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What You Think

User Opinion Story
Alan Hughes
17 February 2020 - 3:45am
The media has not done a good job of describing what happened in Moruya. The MT WANDERA site is typical in country areas. This means that to get the maximum coverage area with a minimum of black spots, the highest location is used.

At Mt Wandera there are the following;
ABC local radio transmitter
Radio National transmitter
NewsRadio transmitter
ABC Classics transmitter
2 Commercial transmitters
5 TV transmitters
Fixed Wireless NBN transceivers (not the fibre optic cable to the user)
mobile phone transceivers.

Since hot air rises the fires will burn up to these peaks. Commonly the power line is burnt down. Access is not always possible to bring generators and fuel, when this communications is needed most. Thus no communications.

The high altitude sites mention above also applies to cyclones as well, where towers are also blown down.

The NBN’s suggestion to keep fixed phone lines going is not in Telstra’s interest as it will rarely get any money for any phone calls let alone paying linesmen’s and technicians wages.

The NBN’s bandaid of using Skymuster to Wifi in townsites does not help those in danger.

The solution is to install a high powered high frequency Digital Radio Mondiale transmitter in the centre of Australia. There is only low scrub and it is distant from any military threat. This transmitter can cover the whole of Australia

DRM has an emergency warning system which will wake the radio and tune the radio to the emergency broadcast. The volume is increased for a voice message, but it can also use Jounaline to give detailed indexed instructions on what to do and show maps of the affected area. It can also transmit the latitude and longitudes of the corners of the emergency, so only radios in the affected area will switch.

This solution needs DRM receivers. To make the purchase of radios attractive, the 400,000 Australians cannot hear any radio whilst mobile in cars, trucks and boats, can listen to ABC Newsradio and Grandstand live. For regional Australia DRM using the vacated analog TV channels 0 – 2 can transmit all of the channels available to Capital city residents. In addition commercial radio can drastically reduce their transmission costs.

I made a submission to the ACMA’s “The future of Australian Radio Delivery” in June last year and they are in https://www.acma.gov.au/consultations/2019-08/future-delivery-radio-services-australia-consultation-132019 IFC13/2019 Submission 4. Please read both of my submissions. These submissions give much more detail including reduce he huge unnecessary electrical consumption.
Fires hit ABC Radio's Batemans Bay transmitter
Anthony The Koala
16 February 2020 - 3:58pm
Has there been any thought to using the L-band for either DAB+ or DRM transmissions? L-band operates in the frequency range 1.452–1.492 GHz and is transmitted from a geostationary satellite. Other services, for example services such as the GPS operate on this frequency band.

I am not an RF/antenna engineer, but the L-band's footprint can be designed to cover the whole country. In addition, the radiated power from an antenna on a satellite is significantly lower than those of terrestrial transmitters.

While many readers believe that DAB+ only covers the VHF band, there are receivers on the marketplace which are capable of receiving L-band such as the Pure Siesta clock radio and the DAB+/AM/FM radio installed in today's Camry to name a few.

Having surveyed both DAB+ and DRM receivers, most have a single line scrolling text display, though both systems allow for larger graphic displays. From the survey, larger displays on DAB+ and DRM receivers are rare. That may well change if there if there is demand for DAB+ and DRM receivers with larger displays. Manufacturers and retails have their part to play in meeting that demand.

Mr StJohn mentioned that DRM handles a text/html type protocol and there is a wakeup facility on the DRM receiver if an emergency arises. I would presume that the DRM receiver would have a standby battery if the region declared by the authorities to be an emergency area has no power. Otherwise an emergency signalling system on DRM would be useless if the power is cut in the emergency region.

In the end, would the ACMA consider using the L-Band satellite transmission to cover the whole country instead of relying on terrestrial transmitters?

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield

Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
14 February 2020 - 7:39pm
DAB+ Emergency Warnings were tested in Darwin for the ACMA by Grant Broadcasters. They had the emergency services creating the data for insertion. The ACMA has removed the report from their website.

Emergency Warning system can not only wake radios and listeners in the middle of the night, as well as selecting the broadcast automatically, it can also transmit maps, Journaline indexed text messages for detailed instructions along with TPEG data of blocked roads which will get the GPSs in vehicles to recalculate the route around the emergencies. In addition these messages can be geo-located so only receivers within the disaster area will be activated. The accuracy can be as tight as 7 km x 7 km.
Unfortunately, virtually no DAB receivers outside of cars have a display which can display more than a single line of scrolling text. We need radios capable of responding to the above standards including a phone sized colour screen to be really useful.

The other issue is signal reliability. In capital cities the coverage area maps do not show black spots like https://myswitch.digitalready.gov.au/ which is based on antennas being 10 m above the ground. DAB+ is between the VHF TV channels so the signals behave in the same way.

