Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

This page contains stories from RF Current issues published in March 1999. Links referenced in the articles were current when published but by this time may have changed. If you find a bad link, try connecting to the home page of the publication or company and look for an archive of past articles. If you find a changed link, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know by dropping me a note indicating the new location at dlung@transmitter.com.

March 29 1999 - Issue 159 Final Edition

FCC Releases NPRM on Policies and Service Rules for 2 GHz Mobile Satellite Service (Mar. 25)
The FCC has released full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Establishment of Policies and Service Rules for the Mobile Satellite Service in the 2 GHz Band (FCC 99-50). The NPRM contains tables showing the spectrum allocations under the various band arrangements outlined in the FCC News Releasae (nrin9012) reported on in last week's RF Current (below).

FCC Chairman Kennard "Data is the killer app of digital TV" (Mar. 24)
FCC Chairman William Kennard, speaking before the Variety/Schroders Media Conference in New York City, reflected on the famous "vast wasteland" speach former FCC Chairman Newt Minow gave almost 40 years ago. Kennard focused on Minow's comment that this (the 1950's) was the "television age". Kennard asked, "What will be the future age?" His retorical reply was that it will be the Digital Age, saying "You wake up in the morning, your alarm clock is digital. So is your CD player, your mobile phone, even your coffee maker. Almost every major electronic appliance today is digital, except for one, the television."

While "many broadcasters and manufacturers were focused on providing clearer, sharper and prettier pictures", Kennard noted, "we at the FCC said that DTV is not only about a prettier picture. So we left it open. We gave broadcasters flexibility in how they use DTV in order to encourage innovation, creativity, and most importantly, greater benefits to the American people. And since then, the Internet has exploded. And the business of DTV has radically changed." "We live in a different world. A world that demands a new formula."

Kennard stated that "In the digital age, it will not just be 30-minute sitcoms that win over viewers." "It's going to be composing entertainment, commerce, and communications in an appealing and seamless way." "Although high-definition pictures are mesmerizing, I think that it is clear that data is the 'killer app' of digital TV. Just as the jet airplane revolutionized travel in the sky, when the broadcast airwaves go digital, it will revolutionize how we travel on the Information Superhighway."

Kennard recognized that compatibility and interoperability were concerns. While saying he "learned the best solution to a business problem is a business solution, not a regulatory one." and adding "You have to work these out", he also cautioned, "what I won't tolerate are strategic delaying tactics -- companies refusing to come to the bargaining table or squabbling for short-term advantage."

Kennard said our greatest challenge is "to make sure that this digital technology does not get mired in petty squabbles and that it becomes more than pretty pictures. That it inspires and uplifts. That it acts as a window on our world an a catalyst for change." He ended by saying " in the Television Age, this was TV at its best. And, I am confident, that in the Digital Age, it can do this and much more. All we have to do is unleash it."

The complete text of Chairman Kennard's remarks is available.

SATELLITE Companies File Applications for New Satellite Systems (Mar. 23)
Hughes Communications, Inc. filed an application with the FCC to construct and operate a global Ku-band broadband satellite system called HughesLINK (H-LINK) consisting of 22 non-geostationary orbiting satellites operating at an attitude of 15,000 km. Hughes proposed to offer two-way, broadband services at data rates from 1.54 Mbps to 155 Mbps, backbone infrastructure and Virtual Prive Network services using the satellites.

Hughes also requested authority to launch and operate a global Ku-band broadband satelite system called HughesNET (H-Net). The proposed system consists of 70 non-geostationary satellites operating in ten planes of seven satellites each at an altitude of 1490 km. This system would be used to offer Internet access and support for both packet-switched and circuit switched-operation.

Teledesic filed an application to construct, launch and operate a global constellation of 30 satellites in non-geostationary orbit in six orbital planes at an altitude of appexoimately 10,320 kilometers. Boeing Company asked for authority to launch and operate a 20 satellite global constellation in non-geostationary orbits 20,182 km above the earth. Virtual Geosatellite applied for authority to launch and operate a global constellation of 15 satellites in a highly elliptical orbit for the purpose of providing high speed Internet access and direct-to-home data and video services to small user terminals in most areas of the world.

