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Messages - BoomboxDX

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121
Peskies / Re: Chanting Pesky 6990 LSB 1255 UTC 25 May 2019
« on: June 11, 2019, 0239 UTC »
In what language is he chanting? Just curious.

Here on the West Coast, we'd hear Indonesian chanting around 6999 khz between 1200-1400 UTC many mornings.

Haven't heard that lately, though.

122
Nice to know that Turkey is still on the air. I haven't heard them since the late 1990's, when I would listen for several hours every evening on the 31 meter band -- Turkish speech, and lots of Turkish sanz and cumbus music.

123
General Radio Discussion / Re: AIR to go off the air?
« on: June 09, 2019, 0619 UTC »
Wave of the future, unfortunately.

China probably keeps SW on partly to keep their SW people employed. A leftover of communism.

I used to love tuning in to AIR transmissions in the early part of the last decade, and even heard them a few times before the sunspots disappeared earlier in this decade, on my G2 off the whip.

Now I suppose by the time the spots come back it will be one less country to hear. Oh well.

124
It's not lack of listeners. It's lack of listeners under age 50, at least for AM, and increasingly that way for FM as younger demos listen 100% online (a la Radio Disney, which abandoned OTA radio altogether).

In the rural areas it's probably tough. Less mom and pop stores, some towns more or less gutted with a couple box stores outside the core, that use national advertisers, or print, if they advertise at all. For example, I've never heard a Walmart advert on the radio. Ever. Or any other big box store, like Costco or one of the chains.

125
Here where I live even the CB band is dead. It died when skip went south about 5 years ago. Then again, the spectrum above 14 Mhz went south. I think a lot of preppers still have CB's, and I know they're still available online.

Like Josh said, one national disaster and CB's will come out of closets and garages and people will be using them.

126
All digital on AM will be it's death blow. As a retired AM DJ and engineer, I got out of broadcasting just before the HD craze began. AM band's woes are mostly "lack of compelling content" and second, fidelity. However, I think most people on here would rather have lower fidelity if there was something WORTH hearing to begin with.

All digital would require people to replace AM radios with digital models. Trust me, people do not have the money to do this anymore. If AM ceases to work, they simply will find other sources for that content before they spend money on a "hey, this sounds like a good idea" thing.

Until the iHates and Cume-U-Less Medias of the country break apart and stations go back to local ownership (I have hope, that's about it) the "garbage in, heavily distorted garbage out" scenario will continue until the towers fail from lack of maintenance.

For those stations who continue to support HD on AM, someone here nailed it... they ignore reality. They are probably flat-earthers as well!

I also worked in the industry before and after HD was introduced. The problem with AM is that FM replaced it as a primary medium for younger (in the 70's-80's-90's) listeners, because it was clearer, and had stereo. Then in the 00's and 10's you had the RFI problem plaguing AM, which didn't help.

Your average listener is not going to tune to a noise-wracked band even if it has "compelling" programming.

As for big radio companies, they are keeping AM on the air in many places, by putting talk on them, brokering programming, etc. If the big conglomerates hadn't proliferated after dereg, a lot of AM's would be off the air already. WABC, KABC are prime examples. Their audiences aged out, and they are only on the air because they are owned by conglomerates that presently are running whatever on them until they decide to sell them.

But who is going to buy a 50KW station with no listeners and tons of overhead? There are stations for sale on the market right now with no takers. Outside of very small markets, the era of the mom and pop radio station owner are gone.

All digital will work if only because of car radios. HD AM is in about one third of the new cars with radios. HD AM may fill certain niches that aren't available on FM because of an overloaded FM band -- religious and ethnic programming probably.

People can afford HD radios more than in the 00's when HD was introduced. Sangean sells them for less than $100. If a consumer can afford over $100 for a smartphone or video game console, they can certainly afford an HD radio.

One problem with new radios is that OTA radio itself is heading more and more online. The days of OTA radio, FM as well as AM, HD or not, are numbered. Maybe we have 30 years left.