DAB+ is the wrong technology for regional areas. It operates at twice the frequency of FM which reduces the coverage area diameter but also there are black spots caused by the terrain.

DRM is much better because it can operate in the old TV channels 0 - 2 which requires 1/12 of the radiated power than for DAB+ to cover the same coverage area. It is also less affected by the terrain.
https://www.acma.gov.au/consultations/2019-08/future-delivery-radio-services-australia-consultation-132019 submission 4
Now one transmitter can carry 18 programs like DAB+. DRM also has an identical Emergency Warning System and as a driver moves from a DAB+ area to DRM the receiver will automatically switch to continue the warnings.

Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
14 February 2020 - 4:42pm
the future is 5G/6G with streaming media services, and emergency broadcast information on your mobile device/ app.
The Fed govt needs to start the process to close down the AM/FM/DAB bands.

Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
14 February 2020 - 4:02pm
IF we had a low band digital solution such as HD radio in the US I'd be all for it, but we don't. DAB+ still operates at 201-206MHz which means coverage is going to be even more limited than the current low power FM transmitters that exist in towns in WA, NT, SA, and parts of rural NSW and QLD.

Commercial radio has been keen for some time to move AM transmitters over to FM to reduce coverage footprint to just their license area, to prevent listeners having a choice from other nearby towns and paradoxically, this call to DAB+ to give listeners more choice actually gives listeners more channels controlled by the same few big commercial players.

Small and local community operators are squeezed out of the process, as are new commercial entrants. SEN in South Australia has multiple AM transmitters (Adelaide, Port Augusta, Mount Gambier, etc) but has no presence on DAB+ and a number of community stations in Adelaide aren't on DAB+ either - just a few very large ones and most of those aren't entitled to have extra digital channels.

No wonder people are going across to the internet and IMO this money should instead be spent further improving mobile coverage along national highways so that listeners can stream non stop on a drive from say Adelaide to Perth or Adelaide to Darwin.
Commercial Radio wants a nationwide roll out of DAB+ for emergencies
Anthony The Koala
13 February 2020 - 10:43pm
In my previous posting about 11th February 2020 at 1823 on the 4th last paragraph, I mentioned my non-support for carbon credits in case the ABC uses them to atone for their environmental sins, I avert to the UN's article about carbon credits
source article: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/carbon-offsets-are-not-our-get-out-jail-free-card. While the purpose of CO2 credits was to offset emitters exceeding their limits by funding tree planting for example, the final subheading in the article says it all by saying that it is an "illusion...." allowing emissions to continue to grow.

Returning to broadcasting stations especially our ABC, it behooves those interested in the power output of our AM and FM transmitters especially those of the ABC to read the publication spreadsheet produced by the ACMA at https://www.acma.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-02/BroadcastTransmitterExcel.zip. Look at the column of output power, and in the broadcasting industry, our ABC is the biggest emitter of CO2.

Thank you,
Anthony of supplementary info Belfield
Radio New Zealand under review
Wendy Jane
13 February 2020 - 11:46am
That was really sweet, and very heartfelt. I hope that Hamish lets us know what is next for him. Hamish Carter pulls the pin on his radio career
Anthony The Koala
12 February 2020 - 3:26pm
I wish to discuss my brief review of the podcasts and the reporting of funerals on radio and tv. The latter is directly related to broadcasting.

The "Pineapple" podcast:
I have heard the two podcasts (4'57 and 21'00) on death. In the 21'00 podcast the topics discussed included when a person dies at home unexpectedly, the roles of the police and coroner. In respect of the coroner, not all deaths handled by the coroner require an autopsy. Autopsies are carried in rare circumstances and the cause of the death from the autopsy may give comfort to family members.

What was not covered in the area of autopsies are the reactions on the handling and returning of body parts to the body. This is especially important to cultural groups who are sensitive to the delay in burying the deceased as soon as possible and/or where a particular organ that has been removed from the body should be returned to the deceased's body after the examination. To illustrate, a few years ago, it was reported that a deceased person of Pacific Islander heritage had the brain removed and members of the deceased's family wanted the brain returned to the body. The deceased's family was in distress about this. The podcast's coverage of organ removal and return of the body parts should have been dealt with.

On the other hand, the topic of organ donation by those who pre-arranged that their organs be donated has not been dealt with.

Broadcasting funerals/farewells of people on radio and tv:
In relation to the reporting of funerals on radio and tv and to some extent the death notices in the "papers", there appears to be a non-reporting of what happens in after the funeral.