These satellite systems proposed to operate on various frequencies in the 10 to 14 GHz and 17 GHz ranges. For more information on these applications, refer to the FCC Public Notice (pnin9060), available only as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

TECHNOLOGY - Nanomagnets could allow "ultrasmall computer data storage system" (Mar. 23)
Research on nanomagnets underway at Cornell University could provide the basis for storing data a 100 times denser than possible with today's magnetic media. Nanomagnets are magnets less than 100 nanometers wide. These small magnets have a unique property - when magnetized, each one forms a single magnetic domain. For data storage, the position of the pole would determine whether a one or a zero was stored. At present, the data has to be read using a magnetic force microscope, a very slow process.

Cornell postdoctorial associate Stephane Evoy said "We're not looking at the mechanism for reading and writing to these devices as other groups are already addressing such issues. What we need is to understand the physics of small magnets." More information and images of the nanomagnets may be found in the Cornell University News Release.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990323.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna/Notes
KGO 24 KGO Television San Francisco CA License to cover CP
WJLA 39 Allbritton Comm. Washington DC License to cover CP
WUSA 34 The Detroit News Washington DC License to cover CP

OTHER Items of Interest

March 22, 1999 - Issue 158 Final Edition

FCC Approves OFDM Modulation for MDS and ITFS Stations (Mar. 22)
In a Declaratory Ruling and Order (DA990554) the FCC's Mass Media Bureau, acting on a request by Clarity Wireless, Inc., added Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) to the list of approved digital emissions for stations in the Multipoint Distribution Service (MDS) and Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) stations. The FCC originally approved VSB (vestigial sideband modulation) and QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) for MDS and ITFS use, provided the power spectral density is "substantially uniform" across the occupied bandwidth. Later, in the MDS and ITFS Two-Way Order, the use of QPSK (quadrature phase shift keying) and CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) was approved. In that decision the FCC noted it would "continue our policy of authorizing the use of other digital modulation formats where such use can be demonstrated to be within the confines of the interference protection standards for the MDS and ITFS services."

Under the Declaratory Ruling and Order, OFDM, either coded (COFDM) or uncoded, will be permitted "so long as a minimum of 256 QAM-modulated carriers are used and the transmitted signal complies with the spectral mask and power limitations set out in our MDS and ITFS rules for digital emissions."

There has been substantial discussion about the potential benefits of COFDM, which is included in the European DVB-T standard, over 8VSB modulation, part of the ATSC standard which has been mandated for digital TV broadcasting in the United States. The FCC addressed this sensitive issue by stating "We also emphasize at this time that this Declaratory Ruling and Order and our actions with respect to digital modulation in the Digital Declaratory Ruling and in the MDS & ITFS Two-Way Order apply only to the MDS and ITFS services, and have no implications with respect to other services regulated by the Commission."

FCC Extends Comment Dates in Low Power FM NPRM (Mar. 19)
In an Order (DA99-542) released today the FCC extended the due date for comments in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making in Docket 99-25, FCC 99-6 proposing to establish rules authorizing the operation of new, low power FM radio stations. Under the extension, comments must now be filed by June 1, 1999 and reply comments filed by July 1, 1999.

The extension was requested by Lucent Digital Radio, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, and "all of the state broadcaster organizations." They said said "additional comment time is required to perform essential technical studies to respond to the technical issues and proposals raised in the Notice." Refer to the Order (DA99-542).

FCC Proposes Policy and Service Rules for 2 GHz Mobile Satellite Service (Mar. 18)
An FCC News Releasae (nrin9012) described the rules proposed for the mobile satellite service (MSS) in a new Notice of Proposed Rule Making (text not available). The FCC received nine applications to provide 2 GHz MSS. Five propose a variety of non-geostationary systems, three specify a geostationary system, and one would use a hybrid geostationary/non-geostationary system.

The FCC proposed four main spectrum assignment options. One is a "flexible band arrangement" that would grant each system 2.5 MHz. in uplink and downlink spectrum. Another is a "negotiated entry" that would license all applicants across the band and allow them to coordinate their own operations. The third approach is a "traditional band arragement" which would divide spectrum equally among applicants and the fourth would auction licenses in the event none of the other options proved viable.

The FCC also sought comment on out-of-band emission requirements and welcomed discussion of any in-band sharing issues.

SATELLITE - Hughes to Invest $1.4 Billion in SpacewayTM Broadband Satellite (Mar. 17)
Hughes Electronic Corporation said it was investing $1.4 billion to build a global broadband satellite network called SpacewayTM, scheduled to begin operation in North America in 2002. The initial services will be marketed as next generation DirecPC® broadband Internet services and a family of DirecWayTM high-bandwidth VSAT services.

The initial Spaceway system will use two Hughes HS 702 satellites in geosynchronous orbit, operating in Ka spectrum allocated to Hughes by the FCC. User terminals will work with dish antennas approximately 26 inches in diameter. On-board digital processing, packet switching and spot beam technology will allow Spaceway customers to communicate directly with each other without having to go through a retransmission service or hub. A direct, full broadcast capability throughout the service area is also possible. The next phase will add a complementary nongeosynchronous system to increase capacity in high traffic areas.

Hughes will market the system to businesses, telecommuters, SOHO users and consumers for a variety of high-speed digital services, including data, voice, audio, multimedia and video. Pradman P. Kaul, corporate senior VP of Hughes Electronics and COO of Hughes Network Systems said, "e;The power of ubiquitous coverage is unique to satellites. When we combine this advantage with high-quality service and costs 20 to 30 percent lower than those of competing terrestrial systems, Hughes is able to provide consumers and businesses with a robust Ka-band offering that is not only the first service of its kind to market, but also the best service of its kind on the market"

The Hughes Press Release has details on the system.

SCIENCE - Stanford and UCSB physicists break Ohm's law and move electrons without voltage (Mar. 19)
Earlier this month (see below) RF Current reported that some of the transistor theory you learned in school was probably wrong. This week a Stanford University News Release reported a team of physicists from Stanford and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) have "invented a device that moves electrons without relying on voltage differences to push them around."

The Stanford release said "The device, a 'quantum electron pump', operates according to the laws of quantum physics, which describe what goes on in the sub-atomic world, rather than classical physics, which describes what happens in the everyday world. This means it may play an important role in a new field, called quantum information technology, that could provide the basis for new kinds of computers and other electronic devices in the next millennium."

The Stanford University News Release has more details on the device, the quantum physics behind it, an illustration and a link to a research web page. The project is headed by Charles H. Marcus, assistant professor of physics at Stanford University. Marcus warned this technology was still in the early stages of development. He said "These experiments are all carried out at a few hundredths of a degree above absolute zero, so don't look for a product in your dashboard next year. We are mostly trying to figure out the new rules that take effect as chips get smaller and smaller, and how these rules can be used to advantage."

SCIENCE - German Scientists Develop Atom (matter wave) Laser (Mar.)
German scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and the University of Munich have developed an atom laser that emits a continuous beam of matter waves instead of light. A Max Planck Institute News Release described the laser:
"The atom laser is based on Bose- Einstein condensation. If a gas is cooled to a few millionth of a degree above absolute zero, the atoms lose their identity and behave as a single entity, some kind of "super atom". In the Munich experiment, a dilute gas of rubidium atoms is captured in a sophisticated low-power magnetic trap and cooled down to reach Bose-Einstein condensation. With the help of a radiofrequency field the scientists flip the atomic spin so that atoms are allowed escape from the magnetic trap. In vacuum, the atoms are accelerated by gravity and form a parallel beam of coherent matter waves.

"If the radiofrequency field is turned on before condensation sets in, the atom laser can only reach threshold, if there is laser "gain". Unlike a Bose-Einstein condensate, such a laser relies on matter wave amplification by stimulated elastic scattering of rubidium atoms just as an optical laser relies on light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."

