CGC #1173

by CGC on November 6, 2012

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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                            CGC #1173

                   Tuesday,  November 6, 2012

                             ________

                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                

    Copyright 2012, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)

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  FCC NEWS BRIEFS

  o  FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. was closed Monday
  and Tuesday, October 29 and 30, due to Hurricane Sandy.

  o  In the immediate aftermath of Sandy: About 25 percent
  of the affected region's wireless cell towers were out of
  action and some 911 emergency call centers were not
  working according to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski:
  http://tinyurl.com/SandyImpactsCells

  o  No backup power at some (perhaps many) cell sites:
  http://tinyurl.com/NoBackupPower

  o  Harry Jessell reflects on Sandy, the shortcomings of
  8-VSB (the over-the-air DTV modulation scheme) and how the
  broadcast industry should pool coverage next time around:
  http://tinyurl.com/JessellOnSandy

  o  FCC/FEMA tips for communicating during an emergency:
  http://tinyurl.com/EmComTipSheet

  o  The wireless microphone proceeding.  Comment deadlines
  have been established:
  http://tinyurl.com/WirelessMicComments

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  MORE ON SANDY

  The conventional press is doing great a job of covering the
impact of Hurricane Sandy, so we will only touch on a few more
brief items:

  o  Clear Channel's radio cluster in NYC goes dark.  In
  this video, we wander the halls of their darkened studios
  with an alarm or two ringing and clocks frozen at 9:13 PM.
  Spooky:
  http://tinyurl.com/CCNY-Goes-Dark

  o  Time-lapse map shows Internet outages as Hurricane
  Sandy hits the East Coast (video):
  http://tinyurl.com/InternetOutages-TheVideo

  o  Radio World and its affiliated publications are
  operating with limited email and phones due to the impact
  of Sandy.  If you need to get in touch with them, please
  use the following temporary edress:
  radioworld93 (at) gmail.com

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  A LITTLE CAUTION ABOUT MEXICO

  Mexican cartels enslave engineers to build radio networks.
This could ruin your whole day.

  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/11/zeta-radio/

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  $96,000 FINE PROPOSED AGAINST UNION OIL COMPANY

  Union Oil Company of California ("UOCC"), a subsidiary of
Chevron Corp., is tentatively fined $96,000 for failing to renew
two two-way radio licenses and continuing to use the frequencies.
Union discovered the error by the way (not the FCC) and Union
sought to make amends.

  Nevertheless, the FCC decided to fine Union far more than
average.  In jacking up the forfeiture, the FCC said, "...we
recognize that Chevron -- UOCC's parent company -- is a multi-
billion dollar, global enterprise, and to ensure that forfeiture
liability is a deterrent and not simply a cost of doing business,
the Commission has determined that large or highly-profitable
companies such as Chevron should expect the assessment of
higher forfeitures for violations."

  http://tinyurl.com/UnionOil96000

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  A DONATED KIDNEY

  Gene "Bean" Baxter of KROQ-FM recently announced that he
will become a kidney donor to help Scott Mason, CBS Director
of Engineering, Radio, West Coast.  This is a monumental decision
that will affect both parties and their families for years to
come.  A kidney transplant is a complex procedure.

  Let's keep these outstanding gentlemen in our prayers.

  http://tinyurl.com/ScottMasonKidneyTransplant
  http://tinyurl.com/ScottMasonStory-Via-OCRegister


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                       THE MT. WILSON REPORT
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  PLANNED MT. WILSON STAKEHOLDERS MEETING -- PART II

  USDA Forest Service plans to hold a Mt. Wilson Stakeholders
Meeting (see CGC #1170) and is looking for more station officials
to attend.  Topics will include hazardous fuel reduction and
county road issues, so this meeting is important.

  Interested parties who have not already signed up should
contact:

  Michael J. McIntyre
  District Ranger
  Los Angeles River Ranger District
  mmcintyre (at) fs.fed.us
  (818) 899-1900, ext. 223

  As announced yesterday, the Mt. Wilson Stakeholder Meeting
will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at 0930-1200 hours.
Location:  Forest Supervisor's Office, 701 N. Santa Anita Ave.,
Arcadia, CA.


