CGC #1162

by CGC on September 1, 2012



                       THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                             CGC #1162

                   Saturday,  September 1, 2012


                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor

    Copyright 2012, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)



  o  Promotional TV spots and regular TV ads will
  have to follow the same volume rules under the CALM Act,
  which takes effect in December:

  o  According to various sources inside and outside
  the FCC, chairman Julius Genachowski will include a
  proposal on FCC incentive spectrum auctions at the
  Commission's September meeting:

  o  Re the FCC's NPRM to reconfigure the 800 MHz band
  along the U.S./Mexican border, Comments are due October 1;
  Replies are due October 15:

  o  This Public Notice regards the way in which the
  FCC will legally serve parties in an electronic format:



  This is the story of how we got to where we are today in
the Low Power FM (LPFM) & FM Translator proceeding.

  The FCC recognizes that "the next LPFM window presents
a critical, and indeed possibly a last, opportunity to nurture
and promote a community radio service that can respond to unmet
listener needs and underserved communities in many urban areas..."



  It is raining EAS warnings again in southern California
and elsewhere, and some of the alerts -- including those carried
on the new CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert System for the cellular
industry) -- cover areas too far away to concern listeners.  See
Richard Rudman's posting in Tech Letters at the URL below.

  From our own limited research, a radio station in Barstow
was hammered with 38 EAS messages on August 22, most of which
were automatically forwarded over the air because of the local
Plan's recommendation.  Another station found itself rebroad-
casting rancid/distorted audio because that's what the LP-1

  Too many EAS warnings.  Warnings for events that are geo-
graphically too far away to concern listeners.  Rancid audio.
Can we get some adult supervision here?



  The San Diego Country Sheriffs Office still needs clues
concerning the theft of federal and school district radio
equipment from the top of Red Mountain in Fallbrook on the
evening of July 18, 2012.  Let's focus on the two vehicles
suspected of being involved with the crime.

  First, this appears to have been an "inside job" because
the culprits apparently knew the building door combination.
The vehicles might belong to a communications company, an
air conditioning company or a tower service firm.

  If you have people in your office who frequent mountaintop
communications sites in so. Cal., please circulate the photos.
It helps to print them for reference.  These vehicles may have
appeared at other sites -- and perhaps are still in use today.
Obviously the pictures are not of great quality, but there are
distinctive features on both vehicles if you look closely.

  The first three images at the URL below were taken at the
base of the mountain.  Photos 2 and 3 (docx format) are the key
vehicle photos.  The fourth and final photo was from a camera
atop Red Mtn. looking down on a dirt road as one of the vehicles
was heading toward the communications complex.  Note the unusual
lights appearing atop the vehicle.  The headlights seem to be
illuminating brush on either side of the dirt road.

  Anyone with hints should call the Sheriff's office at (760)
451-3100.  The case number is 12137190.  Detective Ashkar from
the Sheriff's Fallbrook office is the primary investigator.

                           RANDOM NOTES


  o  Smoking KTLA helicopter makes emergency landing:

  o  Online database to track metal-theft sales:

  o  Nautel to make TV transmitters:



  Congratulations to Ralph Hogan and Joe Snelson who remain
as president and vice president, respectively, of the Society
of Broadcast Engineers.  And a big congratulations to Scott Mason,
West Coast Director of Engineering, CBS Radio, Los Angeles, who
was reelected to another two year term as an SBE director.

  This was the first year that the Society offered online voting,
which saw a 64% increase in ballots cast from the previous year.
The total number of ballots cast was 1,313, which was 511 more
ballots than in 2011.  SBE has more than 5,000 members and is
an active, vibrant organization.



  The crisp, clear images produced by HDTV technology were
almost 30 years in the making, and IEEE Associate Member Philip
J. Cianci got in on the ground floor.  He began working in 1984
at Philips Laboratory, in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., just a year
before the company developed its first high-definition prototype.

  In this IEEE Roundup, Cianci writes how -- through photos,
paintings, and essays -- he set about to capture activities at
the lab in the midst of the "HDTV storm."



  Ultra High Definition Television (UHDTV, also known as "8K")
is set to be approved by the ITU as the next generation global
TV format.  The new format can deliver images with 33 million
pixels through 7,680 horizontal lines and 4,320 vertical lines,
refresh rates of 120 frames per second, as well as 22.2 channels
of multi-dimensional sound.

  The new format is "believed to be at the limit of what the
human eye can process" according to the article, but the reader
comments put this conclusion in perspective.



  NIST Radio Station WWVB will be conducting another phase-
modulated broadcast test beginning at 11 AM PDST on Tuesday,
September 4, and ending at 11 AM PDST on Thursday, September 6,
2012.  During the test period, the broadcast will be randomly
switched between the normal (AM modulated) WWVB broadcast
and the new format with phase-modulation added.

  Radio-controlled clocks and watches should not be affected.
Phase-locking 60 kHz timing and frequency standard receivers
may lose lock during the test, but will restore during the
normal broadcast periods.  For more information, e-mail WWVB
broadcast manager John Lowe at [john.lowe (at)] or
call 303-497-5453.



  John Battison, SBE Member #1 and the father of SBE,
has passed away.  It was his dream to form an organization
devoted solely to professional broadcast engineering and his
vision was realized far beyond what he had imagined.

                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


  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  World architecture (best viewed full screen, click to
  advance slides):

  o  The Boucher Fire Lookout Tower in the Palomar
  Mountain State Park has been restored and is being staffed
  intermittently by volunteers.  Slide show.  Put cursor
  near right edge of photo to expose advance arrow, or
  click on the word "Next:"



  Long before spacecraft Curiosity was launched, two smaller
rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were crawling around the surface
of Mars.  Here is how those earlier dune buggies got there using
an airbag landing system that was not available to Curiosity
because of Curiosity's increased mass.

  Also of interest is the fact that the new Curiosity rover
is atomic powered.  The earlier rovers used solar panels that
provided intermittent power, and that power was compromised
during and after dust storms.




  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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