EAS Monitoring Requirements

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jthorusen
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EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by jthorusen »

I should have left my blinders on... then everything would be peachy.

According to the Oregon state emergency plan, our little LPFM, call sign KWPB, is supposed to monitor two radio stations as our EAS link requirements. The primary is KWAX, listed as 91.3. This is the University of Oregon station located in Eugene. There are two small problems with this: The first is that Eugene is on the other side of the coastal mountain range for us and there is no way that we would ever hear them. The second problem is that KWAX operates on 91.1, not 91.3.

OK, no big problem, because they have a translator in Newport, K217FZ that operates at 91.3 and this is what we have been monitoring. They routinely identify as KWAX, which put me to sleep even further, as I didn't know where KWAX was actually located... I thought it was a local Newport station. However, the classical format tipped me.... the only classical station I know of in Oregon (other than the stations associated with allclassical.org) is the U of O station.... which is NOT on 91.3.

Oh, by the way, KWAX is listed as our first required.

So, my question is, since the state emergency plan lists KWAX and a frequency 91.3 which is actually their translator K217FZ and is the only way we could ever hear a KWAX signal, are we in compliance with the state emergency plan and FCC regs?

Thanks,
James K. (Jim) Thorusen
KB6GM
Central Coast Electronics
www.centcoast.com
NW Oregon Consulting Bdcst Eng.

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kkiddkkidd
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Location: Lawrenceburg, TN

Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by kkiddkkidd »

James,

The freq discrepancy is not of particular concern to me but monitoring the xlator rather than the full power originating station might be an issue.

I would suggest that you have a conversation with the SECC and/or state broadcast organization. At one time the FCC told broadcasters to request waivers from the SECC or whoever maintained the state plan. Now it appears that they are requiring that waivers be obtained from the FCC BUT I have not been able to find exactly who at the FCC issues those waivers. Whatever you do, get it in writing...

They can not make you break the rules of physics... If a required LP/PEP station is not receivable for a valid reason (tall chunk of dirt between your antenna and the LP/PEP is a valid reason in my estimation), another station or method of reception should be assigned by someone...

Can you hear any of the state plan LP's? OR any other state LP? A couple of my clients sit right on the TN/AL state line has (or at least had) a waiver to monitor Alabama LP's instead of the required Nashville FM's. The Nashville FM's were very weak and often not decodable even with good receivers and antenna's. Now it appears that the FCC may have revoked those waivers without telling anyone.

Regards,
--
Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

TPT
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by TPT »

Supposedly the Commission was going to set up a standardized state plans. Never saw what became of that idea.

Some state plans are good, some are concocted by good-old-boys in the state capital over lunch.

I take care of one full power noncom (900 watts at 160' AHAAT--but it is the only radio station in the county) that has never shown in any of the revisions of the state plan...and it was founded back in 2001.

According to the state plan on line your choice is KWAX, some 65 miles away--which is blanked out by this local translator, or KOGL, a 200 watt station 10 miles up the coast, with an antenna 14 meters below average terrain. The plan lists LAECC Chair, Dave Miller dmiller@ybcradio.com, as the local contact. Suggest you get in touch with him ( if that is still a valid contact) and get a letter designating a more practical outlet.

Radio Locator lists KFLY in Covallis as some 34 miles away--this appears to be a full Class C station. More logical for a relay station.

TPT
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by TPT »

Here we go, digging deeper in their state plan. The local primary-1 is KYTE in Independance, Oregon, 27 miles away, while the secondary local primary (LP2) is 97.5, KSHL, in Lincoln Beach, which appears to be only 10 miles away.

You would monitor one of those two stations (or both). The Local Primary stations would make more sense from a public warning status since they would carry local emergency warnings as well as state monthly tests.

The last time I've heard a state wide EAS alert (as opposed to tests) was back in the EBS days when WV governor Rockefeller triggered a blizzard warning.

I like to buy old "slide rule dial" tuners off E-bay for monitoring since they stay tuned without needing a UPS--you can find some good brands for under $50--so you could monitor both if you were so inclined.

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Shane
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by Shane »

Hello Jim,

To my eyes, the assignments page of the Oregon state plan appears to utilize the convention of using the local frequency (i.e.: translator or satellite station) for a station’s monitoring assignments along with the callsign of the parent station, even though technically that is not the call sign of the signal they’re saying you must monitor, thus the listing of KWAX as 91.3 instead of 91.1.

