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Thread: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

  1. #11

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by NightAire

    Is the answer regulating electronics manufacturers, requiring them to put AM bands on all radios with FM,
    You should spend time with the Consumer Electronics Association folks to find out the esteem they hold broadcasting. They'd just as soon stop building any radios at all.

  2. #12

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    The AM band should be kept active as long as rogue nations have a shot as an emp laydown.

    I'm buying stock in blueblades as soon as Iran launches their bomb.

  3. #13

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    There is a long (I mean really long) shot to AM's woe's. Force the class D's and C's to migrate the old TV analog channels.* The former C's and D's stations would be digital using an "open" source digital scheme, and these stations and receivers would have a "tight" bandwidth so their would be no need for the "second adjacent" protection like now on FM due to 1950's transmitter and receiver technology. Abolish every other AM channel in a time zone arrangement of the country so the remaining stations could shift up or down one frequency up "if needed" and have a 12 or 15 KHZ audio daytime and HD. 15 or 30 minutes before sunset and until 15 or 30 minutes after sunrise non directional stations go back to the 10 KHZ like they are now. AM stations that are directional at night with a pattern that goes out into the ocean or country and not under a treaty restriction can run the daytime "wide band" 24 hours a day (possibilities are WMCA, WOR, WWL, KHJ, KABC, WIND ect). The most important part of my plan (I know this will never work logic, politics, and the FCC** do not mix) Any digital "Scan function" stops at "new" FM's and AM HD signals just like it does for FM signals now.

    I know a lot of people hate HD but (especially AM HD) but it is the only FCC type approved digital option that I know of. FM took decades to gain acceptance. HD will to. IMHO AM HD (what little I have heard) is on par with the MP3 recordings a lot of people are listening too .

    *the few remaining stations go to the "regular" UHF digital band.

    ** the FCC could come up with a "reasonable" fee schedule for all of the Construction Permits and still rack in a bunch of funds. After the migration of the C's and D's there should be some bandwidth in the old VHF analog band left over auction and to use for the low power community stations.


  4. #14

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by secondchoice
    There is a long (I mean really long) shot to AM's woe's. Force the class D's and C's to migrate the old TV analog channels.*
    Sure. How does someone with an AM/FM radio receive those channels?

    That's the problem. The public would have to buy new radios to receive those channels. It could take as long as 20 years for the transition to have an effect. How much are you willing to invest in something that won't pay off for 20 years?

  5. #15

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Until stations of note start going dark, AM is not passing away, although there is cause for concern. Canada took some big AM stations off-air. In the U.S. it seems, at least in large markets, somebody always wants the AM stations, even the ones most likely to bite the dust. In Cleveland, Ohio a 1,000 watt AM daytimer way up at 1540 AM was with a religious owner for years, and now is a mostly syndicated sports talk station playing second fiddle to the main AM sports station... owned by the same company Good Karma... which is at AM 850. In Painesville Ohio, a station at 1460 AM recently became a Progressive Talk outlet. Their signal is quite impaired at night due to having to protect another 1460 (Columbus?). 1490 AM in Cleveland/Cleveland Heights Ohio keeps chugging along as a part Urban Talk and brokered outlet along with some cool old time radio shows at night. Radio One wanted it. Go figure.

  6. #16

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Once more: The bandwidth required for digital modes in the 1 mhz range is simply not available.

    When a 50 khz swath of noise is necessary even to broadcast "dead air", the whole concept is basically criminal.

    Even then, the wavelength at 1 Mhz is unsuited to the data rate, and many "bits" never have sufficient time to become
    recognized in the 0 or 1 state compared to the reference carrier.

