- March 26, 2019 at 6:39 pm #110618
Total posts : 240
Well the thing that we feared the most maybe becoming a reality very shortly. Hopefully the FCC well at least save 1622 1700 kilohertz for the type of broadcasting that we’re doing.
- March 27, 2019 at 4:43 am #110621
Total posts : 292
I’m OK with that.
- March 27, 2019 at 7:17 am #110626
Total posts : 391
The FCC says they have not received any other similar request from anyone else other than this group and there’s really no indication of any changes in the works. It’s simply reporting a request for petition from one owner, nothing more.
- March 27, 2019 at 10:31 am #110636
Keep in mind…..no analog, no part 15.
@ AMRadiolegend, OK with what? going digital or keeping 1600 to 1700 analog?
Some posts have been made over at Micro-broadcasters on this including one from me.
I have made posts about this in the recent past and I will repeat myself with this fact….go digital=NO PART 15. GONE.
- March 27, 2019 at 11:03 am #110637
Total posts : 292
I’m OK with digital. It does not spell the end for Part 15 broadcasters. If you’re in a technical hobby or in the electronics profession in general and you’re resistant to change, you’re in the wrong business.
- March 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm #110639
Total posts : 1540
Hold On Now
As I read this one proposal the FCC is being asked to allow licensed stations to make a choice if they wish to convert to an all digital format, but allows stations not choosing to do so to continue transmitting analog as they wish.
Also, even if if every licensed station decided to do only digital, the part 15 stations would still be allowed to continue in analog mode which would be good for listeners who did not have HD radios.
On top of all that, perhaps the part 15 transmitter manufacturers will invent a low power digital transmitter.
- March 27, 2019 at 2:19 pm #110645
Carl, there will be no such thing as a digital transmitter. There is no unused “space” with frequencies like analog.
I think that if this were to happen, it would be like TV…..mandated and the demise of our hobby. The empty bands would be for something else. And not just on AM but ALL radio, FM too.
Fortunately we haven’t come to that bridge yet to worry about how to cross it.
- March 27, 2019 at 4:11 pm #110648
Total posts : 483
I don’t have any problem with this either.
I did a bit of digging. From what I can gather, the MA1 hybrid analog/digital system needs 30 Khz to operate in (compared to a 10 Khz mono analog signal currently). The MA3 all digital system requires 20 Khz (it eliminates the 10 Khz analog mono).
Apparently the MA3 system is robust, eliminates noise (if you can receive the digital stream, as it’s like any other digital stream) and also has the capability to give you stereo.
Presumably, the FCC (and Industry Canada) would set aside the appropriate frequencies in the appropriate spacing for AM digital. And since the petition (at least) wants to make this voluntary, there would also have to be frequencies set aside for analog use).
I don’t see what the problem would be. Existing Part 15 stations would still have frequencies to use (if they’re empty). And personally, if I could go Part 15 digital, I’d do it. Essentially, streaming over the airwaves. Amateur radio has been doing this (2 way, no less) for years.
- March 28, 2019 at 11:14 am #110653
Total posts : 78
It has been said before and it needs to be said again: Until they can make a proper receiver at a tolerable price, no one is going to go for it.
TV’s digital conversion made sense: it happened over a number of years; tests showed it was viable and actually desirable on the part of the consumer (once it became affordable); the government footed the bill for the earliest digital-to-analog converter boxes; and as old TVs blew up and stopped being economical enough to repair, the new larger TV receivers became a must-have item. When was the last time a radio “just stopped working”, or “wasn’t big enough”?
Asking – or even forcing – the public to replace their obsolete analog radios will mean the death knell of the medium. If there was any reason for the public to permanently switch to streaming radio on devices already bought and paid for, this will be it.
- March 28, 2019 at 11:40 am #110654
Total posts : 78
Hmmm, perfect timing.
Only a moment ago, I received the RadioWorld supplement “What’s Ahead for All-Digital AM?” in my email box. My quick read seems to suggest that, other than the audible and technical advantages, only manufacturers are the ones most interested in the conversion. The AM Radio Preservation Alliance had no comment, and no less than Robert Crane (C. Crane & Co.) pointed out that “65 million smart speakers will be sold in a few years,” while broadcasters have yet to embrace any kind of digital business plan.
He goes on to say that some of the more powerful stations in the US need to remain analog, as they present the “ultimate and perhaps only” emergency backup broadcast system.
He likewise is no fan of the licensing fee to manufacture a digital receiver, but for the rest, you’ll have to get your own copy. Go up to the Radio World website and request one.
- March 28, 2019 at 1:04 pm #110656
“He likewise is no fan of the licensing fee to manufacture a digital receiver, but for the rest, you’ll have to get your own copy. Go up to the Radio World website and request one.”
A point to consider. Analog is not a patented system. It can’t be. Anyone can make a regular radio and the bands and frequencies are can’t be owned and patented by corporations. The whole system is not patented.
Radio the way it is can’t be in that bad shape…..4or 5 songs and 5 minutes of commercials 10+ each commercial break…..even on AM talk stations every 8 minutes. If really no one was listening and a need for change why would all these companies be spending billions for commercials to be heard by no one?
And consider this, The advertisers gear to the 18-50 year old age group. If you are “older” radio doesn’t care about you as they have to get the audience the advertisers want…..even though old people are the ones that grew up with radio….and AM radio!
So younger people must be listening to radio.
So how is it that radio is considered a dying medium and the need for change to a patented digital format killing our hobby?
It seems to be working.
- March 29, 2019 at 1:36 am #110666
Total posts : 602
Analog is a VERY patented system. Just that most of those patents have expired. Look at the bottom of any radio from the 30’s through the 60’s and read the long list of licenses that were acquired to manufacture that radio. Yes, radio was most certainly made up of different patents, and as technology advanced a manufacturer had to license modifications and upgrades in the circuits that occurred as radio advanced, which is why some sets have long long lists printed on them listing many patents used. Same thing on record players, cassette recorders, and on down the line. This holds true for any product that is patented, and any additional improvement to that device. Yes, anyone can build an analog radio. But you can’t manufacture them without rights. At least, not while the patents were in effect. A typical AM radio in the 50’s and 60’s may have 30 or more patents associated with it, many often owned by the same company.
The key difference today is things like digital radio don’t get patented. They get copyrighted. The software to make it happen gets a copyright. Patents expire in 20 years. Copyright, for all practical purposes now lasts forever. So you have to license the use of that copyrighted software that makes digital radio happen. A cost that goes on basically forever. Not unlike music copyrights. Currently copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. That’s a long time to collect licensing fees compared to the 20 years total for a patent. This is why so much innovation today is software not products.
But most definitely analog radio is made up of hundreds, if not thousands of patents, which required licensing. And every enhancement or improvement involved another patent and another license.
- March 29, 2019 at 3:24 am #110667
Total posts : 391
While this is a little off-topic, The narrative Tim provides about early radio manufacturing licenses does remind me of something I recently read concerning early broadcasting licensing.. It used to be basically anyone could broadcast…
“Licensing at that time was much different from present day methods. “At the urging of the U. S. Navy, Congress passed the Communications Act of 1912. This set aside certain frequency bands for commercial users and others for amateurs and required that all transmitters be licensed … It meant that individual operators could claim an operating authority within a band of frequencies … by obtaining a license. In effect, licensed operators ‘owned’ the frequency … People bought and sold licenses … This arrangement came to an end when Congress nationalized the airwaves in the Radio Act of 1927 . . . [President Coolidge appointed 5 commissioners to the Federal Radio Commission]. The final principle is that since specific users have been allowed to use ‘public property’, their use of it must be regulated. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) like its predecessor, the Federal Radio Commission, took seriously its responsibility to regulate the use of the airwaves “in the public interest.”( 55) This quotation fails to specify the method of licensing government stations, which in early times was done through the Navy department as implied in the proceeding paragraph. Beginning in 1923 licensing of government status was done through the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) as described in a later chapter.
At this point in time, radio was considered mysterious. Yet it had been placed in service at sea and was instrumental in many maritime rescues. Radio broadcasting was being accepted and many homes proudly displayed a bakelite-panelled neutrodyne or “detector and two-step” receiver and either a large horn or cone loudspeaker. Yet there was skepticism that radio would penetrate the forests and mountains.( 56) “The experts said that the timber canopy under which much of the operating would be carried on would result in destructive attenuation, and that the range … so limited as to be of little or no value.”(57)
-“FROM GROUND WIRE TO MICROWAVE”
A CHRONICLE OF FIFTY YEARS OF TELEPHONE AND RADIO SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT IN OUR NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM
Compiled by Ralph R. McFadden
Published by NPS-WASO-OE April 26, 1991
- March 28, 2019 at 3:30 pm #110658
Total posts : 483
It’s the old chicken & egg problem. What comes first?
The first digital TV broadcasters went out on a limb, well before there were millilons of TV’s with digital tuners. Yes, there were digital TV converters, but they were misnamed – they just allowed you to receive digital TV and converted it to analog. You didn’t get any (or at least not many) of the benefits.
I do agree that digital AM is not going to take off unless there are receivers. But if there was more interest in the broadcast community, the manufacturers would surely take notice.
For the forseeable future, there will be analog AM. It will take years for digital to take hold and receivers to get built and then purchased in sufficient quantity to make analog disappear.
Digital modes have been around for amateur radio for 25+ years. And yet still, the majority of amateurs by far use analog signals. More are moving to digital, particularly in VHF and UFH frequencies, but there still are even multiple ‘standards’.
I don’t think that Part 15 AM & FM broadcasting has anything to worry about for decades to come.
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