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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Really, an EBS test at 12:30 CDT?


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30 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:33 AM

Do they really have to do these tests in the middle of the day on all channels?
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#2 OFFLINE   Deftones

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:36 AM

Better than doing it at night when there is new programming on.

#3 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:38 AM

Better than doing it at night when there is new programming on.


IMHO 3:30AM would be a better option.

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#4 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:50 AM

Then noone is seeing it....they arent going to do it in the middle of the night, when 80% of the nation is sleeping, and they arent going to do it during primetime.

#5 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:57 AM

Then noone is seeing it....they arent going to do it in the middle of the night, when 80% of the nation is sleeping, and they arent going to do it during primetime.


But the broadcast center can see it.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#6 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:05 PM

EBS was discontinued in 1997, and replaced with EAS. Sounds like a required weekly test or required monthly test.
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#7 OFFLINE   Sward81333

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:19 PM

The FCC requires EAS Tests to be randomly conducted at differing times each month during daylight hours. Only actual alerts occur at night if some sort of event happens.

#8 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

http://transition.fc.../handbooks.html

The typical weekly test in my area occurs at 11:30 AM PT.

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#9 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:55 PM

http://transition.fc.../handbooks.html

The typical weekly test in my area occurs at 11:30 AM PT.

The National Weather Service in Indiana does their tests the same day and time every week, but stations are supposed to mix it up.

Weekly Tests
Weekly tests consist of transmitting the EAS digital header codes and end of message (EOM) codes, once each week. Weekly tests must be conducted by EAS participants on different days and at different times.

Monthly Tests
Monthly tests consist of transmitting:
* EAS digital header codes;
* the two-tone attention signal;
* a brief test script and EOM code;
* a visual display of header code data.
Monthly tests must be retransmitted within 60 minutes of receipt.

Odd/Even Months
* In odd months, monthly tests must be conducted between 8:30 a.m. to local sunset.
* In even months, monthly tests must be conducted between local sunset to 8:30 a.m.


The Monthly Test is the "every station" test ... and although stations have an hour to retransmit it most get it out of the way quicker. And this being an "odd" month, it had to be done in daytime.

#10 OFFLINE   nmetro

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

OK, while this does not address the frustrations showed by the original poster, it is a good time to provide some history of the days of TV when if you could get a clear signal you were happy, and if your lucky, in New York you received 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13, with a semi good signal from 8 in New Haven, CT. And cable was this great marvel that gave you clear signals on these channels, adding channels 3 and 30 from Hartford, get live weather on Channel 6 and PBS on channel 21. And during hockey and basketball season, you got the Rangers and Knicks from Madison Square Garden. A whopping 12 channels.

When i was growing up during the "Russians will attack any minute", "Ivan was ready to march down Main street", etc. days of the 1960s, these tests were conducted during commercial breaks and never during a program. Usually these occurred between programming or in the natural break in programming. They fell into the category of a Public Service Announce.

Though, the frequency of these ads was not very common at all. Also, it was not a crawl on the screen, the text below was spoken by an announcer.

"This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test."
Tone for about 30 seconds/
"This was a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this was an actual emergency, you would be instructed where to tune for additional information. This concludes the test of the Emergency Broadcast System".

So variants included what area a the stations served, station identification, frequency (radio) channel (TV) and call letters and sometimes addition information.

Older announcements included instructions to tune to a specific station indicated in the real emergency announcement and ignore the Civil Defense logos which were pretty much on all radios through the 1960s. What was then called WNHC TV (New Haven, CT) did this, while the New York City did not add this extra instruction.

By the way, I think the only time they even came close to activating the EBS was during the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962. Thus, EBS actually became comedian or war protest fodder.

#11 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:00 PM

Then you know about what happened on February 20th, 1971....

http://ebstest.stlmedia.net/ - Teletype copies
- Aircheck tape from WOWO
- Aircheck tape from WCCO
http://www.ae5d.com/ebs.html - History of EBS, including sample documents and how stations were "voluntarily" required to be part of this.

For more civil defense stuff, see http://www.youtube.c...ser/CONELRAD640 ... ture=watch

Edited by Mark Holtz, 26 March 2013 - 06:15 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:07 PM

Though, the frequency of these ads was not very common at all. Also, it was not a crawl on the screen, the text below was spoken by an announcer.

The improvements to the messages allow the message to be encoded ... the "screech" at the beginning of the audible message contains the text of the message (good for relaying to other devices). This is very helpful on radio. The on screen text helps the hearing impaired.

Done right these messages don't need to be any more intrusive than they were in the days of old. The relay of the coordinated monthly test can be delayed enough to fit in the next commercial break. If all the commercials are sold something would need to be bumped.

#13 OFFLINE   gomezma1

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

I saw it today for the first time ever. It was between 12 and one. It came from la county.

#14 OFFLINE   Old_School

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

I would rather see the system fail on one of these test than in an real National emergency.

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#15 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:46 PM

This was the second one in the past week that I've seen.

I realize that this is important but the disruption of programming is what I don't like.
If they need to do it in the middle of the day, then maybe it could be timed for when a commercial is on.
Oh wait, the advertisers would complain about that. ;)
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#16 OFFLINE   gomezma1

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:03 PM

They should tell us when they are going to do it so we can have it on a crappy show when it comes on.

#17 OFFLINE   noahproblem

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:51 PM

By the way, I think the only time they even came close to activating the EBS was during the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962. Thus, EBS actually became comedian or war protest fodder.


I remember at least one activation in the Boston area (I want to say around 1982) when a railroad car carrying toxic chemicals derailed and there was a potential for evacuation. And I think this system might have been used whenever a tornado was spotted as well. So while the EBS was generally known as an alert for if a nuclear war was about to break out it did have other uses.

#18 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:25 PM

The National Weather Service in Indiana does their tests the same day and time every week, but stations are supposed to mix it up.

Weekly Tests
Weekly tests consist of transmitting the EAS digital header codes and end of message (EOM) codes, once each week. Weekly tests must be conducted by EAS participants on different days and at different times.

Monthly Tests
Monthly tests consist of transmitting:
* EAS digital header codes;
* the two-tone attention signal;
* a brief test script and EOM code;
* a visual display of header code data.
Monthly tests must be retransmitted within 60 minutes of receipt.

Odd/Even Months
* In odd months, monthly tests must be conducted between 8:30 a.m. to local sunset.
* In even months, monthly tests must be conducted between local sunset to 8:30 a.m.


The Monthly Test is the "every station" test ... and although stations have an hour to retransmit it most get it out of the way quicker. And this being an "odd" month, it had to be done in daytime.


This system has been in place for many years. You'd think one monthly test would be sufficient by now. I heard one yesterday morning on KUSC, a classical music radio station.
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#19 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

I'd rather be annoyed for 30 seconds than not know if something significant was going on because it didn't work.

#20 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

I can understand the need for a test. The problem I have that unlike when a local station does their test the DIRECTV test was on every channel I tried at the same time.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#21 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:17 PM

I can understand the need for a test. The problem I have that unlike when a local station does their test the DIRECTV test was on every channel I tried at the same time.

I did not realize you were talking about a DirecTV generated test ... the rule for DBS providers is as follows:

"Monthly tests must be conducted on 10 percent of all DBS channels, with channels tested varying from month to month, so that over the course of a given year, 100 per cent of all channels are tested."

#22 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 05:31 PM

I can understand the need for a test. The problem I have that unlike when a local station does their test the DIRECTV test was on every channel I tried at the same time.


When I had Charter they tested them all at the same time, at least it seemed that way. Either way, it's a moot point.

#23 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:38 PM

Look, I'm not relying on a TV alert. I have a SAME radio that will alert me.

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#24 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

Look, I'm not relying on a TV alert. I have a SAME radio that will alert me.

Good for you ... and I have a SAME weather radio nearby as well. I wish everyone had a SAME radio ... and smoke / fire / CO2 detectors at every level of their home. Not everyone does.

One of the complaints about satellite TV by emergency management people is that viewers did not get local emergency alerts unless they happened to be tuned to one of their local channels. That is why the law was changed and EAS became a requirement for satellite broadcasters.

As long as the alerts are built in to the receiver and do not affect recordings I do not mind that they are there. If an alert interrupts the show people should be able to hit the back button on their DVR and see what they missed. If they don't have a DVR then they should join the 21st century. :)

Some day a satellite broadcast EAS message will save a life. That day will never come if satellite carriers do not transmit EAS.

#25 OFFLINE   LakeSteve

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:26 PM

I'm not sure how satellite TV does it, but whether or not you see or hear these tests depends on if it is Weekly or Monthly in some cases. Weekly tests are initiated by the local station and air only on that station. Monthly tests are triggered by a primary station that all the other stations in the area have their EAS unit set to monitor, and the test automatically gets picked up and broadcast on those stations regardless of what is being aired at the time.

The weekly tests are supposed to be initiated manually at different times each week, but alot of people say it's always overnight. In fact, most stations do TWO weekly tests. It's common for broadcasters to set the EAS unit to fire off a weekly test overnight on the same day and time each week between 1 and 3am. This covers the test requirement in case somebody drops the ball or gets busy and forgets to do the weekly test at a random time during the week.

Most of the weekly tests are done automatically these days without anybody at the station having to push a button. A file is inserted into the automation system that triggers the unit automatically. The test automatically gets scheduled and played the same way a paid commercial would and the file triggers the unit in between commercials or a station ID.

I was responsible for intitiating the Monthly EAS test at my radiostation. Every other month, a public radio station down the street would do the test if it wasn't my turn. Once I selected the type of test and recorded the script and hit send, the test would air on my station and then be picked up by the EAS receivers at every tv and radiostation in the area and air on each of those stations. I'd even tune to the local FOX tv affiliate 3 minutes later and the test would be scrolling on the screen along with my voice.

My monthly test was at the same time on every second tuesday of the month. The public station down the road did it overnight every other month.

Most stations have their EAS unit monitor two primary stations (the two that send the monthly tests) in addition to the local NWS and local SEMO (State Emergency Management) office. This acts as a failsafe so that if one station does not forward the warning, another station relays it to them and the message still airs on all stations in the area.

When I was initiating the monthly tests, it was very important to do it slow and pay attention so that you didn't hit the wrong button, such as ""CAO" (amber alert or child abduction alert). Once you hit that, all the highway signs in a 75 mile radius start flashing and scrolling and you've got alot of explaining to do.




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