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Message Digest 
Volume 29 : Issue 60 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
 Speaking of microwave... 
 Re: Speaking of microwave... 
 Re: Speaking of microwave... 
 Re: Speaking of microwave... 
 Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland -
 Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland
 Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland -
 Re: Fonts and Editors 
 Re: magicJack: Cheap, Way Overhyped, But Really Works 
 Re: magicJack: Cheap, Way Overhyped, But Really Works 


====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 20:20:37 -0800 (PST) From: hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Speaking of microwave... Message-ID: <73b68528-34a7-4289-871a-d27e08e982e3@g7g2000yqe.googlegroups.com> Would anyone know accurately when the first revenue service (not lab experiment) Bell System microwave link began? Is microwave still used for long distance calls or television? There's a historical site that mentions that a number of towers have been abandoned.
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 09:44:27 -0800 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Speaking of microwave... Message-ID: <%Xxin.144566$OX4.19806@newsfe25.iad> hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > Would anyone know accurately when the first revenue service (not lab > experiment) Bell System microwave link began? > > Is microwave still used for long distance calls or television? > There's a historical site that mentions that a number of towers have > been abandoned. > The Los Angeles television stations uplink to their transmitters on Mt. Wilson comes to mind. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I think the OP was alluding to the "long-distance" television transmission networks that AT&T used to run. However, you bring up a good point: freeing up microwave frequencies and routes from long-haul service makes them available for short-haul uses, not only for studio-to-transmitter and remote-broadcast-pickup links, but also for the Multipoint Distribution Systems that compete with cable and DSL in the Internet/VoIP space. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 09:55:25 -0800 (PST) From: JimB <ajbredacted@invalid.yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Speaking of microwave... Message-ID: <485d4282-56e5-492e-b7b8-29629333132b@o30g2000yqb.googlegroups.com> On Feb 27, 11:20ápm, hanco...@bbs.cpcn.com wrote: > Would anyone know accurately when the first revenue service (not lab > experiment) Bell System microwave link began? > > Is microwave still used for long distance calls or television? > There's a historical site that mentions that a number of towers have > been abandoned. Lisa, according to the docs I have here (at least the ones I can find easily), that would [be] the New York to Boston route in 1947. The route started at the AT&T Long Lines headquarters on the Avenue of the Americas in New York, then to Jackie Jones Mountain, then to Birch Hill, then on to Spindle Hill, next to John Tom Hill, then to Bald Hill, next stop Asnebumskit Mountain (say that one fast, the locals just call it "Bumskit"), then to Bear Hill, and finally (whew!) the Bowdoin Square Building in Boston, headquarters of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. Massachusetts readers will of course take exception to the New-York-Centric approach of describing it as starting in NY, so a different version of this post (with the aforementioned route reversed) will appear in the New England edition of The Digest.... Jim ****************************************************************** Speaking from a secure undisclosed location. ***** Moderator's Note ***** AFAIK, N.E.T. headquarters was at 185 Franklin in 1947, although I think that New York City's Avenue of the Americas was still called "Sixth Ave." at that time. Bowdoin Square did have some microwave, but IIRC it served north-south routes that couldn't get to 185 Franklin St. because of Beacon Hill. I think the path that went via Bear Hill terminated at Franklin St. Since the TVOC was in New York, I'll send the same version to both New England and to the less-important parts of the world. ;-) Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 19:02:11 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Speaking of microwave... Message-ID: <hmeeji$reg$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> In article <485d4282-56e5-492e-b7b8-29629333132b@o30g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>, JimB <ajbredacted@invalid.yahoo.com> wrote: > The route started at the AT&T Long Lines headquarters on the Avenue > of the Americas in New York, In New York they still call it "Sixth Avenue". Clear Channel's New York cluster studios are in that building now, if it's the one I'm thinking of. > ... next stop Asnebumskit Mountain Asnebumskit Hill in Paxton, Mass., is one of the most important locations in the history of American broadcasting. The Yankee Network's John Shepard III hired Major Armstrong to build the first VHF inter-city relay network between New York and Boston, so that he could avoid paying Mother leased-line charges to Mother. The network started at Armstrong's W2XMN in Alpine, New Jersey (in the Palisades, across the Hudson from Yonkers), then hopped through a station on West Peak in Meriden, Connecticut, to Shepard's W1XOJ on Asnebumskit Hill, and finally to his W1XER on Mount Washington. When he wanted to feed the network in the oppposite direction, the programming would be originated on W1XOK in Boston and relayed to the network via W1XOJ. W1XOJ was joined a mile or so to the west on Little Asnebumskit Hill by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette's W1XTG. W1XOJ became W43B (a Boston-licensed station) and then WGTR (in recognition of its then owners, General Tire and Rubber), before falling silent. A new licensee started WAAF (107.3B Worcester) a few years later, as a sister station to WAAB (1440), which Shepard had formerly owned, reusing the tower and transmitter building Shepard and Armstrong had built on Asnebumskit. W1XER became W39B (also a Boston license), then WMTW, and finally WMNE. It may or may not be the ancestor to today's WHOM (94.9C Mount Washington), but since a devastating fire a few years back, WHOM has been located in the original Armstrong transmitter building with sister station WPKQ (103.7C Berlin). WHOM is a "super-power" station (operating with greater than the maximum power for a class-C station at its height), and has the largest land coverage area of any station in North America.[1] (The population covered, however, is relatively tiny.) The Meriden station seems to have turned into today's WHCN (105.9B Hartford). Armstrong's original station, W2XMN, became KE2XCC after his suicide, and was briefly licensed as a commercial station before it, too, went silent, but his tower still stands today, and is used by Fairleigh-Dickinson University's WFDU. For the 70th anniversary celebrations back in 2007, Philadelphia engineer Steve Hemphill built a replica Phasitron transmitter and received a license to operate on Armstrong's original frequencies (42.8 and 44.1 MHz) under the callsign WA2XMN. W1XTG is today's WSRS (96.1B Worcester). > ... then to Bear Hill ... Bear Hill is probably the most noticeable of all these sites; it's the site in Waltham just west of Route 128 and south of Winter St./Totten Pond Road. On the other side of the highway is Prospect Hill, which was the site of an important microwave link in the original NEARnet backbone. (I'm reliably told it was sited there by standing on the roof of MIT building W84, looking in the direction of Lincoln Labs, and observing that there was this hill in the way. There's a government communications site on Prospect Hill today, but NEARnet is of course long gone.) -GAWollman [1] That title would belong to one of KBIG, KPFK, or KCBS-FM in Los Angeles, were it not for the fact that much of their coverage area is over the ocean. Not all Mt. Wilson signals are grandfathered super-power operations; some of them moved from other transmitter sites after 1964 and thus have to obey the usual class-B power and height restrictions. -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft wollman@bimajority.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 23:41:13 -0800 From: Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland - Message-ID: <4B8A1E19.7000401@thadlabs.com> On 2/27/2010 6:06 PM, Bill Horne wrote: >> On 2/27/2010 10:54 AM, Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> wrote: > >>> ***** Moderator's Note ***** >>> IIRC, having an antenna set up in a "Diamond" mount means that the >>> signal was vertically polarized, which isn't very common in >>> microwave. >> That specific style of CalAmp transceiver permitted both vertical >> and horizontal polarization depending on the mounting rotation; >> there are raised arrows labelled "H" and "V" on the back of the >> transceiver illustrating the proper mounting setup. > > I can't see the "H" or "V" markings in your photos. Did I get it > right? Is that a vertically-polarized antenna? > > Bill Horne The "H" and "V" markings would be obscured by the mounting bracket on my tower. I thought I retained a copy of the installation instructions, but I didn't. My transceiver is labelled: MDS-MMDS Integrated Planar Transceiver Part No. 520024-2 FCC ID J26520005-1 and I suspect that was custom for Sprint since I couldn't locate anything with that part number on Calamp's site today. Two similar transceivers at Calamp's web site are: http://www.calamp.com/home/pro_mmds_520004-2.html http://www.calamp.com/pdf/520004_2.pdf and http://www.calamp.com/home/pro_mmds_520042-2.html http://www.calamp.com/pdf/520042_2.pdf No planar transceiver installation instructions could be found there, either. A Google search on "FCC ID J26520005-1" found this: http://ecfsdocs.fcc.gov/filings/2006/04/05/5513484133.html which I believe was preliminary to the FCC reallocating the spectrum and causing Sprint Broadband to cease operations in 2008 with the spectrum being (re-)used for cell phones. FWIW, the Sprint service operated with a 30 mile radius from its towers and that's why there were only 2 towers in the SF Bay Area: one in Fremont CA and the other atop Mt. San Bruno on the Peninsula. Line-of-site was required for the (then) existing service though Sprint was planning an improved operation without that requirement before they lost the frequency allocation(s). AFAIK the Sprint Broadband was offered only in the Western USA states where DSL and cable were not available. It's still amazing to me that neither DSL nor cable was available in my area (surrounded by Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino) until 2007; the CO was too far for DSL (way over 10,000 feet) and cable didn't exist until fiber was run along Foothill Expressway. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I think the service was offered only in the western states because the eastern states have too many hills and trees to make it practical - as NYNEX found out the hard way, when it tried to implement a similar service which had been in use in Phoenix, Arizona. NYNEX did a survey of the terrain that they needed to transit: I had a truck in front of my house one day, with the same kind of hydraulic mast that TV crews use for remote pickups, and the guy working the equipment had to raise the antenna above eighty feet to get a usable signal. Of course, that's just physics: saying "line of sight" is like saying "Clarke Belt"; immutable rules that mere mortals cannot change. What worries me, though, is that almost every alternative way of getting the Internet to homes has died away, leaving us with Comcast and its port-blocking, or ADSL provided by ILECs which also rent dial-tone. Not to put too fine a point in it, but it seems to me that the major players have a conflict of interest. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 08:26:44 -0800 From: Steven <diespammers@killspammers.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland Message-ID: <hme5g7$q5b$1@news.eternal-september.org> Telecom Digest Moderator wrote: > I think the service was offered only in the western states because the > eastern states have too many hills and trees to make it practical - as > NYNEX found out the hard way, when it tried to implement a similar > service which had been in use in Phoenix, Arizona. NYNEX did a survey > of the terrain that they needed to transit: I had a truck in front of > my house one day, with the same kind of hydraulic mast that TV crews > use for remote pickups, and the guy working the equipment had to raise > the antenna above eighty feet to get a usable signal. There is a system running up in the mountains north east of Sacramento, I know nothing about it, but I wonder how it can work with all the trees. -- The only good spammer is a dead one!! Have you hunted one down today? (c) 2010 I Kill Spammers, Inc., A Rot in Hell. Co.
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 20:33:59 -0600 From: "GlowingBlueMist" <GlowingBlueMist@truely.invalid> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Catalina Island to the SoCal mainland - Message-ID: <hmckmq$1lf$1@news.eternal-september.org> David Clayton wrote: > On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:09:21 -0600, GlowingBlueMist wrote: > ........ >> And I thought we had fun at Ramstein AFB in Germany with a >> microwave link shooting across the runway. Everything worked >> perfectly until those pesky C5 planes parked in the wrong place. >> The tail fin stuck up higher than the microwave beam. We had to >> call the tower to have them "move the &#^%~* plane" a couple of >> times a month. > > I recall a story an ex-workmate once told me (years ago now) when he > was in the Australian Army in the late 1960's and part of a squad > that set up mobile microwave point-to-point links. > > They (apparently) once were told to set up a link from Point "A" to > Point "B", but unfortunately there was a hill in the way blocking > the line of sight, so (apparently) their new officer - when informed > of the problem and how microwave links only work when the dishes can > "see" each other came up with a solution - and ordered them to take > two dishes to the hill and just connect them > back-to-back...... directly..... with no repeater equipment..... > > It is always a lot easier in the military to follow orders than try > to argue with your "superiors", so they did what they were > told.... with predictable results..... :-) > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Well, that sounds like it might have worked with a big enough dish. We > used to put reflectors in the "Near field" of microwave stations, so > that the actual antenna could be at ground level, with just a > "billboard" on the tower. The FCC finally outlawed them; I don't know > why. Anyway, is what David describes possible in theory? FCC outlawed billboards and dishes that shoot straight up at a reflector as they took up too much spectrum due to scatter. They wanted to assign more frequencies to satellites that would be closer together but they first had to clean up the stray signals from what should have been line-of-sight between towers that were interfering. There may still be towers with the reflectors at the top but the transmitter has been turned off and are no longer used. Cheaper sometimes to just leave them there once fiber started taking over while the towers were converted over to cellular and other use. You can actually bend the microwave beam slightly by using what is known as the knife-edge effect. Aim at the top of the hill and the signal will appear to bend and go back down the other side, depending on the hill height and shape. (see http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/images/knife_ac.gif ) Military mobile communication units have been known to use it's effect during field maneuvers just to prove that it will work, and to get extended range without actually having to climb that hill. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Well, sure, military units can do it, but then again they're not playing by the same rules as commercial microwave users. When I was in Vietnam, I visited the Tropo station on Monkey mountain near Danang, and I asked the operator if he ever had problems with fading. He just pointed to the power dial, which was marked off in "Kilowatts". Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:11:51 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <ahk@chinet.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Fonts and Editors Message-ID: <hmdmi6$1tn$1@news.albasani.net> JimB <ajbredacted@invalid.yahoo.com> wrote: >Telecom Digest Moderator said: >> This is relevent to telecom because we have to agree on a character >> set in order to discuss telecom issues. You might not care which >> hotel a trade conference is held at, but you'll obviously care that >> all the attendees go to the same one. > Yikes, I'm tempted to stick my head even deeper into the sand for > this one. Over the decades I've struggled to understand character > sets and coding schemes, and the more I research it, the more > confused I get. Big-Endian vs. Little-Endian 32-bit numbers are > enough to make my brain blow an o-ring... > I'm typing this on EditPad 3.5.1, the hottest new version of EditPad > (in 1999). . . . In your case, as you are posting through Google Groups, it really doesn't matter what you are using. Google Groups is notorious for adding "nonprinting" characters (that can print on one's display terminal emulation anyway) to quotes, and the usual reformating that breaks lines without allowing the user to control any of it. On top of it, Google Groups sends messages to Usenet with the character set mismarked. This didn't happen in your message, unless our editor neatened things up. However, the article was marked ISO-8859-1 in lieu of ASCII, even though I didn't spot any non-ASCII characters. That's not wrong (as ASCII is a subset) but it's not especially helpful either. ASCII is universally displayable as intended. So another way to be helpful in this regard is not to post via Google Groups. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Well, I appreciate the sentiment, but let's not get too far afield: I don't discriminate between posts from Google versus posts created with newsreaders, or email clients, etc. I take 'em any way I can get 'em, and those who post via Google are as welcome as any other. While I would like to have an easier job, I know that there are many ways to read and contribute to the Digest, and I'd rather have posts that need a little work than none at all. Google Groups has an advantage that some other ways of submitting do not: I ask the readers to make reasonable efforts to preserve "Threading" information on posts that they reply to, and Google Groups does that, so I'd rather have a reply filed via Google Groups than one that's sent as a "new" email, because I have to do research to retrieve the <Message-ID> fields of the previous messages in the thread and add them to such "new" emails by hand. Concerns about the character set come after the threading: it may be a PITA to have to read a reply with unusual characters in it, but at least you █_can_ ▄read ▄it as part of the thread it's intended for, rather than having to jump around and mentally re-adjust to every subject as you go back-and-forth between threads. (Extraneous characters added for emphasis). Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 12:13:11 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <ahk@chinet.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: magicJack: Cheap, Way Overhyped, But Really Works Message-ID: <hmdmkn$1tn$2@news.albasani.net> Magicjack advertises free directory assistance. Does anyone know what database it uses? I assume these aren't genuine telephone company listings.
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 16:54:59 -0500 From: T <kd1s.nospam@cox.nospam.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: magicJack: Cheap, Way Overhyped, But Really Works Message-ID: <MPG.25f4b039eb2cc85d989ca7@news.eternal-september.org> In article <ansio59j27f12bhq4er8fherun41pr0j4i@4ax.com>, dont@bother.com says... > > T <kd1s.nospam@cox.nospam.net> wrote: > > > I got five years of service for $69 which works out to $13.80 per > > year, or $1.15 a month. Not too shabby. > > Assuming that MJ stays in business for 5 years and doesn't change > their TOS... > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > When we talk about the cost of VoIP, there's always the 800 pound > gorilla in the room: i.e., the never-ending debate about how much, if > any, of the cost of a VoIP customer's Internet connection to include > in the calculation. In the case of MagicJack, I've seen reports that > the service comes with pop-up ads on your PC: I'd appreciate hearing > about that aspect from "T", and other users, since it invites a > question about "quality of service" with respect to the value of a > user's time, ability to use the PC, etc. Not on mine. That's because I don't use Internet Explorer.
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=subscribe telecom Unsubscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=unsubscribe telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: http://telecom-digest.org Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization.
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