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Re: EAS System
All of the EAS decoders I've worked with -- note I said the ones I've worked
with, not all of 'em, so please don't flame me if yours is the exception --
actually offer the station DCO/Engineer/whoever-programs-the-darn-thing a
great deal of flexibility. The problem most stations have is that they need
to do some reprogramming on their ENDEC.
EAS allows automated stations to participate in the system without human
intervention. It can, however, be made more friendly for stations that have
jocks and ops, can be adapted to prevent it from trashing your automated
programming, and allows stations to choose which alerts they acknowledge and
rebroadcast (letting you prevent those damn "Severe Thunderstorm Warnings"
from going off every ten minutes on a rainy day). The Required Monthly Tests
do not have to be sent out instaneously (and I believe that is the case
system-wide), so if your ENDEC is doing so it's likely because it's
programmed that way, or perhaps there are low end units that do not provide
a delay. It's also possible that your ENDEC has a countdown timer, but it
does not notify the operator thus making any countdown just a delay of the
inevitable; this is the case at most stations where I've heard complaints
about EAS cutting into programming.
I am not saying the system is simple by any means, and it certainly is not
infallible. In fact, I've seen enough ENDEC's taken out of service or
incorrectly programmed that I'd be willing to bet that if EAS were ever
activated for a national emergency, fewer than half of the broadcast and
cable signals nationwide would carry the message...
...Of course I don't want us to have a reason to test that theory, thanks.
WCTB / WHQO / WSKW