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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #715
                   Tuesday, November 29, 2005
                             ________
                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
                      <r.gonsett@ieee.org>
    Copyright 2005, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  LITTLE NEWS FROM THE FCC
  Looks like Thanksgiving took its toll on the FCC.  There
is little technical news to report, but just enough to sandwich
between some other interesting items.
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  TURBO CODES
  In the mid-1990s, an earthquake shook the digital coding
landscape.  A pair of French engineers - outsiders to the world
of coding theory - astonished the insiders with their invention
of what they called turbo codes.  For a given transmitter power,
digital "error correcting" codes could be sent over a noisy
communications channel at about twice the previous speed - and
moreover the data could be sent within a hair's breadth of the
"Shannon's limit" - the maximum theoretical speed possible.
  In the past couple of years, turbo codes have found their way
into millions of mobile phones, enabling users to send audio and
video clips more efficiently than ever.  Turbo's new cousin, LDPC
codes, have become the new standard for digital-satellite
television.  Hundreds of research groups are studying potential
applications of the two kinds of codes at universities and
industry giants including Qualcomm, Sony, Motorola and Samsung.
  Turbo codes were invented by guys who didn't know that
devising such efficient codes was supposed to be hard.  "The
thing that blew everyone away about turbo codes is not just that
they get so close to Shannon capacity, but that they're so easy.
How could we have overlooked them" says one of the sources
quoted in this fabulous article from Science News:
  http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20051105/bob8.asp
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  DIGITAL TV BILL CLEARS HOUSE; MUST BE RECONCILED WITH SENATE
  The House of Representatives has passed legislation which
would set a date-certain of December 31, 2008 for conversion
to digital television, a move that would free up considerable
spectrum.  The Senate version of the bill sets a hard date of
April 7, 2009 for clearing the band.  Resolving the discrepancy
will now be the task of negotiators from both legislative bodies.
  http://www.bakersfield.com/24hour/technology/story/2914499p-11577360c.html
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  FCC GRANTS WAIVER FOR NEW SURVEILLANCE TOOL
  The FCC has granted a Request for Waiver filed by the Law
Enforcement Technologies Division of the Remington Arms Company
seeking to certify and market its Remington Eyeball R1
Transmitter.  The Eyeball R1 imaging sensor is designed to be
thrown like a baseball into a remote or confined location to
broadcast real-time images and sound from the surrounding area,
and may be sold only to eligible law enforcement agencies.
  The R1 transmits in the 2400-2483.5 MHz band using analog
modulation and provides color or black and white video of a
55 degree conical field of view, the direction of which is
remotely controlled using a transmitter in the 902-928 MHz
band.  System cost: about $4,800.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-194A1.doc
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  DOES YOUR TOWER KILL BIRDS?
  Seems like every time we publish a story about tall towers
killing birds, a number of readers respond that they have never
seen a bird kill - or have seen only a few kills - at their
tower bases.  Generating hard evidence on number or lack of bird
kills is very important for the FCC proceeding on this subject,
and now is the time to start collecting data.
  Telecom attorney Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, has suggested that
tower owners video record their tower bases (using a security
camera with recording capability) to collect that data.  After
all, if there are no carcasses, what happened to the dead birds?
The video, on fast forward, could be reviewed daily by an intern.
  While a central repository for data (in the form of reports
backed by DVDs) has yet to be established, sooner or later the
FCC will ask for "comments" on the substantive question, or the
FCC's consultant will ask for data.  That will be the time to
send in DVDs and/or affidavits.  Hopengarten's web site, with
some otherwise unpublished legal stuff on towers, is located at:
  http://www.qth.com/antennazoning/
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  FCC FORFEITURE WATCH - SELECTED ITEM
  When Journal Broadcast Corp., Las Vegas, discovered that its
satellite earth station transmitter license had expired, it asked
the FCC for an STA and a license renewal.  But there was one
little problem that the FCC suspected and Journal later admitted:
The microwave transmitter had been used repeatedly during the no-
license phase.  The proposed fine for this transgression: $5,200.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-3004A1.doc
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  WQRZ-LP TO THE RESCUE IN RURAL MISSISSIPPI
  WQRZ-LP was the only Hancock County radio station still
broadcasting after Katrina decimated much of the western
Mississippi coast in late August.  The facility is licensed to
the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, Inc.  Use the URL
below to read about the extraordinary effort to keep the station
on the air.  Thanks to Radio World for bringing us the details
and showing, once again, that ham radio and civil defense go
hand-in-hand.
  http://www.rwonline.com/reference-room/special-report/06_rw_wqrz_2.shtml
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  PIRATE STATION "FREE RADIO SAN DIEGO" IS BACK ON AIR
  According to an e-mail received November 18, 2005, pirate
station "Free Radio San Diego" is back on the air on 96.9 MHz
at greatly reduced power.  Another e-mail indicated that on
November 21, 2005, "exactly three months after being raided
by the FCC and US Marshalls," Free Radio San Diego "resumed
normal operations at full power."  Undoubtedly this will mean
a bit more work for the San Diego FCC field office.
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  BONILLA SIDE NOTE II
  A number of readers have asked for the web link to the
San Diego Union-Tribune story on the XHBCE-FM telephone stunt
mentioned in CGC #713 where a radio prank could have resulted
in physical injury or worse.  The web address, unavailable at
the time of publication, follows:
  http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051110/news_1c10luis.html
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  WEBCAM SAVES SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY WOMAN
  When 69-year-old diabetic Karin Jordal lost consciousness
at her San Bernardino County home last week, her image was
transmitted to the Philippines via a webcam installed just four
weeks prior and connected to the Internet.  Her son saw that his
mother was unresponsive, and quickly called his brother in Norway, 
and his brother's wife contacted California authorities who 
responded to the Pinon Hills home and transported the woman to 
a local hospital where she was treated and released.
  http://www.vvdailypress.com/2005/113258047974025.html
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               FM RADIO - LOCAL ITEMS FROM THE FCC
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  NEW FM CHANNEL FOR MOJAVE - CHANNEL MODIFICATION FOR TRONA
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-3013A1.doc
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  LOW POWER FM APPLICATION FOR MINOR MODIFICATION TO A
  CONSTRUCTION PERMIT GRANTED
  BMPL-20051005ACG   KJBQ-LP  124620  MOUNTAIN EMPIRE COMMUNITY
                E   103.3 MHZ             BROADCASTING INC.
                                             POTRERO, CA
  Low Power FM Mod of CP to chg.
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