All posts by SBE National Office

SBE National Re-elects Jim Leifer as President

(By Chris Scherer, SBE Communications Director) The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2018 election for the national board of directors. Jim Leifer, CPBE, was re-elected as the society’s president. Leifer is senior manager of broadcast operations at American Tower Corporation, Andover, MA. Continue reading SBE National Re-elects Jim Leifer as President

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.

Importance of Proper Grounding Webinar

The “Importance of Proper Grounding” SBE webinar will be presented on Thursday, July 23 at 2 p.m. ET. The one-hour program will review the elements of a building’s wiring and grounding systems (including lightning protection) that pertain to power quality at communications facilities and improve up-time. Proper wiring and grounding, beyond those minimal requirements of the NEC, can greatly alleviate power quality problems in broadcast and public service communications facilities. These improvements can be very cost-effective, usually simple in description, and help prevent costly downtime and equipment damage. The presentation concentrates on actual experiences at broadcast facilities where grounding and lightning protection were of paramount importance in maintaining system availability.

Continue reading Importance of Proper Grounding Webinar

Check Your EAS Set-up

On October 24, 2014, there was an unauthorized playing of the national emergency alert notification (EAN) tones during a syndicated radio broadcast.  These tones were a retransmission from the original EAN test conducted on Nov 9, 2011. There is a possibility that Digital Alerting Systems’ DASDEC units may have stored the recent unauthorized EAN and will retransmit on November 9 when the date/time stamp becomes valid.  Digital Alerting Systems has published a Field Service Bulletin on this matter, http://www.digitalalertsystems.com/pdf/DAS%20FSB-103014R1.0.pdf. If you are using a DASDEC system version 2.5 or earlier, AND if you are located in any area where this syndicated programming was broadcast on your EAS monitoring source/station, we suggest that you read the Field Service Bulletin for more information and for the company’s instructions on how to proceed. If you use another manufacturer’s  EAS equipment, we recommend you contact them if you have any questions.

(It’s very unlikely the recent national error event propagated to San Diego, and checking a client DASDEC unit, I found no stored national EAN’s. However, it’s a good time to check your configuration to turn on Strict Time if available on your device’s configuration. –ed)