Weekly Tech Reminders: Satellite, ATSC 3.0, USB & More

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes
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The following is from theAlabama 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.

You just never know.

Doesn't matter how large your budget or how much equipment you have you just never know when something will fail. Last night NBC lost video and audio during the Super Bowl for 29 seconds. A report from the network indicated a failure with a piece of technical equipment.


Wireless broadband services continue to search for additional available spectrum to expand their services. The Public Radio Satellite System is reminding radio stations of the importance of registering their C Band earth station terminals, since "there is a significant chance any FCC action to permit wireless broadband access to C-band spectrum could result in interference to unregistered/unlicensed satellite C Band earth stations."


The Federal Register posted last week that the final rule for allowing broadcasters to roll out the standard on a "market-driven, voluntary basis" will has been published on Feb., with the rule going into effect 30 days after that, according to the FCC.


Because Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (the latest generation for USB) use the same connector, it's not surprising that some people are confused over which is which, or think they must be the same - but there are significant differences.

Thunderbolt 3 is currently the fastest data transfer protocol. It can transfer up to 40 Gbit/s with short cable runs (depending on whether you're using passive or active cables � more info below), and 20 Gbit/s with longer cables. USB 3.1 Gen 2 tops out at 10 Gbit/s. (Note these figures are best-case � not all peripherals can run at those speeds.)

Thunderbolt is also bidirectional and provides four lanes for PCI Express Gen 3 and eight lanes for DisplayPort 1.2 connections. What's more, you can also daisy-chain multiple Thunderbolt devices so they share a single Thunderbolt port; whereas every USB device is a selfish little critter that needs to connect via its own cable to its own port.


As a quick reminder March 1st is the deadline for all radio stations (except LPFM) to have transitioned their public files to the new FCC web site. If you are having any issues contact Larry Wilkins today.


The Alabama SECC continues to add EAS systems to its monitor system. To date we are monitoring 122 EAS units around from the state. This is an excellent tool for the SECC to monitor our state EAS distribution system and in addition notify stations of any errors or problems we discover. If you station is not part of this monitoring service contact the SECC today for instructions on setting this up in your EAS equipment.