Ashamed to be on AM (1 Viewer)

navychop

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What other method do you have to more reliably receive The Beeb in your car?
No sat radio. I could d/l podcasts, but that's no good for current news. No radio coverage that I know of. Hmmm. Don't remember the BBC site listing any broadcast stations. Gotta check.
 

radio

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The stream you hear IS real AM from us and fed from an off air tuner thus it IS a benchmark for A M potential. It's noted by FCC members, well known engineers, AM stereo developers, and even "regular" listeners for it's quality. Properly done, AM is as listenable and has at least as much separation as FM. (...when C-quam is properly transmitted and the special equipment to do so maintained well.)
 
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harshness

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Properly done, AM is as listenable and has at least as much separation as FM. (...when C-quam is properly transmitted and the special equipment to do so maintained well.)
"As good as" is hardly a solid recommendation in favor; especially if the reception conditions must be absolutely perfect.

I have a local AM station (KBZY) that goes to some trouble to provide a quality stereo audio but I can barely pick up their 1Kw signal eight miles away from the tower with my shortwave radio.
 

radio

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Okay, so now whe know what is the burr up your behind about AM. You're judging it on a bad experience. We've given you great, factual info. Conditions do NOT have to be perfect for AM to work. All that has to happen is, 1) The station has to operate as licensed and within legal parameters. 2) The station cares enough to provide as close to 10khz wide analog sound and maintain its facilities with some pride and... 3) Your receiver has to be is in an environment conducive to radio reception. The same applies to FM, except the bandwidth is different.

Don't judge AM only on your one bad experience. If you have an issue with a 1kw locally, don't blame the industry or the band, do some investigation! It could be your radio's AM section dying. It could be bad conductivity in the ground at the AM, it could be just a poor receiver, or something at the station is out of tolerance pending repair. Please don't blame the AM band.

IF your local broadcaster is operating properly, and with reasonable bandwidth going "out" the problem is either interference, environment, or your receiving device. There are fixes for most of this. More facts are needed.

I only stated that when PROPERLY DONE, AM, when broadcast in full allowable fidelity, and with a maintained physical plant is pleasant, carries well, and is NOT what you perceive it to be. Scott, the site owner here even runs a "part 15" AM which can get out nearly (correct me if I'm wrong, Scott) 1 to 2 mile range? Much depends on how the station has been kept up, and if owners care. It's not the BAND, it's the way it's operated that makes the difference, from the studio all the way to the towers, and on the consumer end some common sense in the selection, use, and deployment of their receiving equipment also is part of the mix.
 
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Tampa8

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I am a long time and still listener of, and big proponent of AM. While I use Satellite radio most often while driving, I like tuning to local AM stations in various towns on trips we take. During the day I spend a few hours listening to talk radio on it. I grew up with terrific sounding AM car radios, back when you could easily hear Buffalo or Chicago, St Louis, Iowa, Louisiana, etc, heck even could hear a couple of Caribbean stations all direct not skp while in Eastern Ct. (Caribbean on in-between frequencies) I still to this day like the sound of AM.

The problem isn't so much the radio stations, but as posted above it's the way the U.S. has allowed interference to make listening to them so hard. May sound far fetched, but there was a time electric companies had to be held to the fire if their lines interfered with radio (AM) reception. When they developed leaks they had to come or at the least were supposed to come to where the complaint was made and minimize the interference. Low power stations could still be heard for the most part in the area they were meant to serve. A local AM went stereo and I bought a portable stereo radio, the sound was excellent. There is no chance to hear that station at night anymore. Beyond power lines dimming lights and many lights in general emit too much noise. In Florida where I live most of the time some areas have such bad powerline noise you can literally see the broadcast antenna and not hear the station over the buzz. We had street light that kept going on then off at night and each time it came on AM radio was useless. I finally got them to come out and fix it. (or maybe others called too)
 
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radio

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It helps, indeed when LISTENERS act on issues and ask for help! Operators WANT clean sound in their towns. I don't ever mean to be a "rude" poster, but I'll defend to the death those who honestly try to serve their towns, and operate their stations as the CARETAKERS of the licenses, and actually make an effort to provide a good product If everyone on this site would eliminate even one "switching" (noisy) newer style wall wart, noise would begin to go down on the AM band. It's deplorable what is allowed to cause interference, and even completely WIPE OUT reception in a whole house or apartment building due to "el cheapo" manufacturers who won't filter their step down transformers! That's just ONE source! When you drive around your town and hear buzz from local power poles, that's a problem, and it's fixable. Map the place, tell your local station, ask them to contact the power company, and if the power company won't help, the FCC WILL.

Thanks for a great post!
 
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Trip

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Terrible radios don't help either.

I'm used to AM in the car sounding very muddy and like it has no high end. In fact, most of my receivers sound that way. But after my grandfather died, I was playing with an older AM radio of his (from the 70s maybe) and those very same AM stations sounded FANTASTIC. Not quite as good as FM (no stereo, of course), but pretty darn close.

- Trip
 

Scott Greczkowski

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Compressed frequency response is not an urban legend; it is an immutable law of physics. AM has a bandwidth of 20MHz and is typically limited to an audio frequency response range of 40-5000Hz.

Comparing the audio quality of the WION stream to that of its AM broadcast is silly.
Umm that IS a radio broadcast... not a feed from the board.
 

radio

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Terrible radios don't help either.
I'm used to AM in the car sounding very muddy and like it has no high end. In fact, most of my receivers sound that way. But after my grandfather died, I was playing with an older AM radio of his (from the 70s maybe) and those very same AM stations sounded FANTASTIC. Not quite as good as FM (no stereo, of course), but pretty darn close. - Trip

That is SOOO true! (and...AM in STEREO does exist!!) I'm in the process of trying to tell Chrysler/Jeep/Uconnect they have a flaw in their AM software! It takes our GREAT AM sound and trashes it by trying to click into "HD" AM, which is a flawed, horrible format. This new radio "shreds' all the high frequencies and makes US look bad to our local people who buy cars from one of our clients AND any people passing through with one! Standards ARE needed....in radio production and implementation in the USA if manufacturers won't start to recognize the value of AM. I hate government intervention, but the makers of these horrible radios wouldn't like it if WE explained how bad their product is, affecting their sales. We DO this to a small degree just to DEFEND ourselves these days!
 
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navychop

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The "no stereo" comment was no doubt a reference to that old radio not supporting stereo.
 
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harshness

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Don't judge AM only on your one bad experience. If you have an issue with a 1kw locally, don't blame the industry or the band, do some investigation! It could be your radio's AM section dying. It could be bad conductivity in the ground at the AM, it could be just a poor receiver, or something at the station is out of tolerance pending repair. Please don't blame the AM band.
I feel justified in blaming the band as so many of our stations have to throttle back their signals to protect powerful stations elsewhere. This typically isn't necessary in the higher frequency bands.

With modern radios the problem is usually the antennas, not the radios. Whip antennas are all but gone on cars and SUVs and any that have one are of the fixed 31" variety; optimum for FM reception.

That receiving AM is often so difficult to do and FM is so easy (functional FM is built into many wireless phones), it is no wonder that our most popular AM stations have an FM sister.
 

radio

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Nobody's been "throttling back' unless they were BOUGHT BY a station that wanted the signal. (Like WOWO was bought by a company in New York to keep teh NY station on higher power.) This is a RARE occurrence. Nighttime power reduction has existed since broadcasting regulation began in the interest of NOT having issues, and is there to PROTECT your local station! Remember, your LOCAL station is the one licensed to serve you, not the one halfway across the country.

Stations are licensed to operate at a certain level, and have-to by FCC regs. Your reception issues are caused by a higher noise floor than ever, meaning man-made noise and big city noise encroaching on the signals if not from standard "power down."

