CGC #1091

by CGC on October 3, 2011

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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                            CGC #1091

                    Monday,  October 3, 2011

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                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                

    Copyright 2011, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)

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  UPDATING AND IMPROVING FM BROADCAST RULE 73.215

  SSR Communications has filed a Petition for Rule Making
("PRM") to increase the ability of some smaller commercial FM stations to 
improve their coverage areas.  Under SSR's plan, no longer would fully 
spaced allotment sites be necessary; no longer would there be a limit on the 
amount of short spacings allowed (Rule 73.215(e) would be abolished); and 
only the actual contours of FM stations would be protected.

  Portions of the PRM (RM-11643) underscore the need to modernize FCC Rule 
73.215.  The Comment deadline is 30 days after September 28, 2011.

  Another PRM is already pending to amend 73.215.  It is RM-11620 filed 
January 2011 by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and it focuses on just one 
topic -- eliminating the anomaly of having to protect imaginary buried FM 
antennas.  Rule 73.215 sometimes requires design engineers to protect FM 
broadcast antennas that are assumed to be located hundreds of feet 
underground -- an unrealistic situation in clear need of repair.

   New (SSR) PRM:
   http://tinyurl.com/RM-11643-FCC-Announcement
   http://tinyurl.com/RM-11643-RadioWorldStory
   http://tinyurl.com/RM-11643-Filings

   Original (Calvary) PRM:
   http://tinyurl.com/RM-11620-RadioWorldStory
   http://tinyurl.com/RM-11620-Filings

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  FCC NEWS BRIEFS

  o  FCC's "balanced approach" for LPFM gets backing from NAB:
  http://news.radio-online.com/cgi-bin/rol.exe/headline_id=b13099


  LAND-MOBILE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

  o  On Halloween, the FCC will hold a workshop and webinar
  on the role of deployable aerial communications architecture
  in emergency situations:
  http://tinyurl.com/Drones-Balloons
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1607A1.doc

  o  800 MHz rebanding negotiation period extended for Wave 4
  Border Area NPSPAC and non-NPSPAC licensees along the U.S.-
  Mexican border:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1652A1.doc

  o  FCC to hold Region 5 (southern California) 800 MHz NPSPAC
  Public Safety Regional Planning Committee (RPC) meeting on
  Thursday, October 20, 2011, beginning at 1:00 p.m. at The Quiet
  Cannon, 901 N. Via San Clemente, Montebello, California:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1646A1.doc

  o  FCC announces an October 5 roundtable discussion:
  Introducing the Disaster Information Reporting System
  (DIR) to the next generation of communications:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-1648A1.doc

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  EXPERIMENTAL GRANT OF MORE THAN ROUTINE LOCAL INTEREST

  o  144-150.50, 150.80-173.40, 400.15-520.00 & 762.00-
  870.00 MHz for testing portable and mobile (vehicular) radios.
  Mobile:  Vista, CA and Lawrence, KS
  For: Datron World Communications, Inc.

  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-309862A1.doc

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  FCC ENFORCEMENT WATCH -- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  o  Apparent self-oscillating BDA at a private residence
  in Irvine creates interference on 829.14 MHz:
  http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-309806A1.html

  o  FM pirate busted on 87.9 MHz.  Location: Jurupa Valley
  near San Bernardino:
  http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-309805A1.html


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    THE S.D. COUNTY POWER BLACKOUT OF SEPTEMBER 8 -- PART IV
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  HOW THE POWER OUTAGE IMPACTED SAN DIEGO BROADCASTERS

  Gary Stigall of San Diego SBE has prepared a comprehensive report on how 
the September 8, 2011 massive power outage affected a wide variety of San 
Diego broadcast stations (first URL below).

  Here is one very memorable account.  Leon Messenie, Director of Engineering 
and IT for KPBS-FM/TV, San Diego, is quoted as saying, "KPBS does not have 
[a] generator at either the KPBS studios nor the transmitter site.  When the 
power went off we were completely off the air.  Ironically, I was in our 
Station Manager, Deanna Mackey's office, discussing our option for generators 
when the power went off...."

  There are many important lessons to be learned from this relatively brief 
outage and Gary gives some helpful advice (second URL).

  Had the outage been a bit longer, many of us may have been scrambling for 
drinking water, food and fuel.

  http://tinyurl.com/SBE36PowerOutageReport
  http://tinyurl.com/SBE36LessonsLearned

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  PUBLIC SAFETY -- THE FIRST FAILURE IN THE RCS NORTH LOOP

  CGC #1088 mentioned that the San Diego County power outage of September 8, 
2011 caused the second failure in the North Loop of San Diego County's 
Regional Communications System ("RCS") that handles public safety traffic.  
While we wait for the County's own assessment of the situation in a report 
being prepared by a team of well respected professionals, let's look back at 
the earlier system failure, the one that occurred in 2010.

  In that earlier incident, San Diego Gas and Electric Company
("SDG&E") had scheduled a commercial power outage for the morning of January 30, 
2010 at an RCS site that is the control location for the North Simulcast Cell 
(10 sites that transmit simultan- eously).  SDG&E had alerted the County ahead 
of time and an RCS Duty Tech was heading toward the site on the day of the 
planned outage.  Nothing like having an expert on hand in case something went 
wrong.

