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                      THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                            CGC #1019
                   Monday, September 20, 2010
                             ________
                Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR,  Editor
                <cgc (at) cgc333.connectnet.com>
    Copyright 2010, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  AN EXTRA NEWSLETTER
  We break from our once-a-month publication schedule to
bring you an extra newsletter because of an abundance of news,
so let's get to it.
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  FCC NEWS BRIEFS
  o  Commission plans adieu for CDBS, its Computerized
  Database System relied upon by many engineers & attorneys:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/106358
  o  The Commission is promoting its License View "online
  dashboard" where users can explore "millions of licenses."
  (What we really need is a program that will help us digest
  all this data.)
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-301470A1.doc
  http://fcc.gov/licenseview (Direct to License View)
  o  FCC "unlocks" government data by promoting new (and old)
  online tools (the broadband speed test is always informative):
  http://tinyurl.com/FCC-Toolz  (Press release)
  http://tinyurl.com/FCC-Speed-Test  (Broadband Speed Test)
  o  The FCC is proposing to amend its rules concerning
  commercial operators of maritime and aviation stations.  For
  example, the FCC proposes to stop issuing new First and Third
  Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-154A1.doc
  o  Here is the Commission's shiny new Internet Access report.
  If nothing else, check out the informative charts:
  http://tinyurl.com/InternetAccessRpt
  o  An experimental authorization has been granted to The
  Aerospace Corporation to operate in 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz
  for propagation testing. Fixed & mobile, El Segundo (L.A. area):
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-301242A1.doc
  o  The FCC will "blackout" their financial system October 1-18,
  2010 while they implement a replacement system:
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-1664A1.doc
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  FCC OPEN MEETING SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 23
  The FCC plans to hold an Open Meeting September 23, 2010 in
Washington to consider several items.  The first and most notable
task is to address 17 petitions for reconsideration of the rules
adopted in the "Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands"
(presumably White Spaces devices) and the "Additional Spectrum
for Unlicensed Devices Below 900 MHz and in the 3 GHz Band"
proceedings.
  http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-301524A1.doc
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                       THE MT. WILSON REPORT
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  BACKUP POWER TO MT. WILSON RESTORED (THE 33KV LINE)
  Following is an extract from an open letter to Mt. Wilson
broadcasters from a Major Account Manager at Southern California
Edison ("SCE").  The letter is dated September 16, 2010:
  "Dear Broadcasters,
  "We have completed the final work on the Broadcast 33kV.  Most
of you who operate on Mt. Wilson have been drawing power from the
Video 16kV line...."
  Editor's note:  Early reports from Wilson engineers indicate
that the new power poles are made out of wood, just like the old
ones that were destroyed in the Station Fire.  CGC had asked SCE
to consider installing steel poles.  Wooden poles were undoubtedly
more cost effective and cost may have been the deciding factor
in this case (CGC has an inquiry pending with SCE).
  One Wilson engineer added, "I was originally told that SCE
would be using synthetic poles (not metal, not wood).  I did not
look at any of the new poles myself, so I can not say for sure"
what was installed.
  And this interesting note was added:  "The fact that the lines
(the 16 kV and the 33 kV) come from different electrical grids is
why we cannot hot switch up here.  The circuit has to be a break-
before-make as the two grids are more than 170 degrees out of
phase."
  Comments anyone?  Please post them on the Tech Letters Website
(see the Letters to the Editor heading below).
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  MT. WILSON STAKEHOLDERS MEETING - LETTER FROM MIKE McINTYRE
  I would like to propose another Mt. Wilson Stakeholders
Meeting for October 21, 2010, 10 am - 1 ish.  Topics can include:
  o  [Road] Closures - What does this winter suggest?
  o  Mt. Wilson Fire Safe Council/Grant.
  o  Access Status.
  o  What is new since we last met.
  Hopefully [all stakeholders] can make it.  The meeting will
be held at the Supervisor's Office in Arcadia.
  Michael J. McIntyre, District Ranger
  Los Angeles River Ranger District
  12371 North Little Tujunga Canyon Road
  San Fernando, CA 91342
  mmcintyre (at) fs.fed.us
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  DASH CAM VIDEO
  Here is a two minute "dash cam video" by Dennis Doty on
a road near Mt. Wilson (Angeles Forest Highway Northbound just
north of Mill Creek Summit).  Note the large truck crossing into
the oncoming traffic lane about one minute into the video.
Take special note of the genuinely scorched hillsides.
  (The dash cam costs under $200 and runs 30 fps at 720p.
Dennis notes that the original 720p looks much better than
the compressed YouTube version you will see at the first URL.
The second URL provides camera specifics.)
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9x7C_y_Xc0
  http://tinyurl.com/DashCamInfo
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                           RANDOM NOTES
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  GENERAL NEWS ITEMS
  o  The unauthorized use of EAS tones is prohibited by law;
  nevertheless, an ARCO commercial has been using EAS header
  tones that have caused some EAS receivers to activate and
  print reports:
  http://www.sbe.org/pub_sc.php#BPCommercial
  o  If you are thinking about installing solar panels, check
  our this engineer's view to fine tune your thinking:
  http://tinyurl.com/SolarView
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  TV NEWS BRIEF
  o  The master encryption code that protects most high-
  definition video content has been cracked, an Intel spokesman
  told FoxNews.com:
  http://tinyurl.com/HDcodeCracked
  o  3D TV ("3DTV") prices plummet:
  http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/105660
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  RADIO NEWS BRIEFS
  o  LPFMs vs. FM Translators: Which service will ultimately
  be given priority in the Commission's eyes?  Status report:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/106414
  o  Method of Moments modeling could be used to settle
  the next "you are building your tower too close to our AM
  directional array" dispute:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/105944
  o  Single sideband -- Here is an approach for improving FM
  analog stereo transmissions:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/106394
  o  Last month, we told you about Sierra Madre's new TIS
  station on 1630 kHz.  This story from the Pasadena Star-News
  tells more:
  http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_16034239
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  SAN DIEGO/TIJUANA RADIO NEWS
  According to SignOn San Diego, "Broadcast Company of the
Americas, which operates Padres flagship XX Sports Radio AM 1090"
(and a number of other Tijuana area radio stations), "has ousted
its chief executive and longtime San Diego radio station
entrepreneur John Lynch."  This story is at the first URL.
  The second URL tells us something about Mr. Lawrence Patrick
who is replacing Mr. Lynch -- at least on an interim basis.
Larry Patrick's bio is at the second URL:
  http://tinyurl.com/JohnLynch
  http://www.patcomm.com/w-lawrence-patrick.htm
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  THE HD RADIO REPORT
  o  AM HD Radio has stalled.  The number of AM digital
  broadcast stations has essentially remained flat for some time
  and is perhaps decreasing.  This excellent RW article documents
  the shortcomings of AM HD but also mentions the long-term
  optimism held by some:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/105898
  o  Digital Radio Mondiale ("DRM") technology should be
  considered in the U.S. as a possible replacement for AM HD:
  http://radioworld.com/article/105968
  o  Brazil evaluates DRM in addition to HD:
  http://radioworld.com/article/106154
  o  The failure of HD Radio to get off the ground in Switzerland
  is memorialized at the first URL, and given an excuse ("economic
  and structural uncertainties") at the second URL:
  http://www.radioworld.com/article/105748
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/105900
  o  Published story on The Dark Side of IBOC FM:  "Unfortunately,
  I have learned that IBOC comes at a very high price to first
  adjacent stations that are your neighbors...."  See page 12 of
  Radio Guide for this detailed report:
  http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=11602&l=1
  o  Personal injury lawyers Keefe Bartels LLC are listening
  to unhappy HD Radio customers and could conceivably launch
  a class-action lawsuit against iBiquity based on possible
  unfair/deceptive trade practices:
  http://radioworld.com/article/106152
  o  See posted comments on Keefe Bartels' interest in the
  shortcomings of HD Radio:
  http://www.rwonline.com/article/106190
  o  The view from Bob Struble:
  http://tinyurl.com/23lpge5
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  TEXT MESSAGE ALERT SYSTEM TO BE TESTED IN SAN DIEGO
  The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services will be
testing a system to send mass emergency alert text messages to
people in specified areas.  This goes beyond Reverse 911 and those
who have registered their cell phone numbers with AlertSanDiego.
  The new Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) is a national
program established by the FCC.  CMAS will be tested locally this
fall and may be available for public use in about a year.  (Story
summarized from the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News, Sept, 2, 2010,
page B-12.)
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  90.7 MHZ LIGHTS UP (AGAIN) NEAR TIJUANA
  After several years of causing co-channel interference to
the San Diego fringe area listeners of KPFK, Sr. Victor Diaz
kindly agreed to change frequencies to allow KPFK to recapture
its former audience on 90.7 MHz.  That change was recently
accomplished.  Nevertheless, many of us wondered how long 90.7 MHz
would remain dark in Tijuana before some other enterprising
operator jumped on that frequency.
  Wait no longer.  A few weeks ago, 90.7 was reactivated.
According to the FCC's FM Query database, the new transmitter
is located at 32-28-28N, 116-53-56W and that puts it on Cerro
Colorado Mountain about 8 miles ESE of XETV's giant tower in
Tijuana.
  The new operator of 90.7 appears to be La Mejor ("The Better"
in English).
  http://www.lamejor.com.mx/
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  BROADCAST AUXILIARY NEWS
  Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services
Spectrum (EIBASS) is an organization you should know about.
EIBASS is devoted exclusively to one issue:  Protecting the
Broadcast Auxiliary spectrum and they do that by filing written
comments with the FCC.
  http://www.eibass.org/
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  THE BILL AGRESTA REPORT FROM CATALINA ISLAND
  "Gotterdone!"  KBRT(AM) survives another month out in
the wilds of Catalina Island where life is tough.  This time
around, the station has experienced, "One of the ugliest rides
on the island's power roller coaster in a long time.  For several
minutes our [line voltage] rode all over the place to the point
where our generator got hit while switching back to the grid only
to try to refire while it was still winding down.  Hearing that
starter trying to engage a still spinning flywheel is an awful
sound indeed!"
  Scroll down to page 14 of this pdf for Bill's full report
(includes some comments on the Island's new Fire Inspector):
  http://tinyurl.com/KBRT-and-the-Grid
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                       LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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  TECH LETTERS
  Please use the Tech Letters Website to comment on CGC
Communicator stories or post new thoughts.
  If you have questions concerning the Tech Letters site,
give Steve Blodgett a shout: sblodgett (at) earthsignals.com.
CGC sincerely appreciates his help.
  http://www.earthsignals.com/press/
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                           HAM RADIO NOTE
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  NOVELTY ITEM
  The "salt water antenna" is a novelty of sorts but might
be useful in antenna-restricted residential zones.  A salt water
fountain and a low-loss coupling transformer will get you on the
air.
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tIZUhu21sQ
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                             OFF TOPIC
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  MILDLY OFF TOPIC
  o  Helmet-cam video of free-climbing to the top of a very
  tall tower.  You will soon understand why tower climbing is
  one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.  The video
  starts when the ads and preamble pass:
  http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2010/09/15
  o  Frank Martin takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at
  the Experimental cellular radio setup (WE9XJN) at the 2010
  Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada
  (CGC recommends the second video at this URL):
  http://ednixon.livejournal.com/467541.html
  o  "The advanced Westinghouse television receivers are easier
  to tune than ever before.  They are the most trouble free in
  all television history."  1951 video:
  http://xoteria.com/CH7.html
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  WAY OFF TOPIC
  o  This miniature quadri-copter is controlled by an iPhone
  /iPod Touch/iPad.  While that is a novel concept, the 'copter's
  motor-battery won't last long due to the heavy load:
  http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/usa/how-does-it-work
  o  A full size Sikorski helicopter known as the X2 hits 300 MPH:
  http://tinyurl.com/26oalo7
  o  Building the B-24 bomber for WW-II -- one every 55 minutes:
  http://tinyurl.com/B24assemby
  o  Ring galaxies within ring galaxies, strange and beautiful:
  http://tinyurl.com/StrangeGalaxy
  o  The fabulous dancing dog video:
  http://comedy.video.yahoo.com/?v=8171221
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  The CGC Communicator is published for broadcast engineering
  professionals in so. California by Communications General®
  Corporation (CGC), consulting radio engineers, Fallbrook, CA.
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