[AMRadio] Re: future of AM radio

Bob Young youngbob53 at msn.com
Sun Oct 21 18:40:30 EDT 2007

I do not wish to start a debate on iBlock, but I was not writing as a DXer I 
was writing as someone who gets into his car at night and COULD listen to 
WSM 650 easily in MA before IBOC whooshed right over it almost every night, 
I am talking about the average listener who is losing the ability to hear 
many many stations because of a an absolutely flawed system which takes up 
30 Khz of band space in a medium where 10 Khz is supposed to be the 
bandwidth and is harmful interference according to the FCC's own rules which 
they are absolutely not enforcing here as in BPL, and the massacre is only 
beginning as less than 5% of all AM stations are broadcasting at night with 
Hybrid Digital. HD or Hybrid Digital as it is properly known is an absolute 
waste of time and if it is not scrapped soon will seal terrestrial radio's 
My 1997 Buick with a stock radio has plenty enough selectivity to easily get 
an adjacent channel, I can even get KDKA 1020 when WBZ 1030's iBlock is off 
, WBZ is less than 50 miles from me. (they have been testing it lately at 
night). The only people who love iBlock are iBiquity and the stations who 
think it is a panacea for decades of lousy programming. There have been 
nights when WLW Cincinnatti's iBlock noise (1000 miles) from here has 
covered WOR's signal (200 miles from here) here in MA depending on 
propagation, some nights they jam each other and on real special nights we 
have Chicago 720, WOR 710 and WLW 700 all buzzing each other into oblivion. 
If this system is deployed full force we will only be able to receive our 
local 50 KW stations, great system iBiquity thought off and which the FCC is 
allowing (which is also allowing BPL). AM BCB band stations easily and 
routinely travel 1000 miles at night with skywave, you think stations with 
30 Khz bandwidths are going to co-exist peacefully on a band where there is 
a station every 10 Khz? If they ever cut down to 10 Khz and just broadcast a 
digital signal that means that ALL AM BCB radios will be obsolete including 
the BCB bands on our beloved boatanchors.
I infer from your comment that iBlock will cut a great swath through the AM 
band? That means that Hybrid Digital stations are going to rid the band of 
all the stations that you feel are clogging up the band? I have wondered if 
this was a conspiracy from the very beginning to tell you the truth, and 
your comment further cemented that feeling which is widely shared BTW in the 
broadcast community. Incidentally I have heard and read that Citadel did 
away with IBOC because of interference.



> >I'm not sure where you live Steve, but here in MA I
> >nightly get co-channel interference big time
> >for example I can't listen to WSM anymore on 650
> >because of WFAN NY
>WFAN is on 660 - if they played music with NRSC or pre-NRSC bandwdiths and
>preemphasis on the analog you'd get huge interference on WSM on 650 - 
>that's the
>very next channel!
>I did not say there wasn't interference from HD, of course there is.  But 
>entire allocations "plan" on the standard broadcast band is premised on 
>the fact that interference is acceptable if it lets more signals on the 
>There were already WAY TOO MANY stations on the band.  My fond memories of
>listening to far away stations at night were no longer possible in most 
>BEFORE digital.
>The interference rules were thrown out the window several times to allow
>companies to put more signals on the air.   With the exception of 
>stations, and there aren't many of those on the AM band, the purpose of
>broadcasting is as a money-making business.
>It is not there to provide a hobby for you and me to listen to distant
>My AM station, WHA, is one of the very oldest stations (9XM in 1917),
>(completely non-commercial) and is running HD very successfully as a way to 
>listeners to think AM is cool again.  Ratings are up, contributions are up, 
>listeners are happy.  Sounds like a success to me.  I've not received even 
>The inside story from Citadel is that they shut down night HD primarily
>because many of their market GMs had wide-bandwidth radios in their luxury 
>cars and
>were hearing the digital from two channels away, and like radio station
>bosses aways do, they extrapolated from their personal experience to the 
>audience.  But very few people have wide IF radios - that is how the whole 
>Night time interference is a technical issue to be solved but I think it 
>be handled OK.  And if it isn't, then I suggest you buy an HD radio and 
>some fun getting digital lock on distant stations - a new kind of DXing.
>Steve WD8DAS

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