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Author Topic: 7 Nov 2011 EAS Radio/TV nation wide shutdown @ 1400hr EST  (Read 6654 times)
W3KMP
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« on: October 22, 2011, 01:10:12 PM »

Anyone wonder why they would do this in the afternoon, and not sometime during the night hours. Do not know about the internet. Any Ham Radio restrictions during this "test"?

Ken
w3kmp
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2011, 02:55:27 PM »

I haven't heard about any shut-down on November 7th, but on November 9th, at 1400 EST, there will be the first nation-wide test of the Emergency Alert System. They test the system state-wide regularly already, but it's the first time they make the test nation-wide. I think it would be a bad idea to test it during the night both because of overtime for federal workers, and that the alerts would wake many people up who are asleep as their weather radios go off.
Edit: Here's the FCC's answer:
Quote
Why is the national test being conducted at this particular date and time?

While EAS tests may be disruptive, they are important to ensure that the EAS is functional and that EAS Participants are prepared to issue alerts, and it is our intent to minimize disruption and confusion to the extent possible.  The November 9 date is near the end of hurricane season and before the severe winter weather season begins in earnest. The 2 PM EST broadcast time will minimize disruption during rush hours, while ensuring that the test occurs during working hours across the United States.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 02:58:10 PM by LA9XSA » Logged
W3KMP
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 02:47:16 PM »

Typo on the date. Hope that they can turn it all back on. With this bunch, nothing would surprise me. Good reason for everyone to have a SW receiver. Be interesting to see what might happen on the internet!

Ken
w3kmp
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2011, 03:42:36 PM »

They're not turning it off though - they're activating it to see if the AES backend works, and if all broadcasters get the alert and broadcast it. Since it's the first time they'll be sending out the national activation codes for real, they might discover technical problems - that's what the test is for.
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W3KMP
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 05:14:34 AM »

Hi Gunnar,

Is this how the government does this in Finland?

73 Ken
w3kmp
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2011, 06:34:59 AM »

We don't have states here in Norway, only the national government, counties and municipalities. We have a national civil defense organization (Sivilforsvaret). We have air raid siren tests two times each year, with simultaneous broadcast notices. The broadcast notice is sent by the public broadcasting company NRK, which automatically takes over the broadcasts of other radio stations (such as local commercial stations) which have been designated as emergency broadcast stations (beredskapsradio).

In practice, you get NRK's 12 noon news broadcast on many broadcast stations, and along with the other news they say "at 12 noon today, the civil defense has tested the air raid sirens". At 1200 the sirens sound the "listen to the radio" signal, and at 1205 they sound the "danger ended" signal. FM radio is supposed to close down by 2019 - at least NRK wants to stop broadcasting - so the civil defense has to find a new way to alert the public reliably, either by using something other than radio, or perhaps by establishing something more akin to the US EAS, where NRK no longer provides the alert, but government officials do it instead.

I think there's work going on to integrate cell phones and landline phones in the alert system. In most rural areas, there are no air raid sirens nearby; SMS already has functionality for area-alerting, which could be used for text alerts to all cell phones in a coverage area. This could be used to give dam break or tsunami alerts, for example. Landline phones in some areas are already used. For example, in communities around Geirangerfjord, there are both tsunami warning sirens and an automatic call system which calls all landline phones and gives an automatic tsunami warning in case sensors detect Ã…kerneset sliding. In the first test in 2006, this system alerted 240 phone subscribers in two minutes.

As for amateur radio's role in emergency communications, the NRRL emcomm groups are organized on the police district level, which is today about the same as the county level. It's mostly focused on search-and-rescue, APRS tracking in particular,* but also provides backup communications for the police in areas where phone systems go down and/or are outside the range of regular police communications.
Due to auroral and atmospheric effects, sometimes we can't always use HF for long distance communications, but have to use linked crossband repeaters instead. Sometimes, they also relay messages via foreign amateurs on HF, because while there might be no propagation between northern and southern Norway, they might both have propagation down to Germany or Italy for example.

* The Red Cross already has its own VHF frequencies, but it's seen how useful APRS tracking by amateur radio operators is for search-and-rescue work, so it's getting its own tracking frequencies and own tracking radios now. Nice to see an experimental tool from amateur radio getting rolled out into routine use.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 06:42:20 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
K1DA
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 09:10:00 AM »

   Direct TV will still be on, I won't even notice. 
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K0JEG
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 06:29:58 PM »

   Direct TV will still be on, I won't even notice. 

If you happen to be tuned to a local station you'll see the test.
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2011, 06:00:57 AM »

If you happen to be tuned to a local station you'll see the test.
That's true for local and state tests, but since this is a nation-wide, it is supposed to appear on all DirecTV channels. I don't know if it will take over your DVR as well.
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N4UJW
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 11:48:11 AM »

This was not a shut down...it was scheduled for today 11-09-2011 at 1:00 pm EST and was designed as a test of the Emergency Alert System nation wide for All broadcast, cable and satellite tv companies. The test was designed to broadcast the alert system test regardless of what frequency on the AM, FM or TV channel regardless of it's source either ground or satellite.
I was watching satellite TV, Dish Network at the exact utc time of the test....
I switched channels during the first 30 seconds of the test and only found one local station in Dallas, Tx that was carrying the test...so in my opinion, the test of the test FAILED WITH A BIG F!
Guess if I want a national emergency alert on my tv I had better forget all of the satellite channels except the one I found the test on....what a failure!
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 01:16:37 AM »

Emergency Alert System test on TV riddled with glitches
Quote
There were other glitches: At Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8, the message never aired. And DirecTV subscribers nationwide heard audio of Lady Gaga's single Paparazzi instead of the emergency message.

(...)
According to the New York Times, glitches surfaced across the nation. A Minneapolis viewer saw the test three minutes late; in Greensboro, N.C., a local reporter said no area broadcast networks aired the message but all the cable news channels did.

Before the test, officials seemed most concerned that viewers would think an actual emergency was occurring and not a test.

But local TV stations reported no such complaints; warnings about the test have been broadcast for weeks, and the test message closely resembled similar local EAS tests conducted regularly by broadcasters.

Seems like it was high time to do this test. After fixing the glitches there should be another national test in the near future. For the time being, don't throw away that weather radio!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 01:19:36 AM by LA9XSA » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 07:13:03 AM »

I use Dish Network, and the test never even showed up on the channels I tried.  So much for a all encompassing test!
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LA9XSA
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 08:29:04 AM »

  Direct TV will still be on, I won't even notice.  
Did you get your government-facilitated dose of Lady Gaga, K1DA?
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