Welcome to SBE Chapter 33
SBE Chapter 33 represents the Society of Broadcast Engineers and its members in Southwestern Ohio, which includes the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas. If you work in a technical capacity at a broadcast or related facility in our area, or are a contract engineer or broadcast consultant based in Southwest Ohio, please consider joining our Society.
IMPORTANT from SBE
National EAS Test Date Set
May 3, 2021
Posted June 12, 2021
In accordance with the provisions set forth in CFR 47, Part 11.61(a)(3) Tests of EAS Procedures, FEMA hereby notifies the Commission that FEMA has selected Wednesday, August 11, 2021, as the primary test date for the 2021 national EAS test with Wednesday, August 25, 2021 as a back-up date should conditions preclude conducting the test on the primary date. FEMA proposes to conduct this test at 2:20 PM EDT (18:20 GMT). The test message will use the National Periodic Test (NPT) event code and be geo-targeted using the All-US (000000) geocode.
NOW is the time to make sure your EAS encoder/decoder’s firmware has been has been updated and has the current version for your unit.
April 27, 2021
Stations Should Note Reason for IPAWS April 26 RWT Failure
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.”
All EAS devices should have rejected the test. The error affected all units, Sage Endec, DasDec and Trilithic.
On the Sage Endec, if the EAS decoder was configured correctly the message would not have been logged. DasDec and Trilithic would have logged the test but would have an error message attached. If it had been an actual alert the units would not auto forward.
1) If the alert arrived via CAP, the “signature validation” settings are probably incorrect.
2) If the alert arrived via some other CAP source, such as a CAP satellite feed, then check the settings for that CAP server.
3) If the alert arrived via an analog input, then an upstream device may be misconfigured. There are some 3rd party boxes that will receive a CAP message and output the analog legacy EAS format as audio. Some stations in some states will have that box connected to an audio input. If that box is configured to pass CAP messages with validation errors to the analog output, then it needs to be checked.
All the EAS units would have reported failed validations in a temporary log. Users should check with their device manufacture for the exact location of that file and the correct “signature validation” settings for the unit.
Stations should check and correct any issues before the next test on May 3, 2021. Stations should insert a note in the Station Log indicating the failed test and the reason for failure.
More from the SBE
Upcoming webinars are:
- Cloud Streaming: Techniques for Executing Content for Maximum Distribution on April 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This short tutorial will give attendees a good working understanding of the streaming audio process from playout to end listener. Kirk A. Harnack, CBRE, CBNE, Senior Systems Consultant, The Telos Alliance, and SBE Board Member, presents.
- 2021 IP Networking, Part 4: Network Architecture & Design for Real-Time Media on April 29, 2021, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Part 4 of the series focuses on understanding network architecture and network design for real-time media transport. Wayne Pecena, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, ATSC3, DRB, CBNE, associate director of educational broadcast services at Texas A&M University and current SBE president, leads the series.
You likely know someone who is not an SBE member, but should be. The SBE wants your help in recruiting new members during the membership drive, and you can win rewards for your efforts. Get complete information about the SBE Member Drive at the SBE website.
Take the Annual SBE Compensation Survey Today. Online now and active through May 17, the independent survey provides a look at the salaries and benefits earned by those in our industry. Results are categorized by radio and television, market size and job titles, and provide useful information to individuals and employers. All survey responses are anonymous. Survey results will be made available in July for free to all SBE members.
Watch the SBE WEBxtra on April 19. The next SBE WEBxtra will focus on ideas for those who have been laid off or looking for work. We’re working to arrange a career counselor as our guest. Watch your email for the announcement.
SBE membership renewal time just passed! The deadline was April 1, so if you haven’t done so already, renew now. Membership dues are the same as last year. If you did not receive your renewal in the mail, please contact Scott Jones at 317-846-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become SBE Certified! To take an SBE certification exam at your local chapter during the June 4-14 exam window, submit your SBE certification exam application to the national office by April 16. For more information about SBE Certification, see your chapter certification chair or contact Megan Clappe, Certification Director at the SBE National Office at (317) 846-9000 or email@example.com.
The SBE Awards Program is awaiting your nominations for chapter and individual awards. Nominate someone or a chapter today.
Happy New Year to all of our SBE-33 members
January 4, 2020
1. The new SBE Technical Professional Training (TPT) program begins January 1, to help encourage and train new people in the broadcast/media technical field. Stations, station groups, networks and state broadcaster associations are encouraged to cover the $475 cost to sign up their new or newer engineers. The TPT includes SBE MemberPlus membership (gives access to all SBE webinars), one download of the SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) CertPreview (exam prep software), SBE CBT exam session, a copy of the SBE Broadcast Engineer Handbook and participation in the SBE Mentor program. See the SBE website for details.
2. SBE membership renewal is coming soon. Watch for the renewal letter in the mail in early February. All membership dues levels are remaining the same for 2021.
Please join me in congratulating John Poray on his retirement, and thanking him for his many years of service. We welcome Jim Ragsdale as the new SBE Executive Director.
Jim Stitt CPBE
To Our Dayton-area TV Station Engineers from your SBE33 Frequency Coordinator
November 19, 2020
Please be advised that the Navy and Marine Corps Spectrum Center in Ft. Meade, MD, has asked for coordination of a year-long test of a mobile CubeSat command and control ground station uplink at Wright Patterson AFB. This testing is scheduled to begin in February, will utilize 2037.5 MHz, operate at no more than 30 watts TPO into a 35dBi parabolic antenna, and use rather narrow-band (compared to TV usage) emission designators 400KG1D and 100KG1D (essentially 400kHz and 100kHz phase-modulated single-carrier digital telemetry).
As you know, 2037.5 MHz is the channel edge between channels A1 and A2 in that band. Stations utilizing the upper 6 MHz of channel A1 or the lower 6 MHz of channel A2 during the testing period MIGHT experience some interference, but given the modulation, RF power, and proximity of stations’ 2GHz auxiliary equipment to Wright Patterson, that likelihood is probably small. The modulation is not one TV broadcasters use (read big military secret) and satellite control ground stations usually have their antennas pointing up; however, these are LEO satellites (low earth orbit) and will be moving horizon to horizon, and 14.77dBW into a 35dBi antenna is nearly 100,000 W EIRP. While the satellite(s) should be “well lit,” we don’t know side-lobe/splatter characteristics of the antenna, and stranger things have happened. Hence this head’s up to you.
BTW, we just can’t say “no” to the DoD. The FCC requires us to share this band and play nice, and so we will. However, if your station has a legitimate beef with the proposed activity, by all means let me know, and I’ll be happy to pass it along. Send your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can review the coordination request HERE.
You can also read more about this project at https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/c-missions/circe.
Lastly, not that I wish to hurry you, I have 10-15 days in which to respond. Thanks.
Russ Hines, SBE33 Frequency Coordinator
ARE YOU A C-BAND SATELLITE USER?
SBE Keeps It’s Eye Open On Spectrum Turbulence
An interesting article posted yesterday on the Radio World website, a perspective regarding the SBE and “spectrum turbulence.” We can’t imagine anything more turbulent than Repack, but as the saying goes, it could always be worse. Click HERE.
How Repack Affects the Operation of Wireless Microphones
A phone call from SBE 33 Vice-Chair Jerry Erwin prompted a little research. Here’s what the FCC says: Operation of Wireless Microphones.
Here is a link to a YouTube video of a presentation titled, “Building the Advanced RF Transmission System at One World Trade Center” that was made October 27, 2017 as a part of the AES Convention in New York City.