge, this I call tragedy.
-Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
If you have made it this far, I congratulate you and thank you for indulging me this one time to discuss these things and express my views. I truly appreciate the support and many courtesies shown to me by the many readers over the years. Those who know me the things said here needed to be said and without the intent to be unnecessarily harsh. Thanks for your time!
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PRISMATIC?
One of the "holy grails" of antenna design has been to find an antenna which would efficiently cover the entire extent of 80 meters. Eighty meters is the widest amateur radio band - 3.5-4 MHz - from the point of view of percent bandwidth. Its net width is over 14%.
In the June 2001 issue of antenneX, Dan Handelsman, N2DT introduced a radically new concept in antenna design, the Prismatic Polygon and no magical claims. Its major selling point was that designer Dan claimed it had tremendous bandwidth due to the 3-dimensional arrangement of its radiators.
David Jefferies, PhD worked closely with Dan during the development of the PP and conducted a number of Lab tests and wrote an article for antenneX about the merits found. LB also felt Dan was on the right track.
Dan's own words:
What immediately struck me about this antenna was that it had a VERY wide bandwidth. I fed one of the vertical wires since I had it oriented as a vertically polarized radiator and noted that, unsurprisingly, it had directivity in the direction of the fed wire. As with all my first models, I had designed it very simply as consisting of full wave loops of 1-meter perimeter at 300 MHz. Right at the beginning, I noted that there was almost nothing that I could do to it, dimensionally, to limit its bandwidth to less than one octave or over 2:1.
Later on, after I filed a patent on the design, I was looking for a name for the antenna. I originally called it the Cubic Polygon but thought that this might be confused with the Cubical Quad. David Jefferies was kind enough to come up with a perfectly descriptive name, the "Prismatic Polygon", since it looked like a prism with a polygonal cross section.
The original design was a Prismatic Triangle since it consisted of three full wave loops arranged as a triangle. Later on, I modeled antennas with 4-12 rectangular sides - Prismatic Squares to Prismatic Dodecahedrons.
These antennas have many interesting properties. First, I found that I could negate the pattern irregularities by stacking two of these as elements in a two-element collinear array fed in phase. If I rotated the two elements with respect to each other so that the two radiators being fed were at 180 degrees, I could make the radiation pattern more circular and offset the front to back directivity.
David Jefferies, John Belrose, VE2CV and Ron Sebol, W3HXO all pointed this out to me when they looked at the design. A simple three-dimensional arrangement of dipoles, which are all fed in phase from a common point, has a bandwidth far in excess of that of a single dipole. This is what the geometry does. But, similarly to the Quad and its two-dipole analog, the whole Prismatic package delivers more than the sum of its parts.
I have just described a new class of antenna that is composed of a three-dimensional arrangement of rectangles. The hallmark of the antenna is an extremely wide bandwidth. There are many possible uses depending on the feed arrangement. It can be used in its single feed or "rectangular form" for directivity and for a high feedpoint impedance or in its all-fed or dipole analog form for a wider bandwidth and a circular pattern.
A FRESH LOOK BY ANOTHER REVIEW
In this month's issue, we have an article (see intro below) by a new contributor, Edward J. Shortridge, W4JOQ, who was introduced last month with regard to his different approach to modeling. I followed Dan's work and the evolution of his prismatic and now find Ed's article to be an interesting read with perhaps a different perspective on his revisit of this design. Perhaps you will too!
Unfortunately for Dan, his design never attracted much attention and his company Prismatic has yet to find a home for the patented design. Except perhaps for the military, the broadband ability of the antenna was not really the most attractive feature he found. In fact, some said it was plain "ugly." I suggested to Dan (with tongue in cheek) that perhaps he needed to add some mystery like a dome or "wings" as long as he didn't claim its magical properties. Mystery is basically what attracted folks to the Isotron, CFA, EH, CTHA and the like. However, the prismatic did not claim to break the laws of physics as an antenna contrary to the others. I asked one reliable expert to take a look at the PP and give me his opinion. His response was, "Too bad he can't give up some bandwidth for size." However, no negatives about the designer claims.
