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 10 - Issue 165

May 17, 1999 - Issue 166 Final Edition

FCC Begins Proceeding For New Services on TV Channels 60-62 and 65-67 (May 14)
The FCC has started "a proceeding to adopt service rules to permit new services on spectrum bands formerly designated exclusively for UHF television service." In the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress directed that channels 60-62 and 65-67 (746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz) be reallocated and auctioned for commercial purposes. The auction must take place after January 1, 2001. Existing full power UHF licensees will be permitted to continue operating on these channels and will be protected from interference until the deadline for conversion to DTV.

A News Release issued today said "The Commission seeks comment on how different statutory requirements, as well as existing regulatory requirements, should be implemented if the service rules ultimately allow use of these spectrum bands to provide both broadcast and non-broadcast services. The Commission also seeks comment on the regulatory treatment of new and innovative services such as point-to-multipoint datacasting, that may in part resemble both broadcast and non-broadcast services." The NPRM also asked for comment on how to implement the requirement that the Commission protect both existing full power television broadcasting services and the public safety services recently allocated TV channels 63, 64, 68 and 69 from harmful interference.

FCC - Echostar Requests Modification of Its Ku-band Satellite Service (May 11)
Echostar, in an application filed with the FCC, requested authority to extend the launch and construction milestones for its FSS-1 satellite, pending FCC action on petitions for reconsideration filed by GE Americom and PRIMESTAR. Echostar requested the milestones be extended to 24 months and 27 months following Commission action on the pending petitions for reconsideration. Echostar also requested an extension of milestones for its FSS-2 satellite to 30 months and 33 months following Commission action on the pending petitions.

More information is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format only at Public Notice PNIN9087.

WIRELESS - Peet's Coffee Deploys RadioLAN Wireless LAN Technology in Stores (May)
RadioLAN issued a Press Release announcing Peet's Coffee and Tea will begin installing RadioLAN wireless networks in store locations across the U.S. The system is used for updating cash register system and will eventually be extended to allow high speed Internet access for customers. The system operates at Ethernet speeds in the 5.8 GHz NII band. RadioLAN said "store personnel with no IT background can assemble the RadioLAN-based network in minutes."

The system is currently operating in Peet's San Francisco store, in a difficult RF environment. Rawson Hobart, IT Manager for Peet's said "Besides cost and simplicity of use and installation, interference was a major concern for us, A large amount of radio interference from cell phones and microwave ovens exists in the typical store environment, especially in downtown areas. In our San Francisco test location, it was difficult to even get cell phones to work. We've experienced nothing less than perfect connectivity every time."

TECHNOLOGY - New Transistor Oscillates Up to 1,200 GHz (May)
The May issue of the Office of Naval Research News carried stories about two innovations in transistor design. At U.C. Santa Barbara, Dr. M. J. W. Rodell and his research team developed a transistor with a maximum frequency of oscillation of 1,200 GHz, over two orders of magnitude greater than transistors in integrated circuits today. The Navy is interested in this ultra-fast transistor because it can be used in logic circuits that will "enable direct digital synthesis of radar signals, thereby increasing the sensitivity and versatility of solid-state radar systems currently being developed..." The transistor is a modified version of the heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) design, with a configuration that "nearly eliminates parasitic capacitance to yield record switching speeds in the inherently low phase noise HBT design." This design may be useful in other integrated circuit applications.

Broadcast engineers will remember the excitement over UHF-TV power amplifiers using silicon-carbide transistors at NAB a few years ago. Scientists at the University of Delaware are working with a variation of this design, using a new alloy of silicon-carbide and germanium. Research is still preliminary, but, according to the ONR news release, are promising. James Kolodzey, a professor of electrical and computer engineer at the University of Delaware, said the materials "may also enhance the speed and stability of next-generation, silicon carbide, which is 50 percent carbon." An alloy with germanium levels of 1 to 4 percent conducted twice as much current, compared to pure silicon-carbide.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990512.txt for more information
WDIV-DT - Ch 45 - Detroit MI - License to cover CP

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990513.txt for more information
KRON-DT - Ch 57 - San Francisco CA - License to cover CP

OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified May 21, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung