Weekly Tech Reminders: Redundancy, Cybersecurity & 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�sweekly e-newsletter, Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes. Thanks to ABA�s Larry Wilkins. To subscribe to the newsletter, emaillwilkins@al-ba.com.


Scott Johnson with Wheatstone wrote an interesting article about the massive power failure at the Atlanta International Airport on Dec. 17 of last year. It is a reminder to all engineers to keep a watch out for �one point of failure� situations in your broadcast operations.


With the heavy use of computers of all types in our broadcasting facilities, interference from the outside world, known as cybersecurity continues to a problem. Developers of hardware and software battle this everyday and recently issued a report of �hardware flaws.�

While most security holes have been in software, this newly revealed weakness is in hardware, in the processing chip itself.


Stations should be aware that FCC rules 73.1870 indicates that the licensee of each AM, FM, TV or Class A TV broadcast station must designate a person to serve as the station's chief operator.

The primary duty of the chief operator is the verification that the station has been operated as required by the rules or the station authorization. They are to review the station records at least once each week to determine if required entries are being made correctly.

Upon completion of the review, the chief operator or his designee must date and sign the log, initiate any corrective action which may be necessary, and advise the station licensee of any condition which is repetitive.

Information that is required to be recorded on the Station Log is available here.


As radio stations begin to post their public files on the FCC hosted web site here are a few tips you should remember. If you are inputting information for an AM station, check to see if the FCC has posted your license in the "station information" tab. If not, it means they do not have it in electronic form in their database and you must manually scan and upload to the site.

On the same "station information" tab upload any missing part 74 licenses (STL, RPU, translator, satellite uplink, etc.) to the additional documents folder.


Last week we did a refresher look at symbol rates as used in Digital Television transmission. Thought we would continue this theme and look at the transport streams this week. Don't worry you radio guys... we will get to you next week.

Once the individual program streams are multiplexed together they become a transport stream. These streams can end up being either ASI or SMPTE 310M.

We have put together a short description of each here.