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Messages - BoomboxDX

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No, we don't want a dead AM band, but it's kinda like a tree... you prune out the dead wood and the tree is healthier.
You gotta wonder how financially viable are stations that run 44 or 26 watts or 6 watts of power in the evening.
All it does is add to the QRM and render the  frequency useless.

True, but they generally don't have listeners in the evening... Radio in general usually doesn't, comparatively. Numbers apparently drop off after 7 p.m. or so, according to radio experts I've interacted with on a different forum.

My concern is that everywhere in the world -- Europe especially -- that the MW band has been 'pruned', it disappears. The Americas are basically the last holdout for a fully used MW band, and even at that, countries like Mexico are giving up on MW -- only certain stations are allowed to continue on indefinitely -- until they decide to leave the band, or simply leave the air altogether.

As for the 44 or 6 watts, such low powers are obviously (in many recent cases, anyway) placeholder, for licensing reasons... A station in my state just dropped night power (and day power, also) after getting an FM translator which covers the same area at a couple hundred watts. They're just holding place legally.

The band is aging out, and it will gradually 'prune' itself, regardless of what we radio enthusiasts think. I just find suggestions that we need a thinner band to be counterproductive in the long run -- to me it sounds like wishing for the die-off to happen prematurely.

It will happen, just the same, though... On that I think we can all agree.

General Radio Discussion / Re: All Digital AM broadcast
« on: November 16, 2019, 1035 UTC »
I don't agree with the notion that the AM band is better off with less stations. A dead medium is less useful in the eyes of government than a slowly dying one.

I know a lot of DXers complain about the plethora of signals they have to dig through to hear that rare one on the other side of the continent, but do we really want a dead AM band?

In most of Europe right now, there are no MW stations. Is that the kind of band we want?

General Radio Discussion / Re: Play me some Jones
« on: November 12, 2019, 1001 UTC »
Alex Jones is on some AM stations. He was on several I'd hear during the evening up until at least a couple years ago.

The fact that the radio in the video is a Panasonic wouldn't necessarily make it spur-proof. It's probably single conversion, as many other AM/FM's are.

Or you might have picked him up on a station from Florida on 790 (according to his affiliate list -- no idea how current his list is), if you heard it at night.

Either way -- interesting catch. I've never heard SW on an AM/FM radio on the AM band, except a long time ago, a friend's home stereo would pick up Radio Moscow sometimes, very high up in the AM band -- it was an obvious image or spur (mixing product of some type).

General Radio Discussion / Re: All Digital AM broadcast
« on: November 02, 2019, 1109 UTC »
Let 'em do it if they want. I don't think there will be an AM band in the US without analog. Some stations here and there who believe they have the HD audience would go all-HD.

And like Redhat mentions, a lot of stations switched off their HD / IBOC. Obviously they didn't see the audience for it.

Both local stations that had HD on AM dumped it two years or so ago. It's too bad, in a way, because they sounded good on HD, but they made a business decision apparently, and radio stations will make business decisions because they are primarily a business...

Which means if they don't think that HD will increase their audience, or serve their audience, they won't go there.

General Radio Discussion / Re: Finding the random fishermen...
« on: October 26, 2019, 0443 UTC »
40-41 meters is a fascinating area of HF -- hams, SW broadcasters, Russian single letter beacons, Spanish (and Portuguese) fishermen and outbanders, and Indonesian 'village radio' chanters in the early AM hours. Then you have the odd pirate around the 6900 khz range.

Of course, the past few years conditions haven't been terrific even in that swath of HF territory, but when I seriously tune HF, that's the region I usually concentrate on.

General Radio Discussion / Re: RTE returning to Longwave
« on: October 26, 2019, 0439 UTC »
The comments beneath that article were uninspiring, to say the least. I.e., who cares about older demographics that use LW to hear what's happening in the mother country. Or Irish fishermen and mariners, for that matter...

Glad the Irish government believes it's a worthwhile effort, though. Awesome.

Sad to see 'em go. Here in the PNW, the BC Canada NDB's are the "DX", my farthest catch being the one on the Queen Charlotte Islands...

Shortwave Broadcast / Re: WWVH only on 15000 kHz?
« on: October 08, 2019, 0043 UTC »
Propagation can do strange things. When I was a kid I'd hardly ever hear WWVH. Over the last year or so I've heard WWVH dominate on 10 Mhz and sometimes 5 Mhz at night more than once -- at least one time I did not hear WWV at all.

And I'm in the PNW.

General Radio Discussion / Re: A Good Enough Reason To Nuke Them?
« on: September 19, 2019, 1310 UTC »
They're doing it... Just because they can. :-)

Propagation / Re: Hello Grand Solar Minima?
« on: September 19, 2019, 0207 UTC »
Maunder here we come. :-)

General Radio Discussion / Re: SONY CRF V21 shortwave radio
« on: September 13, 2019, 0334 UTC »
A lot of the older Sony stuff commands high prices, even the lower end models. I recently saw a Sony ICF-38 (a very good AM-FM portable, almost as good as a Superadio), which was discontinued two years ago, going for $199 -- new in the box. I got mine about 5 years ago for $24.

The Sony EX5MK2, probably one of the best MW portables made, was discontinued a year and a half ago. They went for $150 new. Now they've sometimes more than doubled in price.

On one of the ham forums there are some threads complaining about used receiver prices... R8's, IC-71's, etc. commanding super high prices, used.

I think I saw an advertisement for the Sony CRF V21 a long time ago. Looked like a very complex radio, especially with the printer. It seems one would have an issue finding paper for the printer nowadays, though.

As a non-ham, but one who has monitored the HF ham bands over the years, I'd say it's a good idea, just as long as it doesn't turn into a sort of vigilantism, which I doubt it ever would become.

On a semi-related note, while doing research on the Indonesian 'village radio' ham pirates that hang out around 6999 khz and thereabouts, I found a ham website where dedicated hams the world over report all of the intruding signals -- pirate hams, spurs, military and other intrusive signals -- on the HF ham bands. Whether it does any good, I wouldn't know, but at least they're reporting it.

Interesting take on the present state and possible future of FM. Thanks for posting the link to the article.

I know India is changing its MW stations to DRM. But they promote and sell Indian-made radios to receive it.

As for the actual petition, it seems the petitioner is only asking for former TV channels to be open for DRM. If the FCC approves, I'd say have at it. The biggest problem would be listeners. Who has a DRM capable radio in their house? And there aren't many of them available online.

[sarcasm button on] Who needs ancient, outdated tech like "short wave" when we've got cell phones and internet streaming?" [sarcasm button off]

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