Weekly Tech Reminders: License Renewal, C Band, Air Filters & More

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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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 lwilkins@al-ba.com.

LICENSE RENEWAL

The FCC has announced that the license renewal schedule will begin next year. Station licenses are granted for a term of eight years after which all stations must file for a license renewal. Alabama and Georgia will need to file their renewal application by Dec. 1, 2019.

The reason for this early reminder is so that stations can have time to review and correct any issues with your Online Public File. All radio stations outside of the top 50 markets were required to place their public files on the FCC hosted website by March 1. If you have not done so we urged you to make sure you address this as soon as possible as this could affect your license renewal next year.

If you have any questions about the online filing contact the ABA office or your communications attorney.

C BAND REGISTRATION 

For the last several weeks we have been reminding broadcasters about the importance of registering all C band satellite downlinks.

The FCC has begun to look at the possibility of allowing mobile broadband operations in the 3.7–4.2 GHz frequency band, known as the C Band. This is the satellite downlink band used by all major networks and programmers.

If this takes place radio and television stations could lose their satellite signals due to interference from the mobile broadband operations. The FCC needs to understand how important the C band is to all broadcasters.

The NAB, SBE and state broadcast associations are urging stations that presently have C band satellite dishes to register them with the FCC. As NAB points out

normally applications for earth station licenses, or registration in the 3.7–4.2 GHz band, would require a frequency coordination report demonstrating coordination with terrestrial stations, however the Commission has waived the frequency coordination requirement for the applications for a 90-day period ending on July 18.

Applications must be filed electronically through IBFS at http://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs. You will need the station FRN number and password to log into the site. Once logged in select and complete Form 312 Schedule B, remit the statutory application filing fee, and provide any additional information required by applicable rules. The filing fee is $435.

Listed here are detailed instructions, provided by space providers SES and Linkup Satellite, that you can follow to complete registration.

AIR FILTERS AT TRANSMITTERS 

As summer gets started, engineers are reminded to keep a close watch on the air filters in the transmitter and air handling equipment. Overheating is major cause of equipment failure, so clean or replace air filters as often as necessary to maintain sufficient flow of air.

If your site has a central A/C unit or wall pack, have your local A/C service center conduct a thorough inspection on the units. A little preventive maintenance now could save the station money and lost air time.

EPOCH???

Epoch may sound like the latest in the flu virus, but it is how the time synchronization counters in digital audio and video are linked together.

Epoch means the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of someone or something. Unix epoch time is the number of seconds that have elapsed since Jan. 1, 1970 (midnight UTC/GMT). Highly accurate counters are used in the creation and synchronization of among other things analog to digital convertors.

Epoch is the "start point" in time that defines the "zero" count. Time is then measured from the Epoch to the present using a precise frequency of any unit desired.

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