EAS Fail

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    Wow. I’ve been listening to OPB and at 4:20pm an EAS test started. Or at least it seemed it might be a test.

    It was totally UN-intelligble. I had difficulty hearing the voice at all, and there was a voice in the background on something unrelated, and a lot, a LOT of background static and noise.

    If this is the improved EAS system, we’re screwed. I couldn’t make out a word until at the very end when it said the test would end in 5 seconds. BTW, the ending tones never came over air.


    The county that put a man on the moon can’t make a functional piece of equipment. We don’t have many active alerts here but some other states could really use a reliable system.

    Dan Packard

    I was watching the early feed of the PBS Newshour on KOPB 10-2 (OPBPlus) at that time when the EAS broke in.

    The scrolling caption in a red bar at the bottom of the screen said:

    “A civil authority has issued A 911 TELEPHONE OUTAGE EMERGENCY for the following counties or areas: CLackamas, OR; Clark, WA; Columbia; Multnomah; Washington, OR; at 4:02 PM on JUL 2, 2018 Effective until 4:32 PM. Message from KXL LP1.”

    Here is the audio that struggled to come thru.

    Notice the audio from PBS Newshour host Judy Woodruff begins to stutter right before the EAS awkward cut-in. The EAS tones then chirp. And then after hums, clicks and other spurious background sounds, a horribly distorted voice comes on about this being a test.

    The audio seemed to advise of a test. But, the text caption at the bottom of the tv screen said it was a 911 telephone emergency.

    This really leads me to question the veracity of an Emergency Alert System that is supposed to convey accurate and dependable information during critical and life saving emergencies. I say “oh wow” too.


    Dan, I was watching OPB-Plus on KOAC 7.2 and I noticed that this strange message came in at about 4:15pm. My computer was updating at the time, so I wasn’t able to readily access the pdxradio feedback forums at the time. Same caption, same audio though. I barely could tell if it was even a test to begin with, or with that the fact it was some sort of flawless trick to confuse people. Now that I see it, I think KOAC is simulcasting KOPB in Portland, as the caption was literally the same as you said it was on KOPB 10.2.


    EAS test on OPB 91.5 at about 10:28am, clear as a bell with all the tones in the correct sequence.

    This one was a regular test, originated by Clark County. I wonder why the previous one was such a fail and this one worked fine?

    Andy Brown

    One out of two is not a trend one way or the other.


    I’m sure it had something to do with what agency in which location decided to do the alert/test.

    The first one was an actual alert from … hard to believe, some agency telling us the 911 system wasn’t working. That doesn’t seem to me worthy of a full EAS alert, you’d think folks could figure out 911 don’t work by not getting an operator … duh.

    The one that worked was a scheduled test. I don’t feel reassured when the unscheduled alert was the one that failed.

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