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Analog Angle

AM Radio: The Beat Goes On (for a Little Bit Longer)

Bill Schweber
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TheMeasurementBlues
TheMeasurementBlues
5/22/2013 11:43:59 AM
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Teacher
Re: Still listening to some AM Radio
audiocal, I think all political opinions (regardless of which side) should remain off sites like this one. Let's keep to technical talk.

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audiocal
audiocal
5/22/2013 10:36:13 AM
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Teacher
Re: Still listening to some AM Radio
AM talk radio is still alive and well, the big AM stations have a long reach. IMHP, NPR is a tax-payer supported left-wing propaganda outlet. Why do we have to pay for its existence? At least AM talk radio pays its own way.

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TheMeasurementBlues
TheMeasurementBlues
3/8/2013 2:14:10 PM
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Teacher
Re: It's not just AM
Rich,

May father had a Zenith Tras Oceanic raido, circa 1952 or so. I used it when I was a kid to pull in out of town AM atations. I could listen to ball games from Bston to St. Louis. I once pulled in a basketball game from Salt lake City.

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TheMeasurementBlues
TheMeasurementBlues
3/8/2013 2:10:46 PM
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Teacher
Re: Still listening to some AM Radio
DP23, Here in Boston we have two AM and two FM full-time sports stations. WEEI-AM was king, then CBS put all sports on its FM outlet WBZ-FM (Bruins and Patriots). WEEI carries the Red Sox and Celtics and even though the station is 50kW, the signal is directed north and east, almost out over the ocean. At night, you can;t hear the AM signal 20 miles west of Boston, a populated area. WBZ-FM was cutting into ratings, then WEEI acquired the 93.7FM singal, based in Lawrence, MA. 50kW FM and it's got a long local range. WEEI moved it local sports talk to FM and put ESPN radio on AM. Being as here in Boston, nobody cares about sports teams outside the area (except the hated Yankees).

WBZ-AM is 50kW clear channel. They get all the over 60 audience, plus my wife. You can tell by the ads, they are all asking people to call some 800 number.

I have no sue for commerical radio anymore. I listen to noncommerical sometimes, or Internet radio.

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DP23
DP23
3/7/2013 5:17:56 PM
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Newbie
Still listening to some AM Radio
I listen to a sports talk show on AM radio every weekday morning for about 30 minutes to catch up with my favorite baseball broadcasters and to hear other sports news. I also listen to my team's games on this same station when I can't watch on TV or in person. This station also carries the sports of a major university that I follow in my area and another local AM station carries the games of my alma mater.

So, I still use AM radio for sports broadcasts and some news, but not much else.

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Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
3/7/2013 1:03:29 PM
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Blogger
Re: Radio Still Alive
But aren't most NPR stations on the FM band? It's the AM stations that are fading away first, what what I see and read.

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clematis
clematis
3/7/2013 12:48:05 PM
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Radio Still Alive
  I beg to differ that few people actually listen to radio. NPR is alive and well. Millions of commuters listen to their favorite station daily, to and from work. They listen for news , traffic, weather, commentary. I'm one of them.

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trigoli
trigoli
3/7/2013 12:38:39 AM
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Crystal Sets, Tube Radios & Heathkits
Excerpt from my recently published memoir: "Experiencing Silicon Valley" (Stone Canoe, Syracuse University, Issue # 7, January 2013):

"My romance with electronics took root when I was growing up in Jamestown, New York, in the 1950s. My fascination with radio led me to build my first crystal set using my mattress bed-spring as an antenna.  It seemed like magic to manipulate a "cat's whisker" atop a small grayish-white rocky clump of germanium and voilà (!), out of the ether streamed my favorite music and drama programs. Many nights I would fall asleep wearing earphones."

I still take delight in warming up an old vacuum tube radio, recalling how I migrated from building crystal sets to rescuing vacuum tube radios in disrepair that neighbors put on the curb. It was great sport to salvage those radios before the trash collector arrived so that I could get them working again. I eventually became a big fan of mail-order Heathkits, building high-fidelity audio systems.

"Little did I know that my early interest in electronics would ultimately lead me to Silicon Valley, where I would spend most of my adult life working with high-tech companies and some of the legendary personalities who established them."

If you would like to receive a PDF of my complete memoir at no charge, just send your request to rigoli@mindpik.com.

 

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Treth
Treth
3/6/2013 1:22:44 PM
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Newbie
AM Radio Emergency Communications
Line one of the other commenters, I became a licensed ham radio operator after my colleagues at work encouraged me to do so.  The American Radio Relay League is the leading advocate for amateur radio in this country, and they vigorously defend the segments of frequency spectrum the FCC has allotted for amateurs, citing emergency communications as a reason to be there.  The ARRL regularly sponsors events on the ham bands to simulate emergency situations, and even the contests (to vie for who can make the most radio contacts with other hams) have an element of emergency preparedness.  And indeed, the hams rise to the occasion during natural disasters, providing communications when all other means have failed. 

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cello1000
cello1000
3/6/2013 11:54:40 AM
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Newbie
Community AM Radio
The excessive corporate concentration of media ownership includes AM radio stations.  This has lead to the declining quality of programming.  AM radio can become relevant only if there are stations that serve the public interest by providing real news, information, and quality entertainment.  This is why young people have increasingly gravitated toward the internet.  Community funding of local radio stations - to help serve community interests - is the only way radio will ever survive and stay relevant to the needs of people.  Here in Los Angeles, we have KUSC, a community funded classical music station with no advertising (just fund raising drives).  We also have KPFK - part of the Pacifica Radio Network - that strives to provide alternative news coverage and information on politics, the economy, the environment, alternative medicine and so forth.  While KUSC and KPFK are both FM stations, AM could serve this function just as well.  We need fewer radio stations but more independence and quality in programming for the ones that remain, and we need to phase out the obsolete, 20th century model of commercial broadcasting based on corporate advertising.

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