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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #602
                    Monday, November 3, 2003
                             ________
               Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Publisher
                       <rgonsett@ieee.org>
           Stephen H. Blodgett, W7RNA, Letters Editor
                  mailto: steve@earthsignals.com
    Copyright 2003, Communications General=AE Corporation (CGC)
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  FIRE DAMAGE AT KECR, EL CAJON: TOWER DOWN, CASE OF THE
  MISSING DOG HOUSES
  A wall of flames swept across the KECR(AM) site in El
Cajon last week as part of the San Diego conflagration.
KECR is assigned to 910 kHz, and had a seven tower array.
Each tower had its own "dog house" where large relays, coils,
capacitors and other electrical components were mounted.  The
fire burnt five dog houses to a crisp, and one of the towers
toppled.  Fortunately, the studio and transmitter buildings
survived.
  According to one report, ashes covered everything
inside the buildings, but nothing burned, and after a thorough
cleaning the equipment worked fine.  KECR is presumably back
on the air non-directionally under an STA, although we have
yet to receive confirmation on this point.
  Anyone can understand why fire would convert wooden dog
houses to ash, but why did the tower fall?  The most likely
explanation is shown in the last photo at the URL below:
Phillystran (or similar material) guys or guy rods were run
virtually to ground level, right in the path of brush-fed
flames.  Lesson learned: Never install so-called "glass guys"
at ground level.  They are adversely affected by fire.  They
can even be cut with a pocket knife.  And don't use wooden dog
houses.  See the photos at:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/KECR_Tower_Down.htm
  Keep in mind that the current owner of the station did not
necessarily install the "glass guys" at ground level.  That
may have been done by a previous owner.  Our purpose in presenting
these photographs is to educate, and we appreciate KECR's
willingness to share these historic images.  As one station
official put it, "God protected KECR."  Indeed, He did a very
good job.
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  KLVJ, JULIAN, IS OFF THE AIR
  KLVJ, 100.1 MHz, Julian, is off the air due to an extended
power outage caused by the fire.  Power went down at their
downtown Julian studio location, and that killed the audio feed
to the transmitter on Volcan Mountain.  Little or no damage is
expected if flames reached Volcan due to the hardened nature of
the transmitter/coax/antenna installation.
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  COURT UPHOLDS 2007 DATE FOR PORTION OF DTV TRANSITION
  An appeals court has upheld the FCC's schedule intended to
speed the transition to digital television by setting July 1, 2007
as the effective date by which all new TV sets with screens 13" or
larger must be capable of receiving digital signals.  The first
phase of the tuner requirement begins next year, when half of all
TV sets 36 inches or larger are required to have DTV tuners.
  http://tinyurl.com/t0yo
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-240448A1.doc
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  FCC FORFEITURE WATCH - SELECTED ITEM
  $4,000 is the proposed fine against non-commercial educational
TV Station KALO, Honolulu, Hawaii, for broadcasting from an
unauthorized transmitter site.  It's a good story.  Station staff
had reportedly found an old CP for the unauthorized site and moved
the transmitting equipment there.  After being told by another
broadcaster that the site was unauthorized for KALO's use, KALO
rechecked the authorization and "to its surprise" (according to
the station's attorney) determined that the authorization had
in fact expired.  However, KALO had a new CP application pending
for that site, and that CP was later granted.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-3431A1.doc
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  FCC PROPOSES TO FINE SPECTRASITE $120,500 FOR ANTENNA=20
  STRUCTURE VIOLATIONS
   The FCC has proposed to fine SpectraSite Communications
$120,500 for failing to illuminate and register some of its
antenna structures.  The amount of the proposed forfeiture
represents the statutory maximum available.  The Commission
decided to propose a significantly higher forfeiture than
generally used in such cases because, it said, SpectraSite had
a prior history of antenna structure rule violations.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-240570A1.doc
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-264A1.doc
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                           JOB SHOPPE
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  CONTRACT ENGINEER AVAILABLE FOR TRANSMITTER OR OTHER WORK
  An experienced engineer is available who is willing to
temporarily relocate in order to assist with the rebuilds of
stations that have lost transmitter plants in the fires.  He can
come to Southern California immediately if necessary to begin
work.  He has an extensive background in RF construction, and
studio projects, with an emphasis on transmitter installations.
  For more detailed information, visit the Jobs Page at:
  http://earthsignals.com/jobs/
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         LETTERS TO THE EDITOR  (100 WORDS OR LESS IDEAL)
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  A CLOSE CALL, BUT HEAPS PEAK SURVIVED THE FIRES!
  As of 4:45 PM on Wednesday, October 29th, I put KGGI back
on the air from Heaps Peak.  It turned out that the station was
off the air due to a clogged generator fuel filter that we suspect
was affected by fuel tank debris that was stirred up during a tank
refueling late Monday.  KGGI is now at full power, in stereo.
  As for the Heaps Peak site itself, the fire did indeed pass
through it, as evidenced by all the trees and vegetation that were
totally wiped out.  The buildings and towers were found to be
safe, but there was no telephone service.
  Richard Mena, KGGI, mailto: RichardMena@clearchannel.com
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   KHIZ-TV'S MICROWAVE RELAY SITE IS ANOTHER LUCKY SURVIVOR
  I got a call about 2 PM last Tuesday from John Williams
who arrived at our microwave relay site, Paivika Peak (west of
Crestline), and confirmed that our facility survived the fire
without damage!  KHIZ-TV [CH-64, Barstow] was back on the air
shortly thereafter.  John reported that the fire burned right
up to the site.  Perhaps some unknown muse of broadcasting,
or more likely a fire fighter, saved the facility.
  It turns out that we had been off the air due to a failed
backup generator.  John got us up and running on that generator,
but I doubted there were more than 3 or 4 days worth of fuel in
the tank.  Given that Edison will likely be a while getting
commercial power back up on the hill, maintaining the fuel
supply became a priority at that point.
  Mike Galgano, KHIZ-TV, mailto: mgalgano@nanosecond.com
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  THE FCC'S MOUNT WILSON RFR ACTION BRINGS COMMENTARY
  We've web-posted a long-form letter written by Ric Tell, an
RFR expert, regarding the FCC's RFR findings on Mount Wilson
(CGC #598 & 600), and the requested need for cooperation by
broadcasters at that site.  The letter may be found at the
following URL:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Letters/Mt_Wilson_RFR_NAL.htm
  Steve Blodgett, mailto: steve@earthsignals.com
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  A CLARIFICATION ON EQUIPMENT SEIZURES (SEE "PIRATE," CGC #600)
  After having served many times as an on-scene supervisor
when I was with the FCC during events such as that described
in San Francisco, I have to emphasize that the FCC does not
"confiscate" equipment.  In such a situation, the U.S. Marshal
Service, executing an order of the Federal District Court, SEIZES
the equipment pending court action for FORFEITURE of the equipment
to the Government.  The FCC agents on scene are there only as
technical experts to identify to the Marshals what equipment falls
under the purview of the seizure warrant. =20
  Phil Kane, mailto: commlaw@kanafi.org
  District Director (retired)
  FCC San Francisco
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  USEFUL EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS AND RESOURCES FOR CALIFORNIA
  If you happen to know anyone in need of emergency or recovery
resources, Barbara Boxer has posted a useful web page that could
be of help.  It contains a wide-ranging list of useful emergency
and recovery resource contacts for Californians.
  http://www.senate.gov/~boxer/wfires.html
  (Thanks to Helen Jones for forwarding the URL)
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                          MISCELLANEOUS
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  FIRE OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT PUBLIC ACCESS TO "MIRTS"
  MIRTS, or mobile infrared transmitters, allow personnel
aboard emergency vehicles responding to emergency calls to
quickly change specially-equipped traffic signals in their favor.
