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Radio Currents Online - Jun 01 - Jun 13, 2004
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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College Physicist Invents New Antenna Technology
Kingston, RI - Jun 2, 2004 - Rob Vincent, an employee in the University of Rhode Island's Physics Department, has invented an antenna that he calls a distributed-load, monopole (DLM) antenna. He claims that the designs are smaller than comparable radiators, yield higher efficiency and retain good to excellent bandwidth.
Using conventional components, the four-part antenna design cancels out normal inductive loading, thereby linearizing the energy radiation along its mast and enabling the smaller size. EE Times quotes Vincent as saying, "With my technique, I reduce the inductive loading that is normally required to resonate the antenna by as much as 75 percent…by utilizing the distributed capacitance around the antenna.
"A helix antenna is normally known to be a core radiator, because the current profile drops off rapidly; they are just an inductor, and inductance does not like to see changes in current, so it's going to buck that. What I found was that for any smaller antenna, if you place a load coil in the middle you can normalize and make the current through the helix unity; that is, you can maximize it and linearize it."
Vincent credits his success with a new way of developing a helix for high frequencies that is a fully planar design, resulting in a two-dimensional helix.
"The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth," explains Vincent. "According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three - size, efficiency, or bandwidth - to achieve the other two."
His work to develop the antenna began by designing an antenna for use at 21MHz. His antenna was 18 inches tall, compared to the traditional design that is 12 to 24 feet tall. He tested this antenna from his home by communicating with stations in Chile and Europe at a transmitter power of 10W.
Vincent states that further tests confirmed that he has created antennas at one-third to one-ninth of their full-size counterparts. Normally smaller antennas are only 8 to 15 percent efficient. Vincent's antennas achieved 80 to 100 percent efficiency as compared to the larger antennas.
A patent is pending on Vincent's technology. The inventor has made the University of Rhode Island and its Physics Department partners that will benefit from any revenue his invention earns.
FCC Freezes FM Minor Change Apps
Washington - Jun 7, 2004 - The Media Bureau of the FCC announced that it will not accept applications for construction permits for minor changes in authorized commercial and noncommercial educational FM facilities during the Auction No. 37 Form 175 application filing window. The Media Bureau also announced a freeze on the filing of petitions to amend the FM Table of Allotments and counterproposals that propose a change in channel, class or reference coordinates for any of the 290 vacant non-reserved band FM allotments scheduled for Auction No. 37. These allotments are listed in Attachment A of the 2004 Auction No. 37 Comment Public Notice. The temporary freezes are designed to avoid conflicts between the frozen filings and auction proposals, and promote a more certain and speedy auction process.
Auction No. 37 is scheduled to begin on Nov. 3, 2004. Through competitive bidding procedures, 290 vacant non-reserved band allotments in the FM broadcast service will be offered. FM minor change applications, which can now be filed on a first-come first-served basis, must protect the reference coordinates of each of these allotments.
FCC Schedules Town Hall Meeting in Portland
Washington - Jun 3, 2004 - The City Club of Portland, OR, will host a town hall meeting to explore the connection between media and the local community on June 24 at the Oregon Convention Center. FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein are slated to appear on a panel of public interest advocates and broadcasters to discuss recent FCC rulings and future legislation.
In the FCC action from June 2003, the FCC voted 3-2 to relax the media ownership rules. Copps and Adelstein were the two dissenting voices in the vote. Following the decision, FCC Chairman Michael Powell called for a series of six localism hearings to discuss how local broadcasters were serving their communities. Three meetings have already been held: Charlotte, NC; San Antonio, TX; and Rapid City, SD. Future meetings are slated for Albuquerque, NM, Detroit and Miami.
McCain and Leahy Introduce LPFM Bill
Washington – Jun 4, 2004 - On June 4, Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) introduced legislation – co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - that could allow the licensing and construction of thousands of low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations. The bill is currently called the The Low Power Radio Act Of 2004.
In a published statement, McCain said that the bill will allow the FCC to "license low-power FM stations on third-adjacent channels to full power stations without limitations, eliminating the requirement that the FCC perform further testing on the economic impact of low-power FM radio. Additionally, the bill seeks to protect stations that provide radio reading services, which some have suggested are more susceptible to interference than other stations because they are carried on a subcarrier frequency."
