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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
21 February 2020 - 9:40pm
Dear Mr StJohn,
Again thank you for your response in regards the practicalities of the type of antennae on vehicles and boats, the lawful administration of the sale of receivers and minimum power supply requirements. I will make one further remark on the supply of information to the DRM receivers.

Antennae on vehicles and boats receiving satellite signals:
Given that vehicles and boats have a simple dipole antenna to receive satellite signals the gains of those antennas would not be as desirable as an "expensive" arrangement of servo motors maintaining the correct direction of the 'dish' towards the satellite while the vehicle or boat is in motion.

Regulating the minimum standard of receivers via the ACMA (formerly the ABCB):
The ACMA indeed supplies standards for all kinds of equipment even non-broadcasting equipment. For example the ACMA have a publication on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) for items such as cars and its insulation OR indeed any electrical product sold on the market, eg reference https://www.acma.gov.au/publications/2019-06/standard/acma-mandated-emc-standard .

In fact the ACMA have a reporting system for products that do not meet any standards under s376 of the Telecommunications Act(Cth), s162 of the Radiocommunications Act (Cth) and s9A of the Broadcasting Services Act (Cth), at https://www.acma.gov.au/technical-standards .

To illustrate, the ACMA has the power to make minimum standards under s162(1)(a) the performance of a radio receiver and the number of standards s162(2)(b). The standard also applies in regards health and safety, s162(3).

The ACMA has the power to enforce compliance. For example a failure to comply with the "parental lock" standards may incur a penalty of $165000, source, https://www.acma.gov.au/technical-standards#human-exposure-standards.

Whatever standard administered by the ACMA there is an underlying Act and particular legislative instrument.

Any standards not listed in the Act requires The Federal Parliament to amend the Act(s) and Legislative Instrument(s). An application StJohn mentions may well be that the legislative instrument cover all DRM and DAB+ receivers to be fully specified such as the the full display.

May I add the receiver have a wireless or wired network connection for communication back to any website or broadcaster. StJohn mentioned in previous comments that hyperlinks are part of the DRM/DAB standard in text.

Power supply requirements - half wave rectifiers and switch mode supplies.
It would not surprise me that power that was only half-wave rectified by an appliance would result in DC current being fed back into the household power supply. From basic chemistry, where the medium is an electrolyte any metals connected to the electrolyte is corroded by the flow of DC. That would practically mean any metals connected to a 'salty' electrolytic soil such as a copper wire earth would corrode.

An aside: that may well explain why the salty marshes in the vicinity of the Homebush Bay area, the location of Sydney's commercial AM and SBS AM radio stations' antenna are a great ground plane for the propogation of MW waves.

Returning to power supplies. It is highly likely that today's power supplies for small lower power or high power appliances are switchmode power supplies as the norm instead of full-wave rectification.

A consequence of switchmode power supplies is that they generate RF and as such are regulated by the ACMA in order that the generated RF is at a minimum level. Section 48(1) of the Radiocommunications Act defines a power supply that uses an electric plug as a radiocommunications device! That also includes rectified power supplies!

In addition to the definition of a radiocommunications device, regardless of whether the power supply is regulated linear, full or half wave rectified or switch mode, ALL appliances must meet the minimum EMC standard https://www.acma.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-02/ACMA-mandated%20EMC%20standards.pdf .

Supplying information to the DRM's emergency system:
During emergencies, our Police keep the social order, apprehend looters, block roads, prevent people from entering their unsafe premises or prevent people from entering their own local area because it is dangerous to the person's safety.

Again there must be an administrative protocol for handling the dissemination of emergency information from the BOM, RFS, SES and Police. Yes our Police have a role in informing people that certain roads are blocked.

But who will inform the affected people where people can find temporary refuge or even alternative routes? That is another reason for an administrative protocol on the supply of information to the DRM's emergency system.

Thank you,
Anthony of researching Belfield
Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
Wendy Jane
21 February 2020 - 2:18pm
Very sad news, and what an unfailingly charming man he was. Such a lovely tribute from Peter Saxon and I personally send a message of comfort and love to all who knew and loved Mal. Requiescat in Pacem. Vale Mal Hedstrom
21 February 2020 - 12:33pm
Well that rebranding should avoid any confusion. SCA rebrands Redwave Media Western Australia stations
21 February 2020 - 12:30pm
A great talent and fun to work alongside. Rest in Peace. Vale Peter McMurray 'Croc'
21 February 2020 - 10:09am
Mal also briefly worked as I recall at 2KA in 1978. Vale Mal Hedstrom
21 February 2020 - 5:04am
I listened to Mal as a child when he was working afternoons on KOFM. Him and his famous "Animal Hoooooouse" segment, doing lost pets.

In 2017 I was honoured to be a colleague of Mighty Mal... working at KOFM. He would be doing weekends and if I was rostered on after him, I would get there hours ahead of time just to sit in Studio 1 and chew the fat. The memories of 2SM, his time with the Super Radio Network, Mildura and his time at 2NX and 2KO.

