Clay’s Corner for May 2022

by | May, 2022 | Newsletter

             Clay’s Corner for May 2022           Providing news and views from a broadcast engineers perspective since September 1986

 

Welcome the May edition of my column.  Every time I email a new edition, I think next month there won’t be much to write about.  Funny how this never seems to happen.  With that being said – Here we go again  –

On April 5th, in the wee hours of the morning, many of us were awakened by an Amber Alert.   The good news is that the child was found, and all is well.   Lowell Kiesow, Vice Chair of the Washington SECC posted the following reminder on the WA-State EAS Remailer –

It’s a good day to remind your air staff to never broadcast simulated EAS tones.  The FCC very actively enforces the rule against this.

I heard a Seattle station’s hosts talking about being awakened by this morning’s Amber alert, and they played a recording of the alert tones for illustration.

If you broadcast a false alert, you are required to notify the FCC.  Here’s a link to the FCC rule

https://hallikainen.org/org/FCC/FccRules/2021/11/45/

 The FCC has released broadcast station totals as of March 31 

AM STATIONS 4508    
FM COMMERCIAL 6763    
FM EDUCATIONAL 4119    
                TOTAL   15,390  
       
UHF COMMERCIAL TV 999    
VHF COMMERCIAL TV 374    
UHF EDUCATIONAL TV   263    
VHF EDUCATIONAL TV 121    
                TOTAL   1,757  
       
CLASS A UHF STATIONS   352    
CLASS A VHF STATIONS 31    
                TOTAL          383  
       
FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS 8919    
UHF TRANSLATORS 2462    
VHF TRANSLATORS   769    
                TOTAL      12,150  
       
UHF LOW POWER TV 1516  
VHF LOW POWER TV    324  
                TOTAL        1,840  
       
LOW POWER FM   2049         2,049  
       
       
TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS – – – – –    33,569

   

The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in a number of Cyber Alerts being issued by the Government.    This one got my attention because it addressed concerns about UPSs.

FCC URGES COMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES THAT USE UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER SUPPLY DEVICES TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST threats

                The Federal Communications Commission encourages communications companies that use uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices as either a primary or backup power source to review the Joint Cybersecurity Advisory (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Department of Energy (DOE)), Mitigating Attacks Against Uninterruptible Power Supply DevicesThose agencies have become aware of threat actors gaining access to a variety of internet-connected UPS devices, often through unchanged default usernames and passwords.  CISA and DOE recommend that communications companies, along with all other critical infrastructure entities, immediately enumerate all UPSs and similar systems and ensure they are not accessible from the internet; when a UPS or similar system’s management interface must be accessible from the internet, these devices should have compensating controls, such as ensuring the device or system is behind virtual private network, enforcing multifactor authentication, and applying strong, long passwords.

For more information about this Joint Cybersecurity Advisory, please contact CISA Central at email: central@cisa.dhs.gov 

On the 23rd we all learned that GatesAir is being sold.   The new owner is a broadcast equipment company- Thomson Broadcast.

  • Both firms are over 100 years old, GatesAir started in 1922.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this new company comes together and what product changes will result.

Steve Oshin lost his long battle with Cancer on April 16th.   I had the pleasure of working with him at Entercom a number of years ago where he was in management.  He was known as a very nice and kind person.

Back in late March, a number of PSE customers in Bellingham may have been late to work due to their – PSE dependent alarms – not going off due to a power failure.  What they did not know (at the time) was the issue was not cause by the typical reasons we have power outages. 1) Someone ran into a pole, 2) A tree fell over on the power lines, 3) a windstorm…etc.   In this case it was due to – Theft !

When PSE crews arrived at the site of the outage, they didn’t find downed wires, but rather, missing ones!   Someone caused the line to become de-energized and proceeded to take down the wire for the scrap copper.   It was not a lot, only 150ft, but enough that a number of customers were left in the dark.

Another birthday being celebrated this year – Dielectric is turning 80 this year.

Always loved their address – 22 Tower Road – Raymond, Maine.    Go down the road a few miles further you are in Bridgeton, Main home of Shively.

Wind power has reached a big milestone.  Wind is now producing more electricity than both coal and nuclear for the first time.    Wind turbines in the continental U.S. produced 2,017 gigawatt-hours of electricity, making up 19% of U.S. energy production.

And, of course, something Broadcast related –

Hope to catch you here next month

Clay, K7CR, CPBE

SBE Member # 714

Since March 1968