How is your Transmission Line preforming?
A gold ring shining in a jewellery store will attract far more viewers than a dull piece of recycled metal because of the brilliance of the light waves reflecting off it right? The same principle is true with your transmission line.
Did you know that because of the price of metals worldwide and the customer demanding a more cost effective product, some manufactures have opted for a portion of recycled metals in in their components? Great if you are the accountant, but if you are the subscriber of the technology, the performance may not be as you signed up for and diagnosing these faults can often be very expensive.
Did you know that your radio signal travels along the outside of the inner conductor? This is why some higher preforming cables are manufactured with hollow or coper coated aluminium center conductors. The Copper, Silver or Gold coatings of these cables are often polished or manufactured to a roughness of less than 1um. This is so your radio waves do not feel the need to take a longer route than is necessary. A bit like driving in the New Zealand country side verses the outback of our 3rd major Island. West Island! Some call it Australia.
Poor handling, storage, termination and weather proofing are also major factors in a decline in performance of the transmission line. We know our environment here in New Zealand can be very trying for metals. There was some logic when Grandma use to spend her Sundays polishing the silverware in the cupboards.
What can we learn from this? Simple. Cost of transmission line components are not always the biggest issues you will face on your jobs. Getting the brilliance of the waves from the radio to the antenna is more important. A wise man once told me “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price."
Jeff Hicks, the RSM Licensing Manager officially retired on 31 May 2017. Jeff worked in many areas of radio spectrum over his career which spanned more than 40 years.
Jeff and his wife Brenda Hicks attended our annual Gala Dinner as guests of RFUANZ. This was an opportunity to thank Jeff for his support over the past 25 years. His knowledge was invaluable to the industry. We wish Jeff all the best for a long and happy retirement.
Radio Licence Locations Need To Be Accurate
The June 2017 RSM business update highlights the need for accuracy. Legally locations must be accurate within 100 m, infringement notices can be issued for errors exceeding 100m.
GPS is the best method for accuracy. Turn on & place a GPS receiver near as possible to the transmit pole, with a clear view to as much of the sky as possible. Go away & leave it on for 15 minutes to allow it to update then take a photo of the display as a record.
The results can be compared to Topo50 maps, these can be downloaded free from the LINZ website. Linz also has an online & download converter for various datum formats. Don’t use the online version as it does not have enough accuracy. Do use the download version. Note it has an extra decimal place compared to the RSM version, which can be found on the RSM website.
Don’t rely on Google Earth maps for accuracy as errors of more than 100 meters have been found, this is due to the way the way the satellite photos are joined together.
If you are unfamiliar with these processes your ARE or ARC can help. Some AREs & ARCs have permission to create new locations & edit some locations to amend errors. This is often straightforward where there is a single licensee on a site & there never has been a spectrum licence there. For multiple licensees on a site written permission from all is required all & may need to be referred to RSM. Licences can be also be modified to show the new more accurate & legal location but that takes more time & cost.
Australian Radiocommunications Bill 2017
Some readers in NZ & Australia who have read this find it overly prescriptive to say the least. We are fortunate with our system in NZ. We hope & expect that ours in the future will still carry on with simplicity & the sensible relatively unregulated regime. The cost in Metropolitan Sydney for RT repeaters, are in the region of $2500 p.a AUD. Ours are going down to $150 NZD.
RFUANZ have 18 applicants for the training scheme, a really good number to start with.
The setting up of the Qualifications and associated requirements were completed early this year so we were ready to proceed. Etec the training provider is all geared up for the course and awaiting students.
The hold up is Skills NZ who administer the framework for the students, and organise the Govt subsidy have not completed their part. They contact the students and Employers and sign them up for the course, then once completed pass this on to ETEC for the training component.
RFUANZ are chasing Skills to expedite the training program. As soon as this under way we will advise those involved.