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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #964
                    Sunday,  October 4, 2009
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                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                <cgc (at) cgc333.connectnet.com>
    Copyright 2009, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  DENNIS DOTY'S MT. WILSON UPDATE
  I'm happy to report that things are starting to get back
to normal up here on Mt. Wilson, and many of the roads are well
on their way to repair.  CalTrans has the guard rails fixed on
S2 from La Canada to the Clear Creek Station.  They expect to
have repairs completed to Red Box Road by the end of next week.
The new guard rail posts are made of steel but the rails are
mounted to synthetic blocks that will burn, but that's probably
a minor issue overall.  Most of the new road signs have already
been installed.
  Re LA County Roads:  Angeles Forest, Big Tujunga and Upper
Big Tujunga are still 100% closed.  LA County Roads has been busy
cleaning up Red Box and around the top of Mt. Wilson.  They are
also making preparations for the rock and mud slides when the
rains hit - but we are already seeing a great deal of slides
sometimes blocking all lanes.
  Broadcast operations are returning to normal.  Tower crews
have resumed work on a number of projects on both Mts. Wilson and
Harvard.  In fact, things are so normal that AQMD was up Thursday
doing generator and other inspections.  Finally, the access permit
process at Caltrans took only about five minutes and access to Mt.
Wilson has been very easy for quite some time now.
  Dennis Doty, Saturday, October 3, 2009, 3:01 PM PDST
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  STATION FIRE NEWSLETTERS CONSOLIDATED INTO ONE FILE
  Thanks to the considerable efforts of Robert Sudock
(KTTV retired), the CGC Communicator newsletters covering
the 2009 Station Fire have been consolidated into a single
Web-posted file.  Now you can read the whole fire story
in chronological order without having to open archived
newsletters one by one.
  The posting is a simple text file.  Although you
must copy and paste the URLs if you want them to work, the
newsletter text is easy to read and that is the purpose
of this posting.
  Thanks again to Robert for a great effort!
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Sudock_Fires.txt
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  OUTSTANDING ARTICLE ON FIRE FIGHTING PHILOSOPHY
  The Smithsonian article from your last newsletter about
fire fighting philosophy is top notch... the best.  I hope
everyone takes the time to read it to find out how we got
into this mess of not being allowed to thin forests and
prevent runaway fires.
  Name withheld
  http://tinyurl.com/yewe9n3
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  TRAVEL POSTER PRINTED, THEN FIRE HITS
  Here are a few photos of a poster the Angeles National
Forest had printed as part of their marketing campaign to
promote the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway.  Ironically I learned
of the new campaign, proudly announced by the District Ranger,
while attending a meeting held at the Forest Service Supervisors
office in Arcadia just days before the Station Fire started.
  As one of many who appreciate the beautiful scenery
every time I travel to Mount Wilson, I was heartbroken by
the devastation of the Station Fire and look forward to nature
rapidly revitalizing the area with new growth.
  Vikki Amrine, American Tower Corporation
  Broadcast Account Manager - Western Region
  vikki.amrine (at) americantower.com
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Images/Wilson_guide.html
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                  TECHNICAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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  FOLLOW-UP ON THE REVERSE POLARITY DURACELL 9V BATTERIES
  In last week's CGC Communicator, Marv Collins warned us
about Duracell 9V batteries with reverse polarity.  There is
a bit more to the story.  Marv explains:
  "The case was put on the battery in reverse and thus the
labeling was reversed.  Had I been using a normal 9 volt battery
connector, there would have been no problem.  But I was using
clip leads and the reverse labeling fooled me."
  http://earthsignals.com/add_CGC/Images/9V_Batts.jpg
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                           RANDOM NOTES
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  LOS ANGELES SBE MEETING OCTOBER 13
  The next Los Angeles area SBE meeting will be held on
October 13 at 6:30 PM.  Featured is a program on distributed
intra-facility networking for radio broadcast by Ted Staros
of Harris Corporation.  This is a dinner meeting, please RSVP.
The details are here:
  http://www.sbe47.org/OctMeeting.htm
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  SAN DIEGO SBE MEETING OCTOBER 14
  From San Diego SBE: "At the next Chapter 36 meeting, Vice
President of Broadcast Market Development for Omneon, Paul Turner,
presents an overview on File Based Workflows and compression --
not one size fits all.  TV Magic San Diego hosts the meeting
Wednesday, October 14.  The meeting starts at 12:00 Noon and will
end around 1:30 PM.  Omneon buys lunch.  Call Eva at 858-650-3155
with any questions.  As always, guests are welcome."
