The next national EAS test is upon us. Broadcast associations and state emergency coordination committees around the United States are reminding radio and TV stations of the test, which is set for this Wednesday (Sept. 28) at 2:20 p.m. Eastern time, and also reminding them that they must enter information on the same day of the test into the new FCC ETRS system via Form Two. More info is due later on Form Three.
One of the best at communicating regularly with local broadcasters is Larry Wilkins of the Alabama Broadcasters Association, who is chair of the Alabama SECC. The info below is from his latest email and serves as a useful reminder for all U.S. broadcasters. (Note that his time references are Central.) Wilkins also told stations that “engineers or operational personnel should be on hand at the studio during the test … to ensure that it was received and relayed over the air chain properly.” He writes:
As a quick reminder the national EAS test is scheduled for [this] Wednesday Sept. 28 at 1:20 p.m. Central time. The actual test will last approximately 50 seconds and will include an audio announcement. It will be automatically relayed by your equipment. By now all EAS participants should have their decoders set up to respond this test.
It will be fed on the IPAWS network and will use the following incoming filter.
Engineers should verify that the decoders have the correct firmware and setup.
Sage Endec users need to check the firmware version. It should be 89.30. This version adds the NPT code and National location code of six zeros (000000). You do not have to reset the NPT or EAN filters since the 89.30 firmware creates two new filters in your unit with everything configured correctly. Also verify that you are receiving the IPAWS RWT each Monday at 11 a.m.
DasDec users can verify proper firmware and set up by following the following instructions:
Stations using Version 2.x should review this application note.
Stations using Version 3.0 should review this application note.
Also verify that you are receiving the IPAWS RWT each Monday at 11 a.m.
Each station by now should have registered and correctly fill out the ETRS Form One. After the test on Sept. 28 stations must log into the ETRS web site using the user name and password used for inputting Form One and enter the information required for Form Two.
Form Two is simpler, and should pre-populate once you enter the contact information. Form Two must be filled out by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) Sept. 28.
To submit Form Two: Select the Records tab, then choose EAS Test Records. Select the Record for the facility for which you would like to submit Form Two. Finally, select the Submit Form Two option in the top right corner of the screen. Once the station information is entered there are only two questions.
There is also a Form Three which must be filed on or before Nov. 14, 2016. Form Three, Receipt of EAS Message, asks for some more information and explanation for any issues.