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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.”
Continue reading Stations Should Note Reason for IPAWS April 26 RWT Failure