CGC #1150

by CGC on July 5, 2012



                       THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                             CGC #1150

                      Thursday, July 5, 2012


                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor

    Copyright 2012, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)



  o  FCC:  No blanket exemptions for stations that are
  not EAS-CAP compliant by June 30:

  o  FEMA to extend daily CAP-EAS test messages through
  Friday only:
  (This URL has been intermittent lately)

  o  FCC'S video description rules for certain broadcast
  stations and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors
  (MVPDs) are now in effect:

  o  The FCC has announced the tentative agenda for its
  July 19, 2012 Open Meeting.  Included is a White Spaces
  progress report:

  o  August 2, 2012:  This is the effective date for TV
  broadcasters' public inspection files to be available
  through the FCC-hosted online website:

  o  Meanwhile, NAB seeks a postponement of FCC's online
  political file rules, saying its members will suffer ir-
  reparable harm if the rules go into effect next month:

  o  FCC forum on "the future of wireless band plans" is
  scheduled for Monday, July 16, 2012:

  o  FCC announces launch of the national deaf-blind
  equipment distribution program:

  o  Extended:  The voluntary 800 MHz rebanding negotiation
  period for Wave 4 border area NPSPAC AND non-NPSPAC licensees
  along the U.S.-Mexico border pending establishment of a
  negotiation timetable:

                         ENFORCEMENT WATCH


  o  A $17,000 fine has tentatively been issued to Brian
  R. Ragan, KF6EGI, in Suisun City (near Fairfield), CA, for
  operating a 104.9 MHz pirate station and for failing to
  allow an FCC inspection:

  o  Related item:  Looks like Irene Levy, KJ6CEY, is at it
  again with a disrespect for authority, a penchant for mayhem
  and perhaps an overt contempt for society:

                           RANDOM NOTES


  Wideband noise produced by LED lamps (and/or their power
supplies) in traffic signals is becoming a concern for VHF
radio reception (including public safety), FM broadcast reception
and possibly even VHF Mobile DTV reception -- in fringe areas.
The video at the first URL below says it all, particularly about
two minutes into the video when the monitoring vehicle stops at
a red light.

  Years ago, Don Johnson, WD6FWE, did pioneering work by writing
to the CGC Communicator as follows, "Every time I drive past one
of the new LED stoplights the noise goes up from S-0 to S-7 on my
S-meter" (referring to signals in the 28-54 MHz range).  His
comments were published in CGC #751 for July 19, 2006.  Then
in CGC #758, a reader in Poway, CA "linked the RFI to the FM
broadcast band."

  Looking further into the issue of LED lamp/power supply RFI
would be a good research project for a national laboratory.  It
appears that we are beginning to experience the "AM-ization of
the VHF band" in terms of interference received.  If left un-
checked, the interference is likely to grow to an intolerable
level much as it has in the AM band.

  Comments?  Send them to Tech Letters.



  o  Deborah D. McAdams story, "'Complete Chaos'
  Predicted if TV Repack is Done Right After Auctions:"

  o   The latest progress report on the KBRT(AM) array re-
  location is available at the following URL.  See page 1 for
  the big picture; page 7 for follow-up notes by Bill Agresta:

  o  Field testing of iBiquity's all-digital AM broadcast
  mode is being discussed as just one of many possibilities
  to improve AM reception -- if iBiquity is able to
  accomplish an improvement, that is:

  o  FM SSBSC faces questions and needs more real-world
  field testing:

  o  The Society of Broadcast Engineers, with 5,500
  members and 115 local chapters, is moving forward with
  a self-examination that will help it identify future
  opportunities and challenges:

  o  Word of Leonard Kahn's death spreads:



  Per NAB SmartBrief:  "Netflix users in June screened more
than 1 billion hours of online video, a first for the company,
Netflix said.  That figure translates to the company's U.S. users
screening about 80 minutes of content a day, which means Netflix
has more viewers than any typical cable channel, according to
BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield:"



  This year we commemorate what would have been the 100th
birthday of Alan Turing.  He was truly the Galileo of a new
field now called computer science which is arguably the most
important scientific advance since the invention of the wheel.
A fascinating article (first URL below) recounts Turing's life,
explains how he correctly envisioned computers would work and
how he defined what we might call a "Turing Machine."

  A Turing Machine is any computer so convincing that a human
cannot tell whether the unseen respondent is a computer or another
human.  Today we have Turing Machines in very limited areas of
expertise, but a true Turing Machine is years away because it
would be able to converse and reason on any subject matter
whatsoever, and of course show and understand emotion.

  Now the big question is when the "technological singularity"
will occur -  essentially the arrival of the generalized Turing
Machine.  Artificial intelligence has progressed to the point
where computers' reasoning power should be indistinguishable from
human brain power by 2029 according to inventor Ray Kurzweil in
a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal (second URL
below, subscription required).

  The "technological singularity" will be monumentally
important in human history -- like landing on the Moon for the
first time but far, far more profound.  It'll be interesting to
see if the 2029 date holds, and to ask the Turing Machine just how
it feels about the human race, and what it thinks will happen as
it clones itself and makes itself smarter than humans.



  Telstar is the name of various communications satellites
including the first such satellite to relay television signals.
The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly
identical -- but at the same time they were pioneering
commercial ventures.

  Telstar 1 was launched atop a Thor-Delta rocket on
July 10, 1962.  It successfully relayed through space the
first television pictures, telephone calls and fax images, and
provided the first live transatlantic television feed.



  On a more mundane note than the Telstar satellite story,
Telstar was also the name of a 1962 instrumental record by The
Tornados.  It was the first single by a British band to reach
#1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and was also a number one hit
in the UK.  This makes it the only instrumental single to hit
#1 on both the US and UK weekly charts.

  The song itself is available at the second URL below.
Note the cameraman moving in for close-up shots in this
early music video.

                          HAM RADIO NOTES


  The Radio Adventurers of Maine will activate Amateur Radio
station "W1A" for operation on July 7 at the Andover, ME,
satellite facility, the original earth station which on July 10,
1962 broadcast the first messages to Telstar, the world's first
commercial communications satellite.

  A ground station in Pleumeur-Bodou, France, received an
image of the American flag for the first transmission, and a
station in Goonhilly Downs, UK, also participated in the program.
While the Andover mission has changed over the decades, the site
remains operational today.

  Hams from the RAM crew, the Androscoggin ARC, and the Oxford
County CERT team will be on the air by 1300Z on 40 and 20 meter
SSB.  For further information, contact K1WTX at wxman46 (at)

  (Scroll down about 1/3 of the page to "Special Event Stations)



  Congratulations to Amateur Radio Newsline.  Last week's
newscast (#1280) marked the 35th anniversary of that venerable
radio show.

  As Bill Pasternak put it, "I find it hard to believe that
we have survived all of these years and that we are as fervent
about what we do today as we were when Jim Hendershot, WA6VQP,
and I produced that very first newscast -- then known as the
Westlink Amateur Radio news -- some 1,820 weeks ago."

                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


  This week, a Tech Letters posting informs us that June 18-24,
2012 has been proclaimed to be "Amateur Radio Week" in the City
of San Diego, California -- this, thanks to the efforts of the
Convair/220 Club:

  Letters to the Editor of the CGC Communicator should be
posted on the Tech Letters Website.  Here is the URL to see
the most recent postings and to make new postings (all letters
and comments are moderated and are posted after review):

  Please contact the moderator, Steve Blodgett, if you are
having trouble viewing or posting: sblodgett (at)


                          I.T. SECURITY


  Insisting that your home Wi-Fi connection is encrypted
and password protected helps avert "swatting incidents" like
this one.



  Chinese hackers use India's own thumb drives against them,
gaining access to nuclear submarine details from non-Internet
connected computers.  The software is reportedly "bug-free"
and is expected to be disseminated by hacker groups thus
creating a major security threat.

                            OFF TOPIC


  o  Spacecraft Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars
  August 5, 2012.  There will be seven minutes of sheer terror
  as the spacecraft descends -- where a series of tricky automated
  maneuvers must go perfectly or it's "game over:"

  o  Radio oldies and nostalgia:  (by year)  (home)

  o  What American accent do you have?

  o  The Higgs boson explained (cartoon):
o A night ballet with fireworks: __________________________________________________________________ ------------------------------------------------------------------ The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast engineering professionals in so. California by Communications General® Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA. For subscriptions to the CGC Communicator, or to cancel subscriptions, or to change your e-dress already on file, send mail to . Manually edit the address so it reads, "cgc@cgc333...." CGC Communicator articles may be reproduced in any form by non-commercial publications provided the articles are unaltered and credit is given to the CGC Communicator. Past issues may be viewed and searched at courtesy of Bext Corporation. Letters to the Editor are not being accepted by the CGC Communicator at this time but may be sent to the companion publication Tech Letters. See CGC #999 (fourth story) for instructions on how to access Tech Letters. To go directly to CGC #999: . Typographical errors originating in FCC material are reproduced in our newsletter without speculative corrections. The views expressed in our newsletters do not necessarily reflect those of Communications General® Corporation, Bext, or the newsletter editor. ------------------------------------------------------------------ _________________________ End _______________________________

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