Years ago, a famous person's funeral was reported something like, "...today there was a farewell for celebrity/famous person/significant person was held at a particular venue/house of worship....the lesson was read by X, the eulogy was given by Y recounting the good and bad times. The celebrant/minister/priest gave a few words....." then at the conclusion of the service they would mention the final disposition of the deceased person to the cemetery or memorial park or a private committal service..."

Today's reporting of news of funerals on radio and tv seem to be like "...there was a final farewell at a particular venue/house of worship, celebrities were present...there were some funny stories about the deceased." A guard of honour was present, pigeons were released, a pipe band leads the hearse and the hearse going away to the never never. BUT they never say where the hearse went. Hearses don't go to the never never and fly away like Santa Claus and his reindeer.

The reporting of funerals on radio and tv hides the realities of the person's final resting place. The media don't even report that there was a final private committal service. The hearse goes to the never never. It could be said for a number of death notices in the paper. The person died, was loved by... and displays the undertaker's name. In many cases there was nothing about whether the service was private!

Security issues aside, it seems that news broadcasts are hiding the spiritual (if applicable) life of the deceased and corporal reality about the final disposition of the deceased. We don't need the details of the cemetery/memorial park, row number and section.

The reporting of the deceased seems to be absent of the spiritual and corporal realities.

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield
The new host of The Pineapple Project podcast wants us to do death better
Anthony The Koala
11 February 2020 - 6:23pm
I concur with Mr StJohn.

A technicality, an analogue switch off has to be mandated by the Parliament who then tell the correct authority administering the Act to switch off analogue transmissions in the same way that in 1998 Parliament mandated for digital TV transmission with a simultaneous analogue/digital transmission with a series of analogue tx switch off dates.

On a historical note, the ABC's tx facilities have always been administered first by the Austrlaian Post Office, Telecom Australia then Telstra and the now privatised BA. That is the ABC has never ran its tx facilities.

Nevertheless the radio and TV tx sites are funded by the ABC through an appropriation from Parliament which comes from you and I.

In recent times there has been much discussion on climate change on the ABC whether it's on RN, Metropolitan (2BL, 3LO), "The Drum" (TV and ABCNewsRadio) and Q&A. It is worth pointing that there are many high-powered radio tx sites of at least 50kW and 100kW whether AM or FM. For a broadcaster, the ABC would have to be the biggest emitter of CO2 through the consumption of power, Even if carbon credits are used to offset CO2 (note I don't know if the ABC is involved in carbon credits to atone for their environmental sins), it still means that same amount of CO2 will be generated somewhere else shifting the generation of CO2 elsewhere.

In essence, the ABC could well save energy and reduce CO2 emissions if it did pursue DRM transmission of its radio signal. That qualified such that the Parliament make an Act of Parliament to mandate an analogue switch off with a simulcast phase in. Once the Act is enacted, it is up to the suitable authority to administer it. Why I say "suitable authority" instead of DoCA is that there is always a renaming of the authorities.

The way our administration of the law operates is that depending on the Act, the "suitable authority" administering the act cannot act autonomously.

In essence I agree with Mr StJohn's crusade for digital transmission of radio signals via DRM. Let's not forget that retailers and radio manufacturers have a part to play in supplying the radios. In addition I wrote elsewhere that DRM could well be Australia's soft power solution for the re-introduction of SW broadcasts.

Thank you,
Anthony of thinking Belfield

Radio New Zealand under review
9 February 2020 - 2:28am
If the ABC/SBS waste lots of money in the transmission of their radio programs. This happens because the ABC and SBS have never been responsible for transmission. Currently it is subcontracted to Broadcast Australia.
If the ABC and SBS switched off their 37 AM/FM stations leaving their 7 DAB+ transmitters which have been transmitting those programs plus new ones for 10 years there would be a big drop in electricity consumption and maintenance costs.

In regional areas most areas are covered by 6 programs using AM and FM. If a DRM transmitter using the old analog TV channels 0 - 2 were located on each TV transmitter site they could radiate the same number of programs that capital city ABC/SBS DAB+ listeners get now. DRM in this band is a quarter of the transmission frequency of DAB+ thus extending the coverage area required in rural areas. Commercial radio could use another DRM+ transmitter to transmit their current AM and FM programs through a single transmitter with the antenna on the FM transmitter's tower.

3. Install a high powered high frequency (short wave) transmitter in the geographic centre of Australia transmitting ABC NewsRadio and ABC Grandstand from a single transmitter. It should be equipped to transmit the Emergency Warning System since this area is well away from bushfires, cyclones, floods and foreign treats. Remember that 400,000 remote Australians excluding truck drivers and other itinerant workers have no radio or mobile phone once they leave their village or homestead.

The Department of Communications then needs to set analog cut off dates.
Radio New Zealand under review


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