February 2013 Inbox
Friday, February 15, 2013 | Comments
Following are comments we’ve received from readers about recent online and print news and articles. If you’d like to comment on an article, email edit@RRMediaGroup.com.

In response to “FCC Adopts New Rules for Consumer, Industrial Signal Boosters” from Feb. 20


This is a good decision; however signal boosters in an underground subway environment do not provide enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) operation. Food for thought?

Richard Devlin
Telecommunication Specialist II Data
Subways Engineering Division
New York City Transit



In response to “A New HF Antenna Concept” in the February 2013 issue


I fear you may have done you readers a disservice by publishing the above article.  First, the concept of the EH antenna is anything but new. Ted Hart has been schlepping this idea around the radio world since at least 2001 with little to show for it.

Nonetheless, even good ideas can meet resistance from those averse to change, and I was intrigued enough to do some research of my own. What I found quickly confirmed my skepticism. Hart and McArthur have succeeded in postulating a clever theory, but they’ve had decidedly less luck in practice, and his references (see: http://www.eh-antenna.com/AM_status.html) to “a new idea of radiation” and a “new definition of gravity” should raise red flags.

Hart’s attempts to market the antenna to broadcasters and the military have failed, mainly due to his inability to make it work. Hart says it’s because his antenna can’t meet strict FCC rules because “it can not (sic) be analyzed by conventional analysis programs,” and sales to hams have met with decidedly negative reviews. A brief Internet search of the available literature has shown that, at best, the EH antenna works no better than a dipole and then only under the most tightly controlled, ideal circumstances.  At worst, it doesn’t seem to work at all.

The small size of the EH antenna would be of great value to those limited to an antenna with a small footprint, but the apparently finicky nature of the EH cancels out that advantage. I appreciate that fact that the magazine isn’t a scientific journal, and please don’t take my criticism as an overall assessment of what I think is a nice magazine.

Doug Hormann, W8PM

Author’s Response: Mr. Hormann represents a class of doubters who cannot mentally change from the concepts of the Hertz antenna to antennas based on the Poynting Theorem. The facts are in the measurements.

It is true that previously the EH Antenna concept had not matured sufficiently. It was during that time we tried to help hams, but their negative attitude prohibited meaningful constructive communications. The EH Antenna has been in an evolutionary state for a long time, but we have now achieved an excellent antenna and begun commercial production.

The current antenna design has also been proven on the antenna test range at Mineral Wells, Texas. In fact, those folks were so impressed they have become the subcontractor manufacturing the mechanical portion of the antenna, while Palstar manufactures the automatic tuner. Unfortunately the article in the magazine was edited due to space constraints and was only a portion of the submitted article. For example, it showed measured efficiency versus frequency, but it did not show a graph of instantaneous +/- 3 dB bandwidth versus frequency, which is nominally 10 percent of the operating frequency, one of the hallmarks of an EH Antenna.

The web site www.alphacognetics.com now contains the full article.  Because this is truly new technology (now there are two, Hertz and Poynting), many people choose to ignore the facts and will not accept new concepts. Only time and many deployed antennas will cure their problem.

Ted Hart, W5QJR
CEO, EH Antenna Systems



In response to “Sprint Focuses on Transition from iDEN to New PTT Network” from Feb. 20


We made the forced switch with Sprint with less than favorable results.

Jim Van Horn

In response to “FCC Requests Comment on UHF T-Band Licensees” from Feb. 11
Why didn't they just kick the commercial users off the T-band and use it exclusively for public-safety users? Then they would have 42 megahertz that was exclusive, and they could have the 100 percent interoperability they need for public safety and emergencies. If you use new technology and change to 6.25 kilohertz digital, you have 6,720 channels available to work with, and it could have been exclusive.
This is just an observation.
Leon van der Linde
Technical Support and Training
Global Communications
Pretoria, South Africa

What I did not see in the report is over the air programming. Maybe the technology was not available at the time of testing. This is a fantastic feature. We use this technology extensively in TETRA (through LAN and chargers) and radio in the NXDN protocol. This makes it easy because you don't need to pull in the radios. You can add frequencies and features simultaneous over a large volume of radios during an emergency by having each radio out of commission for a few seconds instead of hours.
I see they talk about alkaline batteries. They should look at Lithium battery technology. We have on our retail market lithium batteries that are not rechargeable and give four to nine times the same life as alkaline batteries. Some even do 40 times in lower power systems.
Just a penny's worth for the future development.
Leon van der Linde
Technical Support and Training
Global Communications
Pretoria, South Africa

What a pity 1-1-2 wasn’t publicized in the U.K. My comment was prompted by having been sent this link a day or so earlier and wondering why I didn’t know about 1-1-2.
Although the video says the number will work in the United States, the U.S. still has a huge number of CDMA phones, so I doubt the number is valid for them. 
And there is another problem here in the United Kingdom. Our emergency number is 9-9-9 (from rotary dial phone days), but in a survey, a large proportion of U.K. teenagers replied 9-1-1 when asked what the emergency number is, because they watch a lot of U.S. TV shows.
Nic Houslip

Click here for the January 2013 Inbox.
Click here for the December 2012 Inbox.
Click here for the November 2012 Inbox.



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