The Max Planck Institute News Release page has a false color 3-D picture produced from an image of the shadow cast by the rubidium atoms and more information on the experiments.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990318.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WETA 27 Greater Wash. EDTV Washington DC License to cover CP
WKMG 58 Post-Newsweek Orlando FL 1000 491 Dielectric TFU-30GTH 06
KLFY 56 KLFY L.P. Lafayette LA 1000 507 Harris TAB-24UDA
KASA 14 Alabama Ed TV Montgomery AL 50 161 Dielectric TFU-26GTH-R
WFME 29 Family Stations West Milford NJ 200 167 Antenna Concepts ATS8X2

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990319.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KBLR 40 Summit Media L.P. Paradise NV 32.4 357 Andrew ATW16H3-HSC5U-39S
KDAF 32 Tribune Television Dallas TX 350 537 Dielectric TFU-26TH-R-S180
WGIQ 44 Alabama Ed TV Comm. Louisville AL 168.8 243 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R P310BNT
WIIQ 19 Alabama Ed TV Comm. Demopolis AL 50 313 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R P220
WCBB 17 Maine Public B'cstg Augusta ME 29.7 281 Dielectric TUP-C3-2-1

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990318.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna / Notes
WKRC 31 Citicasters Co. Cincinnati OH 800 278 Andrew ATW22H4-HSO-31S
WTIC 5 Tribune Television Hartford CT 0.975 614 Dielectric TDM-3A5
WVIT 35 Outlet B'casting New Britain CT 87.1 457 Dielectric TFU-18GTH-R 04
WISH 9 Indiana B'casting Indianapolis IN License to cover CP
KOPB 27 Oregon Public B'cstg Portland OR 712 508 Dielectric TFU-26GBH-R 06

OTHER Items of Interest

March 15, 1999 - Issue 157 Final Edition

INDUSTRY - Andrew Acquires Passive Power Products, Inc. (Mar. 15)
Andrew Corporation, based in Orland Park, Illinois, announced it completed the acquistion of Passive Power Products, Inc., based in Gray, Maine. Andrew Corporation is a manufacturer of broadcast TV antennas, waveguide, rigid line and cable. According to the release, Passive Power Products is "the largest supplier of DTV filters in the world." Passive Power Products designs and builds RF systems and products.

Thomas E. Charlton, Andrew group president of communications products, said "The acquistion of Passive Power Products enables Andrew to provide complete RF system solutions from the transmitter output through to the antenna." Spencer J. Smith, founder and president of Passive Power Products, commented "We are skilled in the design and manufacture of components and systems for the high power RF industry. Our products and our reputation for quality and service are a logical complement to Andrew Corporation's existing broadcast product range.".

More information is available in the Passive Power Products Press Release.

SATELLITE - Loral Skynet Initiates Telstar 6 Service (Mar. 15)
Loral Skynet said Telsar 6 was successfully deployed at 93 degrees West Longitude and, effective March 15, is in full commercial service. Telstar 6 carries 24 C-band transponders and 28 Ku-band transponders on a Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 bus. The satellite can generate a total of 3200 watts of RF transmitter power. Loral Press Release.

SATELLITE - GE-3 Satellite Briefly Tumbles (Mar. 12)
Early Friday morning (EST), GE Americom's GE-3 satellite lost one of its gyros and began tumbling. GE Americom was able to slow the tumbling and stablize the satellite a few hours later, at approximately 9 AM EST. Programming from PBS, feeds from the Associated Press and some broadcast and cable networks were affected by the outage. GE Americom has not updated its web site with information about the event. The GE Americom Home Page still carries a banner for Leonid Meteor Shower Information. CNN Interactive Space News carried a story on the GE-3 glitch.

FCC Proposes New Medical Implant Communications Service (Mar. 15)
The FCC posted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Establish a Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS) in the 402-405 MHz band. Medtronic, Inc. petitioned the FCC for the service, which would "consist of high-speed, ultra low power, non-voice transmissions to and from implanted medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators."

Medtronic stated that technical considerations make Part 15 spectrum allocated for use by physicians and health care providers ill-suited for the proposed MICS operations. It said the spectrum in the 174-216 MHz and 512-566 MHz bands are outside the range it considers suitable for propagation of radio signals within the human body. The use of this spectrum for high power broadcasting was also noted.

The proposed MICS spectrum is shared with meteorological aids (Metaids), which is used for the measurement and transmission of weather information and for wind profiling systems. Medtronic stated that while Metaids could cause interference to MICS, the chance of a radiosonde system interfering with MICS is small because the MICS device has ten frequencies it can use. MICS is proposed as a secondary service in the band.

The FCC requested comments on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making.

FCC Tutorial on Optical Transmission Available (Mar. 12)
The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology held its Tutorial on Optical Transmission in the Network. The presentation is now available on line in Adobe PDF and PowerPoint formats with RealAudio sound. Links to these files and information on ordering video or audio tapes of the tutoral is available on the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Tutorial Page.

