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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR

                            CGC #450

                       Monday, May 7, 2001

                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor

     Copyright 2001, Communications General Corporation (CGC)

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  FCC'S TV QUERY PAGE IS BACK ONLINE

  The Commission's TV Query page (technical data on US
TV stations) has sprung back to life with a new and improved
format.  Visit:

  http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/vsd/tvq.html 

  Discrepancies should be reported to <hhashemz@fcc.gov>.

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  DTV STATIONS:  KNOW YOUR PSIP

  When someone can't receive a picture on their digital TV,
it's often blamed on the 8-VSB modulation scheme.  However, the
problem is sometimes due to the wrong Program Specific Information
Protocol ("PSIP") being broadcast by the station.

  The PSIP standard was first issued in 1997 and there was a
misconception that its main purpose was to produce an on-screen
electronic program guide.  PSIP is much more than that, however.
This is the time to "get PSIP right," before DTV viewership
becomes significant.  See Broadcasting & Cable, 4/25/01, p 30.

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  DTV PROGRESS

  "Of the 1,288 commercial television stations, 1,101 are yet
to complete their DTV conversion by the FCC-mandated date of
May 1, 2002" -- CBS' Joe Flaherty, Broadcasting & Cable, 4/25,
page 6.  In other words, expect a substantial number of delays.

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  NASA'S TDRSS SATELLITES TO BE USED FOR PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS

  NASA's TDRSS (pronounced TEE-dress) satellites, which provide
virtually uninterrupted ground-to-low earth orbit spacecraft
communications (e.g. for the Shuttle and the International Space
Station) will now be permitted to carry limited private data.

  The significance of this action is that a very valuable
government asset (TDRSS) is being shared with the private sector.
The sharing is of course on a non-interference basis to our
government's (e.g. NASA's) own needs.

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov:8835/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-01-288A1.doc 

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  SEVEN BILLION MILES AND COUNTING

   Last week NASA received a weak signal from Pioneer 10, twice
as far from the Sun as Pluto and speeding toward the constellation
Taurus.  The feeble signal registered little more than a billionth
of a trillionth of a watt.

  This very special spacecraft was the first to travel through
the asteroid belt, the first to visit Jupiter, and the first to
use a planet's gravity to change course and reach solar-system
escape velocity.  "We're way beyond our warranty," says Pioneer 10
project manager Larry Lasher.  "Pioneer 10 was only intended to
last 21 months, but it's been going for nearly 30 years."  Pioneer
carries a special identification plaque which may outlive the
earth itself.

  http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast03may_1.htm?friend 

  URL courtesy of Jon Melby, WB6GVR

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           LETTERS TO THE EDITOR    (NINE LINE LIMIT)
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  FOUND: A CONVENIENT COMPOUND THAT SILVER PLATES COPPER

  Regarding Fred Vobbe's request for a product that silver
plates copper.  The product is called "Cool-Amp" and I still
get ads for it from time to time.  The main application is to
silver plate bus-bars used in AC power distribution.  But of
course it works fine for RF too.

  Lew Collins, W1GXT

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  AM STATION WITH TOWERS IN THE WATER

  Reader Jim McCook has submitted a jpeg image to CGC of what
appears to be a four tower in-line AM HF array.  It is said to
be built in a lagoon in the Seychelles.  The transmission lines
are supported by a series of low-lying towers which are also
anchored underwater.  Jim asks if this is "the only antenna
system of its type in the world, where the radiating towers and
feedlines" extend into open water.

  Communicator readers may respond to Jim at:  w6ya@home.com 

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  1924 RADIO PUBLICATION AVAILABLE ON THE WEB

  Check out "Radio Doings," a publication dated October 25, 1924.
It is an interesting look at radio in that era:

http://pubindex.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/09/519246.pdf 

  Marvin Collins    [This is large file, beware.   -Ed.]

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  PORTABLE AUDIO STREAMING WITHOUT AIRTIME FEES

  Enjoyed your voting device (CGC #447) - it reminded me of
something I came up with in response to recent hype over providing
audio and video services through cell phones, or as they are now
called "wireless devices."  So, I decided there should be an
alternative device for those who didn't want to pay cell phone
airtime costs to listen to music.  See:

  http://bobhudson.com/streaming.html 

  Bob Hudson Communications

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  TOWERS THAT KILL BIRDS

  This month's BIRDER'S WORLD (June 2001) has an article
starting on Page 42 titled "Towering Injustice" with a picture
of hands holding a dead bird and a picture of towers.

  The article starts with, "Thousands of towers pierce the
nation's skies to feed our exploding technological needs.  Are
birds paying the price?"  They refer to http://www.towerkill.com 
as, "the most comprehensive site on the topic."

  Stand by for more reasons why you can't have a tower....

  Bill Ruck, Chair, NCFCC

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  NIMBY & NOMP, MEET BANANA

  NIMBY ("not in my back yard") and NOMP ("not on my planet")
  are accompanied by yet another cousin:

  BANANA ("Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody").

  (I didn't coin this phrase.)

  Howard Ham, Howard.Ham@sce.com 

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                          MISCELLANEOUS
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  HAMS TALK TO THE FIRST 'SPACE TOURIST'

  The first person to buy a trip into space says he loves it.
California businessman Dennis Tito, KG6FZX, says by ham radio
that he is having the time of his life aboard the International
Space Station and that the trip was worth every penny he spent.

  A number of ham radio operators have already talked to Tito.
Listen on 145.80 MHz during the brief windows when the space
station is above the horizon.  (Amateur Radio Newsline #1238.)

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           LOCAL ITEMS FROM THE FCC    (FCC TYPOS TOO)
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  DIGITAL TV APPLICATION FOR MINOR AMENDMENT
  TO A CONSTRUCTION PERMIT AMENDMENT RECEIVED

  BPCDT-19991101AHI   KECY-DT  51208  PACIFIC MEDIA CORPORATION
               E      CHAN-48               EL CENTRO, CA

  Engineering Amendment filed 04/26/2001

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  TV TRANSLATOR OR LPTV STATION APPLICATION FOR AMENDMENT
  AMENDMENT RECEIVED

  BNPTTL-20000831CLG   NEW   131122     TOM WERNER
                P    CHAN-58          EL CENTRO, CA

  Engineering Amendment filed 03/28/2001

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  FM CHANNEL 253A ALLOCATED TO WILLOW CREEK, CA

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov:8835/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-01-1151A1.doc 
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