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                    THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                          CGC #917
                   Monday,  June 22, 2009
                           ________
              Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
              <cgc (at) cgc333.connectnet.com>
  Copyright 2009, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  FAIR WEATHER TV
  Some San Diego viewers accustomed to watching Los Angeles
over-the-air analog TV are finding the new digital-only signals
intermittent or not receivable.  The problem involves variations
in temperature inversion layer ducting, a profound problem in
southern California.  The affected viewers seem to instantly
understand when DTV is explained as "Fair Weather TV," but their
disappointment is evident nevertheless.
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  A FLOOD OF LETTERS ON DTV, AND A CAUTIONARY NOTE FOR HD RADIO
  One of the most intriguing lessons emerging from the DTV
transition is that VHF is apparently not as good as UHF for
building penetration -- something land-mobile radio engineers
have long known.  Why early DTV tests failed to pick up this
important point -- or at least run it high up the flagpole --
is a mystery.
  The bottom line is that this shortcoming should send a strong
cautionary note to the FCC to proceed slowly and carefully before
authorizing any FM HD Radio power increase.  There is no need to
jeopardize analog listeners before NPR's detailed interference
studies are complete.
  We invite our readers to express this point in their formal
written comments to the Commission.
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  HD RADIO COMMENT DEADLINES ANNOUNCED
  Comment deadlines for the proposed +10 dB FM HD Radio
power increase have just been announced.  Comments are due
July 6; Reply Comments are due July 17:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-1335A1.doc
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  POSSIBLY STOLEN FM BROADCAST EQUIPMENT -- HELP IS NEEDED
  A search warrant executed at the residence of Kevin
Bondy (the accused radio jammer of The Oaks Shopping Center
in Thousand Oaks, CA, see CGC #906) has uncovered possibly
stolen radio equipment including perhaps 200 pieces of industrial
land-mobile gear (repeaters, mobiles, portables), a few pieces
of ham gear and four pieces of FM broadcast equipment.
  The Ventura County Sheriff's Department is requesting your
assistance in finding the owners if indeed the equipment is
stolen.  Here are some details on the FM broadcast gear.  Please
point others to this page -- the Sheriff needs your help:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Letters/Stolen%20Equipment.htm
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  LOCAL EXPERIMENTAL GRANTS OF INTEREST
  o  New experimental for Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers
  to operate in the 54-60, 66-72, 192-198, 476-482, 566-572 and
  764-770 MHz bands to "modernize and transform psychological
  operation (PSYOP) equipment."  Fixed: NAS El Centro
  (Imperial), CA.
  o  New experimental for Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers
  to operate on 88.3, 89.1, 93.5 and 97.1 MHz under Space and
  Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center contract to develop and
  test enhancements to FM radio transmitter systems.  Fixed: NAS
  El Centro (Imperial), CA.
  o  New experimental for Qualcomm to operate in the 698-710,
  728-740, 746-757 and 776-787 MHz bands for developmental
  testing and demonstration of new R&D technologies.
  Mobile, San Diego, CA.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-291445A1.doc
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                         RANDOM NOTES
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  ABOUT THE KUSI VIRTUAL CHANNEL CHANGE FROM 18 TO 51
  The June 17 change of KUSI-DT's Virtual Channel from 18
back to 51 (CGC #914) turned out to be a relatively minor
issue in terms of viewer complaints according to KUSI's
Chief Engineer.
  To see for ourselves, CGC examined three over-the-air
receivers in Fallbrook.  One TV required a simple rescan while
the other two (a TV and a converter box) handled the transition
all by themselves:  Virtual Channel 18.1 was automatically deleted
and 51.1 was inserted, and in the correct place in the channel
lineup too.  However, all receivers had "seen" KUSI on 51.1
earlier, so perhaps that memory aided the return to 51.1.
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  NEWS BRIEFS
  o  More evidence suggesting that VHF is not the place to
  broadcast DTV when indoor receiving antennas are used:
  http://tinyurl.com/vhfDTVnogo
  o  Further perspective on the VHF-DTV building penetration
  problem.  FCC spokesman says agency "definitely not" in panic
  mode:
  http://tinyurl.com/VHFdtv
  o  Because of major delays in deploying the next-gen GPS
  satellites, our GPS system is on risky ground:
  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124520702464422059.html
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  SPECTRUM NOISE FLOOR DROPS AS VHF TVs SIGN OFF
  Amateur Radio operators are reporting quieter noise floors
following the shutdowns of many Channel 2-13 analog television
transmitters nationwide.  For example, in Milwaukee, Ray Greiner,
K9KHW, reports on the shutdowns of Channels 4, 6 and 12.  He says
that most of the VHF and UHF ham bands are so quiet that he
actually checked to see if his antennas were connected.  Ray
indicated that on 6-meters, where the normal noise level was S-3
to S-4, it's now zero.
  (Amateur Radio Newsline for June 19, 2009)
  How many hams are standing in line to put the KCBS-TV
  Channel 2 antenna on 6-meters the day KCBS signs off as a
  night light station is unknown.
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                     LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  TRANSITION DISCOVERIES AT WLIO, DTV CHANNEL 8
  We're finding a couple of interesting things.  First, rabbit
ear antennas just do not work [for VHF DTV reception]!  Of all
the complaints, 95% of the people who have rabbit ears are not
getting all or [any] of the stations in their DMA.  This also
includes these "pancake antennas" that are typically used on
motor homes.
  For people with actual outside DTV antennas, I'm finding that
antenna aiming is becoming more and more crucial.  In some cases,
while a 40-80 degree window off the front of the antenna was
sufficient for analog, the antenna must be placed within 20
degrees on most DTV stations....
