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National iPAWS Test Delayed Until October 3rd

(From FEMA) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on October 3, 2018. The WEA portion of the test commences at 11:18 p.m. PDT, and the EAS portion follows at 11:20 p.m. PDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed. The test was delayed from September 20 due to Hurricane Florence emergency activity.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless carriers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in September 2011, 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

Replace Your Expiring DASDEC IPAWS Certificate

Digital Alert Systems and Monroe Electronics announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the IPAWS system. The companies have released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the One-Net™ and DASDEC™ series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders to replace a certificate in the current certification chain that will expire on Sept. 24. One-Net and DASDEC users in the U.S. are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to assure that devices configured to require message authentication will continue to operate properly. T

“DASDEC and One-Net users are urged to take the simple step of updating their certificate files before Sept. 24 to allow continued authentication of IPAWS CAP alert messaging,” said Ed Czarnecki, senior director of strategy and government affairs for Monroe Electronics and Digital Alert Systems. “This is the second such certificate replacement this year, so we are actively working with FEMA IPAWS to look at methods for automating this update process and hope to have such a process in place before the next certificate update occurs in 2019.”

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Chapter 36 Adds Members, Certifications

Zeb Navarro joined as Associate Member. He’s the General Manager at  KKSM San Marcos, the AM radio station operated by Palomar College. He’s also an adjunct professor of Digital Broadcast Arts there.

Kurt Kohnen joined as Member. He’s a radio and TV production manager at KPBS and adjunct music professor for the San Diego Community College District. He also freelances with AMFM Music, a company that sells production music, and with the record label Tidepool Music.

Angel Ramos passed his exam in early August to become a Certified Broadcast Technician. Angel has been Chief Engineer at Univision Radio (KLQV 102.9 and KLNV 106.5 FM) since 1998.

Gary Stigall renewed as Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer and remains a Senior Member.

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