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A Quest to Save AM (Radio) Before Itís Lost in the Static (caused by cellphones and other devices)
NY Times ^ | September 8, 2013 | By EDWARD WYATT

Posted on 09/10/2013 1:30:11 PM PDT by a fool in paradise

...at least one man in Washington is tuning in.

Ajit Pai, the lone Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, is on a personal if quixotic quest to save AM. After a little more than a year in the job, he is urging the F.C.C. to undertake an overhaul of AM radio, which he calls “the audible core of our national culture.” He sees AM — largely the realm of local news, sports, conservative talk and religious broadcasters — as vital in emergencies and in rural areas.

“AM radio is localism, it is community,” Mr. Pai, 40, said in an interview.

AM’s longer wavelength means it can be heard at far greater distances and so in crises, he said, “AM radio is always going to be there.” As an example, he cited Fort Yukon, Alaska, where the AM station KZPA broadcasts inquiries about missing hunters and transmits flood alerts during the annual spring ice breakup.

“When the power goes out, when you can’t get a good cell signal, when the Internet goes down, people turn to battery-powered AM radios to get the information they need,” Mr. Pai said...

...But why try to salvage AM? Critics say its decline is simply natural selection at work, and many now support converting the frequency for use by other wireless technologies. A big sign of AM’s weakness is that one hope for many of its stations may be channeling their broadcasts onto FM.

... “I’m obviously bullish on next-generation technology,” Mr. Pai said. “But I certainly think there continues to be a place for broadcasting and for AM radio.”...

...Nearly every recently manufactured electronic consumer product... emits radio signals that can interfere with AM broadcasts....

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Music/Entertainment; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: amradio; cellphones; fcc; radio

1 posted on 09/10/2013 1:30:11 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
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And from elsewhere on the web:

Is AM revitalization a cover to force an all-digital transition?
Posted on April 17, 2013 by Paul Riismandel

http://radiosurvivor.com/2013/04/17/is-am-revitalization-a-cover-to-force-an-all-digital-transition/


2 posted on 09/10/2013 1:30:56 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

The AM bandwidth is around 1 MHz...not much use for the types of bandwidth needed for cell phones/etc.

Plus, mod/demod for AM is infinitely easy. And...receiving a signal requires only wire, a headphone, and a crystal diode. (Yup, cell-kids, it’s the ultimate in simplicity - but beyond your texting abilities. Well, beyond most of you anyway.)


3 posted on 09/10/2013 1:34:06 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: Da Coyote

When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, it showed the folly of digital reception-ept-ept-s-——ept. So much for listening to storm updates.

And electric cars aren’t much good when parts of the city are without power for over 30 days (and a majority without power for up to 7 days).

Oh, go buy a generator and get some gas you say?

FOLLY!


4 posted on 09/10/2013 1:37:20 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

Interference to AM radio is common from switching power supplies used in most electronic equipment. Your AM radio will often work better in your car than in your home, because you are further away from the sources of interference.

Cellphones operate at much higher frequencies. Any internal switching supplies they have operate at very low power, so they are not the source of AM radio interference.


5 posted on 09/10/2013 1:38:57 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: a fool in paradise

This is political, the leftist want to squash talk radio. This is a veiled attempt. Don’t be suckered.


6 posted on 09/10/2013 1:40:46 PM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Da Coyote

We are being sold better-mousetraps not because they are actually BETTER (they come with tradeoffs) but they are mandated by Congress/Presidents.

Non-filament lightbulbs, low flow toilets, electric cars, freon-free cooling systems, digital television...

I am often told that CDs sound so much better than scratchy records. CDs can get scratched too (and digitally rot over time). A scratched CD can sound far worse (unplayable) than a scratched record (the player for which can be more forgiving). But the music companies made good bank rereleasing albums (at inflated wholesale costs for DECADES) on the “sexy” Compact Disc format. Today, they are rereleasing albums (at inflated wholesale costs) on the “retrosexy” vinyl format (petroleum price is a factor in costs, reduced number of pressing plants with a scarcity of replacement parts is also a factor) but not every company is seeking a $20-30 pricepoint for records these days.


7 posted on 09/10/2013 1:45:13 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: central_va

Leftists have pretty much given up on their jihad against talk radio. The average talk demographic is now over 50. People under 40 have no idea what AM is. People under 30 don’t even listen to radio, and the Obamabots have largely captured them on their wireless devices.

They are just sitting back waiting for us and/or the technology to die off.


8 posted on 09/10/2013 1:48:10 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I’m still waiting for McCain and other to retire.

At least Red Ted Kennedy is gone. Orwell had him pegged.


9 posted on 09/10/2013 2:06:45 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise
The feds want AM radio to die, so that more eyes become glued to their darn Politburo TV programming. Those of us who were raised with the radio on top of the refrigerator, and always turned on, except when, in those days, -a- TV show that was liked, was being broadcast. I still listen to radio, whether broadcast or internet based, more than I watch television. I'm not dumb, as I was 125 out 0f 630 seniors in my high school class. I'm not queer, and most of television shows on the MSM are, so that's out. So, I listen to radio, and do one other thing that is almost forbidden, these days: I read books in print. I was a columnist for the regional newspaper, (that means there, Ms. Jeannette, that I can write cursive), until they started inhabiting Barry Obama's alimentary canal. I have since retired from all that. In all this, I do remember the big yelling about those broadband lines, that the FCC told everybody to "shaddup", and went forward with, anyway. I live rurally, so that doesn't happen here. On my S350DL Grundig (Chinese Tektun), I can pick up Denver AM at night, but nothing from the East for too far a distance. Shortwave radio is still a good turn or two, but getting Celtic music from a pirate radio in Ireland, was a hoot. Now, getting schooled on the how-to's of shortwave radio, from an old USAR-retired sergeant, now broadcasting from Havana, of all places, on shortwave frequencies, in clear English, was interesting!
10 posted on 09/10/2013 2:15:19 PM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: a fool in paradise

Pretty much pseudo-science BS, about what you’d expect from the MSM/NYT.

True, the switching power supplies that have been forced upon us as part of “going green” emit all sorts of RF noise, but it’s manageable unless you’re in a really weak AM signal area. Computers and lots of other stuff make far worse, the bigger problem is that all these unintentional emissions are supposed to be be mitigated by the manufacturer, and the FCC does nothing to enforce their weak, self-adminstered rules.

There are many who’d like to force AM into a digital transition but there are better reasons not to. Not the least of which is obsoleting the entire installed base of radios back to the early 20th century, and in a time of emergency, our national interest is far better served by a radio transmission mode that can be picked up with a razor blade and piece of wire vs. on that requires millions of transistors in a costly and power-hungry digital decoder IC.

I call BS on it.


11 posted on 09/10/2013 2:22:04 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Da Coyote

And...receiving a signal requires only wire, a headphone, and a crystal diode.

really :

I thought you needed a wire (antennae), a simple lrc (inductor, resistor, capacitor) circuit with a variable resistor as the r, a battery or ac power with a ac to dc transformer, and an amplifier tube or crystal diode.


12 posted on 09/10/2013 2:26:28 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: staytrue

Right indeed: http://makearadio.com/crystal/index.php

I am old, I built them things and used them just for fun.
As long as there is an AM station in relative proximity, they work fine.


13 posted on 09/10/2013 2:37:20 PM PDT by elpinta (Jer. 10:23 - It really holds true!)
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To: staytrue
Actually, a wire, a rusty razor blade, a piece of pencil lead and an earphone will do the trick quite nicely. Google “foxhole radio”.
14 posted on 09/10/2013 2:43:20 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: a fool in paradise

My last three new pickups have had increasingly bad AM radios. If I am in the mountains they get fair reception, but once I get next to a power line, there is huge static. I don’t remember power line static 30-40 years ago.


15 posted on 09/10/2013 2:44:10 PM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: eartrumpet

Driving alongside of any Metro bus in my cities results in audible AM radio static.


16 posted on 09/10/2013 2:46:10 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: a fool in paradise

I guess the FCC isn’t happy with how long it’s taking the old man to die, so they are wanting to take a big old needle full of Strychnine and put it right in a main artery to speed up the process.

Making obsolete every radio receiver that has been made in the last 100 years. Are they out of their mind?

Digital transmission on a crowded band that is ill suited for such transmission system. Are they out of their mind?

They know dang well what will happen. Just like they knew dang well what would happen with the digital TV transition.

I am sorry FCC, we don’t want your medicine. AM radio has lasted a 100 years, and it will probably last another 100 without any help from you.


17 posted on 09/10/2013 3:30:14 PM PDT by Rage cat
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To: central_va
This is political, the leftist want to squash talk radio. This is a veiled attempt.

I am personally a little more paranoid on this. I think they want to force all mass communication to the Internet, where they can monitor who is watching/listening to/reading what.

They need to drive a stake through IBOC and leave AM alone. We need one long distance, reliable, technically simple, and untraceable means of mass communication.

18 posted on 09/10/2013 3:32:28 PM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: staytrue; bitterohiogunclinger; Da Coyote; elpinta

Once upon a time, making a crystal radio was a rite of passage for every Boy Scout... but that was before the Faggotry and Twerking merit badges were created.


19 posted on 09/10/2013 5:19:29 PM PDT by Rodamala
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