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                           RANDOM NOTES
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  NOTE FOR RADIO

  o  Hurricane Sandy makes a powerful case for FM chips
  in cell phones:
  http://tinyurl.com/SandyHelpsFM-Chips
  http://tinyurl.com/FM-Chip-in-Cells

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  NOTES FOR TELEVISION

  o  Deborah McAdams on Ultra HD:
  http://tinyurl.com/InsideUltraHD

  o  Panasonic Corp. shares tumbled 19% Thursday, wiping
  out more than $3 billion off its market capitalization after
  the firm said it expects a massive loss for the second
  straight year (WSJ):
  http://tinyurl.com/BeCautiousOfPanasonic

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  L.A. INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT'S TIS STATION GOES DARK

  The Travelers Information Station (TIS) on 530 kHz at Los
Angeles International Airport has reportedly been off the air
for a month or so.  Are airport officials trying to figure out
what to do with a service that few people listen to?

  One way or the other, the off-air episode is good news for
DXers.  It "makes a nice opening for the 50 kW Turks and Caicos
530 kHz religious station" according to one source.

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  MORE TESTING AT WWVB

  WWVB, 60 kHz, the station most often used as our nation's
time and frequency standard, is continuing to test their phase
modulated mode and may switch between their legacy (AM) mode
and their new phase modulated (PM) mode in the days and weeks
ahead.


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                          HAM RADIO NOTES
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  HAM RADIO FORWARDED-MESSAGE MONITORING OBLIGATIONS

  Ham radio operators involved with message forwarding
systems should be very interested in this letter from Scot Stone
at the FCC:

  http://tinyurl.com/TheStoneDecision

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  THE INHERENT VULNERABILITIES OF CELLULAR

  In a recent news release, the FCC discussed ongoing
communication outages in the northeast due to Hurricane Sandy.

  The Commission points out that cell-type communication
architecture is vulnerable because it is "highly interdependent"
on other parts of the system.  So, a failure in one place can
lead to a set of failures elsewhere.  This conclusion, of course,
supports ham radio's point-to-point communications model when
disaster strikes and the chips are down.

  http://tinyurl.com/HighlyInterdependent

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  RELIANCE ON VOICE COMMUNICATIONS DURING A DISASTER

  John Zaruba, K2ZA, is ARRL Section Emergency Coordinator
for Southern New Jersey.  Here now is an extract from last
weekend's Amateur Radio Newsline report concerning ham
communications during Hurricane Sandy:

  "As for the modes of communication, Zaruba says it was all
voice.  "Primarily, we were using 2-meter FM," Zaruba says.
"And, I've been a big proponent of using digital communications.
But, here again, we've got a bit of a way to go to get people
focused in on [the fact that digital is] an available tool in
our tool kit and let's utilize it."

  "Right now, most of the mind-set revolves around voice
communication.""

  ______


  "There was a lot of good ground intelligence," Zaruba says.
"You know, where people were trying to get places and there was
a lot of reporting of, 'Okay this road's flooded, you can't go
here.  You have to re-route and go this way.'  So there was a
lot of real-time information coming back that way."


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                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  TECH LETTERS

  The most recent postings on Tech Letters include this gem:

  o  More solid progress on the construction of the new
  KBRT(AM) transmitter site, and what a fabulous installation
  it is.  KBRT is the lead story again in the Local Oscillator
  newsletter:
  http://tinyurl.com/SolidProgressAtKBRT

  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):

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

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

  Thanks!


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                            OFF TOPIC
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  HIGH STANDARD OFF TOPIC MATERIAL

  o  Solid progress on the human-powered helicopter:
  http://tinyurl.com/HumanPoweredThopter

  o  F-18 plane crash in Canada (2010).  Pilot ejects,
  survives.  Video:
  

  o  Las Vegas police dump Harris' Desert Sky digital radio
  system after two years of dropped calls and dead zones:
  http://tinyurl.com/DesertSkyDumped

  o  This is the highly abbreviated view of Felix
  Baumgatner's supersonic free fall (Mach 1.24 or 834 MPH):
  http://tinyurl.com/FBsSupersonicJump

  o  Thousand Hand Guan Yin:
  


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