Some experts say it's not really a polygon, but a polyhedron. Dan agreed with that but it was too late since it was named the prismatic polygon under the patent application. The PP certainly has its merits. It's just too bad it never went anywhere. Perhaps Ed's new article will light up some interest anew.
LBA PRESS RELEASES
For 5th year in a row, LBA Group Inc. earns distinction as a top minority-owned business
North Carolina telecommunications company is ranked among the 500 most successful minority-owned businesses in the U.S. by DiversityBusiness association.
For five straight years, LBA Group Inc. has been ranked among
the top 50 minority-owned businesses in North Carolina and the top 500 in the
United States. In the latest survey, the Greenville telecommunications
technology company is ranked 26th in the state and 267th in the nation.
The rankings are by DiversityBusiness, which is the nation's largest organization of minority-owned companies doing business with Fortune 1000 firms, government agencies and universities.
While numbers can be deceiving, consistency is telling. In this case, the elevated year-by-year ranking of LBA Group tells a story of enduring small business success on an international scale. The LBA Group is honored to be recognized again, says Lawrence Behr, company founder and CEO. This achievement is entirely a result of the commitment and quality of our diversified team. Diverse business opportunities are a key to minority economic integration.
LBA Group is in good company in the rankings. Ranging in revenue size from $2 million to over $2 billion, the 500 companies represent the nation's top multicultural earners. Topping the list are Software House International, Inc., headquartered in Somerset, N.J., with $3 billion in revenues, and Durham-based NCM Capital with $2.4 billion in revenues.
Lawrence Behr founded his company in 1963 after being attracted as a teenager to the realm of broadcast engineering, with its radio and TV transmitters, sky-scraping towers and the overall aura of wireless communication. First hiring out his skills, the young Behr soon discovered an affinity for business decision-making and formed his own company. It eventually earned national recognition for growth in Inc. 5000 rankings.
Today, LBA Group is comprised of two divisions: (1) LBA Technology Inc., which manufactures and distributes systems and components for the transmission and control of radio frequency energy; its customers are radio broadcasters, wireless carriers, military organizations, laboratories and health care centers; and (2) Lawrence Behr Associates Inc., which provides radio frequency consulting services to clients in the homeland security, wireless, and mining industries.
LBA Group is multicultural in its heritage. Mr. Behr's father was a native of Mexico and its business outlook is global. Visitors to LBA's modest headquarters building in Greenville are apt to overhear conversations in Swedish, German, Spanish and Portuguese. The language mix reflects the company's deep involvement in telecommunications projects on every continent from Europe to the Middle East and Africa and across the entire length of South America.
LBA Group and the other 499 honored companies will be recognized April 29 at DiversityBusiness.com's 9th annual Multicultural Business Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Schomandl MSK-125 broadcast signal tester
combines versatility and ease of operation
The latest portable testing instrument from Schomandl, a subsidiary of German RF equipment manufacturer Kathrein Group, is notable for its multiple functions (Satellite/CATV/Terrestrial/HDTV signal analysis) and operator friendliness.
Greenville, NC April 17, 2009: Joe Technician has a new tool for installing, repairing and maintaining professional Satellite and CATV Broadcast systems, as well as over-the-air analog and digital TV signals. His state-of-the-art tool is portable, versatile and ruggedly reliable, all of which is sure to make the instrument one of Joe's favorites.
The new piece of technology is the MSK-125 signal meter. Its multiple functions set the instrument apart as a testing module. Incorporated into its circuitry are a multi-standard spectrum analyzer, a MER/BER analyzer, a satellite meter, and a terrestrial, cable and audio measurement device. The MSK-125 will be on display in LBA's Booth# N9115 at NAB 2009, Las Vegas Convention Center, April 20-23, 2009.
The MSK-125 is from German RF equipment manufacturer Kathrein Group, and is distributed in the western hemisphere solely by LBA Technology. Wedding Kathrein's worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of precision RF test equipment with LBA Group's expertise as component supplier and consultant has opened the MSK-125 to a larger market.
The device's wider marketplace introduction is timely. The diversity of broadcast reception protocols is pushing today's engineers to combine functions in test equipment and no manufacturer has done it better than Kathrein Antenna Systems. Despite the instrument's complex capacity to perform several tasks, it remains extremely easy to use.
The device's SatFinder employs acoustic signaling to snare an analog or digital satellite feed, then displays the demodulated information on a bright VGA resolution screen. It can store meter settings on memory cards of up to 1 gigabyte, which allows convenient transfer of the testing data to a main computer.
The MSK-125 is specifically designed to handle multiple applications within the satellite and CATV arena. These include installing, repairing and maintaining (1) CCTV systems, (2) TVRO Receive Only TV systems, (3) VSAT, (4) Maritime Satellite and CATV, (5) analog and digital cable headends, (6) MDU cable networks, (7) Video Conferencing systems, (8) Single Frequency Networks and (9) satellite receiving stations. It can even analyze and measure over-the-air analog and digital TV signals.
The various signals utilized by cable companies are just as easily analyzed and demodulated by the unit. A technician can sort out DVB-C, DVB-S/S2 and T/H signals on his hand-held MSK-125 without resorting to other pieces of equipment. This versatility makes the unit especially handy for a technician and cost-effective for the company executive minding the bottom line.
The MSK-125 loses none of its usefulness as a technical testing tool as we move into the digital world: The device implements MPEG-4 decoding and measures HDTV and FM-SAT radio transmissions.
A full technical description of the MSK-125 can be found at http://www.lbagroup.com/technology/testcablesat.php. A more complete Kathrein-Schomandl lineup of test equipment is available at www.lbagroup.com/test-equipment.
About LBA Technology, Inc.
LBA Technology is a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, components and test equipment for broadcast, industrial and government users worldwide. With Lawrence Behr Associates, Inc., the company is a unit of the LBA Group, Inc., which has over 40 years experience in providing support for infrastructure assets of the wireless telecommunications industry. The companies are based in Greenville, NC.
View current updates on LBA blogs:
About The Kathrein Group and Schomandl
The KATHREIN-Werke KG is the world's largest antenna producing enterprise and a leading high tech telecommunications company. Kathrein products epitomize quality and reliability. Know-how and 89 years of experience have made Kathrein one of the market leaders in its product ranges. The Kathrein Group, with its 14 production facilities, 57 subsidiaries and associated companies, employs over 6,500 people. In 2007, turnover at the Kathrein-group amounted to 1,303 million Euros. More than 50% of the internationally active company's sales volume is made abroad. The Schomandl unit was founded in 1948 and has specialized in the development and production of high-quality HF measuring instruments for all types of customer-specific applications.
For product sales support, contact:
Paulo Fernandes, Account Executive
LBA Technology Test Equipment Group
Dick Hansson, Marketing Director
LBA Group, Inc.
Wolfgang Blank, Sales Manager
LBA Introduces the Schomandl FIT-70 In-Line
Wattmeter, Designed to Measure Transmission Power without Testing Patience of
Schomandl, a subsidiary of German RF equipment manufacturer Kathrein Group, has engineered the In-Line Wattmeter, Model FIT-70, to be conveniently and easily deployed at remote sites for measuring RF transmission line wattages and forward and reflected power.
Greenville, NC April 17, 2009: LBA introduces the FIT-70 In-Line Wattmeter, engineered and produced by Schomandl, a subsidiary of German RF manufacturer Kathrein Group. The instrument is exclusively distributed in the western hemisphere by LBA Technology, Inc. and is on display in LBA's Booth# N9115 at NAB 2009, Las Vegas Convention Center, April 20-23, 2009.
The FIT 70's separate test head lets an operator easily connect to hard-to-reach cables, which is to say that setting up is without operator contortions. As quickly as the FIT-70 is connected, the functional values are brightly displayed on a high-contrast LCD screen. The site's VSWR output is read out, as are the forward and reverse power readings, measured in watts or dBm.
The FIT-70 covers a range from 70 MHz to 1000 MHz, that is, from mobile radio networks to FM radio and VHF and UHF television. The device is perfectly suited for tests at remote antenna sites and at links between studios and transmitters.
The watt meter is carried in a fitted case that protects it in transit to an outlying antenna location. The coddling ends there, however. Out of the case, the two-piece unit is rugged, easily handled and lightweight. The basic instrument measures just under 8 inches by 4 inches by 1 inches. Its cord-connected RF test head is about half as large. Together, the units weigh 2 pounds not counting the four AA batteries that power them.
If a circuit has been shorted, a red LED signal on the RF-head warns of it. The instrument also features a DC voltmeter that stores low and high readings and an ohmmeter to measure resistance.
Additional information on the FIT-70 is available at www.lbagroup.com/test
LBA Introduces the New Model 3024 Broadcast Power Monitor, the latest from Kathrein Group
From German RF equipment manufacturer Kathrein Group, LBA Technology introduces a next generation power monitor for broadcasting and wireless transmissions that features internet and network access.
Greenville, NC April 17, 2009: Kathrein Group's latest generation broadcast power monitor is a slim, silver-colored case stuffed with features for engineers who are tasked with keeping an eye on transmitter power levels and efficiency. With measuring capability from 1 watt to 1 megawatt, the 3024 presents an ideal upgrade for existing directional coupler-based RF measuring transmitter power monitors, providing PC and Internet access and SNMP network connectivity.
Kathrein Group, the German RF equipment manufacturer with the worldwide reputation, has partnered with LBA Technology for exclusive western hemisphere distribution of its product line, including the new power monitor. The 3024 Power Monitor will be on display in LBA's Booth# N9115 at NAB 2009, Las Vegas Convention Center, April 20-23, 2009.
The 3024 will work with most existing directional couplers, eliminating the need to install new line sections. Internal user-programmable software calculates the display power depending on the probe input, offset, gain and the given value of the directional coupler. Since the setup for each probe in the system is unique, it will even work with different brands of directional couplers.
The working end of the sleek, rack-mounted 19-inch long, 7-inch-deep 3024 is in the rear, where up to 8 probes can be connected for simultaneous power measurements. Multiple combinations of directional couplers and compensated probes produce a matrix that will give readings with plus or minus 5 percent accuracy. Both digital and optocoupler ports provide 16 software-assignable relay-type contact closure outputs for alerts.
RF probes 3015 UHF and 3016 VHF can be plugged into any of the probe connectors. Other ports on the back panel include one for a grounded high or low voltage power supply, an Ethernet connector, one USB for attaching a memory stick for logging data and a second one for serial linkup with a PC. The antenna monitor also provides e-mail notification of alarms.
The computer screen is the operator's real connection to the monitor. The screen is configured either by directly hooking up to the monitor or accessing it through an assigned IP address. The built-in webpage display features controlling buttons by which an operator sets up the data he wishes to monitor and record.
The 3024 antenna power meter calculates VSWR, and measures forward and reflected power. Visual alerts can be programmed to warn when measured limits are exceeded or are too low.
More information on the LBA/Kathrein 3024 power monitor is available at www.lbagroup.com/test.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS JOURNAL
In an earlier column, The antenneX Mission, I wrote about a subject close to my heart and the purpose of this journal. It had been quite some time since I had reminded our readers of our original purpose when we set out some 20+ years ago.
More than anything else, this journal has always been a "labor of love" for me. It is the reason I founded the antenneX magazine 20 years ago, knowing that running a magazine is a tough business and especially so since I planned to do it without the traditional revenue support from advertisers or outside investors. I wanted this magazine to always be able to write about any issue without concerns of losing the support from any of those type revenues. I am pleased to say, we have never steered from that course one iota. And, as a consequence, we have covered some very controversial developments throughout the past two decades. In the process, we have provided valuable factual information to more than 200 countries, even to the most remote regions of the globe. Hence, our readers are much more informed about the truth about all of the "new" devices as their stories unfolded in the antenna and antenna-related field. For more details, you are encouraged to read my column from September 2006.