He finished up last year with us and I knew he was unwell again. But this is still a shock to us. He met my mum and family and was an absolute gentlemen to them.

I hope you're at peace now my friend and free from pain.
Vale Mal Hedstrom
21 February 2020 - 1:44am
You have understood most of what I have written. FEC is used in virtually all digital communications systems.
In dish antennas the idea is to focus, just like light, the signal on the dish’s antenna. It makes it very directional. They are unsuitable for vehicles and boats unless a very sophisticated and expensive servo tracking system can keep the antenna pointed at the satellite whilst the vehicle/boat changes direction.
Those a ”shark fin’s” antenna is not only being used for the GPS vehicles on cars but also for SirusXM. The “shark fin’s” contains a small dipole antenna.
Journaline is an indexed text system, so the listener can select which message they wish to read. The Emergency Services in Australia are under the control at a state level of the Police as a co-ordinator.
As for PAL S errors, the lines of incorrect hue show in pairs on the screen because there is an odd number of lines ie 625 in a frame.
The Australian Broadcasting Control Board (the predecessor of the ACMA) not only banned PAL-S sets from import they also banned TVs which had half wave power rectifiers, they made them add either 1 or 2 more diodes because the electricity companies did not want residual DC currents flowing in the power lines causing electrolytic corrosion including on water pipes which were commonly used for earthing.
I do remember the chroma-lock system which was used to regenerate the burst. It had a 50:50 chance of getting the colour right. This may change whenever the channel was changed and even when the station changed sources. They were redundant after the commencement in March 1975 of official colour broadcasting. It allowed to gradually up grade the equipment nationally to have a simultaneous switch on of colour TV.
To make sure fully specified receivers are imported, all that has to happen is that the latest full ETSI specifications for DAB+/DRM are written into the existing Australian standard and that the ACMA /Department of Communications use its powers under the customs act to ban non-compliant receivers. Doing it this way makes sure the EWS system will work, by preventing the sale of incompatible receivers. It also stops retailers putting a premium profit on the better product.
St John.
Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
20 February 2020 - 6:55am
Regulation changes and networking has kill local radio. And loca identies. Pity we loose these iconic brands. One day local radio will be just relay stations SCA rebrands Redwave Media Western Australia stations
Anthony The Koala
19 February 2020 - 8:58pm
Dear Mr StJohn,
Thank you for your very informative responses I raised about a warning system and other issues related to DRM/DAB broadcasting. A few additional comments/remarks.

Forward error correction:
I agree with you that forward error correction is useless if a signal is undetectable especially if the sky is not clear, when it's raining or trying to receive under a structure or a wet tree. At that stage, the signal is 'over the cliff' and nothing can be decoded.

I also agree with you that forward error correction is useful where there is noise in the signal.

Forward error correction is also used in satellite DVB. So FEC cannot be useless in this application/context.

However, when it comes to satellite radio, if you meant that in addition to the environmental factors affecting the satellite signal and as a result that FEC being useless if the digital signal is "over the cliff" of reception would that be due to satellite radio's antenna gain having a low gain compared to a dish which is high gain?

For example, the car's radio antenna is a wire while a satellite DVB's antenna is a high gain parabola (dish)?

Who should be responsible for the dissemination of emergency information anywone or a specific officer:

When it comes to the issue of the dissemination of emergency information to a broadcaster's DRM message server (reference page 5. https://www.drm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DRM-EWF-Emergency-Warning-Overview-v2.pdf ) you mentioned that there's "...nothing to stop each emergency services to each have a computer with compatible software to create the data along with the affected area co-ordinates..."

I agree with that it does not matter who disseminates the information. The technology is 'dumb' as to who enters the data.

My concern is that you need a protocol with all 'contingencies' as to the supply of the information to the broadcaster's DRM system to ensure that (i) the information to the DRM's emergency reporting system is accurate and up-to-date and (ii) that there is no conflict of information advice between the authorities.

An example scenario:
The BOM issue a weather warning of strong winds, thunder, lightning, hail and torrential rain.

The warning may be forthcoming or come to pass. Should the BOM's warning go on the DRM's emergency system or should the SES and/or RFS issue the statement OR should the BOM, SES and RFS issue the warning and give advice?

Clarification of what you mean by a PAL-s receiver and banning receivers:
PAL refers to a standard of analogue TV. The benefit of PAL over NTSC is that the colour information is inverted on alternate lines of the picture raster. The S of PAL-S relied on the eye to cancel out any errors between the alternate lines.

The effect on relying on the eye to cancel errors in the error differences of the colour information was not perfect as the horizonal lines were still perceived. An electronic cancellation of the errors was chieved by alternate lines of colour information entering a delay line made of isopaustic glass. The electronic cancellation was achieved by adding the delayed signal to the undelayed signal. Effective vertical colour resolution was half the resolution of the luminance signal.

Note that my understanding is an oversimplified description. I have not included the interlacing of a raster comprising of two fields which complicates.

