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RF Shorts for March 15, 2013

More Information on Carbon Fiber Antenna Masts
Thanks to Kris Kirby, KE4AHR, to alerting me to these carbon fiber towers. He commented that it will be interesting to see how they interact with antennas. A well worded Google search immediately returned Investigation of the RF Properties of Carbon Fibre Composite Materials from the Industrial Electronics Electromagnetic Interference Department at ERA Technology. The report is from 1982. Based on this and on the research on RF reflections from carbon fiber reinforced wind turbine blades, I would expect these towers to behave similar to a steel tower, although perhaps with a bit more loss if the tower becomes part of the antenna system.

In any event, I’d love to put one of these in my back yard to test if my wife and neighbors would approve.

Air Force Seeking B-2 Bomber Antenna Coupler Replacement reported this week that the Air Force scours industry for replacement part to nuclear bomber communications system. The part they are looking for is a replacement for the CU-2421 antenna coupler for the AN/ARC-211 HF radio system made by Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the B-2 nuclear bomber aircraft. The article notes that: “In the absence of satellite communications, HF radio could be the B-2's only method of contacting home bases or national command authorities while on distant missions. The ability to communicate reliably over long distances is essential for the B-2 because it can carry nuclear weapons.”

More information is available from the GSA.

FCC Cracks Down on Tower Violators
The FCC is issuing fines to broadcasters for antenna tower registration discrepancies, such as improper lighting and not modifying the registration when the ownership changes. See the Radio World article FCC Says Updating Tower Registration Data is Vital. You can check tower registration information on the FCC Antenna Structure Registration Search page. Cavell Mertz and Associates’ site will show any tower registrations associated with a broadcast or broadcast auxiliary license and allow you to map it using several Websites to check the location.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at