INDIANAPOLIS�Friday afternoon, the Society of Broadcast Engineers issued an email that addressed the morning”s false exercise of the emergency alert system.
The SBE encourages its members to research the strict time setting (which is believed to be the reason why the false tone was able to broadcast) with the appropriate EAS equipment manufacturer to verify your own equipment is configured to ignore any received EAS data that is outside of the transmitted date/time codes.
The SBE explained that the emergency tones were broadcast nationwide at least once via country radio show, with a source code origination tag of Comcast. However, it is unknown whether Comcast or its employees had any involvement.
The alert was apparently wrongly propagated among some stations that were members of the daisy chain distribution network within many operational areas, even though the date code was set to November 9 and not valid for retransmission. Apparently, initial research indicates that this happened due to a “strict time” setting in at least one manufacturer’s system defaulting to an “off status.”
This setting tells the encoder/decoder to ignore all data that does not fall within the embedded time stamp, thus blocking �recorded� EAS tones from propagating beyond the initial affected station or allotted time.
On Sage units, the “strict time” setting can be found under menu->config->strict time. Set flag to YES.