I’ve heard (or, more likely, read) of stations being cited or fined for not monitoring the specified signal in their state plan. Presumably, they were listening to something more practical without or before receiving the required waiver from whomever it’s supposed to come now.

Also, if one decides to go all in and monitor more than 2 sources, just because they aren’t required doesn’t relieve one of the need to receive a weekly test every week from that source, complete with a log entry for tests not received and why. So for some operations it doesn’t make sense to do more than what is required.

<my opinion mode> This is part of the participation incentive included in the EAS rules. <my opinion/sarcasm mode off>
Mike Shane, CBRE
— — Omaha — —

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jthorusen
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by jthorusen »

For the general information of those interested in this thread, I received the following reply from the Oregon SBE EAS coordinator, Chris Murray, to my query concerning this issue and specifically whether I needed FCC permission to monitor a translator. I reproduce his reply verbatim:
No you do not need permission. KWAX is your source of the president’s message. KOPB in Portland is the state’s primary and we rely on their 57 translators to distribute the signal statewide. Monitoring translators is completely legal. KWAX monitors KOPB and the 91.3 is your source of the Primary Entry Point. The LP-1 is the Local Primary and is the source of local emergencies. You should monitor both.
Regards,
James K. (Jim) Thorusen
KB6GM
Central Coast Electronics
www.centcoast.com
NW Oregon Consulting Bdcst Eng.

musiconradio.com
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by musiconradio.com »

Do you have a TV station on the list?

We monitor Alabama Public Television. We have a small LCD TV monitor in the rack and feed the EAS with it. The other advantage you have a visual to make sure you are getting a signal.

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by kkiddkkidd »

musiconradio.com wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:14 am
Do you have a TV station on the list?

We monitor Alabama Public Television. We have a small LCD TV monitor in the rack and feed the EAS with it. The other advantage you have a visual to make sure you are getting a signal.
I use the HD to analog converters with discrete outputs for APT monitoring. We tried a cheap LCD TV at one station but they complained about the flickering picture. Not sure if it is APT's programming, the TV or what, but I noticed myself that there were many very dark to very bright transitions during the short time that I watched it.

However, exactly ZERO of the converters that I have tried, turn back on following a power interruption. I plug them into a small UPS if there isn't a UPS already in the rack.

Later,
--
Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

Ray
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by Ray »

Digital Alert Systems (formerly Monroe) is now offering a "special" price for a EAS firmware catchup to the current version 4 for $390 until June.
This will take you from whatever version you are now using to the current version. I don't know if June means until June 1 or the end of June
Not cheap but before you had to pay a fee for each version since your last upgrade (about $1K to upgrade from version 2 to version 4).
I really like the EAS boxes, very trouble free but the software upgrades are expensive as we have discussed. Not sure when they are going to release a version 5, but most folks here seem to be running version 3 which has all the new security upgrades.
Ray

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kkiddkkidd
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Re: EAS Monitoring Requirements

Post by kkiddkkidd »

Ray wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 6:25 am
Digital Alert Systems (formerly Monroe) is now offering a "special" price for a EAS firmware catchup to the current version 4 for $390 until June.
This will take you from whatever version you are now using to the current version. I don't know if June means until June 1 or the end of June
Not cheap but before you had to pay a fee for each version since your last upgrade (about $1K to upgrade from version 2 to version 4).
I really like the EAS boxes, very trouble free but the software upgrades are expensive as we have discussed. Not sure when they are going to release a version 5, but most folks here seem to be running version 3 which has all the new security upgrades.
Ray
I wonder if they would offer a "rebate" for the customers that they fleeced out of the extra $600 last year... I didn't like the DasDec units before they decided to gouge on a mandated update but I now have a very, very serious dislike of them now. I see that they are now offering a monthly/yearly "software assurance plan" but don't bother to mention a price.

I am glad that Dodge doesn't have the same fouled up update policy. If so, I would have had to have bought 2008 - 2017 trucks when I traded for my new 2018 Ram.

I have a client with a surplus DasDec unit that was replaced in lieu of paying the gouge if anybody is interested. It has v2.6 installed. I also have another client with an upgraded DasDec that is considering replacing it to standardize units across their stations (not to mention that they hate the DasDec).

Later,
--
Kevin C. Kidd CSRE/AMD
WD4RAT
AM Ground Systems Company
http://www.amgroundsystems.com
KK Broadcast Engineering
http://www.kkbc.com

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