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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                            CGC #325

                      Monday,  May 10, 1999

                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

     Copyright 1999, Communications General Corporation (CGC)

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   KFMB-TV TURNS 50 - CHARLIE ABEL RECOUNTS THE ADVENTURE

  This week we feature a story recounting the early days
of KFMB-TV, San Diego, as relived through the eyes of long-time
Chief Engineer Charlie Abel.  And we do mean early days.  "At the
studio, nobody could stand the heat [of the bright lights], so
we had a plaster of paris figure of Mickey Mouse.  We'd set him
on a rotating pedestal and that's what we would broadcast...."

  Charlie was interviewed by Gary Stigall who wrote the
fascinating story complete with photos:

  http://sbe36.org/1999/0509_kfmbtv50.html 

  KFMB-TV celebrates its 50th anniversary May 16.

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  ONGOING PROBLEMS WITH THE HARRIS DIGIT & DIGIT CD FM EXCITERS

  Many of our readers know that a Harris Digit and an Optimod
8200 have had compatibility problems resulting in unacceptable
center frequency shifts for FM stations.  A second and distinct
problem is that some Harris Digits - all by themselves - appear
to display unstable center frequencies.  While discussing this
possible problem with Harris, one of our clients came into
possession of a Harris Service Bulletin describing yet another
frequency instability problem, this one causing jumps of up to
300 kHz (!) in a small percentage of Digit and Digit CD exciters.
See the bulletin at:

  http://12.30.171.148/cgc/ 

  Click on Additional Postings, then click on the item
entitled, "Frequency Hops with the Harris Digit and Digit CD
FM Exciters."

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  FCC WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU
  MAKES BROADCAST AUXILIARY RADIO STATION LICENSE DATABASES
  AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW PRIOR TO ULS IMPLEMENTATION

  Attention licensees in the following services:

  Low Power and Remote Pick Up Broadcast Auxiliary
  Aural and Television Microwave Broadcast Auxiliary

  This FCC notice instructs you how to access and review the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau's licensing database and how
to submit corrections prior to the data being entered into the
FCC's new Universal Licensing System (ULS) database:

  http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/1999/db990507/pnwl9111.txt 

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  MYSTERIES OF THE EGYPTIAN CROSSED-FIELD ANTENNA (CFA)

  Perhaps the most curious technical paper presented at
this year's NAB Convention was the one entitled, "Four
Egyptian MW Broadcast Crossed-Field Antennas."  These short
antennas (often less than 3% lambda) are said to consistently
outperform quarter-wave towers by "3 to 10 dB per uV" (why
"per uV"?), yet no far field measured data are provided in
the paper to support this point.

  Does anyone plan to build and test a CFA in the U.S.?
Has anyone looked deeply into the claims?  One engineering
consultant who attended the paper commented that he was 90%
in disbelief of what he saw, but the other 10% was anxiously
awaiting more data.  Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary
proof.

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  FCC SEIZES PIRATE EQUIPMENT IN HOUSTON & GRAND RAPIDS

  The crackdown continues.  FCC warns Houston & Grand Rapids
pirates to cease and desist.  Pirates keep broadcasting anyway.
FCC and members of the U.S. Marshals Service seize equipment
and squelch the offenders.

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  COMMISSIONER TRISTANI ON TV TRANSLATORS AND LOW POWER FM

  http://www.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/1999/db990503/spgt905.html 

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  FLORIDA POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY FINED $14,000 & $16,000
  FOR OPERATING WITH EXPIRED MICROWAVE AND LAND-MOBILE LICENSES

  http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Wireless/Orders/1999/da990869.txt 
    and
  http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Wireless/Orders/1999/da990870.txt 

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                    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  USADR PROPOSES TO CUT AM ANALOG BANDWIDTH IN HALF

  At the recent NAB convention, I talked with the folks at
USA Digital Radio regarding their proposal to reduce the analog
bandwidth of AM stations in order to accommodate their AM IBOC
signal.  In the USADR proposal for rulemaking submitted to the
FCC, they are asking to reduce the AM analog audio bandwidth to
5 kHz, for a RF bandwidth of 10 kHz.  As a practical matter, AM
stations will have to transmit less than 5 kHz of audio response
in order to roll off and comply with the +/-5 kHz mask.  This
would give USADR the necessary room to place their IBOC waveform.
However, it will reduce by half our present transmitted audio
bandwidth.

