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.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

<<< Back to May 3 - Issue 164

May 10, 1999 - Issue 165 Final Edition

FCC - Broadcast Auxiliary Radio Station Databases Available for Review Prior to ULS Implementation (May 7)
The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has released information on how to access, review and, if necessary, correct information in Bureau's databases covering Low Power and Remote Pickup Broadcast Auxiliary licenses and Aural and Television Microwave Broadcast Auxiliary licenses. This will give licensees an opportunity to review the data before the Universal Licensing System (ULS) is implemented. ULS will enable electronic filing and will so provide online querying and mapping capabilities.

Licensees may access the database at http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/database_info.html. The database may be viewed one call sign at a time or the entire database may be downloaded. Select "Search the Wireless Databases Online" to query licenses or "Download the Wireless Databases" to download it. The FCC warns that some of the database files are very large.

The FCC asked broadcasters to "confirm that all administrative and technical data shown in the database is correct and that its operating parameters are consistent with those provided by its license." Licensees may informally notify the Bureau of database errors. Where there is no record of the license or where the site, frequency or technical data is missing or incorrect, the FCC Public Notice said "licensees should submit a copy of the station authorization or a copy of the original application for authorization and any subsequent applications for modification of the license. Any documentation should clearly indicate the data that is missing from the licensing database or the corrections that are required. Wherever possible, copies of applications should reflect the FCC stamped receipt date." ULS corrections must be received by July 1, 1999 to allow the Bureau time to make corrections prior to the ULS conversion.

Complete information on accessing the database is may be found in the Public Notice.

SATELLITE - DIRECTV to Offer Local Broadcast Network Channels (May 5)
DIRECTV, positioning itself as a complete alternative to cable TV, announced plans to delivering local TV channels to DIRECTV subscribers in major metropolitan markets. Delivery of local TV channels into local markets will will require new legislation. Local-into-local was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in H.R. 1554, the "Satellite, Copyright, Competition, and Consumer Protection Act of 1999.". DIRECTV said the U.S. Senate is expected to work on similar legislation later this month.

DIRECTV also needs FCC approval of the acquistion of the remaining Tempo high-power satellite assets. DIRECTV plans to use the Tempo frequencies at 119 degrees West Longitude for the local-into-local services. Because of the separation from DIRECTV's existing 101 degree slot, a new, 18-inch high by 22-inch satellite dish will be required. The DIRECTV News Release did not indicate whether all local channels in a market would be carried on the satellite system or, if not, how the channels would be selected. The first sentence of the News Release may have provided a clue when it said DIRECTV "announced plans for delivering local broadcast network channels by satellite to approximately 50 million homes..." (Emphasis added)

The News Release said DIRECTV expected "the introduction of local channels by satellite to coincide with the introduction of a combination DIRECTV/ATSC set-top box, which will allow consumers to seamlessly integrate DIRECTV programming with digital off-air signals, as local broadcasters convert to digital." This set-top box may be the Thomson/RCA DTC-100 announced at CES and shown at NAB and/or a new offering from Mitsubishi referenced in the story listed below in Other Items. Eddy W. Hartenstein, president of DIRECTV, said "Our commitment to delivering local channels via satellite, complemented by our nationwide roll out of advanced digital off-air solutions, will provide consumers with new local channel solutions that will maximize their choices."

SATELLITE - Track Satellites in Your Backyard with NASA J-Pass (May 6)
NASA has created a web site that makes it easier to spot satellites. The on-line program displays a map showing the location of visible and non-visible satellites against the constellations for any location at any time. Satellites such as the new International Space Station, Russia's Mir Space Station and the Space Shuttle can appear quite bright (brigher than -1.0 visual magnitude) at some times. The NASA Liftoff to Space Exploration web site shows you where and when to look to see them.

For more information, see the NASA article Sightings - NASA's J-Pass can track satellites from almost any backyard. The page contains numerous web links. Of most interest will be the J-Pass 2.0 program page and J-Track 3D, a web page that shows a 3-D view of the earth with several hundred satellites around it. You can select a specific satellite and view its location. By moving the mouse cursor around the earth, you can change the view point in 3-D. The response time was quite reasonable. Readers interested in viewing satellites optically instead of electronically may also want to check out the German Space Operations Centre -- Satellite viewing site referenced in an earlier RF Column article on viewing the IRIDIUM satellite constellation.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990510.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WMVT 35 Milwaukee Area Tech. Col. Milwaukee WI <400/td> 353 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R180

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990505.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WFPX 36 Paxson Comm. Fayetteville NC 1000 242 Dielectric TFU-18DSC P230

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990504.txt for more information
License to cover CP:KTLA-DT Ch 31, Los Angeles; WTHN-DT Ch 10, New Haven CT; WHDH-DT Ch 42, Boston MA; WXYZ-D, Ch 41, Detroit MI; KCTS-DT Ch 41, Seattle WA;
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WTHN 10 WTNH B'casting New Haven CT 20.5 (mod) Dielectric TW-7B (mod)
WESH 11 Orlando Hearst-Argyle Dayton Beach FL n/c 515 (mod) Dielectric THV-6A11-C140 (mod)
WPXA 51 Paxson Atlanta Rome GA 1000 595 Dielectric TFU-18DSC T170
WDLI 39 Trinity B'castg. Canton OH 200 292 Andrew ATW22H3-HSO-39S
WDSI 40 WDSI License Chattanooga TN 1000 (mod) n/c Andrew ATW30HS4-HSC2 (mod)

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990506.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KGTV 25 McGraw-Hill B'cstg. San Diego CA 302 208 Dielectric TFU-18DSC-RC170
WTVT 12 TVT License Tampa FL 17.5 (mod.) 436 Andrew ATW9V3-ETO-12
KSAZ 31 KSAZ License Phoenix AZ 794 (mod) 486 (mod) Andrew ATW22H4-ESC1-31S
KPBS 30 SDU Board of Trustees San Diego CA 200 606 Dielectric TFU-24GTH S190

OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified May 12, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung