Monday Morning Coffee and Technical Notes

December 5, 2022 View as Webpage

 HD Radio Carrier Increase

If you have a FM station operating in HD there is a good chance that you will be able to increase the digital power next year. 


NAB and Xperi Inc. filed a Petition that asks the FCC to (i) adopt an updated formula to determine FM digital sideband power levels that would allow many stations to increase digital power; and (ii) consider this request with another raised in a 2019 petition to permit digital FM radio stations to utilize asymmetric sideband power levels without having to request experimental (a request granted by the Public Notice consolidating the issues raised by both petitions into one proceeding).

The petitioners believe that adoption of these proposals will give FM HD Radio signals a greater coverage area and more robust signal strength, enhancing the attractiveness of the service to stations and consumers.

December RMT


The December Required Monthly Test (RMT) for Alabama will be fed on Thursday December 8th at 00:15 (12:15 AM) Central Time. The test will be distributed via the State GSSNet Satellite network.


Stations are reminded that the reception and relay of the RMT are required to be entered in the Station Log. If you failed to receive or relay the test, contact the Alabama SECC.


The schedule for 2023 is posted on the ABA web site along with a sample station log under the EAS tab.

ABA Engineering Webinar – ATSC 3.0


Our December Engineering Webinar will be held Tuesday December 20th at 10:00 AM Central Time. We are excited to have ATSC’s TG3 Vice Chair and Brazil Implementation Team Chair Skip Pizzi as our special guest.


Skip will present a comprehensive overview of the ATSC 3.0 standard and the NextGen TV features it enables for consumers. Options for broadcasters’ transition from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 in the US are also covered.


We urge Television engineers to encourage all their technical staff to join in on this most important webinar. Radio engineers can learn a lot from this webinar as well.


Register for this special webinar by clicking here.


If you would like to see past webinars, visit the ABA Engineering Academy YouTube channel.

Year End Review


The end of a year brings about several duties for the engineer. One is to check the status of the "Station Log". These logs are required to be maintained for a period of two (2) years. Now is a good time to review these and put them together either manually or electronically for the entire year.


For AM stations, review the status of the NRSC reports which like the Station Log, are required to be maintained for a period of two (2) years.


Pick up new notebook for your all-important "maintenance log" for the new year.


Organize your 2023 calendar for major events (conventions, SBE meetings, etc), installations, and preventive maintenance items. 


Above all during 2023 get control of your use of time. There is an old Japanese proverb that says “A man who chases two rabbits doesn’t deserve one”.


The closest equivalent proverb in English is “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In other words, it is best to focus on just one thing at a time, rather than have your attention scattered in multiple directions. As a broadcast engineer, we should always try to tackle one project to finish before moving on to another.

VSWR 101


When setting up an antenna and transmitter system, it is important to avoid impedance mismatching anywhere in the system. Any mismatch means some proportion of the output wave is reflected back toward the transmitter and the system becomes inefficient.  When reflection occurs, standing waves are produced in the cable.


At some points along the line the reflective wave and the forward wave will meet in phase where the resultant voltage is at a maximum (anti-node). At other points the two waves will be out of phase and therefore the resultant voltage will be at a minimum (node).


Not only is this a waste of energy, but because of the voltage nodes and anti-nodes, damage to the transmission line can occur if the anti-node develops a positive voltage that exceeds the transmission line voltage rating.


Engineers should monitor the VSWR regularly to insure nothing has happen to cause a reflection.

Important EAS Information


As Broadcasters are aware, the FCC has become concerned about the “operational readiness” of the nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS). It appears that there are a lot of stations operating with non-compliant EAS units. The main issue is units using out-of-date software, followed closely by incorrect monitor sources, defective equipment, and failure to maintain a “station log”. It may sound strange, but there are even stations that have no EAS equipment at all.


Stations are encouraged to make sure their EAS unit is operating with the most current software; login username and password is changed from the default; set up a schedule to update login at least quarterly; and review the monitor assignments that have been assigned by the State Emergency Communications Committee or EAS committee in your state.


Here is a list of the most recent firmware for the three models of EAS devices in use today.


DasDec: Firmware 4.4

This can be found on the front panel display and on any of the web pages in the upper right-hand corner under the Digital Alert Systems logo.


Sage Alerting Systems 

Most recent version of software for the Sage Endec is 95.00 with security patch CR rev6. Sage will have a software update to provide the CAP prioritization and text changes. Availability and cost will be announced early next year.



The most up to date software for their radio units is V9.80.0.2 and for TV, it is V20.9.12.

 Job Openings


Alabama Public Television Network


APT has an opening for South Alabama as entry level technician. Contact Windell Wood at [email protected]

Quote of the Week

We keep moving forward — opening up new doors and doing new things — because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting.

Walt Disney

Inspirational Quote of the Week

You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.

  • Rick Warren

The information offered in this newsletter is that of the editor and not of any other entity or individual. It does not take the place of information from your station engineer or legal consul.