Ban receivers that are not fully specified and retailers?
Now in regards to the banning of receivers, I find it hard to believe that the Federal Government would ban a receiver that was not PAL-D, given that colour TVs were already in Australia before 1975. Can you elucidate (shed light) on banning of receivers.

Unless you mean that TV broadcasters were banned from transmitting in colour by the broadcaster's removal of the colour burst signal. Yet someone could 'cobble' a colour-lock circuit and receive the colour signal long before March 1975 and the test transmissions before March 1975.

In today's issue of whether banning DRM receivers which do not have full specificaions may well go against the "policy" of letting the markets decide the kinds of DRM receivers.

My belief is that many retailers do not understand the capabilities of the products they sell and they'll sell what is the 'cheapest'. It's like when digital TV's were on sale in the early 2000s and retailers did not understand the definition of FULL-HD (1080i). They were trying sell you that 780i was better than 1080i. I was not the Eskimo/Inuit that believed the line of the salesperson selling me frozen water.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
Anthony The Koala
19 February 2020 - 8:03pm
Four issues about podcasts (i) the quality of the content of podcasts, (ii) overflowing of podcasts, (iii) having support networks in order to get an audience, (iv) not to take a podcast as settled or 'gospel'.

(1) The valuable content of podcasts is variable. In January 2020 there was a promotion on 2GB of a certain podcast starring a "traffic reporter" and a comedian.

I downloaded the half-hour podcast and listened to it. The podcast could have been reduced to five minutes and mention the relevant websites at the end.

(2) Following (1), the market may well be overflowing with podcasts. There are courses on the web including the University of Wollongong's mini course on how to produce a "production quality" podcast.


Even with high quality production values, how does one choose the 'wheat' from the 'chaff'. Put it another way, how does one's podcast stand out?

Thus at the beginning of (2) I stress the word 'overflowing' rather than 'saturated'. The barriers to entry are low. Any person who wants to educate or has an axe to grind or is an 'expert' or has an ego can make a podcast.

As a consequence of the overflowing number of podcasts, many podcast producers may well burn out within a few episodes especially if there is very little downloads. It may well be that the podcast producer may have to 'soldier on' and build other kinds of networks until the number of downloads increase.

(3) Having 'support' networks. By network I don't mean a broadcasting network but also include business, professional and community organisations. The list is not exhaustive. Such networks may well form the publicity base for the author's podcasts.

When it comes to broadcasting, the broadcaster has already a 'support' network of its listeners. The ABC comes to mind with their slogan "...you can download the latest podcast at...." or 2GB with podcasts of their show or interview segments. These podcasts are available for those who missed the actual broadcast.

(4) The podcasts are high quality in content and production values, but don't take the content of these podcasts as "gospel" or "settled knowledge".

Lily Serna, a mathematician and a co-presenter of SBS tv's "Letters And Numbers" produced a podcast series on what makes a genius. It was the usual questions of what makes a person a genius nature or nurture.
Issues discussed include whether intelligence is 'fixed' and Malcolm Gladwell's concept of 10000 hours of applied learning.

The issues should not be treated as settled because people may well develop at different rates and that the 10000 hour concept has either been misapplied or does not necessarily applied.

But then you cannot get a smooth podcast narrative by including all the nooks and crannies of what is settled and what is not and the debates surrounding the issues raised in the podcast.

Therefore don't take notice of all the content of a podcast as settled.

From my experience, I have a very dear friend whose late father was a teacher and housemaster at a prestigious and elite boys school. One of his students was the former PM The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull. My friend's late father also studied at Oxford and was learned also in the field of ancient history.

One of the issues raised in the podcast was on intelligence being fixed. Long before the existence of podcasts I asked my friend's father how to improve one's intelligence.

A few years before I met my friend's father, I was told that I was no good for university and cannot imrprove my 'intelligence' by the school counsellor who was in cahoots with the year 12 coordinator who later self-harmed (if that issue affects you call Lifeline on 13-11-14 and/or an evidence-based AHPRA practitioner).

I asked my friend's father how to improve one's intelligence and he said to keep on reading widely. It worked for me and I have a law degree from UNSW (amongst others).

I also interviewed the famous US educator Jane Elliot on 2SER-fm radio. She said that one should not accept what teachers or authority figures define you as if one is from a low socio-economic status and in a rut.

My life story is not as simple as this, though I cannot say that what worked for me applies to you.

Irrespective of this I go to the original point about the the content of podcasts should not necessarily be taken as settled or 'gospel'.


Deloitte may well be correct that podcasts may take over radio broadcasts. The quality of the content and broadcast quality of a applies to both broadcasts and podcasts.

Even if one can produce a high quality podcast, there is an overflow of podcasts on the network. To get noticed needs a support network such as business or professional groups or from a radio broadcaster's audience.

Similarly even if the podcast is well-produced and contains content, don't take the content of the podcast as settled or 'gospel' especially if the issues are debatable.

Thank you
Anthony of opinionated Belfield
Deloitte suggests podcasting growth ahead


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