McCain's statement continued with claims that the bill will "right a serious wrong" that was created when Congress delayed the full implementation of LPFM because of "broadcasters' grossly exaggerated claims of interference." McCain claims that "Broadcasters masqueraded their true concerns about competition from a real local radio broadcaster in thinly veiled claims of interference."
McCain cited the recent MITRE report that found the interference claims to be untrue. The MITRE has been heavily debated since its release. Opponents of the report state that it stopped short of its intended goal and proves nothing. The report cost the FCC more than $2 million.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell has expressed support for an expanded LPFM service.
If the bill passes, it is possible the thousands of new LPFM stations could be licensed.
Read McCain's statement at this link: www.prometheusradio.org/mccain_floor_statement_lpfm.doc.
Read the bill at this link: www.prometheusradio.org/expand_lpfm_mccain_bill.pdf.
WAMU Dedicates Digital Radio Broadcast Signal
Washington - Jun 4 - WAMU 88.5 FM, American University Radio, is conducting the first live broadcasts of its second digital audio channel. FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will officially dedicate the station's digital broadcast signal on June 8 at 9:00 a.m.
Under a six-month experimental authorization from the FCC, WAMU will evaluate the performance of its digital channels at several data rates. This test program is supported by National Public Radio (NPR), Kenwood and Harris.
"A supplementary channel would allow WAMU to air more of the quality public radio programming now available," said Programming Director Mark McDonald. "It will also give us the capacity to experiment with new, innovative programming before introducing it to our main channel."
Libin Appointed Frequency Coordinator for 2004 Political Conventions
Washington - May 26, 2004 - At the request of the Frequency Coordinating Committee for the 2004 Political Conventions (POLCOMM2004), the FCC has designated POLCOMM2004's chairman, Louis Libin, as the single point of contact for coordinating operations. The 2004 political conventions will be held in Boston from July 26 through July 29, 2004, and in New York City from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, 2004.
The designation will allow for advance coordination of auxiliary broadcast frequency usage in the designated area, defined as a circle drawn around the Boston Fleet Center and around New York City's Madison Square Garden with a 100km radius for terrestrial stations and a 150km radius for any mobile operations aboard aircraft. All Part 74, 78 and 101 licensees sharing spectrum available under Part 74 of the Commission’s rules and operating in the designated areas are covered by this action.
All short-term auxiliary broadcast use under Part 74, without exception, shall be coordinated in advance through the POLCOMM2004 coordinator, Louis Libin. The frequency coordination forms are available through POLCOMM2004's website at www.polcomm2004.org.
POLCOMM2004 has also requested that the Commission grant a waiver of the mileage separation requirement (Section 74.802 of the rules) to permit the use of low-power auxiliary stations, not to exceed 2W of power, on channels allocated for TV broadcasting where the nearest operating station is located at least 40km from the Fleet Center and Madison Square Garden venues. According to POLCOMM2004, these low-power stations will be operated only inside the venues and the majority of the facilities will not exceed 200mW. The FCC granted the request, which takes effect from May 26, 2004, until Aug. 1, 2004, in Boston and until Sept. 4, 2004, in New York City.
Clear Channel Settles Indecency Claims
San Antonio, TX - Jun 9, 2004 - Clear Channel Communications has reached an agreement with the FCC that satisfies all outstanding fines and complaints relating to broadcasts of allegedly indecent material on its radio stations. Under the agreement, Clear Channel will make a voluntary contribution of $1.75 million to the U.S. Treasury and the FCC will vacate existing fines and terminate current investigations and complaints against Clear Channel. In addition to the one-time payment, Clear Channel agreed to enforce its Responsible Broadcasting Initiative for at least three years, and establish a strong disciplinary plan for any employee who violates Commission rules in the future.
"It was a tough negotiation, but a fair resolution," said Andrew Levin, executive vice president and chief legal officer. "We didn't agree that all the complaints were legally indecent, but some clearly crossed the line and for those we have taken full responsibility. No broadcaster has taken stronger steps to ensure its broadcasts comply with the law and we intend to keep it that way."
In February, Clear Channel announced a Responsible Broadcasting Initiative that includes policies and procedures to ensure broadcasts do not violate indecency laws. Training for all radio programming personnel and on-air talent is underway.
Levin reiterated the company's call for the government to establish standards that would apply fairly and evenly across all media platforms. He stated that cable and satellite networks should be treated no differently from broadcasters.
Musicpoint Online Service Launches in UK
New York - Jun 7, 2004 - Musicpoint has begun distributing new music provided by major record labels to radio stations in the UK. The service was first launched in Australia 18 months ago. Since then, the system has been updated and revised to fit the needs of its users.
BMG, EMI, Universal, Warner Music and independent labels have already used Musicpoint in Australia to promote nearly 1,500 songs, with total deliveries now approaching 50,000. As the service is launched in the UK, these labels are adding music and data. Stations can hear songs, transfer them directly to their playout system and get new music on the air immediately.
Musicpoint integrates with RCS' Selector music scheduling software. The Musicpoint website can be entered from within the Selector program. Likewise, each song on the Musicpoint site displays an "add to Selector" icon that creates a new Selector song card and automatically populates it with title, artist, CD name, runtime and other coding data. RCS is one of the partners in the Musicpoint venture.
Dixon joins Pristine Systems
San Pedro, CA - Jun 11, 2004 - Obie Dixon has joined Pristine Systems as a sales representative. Dixon brings to Pristine Systems more than 15 years of experience in the broadcast industry. His broadcast experience includes on-air stints in Beaumont, TX, and Kansas City, MO. For more than 12 years, Dixon was southeast regional sales manager for Computer Concepts in Kansas City. At Pristine Systems, Dixon will be selling Pristine Systems CDS32.
Dielectric Changes Two Leadership Positions
Raymond, ME - Jun 10, 2004 - Dielectric Communications has made two leadership changes at its Raymond, ME, broadcast headquarters. Jay Martin has been promoted to vice president, sales and marketing. Martin began his career in the broadcast industry more than 25 years ago and has been with Dielectric in positions of increasing responsibility since 1985. He received his B.S. from the University of Maine and his MBA from Husson College in Bangor, ME.
Dan Ozley has accepted the position of vice president, international business development. Prior to joining Dielectric in 2000, Ozley worked in domestic and international sales with Lockheed Martin, Scientific-Atlanta and Harris. He earned his B.S. degree in management from Auburn University, AL, and his M.S. degree in industrial management from the University of North Dakota.
TC Electronic Promotes in North American Organization
Westlake Village, CA - Jun 8, 2004 – John Maier has been named the CEO of TC Electronic, the North American distribution arm of Denmark-based TC Electronic A/S. Mads Peter Lubeck, COO of the parent company made the announcement. He also announced that Ed Simeone has been named chairman of the board and chief product evangelist.
Maier previously held the title of vice president of sales, North America, and has managed the day-to-day operations since he joined the company late in 2002. Before joining TC, Maier held leadership positions throughout the pro audio industry, most notably as director of marketing and national sales manager at Alesis and pro audio buyer at Guitar Center Management. Before that he worked as an independent sales representative and pro audio reseller.
Ed Simeone founded the U.S. distribution company that TC Electronic later purchased and dubbed TC Electronic, Inc. As chairman, Simeone will continue to be heavily involved in setting the overall direction and strategy for the North American organization. He will also play a major role in promoting and selling high-end products in the U.S. market and will continue to specify new products with the product management and research and development departments in Denmark.
TC Group Appoints New Managing Director
Kitchener, ON – Jun 2, 2004 – Anders Fauerskov, CEO of TC Group, announced the appointment of Marc Bertrand to the position of managing director for Tannoy North America. Bertrand has held various positions during the last 10 years, most recently, VP sales.
Bertrand commented that Tannoy has faced some challenges in recent months, but has created a stronger focus on its customer base.
Bertrand can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-745-1158 x236.
Chapman brings to Dielectric more than 20 years experience in a technical communications manufacturing environment. He comes to Dielectric from Net Test’s Optical Group in Beaverton, OR, where he served as president. Previously, he served as president for Spectran Communication Fiber Technologies. He holds a BS in physics from the University of Lowell and an MS in electrical engineering from Northeastern University.
Bench, Lopez Named SBE Fellows
Indianapolis - Jun 3, 2004 - The Board of Directors of the Society of Broadcast Engineers has elected Edward B. Bench, CPBE and Vincent A. Lopez, CEV CBNT, to the membership grade of Fellow of the Society. The two men will be recognized during the SBE National Meeting, Oct. 27 in Marlborough, MA.
To be elected an SBE Fellow, nominees must have rendered conspicuous service, made valuable contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering or its allied professions, or have distinguished themselves by disseminating their knowledge of broadcast engineering and by promoting its application in practice.
Edward Bench is retired and a life member of the SBE and holds life SBE certification at the Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer level. His career in broadcast engineering started as an aircraft radio operator in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Bench was nominated for Fellow by members of Chapter 55 in St. Louis.
Vincent Lopez began his broadcasting career in 1983 in freelance production at New Channels cable in Syracuse, NY. He currently serves as a systems technician with WSYT/WNYS-TV in Syracuse. Lopez holds the SBE Certified Video Engineer (CEV) and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist (CBNT) certifications. He was nominated for Fellow by members of Chapter 22 in Central New York.
Digigram Releases Short-length PCI Cards
Montbonnot, France - Jun 11, 2004 - Digigram has resized its PCX924v2, PCX22v2 and VX222v2 stereo sound cards to the compact short-length PCI format, which is required by a growing number of PCs. With a length of 175mm, the boards now fit computers with compact spaces that provide 5V, 5V+3.3V or 3.3V PCI busses, as well as computers with the PCI-X bus. The new sound cards are compatible with existing drivers for the longer versions of PCX924v2, PCX22v2 and VX222v2.
The PCX924v2 is a full-duplex stereo sound card for simultaneous and independent record and playback. A playback-only card, the PCX22v2 offers two analog or digital outputs only. The VX222v2 includes two balanced analog inputs and two balanced analog outputs with 24-bit converters.
Audemat-Aztec and Burk Technology Partner on RBDS Encoder
Littleton, MA, and Miami - Jun 8, 2004 - Audemat-Aztec and Burk Technology have entered an agreement to introduce a new RBDS encoder powered by Audemat-Aztec's FMB80. The product is called the RDS Master and features a customized interface designed and implemented by Burk Technology. All of the features of the FMB80 are included. Geared exclusively to the U.S. market, the RDS Master is available from most broadcast dealers. Sales, support and repair services are based at Burk Technology's facility in the U.S.
Audemat-Aztec's FMB80 RDS encoder is fully compliant with the Cenelec EN50067 and the RBDS standards. It is capable of scrolling song titles and artist information on any kind of RBDS receiver using the new scrolling PS feature. Communication with the automation software and configuration are possible via serial and TCP/IP ports. The FMB80 has an embedded Web server and supports HTTP, Telnet, UDP and TCP protocols. Firmware upgrades can be flashed remotely using the FTP.
Sage Endec Firmware Update Now Available
Cincinnati - Jun 4, 2004 - Harris has released a firmware update for the Sage Endec EAS encoder/decoder. The new version, 6.1, includes several updates that comply with the April 2002 FCC Report and Order.
This Endec firmware revision requires versions 1.7 or greater of the Endec Pro and Endec DJ software packages, and 2.0 of the Endecset program. The new firmware is not compatible with the Eprog program, which has been replaced with Endecset. Harris warns that using old versions of Eprog to edit settings files with version 6.1 or greater will corrupt the filters.
The new firmware includes the new event codes, subdivision names and marine location FIPS codes. Additional updates include a random weekly test feature, access to the Endec via a telephone modem and an updated configuration options to restrict menu access.
Additional information is available from Harris at www.broadcast.harris.com/radio/sage.
Adobe Releases Audition 1.5
San Jose, CA - Jun 3, 2004 - Adobe has released version 1.5 of its audio editing software, Audition. Adobe purchased Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software and rebranded the product. This software release is the first revision since the product was taken under the Adobe name.
New features of the software include integrated CD burning, pitch correction, automatic click/pop elimination and the ability to save custom keyboard shortcuts. In addition, new sample sessions are included to assist users in getting started with the program. A vocal/instrumental extracter creates a cappella and karaoke-ready. Royalty-free loops allow the creation of custom audio tracks.
Other updates include: Rewire support, VST plug-in support, frequency space editing, enhanced support for video, clip time stretching and flexible envelope scaling.
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