FM in phones? Good luck with that. Headphones are NOT good antennas for anything beyond a short distance. There IS no built in FM antenna in them. They're mediocre at best, and an issue I wish, as a broadcaster WITH an FM I wish did not exist. You're the typical consumer! You're quick to blame the broadcaster, not the phone with the "marginal tuner" when reception is bad, because you just spent $300 on a GREAT phone which has a bastardized and compromised receiver.
 
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harshness

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Nobody's been "throttling back' unless they were BOUGHT BY a station that wanted the signal. (Like WOWO was bought by a company in New York to keep teh NY station on higher power.) This is a RARE occurrence. Nighttime power reduction has existed since broadcasting regulation began in the interest of NOT having issues, and is there to PROTECT your local station! Remember, your LOCAL station is the one licensed to serve you, not the one halfway across the country.
You say it doesn't happen and then you explain why it happens daily. You can't have it both ways.

Nobody that expects to get out is using only 1Kw, but that's what I'm dealing with. It is better now that the sun isn't on the horizon when the alarm goes off on the shortwave. That presents another interesting hazard for AM.
 

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Harshness, Your post read like stations are doing this more lately. My mistake if I read it wrong. They're not. All non-"clear" channel stations ( "clear channel meaning the frequency they're on... is not shared....not referring to the evil giant company) on AM have had regulations on night power. It's not happening any MORE today.

Markets for the individual signals are determined by a complex set of computations which is even more complicated at night than at day. The City of License is the important target, and its surrounding area, maximized for best available signal by good engineering for day, and 'anything we can get" past the city at night. Believe me, they don't had out licenses to UP your night power at the FCC.

Man made interference is our worst enemy as broadcasters, and people keep giving IN to it! Get an AT&T new modem. Plug it in. Your home will have AM blanked out in many cases because AT&T bought cheap wall warts which go against the FCC policy on interference. Multiply that type of situation by how many modems, homes, and other noisy devices! Does anyone ask AT&T to replace 'em? NO. They just blame the broadcaster that we're not as strong. Wrong answer.

When this station signed on at 500 watts in 1953, it was receivable 100 miles away clearly. Today? We've got 10 times the power, only a 30 miles radius, and yet a better air-chain and transmitter than ever. We have to concentrate on our INTENDED target, which, for our AM is the city and about a 4 mile radius night, 30 daytime.

The FM helps at night in outlying areas, and the AM STEREO feed from the tuner in my office proves to a grateful public how good AM can sound! AM is allowed to broadcast up to 10khz when properly done. (10khz is an average, too.) Our spikes are allowed to go above there, just not all the time. It's why when we're measured for compliance each year the 'scoping takes about 20 minutes to "average" our higher peaks into the 10khz limit.

I'm not clear on your bringing SW and your alarm into the conversation and the phrase "interesting hazard for AM" Can you clarify, please?
 
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radio

"On the Air" in MI
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Not the best link. A good case of "if it's on the web it is so." The reference to bandwidth is wrong. AM is allowed an overall 10khz (NRSC rules) plus occasional overshoots for "averaged" measurement. Part 15 AM's are not required to do this, (low power AM's, unlicensed, only the licensed ones.)

Also, the "cost by comparison....." "Cheaper?" Transmitters are transmitters. Electricity is Electricity. FM has expensive antennas on towers. AM has NO expensive antennas, JUST towers, but a grounding system. Nothing is 'stored' in an AM or FM signal, either. Embedded? perhaps, as part of the signal is divided to carry information OTHER than the audio on BOTH AM and FM. (as in HD on EITHER.)

I've paid $16k for NEW top of the line FM transmitters, and $45k for others. Depends on your needs, power output, features, brand, even manufacturer's location...not necessarily the AM vs. FM argument. .

Coverage for either AM or FM is dependent upon POWER output, and a combination of terrain, antenna, even processing. AM travels terrain better, but it's not got a "get out of jail free" for coverage vs. FM.

There's enough wrong there to put any broadcaster in orbit. Some good info, some total, well....
 
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