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RF Shorts – April 7, 2011

  • •Transmitter technology choices impact power consumption. Use the NAB Fasttrack Transmitter Efficiency Calculator to determine the efficiency of your station's transmitter. A fair amount of data is required but adding HVAC and other loads improves accuracy. Figure out what new electrical service you'll need to build out your new channel if the FCC gets its way with TV spectrum.
  • •The FCC has a new Website layout. Currently inbeta, it seems like much more flash than functionality. The old (current) design has many links on one page that make it easy to get to where you need to go with a few clicks, provided you understand the terminology. The new Webpage has a few broad categories, often leading you down the wrong path to the data you are looking for. Fortunately when you do get past the slide show, you eventually end up on the old Webpage. Although there is a new header on the top, all the familiar links are still in place. The big difference I see is the old site was optimized to allow licensees and those other business with the FCC (such as public interest groups) to get their work done or comments filed and be done. The new Website seems to be an advertisement for the FCC that's aimed at the general public. I'm sure it looks great to first-time visitors and it does provide a good overview of what the FCC does. Both have their value, but my recommendation is to keep enough of the old site intact so those of us that work with the FCC Website every data don't have to wade through promotions and obscure menus to get to our work places.
  • •The world's oldest working electronic TV, a Marconi type-702, is heading for auction, as reported by Steven Mostyn in the Tech Herald and several other publications. It has a pre-sale estimate of 5000 Pounds Sterling. It was built in 1936 and, of course, is black and white .The case is made of walnut and mahogany. The articles say it is still functioning. I suppose with the right DTV converter box, it would receive today's broadcasts!

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.