  The USADR engineers are absolutely convinced that few, if
any, AM receivers pass audio above 3.5 kHz.  They are wrong.
One can only hope USADR can come up with a better coding scheme
that doesn't require trashing the analog signal.

  Michael Smith, KCBS/KLLC, San Francisco

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  UNEXPECTED LAND-MOBILE LICENSE CANCELLATION

  I would like to issue a bit of warning.  Some of you may be
operating without a (land-mobile radio) license.  A few months
back, I was hunting around the FCC web site and found a call sign
look up page.  I tried it with a few of my call signs, and then
I tried my fairly new 800 MHz pair.  This is what I saw:

  "...CANCELLED PURSUANT TO PN DA 98-2021 - NOT GRANTED RELIEF BY
GOODMAN/CHAN ORDERS......"

  For the complete story by Ray Vaughan, and a way to check your
land-mobile license status, see:

  http://12.30.171.148/cgc/ 

  ....click on Additional Postings, then click on the 5/5/99
posting.

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  KFMB BACK ON-TARGET WITH NOVEMBER 1 DTV SIGN-ON

  (I) reported last month that KFMB-DT may be late getting
on the air due to a historical Navy jeep trail easement.  CE Rich
Lochmann tells me that they've decided to move the building site
enough to avoid the dash mark on the map, thereby possibly
avoiding a late sign-on with DTV.  November 1 this year is
still the goal.

  Gary Stigall (via SBE San Diego Chapter 36 newsletter)

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  FM TRANSLATORS & LPFM STATIONS

  I've been watching with interest the growing use of translators
to "fill in."   It seems that this is a real abuse of the intent
of the translator rules, and that these "translators" are as much
of a threat to the future of IBOC and FM or any station's revenue
as many claim LPFM would be.  I believe many small communities
would be much better served by a locally owned and run LPFM.  Maybe
LPFM should have the right to bump a translator in favor of local
service.

  Burt I. Weiner, biwa@pacificnet.net 

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  BAROMETERS

  If [Don Beaty who answered the question, "How useful are
barometers in southern California?] lived near a major pass
(e.g. the Cajon Pass), he'd know that the barometer is a very
accurate predictor of the arrival and intensity of the hot,
hurricane force winds, otherwise known as the Santa Anas.

  Dave Rickmers, PaxTV

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                       DIRECT FROM THE FCC
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  FM TRANSLATOR & BOOSTER APPLICATIONS
  READY AND AVAILABLE FOR PROCESSING

  BPFT-981214TC     NEW-T          Pacoima
                    Living Way Ministries, Inc.
                    REQ:    91.100 MHz;  Channel No.  216D
                    TRANSLATOR FOR KTLW, LANCASTER, CA

  BPFTB-981218TB    KPLM-A    Joshua Tree/Twentynine Palms
                    RM Broadcasting L.L.P.
                    REQ:   106.100 MHz;  Channel No.  291D
                    BOOSTER FOR KPLM, PALM SPRINGS, CA

  From FCC Report No. 99-3
  Deadline for Objections or Competing Applications: June 1, 1999

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  COMMERCIAL DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATION FOR LICENSE
  OR LICENSE MODIFICATION ACCEPTED FOR FILING

  BLCDT-990421KE       KTLA-DT       KTLA  INC.
                       CHAN-31    LOS ANGELES, CA

  LICENSE TO COVER (BPCDT-980407KE), AS MODIFIED FOR A NEW
  DIGITAL STATION

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  NON-COMMERCIAL EDUCATIONAL FM APPLICATION AMENDMENT RECEIVED

  BPED-970609MG     NEW        LIVING PROOF INC
                  91.3 MHZ       BARSTOW, CA

  AMENDMENT (990419MA)

