Weekly Tech Reminders: EAS, Repack, UPS & More

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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The following is excerpted from the Alabama Broadcasters Association's weekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to Larry Wilkins, who puts together the content and has shared it with Radio magazine readers. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an email to lwilkins@al-ba.com, and he will add you to the database.

NATIONAL EAS TEST RESCHEDULED FOR OCT. 3

As you are aware, due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence, FEMA rescheduled the National Test of the EAS system to Wednesday, Oct. 3. It will be fed via IPAWS at 1:20 p.m. (CDT). All Broadcasters and Cable systems are required to receive and relay this test. Once the test is completed EAS Participants are required to submit Form 2 by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) Oct. 3 on their ETRS site. The site can be reached here.

Participants should have someone monitoring this test to assure that it was received and relayed correctly and there were no problems with the quality of the audio. This information will be required on form 2. 

If you operate a facility in Alabama, we ask that if you experienced any problems with the test, to send an email describing the problem to the Alabama SECC. 

Special note....stations are reminded that the current IPAWS digital certificate will expire today, Sept. 24. To ensure a successful NPT test on the rescheduled date of Oct. 3, you must install the updated CA file. Otherwise CAP alert messages may not be authenticated after Sept. 24, not just the NPT — all CAP messages using that required authentication certificate. 

Log on to your equipment vendor web site to download the certificate update.

TV REPACK UPDATE

T-Mobile is continuing to lay the foundation for nationwide 5G in 2020 with 5G-ready equipment and has just announced that it has now lit up 600 MHz (Band 71) Extended Range LTE in 1,254 cities and towns in 36 states, including the island of Puerto Rico.

T-Mobile's notes that Extended Range LTE signals travel twice as far from the tower and are four times better in buildings than mid-band LTE, providing increased coverage and capacity. The so-called Un-carrier has already deployed Extended Range LTE to more than 80% of Americans with 700 MHz (Band 12), and rapidly began deploying it with 600 MHz (Band 71) last year to expand coverage and capacity even further.

As T-Mobile rolls out its Band 71 infrastructure, licensed and unlicensed wireless audio equipment operators must vacate frequency spectrum in the 600 MHz band in the relevant regions. Failure to do so may result in a hefty fine.

NOTES ON USING UPS 

Most Engineers are aware of the importance of using an uninterruptible power source to help protect equipment in their operation.

Here are a few guidelines for proper use of these systems:

  • Have one UPS per rack. If you have multiple racks, consider having a UPS at the bottom of each rack. Also make sure that each UPS is fed from a separate AC circuit breaker.
  • Don't connect main and backup systems to the same UPS. Engineers organize stuff in racks in different ways. Separate main and backup systems into different racks.
  • Keep main and backups in the same rack call for clearly labelled power strips. If you have only one rack, or you have mains and backups in the same rack already, then install a specific AC outlet strip fed by a separate UPS and plug backups into that, instead.
  • Keep mains on UPS. Keep backups on raw power. If you simply don't have room for two UPSs, then keep backups plugged into raw power instead. Make sure your remote control, used for the switching, isn't plugged into the UPS.

You likely know there are two types of UPSs: those that only switch over to battery power when there is a power failure, and those that are online all the time.

Online UPSs use double-conversion, meaning they take the AC power, rectify it, and then use the DC to generate a sine-wave output. There's no switchover time because the batteries are diode-combined into the DC source for the 60 Hz oscillator.

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