From the Editor – December 2011

December 11, 2011

Jim Dalke, CPBE

National EAS Test

The first National EAS test ever is now history.  It looks like most stations in the Puget Sound area were able to forward the 30 second test pretty much as planned, quite like the routine RMT’s.  The voice message was clear at the beginning, but marred by an underlying echo of the voice message which started a few seconds after the first.  The next task is making sure all three of the required reports are filed online with the FCC before the December 27 deadline. (http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/emergency-alert-system-nationwide-test)

Nationally, there were at least two entire states that did not get the alert at all.  But again, that is what tests are all about.  It will be interesting to see the statistics when the mandatory reports are received and tallied by the FEMA and the FCC after the first of the year

ABIP Inspections and Public Files

 

I spent the better part of a week late November doing ABIP inspection duty in Spokane for the WSAB.  As it seems often happens, I bought new snow tires for my jeep to be prepared for the winter weather, and the weather was fine for the trip.  I did get a chance to ride in a nice, relatively new snocat for the last couple of miles on snow covered Mount Spokane to inspect the facilities of KXLY-TV and FM.

As most of us know, the tower registration numbers must be posted on or near the towers unless there is gated access where the signs would not be visible.  In that case the signs need to be posted on a fence or gate for public viewing.  One of the sites I visited had a gate with the tower registrations numbers cut from steel and welded to the gate cross bars to at least deter vandals.  Nice gate!

A key part of the ABIP inspection includes the station public files.  The FCC has announced they may require the public files be posted online.  If that happens TV stations will be first required to comply, followed by radio stations.  It looks like the proposed regulations could make meeting the FCC requirements even more burdensome than they are now.  There is also concern the online version would be too “public,” and open for “fishing.”  For more officially from the FCC:http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db1027/FCC-11-162A1.pdf

Chapter Remailer Overload

Following the national EAS test and in the midst of news about the ubiquitous “Occupy Movements,” came an interesting story about hijacking radio and TV stations by mimicking EAS transmissions.  The report created a flurry of comments from the broadcast engineering community around the country and the Northwest.  On our Chapter 16 remailer ( sbe16-seattle@sea.sbe16.org) there were dozens of postings on the subject with various comments.  When all was said and done, over 25,000 words passed through the chapter remailer on the subject.

Trying to carry on a discussion on an email list like ours can become difficult to follow as comments and replies get out of order and become repetitive.  Using a comment format like that at www.sbe16.org keeps comments in order and much easier to read.

I am proposing we reserve our general email list (sbe16-seattle@sea.sbe16.org) for general announcements, headline news, and the like.  For those that would like more “closed” discussions thatn those on the website, it is suggested setting up a new remailer (or mail list) like “talk@sea.sbe16.org” and refer the general remailer readers if they choose to get involved in a discussion.

Your comments are welcome below.

That is the November report from the editor.

73’s

Jim Dalke W7PB