[AMRadio] FCC and AM on the BC band


Jim Candela jcandela at prodigy.net
Wed Feb 8 10:07:04 EST 2006


Ken,

   I guess it was me that brought up the KOKE AM 1600
issue with voice over IP, quality, dead air, etc. I
however did not mention anything about programming
content. Somebody else did that.

   It has been a good long while since I worked in a
AM station as a broadcast engineer (1st FCC licensee
here), but I always recall striving for broadcasting
excellence regardless of content. On more than one
occasion I was under that mixer board looking for a
source of an intermittant, or 60 hz hum source when
the disk jockey was saying things that I did not agree
with, or was playing music that made me want to vomit.
Still, I set the board to achieve full modulation,
with crystal clear audio. It was in that spirit I
brought up KOKE AM 1600 in Austin since this station
stands out in a way that it is unlistenable due to
dead air, cut-outs (voip), over modulation, etc. 
  

Regards,
Jim
WD5JKO



--- Ken Zuercher <hepcatrevival at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Sorry I just got around to reading this for a reply.
> The prime cause of wierdness in programming and
> quality is that there is rarely anyone minding the
> store at Commercial stations, especially AM. The
> stations are being run by computers, Usually windows
> machines that are riddled with bugs. The engineers
> are
> like me, a contractor that isn't on staff and only
> called in ocassionally. Thing happen to the systems
> and you get dead air, multiple sources on the
> air,etc.
> I also think that political commentary doesn't
> belong
> on this or any other ham radio list. Considering
> that
> 90% of the AM talkers are of the right wing variety,
> comments about Air America should be best kept to
> one
> self. Not all of us think alike and that's a very
> good
> thing. If we did, we all would have only rice box
> rigs.
> Ken KC8QO
> 
> --- VJB <wa3vjb at yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
> > The FCC is allowing the quality of AM signals to
> > deteriorate, but it's been over a very long period
> > of
> > time.
> > 
> > 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.
> > 
> > Paul/VJB
> > 
> > 
> > __________________________________________________
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