The following is from the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA’s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 1 DEADLINE FOR ONLINE PUBLIC FILE
All radio stations both commercial and non-commercial are reminded that March 1st is the deadline for moving your public files to the FCC hosted website. For complete information view the video produced by the Alabama Broadcasters Association here.
The Federal Communication Commission's Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau have announced they will be visiting approximately 60 repacked television stations over the coming months. These visits are planned to validate the existence and functionality of current baseline equipment for repacked stations as part of the FCC's effort to ensure that repacking funds are spent prudently. Stations will be randomly selected, and the number of stations visited may be subject to change. The FCC will notify chosen stations by letter and set up a pre-visit conference call to discuss details.
POSSIBLE POWER INCREASE FOR CLASS A FM STATIONS
The FCC is considering the creation of a new class of FM stations labeled C4. The commission will circulate a notice of proposed rule making that would allow some Class A stations to increase their ERP from 6 Kw to 12 Kw. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “This idea has been sitting around for a while — long before I got into this position, an NPRM would allow us to ask the right questions, explore the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal and receive the review of all stakeholders.”
The proposal is not without controversial, especially from owners of LPFM's and translator's that may have to move or shut down operations.
We have mentioned this before....but we continue to encourage engineers to check the quality of the received audio from your EAS monitor sources. A recent review of weather alerts from various stations revealed that the audio quality was very poor. Either bad hum and poor signal from the weather receiver. This type of problem is not apparent just by checking the station log each week. Simply listen to the audio on each one of the monitor inputs and make necessary corrections. Alerts are useless if the audio is not intelligible.
NEW SBE MEMBER PLUS
A reminder to all SBE members that membership renewals are due April 1. We encourage you to take a look at the new membership level of MemberPlus. This new membership level will allow members to have unlimited access to the entire archived catalogue of SBE webinars, plus all new webinars produced during the membership year. The additional cost for MemberPlus is less than the price of two SBE webinars...a great deal. Visit the SBE website for more details.
USE OF SOLAR PANELS CONTINUES TO INCREASE
Alabama Power has constructed one of the largest solar energy facilities in the state. The 72 MW solar facility sits on 1,400 rolling acres in Chambers County, just south of LaFayette. It has the energy equivalent of what it typically takes to power about 18,000 homes. It uses more than 338,000 solar panels that automatically track the sun for optimum efficiency. Approximately 57,000 pilings were installed in 4,000 rows to create the solar energy facility.