TV - DirecTV and Networks Reach Settlement (Mar. 12)
DirecTV and CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC announced they reached a settlement that sets "an appropriate timeframe to disconnect distant broadcast network signals from subscribers found to be ineligible using the new Individual Location Longley-Rice (ILLR) model..." (RF Current #152)

Under the settlement, DirecTV subscribers predicted to received an FCC Grade A signal level (using ILLR) from a station affiliated with one of the four networks will lose satellite delivery of distant network signals on June 30. The same restriction will apply to subscribers predicted to receive Grade B signal from the local network station on December 31.

DirecTV and the affected affiliate stations are taking steps to make sure consumers don't lose network reception. Both parties in the settlement agreed to provide consumers who will lose satellite network service with advance notification in writing. The notification will include advice on a off-air antenna discount offer from DirecTV. In addition, if a subscriber obtains the consent of a local network station, DirecTV will not block the receipt of the network's distant station via satellite.

More information is available in the DirecTV Press Release. Also, see the link to the E-Town News article in Other Items, below.

FCC Satellite System Applications (Mar. 9)
The March 9, 1999 FCC International Bureau Satellite Applications Report (Adobe Acrobat PDF file) said Space System License, Inc. had filed an application to increase the number of in-orbit spare satellites in the Iridium system from 12 to 14. Loral Skynet requested Special Temporary Authority to operate the SatMex V satellite at 116.8 degrees West Longitude for domestic use. The Mexican-licensed satellite would be used to provide domestic services until the Telstar 6 satellite becomes operational. (This may be moot - see the March 15 story on Telstar 6.)

DTV - CEMA Study - "Most expected to purchase a DTV in two to four years" (Mar. 2)
A Consumer Electronic Manufacturers Association Press Release said its research found that "Among consumers familiar with DTV, 1 in 5, representing 11 million households, said they visited a retailer in the past 12 months to see or ask about DTV. Of those familiar with the tehcnology, nearly 60 percent said their next TV purchase will probably or definitely be a DTV." After seeing a HDTV demonstration, focus group participants who where satisfied with their current TV set changed their mind. The study also found about half of those surveyed said they expected DTV to increase their TV viewing time "and/or increase the attention given to TV." Significantly, most of the consumers surveyed said they expected to purchase a DTV in two to four years.

SCIENCE - Solar Structures Help Forecast Large Solar Eruptions (Mar. 9)
Engineers responsible for maintaining terrestrial and satellite communications have an interest in predicting solar eruptions. NASA-sponsored scientists, using the Japanese Yohkoh spacecraft, have discovered that an S-shaped structure often appears on the sun in advance of a coronal mass ejection - a violent eruption "as powerful as billions of nuclear explosions."

George Withbroe, science director for the Sun-Earth Connection research at NASA Headquarters commented "Early warnings of approaching solar storms could prove useful to power companies, the communications industry and organizations that operate spacecraft, including NASA. This is a major step forward in understanding these tremendous storms."

If you are interested in this discovery, you can find more information and links in Solar Structures Can Help Forecast Largest Solar Blasts from NASA and on the MSU Solar Physics Group Coronal Mass Ejection Prediction Page.

OTHER Items of Interest

March 8, 1999 - Issue 156 Final Edition

DTV - Lucent Demonstrates HDTV PSIP data streaming (Mar. 8)
Lucent Digital Video said that it and Philadelphia's WPVI-TV were "now demonstrating the first working on-air HDTV broadcasts of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP)." PSIP provides data for an Electronic Program Guide, time of day and staton identification. WPVI is using the PSIP software with a Harris/Lucent FlexiCoderTM.

Tom Hankinson, Director of Advanced Television Technology for the ABC owned TV stations, said "The Lucent PSIP solution works well with the FlexiCoder and we're interested to see what creative things the digital receivers do with the data we're broadcasting." Lucent said WPVI's coverage of central and southern New Jersey was significant, because many DTV receiver manufacturers have facilities in this area. More information can be found in the Lucent Digital Video Press Release.

