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News Briefs
April 1968 Radio-Electronics

April 1968 Radio-Electronics

April 1968 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Electronics, published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

"A battle is developing over spectrum space." That is the opening line in the News Briefs feature of Radio-Electronics magazine in 1968. Spectrum crowding then is peanuts compared to today's airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began auctioning off spectrum in 1994 ("Auction 1"), selling space in the Narrowband Personal Communication Service (PCS) band. Since then, billions of dollars have been sucked out of the commercial sector (ultimately paid by private users). Governments have an insatiable appetite for Other People's Money (OPM, pronounced "opium"), and rule with the heavy-handed power authority of all federal enforcement agencies - including the militar . The sunspot maximum for Solar Cycle 20 occurred around May 1969, with a monthly occurrence of 169. The NOAA chart shows Solar Cycle 20 is one of the longest on record but far from one of the most intense. The previous cycle peaked at 359 sunspots. We are currently on the upward side of Solar Cycle 25, with a peak thus far of 112 sunspots. It looks a lot like Cycle 24.

New Briefs: 11/1957 | 8/1958 | 11/1959 | 2/1960 | 4/1960 | 8/1960 | 3/1961 | 5/1961 | 6/1961 | 12/1961 | 3/1963 | 4/1963 | 8/1963 | 9/1963 | 8/1964 | 12/1964 | 1/1967 | 3/1967 | 4/1967 | 9/1967 | 4/1968

News Briefs

 - RF CafeWill TV Shift to Wire? - A battle is developing over spectrum space. One side consists of land-mobile radio users (taxicab, business radio, etc.) who are drawing a bead on the uhf TV band of 470-890 MHz. Land-mobile spokesmen have charged that many uhf channels are unused and asked that some space be given to overcrowded mobile users. Proponents point out that you can't transmit by wire to a moving vehicle, while you can to a fixed TV receiver. Recently Robert Galvin, Motorola president and EIA chairman, said he thinks it inevitable that all TV broadcasting will eventually convert to cable.

Broadcasters, on the other hand. concede that some reallocation of frequencies may be desirable, but they see no need for shifting nearly 500 MHz of spectrum space from TV to mobile or other use. Public entertainment investment, they claim, is too great to obsolete the present system.

Sunspot Maximum Due - Summit of the present 11-year sunspot cycle is expected sometime in 1968. Although the National Bureau of Standards believes that the peak was reached last fall, most observers think that the peak will not be reached until mid-1968 or later. The present cycle began with a minimum in October 1964. In May the smoothed sunspot number is expected to reach 117 to 120. This compares with a number of 201 at the last peak in March 1958, and with 152 at the previous peak in May 1947. Those two cycles, however, had the highest recorded peaks since accurate sunspot records began to be kept in the late 18th century.

Increased solar activity of the past year has caused a great improvement in short-wave reception, particularly on the higher frequencies. The 21- and 28-MHz amateur bands, the 21- and 26-MHz international broadcast bands and the CB band have been producing very strong long-distance signals. These conditions will probably continue for the next year or so as solar activity begins its slow decline toward the next minimum, which is expected in 1974 or 1975.

Electric Passenger Car - First electric passenger car on West Coast is driven by violinist Jascha Heifetz, shown examining the power system. Car is powered by 12 normal car batteries and produces absolutely none of the smog that now smothers the entire Los Angeles area.

Single VHF-UHF Tuner - A new solid-state TV tuner has been developed by Oak Electro-Netics. It uses common components for both vhf and uhf, reducing size and complexity. Not yet in production, tuner is three-band continuous-tuning type. It has one band each for channels 2-6, 7-13 and 14-83, with a switch to change bands. Tuner could simplify all-channel set production.




Posted June 9, 2023

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