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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #616
                   Tuesday, February 24, 2004
                             ________
               Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Publisher
                       <rgonsett@ieee.org>
           Stephen H. Blodgett, W7RNA, Letters Editor
                  mailto: steve@earthsignals.com
    Copyright 2004, Communications General=AE Corporation (CGC)
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  FCC PUBLISHES LPFM RECOMMENDATIONS
  After evaluating the "Mitre Report" and the public comments
thereon, the FCC has concluded that existing third-adjacent
channel minimum distance separation requirements between LPFM
stations and existing full-service FM stations and FM translator
and booster stations should be abolished.  An exception comes
when an FM station provides a subcarrier radio reading service;
then and only then would third adjacent channel mileage=20
separations be imposed.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-244128A1.doc
******************************************************************
  PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF FCC PART 15 TO PERMIT BPL
  Here is the formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend
Part 15 of the Commission's rules to adopt new requirements and
measurement guidelines to permit broadband over power line ("BPL")
data transmissions, including high speed Internet.  The text was
released yesterday, and Comments are due 45 days from publication
of the text in the Federal Register.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-04-29A1.doc
******************************************************************
  NEW FCC PART 4:  DISRUPTIONS TO COMMUNICATIONS
  In recognition of the critical need for rapid, full, and
accurate information on service disruptions that could affect
homeland security, public health and safety, as well as the
economic well-being of the U.S., and in view of the importance
of non-wireline communications in the Nation's infrastructure,
the FCC has proposed to extend its disruption reporting
requirements to communications providers who are not wireline
carriers.  In this connection, the FCC is also proposing to move
the outage-reporting requirements from Rule Part 63 to Part 4.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-04-30A1.doc
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                       LOCAL & REGIONAL NEWS
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  AWAITING 920
  If rumors hold, XEDD, 920 kHz, will soon join XESS, 780 kHz,
by broadcasting through the new tower structure at Rosarita Beach
near Tijuana.  The only device apparently missing is the diplexer,
the radio frequency combiner that will allow both stations to
transmit into the same tower without creating a host of RF
intermodulation products (spurious signals on other frequencies).
  The new 920 kHz station will reportedly be authorized to
run 20kW day/10kW night, with a non-directional antenna.  Those
parameters will of course cause massive interference to U.S.
stations and add to the chaos already created by XEKTT (XEPE) on
560 kHz and XESS on 780.  However, it is reasonable to assume
that the new 920 facility will run low power at first to avoid
further outraging U.S. interests.
  It appears that the FCC has made a grievous error in the way
it is handling the 560 and 780 kHz stations, and some prior
situations with Mexico, but that is another story.  The fact is,
560 and 780 grossly violate the U.S./Mexican AM Agreement and
should be turned off pronto.  We can only hope that the U.S.
Department of State will weigh in on the matter.
  For the moment, tune your receivers to 920 kHz and wait for
the next chapter in this saga to unfold.  More than a few watts
may be coming our way in the next few weeks.
******************************************************************
                      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
 (100 Words or Less - Weekly Deadline is Wednesday, 6 PM Pacific)
******************************************************************
  POSSIBLE DIGITAL DAMAGE FROM KMXE (AND OTHER STATIONS TO FOLLOW)
  KMXE, 830 (formerly KPLS), must have added iBiquity digital
sidebands this Thursday morning.  I heard absolutely horrendous
digital sideband noise on the Mexicali station on 820, wiping it
out, and 840 was in the same condition.  I did some further
checking and found that KMXE 830 is even wiping out 820 and 840
in San Diego, so the problem must be much worse closer to the KMXE
transmitter plant [KMXE is licensed to Orange].  Is this the kind
of interference we should expect from IBOC on AM?  If so, it's
hard to view IBOC as "technological progress."
  Bill Lipis, San Diego, mailto: blipis@earthlink.net
  [See a revealing spectrogram of KMXE's IBOC signal as viewed
from CGC's monitoring lab in Fallbrook on February 20th; visit:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/KMXE.PDF
  If you think KMXE's in-band off-channel (IBOC) noise is
something, just wait 'till the "Big Dogs" go IBOC!   -Ed]
******************************************************************
  BPL AND THE LAWS OF PHYSICS (CGC #615)
  BPL is a system that uses unshielded, unbalanced wires, out in
the open - read "antenna" - to carry energy in the r.f. spectrum.
Even so, the FCC says it is, "hopefully safeguarding existing
radio services against harmful interference caused by signal
leakage."  Will the FCC's hope be enough to supersede the laws
of physics?
  Mike Lonneke, mailto: W0YR@aol.com
  ["Hopefully" was the Communicator's word, not the FCC's, but
hope is clearly alive and well with the Commissioners who have
their heads buried in the sand on the serious interference aspects
of BPL.  This is not the time for the FCC to pave the way for a
nationwide roll out of BPL.  This is the time for limited field
trials if the BPL folks are convinced they have a workable=20
system.  -Ed.]
******************************************************************
  IF BPL RADIATES, DON'T WE HAVE WIRELESS SECURITY ISSUES?
  If a BPL system can be detectable over-the-air, doesn't it
face security vulnerabilities common to wireless networks?
Could the whiz-kid techno-hacker view BPL's presence in the
radio spectrum as a challenge?  Would he be entertained by
probing it with his laptop from beneath a set of power lines?
  BPL engineers might well respond that the nature of the
system's technology would make such an event unlikely.  Still,
it seems that where there's a will, there's a way, and cracking
BPL's security might well turn out to be the new Mount Everest
for those who find hacking prospects irresistible.
  Steve Blodgett, mailto: steve@earthsignals.com
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  NEW SAN DIEGO FM PIRATE ON 98.5 MHZ; COMMENT ON 97.7 MHZ
  A new FM station is now being heard in the Sports Arena
area of San Diego at 98.5 MHz in stereo.  Judging from the
multipath, the antenna is at a low elevation; judging from the
distance [the signal] goes (I'm able to hear it in Mission Beach),
it's running about 100 watts.  They are playing dance music with
no DJ or station ID.  I started hearing it yesterday (Friday
2/20) and was able to hear it this morning (Saturday 2/21) in
my car sporadically on I-8 east to 163.
  Forwarded by Chris Carmichael on 2/21/04
  [No trace of the station was evident during listening tests
from noon until 1:00 PM Monday.  On another subject, the same
observer writes, "I did notice XHTIJ (97.7 MHz) bombing into=20
Mission Valley in full stereo again.  I guess their directional
antenna must have spun around on its mount again."]
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  RFI FROM ELECTRIC BLANKETS - A NEW CHAPTER FOR AN OLD PROBLEM
  The RFI from electric blankets (see CGC #613, 615) is another
problem that can be added to a history of RFI events caused by
heating pad thermostats and the class of transformers used for
door bells.  RFI from these devices can affect AM reception for
blocks and blocks.  An interesting and little noted change in
electric blankets took place when there was that firestorm some
years ago over magnetic fields from power lines.  The electric
blanket makers got a jump on things by switching to twisted pairs,
thus solving the problem of the significant magnetic fields that
were produced by the blankets.
  Roy Trumbull, mailto: roy_trumbull@hotmail.com
******************************************************************
  IS WWVB STILL SENDING TIME UPDATES?
  I=91ve noticed that my WWVB (60 kHz) clocks, both at home and at
work, haven=92t been receiving the signal updates at around 1 or=20
2 AM as they have previously done for years.  I have a wristwatch
and two wall clocks that normally indicate a successful time sync
every day but none of them have received a signal in the past week
or so here in the Los Angeles area.
  Has anyone else noticed this same problem?  I sent a note to
WWVB and they told me that they did not have any outages during
the past few weeks.
  Tom Patterson, mailto: TAPatterson@cbs.com
******************************************************************
  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHANNEL 32! - KDOC-DT IS ON THE AIR!
  KDOC-DT began operating by remote control at 12:19 PM on
Wednesday, Feb. 18.  Everything is performing as planned, with
some "fine-tuning" scheduled during in the coming days and weeks.
  Roger Knipp, mailto: rknipp@kdoctv.net
******************************************************************
  THE RETURN OF LYLE HENRY
  I'm finally back in Los Angeles after 10 months on the road
installing SCA generators and monitors for Microsoft's new MSN
Direct system that transmits data to watches and other small
devices <http://direct.msn.com>.  My territory was from Wisconsin
to the east coast.  You'd love my test watch - it has a built-in
FM band spectrum analyzer - beats a Dick Tracy watch any day!
  Lyle Henry, mailto: lylehenry@fastmail.fm
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                           JOB SHOPPE
******************************************************************
  GIANT STEP SEARCHING FOR WORK
  Phil Wells, former CE at KJQY/KPLN, KOGO/KLZZ, KPSI, etc.
has started his own business specializing in computer networking,
wireless networks, PC-based business phone systems and other
aspects of professional communications for small and medium sized
businesses.  Learn more about Giant Step Communications by
calling Phil at 858-549-2220 or visiting:
  http://web.giantstep.biz
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                          MISCELLANEOUS
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  GLYNN WALDEN AND IRA GOLDSTONE TO BE HONORED BY NAB
  Glynn Walden, of Ibiquity engineering fame, is the recipient
of the NAB's Radio Engineering Achievement Award for 2004, given
to industry leaders for contributions that are said to have
significantly advanced broadcast engineering.  The honoree on
the TV side is Ira Goldstone, Technology Coordinator for the
Tribune Company and Vice President/Chief Technology Officer for
Tribune Broadcasting.
  http://www.rwonline.com/dailynews/one.php?id=3D4632
******************************************************************
  THE ACME MAPPER
   Aerial photos displayed on Microsoft's Terraserver web site
have always been disappointing when specifying a location by
geographic coordinates.  Sometimes the site pictured is a mile
off the mark, and it takes real iterative effort to find the
actual target especially because the zoom feature won't hold
specified coordinates and zooms you to a seemingly random spot.