Radio - Lucent Announces Digital Audio Broadcast tests (Mar. 8)
Lucent Digital radio announced it is commencing field tests of its In-Band-On-Channel (IBOC) digital audio broadcast (DAB) system using the facilities of WBJB-FM. WBJB-FM is licensed to Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey and operates on 90.5 MHz. It is a member of National Public Radio.

Lucent said the field tests "will evaluate a range of technical issues associated with digital FM radio." More details on the Lucent IBOC DAB system and the tests are available in the Lucent Digital Radio Press Release.

FCC Satellite Applications from PanAmSat and Columbia Communications (Mar. 5)
An FCC International Bureau Public Notice (pnin9046) (PDF) listed an application from PanAmSat to launch and operate PAS-1R, a hybrid C/Ku-band satellite at 45 degrees West Longitude, replacing the PAS-1 at that location. PAS-1R will cary 36 36 MHz transponders on both C and Ku bands and employ full frequency reuse through "dual linear polarization and geographic isolation". The satellite service area includes North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

Also listed in the Public Notice was an application from Columbia Communications Corporation to modify its existing authorization to use Ku band operation as well as its existing C-band capacity on the Columbia 515 satellite at 37.5 degrees West Longitude.

FCC Releases Low Power FM Radio Spectrum Availability Software (Mar. 5)
The FCC Mass Media Bureau has made available the software used to determine what frequencies and locations may be suitable for 100 or 1000 watt low power FM stations as described in Appendix D of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Creation of a Low Power Radio Service MM Docket 99-25, FCC 99-6 released February 3.

The Fortran source and a program executable with the DOSXMSF.EXE utility were not avavailable on the FCC web site, but disks may be obtained from the FCC See the Public Notice (da990464) for more information.

FCC Experimental Grants - 9/1/98 to 1/1/99 (Mar. 4)
Today the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology released a long list of experiment licenses granted in period between September 1, 1998 and January 1, 1999. The complete list is in Public Notice (pnet9003).

Items of particular interest include a license to operate on frequencies near 27, 40 and 433 MHz to test garage door openers to European standards for export; an experimental license to Harris Corporation for operation in the TV and FM broadcast bands to test broadcast antennas and authorization for Sony Electronics to operate in the 5150-5350 and 5725-5825 MHz bands for testing, development and demonstration of devices designed to be used under Part 15, Subpart E. Andrew Corporation received permission to operate in the 27.5-28.35 GHz band to test and develop LMDS equipment in Garland Texas. Wavtrace also appears to be working on LMDS equipment - it received an experimental license to use frequencies in the 27.5-28.35 and 31-31.3 GHz bands to field test a point-to-multipoint broadband access system. Satellite CD Radio is allowed to use 2326.1 MHz to test ground repeater stations for satellite digital audio radio service in Berkley, Brisbane, Woodside, San Leandro and San Francisco CA.

Wireless - Metricom Begins Deployment of Richochet Wireless Internet In NYC (Mar. 2)
Metricom, in an announcement released today said it had begun "active deployment of its new Ricochet2 wireless internet service in the New York City area. The new service will initially be limited to areas around New York's City Hall, the Financial District, Times Square, the Theater Distrcit and parts of the Brooklyn Metrotech area. Unlike the original Ricochet service, available now in the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, Washington DC and several airports, which operates at speeds up to 28.8 kbps, Ricochet2 will allow wireless Internet access at speeds over 128 kbps.

The Ricochet system uses multiple spread sprectrum nodes and repeaters to provide an "always on" Internet connection. Metricom does not charge roaming fees and offers a fixed monthly price for the wireless connection. Lee Gopadze, Vice President, Right of Way and Field Operations, said "Metricom's intention with the deployment of a pilot Ricochet network is to gain valuable engineering knowledge that will reduce the time to market for its new architecture. Experience gained in New York City through the operation of the initial system will be directly applicable to broader deployment of the higher-speed system."

Science - New Theory Provides Better Understanding of Transistors - What you learned in school is probably wrong! (March)
Karl Hess, a University of Illinois Swanlund Professor and Researcher at the university's Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology worked with Steven Laux, a researcher at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center to develop a new theory and numerical analysis to describe the performance of a semiconductor's p-n junction.

