Category Archives: News

Digital Alert Systems Issues New FEMA IPAWS CA File to Replace Expiring Certificate

DASDEC and One-Net Users Must Update Certificate Before Aug. 21 to Maintain Proper Operation

LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. — July 20, 2021 — Digital Alert Systems, the global leader in emergency communications solutions for video services providers, today announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

The company has released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the DASDECTM and One-NetTM 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 Aug. 21. All U.S. DASDEC and One-Net users are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to ensure the required message authentication continues to operate properly. Digital Alert Systems reminds all EAS participants the FCC requires them to “configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.”

“With just a few weeks to go, we urge DASDEC and One-Net customers to update their certificate files before Aug. 21 to prevent any disruptions,” said Adam Jones, senior sales engineer for Digital Alert Systems. “While this seems like an annual occurrence, our customers will be pleased to know this new certificate is good until April of 2024!”

Digital certificates, called CAs, are used by FEMA to create a chain of trust between an EAS device and the IPAWS servers. The DASDEC and One-Net EAS/CAP devices use these special digital certificates to validate the authenticity of IPAWS-sourced CAP alerts. These certificates are designed to expire on a specific date and time, requiring the issuing authority to publish new certificates as replacements.

All DASDEC and One-Net customers using the IPAWS system must have the latest certificates in place so only messages authenticated through IPAWS are processed. IPAWS users who do not update their equipment before Aug. 21 could see this error message: “Event Log: Digital Signature

VERIFICATION ERROR: Signer UNTRUSTED! Check for correct CAP decoder CA file.” Alternatively, the device might simply ignore valid IPAWS alerts.

The new field service bulletin and CA file are now available from the Digital Alert Systems website at www.digitalalertsystems.com/DAS_pages/resources_fsb.html. DASDEC and One-Net customers should go to the website, download the field service bulletin for instructions, and link to the new CA file.

Further information about Digital Alert Systems and its products is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com.

Sage ENDEC Offers Firmware Update

Sage Alerting Systems has announced that the Sage Digital ENDEC model 3644 users should concern themselves with two upcoming events:

FEMA Signing Certificate updates (CR-Rev6)

A signing certificate used by FEMA to validate CAP alerts will expire on Aug 21, 2021 at 21:00:00 UTC. Sage has released a free firmware update for Rev95 that you must install to permit your ENDEC to continue to receive EAS CAP alerts from FEMA after that date. You can install the CR-Rev6 update at any time before August 21, 2021. You do not need to install it before the National Periodic Test as the NPT will not use CAP this year.
Please go to the Sage firmware update page at https://www.sagealertingsystems.com/support-firmware-new.htm to read the release notes and download the update file. You must already be running the Rev95 release to install this update.

National Periodic Test (NPT)

This year’s test will be sent via the Primary Entry Point (PEP) network, that is, via over-the-air audio-EAS only, on August 11, 2021 at 2:20p.m. EDT. CAP will not be used. To help ensure that you will receive and relay this test, take the following steps:

1) Check your log to make sure that you are receiving weekly tests from your monitor assignments, and that you have been originating weekly tests and relaying Monthly Tests as required by your license type.

2) Make sure your ENDEC has a filter to receive and relay the NPT. The easiest way to check this is to access your ENDEC with a web browser. From the main page, click the Tools button on the left column, then click the “Verify Req” button. If you see “Your ENDEC will meet the FCC requirements for the National Periodic Test” on the last line, your ENDEC is ready.

If you have any questions regarding this update or the NPT, please email us at support@… or call 914-872-4069 and press 1 for support. If you get voice mail, please leave a message and we will call you back.

FM Stations Finish the Great Mt. Soledad Antenna Swap

[Updated July 18, 2021] Crews working at the KFMB-TV transmit site on Mt. Soledad last month replaced the 8-bay multi-station Dielectric FM transmit antenna with a new antenna. The current group of sharing stations switched temporarily to the old aux antenna Monday, June 7. Then, Wireless Infrastructure Services disassembled the ERI antenna known as “Quadzilla.” They replaced it with a new 12-bay, 1/2-wavelength spaced Dielectric antenna designed to handle the greater power from the three moved from neighborhood transmitters. 

The FCC in late February and early March granted Minor Modification applications for all of the iHeartMedia FM stations atop Mt. Soledad to consolidate at the historic KFMB-TV site, moving from KGTV’s antenna across the street. iHeart’s KMYI 94.1 and KIOZ 105.3 will join current master FM antenna partners KPBS-FM 89.5, KBZT (FM) 94.9, KXSN (FM) 98.1, and KFBG (FM) 100.7. EMF’s KLVJ (FM) 102.1 Encinitas has taken delivery of a Nautel GV15 transmitter and will move its signal from the UCSD tower site to the new master FM antenna, as well. 

iHeartMedia’s KSSX (FM) 95.7 Carlsbad moved from KGTV to KFMB-TV, but their allocation requires a separate, directional antenna that was mounted on the tenant tower at KFMB-TV. The signal has some reduction in signal toward Mexico to the southeast. Last week, Vic Soelberg installed the new Dielectric antenna. 

All the stations on the KFMB-TV site fired up their transmitters at full power during the week of July 11–17, the last ones late in the week after an air conditioning upgrade was finalized.

The FCC granted a Minor Modification application for iHeart Media to move K277DH, the KLSD (AM) translator on 103.3 MHz, from a KGTV-owned tower to the KFMB-TV tower. The CP specifies a vertically polarized Kathrein yagi with an east-west orientation at 250 watts ERP. 

Since the KFMB Stations were sold to TEGNA, InSite had been managing the site for income. American Tower Corp. recently acquired all of the InSite properties and management contracts and has taken over management of the KFMB-TV property.

FCC Asks KUMI to Do Some Explaining

A letter from the FCC to Activist San Diego dated June 24, 2021 orders the licensee of KUMI (FM) 89.9 MHz Romona to explain why it filed a License to Cover its construction but apparently never built the station.

That letter is in response to one filed with the FCC in October 2020 from John Fox, General Manager of KPRI (FM) 91.3 MHz Pala in which Mr. Fox complains that:

  • Activist San Diego was never given permission to enter the reservation land it lists as the transmitter location
  • The location licensed has not been disturbed in any way
  • Documents supporting the license application for KUMI contain false statements
  • The station had not operated on the designated frequency (89.9 MHz) anywhere in the region for the 16 months prior to the letter being written to the FCC.

KUMI’s license specifies a transmitter location on Los Coyotes Band of Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians land on Hot Springs Mountain near Warner Springs.

The FCC is requiring Activist San Diego to explain the discrepancies within 30 days or face “adverse actions jeopardizing both the Station’s license and call letters.”

Activist San Diego also operates KNSJ (FM) 89.1 Descanso, transmitting from Monument Peak with 330 watts horizontal and 290 watts vertical. The political organization is based in North Park, San Diego.

National EAS Test Resuming This August

The National Periodic Test, not conducted last year during the heat of the pandemic, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11, 2021. The transmission will be through the network of PEP (Primary Entry Point) stations—not through the IPAWS network.

San Diego County Stations can validate the NPT using their normally assigned LP sources, like LP-1 KOGO 600 kHz and LP-2 KLSD 1360 kHz. Additionally, KPBS 89.5 MHz is considered a PEP station by virtue of its affiliation with NPR. SiriusXM Radio has also been authorized as a PEP source. But you don’t need to reconfigure your system to confirm the National Periodic Test if it’s working for normal RWTs and RMTs.