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                     THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                          CGC #823
                  Thursday,  January 3, 2008
                            ________
                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
                     <r.gonsett@ieee.org>
   Copyright 2008, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  FCC R&O GIVES BROADCASTERS FLEXIBILITY IN THE DTV TRANSITION
  The FCC is allowing some broadcasters to make a phased
transition from analog (NTSC) to all-digital (DTV) broadcasting
by the February 17, 2009 deadline.  Following are (a) a Washington
Post newspaper article and (b) the FCC's Report & Order (R&O)
accompanied by two spread sheets:
  http://tinyurl.com/23f2jk
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-228A1.doc
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-228A2.xls
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-228A3.xls
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  DTV-TO-NTSC CONVERTER BOX COUPONS AVAILABLE NOW
  A fast and easy way to apply for one or two government-
issued coupons worth $40 each to purchase DTV=to-NTSC converter
boxes (assuming you qualify) is to call this automated government
hotline number: (888) 388-2009 (388 stands for DTV).  The voice
recognition software worked flawlessly when we requested two
coupons earlier this week.
  A CGC Communicator reader indicates that he had equally good
success in using the Web-based sign-up method described in the
first URL below.
  By the way, people have been flooding the government with
requests for DTV converter-box coupons.  More than 500,000 people
requested more than 1 million $40 coupons in the first 40 or so
hours of the program, according to NTIA spokesman Todd Sedmak
(second URL).  If the pace continues, all currently funded
coupons will be gone by late February.
  http://tinyurl.com/yosqc2
  http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6516388.html
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  SOME U.S. BORDER TV STATIONS WANT TO CONTINUE IN ANALOG
  This article from MSNBC indicates that some TV broadcasters
along the U.S./Mexican border fear they will be at a competitive
disadvantage when the U.S switches to digital television in 2009
because U.S. residents can still pick up Mexican stations on old
TV sets.  As a result, some U.S. broadcasters want to continue
their analog transmissions for another five years (FCC
permitting) to counter this perceived threat.
  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22363404/
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  EXTENDING EMERGENCY MESSAGING TO THE WIRELESS WORLD BY "CMAS"
  The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
to establish a Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) whereby
Commercial Mobile Service providers (such as cellphone companies)
may elect to transmit emergency alerts to the public.  The FCC
notes that a very large number of Americans already subscribe
to wireless services which they rely on to receive and retrieve
time-sensitive information, and more such services are coming
on-line such as MediaFLO and DVB-H.
  It appears that the alerting equipment already in place at
non-commercial and public broadcast stations must be augmented
to enable the distribution of geographically targeted alerts.
Since this proceeding is still in an early stage (the NPRM is
really more of a Notice of Inquiry), it is possible that there
will be long-term consequences to commercial broadcasters as well.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-214A1.doc
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  CELL PHONES DOMINATE
  Wireless telephones are outstripping wired phones by a
large margin.  The latest FCC report suggests that there
were approximately 168 million wired phone circuits on
December 31, 2006 vs. 230 million wireless phones.  That
means 58% of the phones were wireless as of Dec. '06.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-279233A1.doc
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  FCC'S REPORT ON LOCALISM CONTAINS THIS INTERESTING ITEM:
  "The Report also states that the Commission will...
Investigate other ways to assist prospective radio licensees
to identify suitable available commercial FM spectrum in the
communities in which they wish to broadcast, including
authorizing the development of software to do so."
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-279043A1.doc
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  FCC FORFEITURE WATCH - CALIFORNIA ITEM
  Yuba City - Another Winegard TV receiving antenna in
self-oscillation, this one at 460 MHz and interfering with
Sheriff's communications.
  http://www.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-278968A1.html
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  MISSING MAIL
  CGC's Internet Service Provider (ISP) lost a few of our
e-mails from December 21 to December 30.  If you are a new
subscriber or sent us other correspondence during that period,
please send it again.
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                      LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  A QUESTION ABOUT FM FRINGE LISTENERS
  Question: CGC #822 said that "the fringe listeners of FM
stations are likely to become an endangered species over time.
If HD Radio IBOC (In Band Off Channel) sidebands don't kill
your distant audience, LPFMs will."
  I truly believe that translators/Satcasters are already
doing just that.  What's the difference between an LPFM and
the typical translator?
  Answer:  From an engineering standpoint, an LPFM is
permitted to cause interference to a primary station's fringe
listeners whereas an FM translator is not permitted to do so
because translators are a secondary service.
  When a primary station notices an FM translator application
that will impact established fringe listeners and the primary
station proves that point to the FCC, the translator application
is dismissed.  Proof of the impact is usually made by submitting
letters from a number of listeners who regularly receive the
primary station inside the calculated interference zone.   -Ed.
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  COMMENT ON THE FCC'S RECENT LPFM ORDER (CGC #822 LEAD STORY)
  Definition of an LPFM station:  One of the most counter-
productive means recently devised by government to degrade
already financially struggling full-service local radio stations.
It's an old cliche, but with friends like the FCC, who needs
enemies!
  Washington communications attorney
  [While some LPFMs provide solid local programming, LPFMs
have very poor service-to-interference ratios; that is, they
serve small geographic areas but cause interference to other
stations over large geographic areas.  Low power stations
are simply technically inefficient as noted by FCC staff
years ago when new Class D stations were abolished.   -Ed.]
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  MOVING A GATES BC-250L
  The CGC Communicator included my story of donating an antique
transmitter last summer...but now look at the rest of the story!
  http://www.radioblvd.com/Gates%20BC-250L.htm
  Bill Kingman, CE, KOWL
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                          RANDOM NOTES
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  ANOTHER INCREDIBLE ED-FM APPLICATION
  This week we shine some light on another fascinating
Educational FM application filed in the October 2007 window.
This application calls for an 89.1 MHz "Class C3" facility (BNPED-
20071018BAN) anchored in deep water several miles west of San
Clemente Island.  The station is proposed to serve Avalon but the
60 dBu contour (as predicted by the FCC) falls just short of
Avalon.  The request is for a Class C3 station even though Class
C3 stations are forbidden in southern California.  The FCC has
linked this application to Antenna Structure Registration Number
1015921 which opens up new and interesting questions.
  Bon appetite.
  http://tinyurl.com/2zm54a
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  NEWS BRIEFS
  o  Meet some of the key people at MediaFLO/San Diego,
  courtesy of SBE/San Diego:
  http://tinyurl.com/2td5qz
  o  Ice and high winds topple the WNEP-TV tower in Pennsylvania:
  http://tinyurl.com/366af5
  http://www.radioworld.com/pages/s.0100/t.10341.html
  o  It is claimed that new Walgreen store signs cause a variety
  of strong spurs in the VHF region:
  http://tinyurl.com/2hfvgc   (Registration required,
  Web version of story not reviewed by CGC)
  o  XM Satellite Radio requests an STA to operate a very low
  power repeater at its office building in Vienna, VA to provide
  XM's signal to its employees in the building:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-279218A1.pdf
  o  Crown Castle, the owner of 3,522 towers subject to the
  FCC's quarterly lighting inspection requirement, has been
  granted an inspection waiver.  Crown's advanced tower light
  monitoring system means that on-site inspections can now be
  made yearly instead of quarterly:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-5101A1.doc
  o  800 MHz -- By this Public Notice, the FCC has extended the
  mandatory negotiation periods for border area NPSPAC (Stage 2)
  and non-NPSPAC (Stage 1) licensees in Wave 4 to April 1, 2008,
  and postponed the beginning of the mediation period for such
  licensees until April 2, 2008:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-5110A1.doc
  o  Ford's tests of mobile streaming audio are encouraging:
  http://www.radioworld.com/pages/s.0101/t.10392.html
  http://www.radioworld.com/pages/s.0101/t.10393.html
  o  Leukemia study plays role in AM tower case in Washington
  State:
  http://www.radioworld.com/pages/s.0100/t.10415.html
  http://www.rwonline.com/pages/s.0052/t.9812.html
  o  Prices for HDTV sets drop even as the technology improves:
  http://tinyurl.com/37hfg3
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  OFF TOPIC
  o  Doug Lung takes a look at ultra-low frequency (0.01 to
  10 Hz) magnetic signals as predictors of major earthquakes:
  http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0115/t.10262.html
  o  "Magnetic ropes" connect the earth's upper atmosphere
  directly to the sun and convey large amounts of energy that
  power the Norther Lights:
  http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/11dec_themis.htm
  o  Audio samples of PSK31, AMTOR, DRM, Pactor and many more
  are available at:
  http://www.bartg.org.uk/Sound%20Files/soundlibrary.htm
  o  Pi unrolled:
  http://www.coutant.org/pi/index.html
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  TESLA
  Most people think of big blue sparks and arcs when the
name Tesla is mentioned, but some of his other inventions are
far more important.  For example, we have AC power thanks to his
fertile mind -- not inefficient DC power as proposed by Edison.
Tesla was truly one of the most remarkable "discoverers" (his
term) the world has ever known.
  The first two URLs show entertaining Tesla coils in operation.
However, the third URL is far more interesting in our opinion:
it's an 11.5 minute documentary on Tesla's life.  There are three
more parts to this series readily available on the Web if you
feel so inclined.  While these other videos drift into
speculation at times, the narrative is interesting.
  Biggg Tesla Coil of Oklahoma; Singing Tesla Coil:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY-AS13fl30
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ff_AXVlo9U&feature=related
  The life of Tesla, first of four parts:
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTiiblwwLPk&NR=1
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  LOCAL FCC APPLICATIONS & ACTIONS
  A synopsis of local FCC Applications & Actions is
scheduled for publication in a separate newsletter tomorrow.
The Commission has been busy during the close of 2007.
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  professionals in so. California by Communications General®
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.
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