  http://www.sbe36.org/
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  NEWS BRIEFS
  o  The October issue of Crawford Broadcasting's "The Local
  Oscillator" is hot off the virtual press.  Of particular
  interest is the cover story on KFMB(AM) vs. KBRT(AM):
  http://tinyurl.com/LocalOscNewest
 
  o  Dramatic story of KKHJ-FM's EAS alert in Pago Pago to
  warn of the impending tsunami:
  http://www.radioworld.com/article/87954
  o  Flexible/thin paper speakers are coming:
  http://tinyurl.com/y8sha5r
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                            FCC NEWS
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  LOCAL EXPERIMENTAL GRANTS
  o  Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers:  New experimental
  to operate on 530, 890 and 1680 kHz under Space and Naval
  Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center contract to modernize and
  transform psychological operation equipment.  Fixed:
  El Centro NAF (Imperial), CA.
  o  Solectek Corporation:  New experimental to operate in
  704-710 MHz and 734-740 MHz for broadband wireless platform
  testing.  Fixed & Mobile: San Diego (San Diego), CA.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-293763A1.doc
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  FCC NEWS BRIEF
  o  800 MHz rebanding negotiation period extended for
  Wave 4 Border Area NPSPAC and Non-NPSPAC licensees along
  the U.S.-Mexico border:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-2144A1.doc
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              SPECIAL SECTION ON SDG&E SMART METERS
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  OVERVIEW
  A new San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) "Smart Meter" electric
power meter was installed at CGC in Fallbrook on October 1, 2009.
It replaced an old-style mechanical meter.  The new unit is an
Itron type C2SODL2 with a digital display.  It is virtually of
identical size to the old meter but has two RF transmitters and
receivers built-in.
  The following SignOnSanDiego article from July 2008 gives an
overview of the Smart Meter program.  The second URL links to a
fascinating SDG&E technical slide show dated August 2009:
    http://tinyurl.com/5reyob
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  SDG&E SMART METERS -- INFO ON FILE WITH THE FCC
  The FCC ID number on the Smart Meter installed at CGC is
SK9AMI-3.  By visiting the following FCC Website, quite a bit
can be learned about the RF portion of this interesting device:
  http://www.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/
  For Grantee Code, put in: SK9
  For Product Code, put in: AMI-3
  Then click the search button.
  On the new Web page, five file lines appeared at the time
of our search.  The right columns indicate that the meter uses
two transmit frequency bands: 902.25-927.75 and 2405-2475 MHz,
sometimes called the 915 MHz and 2.4 GHz ISM bands.  These are
the license-free "Industrial, Scientific and Medical" bands that
contain everything from cordless telephones to wireless computer
mice.
  By opening the "Detail" exhibit of the first file line, we
learn that the Smart Meter uses 0 dBi gain slot antennas for both
frequency bands and that both of the transmitters may come on the
air at the same time.  The maximum EIRP (effective radiated power
relative to isotropic) with both transmitters turned on is 0.2
watts.  Both transmitters use spread spectrum modulation.
  The 915 MHz transmitter communicates with SDG&E while the
2.4 GHz transmitter is designed to communicate with ZigBee-
equipped consumer devices and your gas meter, if you have one.
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  SDG&E SMART METERS - OBSERVED SIGNALS
  CGC has not yet seen either of aforementioned transmitters
on the air, but we haven't looked hard either.  We have however
noted a host of weak harmonics that are radiated continuously
from the meter, probably from an internal crystal oscillator.
The fundamental frequency is 4.19428 MHz.
  Harmonics of the clock to beyond 1,000 MHz have been
seen at our frequency and spectral monitoring lab.  For example,
in just the FM broadcast band, harmonics fall in the passbands of
the following FM channels: 88.1, 92.3, 96.5, 100.7 and 104.9 MHz.
  The good news is that the harmonics are relatively weak and
our lab can work around them, much as we work around weak signals
radiated by computer clock chips.  Whether the Smart Meter's
harmonics will cause objectionable interference to broadcast or
other communications services has yet to be determined.  Our
off-hand reaction is that Smart Meters are no worse than home
computers in terms of generating RFI; however, if most of the
Smart Meters have the same oscillator frequency and the meters
are installed throughout San Diego County and south Orange
County as is now planned, it is possible that some communications
channels will be compromised.
  SDG&E's Smart Meters are Part 15 devices meaning that they
must not cause harmful interference and must accept RFI from
other sources.
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                AM RADIO - LOCAL ITEM FROM THE FCC
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  AM STATION APPLICATION FOR DIRECT MEASUREMENT
  ACCEPTED FOR FILING
  BMML-20090914ACR  KSPN  33255  ABC RADIO LOS ANGELES ASSETS, LLC
              P   710 KHZ                 LOS ANGELES, CA
  Direct Measurement
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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
  GRANTED
  BPH-20080418AAO   KSBL   35592   RINCON BROADCASTING LS LLC
          E      101.7 MHZ               CARPINTERIA, CA
  Minor change in licensed facilities.
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