SBE Releases Broadcast Station Self-Inspection Guides

The SBE has released new Broadcast Station Self-Inspection Guides for FM and TV broadcast stations. The SBE partnered with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to produce the documents, which are the first part of a planned series to cover all broadcast services. These Guides are designed to aid stations and Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) inspectors in evaluating a broadcast station’s compliance with FCC rules and regulations.

The Guides were developed to replace the FCC Self-Inspection Checklists that were first released in the 1990s, but have not been updated for nearly 15 years. While the previous Checklists only provided references to rules, the new SBE Guides include recommended practices for stations to establish policies and procedures for their own stations to ensure overall regulatory compliance. The Guides are available for download from the SBE website under the Legislative/Regulatory and Resources tab. They are free to SBE members.

EAS Digital Certification Update Required

[ FEMA Bulletin] An element of the current Emergency Alert System (EAS) IPAWS CAP message verification certificate used by EAS devices will expire on Sunday, April 28. Any EAS device not updated prior to that date will no longer be able to authenticate received IPAWS CAP messages. EAS device manufacturers have included the updated verification certificate in recently published updates or made it available via other means. If you have not done so already, please reach out to your EAS manufacturer as soon as possible to replace the existing digital certification bundle or update your EAS device firmware, as necessary. You may review your EAS device logs following the regular Monday morning IPAWS RWT to determine if your EAS device has the updated verification certificate.

Thank you to all our AM/FM radio, television, and cable partners. Every day we see the impact of the lifesaving EAS alerts you voluntarily distribute. Your community is safer because of you. 

Please let us know if you have any questions at

SBE Alert: Be Alert to Possible Interference to Your 6 GHz Microwave Systems

[From SBE National HQ] The FCC recently authorized unlicensed very low power (VLP) devices in the 6 GHz spectrum band: 5.925-7.125 GHz. The FCC is also actively considering proposals to allow even greater VLP and LPI (low-power indoor) use in the Band.

The SBE, the NAB, and others have expressed concern that the FCC’s proposals to increase unlicensed use of the 6 GHz Band could introduce harmful interference to broadcasters’ licensed electronic newsgathering (ENG) activities in the band. Interference and reduced margin in fixed BAS links (STLs, etc.) may also be a problem as Wi-Fi-6E devices become common. Consequently, we urge you do fully document the performance of any 6 GHz fixed links that your station may have (signal levels, margin to failure, error rates, etc.). We are also interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced interference in the 6 GHz Band that could be attributable to unlicensed devices.

One local San Diego example of this was recently observed at Snapdragon Stadium where ball-tracking technology at a rugby game using ultra-wideband 6.5 GHz centered emissions. They were using very low power and the stadium mildly shields radiation outside the stadium bowl, but similar used in front of your stadium or transmitter site could be detrimental to the reception of your Studio-Transmitter Link or ENG signal. –Gary Stigall, editor

If you have experienced interference to your ENG operations in the 6 GHz band over the past several months, please notify the SBE at no later than April 17. And remember, any interference should be reported via the FCC Interference Reporting portal.

More background on 6 GHz interference was provided in the August 2023 issue of The Signal on page 12.

Rockley “Rocky” Curless, KPBS Engineer Remembered

KPBS staffers learned that Rockley Curless, 75, died on March 14, 2024. No cause of death was given, and “Rocky,” as he was known by nearly everyone, was seen out and about as late as two days before his reported death. He had formally retired from KPBS on January 31, 2024. Memorial Services for him were held in April at the Miramar Military Cemetery.

Photo by Tony McDaid

Director of Engineering Leon Messenie said Rockley had assumed the position of RF Maintenance Supervisor after Tom Oaklund retired in 2004. He cared for the KPBS RF facilitlies from La Jolla to Calexico. Before coming to KPBS, he had been an engineer at KUSI San Diego. He also worked in broadcasting in Palm Springs and Hawaii. He was a helicopter flight engineer for the US Army with 22 months duty in Vietnam.

Leon said, “Rockley seemed to have lots of stories from his many broadcasting years.  He really loved working at the transmitter.  He would always talk to the equipment and say goodbye to the transmitters when he would lock up and leave.  He was a very nice and caring person and will be missed.”

Society of Broadcast Engineers