The BDR

The
Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer    


2019 National EAS Test
Everything you need to know but were afraid to ask
...updated to 7/21/19

          The 2019 NPT will be on August 7, 2019 at 2:20 PM EDT. The FCC and the FEMA urge everyone to get ready. There is even a video now posted on the ETRS (EAS Test Reporting System) page.

This year's test in designed to test the legacy daisy-chain system, from the PEP (Primary Entry Point) t0 the LP (Local Primary) to the individual stations that pass the test on to others.  The IPAWS/CAP system will not be involved in this test.


The following in more information on the NPT, the Forms - register and reporting - and the

          The purpose of the test is to both focus on the station-to-station chain, to see if every station in the country gets the test.

                          1. recognize the "national geo code" 000000
                          2. Respond to the new NPT (National Periodic Test) code
                          3. As with the EAS, the FEMA and the FCC desire stations relay "immediately."
 
          Additionally, stations must have a copy of the new EAS Handbook at the operating position.

         THE ETRS (EAS Test Reporting System) AND REPORTING

      1. The initial FCC ETRS page is here.
      2. All EAS Participants are required to register with ETRS and were supposed to
                  complete the filing of Form One on or before August 5, 2019.
                 (Not have your Form One done? Do it now anyway. The FCC just wants it done!)
      3. The "day of test" information sought by ETRS Form Two
                  must be filed at or before 11:59 PM EDT on August 7th, 2019. Go here.
      4. The detailed post-test data ETRS Form Three must be filed on or before September 23, 2019.

      FORM ONE QUESTIONS:

  1. The form must be submitted as soon as possible.

  2. The Form One should self-populate information. The FCC wants you to confirm it is
     correct and the contact person information is current.

  3. A guide to answering many of your questions is at "Meet the ETRS" Check the Videos.
    More information is here.

  4. The FCC has a special crew at etrs@fcc.gov to answer any questions you have.

FORM TWO QUESTIONS:

       This form is designed to simply have stations answer- by midnight EDT of the test day:
             1.  if they received the NPT and
             2.  did they relay it.

       There is a batch file option, should you be reporting for multiple stations. Need help? etrs@fcc.gov


       FORM THREE QUESTIONS:

       The FCC will ask more detailed questions, requiring more time to answer, but provided 45 days
       to do so. The form continues to undergo some changes, but we understand stations will be asked
       to provide information as to:
             1. Was the NPT received?
             2. the source from which they received the NPT
             3. The time and date of the receipt of the NPT
             4. which time zone they are in
             5. Were there are complications in receiving the NPT, and
             6. provide any explanation necessary to help the FCC understand any of the answers.
             7. Did the station retransmit the NPT?
             8. Retransmission date and time.
             9. Any complications in retransmission?
            10. Any necessary explanations and comments.

      QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

      1. How can I tell if my EAS box is "ready" for the NPT in August?
      A. If you have not recently updated your firmware, you should contact your manufacturer and
                   ensure you have the right version. DASDEC is V3.1 or 4.0, Sage is V89-34,
                   Trilithic is V18.10.05 - Gorman-Redlich is V9.9.5 or V20.9.7

                   Be sure you are monitoring your assigned station. State Plans are here.

      2. What if my manufacturer is out of business?
      A. The demise of TFT (and previous companies' EAS products) have left many questions.
                   Perhaps the easiest answer is: if you cannot reach the manufacturer, your
                   system is obsolete and needs replacing. this includes TFT, HollyAnne, and Burk.

      3. Hey! What is this "immediate" business? Do I comply?
      A. The FCC still has not officially been very clear. They did change section 11.54 to make the NPT
                  the functional equivalent of the EAN. Most manufacturers now break into programming as
                  soon as the headers are received.

     4. OK, so I will upgrade. Why does this cost me?
     A. The upgrades mandated by the FCC (to switch "immediately," new codes, etc.) and
                 the FEMA (TLS and other security changes) meant significant changes were needed
                 in the operating code. Most manufacturers try to hold back upgrade costs, but the
                 accumulated changes caused this situation. Some manugacteres made the upgrade
                 nearly two years ago. Some others seem to have waited until the time factor got too tight.

     5. Does that mean all upgrades cost money?
     A. Not necessarily. Mostly it depends upon how complex the FCC and the FEMA changes dictate. While

     6. The New (2017) EAS Handbook does not "fit all." What should we do?
     A. The FCC says to edit the Handbook to meet your needs and then post at the Control Point.

     7. Will there be an issue with "invalid certificate" this year?
     A. Not to worry. All EAS boxes now operating properly will be OK until November, when a new
                certificate will be put in place. All EAS boxes that are up to date should accept the new
                certificate without problems, according to current information.

     8. I did not get a confirmation of my Form One submission. What should I do?
     A. Go back to the ETRS and check your status fir Form One. Some had to "sign off"
                then "sign back on" and submit. If you have trouble, contact etrs@fcc.gov 
                They will help solve the problem.

 

 

 

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