RF Shorts - May 27, 2010
• The Los Angeles Times reported
GPS is getting an $8 billion upgrade
. "The new system is designed to pinpoint someone's location within an arm's length, compared with a margin of error of 20 feet or more today. The new satellites will also triple the amount of signals available for commercial use and will have atomic clocks that are even more precise--keeping time to a fraction of a billionth of a second."
•The New York Times says
TV Antennas Send Wrong Signal to Buyers
"When it comes to real estate values, agents say, antennas can detract from curb appeal and signal to buyers that the rest of the property is potentially a wreck." Author Dana Jennings added, "To be fair, there are still working antennas out there, just as there are still a few working water-powered sawmills. There are simply some people who want their TV free--no cable or even Netflix for them--and they're not going to surrender their antennas."
• Ars Technica talks about the failure of local radio stations to provide emergency information to Minot residents more than eight years ago in
Clear Channel still haunted by Minot toxic spill disaster
Author Matthew Lasar, after detailing the breakdown in communications between local authorities and the local Clear Channel radio stations, urged broadcasters to be prepared for such emergencies.
"Here at the San Francisco chapter of the Ars Orbiting HQ, we're waiting for our next major earthquake," said Lasar. "On that fateful day, our Internet won't be worth much if our local ISPs go down. Our smartphones won't help if carrier networks overload or their transmitter towers run out of back-up power. Ditto for cable TV, electricity-wise. So chances are that when the Big One comes, we'll drop our fancy mobiles, get in our cars, and fire up our AM radios. Here's hoping that six months later we won't be following debates about why we heard nothing but Rush Limbaugh and adult contemporary pop."
• Last week the FCC released a
Report and Order and Second Report and Order (FCC 10-82)
authorizing the use of WCS spectrum adjacent to the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS) spectrum used by Sirius XM Radio. My previous articles dealt primarily with concerns about interference from WCS mobile wireless broadband to satellite radio, but the Orders provide some benefits for SDARS, including the establishing a blanket licensing regime for repeaters operating up to 12 kW average EIRP. That will eliminate the need for Sirius XM Radio to request special temporary authority for their different repeaters every six months.
• WDCA television has a posted a
story with video
on the rollout of the Mobile DTV Showcase in Washington D.C.