[FPSPACE] FLAT-SCREEN TV EMITS INTERNATIONAL DISTRESS SIGNAL

DwayneDay zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 19 17:22:49 EDT 2004


I cut and pasted the entire article below.

This event is interesting, and one would hope that if Toshiba is smart, that they will not only "replace" this TV set but get it back into their lab and test it to find out why it is doing this.  It would be bad if there is some kind of design flaw that might suddenly cause more of their televisions to start emitting this signal and swamping international rescue frequencies.

Reminds me of the story I read a decade ago about the origins of the ban on using portable electronic devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing.  It reportedly resulted from somebody using a laptop--in normal cruise flight--that caused the cockpit electronics to behave weird.  I believe that it specifically affected the navigation system.  It did not cause any serious problem, but FAA bought an identical computer and then proceeded to do a series of tests, trying to replicate the problem.  Unfortunately they were never able to do it.  Their big concern was that a laptop that could cause such problems would be a real problem during landing approach, when it might cause the aircraft to stray into another landing path.  The odd thing is that the article implied that the FAA did not buy the _actual_ computer that caused the problem, but a similar type.  I don't know why they did not simply buy the guy's laptop from him.



DDAY


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Watkins <nww62 at yahoo.co.uk>

> FLAT-SCREEN TV EMITS INTERNATIONAL DISTRESS SIGNAL
>TV hardly gets much better than this.
>...
http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/18/odd.television.reut/index.html


Flat-screen TV emits international distress signal
Search and rescue operation leads to apartment
EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) -- TV hardly gets much better than this.

An Oregon man discovered earlier this month that his year-old Toshiba Corporation flat-screen TV was emitting an international distress signal picked up by a satellite, leading a search and rescue operation to his apartment in Corvallis, Oregon, 70 miles south of Portland.

The signal from Chris van Rossmann's TV was routed by satellite to the Air Force Rescue Center at Langley Air Base in Virginia.

On October 2, the 20 year-old college student was visited at his apartment in the small university town by a contingent of local police, civil air patrol and search and rescue personnel.

"They'd never seen signal come that strong from a home appliance," said van Rossmann. "They were quite surprised. I think we all were."

Authorities had expected to find a boat or small plane with a malfunctioning transponder, the usual culprit in such incidents, emitting the 121.5 MHz frequency of the distress signal used internationally.

Van Rossmann said he was told to keep his TV off to avoid paying a $10,000 fine for "willingly broadcasting a false distress signal."

Toshiba contacted Rossmann and offered to provide him with a replacement set for free, he said.


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