  The Acme Mapper solves these problems, and it's free.  The
Acme Mapper is essentially a good front end for the Terraserver.
Zooming in and out is accurate so you won't get lost.  Visit the
URL below for a sample plot, then enter your own coordinates to
picture your favorite location.  (Thanks, Ron Patten)
  http://mapper.acme.com/
******************************************************************
  ANOTHER AM & FM RADIO JAMMING TRANSMITTER - THE RAT 582
  Alert Technologies International Corp. recently marketed
a transmitter for emergency vehicles that jammed all AM & FM
broadcast stations.  The intention of the device is to warn
motorists with a loop recording of an approaching emergency
vehicle.  The transmitter is rigged to automatically activate
whenever lights and siren are used.  The manufacturer stated:
  "The cost of the unit is approximately $985 and as a result
of demand, the production is 6-8 weeks behind order time.  The
order/delivery time is anticipated to be reduced significantly
as a second manufacturer has been brought on board."
  Read the manufacturer's own claims at:
  http://www.alerttechintl.com/
  http://www.adicorp.net/
  What makes this case unusual is that the device was being
marketed before the FCC had ruled on the parent company's
Petition for Rulemaking to allow such a product to be sold in
the U.S.; however, the company recently modified its web posting
to make clear that it is NOT marketing in the U.S. at this time.
  The URL for the FCC's description of the Petition (with a
comment deadline of February 12, 2004) appears below.  On
February 5 and 6, CGC privately alerted a number of parties to
the apparent premature marketing efforts of Alert Technologies,
and the need to ensure that comments on the Petition itself were
filed in a timely manner.  SBE, NAB and others are now on top
of the situation.  See and read more at:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-37A1.doc
******************************************************************
  A MORSE CODE SYMBOL FOR THE "AT SIGN"
  Radio Currents Online for Feb 16-22, 2004 states that the
"International Morse Code, the nearly forgotten shorthand of
early electronic communications, is being updated" to include a
code character for the "at sign" (@).  In December, the ITU
voted to make the character, which will be known as a commat,
consist of the signals for "A" (dot-dash) and "C" (dash-dot-
dash-dot), with no space between them.
******************************************************************
  TESLAMANIA!
  This is probably the only web site featuring Tesla coils,
levitating Mendocino motors, frozen lightning bolts (Lichtenberg
figures) and magnetic coin shrinkers and can crushers.  The site
is just plain hard to beat.  URL courtesy of Dr. Wells:
  http://205.243.100.155/
******************************************************************
           LOCAL ITEMS FROM THE FCC    (FCC TYPOS TOO)
******************************************************************
  FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATION FOR ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
  ACCEPTED FOR FILING
  BNPFT-20030826AEI   NEW  150264   RADIO ASSIST MINISTRY INC.
               E   105.5 MHZ              WESTMORLAND, CA
  CP New Stn.
  Petitions to deny this application must be on file no later
  than 15 days from the date of the notice accepting this
  application for filing.
******************************************************************
  FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATION FOR LICENSE TO COVER
  ACCEPTED FOR FILING
  BLFT-20040217AAG K288DR 72006 CALVARY CHAPEL OF TWIN FALLS, INC.
             E   105.5 MHZ           DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA
  Lic. to cover
******************************************************************
  AM STATION APPLICATION FOR MINOR AMENDMENT TO A CONSTRUCTION
  PERMIT AMENDMENT RECEIVED
  BMP-20040112ABE   KYPA  18273   MULTICULTURAL RADIO BROADCASTING
              E   1230 KHZ                 LICENSEE, LLC
                                          LOS ANGELES, CA
  Engineering Amendment filed 02/13/2004
******************************************************************
  FM TRANSLATOR APPLICATION FOR ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
  PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION
  BPFT-19990623TC   K205EP  93751   LIVING WAY MINISTRIES, INC.
               P   88.9 MHZ               LA CANADA, CA
  CP NEW STN:  PRIMARY STATION KTLW;
  PETITION TO DENY FILED 11/15/99
  APPLICATION IS DISMISSED,
  PETITION TO DENY IS DISMISSED AS MOOT PER STAFF LETTER. 12/11/00
  PETITION FOR RECON FILED 1/16/2001
  PETITION FOR RECONSIDERATION IS GRANTED 11/30/2001, APPLICATION
  IS REINSTATED NUNC PRO TUNC TO PENDING 11/30/2001.
  APPLICATION IS GRANTED THIS DAY 11/30/2001.(NO STAFF LETTER SENT)
  PETITION FOR RECON FILED 12/10/2001
  OPPOSITION TO PETITION FOR RECON FILED 12/26/01
  INFORMAL OBJECTION FILED 2/12/2002
  COMMENTS ON INFORMAL OBJECTION FILED 3/14/02 BY (LWM)
  Petition for Reconsideration dismissed per filer's request
  2/18/2004 - no letter sent
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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, 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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