Now, Internet websites are offering the same devices for use by
the public, causing concern for those who rely on the technology
for legitimate needs.
  http://www.detnews.com/2003/commuting/0310/26/a01-307303.htm
  http://www.themirt.com/
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  MORE TOWER VANDALISM FOUND AS SEARCH FOR SUSPECT INTENSIFIES
  The search for the suspect in at least six incidents of
vandalism to high voltage electrical towers has intensified
after a possible sighting near Sacramento.  Meanwhile, two
additional transmission line towers were found sabotaged in
Oregon as the investigation continues into similar acts of
vandalism discovered last week in Klamath Falls and northern
California.
  The primary suspect is believed to be driving a 1997
Toyota pickup with a white shell attached, Washington state
license plate number A36457P, and may now be hiding in Oregon
according to the FBI.
  http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/7688546p-8628371c.html
  http://redding.com/news/past/20031025lo102.shtml
  http://tinyurl.com/t7zc
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  TOWER TIPS
  This web page from ERI provides a wealth of practical and
useful tower information:
  http://tinyurl.com/tb3p
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  A WELL WRITTEN EDITORIAL ON BROADBAND OVER POWER LINES (BPL)
  http://www.arrl.org./news/features/2003/11/01/1/
  (Thanks, Dave Rickmers)
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  OUTSTANDING PHOTOS
  If you never see another website - EVER - you must see this=20
one before shuffling off this mortal coil.  Note: it is several=20
layers deep, so see it all!!!  =20
=20
  http://www.wtv-zone.com/cal555/asil/framespg.html
  Red Blanchard
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           LOCAL ITEMS FROM THE FCC    (FCC TYPOS TOO)
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  PROPOSED LPTV/TV TRANSLATOR CPs
  The FCC has proposed to grant the following non-mutually
  exclusive LPTV/TV translator applications.  Petitions to Deny,
  if any, are due soon:
  CH-22, Lucerne Valley, County of San Bernardino
  CH-29, Twentynine Palms, County of San Bernardino
  CH-64, San Bernardino, Sunbelt Television
  FCC Report No. PGL03-6
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  KADY-TV, OXNARD, ALLOWED TO PROCEED WITH L.A. BOOSTER
  The Los Angeles booster application for KADY-TV, CH-63, Oxnard,
  has been granted over the objection of another TV station.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-3495A1.doc
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  LOW POWER FM APPLICATION FOR ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
  INFORMAL OBJECTION
  BNPL-20000605AGY  NEW  124322  CALVARY CHAPEL COMMUNITY CHURCH
             P   101.5 MHZ                ADELANTO, CA
  Low Power FM CP New Stn.
  Petitions to deny this application must be on file no later
  than 30 days from the date of the notice accepting this
  application for filing.
  Petition to Deny filed 9/5/03
  Opposition to Petition to Deny filed 10/14/03
  WITHDRAWAL OF PETITION TO DENY FILED 10/23/03 BY REC
  Informal Objection filed 10/23/03 by REC
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  FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATION FOR ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
  GRANTED
  BNPFT-20030714AAX  K276EF  89084  CALVARY CHAPEL OF TWIN FALLS..
               E   103.1 MHZ                MUSCOY, CA
  CP New Stn.
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  FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATION FOR MINOR AMENDMENT TO A CONSTRUCTION
  PERMIT AMENDMENT RECEIVED
  BNPFT-20030811AGN  NEW  141347  EDUCATIONAL MEDIA FOUNDATION
               E   95.1 MHZ               LANCASTER, CA
  Engineering Amendment filed 10/28/2003
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  The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast engineering
  professionals in so. California by Communications General=AE
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.
  Short news items are always welcome from our readers,
  and letters may be edited for brevity and clarity.  Letters
  to the Editor (Job Shoppe included) should be sent to
  mailto: steve@earthsignals.com.  For subscription and change
  of e-dress information, mailto: rgonsett@ieee.org.
  CGC Communicator articles may be reproduced in any form
  provided they are unaltered and credit is given to the CGC
  Communicator and the originating authors, when named.  Past
  issues may be viewed and searched at http://www.bext.com/_CGC/
  courtesy of Bext Corporation. =20
  The views expressed in our newsletters do not necessarily
  reflect those of Communications General=AE Corporation, Bext,
  or the newsletter editors.
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