August 2011
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CAP deadline looms large

LBA Technology AM antenna systems, RF
shielding, and test equipment

Six weeks to go and time is moving fast. Many stations of a particular group have not done the required CAP upgrades to their EAS equipment. I’d imagine that we will be running around installing and programming these things at the last moment.

A list of certified EAS equipment vendors is available from the FCC website.  The new FCC website, which seems to be dedicated to bringing broadband to America, somewhat at the expense of everything else.  More about that later.

About CAP and EAS; I hope the effort and expense is worth it.  Those CAP converters and CAP compliant EAS machines are not cheap.  I would think that after all that mandated spending, the new, new EAS works better than the old new EAS which left quite a bit to be desired.  I am still skeptical of the internet based distribution system, as the internet has proven to be less than 100% reliable in all locations.  The method seems to violate the KISS principle, of which I am a firm believer.  In any case, I will reserve judgement until after the nation wide test on November 9, 2011.

Regarding that test, I have already read some “expectations management” statements from FEMA and the FCC.  I have to say, if, given a years notice to install the equipment and do local testing before the big test, the new system does not show great improvements over the old EAS, it is time to scrap EAS altogether.  It would be far better to tell the public they are on their own and recommend buying NOAA weather radios or rather NOAA All Hazards radios to receive their emergency information on.   Supplement that with an e-mail notification system like NY Alert, which I use for urgent traffic and weather information and be done with it.  This way, at least, nobody will be expecting the nearest automated station from the borg collective to supply meaningful, up to date information.

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