127
Just wondering if they have permission to spew all this electronic garbage.

There is a all digital test station nearby in Frederick MD on 820 kHz. It spews so much junk that it completely blocks 810 and 830. There was a post in a Facebook AM radio group from one of the guys behind it, talking about how wonderful it was and how it doesn't cause interference. I posted some waterfalls showing it, and they completely ignored it. They're sold on the technology to "save" AM, and don't care about reality.

With all due respect, the reality is that the AM band does not exist for us DXers. It exists for local listeners. If HD can improve that listening experience somehow, and increase the audience through better fidelity and overcome noise better -- and lengthen the life of the band, I'm all for it. If it doesn't, I'm still all for the option for those stations who feel the impulse to go digital.

My local splatterhouse on 710 wipes out 700 and 720 -- yet it is all analog. Another one on 570 makes mincemeat of 560 and 580. A station doesn't have to be HD to wipe out adjacent channels.

The fact is that the AM band is losing listeners because of fidelity reasons, the fact it is over the air and not a computer stream, and other factors (like ageout of listening demos). Religion and ethnic broadcasting -- along with various talk formats -- can only save it for so long. Eventually it will consist of a handful of HD signals mixed with a few analog holdouts, or it will be like most of the 31 meter band every evening or the 19 meter band every late afternoon -- mostly static.

Just my two cents.

128
This reminds me of the story in the early 1990's EBN from Ernie Wilson, (Yeah, the ex-Panaxis Productions dude.). This story was about how a French TV station engineer noticed a minute more RF current drawn at the transmitter site right at the time a well watched soap opera aired, then after it would air, the minute current level dropped back down to where it was set. I thought that it was an interesting observation, but never heard anything about it since. You'd think that someone would have wanted to do the math more and figure out the TX RF current to the number of RX stations tuning in. Oh, wait... That might just put the Nielsen Ratings out of business.  So, never mind...

How would a receiver several miles away affect current draw in a transmitter?

Unless the engineer was reading the current of the power grid itself? I can see how a power company could notice a change in current draw if everyone in a city turned their TVs on at the same time. But in today's multichannel world, I don't think anything like that would work.

129
Looks like a decent radio. Obviously, SW is included just as a novelty, but being that little is really out there on SW right now, the 'crowded' dial that Allen complains about really is a non-issue.

Glad to read that it's good on MW.

130
That mason jar "public radio" looks like a terrific way to compete with smart speakers. Hopefully it sounds as good.

131
Equipment / Re: Advice on Tecsun vs Sony
« on: March 19, 2019, 1632 UTC »
Maybe the problem wasn't the radio but it was the propagation. There are evenings SW is mostly dead in my location, except maybe Radio Havana. Since 2014-2015 SW has been mostly varying levels of thdddddt.

132
Sounds like daylight DX. It happens most Winters. Six or seven years ago I heard a station 800 miles away (CBK 540) at 1 p.m., coming in at around S3 on a portable radio.

The last couple years have been spotty, though. Where I live, usually the MW band DX fades out around 7-8 a.m. Sometimes after that there is nothing but static on DX channels.

On good DX seasons it will fade around 10-11 a.m. or so -- usually that's when the strong regionals disappear.

133
Propagation / Re: Solar Activity, or lack thereof
« on: March 19, 2019, 1624 UTC »
MW is not benefitting, unfortunately. Oh well.

I had better DX results in 2012.

134
General Radio Discussion / Re: DRM Handbook
« on: March 19, 2019, 1620 UTC »
I also never understood DRM's appeal. It would be different if a lot of SW radios had it as an option during the great SW radio boom of the 80's-00's, but that ship has sailed.

I understand DRM is being used fairly successfully in India, as they are slowly replacing their domestic MW network with DRM, and there are actually Indian-made DRM capable MW radios available as well.

135
Very sad for anyone who ever heard SW coming from South Africa because of those transmitters.

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