Hess said, "It may sound strange, but the precise physics of what makes these devices work has not been fully understood. We found deficiencies in every textbook description of p-n junction diodes. For example, the diffusion capacitance -- the conductance property for alternating current -- was predicted incorrectly in all cases."

More information on this important work, including an explanation of how "trillions of well-working p-n junctions have been made without this knowledge" can be found in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign News Release.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap9900308.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna or Notes
KRIV 27 Fox Television Houston TX 1000 Mod to increase power
KRIV (auxiliary) 27 Fox Television Houston TX 241 318 Andrew ATW16H3-HSCIL-26S

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990303.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna or Action
WGNX 19 WGNX Atlanta GA License to cover CP
WCVB 20 Hearst-Argyle Boston MA License to cover CP

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990305.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna or action
KTVA 28 Northern Television Anchorage AK 50 39 Scala 9807231 (amend.)
WXIA 10 Pacific and Southern Atlanta GA License to cover CP
KITV 40 Hearst-Argyle Honolulu HI License to cover CP
WTHR 46 VIDEOINDIANA Indianapolis IN License to cover CP
KFOR 27 The New York Times Oklahoma City OK 352 489 Dielectric TFU-30GTH
WFAA 9 WFAA-TV Dallas TX License to cover CP
WVEC 41 WVEC Television Hampton VA 530.9 344
KING 48 KING Broadcasting Seattle WA License to cover CP

OTHER Items of Interest

March 1, 1999 - Issue 155 Final Edition

FCC Extends Time for LPTV Displacement Applicants to Resolve Mutually Exclusive Applications (Feb. 26)
In a Public Notice (pnmm9018) released today, the FCC gave LPTV and translator applicants whose applications were identified as mutually exclusive in the FCC's September 2, 1998 Public Notice an additional 90 days to resolve their mutual exclusivity by using engineering solutions and filing minor amendments with the Commission. This extension is in addition to the extension granted in the Public Notice released December 1, 1998.

DTV - Dielectric Awarded Contract For Stacked DTV Antennas in Baltimore (Feb. 26)
Baltimore Maryland TV stations WBAL (channel 11), WJZ (13) and WMAR (2) have chosen Dielectric Communications for DTV and NTSC antennas, transmission line and other RF equipment. Dr. Oded Bendov, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist of Dielectric, supervised the design of the stacked antenna array. The antenna array will be installed on the top of what the Dielectric Press Release said was "one of the world's first multi-station candelabras and the world's first to include antenna systems operating at all three positions on a tower of this type." The tower was first used for broadcasting in 1959. The new stacked antenna system was designed for optimum performance for both DTV and NTSC and provides backup systems for each station.

The Release said "Completion of the project is scheduled in conjunction with the station's required DTV on-air date of November 1, 1999."

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990301.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KICU 52 KICU San Jose CA 251 668 Dielectric TFU180SC-R C170
WOOD 7 LCH Comm. Grand Rapids MI 16.8 218 Dielectric TF-6A
WPXV 46 Paxson Comm. Norfolk VA 1000 360 Dielectric TFU-26DSC-R C170
KWPX 32 Paxson Comm. Bellevue WA 175 71 Dielectric TFU-31ETT-R CTSP

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990226.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WPEC 13 Freedom B'casting West Palm Beach FL 31 291 Dielectric THV-11B13 C146
WEIQ 41 Alabama Ed. TV Comm. Mobile AL 50 185 Dielectric TFU-30GTH-R DC
WFIQ 22 Alabama Ed. TV Comm. Florence AL 50 202 Dielectric TLP-24A

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990225.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KERA 14 N. Texas Public B'castg Dallas TX 475 500

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990223.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna / Action
WFLA 7 Media General B'castg Tampa FL 18.8 475 Dielectric TCL-6A7(S)
WLRN 20 School Bd. of Dade Co Miami FL 200 302 Dielectric TFU18GTH/CP-R
KHOU 31 KHOU-TV Houston TX License to cover CP
WJBK 58 Fox Television Detroit MI License to cover CP
KSDK 35 Multimedia KSDK St. Louis MO 838 339 Dielectric TFU20GTH-R 04

OTHER Items of Interest

Other Issues Available:




1995 and 1996

Return to The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com

Last modified April 2, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright © 1999 H. Douglas Lung