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RF Shorts for Oct. 7, 2013

Five Surprising Facts About Nikola Tesla
Brian Clark Howard reveals 5 Surprising Facts About Nikola Tesla on He briefly covers the life of Nikola Tesla and how Tesla is being honored today with the dedication of a new Tesla statute of Tesla at the inventor's former Wardenclyffe laboratory.

“A lot of people nowadays are more interested in Tesla,” said Jane Alcorn, a retired teacher who is president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. “He speaks to those who work hard, but don't get recognition; and people are starting to recognize how important his contributions were.”

While Tesla is most famous for developing alternating current, Howard points out Tesla's work “also led to advances in wireless communications, lasers, X-rays, radar, lighting, robotics and much more.”

Tesla's 187-foot tower at Wardenclyffe was destroyed by the U.S. government in 1917, but the octagonal concrete and granite base remain.

Howard noted that there could be some remains of the giant Tesla coil that was placed below ground, but Alcorn says that she hasn't yet raised the money to look for such remnants with a ground-penetrating radar system.

One of the five surprising facts is that many of Tesla's inventions were classified, and some of Tesla's papers are still classified by the U.S. government.

Dish Network Eyes LightSquared Spectrum
Zacks Equity Research reports Dish to Bid for LightSquared Spectrum. The article says, “Recently, Dish Network has won a favorable ruling to take part in the upcoming spectrum auction of LightSquared Inc. In May 2013, Dish offered a bid of $2.22 billion to acquire 40 MHz of wireless spectrum held by LightSquared, which is currently bankrupt. However, Harbinger Capital Partners, the principal owner of LightSquared, objected to this bid, stating that Dish has resorted to fraudulent means to enter the bidding process.”

The report continues, “Last Monday, a Manhattan bankruptcy judge approved Dish’s bid and has set Nov. 25, 2013 as the auction date. Earlier, the Federal Communications Commission had refused the use of this particular airwave as it was interfering with the global positioning system. This has led to LightSquared’s bankruptcy. Later on, the FCC conducted more tests on the spectrum and eventually permitted an auction with a few modifications.”

Zacks said, “We believe Dish’s attempt to enter into the wireless market is a diversification strategy to counter pay-TV market saturation. The company enjoys the opportunity to collaborate with several established telecom or tech companies to jointly establish a wireless network.”

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Doug Lung

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.