CGC #1109

by CGC on December 8, 2011

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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                            CGC #1109

                   Thursday, December 8, 2011

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                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                

    Copyright 2011, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)

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  PUBLIC SAFETY BROADCASTING IN SIERRA MADRE
  (AN INVITED REPORT)

  Hello from the windblown City of Sierra Madre in the foothills 
right below Mt. Wilson.  This town is mighty glad we put its TIS 
[Travelers Information (AM Radio) Station] on the air in 2010.
It was used extensively to provide emergency and public safety 
information to Sierra Madre residents during the power outage 
caused by last weeks devastating windstorm.

  WQKW561 (1630 kHz) was on the air 24/7 transmitting info provided 
by Sierra Madre's Emergency Operation Center which was activated 
Wednesday night (11/30).  The entire city lost power at about 9:45 
that night.  The city's computer network that links the station's 
City Hall studio to the transmitter (at the city's maintenance yard) 
went down as well.

  The station was designed with multiple backup systems for exactly 
this kind of emergency.  Voice messages were recorded at the trans-
mitter site which has a duplicate studio that mimics the studio at 
City Hall.  The transmitter ran on its backup battery system for 
about 20 hours until city staff started their emergency generator 
(which also provided power for city water pumping equipment).  A 
smaller Honda generator was also available to keep us on the air, 
as a third source of electrical power.

  The station stayed on the air during the entire emergency.
After four days, the city computer network was restored so public 
safety information is now being recorded and broadcast from 
City Hall.

  There's "something to be said" for low-tech AM radio.  It can be 
received by anyone, with an inexpensive battery-operated radio, with 
no need for utility AC power, cable TV, Internet access or cellphone 
coverage.

  We're still broadcasting public safety updates as of this morning.

  Hank Landsberg
  Henry Engineering and
  Sine Control Technology, Inc.
  503 Key Vista Drive
  Sierra Madre, CA 91024

  HENRYENG (at) aol.com

  December 6, 2011


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