  When SDG&E cut commercial power at 0900 hours, the RCS was fine -- at first.  
The site had a bank of 48V batteries to run the microwave system and another 
bank of batteries to run the 800 MHz trunker via a UPS.  All batteries were 
expected to last
6-8 hours.  There was also a backup power generator with an automatic power 
transfer switch.  The generator should have kicked in immediately after the 
power failure to keep the batteries fully charged.

  Referring now to the County's own Incident Summary, the "back up generator 
failed to come on line due to failure of Automatic Transfer Switch to 
activate....  Site ran on battery power and UPS for approximately 52 minutes 
until both site microwave battery plant and UPS batteries exhausted capacity.  
Site shut down at that point.  Duty tech arrived shortly after site shut down 
and restored site power by effecting manual transfer switch activation.
North Simulcast returned to Wide Trunking status at 1017...."

  The bottom line is that the entire North Simulcast site was dark for 
approximately 25 minutes and that outage impacted other RCS sites.  Twenty 
five minutes of lost or compromised radio service is an eternity for police 
and fire communications.

  After the failure, the County had to figure out why two sets of 20 year 
rated batteries failed prematurely after 12 years in service, and how to 
prevent similar failures in the future.
That's no small task.  The County has replaced the batteries at most of 
the trunking sites and is now monitoring the voltages on individual cells 
in an attempt to locate faults before they occur.


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                           RANDOM NOTES
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  SAN DIEGO SBE NEWSLETTER AND MEETINGS

  San Diego SBE Chapter 36 will hold its regular monthly meeting on October 12 
with a bonus seminar the day before:

  o  October 11, 9AM to 3:30PM:  Tektronix offers a DTV and
  MPEG test seminar, and

  o  October 12, regular SBE meeting, noon to 1:30PM:
  Nautel discusses the modern broadcast radio transmitter
  with improved diagnostics.

  http://www.sbe36.org/

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  GENERAL NOTES FOR RADIO & TV

  o  No word yet as to when the Mt. Wilson Christmas Party
  for broadcast engineers will be held.  Howard Fine writes,
  "I have been trying to plan it but the dates are not working
  out.  I will try again for a November date."  Stay tuned.

  o  KCBC up in the Bay Area (770 kHz, 50 kW) was first in
  line to apply for a waiver to try the FCC's newly authorized
  Modulation Dependent Carrier Level (MDCL) technique -- see
  CGC #1089, fifth story, for MDCL details.
  http://tinyurl.com/MDCL-Crawford

  o  Mission Abstract Data argues that the hard disk type
  automation systems used widely in U.S. radio broadcasting
  violate its patents.  However, things are not looking so
  favorable for MAD right now:
  http://radioworld.com/default.aspx?tabid=75&entryid=209


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                          HAM RADIO NOTE
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  SOLAR POWER IN SAN DIEGO KEPT WA6DNT ON THE AIR

  San Diego's power outage was no problem for Bruce Haupt, WA6DNT, who was 
very, very well prepared.  (Bruce ran the 147.195 MHz RACES net during the 
outage.  He has seen his solar electric array crank out as much as 7.5 kW 
on a good day and utilizes battery energy storage.)

  http://tinyurl.com/WA6DNT-Solar
  http://www.greenhousesandiego.com/
  http://www.wa6dnt.com/  (Ham radio page)

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  AMATEURS HELP IN 911 EMERGENCY

  Amateur Radio Operators were called to provide communications early in 
September when a cable cut isolated the Johnson County 911 Center in 
Warrensburg, Missouri.  This story is by no means unique.  Ham radio 
operators are available around the clock, worldwide, when all else fails.

  http://tinyurl.com/WarrensburgHamStory

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  JOIN US ON THE AIRWAVES, IN HD

  "Come and Join Us on the Airwaves," a popular ham radio
  music video, is now available in HD:
  


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                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  TECH LETTERS

  Letters to the Editor of the CGC Communicator should be
  posted on the Tech Letters Website at the URL below.

  If you are a registered Tech Letters user, please post your
  letter via email to Steve Blodgett.  All letters and comments
  are moderated and posted after review.  Also contact Steve
  if you have trouble viewing or posting:
  sblodgett (at) earthsignals.com.            Thanks!

  http://www.earthsignals.com/press/


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                            OFF TOPIC
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  HIGH STANDARD OFF TOPIC MATERIAL

  Serious Stuff:

  o  In 1900, 28 percent of the 4192 cars produced in the
  U.S. were electric.  Check out the evolution of electric
  vehicles:
  http://tinyurl.com/EV-Development

  o  Louie Schwartzberg on gratitude (10 mins.):
  

  o  Angel Flight.  Bringing America's fallen heros home:
  


  Way Off Topic:

  o  Dog Surfin USA:
  http://tinyurl.com/DogSurfinUSA

  o  What a dog does when it is cold, 13 sec. video:
  http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/07/what-a-dog-does-when-its-cold/

  o  Miniature operational airport (best viewed full screen,
  these are long videos):
  http://tinyurl.com/MinOpAirport-Daytime
  http://tinyurl.com/MinOpAirport-Nighttime

  o  The Great Radio Controlled Roundup:
  http://tinyurl.com/RC-Roundup


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