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RF Shorts – Oct. 14, 2010

  • •Two articles this week describe a patent Apple received for a "multiband cellular 'telephonic MacBook.' See Apple Granted Patent for 3G MacBook, Netbook in the Future? on Ubergizmo.com and Apple wins patents on antenna tech, iMac and Touch designs on www.ipodnn.com.
  • •Ham radio operators may have a new source of interference to 432 MHz weak signal operations— remote car starter devices. Lisa Johnson writes in an article in TV Technology sister publication, TWICE, Knowledgefest Ushers in New Products. "Perhaps most notable for the company is the CA5051MT, Code Alarm's first ever remote-start and keyless-entry system for manual transmission vehicles. Features include two one-way 433MHz four-button remote controls, the ability to accept up to four remote controls, glass-mount antenna with built-in red LED light and valet switch, RPS, onboard lock/unlock parking light flash confirmation relay, trunk release, DBI port and diesel compatibility."
  • •A press release $5 Million NSF Grant Will Upgrade and Expand NJIT Radio Telescope Array focuses on upgrades at the Owens Valley Solar Array near Big Pine, Calif., which will enable the use of a wider range of frequencies. NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) Distinguished Professor Dale Gary noted that as low frequencies grow more saturated with such interference, techniques for removing it have become a research topic itself. "Interference is the radio analog of light pollution, which frustrates optical astronomers," he said. "Eventually we can look to a time in the not so far future when even the high frequencies will be spoiled."
  • •Correction on white space channels in Los Angeles: two weeks ago in my article on limit channels for white space devices in urban areas, I said the Spectrum Bridge white space database tool found that Channel 27 was available. Howard Fine reported that Channel 27 is on the air in Los Angeles under FCC special temporary authority (STA). He pointed out that the Spectrum Bridge site does not see STA or stations that have filed licenses to cover operations, adding that the site shows a lot of open channels in the Orlando/Lake Mary area in Florida that are actually in use by TV stations. TV relays licensed under Part 74 are also ignored.