RF Shorts: Other Items of Interest - Oct. 29, 2009

A review of RF-related news briefs over the past week.
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The FCC issued a Public Notice (DA-09-2273) [PDF] announcing a petition seeking declaratory ruling that the Hazelton, Pa. ordinance governing satellite antenna installation is preempted by the FCC's over-the-air reception devices rules. The petition was filed by the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America, Inc. (SBCA), Antenna Star Satellites, Inc., and Johnson TV & Satellite. The ordinance in question includes a requirement that antenna users obtain a $10 permit for installation of a satellite antenna, provide documentation of an antenna manufacturer's installation procedures, and remove an existing antenna when it is replaced by another. The requirement that any professional antenna installer have a valid construction business license is also being challenged. Comments are due Nov. 24 with replies due Dec. 11, 2009. The Public Notice has additional information.

Microtune announced its third quarter 2009 financial results. James A. Fontaine, Microtune President and CEO, commented, "Given the challenging economic environment, we achieved solid quarterly results, exceeding the revenue expectations we had as we entered the third quarter. The integration of the team and products from the Auvitek acquisition is proceeding smoothly. Along with the recent announcement of our new MicroCeiver technology platform, the acquisition reinforces our confidence in our strategic direction, our integrated tuner-demod product roadmap, and our aggressive move into the DTV market. We believe the technology acquired with Auvitek and the new products we plan to roll out under our new MicroCeiver platform will be significant drivers for growth in the coming years."

The San Francisco Examiner article Digital TV switch: All channels now available reports broadcasters using the Sutro Tower have moved their antennas up higher on the tower. Viewers are advised to rescan TV and converter boxes to pick up channels they may have missed before.

The web site PhysOrg.com reported a WHO study suggests a link between cell phones and tumors. The study suggests there may be a "significantly increased risk of some types of brain tumors" after use of mobile phones for a decade or more. The head of the WHO study, Dr. Elisabeth Cardis recommended restricting the use of mobile phones by young children. Not all experts agree with the results of the study. Some critics noted that some results indicate short-term cell phone use appears to protect against cancer, which may indicate a flaw in the study.

I've updated my spreadsheet consolidating data from the FCC's TV Engineering Database and several other CDBS files. It lists all active full power, low power, and TV translator licenses, permits and applications in the database. The spreadsheet is based on CDBS data as of Oct. 28, 2009 and can be downloaded from www.xmtr.com/fcc/tvdb.zip.