Ennes Educational Foundation Trust Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Ennes Educational Foundation Trust™ has awarded four scholarships for 2019. Winners were chosen from applications received by July 1, 2019, from the previous 12 months.

The Harold E. Ennes Scholarship, Robert D. Greenberg Scholarship and John H. Battison Founder’s Scholarship are awarded to individuals interested in continuing or beginning their education in broadcast engineering and technology. The Youth Scholarship is specifically for a graduating high school senior interested in broadcast engineering as a career. Each scholarship awarded this year is for $1,500.

Nick ChurchThis year the Harold E. Ennes Scholarship recipient is Nicholas Church of Rhinelander, WI. In May 2019, Nick began working as the director of operations and technology at WXPR-FM, the public radio station in Rhinelander, WI. He has a B.A. in music with a management studies concentration from St. Olaf College and is drawn to technology including amateur radio, micro-controllers, programming and creating efficiency through automation. After earning his SBE Certified Radio Operator, Nick began his broadcast education towards achieving the SBE Certified Broadcast Technologist and Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist certifications.

Chris GamelinReceiving the Robert Greenberg Scholarship is Chris Gamelin of Middletown, CT. His interest in broadcasting began when he was 12. He learned how radio worked and started his own internet radio station and collected money to build a professional studio. He has improved his radio skills at WNHU-FM, the University of New Haven (where he met John Ramsey) and WQUN-AM at Quinnipiac University. He is currently a student at the University of New Haven, hoping to finish his part-time schooling soon. John Ramsey, who is now a friend, encouraged Chris to get involved on the engineering part of broadcasting. He has since worked as an assistant engineer at Entercom, and is now a maintenance technician at WFSB-TV. He has since learned to operate UAVs as well.

Sadie LevyThe John H. Battison SBE Founder’s Scholarship has been awarded to Sadie Levy of New York, NY. She recently graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she worked on various school productions as a Digital Media Department intern. Additionally, she was awarded scholarships to study digital electronics in pre-college programs at both The Cooper Union and New York University. This past summer, Sadie completed a media internship in a New York City government office. These opportunities made her realize that she would love to contribute to the exciting field of recording and new media. She plans to major in electrical engineering, with an interest in media production, at Northeastern University in Boston.

Andrew HellerAndrew Marcus Heller of Two Rivers, WI, received the Youth Scholarship. His father owns two AM radio stations today, and Andrew was the first person to turn on WTRW’s solid-state transmitter at age three, and then again, now WGBW’s 12 kW transmitter at Denmark, WI, at 11 years old. Andrew has been involved in his high school audio/video efforts, and was the director of the student daily announcements his senior year. With a 3.9 grade point average in his senior year, Andrew was accepted to the Science and Engineering program at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. He selected Minnesota because of its strong engineering emphasis.

SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Education is still one of the prime efforts of the SBE. These four rising engineering talents have earned their educational awards through the Ennes Educational Foundation Trust, and it’s an honor for us to help them achieve their educational goals in broadcast engineering.”

Defense Dept Taps SBE to Coordinate Frequencies Common to Broadcasters

Over the past several years, the Society of Broadcast Engineers has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which has been provided co-primary status with broadcasters in the 2025-2110 MHz Broadcast Auxiliary Spectrum (BAS) band as a result of the Advanced Wireless Services-3 (AWS-3) transition.

The DoD plans to deploy a number of training systems that utilize this spectrum it now shares with broadcasters. The SBE, DoD and the National Association of Broadcasters have discussed how broadcasters use this spectrum and its importance for electronic news gathering. It became clear to DoD officials that to operate their defense systems without causing or receiving interference, a substantial, national frequency coordination effort would need to be initiated, providing in some cases, near-real-time coordination. The DoD turned to the SBE for assistance.

The SBE has for many years facilitated a network of volunteer frequency coordinators, most through local SBE chapters, across the United States and its territories.

The systems the DoD intends to deploy potentially may be located at installations of all the military branches, including the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. These installations are ubiquitous and located in both urban and rural areas. The DoD, with encouragement from the NAB, asked the SBE to employ a national frequency coordinator, paid for with DoD funds, who would work with our established volunteer coordinators, and cover the areas that don’t have their own local coordinator.

Through the DoD’s primary contractor in this area, Alion Science and Technology, the SBE has entered an agreement to provide national frequency coordination services that will mutually serve the needs of the DoD and broadcasters. The SBE Board of Directors approved the agreement in April of this year and work began in June.

To handle the added responsibilities, the SBE retained the broadcast consulting firm of Technical Broadcast Solutions, Inc., (TBSI) of Middletown, DE. Its principal is RJ Russell, CPBE, a 20-year member of the SBE and, until recently, SBE national vice president and chair of our Frequency Coordination Committee. TBSI is heavily involved in TV repack and ATSC 3.0 implementation work for clients and is taking on the SBE as a major client to serve as our national SBE Frequency Coordination Manager (FCM). Russell and SBE General Counsel Chris Imlay have worked on the SBE’s behalf with DoD officials and the NAB to develop a workable solution for this shared spectrum.

On taking on this important project, SBE President Jim Leifer, CPBE, said, “Part of the SBE’s mission is to create working alliances within the broadcast industry and with those who work in our space. Entering into this agreement serves to protect broadcaster’s use of spectrum and provides a needed service to our government. I am pleased that we are able to partner with the DoD’s prime contractor in this effort.”

Stations: Confirm Your Station is Compliant with EAS Updates

by Larry Wilkins, CPBE, CBNT, AMD
Chair, SBE EAS Advisory Group

The FCC and FEMA are in the process of making changes in the EAS and CAP system. Most of these changes concern security issues. To aid stations in understanding these changes and what will be required to keep your EAS units compliant, the SBE has gathered the following information.

A change in FCC EAS rules (Part 11) has come into effect that makes the validation of digital signatures in CAP messages a mandatory element. The FCC amended section 11.56 “Obligation to Process CAP-formatted EAS Messages” to add the following new paragraph:
(c) EAS Participants shall configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.

The FCC has also changed its EAS rules to refine the time window within which an alert message is valid. The change is to 11.33(a)(10) “Message Validity”, where the existing sentence, “A header code must only be considered valid when two of the three headers match exactly;”, the FCC added: “the Origination Date/Time field (JJJHHMM) is not more than 15 minutes in the future and the expiration time (Origination Date/Time plus Valid Time TTTT) is in the future (i.e., current time at the EAS equipment when the alert is received is between origination time minus 15 minutes and expiration time).”

In a long-awaited move, FEMA is updating the IPAWS system with Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. TLS is a cryptographic protocol providing end-to-end communications security over networks and is widely used for Internet communications.

The Federal Bridge Certificate Authority (CA) will expire on Nov. 8, 2019. Depending on the CA used by IPAWS, it may be necessary to provide a new CA for installation in all EAS decoders.

Finally, The FCC has put into effect a new false EAS alert reporting rule. Pursuant to section 11.45(b), an EAS Participant must inform the Commission if it discovers that it has transmitted a false alert. This rule provides that: No later than 24 hours of an EAS Participant’s discovery (i.e., actual knowledge) that it has transmitted or otherwise sent a false alert to the public, the EAS Participant send an email to the Commission at the FCC Ops Center at FCCOPS@fcc.gov, informing the Commission of the event and of any details that the EAS Participant may have concerning the event.

FEMA has indicated the target date to update the IPAWS server to TLS is Nov. 8, 2019.

What do stations need to do to remain compliant with FCC and FEMA guidelines?

Sage Alerting Systems Endec
Sage added support for the Part 11.33 15-minute change in its 89-34 release. Sage has supported the ability to validate the digital signature since 2012, it is enabled by default.

Sage’s September 2019 release, called Rev95, will support the TLS and certificate updates. This release will be mandatory. After the FEMA switchover, scheduled for Nov. 8, 2019, older versions of the ENDEC software will not be able to receive CAP messages from IPAWS. This will render the station in violation of FCC rules concerning EAS monitoring and logging.

Sage Alerting Systems has indicated there will be a one-time charge of $349 for the September release. The release will only be sold through their distributors. This update will be provided free of charge for ENDECs purchased new after March 1, 2018, (18 months prior to September 2019). Direct questions regarding these updates to Sage at support@sagealertingsystems.com or 914-872-4069 and press 1 for support.

Gorman-Redlich
Radio stations operating with E-prom V 9.5.8 and television stations operating with E-prom V 20.9.8 will remain compliant with the changes. Contact Gorman-Redlich at 740-593-3150.

DASDEC/One-Net
Units operating with software versions 3.1 or 4.0 will remain compliant with the items listed above. If an updated CA certificate for FEMA IPAWS is necessary, Digital Alert Systems will make it available to DASDEC and One-Net users as soon as possible at no charge.

While the upcoming FEMA TLS change can be handled by either v3.1 or v4.0 software, Digital Alert Systems wanted to let customers know about some of the additional features in v4.0. The v4.0 upgrade includes a complete OS upgrade (improved operating and security), Triggered CAP Polling, Blue Alert (BLU) event code support, and greater flexibility for future value-added enhancements. V4.0 is a highly recommended upgrade.

While V4.0 is an optional upgrade, users should be aware that Digital Alert Systems has deprecated development support on v3.0. New feature requests, updates, and software revisions will only be provided within the Version 4.x series of software. Contact Digital Alert Systems at support@digitalalertsystems.com or 585-765-2254.


Information in this report was furnish with the permission of Digital Alert Systems, Sage Alerting Systems and Gorman-Redlich.