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 June 28 - Issue 171

July 5, 1999 - Issue 172 Final Edition

TV - FCC Marks First Deadline for V-Chip Adoption, Zilog Announces PG-Chip(TM) (July 2)
July 1 was the deadline for manufacturers to to incorporate V-Chip technology in half of all new TV models with screens 13 inches for larger. All new sets with screens 13 inches or larger must include the V-Chip by January 1, 2000. The V-Chip uses program content codes imbedded in the vertical blanking interval line 20 closed captioning data to allow parents to control which programs they want their children to see. The manufacturers, according to the FCC, have met or beaten the July 1 deadline.

To mark the deadline, FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani, head of the Commission's V-Chip Task Force, showed how parents can use the technology to block violent ad sexually explicit TV programming from their sets during a demonstration of the V-Chip at Circuit City in Rockville, Maryland. Tristani said "Parents must call, write or email their local newspaper asking for parental ratings information." For more information, see the FCC News Release (nrmc9049).

Zilog used the deadline to announce its new "Parental Guidance Chip(TM)", or "PG-Chip(TM)", The Z86230 PG-Chip contains code that recognizes the different rating system codes in the United States and Canada. Zilog said the chip requires minimal design effort and central CPU supervision, "making it possible for TV manufacturers to rapidly become compliant with the FCC deadlines." - from Zilog Press Release -

FCC Technological Advisory Council Requests White Papers on Spectrum Management (July 1)
The Chairman of the FCC's Technological Advisory Council, Dr. Robert Lucky, has requested that interested members of the public submit white papers covering any of the topics under consideration by the Council's three focus groups. These include Spectrum Management, Accessibility for Disabled Persons, and Network Interconnection and Access.

The Spectrum Management focus group task is defined as:
Assess and report to the TAC current technical trends in telecommunications services; suggest any changes that might decrease, rather than increase, the accessibility of telecommunications services by persons with disabilities; and suggest how the FCC might best communicate to designers of emerging telecommunications network architectures, requirements for accessibility.

The FCC Public Notice (pnet9012) contains information on the other focus groups and the format and procedures for submitting white papers. Also see the FCC Technological Advisory Council web page.

FCC Wireless Bureau Releases Revised Antenna Structure Registration Software (July 1)
As covered in last week's RF Current, the FCC is transitioning to a new Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) filing system. Today, the FCC said that during this temporary transition period, the FCC will manually review all electronic submissions. ASR filers must also use toll-free dial up access, not direct Internet connection, for electronic filing, during this period and will not be able to immediately obtain a registration number upon submission. However, filers may use their browser over the FCC's wide area network to submit electronic filings and the public will be able to conduct searches of the ASR database through the Internet.

Free searches of the database are available through the FCC Antenna Home Page. Select the button marked Query to access the database. More information on services available during this transition period may be found in the FCC Public Notice (da991314). This Public Notice also contains phone hotlines for questions concerning electronic filing.

WIRELESS - Onsat Network Selects SpectraCast for Satellite Internet Service (July 1)
Adaptive Broadband said Onsat Network Services selected its SpectraCast(TM) line of products to provide filtered Internet access over satellite. Spectracast products include multiplexers, IP gateways, various satellite IRDs, and supporting software. Onsat will use the system to provide "scrubbed", software filtered Internet content free of x-rated content and other broadband services to public and private schools, churches, businesses and other audiences.

The Onsat system can feed up to 6 Mbps of IP data over satellite to individual receive sites where landline connections aren't practical. Bandwidth cna be expanded as needs grow. The SpectraCast E-Series products interface directly to a 10/100BaseT system, view the MAC-level destination address and broadcast the information only to the specifically designated networks. More information is available in the Adaptive Broadband Press Release.

SPACE - Spectacular NASA Space Weather Experiments Visible This Month (June 29)
NASA said is "space weather" experiments should provide a scientific "fireworks display" along the east coast of the U.S. in July. Between July 2 and July 20, 1999, NASA will launch a series of rockets to study the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. The rockets will be launched from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Virginia.

Two of the experiments include packages that will release a chemical that will form luminescent, milky-white clouds in space that should be visible to the naked eye several hundred miles form the launch site. The chemical used to create the clouds, trimethylaluminum, will be released in the ionosphere between 43 and 96 miles above the earth. The interaction of these chemicals with the solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field should help scientists understand how disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field occur and ultimately allow scientists to improve the reliability of radio and satellite communications.

More information is available in the NASA Press Release. A Daily Schedule is also available on the Wallops Flight Facility web page.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990701.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WNJB 8 NJ Public BC Auth. New Brunswick NJ 4.5 221 Non-directional

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990630.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KVBC 2 Valley B'cstg Co. Las Vegas NV 27.7 384 Non-directional

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990701.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WWOR 38 WWOR-TV Secaucus NJ 143 448 Dielectric TUP-SP4-8-1
KAET 29 Arizona Bd of Regents Phoenix AZ 707 527 Dielectric TFU-30GBH06
WXIX 29 Raycom National Newport KY 227 (mod) n.c. Dielectric TFU-14GBH/VP-R 6T190
WMPT 42 Md Public B'cstg Annapolis MD 328 253 Dielectric TFU-24GTH-R
WTVS 43 Detroit Ed. TV Detroit MI 200 318 Dielectric TFU-18GBH-R04
KWPX 32 Paxson Comm. Bellevue WA 175 71 Dielectric TFU-31ETT-R CTSP
WMVS 8 Milwaukee Area Tech Col Milwaukee WI 25 354 Dielectric THU-6A8-R

OTHER Items of Interest

Next >>>> July 12 - Issue 173 >>

RF Current Index

Return to The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com

Last modified July 14, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung