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A day in Pictures

The aftermath:

Long beach

Long beach, this used to be an isthums, now it is a sand bar

A set of old stairs

A set of old stairs on the beach where the cottages used to be located.

Surf

Surf

100 lb propane tanks

Found the reason why the generator is not running

Propane tanks adrift

Propane tanks adrift from storm surge. There was a strong propane smell around these tanks, I secured all the valves.

WICC propane tank pad

Where the propane tanks should be

debris washed ashore during storm surge

Debris washed ashore during storm surge around north tower, including a section of dock

Second high tide after Hurricane Sandy, noon on Tuesday

Second high tide after Hurricane Sandy, noon on Tuesday, flooding ground system

three phase power line down

Three phase power line down due to wind

Three phase power line down

More wind damaged power lines

Telco wires taken down by trees

Telco wires taken down by trees

Generator room water level, as seen on the side of the battery

Generator room water level, as seen on the side of the battery

More work here tomorrow.

Update: Took longer than anticipated, but the station is back on the air with generator power as of 8:15 am, Thursday (11/1).  Commercial power restoration is not expected until Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.

Update: Commercial power restored on Thursday, 11/8 for a total outage of 10 days.  One good thing about incidents like this, I now have a fresh set of contacts for all the important people connected to servicing this site.

Storm preparations underway

Last night, i went to bed and all was well with the world. This morning, I woke up and, Hey Now!  It would seem there is trouble a brewing out in the ocean.  The weather people are talking of some super storm, a combination of a category two hurricane and a winter blizzard with a tsunami and a bit of dust bowl thrown in for good measure.  Okay, I made up the dust bowl part.

Here is the five day forecast:

Hurricane Sandy five day

Hurricane Sandy five day

It looks like the Mid-Atlantic coast is in for a direct hit, but the probabilities include coastal NY, NJ and CT.  Thus, storm preparation has begun.  Today’s list is as follows:

  1. Check All backup generators, refuel as needed.  Check oil, water, battery water, etc.  Make sure generator starts from remote command.
  2. Check all backup transmitters, where installed.
  3. Check other backup systems, such as STLs, sump pumps, etc.
  4. Make sure that buildings are secure and any loose items are secured.

Perhaps this storm will be one of those over-hyped non-events.  Only time will tell however.  If it continues on its present course, then personal preparation will consist of:

  1. Procuring a good flashlight with fresh batteries for the tool kit (perhaps several).
  2. Taking care of household needs for the storm.
  3. Full set of mechanical tools.
  4. Some extra food and water in the work truck.
  5. A change of dry clothes in the work truck, including shoes or boots.
  6. Sleeping bag in the work truck.

Better to be prepared than to sit in wet clothes wishing it wasn’t so.  More updates to follow.

Saturday, 8am Update:

During Hurricane/Tropical storm Irene, it was the rainfall that did the most damage.  Looking at the current rainfall predictions, it appears the worst of it will be to the south by a good bit:

Hurricane Sandy Rainfall prediction

Hurricane Sandy Rainfall prediction

These things can change as the storm progresses, continuing with preparations.

Update, Sunday afternoon, 3pm:

The storm is still progressing more or less along the forecast track. Further to the south and in coastal areas, there is a strong possibility of flooding. Around this area and north, it looks like it will be a mostly wind event, with only 3-4 inches of rain predicted. Preparations are being finalized, I have added the chain saw to the truck inventory.

At what price do we pay our mortgages?

Political content warning: This post will contain statements that may include political points of view and/or be contrary to the narrative currently espoused by the corporate media outlets.

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin

This election season, all the stops have been pulled out.  Massive amounts of money have flowed into the accounts of political candidates for nearly every office though out the land.  Over and over again, we hear political advertizements about this, that or the other candidate doing something unethical or just plain wrong.  Is it true? Is it a lie?  Does it matter?  What effect does this have on the general population?  If psychological studies are correct, hearing the same statement repeated several times, people will tend to believe it, even if they are not paying attention.  As George W. Bush once said while he was President of the United States:

“See in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

This is the same mechanism used to brainwash people into religious cults.

Are we merely electing people because they have enough money to pay for the advertising required?  Are they qualified to figure out how to fix the get the economy going again, or are they simply rich enough to buy the election?

At what point do we look at our own employment and our roles at various media outlets and wonder what connection that it has with the current political and economic conditions in the US?  For myself, I almost never listen to the radio stations that I do work for, other than to evaluate technical quality.  As far as the programming content, I honestly could not tell you whether station X plays polka or top forty.  However, even with that limit listening and knowledge, it is impossible not to miss the political propaganda on the airwaves.

What role has the current media model played in the election of corrupt (or at least inept) public officials? What role is the current media model playing in the partisan, divide and conquer, keep the masses distracted while they finish looting scheme?  When do we become concerned that, even in a small supporting role, we are enabling the brainwashing of the general public?

We all have our own financial responsibilities, that is true.  However, perhaps it is time to step back and look at the big picture.  There are many parallels in the history of humanity between the current situation in the US and other, long gone governments like Rome, The Ottoman Empire, The Weimar Republic and the former USSR.  It’s time to ask, where are we going and what is going to happen when we get there?

Radio Shack catalog archive

This is a trip down memory lane.  Someone has taken the time to preserve and document Radio Shack, its founding, history and all of the catalogs printed from 1939 to 2005. The website archive is Radio Shack Catalogs.

I remember reading these very catalogs cover to cover, when they came out in the mid 1970’s.  At that time, this stuff looked expensive and in relative dollar terms compared to today, it was.  We had one of these computers in our “Math Lab” in 9th grade:

Radio Shack catalog, TRS-80

Radio Shack catalog, TRS-80

In fact, when I found one of these computers stashed away in the corner of a transmitter site, I had a flash back of Mr. B scowling as yet another student made a mistake plotting x/y coordinates on the backboard.

Tandy TRS-80 Model 4D computer

Tandy TRS-80 Model 4D computer

Ahhh, memories.  Enjoy!

SAQ Grimeton

Historic VLF (Very Low Frequency) station SAQ Grimeton will be on the air to celebrate United Nations Day on October 24th at 10:30 UTC (6:30am EST) on 17.2 KHz CW.  This station was established in 1922 and is the last radio station in the world employing an Alexanderson transmitter.  More information at their website.

This is a great 2011 video of a tour of the station, including transmitter start up:

It is great to see that old gear come to life and transmit a message.  The electric motor/generator sounds like a jet engine spooling up.

Before solid state or even hollow state rectifiers, motor generators were used to create the DC voltages needed to transmit high power radio signals.  This method was used by high powered Naval shore stations through WWII and beyond.

By way of comparison, an average CW operator can send and receive Morse code at about 20-25 words per minute.  A good CW operator, about 30 words per minute and a Russian CW operator, somewhere near 50 words per minute.  This was the main wireless data transmission method until Radio Teletype came into widespread use in the 1950s.   Here is a comparison of data speeds through the years:

Method Speed Bits/S
CW 20 WPM 8.3
CW 35 WPM 14.58
Radio Teletype* 75 Baud/100 WPM 41.6
Radio Teletype* 100 Baud/133 WPM 55.41
Async data 300 Baud 300
Async data 1200 Baud 1200
Async data 9600 Baud 9600
Switched 56 (Switchway) 56KB 56,000
DS0 (POTS) 64KB 64,000
ISDN 64KB X2 128,000
DS1 (T-1) 1.54 MB 1,540,000
DS3 (T-3) 45 MB 45,000,000
Ethernet 10BaseT 10,000,000
Ethernet 100BaseT 100,000,000
Ethernet Gigabit 1,000,000,000

The Morse Code (CW) and Radio Teletype data rates are not a direct comparison, as most radio teletype systems use 5 bit Baudot code instead of 8 bit ASCII.  Morse code varied in length from one to five bits, if one thinks of each dot or dash as a data bit.  Back in the day, before “Netcentric” mindset, we used mainly radio teletype to communicate from ship to shore.  A premium was placed on brief, concise, operational communications.  Everything else was sent via the mail.

It is quite amazing to see the increase in data speed, which directly correlates to information exchanged (or the ability to exchange information) in the last 90 years.

To receive SAQ Grimeton, one needs a VLF receiver or converter capable of receiving 17.2 KHz and a very quite receiver location.  There are many VLF hobbyists that will be tuning in.

The Gates BC1H

In my never ending fascination with broadcast transmitters, I bring you the Harris/Gates BC1H. This is an updated model of the BC1G, the main difference being the solid state audio and oscillator sections in the later H model. This design uses the simple 833 parallel final and 833 push pull modulator

Sales brochure, click to down load the four page .pdf

Harris/Gates BC1H AM transmitter

Harris/Gates BC1H AM transmitter

Schematic:

Gates/Harris BC1H overall schematic diagram

Gates/Harris BC1H overall schematic diagram

Harris/Gates BC1H

Harris/Gates BC1H

Harris/Gates BC1H Transmitter running at 1,000 watts into the antenna.  Like many old tube transmitters, this sounds great on the air.  The transmitter was made in 1975 and is in backup service.  For a 37 year old transmitter, it runs like a champ and comes on consistently.  Like the preceding Gates BC-1 models, this transmitter is rugged and reliable.   My only comment is the transistors in the solid state driver section are no longer available.  If that were to become an issue, one can always look up the tube audio driver from previous versions (T and H models).  It would be a shame to throw away a good transmitter for lack of a couple of transistors, but I know some who have done just that.

Migrating the existing AM stations to former TV channels 5 and 6

This is one of the possibilities that has been bantered about as a solution for the “AM problem.” The theory goes as such; former TV channels 5 and 6 (76 – 88 MHz), which are not suitable for DTV would be an ideal place for the existing AM stations to move.  That represents a 12 MHz chunk of spectrum, which is much more than the current 1.16 MHz spectrum the current AM broadcasting service takes up (.54 to 1.7 Mhz).  An added benefit is that the VHF spectrum does not have the skywave “problem” that the MF spectrum does, thus many more stations could be licensed to the service.  Everyone would benefit, AM stations would get a new lease on life in the FM band.  The number of stations would increase by several fold, including LPFM, non-commercial and translators.  AM stations would no longer be burdened with expensive directional arrays or sub standard audio quality.

It seems almost too good to be true…

The FCC reportedly promised “take a hard look” at this idea back in 2008.  Four years later, one wonders what has become of it.

A quick search of the existing TV stations licensed to channel 5 and 6 reveals the flaw in this theory.  The FCC has re-licensed many full powered and Low Powered DTV stations to channel 5 and 6 since 2008.

List of full power channel 5 stations:

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
WOI-DT DT LIC AMES IA 8661 13.9 566 CAPITAL COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY, INC.
WGVK DT LIC KALAMAZOO MI 24783 10 169 GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
WBKP DT LIC CALUMET MI 76001 6.4 301 LAKE SUPERIOR COMMUNITY BROADCASTING CORPORATION
KXLF-TV DT LIC BUTTE MT 35959 10 588 KXLF COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
KXGN-TV DT LIC GLENDIVE MT 24287 1 152.4 GLENDIVE BROADCASTING CORP.
KHAS-TV DT LIC HASTINGS NE 48003 45 217 HOAK MEDIA OF NEBRASKA LICENSE, LLC
WLMB DT LIC TOLEDO OH 17076 10 155 DOMINION BROADCASTING, INC.
KOBI DT LIC MEDFORD OR 8260 6.35 823 CALIFORNIA OREGON BROADCASTING, INC.
KIVV-TV DT LIC LEAD SD 34348 9.2 561 KEVN, INC.
WTVF DT LIC NASHVILLE TN 36504 22 425 NEWSCHANNEL 5 NETWORK, LLC
WMC-TV DT LIC MEMPHIS TN 19184 34.5 308 WMC LICENSE SUBSIDIARY, LLC
KCWX DT LIC FREDERICKSBURG TX 24316 23.7 412 CORRIDOR TELEVISION, L.L.P.
WCYB-TV DT LIC BRISTOL VA 2455 29.9 743 BLUESTONE LICENSE HOLDINGS INC.
WDTV DT LIC WESTON WV 70592 10 240 WITHERS BROADCASTING COMPANY OF WEST VIRGINIA
WIWN DT LIC FOND DU LAC WI 60571 9 338 WWAZ LICENSE, LLC

List of Low Power Channel 5 stations (analog):

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
KSCT-LP TX LIC SITKA AK 15348 0.049 0 DAN ETULAIN
K05KF TX LIC DILLINGHAM AK 792 0.16 0 ALASKA CORP OF SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
KRDN-LP TX LIC REDDING CA 127179 0.6 0 KM COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
W05CO TX LIC SARASOTA FL 66995 3 0 THREE ANGELS BROADCASTING NETWORK, INC.
W05CJ TX LIC KEY WEST FL 125642 0.59 0 JAMES J. CHLADEK
DKHHB-LP TX LIC HILO HI 126233 3 0 KHHB, LLC
WIKY-LP TX LIC EVANSVILLE, ETC. IN 61036 0.14 0 ROBERTS BROADCASTING COMPANY OF EVANSVILLE, IN, LLC
K05IV TX LIC PARK RAPIDS MN 55374 0.019 0 RED RIVER BROADCAST CO., LLC
W05BV TX LIC STARKVILLE MS 21634 0.066 0 FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
K05LU TX LIC JEFFERSON CITY MO 128520 0.11 0 HISPANIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY NETWORK, INC.
K05LY TX LIC MOBERLY MO 128560 0.1 0 HISPANIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY NETWORK, INC.
KSXC-LP TX LIC SOUTH SIOUX CITY NE 128012 3 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
K05KY TX LIC LINCOLN CITY OR 129190 2.25 0 MICHAEL MATTSON
K05KX TX LIC TILLAMOOK OR 129194 0.65 0 MICHAEL MATTSON
KRCW-LP TX LIC PORTLAND OR 35151 2.7 0 TRIBUNE BROADCAST HOLDINGS, INC., DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION
K05LE TX LIC ASTORIA OR 129161 2.5 0 MICHAEL MATTSON
KJIB-LP TX LIC CLEAR LAKE CITY TX 21184 0.103 0 FAR EASTERN TELECASTERS
KLUF-LP TX LIC LUFKIN TX 28937 0.094 0 INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING NETWORK
K05EF TX LIC BRADY, ETC. TX 10043 0.068 0 FOSTER CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, INC.
KTXF-LP TX LIC ABILENE TX 130840 0.665 0 KM COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

List of Low Power Channel 5 stations (digital)

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
K05FW-D LD LIC GIRDWOOD AK 796 0.061 0 ALASKA PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC.
K05ET-D LD LIC LIKELY CA 8240 0.25 0 CALIFORNIA OREGON BROADCASTING, INC.
K05CR-D LD LIC HAYFORK CA 68112 0.007 0 TRINITY COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION
K05CF-D LD LIC WEAVERVILLE CA 71381 0.015 0 WEAVERVILLE TRANSLATOR CO., INC.
K05FR-D LD LIC CROWLEY LAKE CA 43512 0.06 0 MONO COUNTY SERVICE AREA NO. 1
K05DQ-D LD LIC BURNEY, ETC. CA 8314 0.045 0 BLUESTONE LICENSE HOLDINGS INC.
K05LI-D LD LIC WEBER CANYON CO 130882 0.0023 0 SOUTHWEST COLORADO TV TRANSLATOR ASSOCIATION
K05GA-D LD LIC DOLORES CO 61470 0.0052 0 SOUTHWEST COLORADO TV TRANSLATOR ASSOCIATION
K05JW-D LD LIC ISMAY CANYON CO 61449 0.0024 0 SOUTHWEST COLORADO TV TRANSLATOR ASSOCIATION
K05MD-D LD LIC CRIPPLE CREEK, ETC. CO 167809 1.5 0 TUCK PROPERTIES, INC. C/O LEE PELTZMAN
WRUF-LD LD LIC GAINESVILLE FL 4200 0.3 0 BOARD OF TRUSTEES, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
K05GL-D LD LIC COOLIN ID 53516 0.013 0 PRIEST LAKE TRANSLATOR DISTRICT
K05EY-D LD LIC TERRACE LAKES ID 23150 0.065 0 GARDEN VALLEY TRANSLATOR DISTRICT
K05BE-D LD LIC LEHMI, ETC ID 58708 0.013 0 SALMON TV TRANSLATOR DISTRICT
W05DD-D LD LIC ST. FRANCIS ME 39652 0.097 0 MAINE PUBLIC BROADCASTING CORPORATION
K05GM-D LD LIC PLAINS-PARADISE MT 52780 0.017 0 PLAINS-PARADISE TV DISTRICT
K05AH-D LD LIC HOT SPRINGS MT 27685 0.005 0 HOT SPRINGS TV DISTRICT
K05ML-D LD LIC SULA MT 181578 0.006 0 SULA TV DISTRICT
K05IZ-D LD LIC HINSDALE MT 27259 0.0034 0 HINSDALE TV CLUB
K05MW-D LD LIC FERNDALE MT 182548 0.024 0 SWAN HILL TV DIST
K05FC-D LD LIC LAKE MCDONALD MT 16754 0.005 0 CANYON TV
K05KK-D LD LIC POPLAR MT 53012 0.037 0 POPLAR TV DISTRICT
K05JU-D LD LIC ELKO NV 19401 0.1 0 ELKO TELEVISION DISTRICT
K05AF-D LD LIC MINA/LUNING NV 42702 0.07 0 MINERAL TELEVISION DISTRICT #1
W05AR-D LD LIC BRYSON CITY, ETC. NC 53896 0.089 0 WYFF HEARST TELEVISION INC.
WTVF LD LIC NASHVILLE TN 36504 3 0 NEWSCHANNEL 5 NETWORK, LLC
K05AR-D LD LIC ROCKVILLE UT 70962 0.031 0 BONNEVILLE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
W05AW-D LD LIC CHRISTIANSTED VI 70286 0.3 0 VIRGIN ISLANDS PUBLIC TV SYSTEM
W05AA-D LD LIC ROANOKE VA 73989 0.097 0 WSET, INCORPORATED
K05MU-D LD LIC LEAVENWORTH WA 187540 0.01 0 LEAVENWORTH NON-PROFIT TV ASSOCIATION
KCEM-LD LD LIC CHELAN BUTTE WA 64455 0.003 0 APPLE VALLEY TV ASSOCIATION, INC

List of full power Channel 6 stations:

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
WUOA DT LIC TUSCALOOSA AL 77496 26 395 THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF AlABAMA
WEDY DT LIC NEW HAVEN CT 13595 0.4 88 CONNECTICUT PUBLIC BROADCASTING, INC.
WCES-TV DT LIC WRENS GA 23937 7.9 429.4 GEORGIA PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
WABW-TV DT LIC PELHAM GA 23917 10.5 378.9 GEORGIA PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
KBSD-DT DT LIC ENSIGN KS 66414 31 216.8 SUNFLOWER BROADCASTING, INC.
KTVM-TV DT LIC BUTTE MT 18066 19.2 591.3 BLUESTONE LICENSE HOLDINGS INC.
KWNB-TV DT LIC HAYES CENTER NE 21162 11.9 221 PAPPAS TELECASTING OF CENTRAL NEBRASKA, L.P.
WRGB DT LIC SCHENECTADY NY 73942 30.2 392 WRGB LICENSEE, LLC
WPVI-TV DT LIC PHILADELPHIA PA 8616 34 330 ABC, INC.

List of  Low Power Channel 6 stations (analog):

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
K06LG TX LIC CHUATHBALUK AK 62827 0.052 0 STATE OF ALASKA
K06LP TX LIC CIRCLE HOT SPRINGS AK 62529 0.548 0 STATE OF ALASKA
KNIK-LP TX LIC ANCHORAGE AK 21492 0.92 0 FIREWEED COMMUNICATIONS LLC
K06MF TX LIC KENAI, ETC. AK 21490 1.44 0 FIREWEED COMMUNICATIONS LLC
W06BH TX LIC PHENIX CITY, ETC. AL 25207 0.06 0 GREENE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
KNJO-LP TX LIC HOLBROOK AZ 131162 0.475 0 KM COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
KVFA-LP TX LIC YUMA AZ 131144 0.05 0 KM COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
K06MU TX LIC BIG BEAR LAKE CA 63149 1 0 BEAR VALLEY BROADCASTING, INC.
KNNN-LP TX LIC REDDING CA 129249 1.5 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
KLOA-LP TX LIC INYOKERN, ETC. CA 28583 3 0 ROBERT D. ADELMAN
KCIO-LP TX LIC VICTORVILLE CA 11529 0.99 0 OBIDIA PORRAS
KRPE-LP TX LIC BANNING CA 129651 0.999 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
KUHD-LP TX LIC VENTURA CA 67963 0.999 0 OBIDIA PORRAS
KBKF-LP TX LIC SAN JOSE CA 127882 0.6 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
KEFM-LP TX LIC SACRAMENTO CA 127996 3 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
KXDP-LP TX LIC DENVER CO 67552 3 0 SYNCOM MEDIA GROUP, INC.
WHDY-LP TX LIC PANAMA CITY FL 130063 1 0 CONFESORA PERALTA
WEYS-LP TX LIC MIAMI FL 6035 3 0 ALMAVISION HISPANIC NETWORK
WDDA-LP TX LIC DALTON GA 131127 2.5 0 WORD OF GOD FELLOWSHIP, INC.
KESU-LP TX LIC HANAMAULU HI 131005 3 0 CHANG BROADCASTING HAWAII, LLC
WKQX-LP TX LIC CHICAGO IL 128239 3 0 WLFM, LLC
W06BD TX LIC PRINCETON IN 49243 0.014 0 NORTH GIBSON SCHOOL CORPORATION
WDCO-LP TX LIC SALISBURY MD 130439 1 0 SIGNAL ABOVE LLC
WJMF-LP TX LIC JACKSON MS 26253 2 0 KID’S TELEVISION, LLC
KGHD-LP TX LIC LAS VEGAS NV 130027 3 0 OBIDIA PORRAS
WMYH-LP TX LIC ELMIRA NY 125819 0.25 0 VISION COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
WXXW-LP TX LIC BINGHAMTON NY 129224 0.016 0 JOHNSON BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC.
WNYZ-LP TX LIC NEW YORK NY 56043 3 0 ISLAND BROADCASTING LLC
WMBO-LP TX LIC WESTVALE NY 14319 0.3 0 METRO TV, INC.
WNNY-LP TX LIC AUBURN NY 41364 1.45 0 RENARD COMMUNICATIONS CORP.
WMTO-LP TX LIC WANCHESE NC 127802 0.6 0 RAY H. LIVESAY
WLFM-LP TX LIC CLEVELAND OH 6699 3 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
K06NI TX LIC THE DALLES OR 129153 0.25 0 MICHAEL MATTSON
WRTN-LP TX LIC ALEXANDRIA TN 125858 2 0 RICHARD C & LISA A. GOETZ
WPGF-LP TX LIC MEMPHIS TN 23848 3 0 GEORGE S. FLINN, JR.
KRGT-LP TX LIC RIO GRANDE CITY TX 57999 0.04 0 CTV BROADCASTING, LLC
KFMP-LP TX LIC LUBBOCK TX 129734 3 0 VENTURE TECHNOLOGIES GROUP, LLC
KXIT-LP TX LIC AMARILLO TX 130089 3 0 GEORGE CHAMBERS
KBFW-LP TX LIC ARLINGTON TX 127887 3 0 GERALD BENAVIDES
KZFW-LP TX LIC DALLAS TX 5316 3 0 DFW BROADCASTING, INC.
K06PB TX LIC UVALDE TX 67303 0.99 0 SUPER RADIO, INC.
WDCN-LP TX LIC FAIRFAX VA 20450 3 0 SIGNAL ABOVE LLC
K06OA TX LIC EAU CLAIRE WI 129139 0.9 0 MARCIA T. TURNER D/B/A TURNER ENTERPRISES

List of Low Power Channel 6 stations  (digital):

Call Sign Service Status City State Fac ID ERP (kw) HAAT (m) Licensee
K06OR-D LD LIC SEWARD AK 168866 0.3 0 SEWARD MEDIA PARTNERS, LLC
K06AE-D LD LIC PRESCOTT AZ 35274 0.5 0 MULTIMEDIA HOLDINGS CORPORATION
K06HN-D LD LIC GUNNISON CO 25611 0.06 0 GUNNISON COUNTY METROPOLITAN RECREATION DISCRICT
K06HU-D LD LIC ASPEN CO 56704 0.006 0 PITKIN COUNTY TRANSLATOR DEPARTMENT
K06GW-D LD LIC NEW CASTLE CO 23159 0.005 0 ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLIC BROADCASTING NETWORK, INC
K06NT-D LD LIC DOLORES CO 130881 0.0052 0 SOUTHWEST COLORADO TV TRANSLATOR ASSOCIATION
K06NG-D LD LIC SARGENTS CO 126929 0.05 0 GUNNISON COUNTY METROPOLITAN RECREATION DISCRICT
W06AY-D LD LIC LEBANON KY 70498 0.3 0 GARY WHITE
K06FE-D LD LIC MILES CITY MT 35726 0.1 0 MMM LICENSE II LLC
K06AA-D LD LIC BROADUS MT 53167 0.088 0 POWDER RIVER T.V. BOARD
K06AV-D LD LIC WOLF POINT MT 73376 0.019 0 WOLF POINT TV DISTRICT
K06NV-D LD LIC WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS MT 21710 0.06 0 MEAGHER COUNTY TELEVISION DISTRICT
K06JC-D LD LIC CHADRON NE 47977 0.066 0 NEBRASKA EDUCATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
K06KR-D LD LIC CRAWFORD NE 47991 0.028 0 NEBRASKA EDUCATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
K06PG-D LD LIC LAUGHLIN NV 11687 0.3 0 CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
K06KQ-D LD LIC MANHATTAN NV 14126 0.02 0 COUNTY OF NYE
K06MK-D LD LIC ELKO NV 19380 0.1 0 ELKO TELEVISION DISTRICT
K06HT-D LD LIC ELY NV 59129 0.053 0 WHITE PINE TELEVISION DISTRICT # 1
K06NY-D LD LIC RYNDON NV 128750 0.062 0 ELKO TELEVISION DISTRICT
W06AJ-D LD LIC FRANKLIN, ETC. NC 53884 0.193 0 WYFF HEARST TELEVISION INC.
K06NS-D LD LIC CHILOQUIN OR 8268 0.193 0 CALIFORNIA OREGON BROADCASTING, INC.
K06PM-D LD LIC BEAUMONT TX 128836 0.3 0 ROGER MILLS
K06JA-D LD LIC CEDAR CANYON UT 9712 0.015 0 CEDAR CANYON TV

Looking through this data, particularly the digital licenses which were granted since 2009, one an only assume that the FCC has, by de facto, nixed this idea if it ever considered it at all.

Friday funnies, Part V

More from xkcd:

Hint: 192.168 is an internal IP address and is not allowed on the public network, e.g.: It was an inside job.

AM Radio Improvement Plan

There has been lots of hand wringing and ink spilled regarding the sorry state of affairs in the senior service. AM is plagued with problems; interference, poor bandwidth, etc. To that end, the NAB has launched studies and initiatives and hired all sorts of pricey consultants to consult with. Here is my own AM improvement plan and it is rather simple:

  1. Clean up the transmitter site.
  2. Get rid of AM HD radio.
  3. Variable IF bandwidth receivers.
  4. Improve Programming.

How many of us have seen AM transmitter site dumps? Deferred maintenance, malfunctioning directional arrays, trees growing up on the ground system, flooded buildings and ATU’s,  rusty towers, transmitters not a full power, ground system deteriorated or missing all together, just to list a few problems.  Many AM transmitter sites are technical disasters.  Think that these things have no bearing on the AM station’s signal?  Think again.

differed maintenance, AM transmitter site

Differed maintenance, AM transmitter site (there is a tower in there somewhere)

Trees growing around the tower base can attenuate the signal by 30%.  A comment from a well known engineering firm:

…Recently XXX field engineers had occasion to measure an AM station at XXXX kHz before and after removing vegetation in the vicinity. The station had a quarter-wave tower. The base area had grown up in brush and hardwood trees to a height of perhaps 30 feet (9m) and this extended from near the base across the entire ground system. After clearing (cutting, no ground system disturbance), the signal measured at some 16 locations on four radials went up a uniform amount of about 15% or 1.2 DB. That’s about a 30% increase in radiated power…

That is an inexpensive power boost and they didn’t even have to file with the FCC! A 1 – 2 dB power gain is pretty nice and can mean the difference between a listenable signal and static.  How many times have I heard the lament that AM band is full of noise and not listenable.  Certainly, there are major challenges in the urban listening environment.  Putting forth a better signal will overcome some of this electrical noise.

There is a reason why engineering standards were developed for the physical plant; they work.

There is no cure for the noise that AM HD Radio puts out into the adjacent channels.  This self interference benefits none, not even the station transmitting AM HD Radio.  This dubious technology has proved itself a non-starter and should be discontinued.  For smaller station owners, the cost of implementing AM HD Radio is prohibitive.  Licensing of a proprietary modulation scheme, new transmitting equipment, specialized exciters plus any needed bandwidth improvements to AM antenna arrays can easily exceed $100,000.00.  Unfortunately, it is often the small AM radio operators that are making a good showing, and serving their community of license and making money.  These are the very stations that are hurt the most by adjacent channel AM HD Radio interference.

Receiver design over the last twenty to thirty years has been the greater issue with perceived low AM broadcast quality.  AM receivers have an average bandwidth of just 3-4 KHz, which is slightly better than telephone quality.  AM broadcasting has gotten a bad wrap because of this and there are many comments about how AM is “inferior quality” to FM.  With a quality older receiver, AM can sound very good.  Of course, the receiver manufactures all point adjacent channel interference as their rational for reducing IF bandwidth.  Why not leave it in the hands of the user? The GE Superradio had this feature with a “wide” and “narrow” setting for AM reception.  They worked remarkably well.   A receiver could also be designed to automatically increase IF bandwidth at higher received signal strengths.

Finally, as the saying goes; Garbage in, Garbage out (GIGO).  This holds true for many things including radio programming.  Expecting that mediocre satellite syndicated news talk will garner great ratings and huge revenues is silly.  For years and years, station owners have put minimal effort into AM radio and expected big returns.  It is not working.  AM stations that go against that trend; those with unique formats (Gasp! Music, on AM?), local content, and community oriented programming can and do succeed.  They are fighting an up hill battle in both directions.  With all of the business pressures from larger broadcast groups, interference issues and negative viewpoint on the viability of the AM band, one wonders how long they can last.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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