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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #779
                    Monday, February 5, 2007
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                 Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
                      <r.gonsett@ieee.org>
    Copyright 2007, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  BACK-TO-BACK FIRES DESTROY THE KNTV AUXILIARY TRANSMITTER
  The auxiliary transmitter plant for KNTV, Channel 11,
San Jose, was recently destroyed by two back-to-back fires.
The plant was located on Loma Prieta Peak.
  According to e-mails received by the CGC Communicator,
the first fire at the unattended site broke out on December 31,
2006.  A Pacific Gas and Electric lineman investigating a power
outage reportedly noted smoke coming out of the KNTV building.
Fire officials were notified and the first fire was extinguished
with damage to the building, particularly in the area of the
emergency power generator.  The transmitting equipment was
damaged too but was still standing.
  The second fire broke out several hours later.  At first
glance, it appeared that the roof had re-ignited and collapsed
into the block building, causing the same kind of inferno that
destroyed the KFRG(FM) transmitter plant in October 2003.
   Some photographs have emerged.  The first URL below covers
the first KNTV fire from the firefighter's perspective while the
second URL links to what little was left of the KFRG transmitter
in a similar incident.
  A KNTV reporter confirmed that the Loma Prieta fire did
indeed occur ("I know it happened"), but station management has
deferred comment pending clearance from headquarters.  KNTV is
owned by NBC Telemundo License Co.
  http://www.uvasfire.org/pics/kntv06/index.html  (KNTV fire)
  http://tinyurl.com/2yzk9u  (KFRG(FM) fire)
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  STORIES OF INTEREST FROM SAN DIEGO SBE CHAPTER 36
  o  "A little over two years ago, Fox 6 photojournalists were
showing up at our service shop with odd, seemingly unrelated
problems with their camcorders.  The symptoms involved anything
from servos to color encoding to erratic controls.  We learned
that the solutions, however, were almost always the same" [and
something you might not expect]....
  http://www.sbe36.org/index.php/content/view/134/1/
  o  San Diego HD-Radio Progress Report:
  http://www.sbe36.org/index.php/content/view/135/1/
  o  San Diego Chapter 36 Newsletter (the whole enchilada):
  http://www.sbe36.org/
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  FCC NIXES USE OF "TIS" STATIONS FOR POWER REDUCTION MESSAGES
  FCC: We have before us a request for a waiver...filed by
the State of California, Department of Transportation, which
seeks to use its statewide license, Call Sign KNEC996, and
all associated Travelers Information Stations to broadcast
messages encouraging the public to reduce power consumption
during power emergencies.  For the reasons stated herein,
we deny the Waiver Request....
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-439A1.doc
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  FCC FORFEITURE WATCH - SELECTED ITEM
  $14,000 fine affirmed against Jason Kaltenbach d/b/a/
Metamerchant for offering for sale non-certified VHF and UHF
transceivers in Laguna Nigel, California.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-452A1.doc
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  CGC COMMUNICATOR GOES BI-WEEKLY
  The CGC Communicator is changing its publication schedule
to once every other week for the foreseeable future.  This will
allow us to concentrate more on consulting projects - our primary
business - and less on preparing stories.  Veteran readers of the
Communicator know the drill.  We get extra busy in the office
and need to clear the decks for a while.
  There is one thing you can do to help:  Keep Letters to
the Editor to 100 carefully chosen words or less, ready for
publication.  If you have more to say, post your thoughts on the
Web and send us the URL along with a story synopsis (100 words
or less) ready for insertion into the Communicator.  Thanks!
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                        LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  USING BARBED WIRE FOR GROUND RADIALS
  With regard to the recent copper thefts at southern
California AM stations (CGC #778) and the quandary about
replacing radials, only to have them stolen again, I seem
to recall a paper published some years ago that offered
a possible solution.
  I'm going to have to dig through my library to locate
this paper, but I believe it originated from a New York City
AM whose radials had been compromised.  The solution was to
replace the stolen conductors with ordinary barbed wire.
Tests showed that it worked fairly well and barbed wire has
virtually nil value at a metals recycling center.
