Posts Categorised: ABA

An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

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


The Next Generation of Television Broadcasting (ATSC 3.0) is gearing up to get started. The ATSC committee is putting the final wraps on all the standards and the FCC voted on March 5th to authorize the transition.

One of the sticking points still to be worked out is how the service will actually be rolled out. The Commission has already determined that it will be voluntary.

Because ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with our current system (ATSC 3.1) stations will be required to transmit both formats at this time. Stations implementing the new transmission will initially have to simulcast both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 with in-market TV station partners. One channel would transmit both stations ATSC 1.0 signal and the other channel would transmit both stations ATSC 3.0 signal.


As a large number of television stations start their transition to new channels per the Television Repack, radio stations that share space on a television tower need to sit down with television engineers and map out the construction time table and decide what their options are for staying on the air during the construction work on the tower.

Some may have to construct temporary sites on another tower, which would create expenses that where not in the stations budget. The good news is that Congress is working on a bill that first of all increases the reimbursement to television stations for their construction and will also have funds available to help offset any expense incurred by radio stations.

Now is the time for radio stations to get a plan in place and not get caught at the last minute on this project.


In addition to the situation discussed in the article above, all users of wireless equipment (microphones, IFB systems, in ear monitors) are reminded that because of the TV repack the frequencies above 608 MHz are no longer available for use by wireless devices. While the deadline is 2020 cell companies that received the use of these frequencies have already begun to bring their systems online.

The problem is not just for broadcasters, but churches, theaters, convention centers, stadiums and anyone that use wireless systems will be effected.

Engineers should check all their wireless devices and if any are above 608 MHz, replacement units will have to purchased. Several of the major wireless manufacturers are offering rebates for upgrading to new units.


SMPTE ST2110 is a standard that will be a major part of ATSC 3.0. It is designed to allow each part of the signal to be in a different stream. This means video, audio channels, and ancillary data will all be separately routable, allowing recipients to ask for exactly what they want, and get only that.

This differs from ST 2022-1/2/3/4: MPEG-2 Transport Stream over IP and ST 2022-5/6: SDI over IP, which are “multiplex” standards, where the video, audio, and ancillary data signals (plus blanking and padding) are wrapped up into a single IP stream.

ST 2110 is broken down into six different groups:

  • 2110-10: System Timing
  • 2110-20: Uncompressed Video
  • 2110-21: Traffic Shaping Uncompressed Video
  • 2110-30: PCM Audio
  • 2110-31: AES3 Transparent Transport
  • 2110-40: Ancillary Data

We encourage you to watch a most informative tutorial by SMPTE Fellow John Mailhott, CTO Infrastructure Imagine Communications.


FCC rule 73.1870 states 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. At times when the chief operator is unavailable or unable to act (e.g., vacations, sickness), the licensee shall designate another person as the acting chief operator on a temporary basis.” In addition, “the designation of the chief operator must be in writing with a copy of the designation posted with the station license.”

This designation (with the most current information) can be posted with the station license at the control point and/or placed in the additional documents folder under the basic station tab on the their online public file site.

The basic requirement of the chief operator is to “Review the station records at least once each week to determine if required entries are being made correctly. Additionally, verification must be made that the station has been operated as required by the rules or the station authorization.”

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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

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


Well it is that time again….time to change your clocks. Daylight Savings time starts next Sunday, March 11, at 2 a.m. Clocks move ahead by one hour. Engineers and program directors need to make sure the required changes made to remote control units and station automation equipment.

Daylight Saving Time was originally instituted in the United States during World War I and World War II in order to take advantage of longer daylight hours and save energy for the war production.


Hopefully everyone completed their public file upload by the deadline of March 1st. I spoke with several SECC chairmen around the country and they were still taking phone calls even the day after. It was the same way in Alabama as well.

It was actually a painless process with most stations only needing to upload their Issues and Programs list from 2012 to present.


With spring on the way trees and bushes will start to leaf out. Now is a good time to clean out around you transmitter site, especially around the tower and guy anchors. If you guy paths have grown up it will be easier now before the new foliage starts to fill out to remove trees and other growth along the path. Recommended width is ten foot either site of center line of guy line

While visiting the anchor points inspect them closely to see if there are any broken/missing clamps or bolts, ground connections, rust buildup, or damage to the preforms. Inspect the concrete to check for cracks and proper water runoff from guy point.

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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

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


Most engineers are aware that Emergency Alerts are not only transmitted to broadcast and cable operations but quite often to mobile devices as well. This process is WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) which is a public safety system that allows customers who own certain wireless phones and other enabled mobile devices to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area.

There have been some complaints about WEA messages getting stuck and repeating the message over and over. AL Kenyon, Customer Support Branch Chief IPAWS Program Office in a post on the SBE EAS list server , indicated the problem most likely is in the customers handset and not in the distribution system.


Deadline for all radio stations to have their pubic files placed on the FCC online web site is this Thursday March 1st. The process is not difficult and most stations only have to upload only one set of documents, that being the issues and program list from 2012 forward.

While we are speaking about filings with FCC, a quick reminder that the stations ownership reports are due no later than Friday, March 2.


Unless your broadcast operation leases tower space for your antenna, you own a tower! If this tower has been up for several years, then more than likely there have been additional antennas and transmission lines added.

It is easy to loose track about these additions, especially if you rent space out to other broadcasters and/or non broadcast tenants. Keeping a detail database of the attachments on the tower is a must do item. If you don’t have an up to date tower database, then you need to conduct a “tower audit.”

According to Rich Redmond with GatesAir, “a tower audit is a complete review of a tower including cataloging all antennas and transmission lines and such located on the tower. This can also include a structural analysis of the tower with the antennas and lines with respect to the current tower loading standards, review of anchors, and overall condition of a tower.”

Transmission lines at the base of the tower should be tagged identifying the owner either by attaching line tags or simply using colored weather resistant tape. A thorough inspection of the transmission line mounting and proper grounding should be included in the audit. As the tower owner it is your responsibility to set guidelines on proper attachment and routing of of lines on the tower.

Your “tower database” should include information about the tenants, including contact information of who to call should a problem arise with their antenna or transmission line.

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An excerpt from this week’s Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

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 .


March 1st is the deadline for radio stations to have their public files posted on the FCC hosted web site. I know we sound like a broken record, but checking the web site, there are not very many that have posted their files yet. Remember February only has 28 days this year….so March 1st will be here soon. If you haven’t gone to the site yet, we encourage you do it today. The URL is For a complete tutorial on how to log in and upload your files watch the ABA video here


With all the activities that television stations are saddled with surrounding the re-pack and ATSC 3.0 the FCC has issued some good news. Since everyone including the Commission recognized that the funds that were allocated for the repack was way short of the real world cost the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill that plugs holes in the original legislation authorizing the incentive auction and relocation of about 1,000 U.S. full-power and Class A TV stations.

It also establishes a Translator and Low Power Station Relocation Fund, sets up the FM Broadcast Station Relocation Fund and creates a Broadcast Station Relocation Consumer Education Fund.


As television stations start making plans for ATSC 3.0 they need to formulate an educational plan for both consumers and retailers. While visiting a big box store the other day I mentioned ATSC 3.0. The salesperson said they were all ready for it with plenty of sets in stock. I commented “oh really”? They said see all these sets on the floor has 4k and HDR. I calmly said something about the type of tuner….to which I got the “deer in the headlight” look.


Stations are reminded that FCC rules part 73.1590 requires that licensee of each AM, FM, TV and Class A TV station, except licensees of Class D non-commercial educational FM stations authorized to operate with 10 watts or less output power, must make equipment performance measurements for each main transmitter upon initial installation of a new or replacement main transmitter; upon modification of an existing transmitter made under the provisions of 73.1690 and most importantly annually, for AM stations, with not more than 14 months between measurements.

The data required, together with a description of the equipment and procedure used in making the measurements, signed and dated by the qualified person(s) making the measurements, must be kept on file at the transmitter or remote control point for a period of 2 years, and on request must be made available during that time to duly authorized representatives of the FCC.

This is especially important for AM stations that must conduct the measurements annually and keep the last two reports on file. 

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