    Data redundancy is then required, and this makes the mode even less efficient, if we then accept the idea that
    data will be lost and must plan for the loss by using even more bandwidth or restricting the information transmitted.
    Valparaiso Technical Institute 1982, Analog engineer, AM pt 15, inventor with 2 issued patents, former SW pirate. Now offering antique radio repair/restoration and alignment.&nbsp; Stop just wishing that old radio worked!<br />AM1620 podcasts -&gt;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; http://thomasjwells.podomatic.com/

  7. #17
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    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbasalla
    Until stations of note start going dark, AM is not passing away, although there is cause for concern.
    But... when we see almost all the AMs in most markets doing things that get no listenership and are marginally profitable if at all, it means the end is quite near.

    Canada took some big AM stations off-air.
    Canada moved about 60% of its AMs to FM, recognizing that AM is losing listener appeal and is being decimated by man made noise. Among the first moves were a majority of the CBC stations.

    Mexico has begun implementing a plan where as much as 75% of all AMs will migrate to FM under a law that declares AM to be of limited future viability.

    In the U.S. it seems, at least in large markets, somebody always wants the AM stations, even the ones most likely to bite the dust.
    There still always seems to be someone who wants a radio station. And in many cases, when their money runs out, there is someone else. When there is a realization that certain stations just can't ever be viable, there will be stations turning in their licenses... as is starting slowly now.

    1490 AM in Cleveland/Cleveland Heights Ohio keeps chugging along as a part Urban Talk and brokered outlet along with some cool old time radio shows at night. Radio One wanted it. Go figure.
    Radio One got the AM as part of the more desirable FM acquisition. Even back around '60 when Richard Eaton sold 1540 and bought 1490 it was obvious that it did not cover anything but a small part of the market. Eaton moved the station from Cedar and Lee to just east of Severance Center and they even tried grounding the tower to the train tracks to get the best out of the signal... but it was a Class IV and of limited potential today.
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  8. #18

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    David, do you know if I am correct in my assumption that you can't cover an area as cost-effectively on AM as you can on FM (excluding nighttime skip, etc.)?
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  9. #19
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    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by NightAire
    David, do you know if I am correct in my assumption that you can't cover an area as cost-effectively on AM as you can on FM (excluding nighttime skip, etc.)?
    There are two kinds of costs... operating costs and construction costs. In each station's case, the two may be different.

    Getting an FM on the Empire State Building may cost, over time, much much more than putting an AM out in the Meadowlands. So available sites and site purchase or rental is a first step, even if coverage is identical.

    FMs in many markets are located on local TV towers or have shared towers with many FMs at the same place as the TVs. It's easier to get permits and zoning this way. An AM may take years to get zoning for, and land may cost millions if it is directional in a big market.

    Watt per watt, AM costs more to transmit... a 50 kw FM may only use a 20 kw transmitter, and the 20 kw FM uses less power than a 20 kw AM rig. This is just the nature of a modulated carrier system vs a modulated frequency system.

    In areas of terrific ground conductivity, a good AM may outcover the best FMs... like in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids or Chicago. But in Atlanta, for example, a 50 kw low dial position AM may be outcovered by a run of the mill FM.

    So you have to look at ground conductivity power and directionality for AM, transmitter location, power, height for FM. And then how much it cost to build and operate. Each is different.
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  10. #20

    Re: Can The AM Band Be Saved?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA
    Quote Originally Posted by secondchoice
    There is a long (I mean really long) shot to AM's woe's. Force the class D's and C's to migrate the old TV analog channels.*
    Sure. How does someone with an AM/FM radio receive those channels?

    That's the problem. The public would have to buy new radios to receive those channels. It could take as long as 20 years for the transition to have an effect. How much are you willing to invest in something that won't pay off for 20 years?
    One selling point for keeping the GM and Chrysler Bankruptcies (11) from becoming Chapter 7 (liquidation), was the accepted fact that the average car on the road is over 10 years old. At least 30% will have to be replaced a few years due to wrecks, and "fatal" (many of thousands of dollars repairs like engine or transmission) mechanical failures. The TV industry handle the Digital switch. Do you remember the FM "converters" that you dial an AM frequency then you have a FM tuner for your car. It will take 5 years or more but not 20 + like FM took.

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