RF CURRENT



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 September 6, 1999 - Issue 181

September 13, 1999 - Issue 182 Final Edition

FCC Satellite Policy Branch Applications Accepted for Filing (Sept. 13)
Loral Orion Services, Inc. requested a grant of final authorization to construct, launch and operate the Orion F3 satellite (now called Orion 2) at 12 degrees West Longitude. Loral Orion requested permission to redefine certain spot beam coverage areas for its Orion 2 satellite (formerly called Orion F3). Loral Orion also asked for extended Ku-band frequencies for European and South African operations as well as permission to use state-of-the-art TWTs, modify transponder configuration and standardize channelization, change the location of the satellite control operations and make various other minor technical modifications.

This information is from the FCC International Bureau Public Notice (pnin9174). The document is in Adobe Acrobat format.

FCC Lists July Experimental License Grants (Sept. 8)
The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology has released a list of Experimental Actions between July 1, 1999 and August 1, 1999. Lucent Technologies was granted a license to operate on 2390-2483.5 and 2500-2680 MHz to conduct multipath experiments. Boeing was authorized to use 14.0 - 14.5 GHz to develop a high data rate, satellite information transmission system fur use on board airborne mobile platforms. Spacequest was allowed to use 399.92, 399.955, 399.99 and 400.025 MHz "for test, development, and demonstration of compact mobile terminals used in low-Earth Satellites systems." Robotic Systems Technology will be allowed to use four frequencies around 170 MHz and 424 and 430 MHz "to support test, development, and demonstration of wireless remote control of unmanned vehicles."

Additional grants and more information on these grants, including geographic areas of operation, may be found in the FCC Public Notice (PNET9018).

FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Modify DTV Table of Allotments in Corpus Christi, TX (Sept. 8)
Channel 3 of Corpus Christi, Inc., licensee of KIII, NTSC Channel 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas requested the substitution of DTV channel 8 for its assigned DTV channel 47. The FCC has found the channel change meets its allocation requirements, but noted that Mexican government concurrence must be obtained for the new channel. The technical parameters of the modified allotment on Channel 8 would specify an effective radiated power of 160 kW at a height above average terrain of 289 meters.

Interested parties may file comments on or before November 1, 1999. Reply comments are due on or before November 16, 1999. Refer to the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (MM Docket 99-277) for details about the request and information on filing comments.

FCC Adopts Revised Rules for 218-219 MHz Service (Sept.7 )
Through a Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, the FCC modified the regulations for use of the 218-219 MHz band. This band was originally allocated for interactive TV services. The FCC rules now state: "The 218-219 MHz Service is a two-way radio service authorized for system licensees to provide communication service to subscribers in a specific service area." "The components of each 218-219 MHz Service system are its administrative apparatus, its response transmitter units (RTUs), and one or more cell transmitter stations (CTSs). RTUs may be used in any location within the service area."

Under the new rules, the 218-219 MHz band may now be used in both common carrier and private operations. Previously, it was a strictly private radio service. Service-specific technical standards were replaced with regulations applicable to all permissible uses of the Service. The rules clarified that both one-way and two-way communications and RTU-to-RTU communications are permitted in the 218-219 MHz band, regardless of regulatory status.

Interference to TV Channel 13 analog and digital service was considered. The Report and Order stated:
"We conclude that, in general, our specific technical rules are designed for a service model that bears little similarity to the breadth of services envisioned for the 218-219 MHz Service, and that these rules provide a measure of interference protection that may not be necessary in all cases. However, we also believe that we should retain any technical rule that still provides needed interference protection to TV Channel 13 regardless of the specific service being employed by a 218-219 MHz Service licensee."
The FCC retained the 20 watt maximum effective radiated power (ERP) level for fixed RTUs and CTSs. Mobile RTUs are limited to 4 watts maximum average ERP. Effective radiated power and antenna height cannot exceed that necessary to assure adequate service. The duty cycle rule was eliminated. Each licensee must resolve harmful interference to TV broadcasting and reception from its RTUs and CTSs within thirty days after being notified of the interference by an affected viewer, an affected TV station or the Commission. If the interference is not eliminated within this period, the CTS(s) or RTU(s) causing the problem must discontinue operation.

The Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order in WT Docket 98-169(FCC 99-239) should be consulted for the actual text of the revised technical rules as well as regulations regarding licensing and construction periods, spectrum partitioning and other issues. A summary of the changes appears in the FCC News Release (nrwl9039).

WIRELESS - Motorola Offers Free Hurricane Tracker for PageWriter 2000(TM) (Sept.)
With increased storm activity in the tropics this month, Motorola's new Hurricane Tracker application should be popular. The software application may be downloaded from Motorola's Hurricane Tracker web site. A Pagewriter 2000(TM) or PageWriter(TM) 2000X two-way wireless pager is required. Hurricane Tracker will provide wireless updates of storm positions as they are released by the National Hurricane Center. This is an experimental service and users will incur airtime charges from their messaging service provider.

OTHER Items of Interest

Next >>> September 20, 1999 - Issue 183


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