CGC #1154

by CGC on July 23, 2012



                         THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                               CGC #1154

                        Monday,  July 23, 2012


                   Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor

    Copyright 2012, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)



  In an FCC public meeting last Thursday, officials suggested
that the sharing of vacant channels between TV stations was close
to becoming a reality, but mobile unlicensed devices -- the ones
broadcasters fear due to possible interference effects -- are
still a couple of years away due to technological challenges.



  The FCC has announced its tentative August Open Meeting
agenda which includes moving the cable TV rules into the
digital era.



  o  Citation and Order issued to Spy Shop d/b/a "IQ Tronics"
  et al., Sherman Oaks, "for marketing to consumers in the United
  States unauthorized radio frequency devices - specifically cell
  phone, and Global Positioning System (GPS) and other signal
  jamming devices...:"

  o  American Tower prevails over a member of the general
  public who complained about a new tower going up.  Both American
  and the FCC wasted a lot of money on this frivolous case:

  o  Notice of Unlicensed Operation sent to Desert
  Christian Schools, Lancaster, for its alleged pirate operation
  on 1610 kHz:

  o  Notice of Violation issued to Time Warner Cable, Costa
  Mesa, for excessive cable leakage in the VHF aircraft band:

                            RANDOM NOTES


  Vandals have broken into San Francisco's Twin Peaks radio
facility by snipping open a small portion of a chain-link fence.
The culprits then cut some outdoor cables and air conditioning
lines but did not penetrate the building.  Twin Peaks is a
public safety radio hub.



  Two radio repeaters have reportedly been stolen from the
American Tower communications complex atop Red Mountain in
Fallbrook, CA.  The theft happened on the evening of July 18,
2012 or in the early morning hours the following day.

  Both repeaters are believed to be VHF; one belongs to US
Customs (Border Patrol) and the other to a Fallbrook school
district (bus communications).  One repeater may have been
a Quantar, the other a Vertex.  We are awaiting details.

  (Private communications)



  o  TV multicasting, still in its infancy, is generating
  about 3% of TV stations' ad revenue according to BIA/Kelsey:

  o  Man charged with receiving metal stolen from a broadcast
  antenna; looks like an ERI Rototiller antenna:



  This newsletter has talked about cell phone jammers from
time to time.  These devices are patently illegal to use but
are still found operating on occasion in movie theaters or
expensive restaurants where ringing phones would be considered
a nuisance.  However, the use of jammers deprives others from
receiving critical and emergency telephone calls, so they are
generally frowned upon by the public.

  Not so well known are GPS jammers.  It turns out that there
are a number of people who simply don't want their every movement
to be tracked -- truck drivers for example.  However, the signals
from some GPS jammers travel considerable distances and have
nasty side effects.

  The following article shows how GPS jammers work and how
they mess up precision landing systems at airports.  As you can
imagine, this is a pretty serious matter.  Various schemes are
being tried to get around the problem.



  Regarding interference to the AM broadcast band in the
greater Los Angeles area (CGC #1153), the following complaint
of more than routine interest has been filed with the FCC's
Los Angeles office by a CGC Communicator reader:

  "...I've been meaning to contact the L.A. office about
problems I've been experiencing along the I-210 freeway, east
and westbound between Pasadena and Sierra Madre.  The noise
emitted from the trolly wires from the Goldline in that area
are now wiping out KMZT AM-1260 and has been getting worse over
the last two years.  It is now causing degradation of the
KNX 1070 signal - and getting worse...."

  CGC asked the complainant for clarification, and the
following response was received:

  "The noise (RFI/EMI) is not sparking of trolly wires and
contacts.  It's more of a continuous "Whine" and sounds similar
to switching power supply type of noise, except it seems to be
made up of multiple tones that sound "spiky" or square-wavish
in nature - real rich in harmonics.  The noise amplitude has
peaks and valleys as you drive its length regardless of whether
or not there are trolly cars present, and the different pitched
whines vary individually in the location of where their peaks
and valleys are.  I don't know how it is affected by trolly
cars moving as I'm usually going at a fairly fast clip along
the I-210.  It's obviously being conducted along the overhead
trolly wires.  I'm seldom in the lanes closest to the trolly

  If you have a comment on this interference, please post
it on Tech Letters.

                          HAM RADIO NOTES


  The Fallbrook Amateur Radio Club (FARC) recently began
receiving "random ticking" interference superimposed over weak
incoming signals on its repeater that inputs on 440.600 MHz.

  Club members have tentatively DFed the signal to Camp
Pendleton on the coast.  Apparently Pendleton has deployed a
number of Enhanced Position Location Reporting System radios,
or EPLRS for short, and those devices use the entire 420-450 MHz
band in a spread spectrum mode.

  The best possible news would be to discover that the EPLRS
are deployed on a ship heading west, never to return.  In reality,
we are most likely seeing the birth pangs of a spectrum shortage.
Hams share the 420-450 MHz band with the U.S. Government, and
the government has priority.



  Call this one visual Morse code from space.  This with
word that the FITSAT-1 ham radio cubesat will carry an optical
communications experiment that aims to write in C-W across the
night sky using super high intensity LEDs as a lighting source.

  FITSAT-1 was to have been carried to the International
Space Station on July 21st from where it will be deployed
sometime in September.  See the URL below for more info.
(AMSAT UK via AR Newsline.)



  Hawaii's weak signal legend, Paul Lieb, KH6HME, has become
a Silent Key.  According to Gordon West, WB6NOA, who spoke to
the family, Lieb was visiting his sister and other relatives
on the U.S. mainland.  Leib's sister told WB6NOA that on Sunday
night, July 15th, KH6HME had dinner with them, went to bed,
and died peacefully in his sleep.

  Paul Lieb, KH6HME, maintained four VHF and UHF propagation
beacons atop the Mauna Loa volcano which were regularly received
along the U.S. west coast.  This usually took place in July when
troposphere conditions permitted.  And it was not unusual for
KH6HME to make the 3 hour drive to the 8200 foot site of the
beacons to maintain them and get on the air himself to be a bit
of rare VHF and UHF DX.  West says that while the beacons are
currently on the air, their long term fate is unknown....

  [Story from AR Newsline]



  The funeral service for Paul Lieb, KH6HME, was held last
Saturday and exceptionally well attended.  Read the account
from Gordon West at the URL below as we jointly say goodbye
to a most distinguished gentleman and outstanding ham
radio pioneer.

  Paul was a true friend and inspiration to so many of us.

                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


  The most recent Tech Letters postings include the following:

  o  Mike Worrall asks for "additional amplification" on the
  buried FM antenna concept.  Editor's comment:  Thanks for the
  idea Mike.  We might just answer your request in an upcoming
  Communicator.  The buried antenna idea is so bizarre that
  it's certainly worth exploring.

  o  D. Ramos identifies another source of interference to
  the AM broadcast band -- car washes -- and asks if "anyone on
  this list know[s] what kind of electronics would be on this
  type of equipment to cause such a noise?"


  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)


                            OFF TOPIC


  o  Vintage airline and aircraft photos, this is
  genuine first class material.  Crank up the sound:

  o  The Cleveland National Forest has a pressing new
  task -- wild pig eradication (no kidding):

  o  A $70 "hand gesture sensor" may replace your
  computer mouse next year.  Check out the video:

  o  Using loud low-frequency sound waves to suppress or
  extinguish a fire:

  o  Photographing the shadow of a single atom:

  o  Hubble Space Telescope captures a dying Red Giant
  blowing a bubble:

  o  The beautiful "Song from Pi."  Totally irrational
  of course, but unmistakably beautiful:

  o  Amazing Grace (eventually) in a spectacular rendition:



  The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast engineering
  professionals in so. California by Communications General®
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.

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_________________________    End   _______________________________

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