  Finally, I'm finding that antennas with higher front-to-
back ratios and reductions on the sides are better than smaller
antennas offering non-directional reception.
  Fred Vobbe, w8hdu (at) wlio.com
  June 17, 2009, Lima, Ohio
  [Editor's note:  WLIO-TV was analog on CH-35 and digital on
  CH-8 before the June 12 switch, and is now digital on CH-8
  exclusively, so viewers no longer have an analog fallback.]
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  A COMPOSITE ELECTRONIC PROGRAM GUIDE
  Ed Ross, a professional home antenna installer in San Diego,
reports that his business has increased significantly with the
DTV transition.  Not only are some of his customers veteran over-
the-air TV viewers, but now a number of people simply want him
to set up their converter boxes and optimize their antennas.
  Ed has noticed a curiosity at his home that's worth passing
along.  With his beam antenna pointed toward KCET in Los Angeles,
there are times when the Electronic Program Guide displays some
information from KCET, and some from co-channel station XHJK in
Tijuana, see photo below.  Ed can be reached at
<jfewross (at) sbcglobal.net>:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Images/ch28_epg.JPG
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  A NEW ANALOG CHANNEL 69 FOR SAN DIEGO?
  Question:  [Is there a] new Channel 69 analog station in
San Diego?  Who grabbed KSWB's old analog channel?  I thought
broadcasting on RF channels above 51 came to an end on June 12.
Is the signal coming from Mexico or is this a TV pirate?  The
audio quality leaves a lot to be desired.
  Answer:  You are seeing an LPTV station authorized under
Special Temporary Authority (STA) by the FCC.  The call sign is
K69JC, the transmitter is approved for San Miguel Mountain (home
of all of San Diego's UHF DTV stations) and the permittee is
International Communications Network (the K61GH folks).  They have 
promised to shut down "at any time that an authorized wireless
operator commences operation in the 800-806 MHz band."   -Ed.
  Copy of the CH-69 application:  http://tinyurl.com/CH69app
  Copy of the STA grant:  http://tinyurl.com/CH69STAgrant
  Note: The CH-69 application became unavailable to public
access on 6/21/09.  The STA grant, however, was still available
as this newsletter went to press.
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  SELLING USED NTSC EQUIPMENT
  I was hoping you could list our new site (URL below).
It is for the reselling of used equipment no longer needed after
the DTV transition.  We are running ads in South America for the
site and on many search engines around the world.
  The first listing is free.  Additional listing is only $2.50
flat rate without any percentage of listing price like eBay.  Our
main goal is to help put the people that can use this stuff in
touch with the ones that are about ready to scrap it.
  Thank you for all you guys do to help us engineers out.  Great
job covering the DTV transition.
  Dennis R Doty, dennisd (at) ladigitalnetworks.com
  (Mt. Wilson transmitter engineer)
  June 17, 2009
  http://broadcastrecyclers.com/
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  THANKS FOR THE RF/VIRTUAL CHANNEL CLARIFICATION
  I read the Union Tribune article [mentioned in CGC #915]
and they are totally off base.  They said that KUSI would be
changing channels and going back to Channel 51 (physical channel).
  I called KUSI today and talked to engineering and was told
your account was 100% accurate.  ONLY the VIRTUAL channel is
changing NOT the physical (RF) channel.  In all due respect to
the Union, however, the regular public would be clueless as to
"virtual" and "physical (RF)" channels so, perhaps, that is
why they dumbed it down.
  Jim Hancock, Hancock Video Engineering Services
  jimhancock (at) cox.net
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  THANKS
  o  You are doing a great service and job with this DTV change.
  -  Elliott Klein, elliott (at) kleinbroadcast.com
  o  Your posting on the KUSI PSIP situation was the main
  topic of discussion on the ATSC s8 subcommittee today.
  -  Anonymous
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  SPOT ON
  I think your comments on high band VHF reception is spot on.
KERO is the only VHF DTV in Bakersfield and the flood of calls
after the [analog] turn off last Friday caught us by surprise.
  [Editor's note:  KERO-TV was analog on CH-23 and digital on
  CH-10 before the June 12 switch, and is now digital on CH-10
  exclusively, so viewers no longer have an analog fallback.]
  We have been on the air for nearly seven years with only
a few calls per year for help receiving us.  We would get several
calls just before the two Superbowl games we carried and they were
resolved okay.  As of now we have received about 800 calls with
99% from viewers with indoor antennas.  I've been able to help
maybe 20%.  We have a CP to increase power from 4.6 to 10.8 kW
with an additional 30% in the vertical.  The UHF stations [in
our market] transmit with 100 kW or more and have very few
problems with indoor antennas.
  We'll see how it goes after the power increase.
  Tom Wimberly, Chief Engineer, KERO-DT, Bakersfield, CA
  June 19, 2009  --  TWDOE34 (at) aol.com
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                          OFF TOPIC
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  GRADE A OFF TOPIC MATERIAL
  o  Free electric power, or so it is claimed.  If you buy
  their set of do-it-yourself plans for this perpetual motion
  gizmo, we have a bridge to sell you:
  http://rdr.to/0Mp
  o  Be careful where you stash your cash:
  http://tinyurl.com/MilMattress
  o  The High Point Lookout Tower on Palomar Mountain swings
  back into service, staffed by volunteers:
  http://www.socalfirelookouts.org/page23.html
  o  The NTSC sunset we thought would never come.
  A beautiful picture from Roger Knipp:
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/wilson_ss.htm
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  professionals in so. California by Communications General®
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.
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