[AMRadio] FCC and AM on the BC band

VJB wa3vjb at yahoo.com
Thu Feb 2 15:50:04 EST 2006

The FCC is allowing the quality of AM signals to
deteriorate, but it's been over a very long period of

First there was the neglect of receiver standards
which could have forced car radio and home tuner
manufactuers to comply with minimum specs on
selectivity and audio fidelity. Many industry
observers feel this could have been established during
the "AM Stereo" controversy.

Then, after failing to do that, the FCC allowed the
industry to propose and implement a 9 kHz transmitted
bandwidth standard, ostensibly to minimize adjacent
channel interference.

In the time since digital decoding and encoding became
a successor to the (sometimes) equalized metallic pair
between studio and transmitter, there has not been
enough industry interest at making sure digital
artifacts are held to a minimum

Lately, the industry jumped on the "digital" bandwagon
that rolled through television then FM, to voluntarily
try to implement In-Band, On-Channel digital service
on contemporary AM frequencies.

The side effects of this system spread interference
well past 15 to 20 Kc from center frequency, as a
function of trying to match (not beat) the kind of
analog audio quality our parents remember when they
were tuned to AM on the old wooden floor console that
served as the Home Entertainment Center in those
pre-TV days.


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