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  A C T I O N   O F : April 29, 1999

  BMPCDT-990111KF    KGTV-DT    MCGRAW-HILL BROADCASTING CO., INC.
                     CHAN-25             SAN DIEGO, CA

  APPLICATION GRANTED TO COMMERCIAL DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION
  MP TO CHANGE ERP(AVG): 302 KW; HAAT:  208 METERS AND ANTENNA
  SYSTEM: DIELECTRIC, TFU-18DSC-RC170

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  A C T I O N   O F : April 30, 1999

  BPEDT-981125KF    KPBS-DT    BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR SAN DIEGO U.
                    CHAN-30             SAN DIEGO, CA

  APPLICATION GRANTED TO EDUCATIONAL DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION
  APPLICATION FOR A NEW DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION FOR STATION
  KPBS-TV, SAN DIEGO, CA; DIGITAL CH-30; ERP(AVG):  200 KW;
  HAAT: 606 METERS; ANTENNA LOCATION: ATOP SAN MIGUEL MT., 16
  KM ESE OF SAN DIEGO, CA; (32-41-46  116-56-08); ANTENNA
  SYSTEM:  DIELECTRIC, TFU-24GTH S190

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  FM BROADCAST STATION APPLICATION RECEIVED
  BUT NOT YET ACCEPTED FOR TENDER

  990427IE          KRAZ         GRAPE RADIO
                  105.9 MHZ     SANTA YNEZ, CA

  MOD OF CP TO CHG HAAT, TL & ERP

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  FM BROADCAST STATION APPLICATION ACCEPTED FOR FILING

  BMPH-990329IG      KBTW         RITA BONILLA
                  104.5 MHZ        LENWOOD, CA

  MOD OF CP TO CHG STRUCTURE HGT, HAAT, ERP, & TL

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  A C T I O N   O F : April 30, 1999

  BLFT-990201TC    K209CN    SANTA MONICA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DIST.
                  89.7 MHZ              GORMAN, CA

  APPLICATION GRANTED LICENSE OR LICENSE MODIFICATION
  FOR FM TRANSLATOR
  LIC TO COVER

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                          MISCELLANEOUS
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  JPL INVITES THE WORLD TO ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE

  Once again, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will open its doors
to the public during its annual open house, a free event scheduled
for Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
both days.

  Visitors will be treated to exhibits, demonstrations and
presentations about past and future space missions, while a host
of hands-on activities will be offered to children.  Many of the
Laboratory's scientists and engineers will be on hand to answer
questions on topics such as planetary imaging, space robotics and
communication with distant spacecraft.  For details, see:

  http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/99/openhouse99.html 

  (Thanks, Tony Dinkel)

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  DON STONER PASSES AWAY

  The man who ARRL credits with conceiving of amateur radio
Project OSCAR, Don Stoner, W6TNS, of Clearwater, Florida died
May 4.  He was 67.  Stoner reportedly had been in ill health
for some time.

  http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/99/0507/ 

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  CHAIRMAN KENNARD ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF "PARENTS, KIDS,
  AND COMMUNICATIONS PAGE" ON FCC WEBSITE

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Miscellaneous/News_Releases/1999/nrmc9024.html 

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  NEW DEFINITION FOR CABLE 'VELOCITY FACTOR'

  The term 'velocity factor' has traditionally meant the speed
at which a RF signal travels down a coaxial cable relative to the
speed of light.  A cable whose dielectric insulation has slowed
the wave to 76% the speed of light would have a velocity factor
of 0 point 76 (0.76).

  Question?  What is the velocity factor for optical fiber?
Old Answer: Pretty close to the speed of light.  New Answer:
About 600 miles per hour.  That is the estimated rate at which
fiber is being laid.  (Lightwave magazine, info courtesy of
Sherman George, UCSD-TV).

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