San Diego and Imperial Counties can hand broadcast engineers some challenges with respect to receiving the Emergency Alert System (EAS) LP1 and LP2 stations, both AMs. If you are relaying the signals of KOGO 600 and KLSD 1360 from an AM transmitter site, you must have good filtering and shielding from your own transmitter signal, and be able to receive the signal at night. And if you’re in El Centro, how do you even receive a Primary Entry Point (PEP) signal required for national tests?
Richard Rudman, California State Emergency Coordination Committee Vice-Chair, has some viable suggestions for receiving PEPs:
- Monitor your usual LP-1, like KOGO, which depends on receiving a PEP signal
- Monitor the NPR network via satellite
- Monitor an NPR affiliate like KPBS San Diego or KQVO Calexico
- Monitor SiriusXM’s “barker” channel.
The latter option is worth explaining. You can use any SiriusXM receiver and as long as you hear audio, you’re good. The barker channel is the free channel used as a reception confidence signal and for promoting their subscription options. In the event of a national emergency or test, they interrupt that, or any, active channel you are listening to with any national EAS message.