[sbe-eas] FW: [EAS-OR] False Trips from a spot
W2XJ at W2XJ.NET
Fri Sep 10 01:47:34 EDT 2010
I along with others do not think EAS should depend on a broadcast backbone.
There are many reasons to support broadcast as a vital part of informing the
public during disasters but daisy chain EAS that has not really evolved from
CONELRAD is a poor excuse.
I am still not convinced that these spots were the cause of the problem. It
will take more than some empirical suspicions there must be some science to
back this up.
On 9/9/10 11:14 PM, "Adrienne Abbott" <nevadaeas at charter.net> wrote:
> You are correct--the FCC only regulates broadcasters, not PR firms. But
> waiting for the FCC to fine a station before deciding that this ad violates
> Part 11 is absolutely ridiculous and seems to me to violate our principles
> as broadcast engineers and SBE members. However, we may be between a rock
> and a hard spot--a station that objects to the ARCO "EAS" spot may risk
> losing the entire campaign and the associated $$$ so in the current economy,
> they'll risk it. And maybe they're right--look at how hard we're working to
> make it seem like this situation really isn't as bad as I think it is.
> Overall, however, with "props" to Harold for the work he did analyzing the
> ad, the problem is not whether the tones are technically close enough to the
> real thing to constitute a violation of Part 11. It's the overall intent of
> the ad to create an attention-grabbing effect through duplication of an EAS
> activation that is the concern in this situation. As I said earlier, if it
> looks like a duck, etc.
> People--the Emergency Management community doesn't like the easy way the
> broadcast community rolls over for this kind of thing--so it all becomes
> part of the lack of respect the EM's have for EAS and their unwillingness to
> see EAS for anything other than a media ploy for easy access to disasters.
> It's hard to argue that we are legitimately "First Responders" when we so
> easily let anybody blow something that sounds like the EAS tones for
> commercial purposes. If we don't shut this down now, we have no one to blame
> when EM's choose telephone notifications and text messages over broadcast as
> their preferred providers of public warnings and emergency information. It's
> another nail in the coffin of the broadcast industry.
> Pardon me if I'm feeling very much like Cassandra in front of the walls of
> Troy...ok-look it up in your Funk and Wagnall's.
> "Radio burps, it cries, it needs to be fed all the time, it requires
> constant attention, but we love it." Jim Aaron WGLN
> -----Original Message-----
> From: sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org [mailto:sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org] On Behalf Of
> Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 5:54 PM
> To: SBE EAS Exchange - a mail list for discussion about the Emergency Alert
> System and other emergency communication issues.
> Subject: Re: [sbe-eas] FW: [EAS-OR] False Trips from a spot
> There is no way to pass blame. The FCC will only hold a licensee
> responsible. After that, it is a civil issue. I think the stations that
> think they are affected complain to the the stations they think caused the
> I am not convinced that this is a problem based on the reports here by those
> who examined the tones. It could be something purely coincidental. So far
> there is more hearsay than facts available.
> On 9/9/10 8:37 PM, "Adrienne Abbott" <nevadaeas at charter.net> wrote:
>> The question is...HOW do we want to hear from the FCC on this? Do we want
>> their response to be an NOV for some random station who happens to air the
>> spot when an FCC Field Agent is listening? Then it would be up to the
>> station to decide whether it's worth passing the blame to Ogilvy and
>> or just to take the hit and pay the fine. Or should we be more pro-active
>> and call the FCC's attention to the matter before it ends up as fodder for
>> lawyers? And should it be SBE who calls the FCC's attention to the ad or
>> should it be an SECC chair or member in a market where the ad is airing,
>> should it be a private individual?
>> Just asking...
>> "Radio burps, it cries, it needs to be fed all the time, it requires
>> constant attention, but we love it." Jim Aaron WGLN
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org [mailto:sbe-eas-bounces at sbe.org] On Behalf
>> Richard Rudman
>> Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:53 AM
>> To: SBE EAS Exchange - a mail list for discussion about the Emergency
>> System and other emergency communication issues.
>> Subject: Re: [sbe-eas] FW: [EAS-OR] False Trips from a spot
>> It is not so much a matter of what we think, it is more what the FCC
>> Personally, I do not think it is a good advertising strategy to use this
>> type of sound effect.
>> I agree with Harold's assessment statement about using EAS in spots:
>> it confuse the listener - no. Cause them to listen more closely - maybe.
>> Was it ill advised - probably."
>> Let's take 10 on this before recommending that SBE do or not do something.
>> We will probably have FCC's "read" on this sooner rather than later....
>> On Sep 9, 2010, at 10:42 AM, Ralph Beaver wrote:
>>> Thanks Harold. Valuable information!
>>> That is a noble gesture (offering a "safe" tone set for commercials) and
>> would seem to be the cure to this particular problem *except* for
>> distribution. That would be in the same thought stream as a "555"
>>> What think we?
>>> At 01:10 PM 9/9/2010, Harold Price wrote:
>>>> Kent, thanks for the audio.
>>>> I gave it a listen and ran it though some analysis.
>>>> The data is sent using the proper EAS mark/space frequencies (within a
>> 0.5% as measured by a crude desktop software FFT). The data EAS frames
>> are partial. They aren't valid EAS frames, they don't have a duration or
>> other required elements. They should not cause an EAS unit to put an
>> on the air. Unlocking the local receiver, or printing something on the
>> display/printer is vendor preference. Speaking for Sage only, we don't
>> display alerts with non-compliant headers.
>>>> The data frames are also overlaid with the two tone signal, so
>> and the two "EBS" tones are present at the same time. It isn't a real
>> alert, or close enough to one to get on the air in any circumstances,
>> assuming a Part 11 certified encoder/decoder.
>>>> I'll let the lawyers decide if it violates the FCC rules. They did use
>> real alert as the basis for the mix, but they did chop it enough so that
>> wasn't complete. Is that "sending the EAS codes"? Probably not. They
>> send the EBS tones, mixed with the other stuff, and for short duration
>> (three bursts of .6 seconds).
>>>> Was it a "simulation"? Not a very good one. Would it confuse the
>> listener - no. Cause them to listen more closely - maybe. Was it ill
>> advised - probably.
>>>> In any case, movies and video games (and you tube) will continue to cut
>> and paste alerts. Some of these may inadvertently end up on the air.
>>>> The SBE might want to ask one of us to make up something that sounds
>> legit, for non-broadcast use, that can be used by production companies,
>> when it finds its way to a broadcast outlet won't cause an alert to be
>>>> Please doing material intended for air should probably think twice - or
>> as many times as necessary.
>>>> At 06:57 PM 9/8/2010, Kent Randles wrote:
>>>>> From Chris Murray, Chair, Oregon State ECC
>>>>> Here is a new one.
>>>>> ARCO/BP our beloved oil company is running a commercial that has EAS
>> header tones in front. They use the terms "This is a test" and simulate
>> 8 second tone. However it seams that the header tones even running faster
>> than 1100 baud but is still tripping EAS units that are monitoring KKNU.
>>>>> The decoder that was tripping was Florence's KCST-FM TFT 911 unit.
>> header tape read. "ZCZC-EAS-RWT-012057-012081-012101- then blank.
>>>>> I called Darryl Parker at TFT and played the commercial to him. His
>> first response was "It is against FCC rules to transmit false and
>> signals" It appears that this may be the case. The header tape indicates
>> that the location is in Florida. Hillsboro, Manatee, and Pasco Counties.
>> These are the three counties that surrounds Tamps.
>>>>> The commercial has been running frequently and does not trip every
>> KCST repots that they have had five events. Their EAS units unlocks and
>> hears this commercial every time. I listen to the commercial and it seams
>> that they took a weekly test header and increased the speed to perhaps not
>> make it a problem.
>>>>> It is a problem. I would ask all stations that use TFT decoders if they
>> have seen incomplete data receipts on their EAS units. It would only
>> stations that both are being monitored and play this specific commercial.
>>>>> There will be more to come.
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