Additionally, we were pleased to receive and publish in the October 2006 issue, a very special editorial reaction to my column written by one of our long-term readers and contributors, Dr. Jef Verborgt. Those two articles are located by the following links below:
VISIT THE GUEST ROOMS
The relentless attacks on our web site by pirates, hackers and the like has made it necessary to add more security to protect our material against such piracy. It's only fair that we know who enters the House of antenneX, so our guests will need to provide some minimal information in the process of obtaining a login. This includes using your real active email address without which a login cannot be received. Do not confuse this login with a paid subscription login. They are not the same and your subscriber login will NOT work in the Guest Room areas unless you create it that way. You may choose to create your own login to the Guest Rooms using the same login as your subscription, thus, you have full control over your logins here.
Along with the continuing fight against spam/virii junk, protecting our material and valuable bandwidth against piracy takes up a great amount of our time -- time we can't really spare. The Internet is simply not the friendly neighborhood it used to be in the "old days" and more and more security must be installed to counteract these intruders. Thus, we have made the access to the Guest Rooms as automatic as possible for you to manage your own login.
In view of the above, we have overhauled the numerous free and open-access sections that have always been wide open to all of our friends throughout the many years antenneX has been online. But, we must change with the times as the need dictates. I don't think the Internet will become more friendly in the near future and protected sites with logins are fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. To repeat, most would like to know who they invite into their house. The same applies at the House of antenneX. It's really worth the effort!
This list pertains to those sections with free access now in our new Guest Rooms we have built and fully operating:
o Antenna Science
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We have activated a new login system for access to the above guest rooms and, the login can be totally managed by our guests. Above is a graphic of what you see as a login page to the new consolidated area, "antenneX Guest Rooms." This new page for logins is at this location now and available for your use:
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You are encouraged to contribute your thoughts on various subjects to a worldwide audience.
AN INVITATION TO CONTRIBUTORS
antenneX thrives on the contributions of antenna experimenters, ranging from the informal home shop construction project to the theoretical investigation of basic antenna, feedline, and propagation phenomena. Over the years, we have published articles on the use of new or newly adapted materials, known antennas adapted to new circumstances, modifications of antenna structures, basic explorations of both common and unusual antennas, antenna modeling exercises, design improvements, antenna matching techniques from both a physical and mathematical perspective, evaluations of mini-antennas and their underlying theory of operation, new and patentable designs, propagation tutorials, and.... The list goes on, since no antenna-related topic is irrelevant to the readers of antenneX.
At the same time, antenneX has experienced continuous growth in its readership for which we are appreciative. However, all readers can help us do even better. How? By submitting an article every now and then based on your current antenna work that may be useful at any level to other readers.
Among the engineering and researching readers,
there are undoubtedly a number of unclassified and non-proprietary findings that
antenneX readers would like to know. Among the practical antenna
designers, there are ideas, tests, and numerous other practical findings to
benefit our readers. Antenna builders very likely have some techniques to share
with other readers. Besides the regular articles, we always have the home work
shop column for shorter practical ideas and we always have the invited news and
editorial column for information about new technologies, future advances, lost
old but good ideas, and personal views on the good to bad things that are
happening in the world of antennas and propagation.
If you are uncertain about whether your ideas merit an article, please feel free to send an outline to the general editor/publishers at manuscripts at antennex.com . Do not feel that you must be ready to be a regular submitter to write for antenneX, because we welcome the individual contribution as much as monthly articles. As well, do not believe that the slots in each issue are already spoken for as we shall always make room for a worthy article.
To see details of our writing guidelines, please look at: Writing for antenneX
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IN THIS ISSUE
We again include many fine articles by our great writing team from around the globe. Now, allow me to introduce this month's line-up of content:
OUR MONTHLY COLUMNS (plus this one you are reading):
FEATURE ARTICLES IN THE LIBRARY:
Designing Multi-Band Parasitic Beams
When I initially struck an outline for these notes on multi-band parasitic beam design, I thought that I might need only two episodes. One would, as does Part 1, set forth the general principles and limitations of designing such beams. The second section would illustrate those principles by using two 15-10-meter arrays as examples: a simple beam and a more complex beam. There is nothing like a good example to reveal uncovered details in the expression of the general principles, gaps that require further exploration. Therefore, the relatively small Moxon Yagi combination required a full section, as did the more complex Yagi-Yagi affair. It turns out that we are still not quite done with our work. We left behind a number of unanswered questions. As well, in the course of developing notes on these subjects, other questions arose.
Radiation in the Near Zone of a
Here we calculate the Poynting vector of the fields of a Hertzian oscillating dipole at all points in space. We show that the time-averaged Poynting vector has the same form in the near zone as it does in the far zone, which confirms that radiation exists both close and far from the source. The electric and magnetic fields of an ideal point Hertzian electric dipole can be written by equations in Gaussian units in this solution.
I would venture to say that most, if not all of us,
first found our love of all things radio through listening. For me I
started with AM radio. Whether it was the natural competitive nature
many boys have at an early age or just a natural curiosity to see
what's out there, it wasn't long after receiving my first radio
that I started listening for distant stations. Perhaps, like me, you
have some fond memories tuning around the dial at night trying to
pull in stations from New York or Chicago or Atlanta, or whatever
major cities happened to be within your reach.
My first radio was a GE Clock Radio circa the late 1960s, and I spent many, many nights rotating/tweaking that huge dial, and adjusting the position of the radio trying to get a stronger signal. Most AM radios depend on a ferrite rod inside the radio for tuning. This simplifies things a bit as far as antennas go, but imposes some real limitations at the same time. Straining to hear those weak stations never bothered me, however, and if there had been the ability to plug in headphones I would have done it to hear the weakest stations right at the noise floor. Join me in this continuing journey of a newcomer.
A Two-Turn 40-80 Meter STL Antenna
This article describes a two-turn small
transmitting/receiving loop (STL) antenna that covers 40-80 meters.
The article compares and contrasts single- vs. multi-turn loops from
design and construction perspectives, and evaluates actual
performance via field testing.
Some Prismatic Polygon Details
In June of 2001 antenneX online magazine published an article in issue #50 authored by Dan Handelsman N2DT, titled "A New Antenna - The Prismatic Polygon." This is a very unique antenna, which consist of multiple fed radiating elements arranged in a circular pattern. There are a variety of versions, which consists of 3 to at least 6 driven radiating elements. Dan has chosen to have these connected as, what he calls Multi-loops, and has named each of these antennas a Prismatic Polygon. I have chosen to look at these as a series of Quad antenna elements connected together in a circular pattern forming a polygon. Dan indicates that he started out with geometrical arrangements, such as linear loops, and then connected them in a circular pattern to form his Prismatic Polygon. In this article, I am presenting just one of many versions in reasonable detail.
Boom Influence on Yagi Antennas
boom of the Yagi antenna is an inevitable part of its construction.
Theoretically, Yagi antennas can work fine without a boom.
Practically, it is possible only if the boom is made of
non-conducting material (wood, fiberglass, etc.) along with some
mechanical maintenance and certain other limitations. In fact, a
conducting boom is not the intended radiating part of antenna but
only an inevitable part needed to support its weight.
The Yagi antenna can be built so that elements are insulated and separated by some safe distance from any conducting boom, or passing through it. The latter method can be done in two different ways: first, the elements being electrically bonded to boom, and second, the elements are electrically insulated from boom. All of these element mounting methods have their advantages and disadvantages and result in different boom influence to the antenna elements.
How does this unnecessary but inevitable intruder influence the Yagi antenna performance? This is the question which provoked me to start an extensive work on antenna software simulations which could further enlighten us about this problem.
Well, there you have it, folks, thanks for listening and remember, the reading lamp is always on for you in the reading rooms. If I can be of further help, I'm just a Stone's Throw! away.-30-
Jack L. Stone,
May 2009 antenneX Online Issue #145