Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
FCC releases TV station self-inspection checklist

Cut out the junk food. Change your oil every 3,000 miles. Do 30 minutes of aerobics three times a week. Sharpen your mower blade each spring. Clean out your gutters.

There’s no end to the admonitions and advice when it comes to self help. So it is with television stations, too.

The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC released a TV Station Self-Inspection Checklist in March that station operators and engineers will find quite helpful in the never-ending quest to improve station compliance with broadcast regulations.

While the checklist, which is available on line as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file or from the FCC form distribution contractor at 800-418-3676, does not cover all broadcast regulations it does include requirements spelled out in Title 47 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Parts 11, 17 and 73.

Chief engineers and RF engineers will find a detailed checklist to ensure that their stations’ transmission plants comply with FCC regulations. Included in this area of the checklist are sections dealing with:

  • antenna structures, including tower registration, FAA notification , painting, maintenance and lighting;

  • power, including authorized visual and aural transmitter output power;

  • frequency, including maximum authorized visual carrier frequency deviation;

  • modulation, including total aural modulation for mono and stereophonic service;

  • transmitter metering and control;

  • spurious and harmonic emissions, including allowable emission attenuation level;

  • monitoring procedures and calibration of test equipment.

The checklist was developed to give broadcasters a mechanism to assess their compliance with the most frequently violated broadcast regulations. Using the checklist, broadcasters can review and correct any found deficiencies without an on-site visit from representatives of the enforcement bureau.

Besides transmitter, antenna and tower related requirements, the checklist includes requirements for administrative and non-technical items, such as authorizations and station logs and records; emergency alert system compliance; attended versus unattended operation; and local marketing agreements.

For more information, visit http://www.fcc.gov/eb/bc-chklsts/EB18TV0303.pdf.

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