Engineering: Sage Encoder Users Need Update

FCC Mandated EAS Software Update To Change How Your EAS Box Determines The Time

A free FCC required mandatory update to the Sage EAS encoder-decoder model 3644 is now available, and stations must install it.

According to Sage, Firmware Version 89-34 “addresses a changed requirement in the FCC EAS rules, Part 11.33(a)(10), which affects how the valid time frame of an alert is determined.” That modifies the current method of frame validation, according to the company.

To get the SAGE update, visit for complete information.

In September there will be a further update from SAGE due to changes to the FEMA IPAWS server. Unfortunately, this mandatory update will NOT be free. 

After the FEMA switchover, older versions of the ENDEC software will not be able to receive CAP messages from IPAWS. In addition, SAGE tells us that the September release will focus on features Sage users have asked for, including the ability to preferentially send the CAP version of EAS messages for most alerts, role-based logins, enhanced automation interfaces (IP and GPIO), day parts, activity logging, emailed summary logs, and more. Again, this release will also be mandatory.

While Sage has made updates available at no charge since the original 2008 release of the Model 3644 ENDEC, there will be a one-time charge of $349 for the September release. The release will only be sold through SAGE distributors. This update will be provided free of charge for ENDECs purchased new after March 1, 2018 (eighteen months prior to September 2019). SAGE says it will email users of record when that release is available.

SCMS, INC. is already advertising the September update in emails sent to broadcast stations and to SBE members.

The NMBA will carefully watch for news of required updates from other broadcast EAS encoder-decoder manufacturers and provide details here.