Skip to main content

RF Shorts - May 7, 2010

  • • WDAF-TV has a story on its Fox4KC Web site about a man base jumping from a TV broadcast tower in midtown Kansas City. The story includes parts of a YouTube video posted by the base jumper. "The mystery jumper landed in a tight spot between a busy street and a residential neighborhood, and then presumably got out of town while the getting was good."
  • • Want to build your own satellite? Check out the Open Source Satellite Initiative. Caleb Johnson takes a fun look at the Initiative in his article DIY Space Satellite May Be in Your Future with Open Source Guide on
  • • If you happen to be traveling near Brewster, Wash. this summer and are interested in large antennas and complex electronics, consider a stop at the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope. The Seattle Times describes the site and gives directions to it in the article Seeking the universe from an apple orchard in Brewster. "If you pull up on Monse River Road to the small, windowless, one-story, 45-by-25-foot building where two technicians run the dish, they usually don't mind showing you around."
    "It gets boring at times," said Mark Hoffman, one of the technicians working on the project. "The taxpayers helped build this. They should be able to see what's going on here."
    Another technician, Bob Sanderson commented that when young people stop by, he angles the antenna as far down as it will go, providing them with a special view.
    "They love it," he said. "They can look right up into it."
  • • From the United Kingdom, the Daily Record reports Thieves nick transmitter while radio station is on the air. "It was claimed that CCTV cameras from the office block—South Lanarkshire Council's County Buildings HQ in Almada Street—show two men pushing it out on a trolley and loading it into a van."
  • • Broadcasters in the United States have had problems with copper thieves—see the article Brazen burglary knocks KMBC off the air for info on last week's theft of copper pipe from KMBC-TV's cooling system for its UHF IOT transmitter. I haven't heard of any cases here where a transmitter was stolen while it was on the air.
  • • Harris Corp. says year-over-year revenues increased in the third quarter of fiscal year 2010, but Radio World reports that Harris to Cut More Costs in Broadcast Sector. "Additional cost-reduction actions will be implemented in the fourth quarter, which are expected to improve operating performance and allow continued investment in opportunity rich international and new media markets."

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.