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Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

ff
July 09, 2014 12:02PM
I gotta agree with John - AM radio will continue its slow slide into oblivion. In my opinion, what is really killing it has little to do with programming. Although many are incensed by all the political talk that abounds there, the stations have found a market niche to exploit and profit from. Lacking that, the band would be dead already. Although AM is more prone to interference, many of its technical problems are assailable, IF the Feds would stop picking winners and get out of the way.

The FCC has been practicing crony capitalism for generations and NOT solving problems. Rather than impose its usual heavy-handed decision, it uncharacteristically "let the marketplace decide" about AM stereo back in the 80s. Everyone knew beforehand that the well-capitalized Motorola C-QUAM system would eventually win. The Kahn brothers quadrature system was probably better technically, and did NOT need special circuitry for demodulation - but there was so much more profit to be made from selling not just modulation systems, but special receivers. The Feds scratched Motorola's nuts to the detriment of AM. Not able to demodulate the C-QUAM signal with existing receivers, the listeners yawned and turned their backs. C-QUAM died...

Through the 90s the Kahn brothers were marketing another AM technology called Powerside that put most of the AM signal's modulation power into one of the sidebands. Had the FCC laid out a co-ordinated plan nationwide and set a date for its adoption, Powerside could have reduced much of the co-channel interference across the entire band. And by some accounts I have read, with tight co-ordination, the decreased channel width could have been exploited to increase the modulation bandwidth of the active sideband, thereby increasing the fidelity. But no, although the Kahn brothers (and others) were busy cooking up creative solutions for some of AM's technical problems, they lacked political influence. Powerside died...

This behavior is decades old. Tom Lewis' book "Empire Of That Air" chronicles the ongoing screwing perpetrated by the FCC on Major Edwin Armstrong - one of the greatest radio pioneers, all on behalf of RCA. TV inventor Philo T. Farnsworth was treated in similar fashion. The FCC plays goon to the moneyed interests - it always has, and it always will. I really don't think they even care about saving AM. They probably already have plans for slicing, dicing, and auctioning. This new proposal is probably just lip service, designed to mollify the diehards and expected to fail too. Like John, I will also miss AM...
Subject Author Views Posted

AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Pat Murphy 823 July 05, 2014 06:22AM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

BramStoker 382 July 05, 2014 04:55PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

ThaDood 366 July 08, 2014 03:24PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

jtart 365 July 08, 2014 07:46PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

ff 388 July 09, 2014 12:02PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Radio Animal 349 July 12, 2014 12:53AM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Pat Murphy 333 August 23, 2014 06:51PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Pat Murphy 342 August 24, 2014 09:25PM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief? No AM in EV's?

ThaDood 369 August 25, 2014 12:07AM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Radio Animal 384 September 06, 2014 03:47AM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Radio Animal 351 October 01, 2014 03:55AM

Re: AM Radio proposal - FCC relief?

Pat Murphy 331 October 01, 2014 05:27AM



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