Stations Should Note Reason for IPAWS April 26 RWT Failure

When FEMA issues an IPAWS test or alert, it includes a “signature certificate.” This operates similar to a password for accessing different sites or files on a computer. In the case of a message from FEMA, a message without a correct signature the EAS device should ignore the message.

On April 26, 2021, the Required Weekly Test (RWT) from IPAWS was transmitted with an incorrect signature. The test messages had a mismatch between the digest inside the message, and the digest computed by receivers. This is a part of the validation for an alert, and checking it is required by FCC Rule 11.56(c): “EAS Participants shall configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.”

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Laszlo “Les” Zoltan Passes Away

We learned last week that the owner and CEO of DVEO in Ranch Bernardo, Laszlo “Les” Zoltan, died of complications of COVID-19 on January 30 this year.

According to his San Diego Union obituary, he was born in Hungary to Holocaust survivors, but they escaped to Canada when he was nine years old. Les graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Electrical Engineering. After working at Tektronix for two years, he obtained a Master’s in Business Administration Degree from McGill University. In the U.S., he created Computer Modules, Inc. in 1982, selling industrial boards for PCs. Later under the name of DVEO, he sold video processors, converters, and streaming devices, as well as satellite receivers.

Les and DVEO supported SBE Chapter 36 as a sponsor and he was a part of the local broadcast community.

Ken Crabtree Passes Away

We just learned that broadcast engineer Kenyon “Ken” Crabtree of Vista died January 19, 2021 due to the COVID-19 virus.

Ken Crabtree, engineer

Ken had worked for ViaSat in Carlsbad as a satellite systems engineer from 2012 until 2020.

Previously, he had been part of the Qualcomm team responsible for the rollout of MediaFLO.

Before 2007, he had worked for local broadcasters as a contract engineer with such clients as Finest City Broadcasting (XETRA, XHITZ, XHRM), and International Communications Network (K61GH, now KSDY), and KPRI (FM). He worked with Robert Gonsett to move KKOS (now KSSX) 95.7 to Mt. Soledad.

He was an experienced skydiver. He is survived by his wife Tricia, as well as daughters Taylor Proulx and Rhiannon Kohler and two grandchildren.

Thank you for the tip, Robert Gonsett.

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Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego