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Originally answered a question from Louislau about his question about AM and FM.
Here’s the thing…I’m in Canada and I forget about the difference between here and the US. Here in Canada FM is the way to go and here’s why. First of all, I grew up with AM radio. I have an AM transmitter here(the spitfire) which works good and I gave a review of this on an earlier post.
I miss AM radio. But, AM never was in the past so full of electrical noise like it is now. And those compact florescent bulbs will be the death of AM in you house. If you have a radio plugged in to a/c AM is unlistenable…even the 50,000 watt local stations can’t get clean reception if your surrounded by hydro. When there’s a power outage..WOW!…great AM!!
Now for the technical details…in Canada the BETS-1 rules for unliecenced use for AM&FM differ from the US. It’s better here. For FM, it’s 100uV/m at 30 meters(100yds) from the antenna. So at 100 yds. away there’s still a good signal for quite a distance still beyond that. This is enough to cover a whole small town or a decent size neighborhood like where I am in Toronto to get to a lot of residences…with a clean, high fidelity, noise free signal. As Artisan radio has pointed out on a receiver like a car radio or hi-fi receiver with sensitivity of under 2.5 uv a listenable signal can be heard a Kilometer to a mile away! And FM gets into houses and apartments a whole lot better because FM goes where AM doesn’t. Just go into a store in a mall and see if there’s any AM reception and then try FM and take note.
Now for AM…BETS-1 says not 100mw into final but here it’s field strength…250uV/m at 30 meters(100yds).
More signal strength than FM…But…if you want to get more coverage than the indoor length of wire and water pipe ground you have to be fortunate enough to own your own property where you can install the outdoor set up…loading coil, 10 foot mast, and dig up the lawn to bury long wires in the ground. And hope someone doesn’t steel or vandalize your antenna. And keeping in mind that AM doesn’t go where FM does. Anywhere past a few houses away from you the signal will be weak in any house or building and no one will listen through the noise. Especially if using just indoor set up. I realized that transmitting on AM wouldn’t get me any listeners, no one listens to AM or can’t in their apts. or houses. Also with your HI-FI go to AM and see how it sounds.
One of the station Id’s I have is a bit about now you have the music you grew up with in noise free good fidelity. And at night….forget it!! your station won’t get through the interference.
A transmitter here in Canada also has to be tested and approved by Industry Canada to even be able to legally be used.
Only 2 transmitters are…Decade and Wholehouse.
The decade is set to BETS-1 and the wholehouse 3 is great! with extended antenna not stock, it get’s the field strength allowed here nicely. IC certification # is on product.
The CCrane maybe…doesn’t have IC certification.
Kits can’t be Certified because it’s subject to the builder.
In conclusion, in Canada You have enough allowable signal strength on FM to go the better way.
Only disdvantage is on AM there’s way more space on the dial to go while FM is very crowded especially in southern Ontario.