  James O'Neal, AG4DH
  [While barbed wire rusts and must be replaced on a regular
basis depending on soil type, the zero scrap value makes the
idea worth exploring.  CGC is aware of at least one study,
many years ago, looking into whether barbed wire would reduce
the RMS strength of the radiated signal.  Thanks for your
letter James.  Great idea!  -Ed.]
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  READER FEEDBACK WANTED
  I am currently managing the new facility build-out for
KPCC(FM) and I'm assessing control surfaces.  My main players
are SAS, Wheatstone and Axia.
  Axia which is VOP platform is a fairly new player in
the control surface area and there are no major (or minor)
installations here in southern California.  I feel very
confident with SAS which is very well established among major
broadcasting facilities such as ABC and CBS.  I also have had
great personal experience with their routers.  They also
happen to be here in Burbank which is a big plus, and their
support is excellent.
  I wonder if it would be possible to get some user feedback
and/or opinions and thoughts on Axia vs. other work surfaces
via your newsletter.
  My main concern is if indeed VOP will be the technology
all players eventually will embrace as Axia claims.  I know
that Wheatstone is already offering this option with their
newer work surfaces.
  Thanks, Pablo Garcia
  Construction Manager, KPCC, 89.3 MHz
  pgarcia (at) scpr.org  -  or  -  626.261.0830
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  AT LEAST 19,000 STATIONS CAN ORIGINATE PROGRAMMING
  Re the second story in CGC #778, I won't dispute the total
number of broadcast stations, but the FCC has no way of knowing
how many TV translators originate programming as Part 74.1201 et
seq. permits TV translators to originate programming without
approval of, or notification to the Commission.  It's likely that
only a few originate programming, and the rules for FM translators
are different.  Thus, the number of broadcast stations that
are allowed to originate programming is at least 19,000, not
roughly 19,000.
  John Willkie, EtherGuide Systems, johnwillkie (at) earthlink.net
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  LIGHTWAVE CONTACTS & THE SAN MIGUEL OPTICAL REPEATER
  We were fortunate enough to latch onto some LED tower beacon
lights from a local scrap yard and are putting them to work.  We
have part of one beacon up on San Miguel Mountain under radio
control.  The unit we have covers 180 deg and is basically
centered North.  Currently the modulation is on/off at a crystal
controlled 450 Hz (just a tone when demodulated).  There are two
regular beacons on towers on Miguel, but ours is located at the
base of the East most tower.
  From Del Mar we measured the signal to noise at about
45 dB using an 8-inch telescope and an optical receiver (1 Hz
bandwidth).  We hope to put voice identification on the beacon
soon along with a couple of other digital modes like PSK-31.
  In another experiment, KD0IF went to Palomar and K6QPV and I
went up to Miguel.  Our beacon tone was readily received at
Palomar some 42 miles away with 25 dB S/N in a 1 Hz BW.  We also
did a two way laser contact using PSK-31 with essentially perfect
copy in spite of heavy scintillation.  That's our best DX so far
but we plan to do maybe 100 miles as a next step.  Our gear plus
experience made finding the signals easy at 42 miles.  We use
optical receiver audio fed back over a liaison radio link to
quickly align our lasers for maximum signal at the distant
location.
  The long-term plan is to use our Miguel beacon as the
transmit side of an optical repeater.  I'm currently working on
the electronics for that right now.  A picture of the Miguel
beacon is posted at the URL below.  [The yellow segments may
be false color produced by an over driven camera sensor.  -Ed]
  KerryBanke, N6IZW, kbanke (at) qualcomm.com
  [Letter edited by W6VR]
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Miguel_Beacon.htm
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                FM RADIO - LOCAL ITEM FROM THE FCC
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  FM STATION APPLICATION FOR MINOR CHANGE TO A LICENSED FACILITY
  ACCEPTED FOR FILING
  BPH-20070119AHT   KOCP   70563   GOLD COAST BROADCASTING LLC
              E   101.5 MHZ                CAMARILLO, CA
  Minor change in licensed facilities.
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