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RF Shorts - Mar. 3, 2011

The Southgate Amateur Radio club's Web page has an article on Interference from plasma television sets. Members of the Niagara Peninsula Amateur Radio Club reported "noise and signals originating from plasma screen digital television sets are causing considerable interference to their HF activities." While the article focuses on amateur radio, plasma TV sets have also been known to cause interference to indoor TV reception, particularly VHF channels.

Japan Today reports Tokyo Sky Tree tops 600 meters, becoming world's tallest tower. Construction began in July 2008 and the new communications tower in Tokyo's Sumida Ward now stands at 601 meters, which the article notes, eclipses the 600-meter Canton Tower in China. The final height of the tower will be 634 meters.

Would you expect a satellite launched 30 years ago to still be in service? Dwayne A. Day writing on The Space Review Web site has the interesting story of Comstar 1-D in Tough little spinner. The satellite, launched on Feb. 21, 1981, is currently owned by Tongasat which has renamed it Esiafi 1, and is supposedly at 70 degrees east longitude. The article notes, "Today Tongasat's Website lists Esiafi 1—the old Comstar 1D—as its only space asset, although it mentions nothing of the satellite's health or capabilities, or its origins as an American comsat three decades ago."

Caroline Gabriel writes about LightSquared's plans in her Rethink Wireless article Sprint site leasing deal rumored for LightSquared -- Satellite LTE venture said to be in talks with rival Clearwire's main shareholder to accelerate build-out. She notes, "A Sprint deal could help LightSquared achieve broad coverage more rapidly but would create a complex build-out plan, involving several spectrum bands and the possible complications of Sprint plans to integrate its networks more closely with those of Clearwire."

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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.