National EAS Test Scheduled for Sept. 20

The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has announced that a National EAS test will be sent on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. There is a difference between this test and the two previous tests. At 2:18 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), FEMA will send a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test message to all WEA capable wireless devices throughout the entire United States and territories. Immediately following the WEA nationwide end-to-end test, at 2:20 p.m. EDT, FEMA will conduct a live test of the Emergency Alerting System (EAS). All EAS participants are required to participate in this nationwide test. The EAS message will be disseminated via the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Stations are encouraged to verify that their EAS units are communicating correctly with the IPAWS server. Review your station logs (which should be checked once each week by the chief operator) to ensure you are receiving the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS. This RWT is fed every Monday at 11:00 a.m. local time. Contact your equipment representative for details on setting up your EAS decoder to properly receive and relay the National test.

EAS participants are reminded that they are required to register with the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) and must complete the filing of ETRS Form One on or before Aug. 27, 2018. Then on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Sept. 20, 2018, EAS participants must file the day-of-test information sought by ETRS Form Two on or before Nov. 5, 2018, EAS participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three.

Filers can access ETRS by visiting the ETRS page of the Commission’s website at www.fcc.gov/general/eas-test-reporting-system. Instructional videos regarding registration and completion of the ETRS Forms are available on the ETRS page.

SES Offers to Reimburse C-Band Dish Registration Costs

According to TV Technology magazine, satellite relay provider SES has offered to reimburse C-band dish owners for the cost of registering their earth stations with the FCC. The only catch is…you have to have procrastinated till at least July 28, 2018, to be eligible. Get more information by contacting FCCregistration@ses.com. The NAB encourages members to register all C-band earth station dishes by October 17, 2018 to ensure that they are eligible for protection going forward.

The reason the industry is asking broadcasters to register receive-only dishes is that the FCC is proposing to reassign C-band terrestrial receive frequencies to the telecom industry. If you maintain a receive antenna for radio or TV network services, this could present an interference problem. As users register, the FCC can get a better idea on how large the impact would be.

If you need assistance with your C-band dish registration, Signal Wiz in San Diego can file your application.

FCC Cites Baofeng Importer for Marketing Unauthorized Radios

(From the ARRL) The FCC has issued a Citation and Order (Citation) to Amcrest Industries, LLC (formerly Foscam Digital Technologies, LLC), an importer and marketer of popular and inexpensive Baofeng handheld transceivers, alleging that the company violated FCC rules and the Communications Act by illegally marketing unauthorized RF devices. The FCC asserts that Amcrest marketed Baofeng model UV-5R-series FM handheld radios capable of transmitting on “restricted frequencies.” The Baofeng models UV-5R and UV-5R V2+ were granted an FCC equipment authorization in 2012 to operate under Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio Service (Land Mobile) rules.

Continue reading FCC Cites Baofeng Importer for Marketing Unauthorized Radios

KPBS-TV Making Progress Toward Move to Channel 19

Removing old KPBS channel 15 analog slot antenna. Photo by Leon Messenie

KPBS-TV atop Mt. San Miguel tackled their antenna work last week as part of their TV spectrum repack project. They must move from UHF channel 30 to channel 19 while KSWB-TV moves from channel 19 to 26 and KNSD (TV) from 40 to 17. These full-power TV stations, all in Phase 2 of the FCC Broadcast Incentive Auction, must switch to the new channel alignment by April 12, 2019.

I asked KPBS Director of Engineering and project coordinator Leon Messenie about recent activity. Continue reading KPBS-TV Making Progress Toward Move to Channel 19

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego