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Remember The AM Bcast Days




 
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flintstone mop
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« on: March 08, 2013, 10:05:08 AM »

Anyone remember when....AM B'cast was so popular? The promos and commercials sent to the station on carts or tape sounded so bright. The EQ was purposely set for a boosted high-end to FORCE out the brightest sound possible.
Probably before the days of fancy multiband processors and limiters. The older TX units fought hard to get even close to 7kc audio freqs. AM radios in the house and car weren't so stingy. They had a nice I.F. bandpass.
AM broadcast was, at one time, 50-15kc audio...before the NRSC and FCCes got into the mix.

Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 10:40:31 AM »

Yeah and six year old ears didn't hurt either.  Listened to Texaco? Symphony on Sat. Nights on what I found out later was a consol with PP 6F6's. 

Looking at QS1R screens here in central xx, leads me to believe that at least a couple of BC stations are still operating wide band..   ...no one around to listen let alone complain. Grin
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RICK  *W3RSW*
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 11:04:54 AM »

As the FCC added stations they started stepping on each other with all their bright audio.  People started to complain and radio manufacturers narrowed the IF passbands, causing them to sound duller, causing stations to boost the high frequency EQ, causing more interference and complaints, causing further narrowing IF's and I think you can guess the rest.  Actually the NRSC mask and pre-emphasis was a step back towards decent audio.  It gave receiver manufacturers an AM standard just like FM and limits so stations wouldn't step on each other.  Too bad few radios were ever made to take advantage of those standards. 

Scott Todd
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AJ1G
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 06:25:23 PM »

And now the digital hash trash like 710 WOR spews makes them way over 20 kc wide. , killing adjacent  (what used to be ) clear channel stations above and below them.  They even get into 690 and 680 kc around here in their main east coverage lobe. 
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Chris, AJ1G
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 06:42:38 PM »

Anyone remember when....AM B'cast was so popular?

When I worked at WEEI in 1970, the transmitter site had an elevated walkway at the front of the building, with exterior doors at each end.

One of the senior engineers told me that during the 1930's, the transmitter site was open for visits by the public on weekends. He said that on Sundays, there was a continuous line of people passing by on the catwalk for most of the day. They went to the site just to see the transmitter in operation.

Bill, W1AC
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 06:50:17 PM »

Did some early morning before daylight driving several times in the desert SW this winter..listening to AM...Stations from Calif to Texas...British Columbia  to Mexico all coming in.....Most were hashed by an adjacent station...Music was poor and most of the talk stations  sound like telephone..Only a couple that were in the clear had audio that was decent.....All on the GM supplied Bose radio in my Silverado....I don't think that the  GM/Bose is too good either.
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 07:32:02 PM »

Either XM or my Ipod is pretty much all I listen to in the car or truck anymore and I do miss the interesting mix of AM broadcast stations.  I remember in the middle 1970s listening to WLS 890 out of Chicago while growing up on the MS gulf coast and in the winter time it would put in a beautiful signal long before sunset.  My SX-62A spent a lot of time tuned there.  But there sure isn't much now.  I have never seen "honey boo boo" but I think I wouldn't find that (or any other trash reality TV show) any worse than AM talk radio of any flavor.  It used to be fun listening to the different medium/small market AM stations during cross country trips but those are pretty much all talk now also.

Warren Buffett has been bullish on local newspapers and perhaps some of the small market AM stations with a local flair will survive and provide some local spice in the AM BCB wasteland.

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Rodger WQ9E
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 08:26:56 PM »

The AM stations that are the most interesting and are generally the strongest are the local 1 kw stuff in middle America....You have to be in range to hear this stuff....Montana and The Dakotas have quite a few of what used to be the Mom and POp stations...The ones that tell the local rodeo results and give grain and cattle prices and then give you a country tune before the local news,,,The national news and weather is all canned and repeated/updated 3 or 4 times a day..I listen to this stuff in the truck when I'm out that way in the spring .....Interesting .....  and about the only other thing that comes in on an AM  truck radio besides the 3 letter AM giants with the hashhhhhhhh
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W3RSW
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Rick & "Roosevelt"


« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 08:37:42 PM »

Listening to the Grand Ol Opre on WSM, 650, Nashville right now, 8:30 PM or so.
Can't say much for the K3's fidelity.
"The Riders in the Sky" coyboys and yodelling.  Funky...
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Tom WA3KLR
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 09:35:23 PM »

Middle 1960's - from Philadelphia suburbs, listening to WWVA 1170? Wheeling West Virginia at night; gen-u-wine bluegrass and other hillbilly music. bible beating, etc, a different world from mine for sure.  Mail in $x fer yer plastic dashboard Jesus.
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 10:05:14 PM »

"The Mighty 1190" KLIF; WBAP 820; KFJZ 1270; all of the 1960s and 70s.  Whether on a tabletop-, car-, or pocket transistor radio, the sound was great. Wink
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Michael

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Steve - K4HX
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 10:12:39 PM »

You were all much younger then and your ears worked better. AM sounds just as bright today.
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AJ1G
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 10:57:03 PM »

The AM stations that are the most interesting and are generally the strongest are the local 1 kw stuff in middle America....s...The ones that tell the local rodeo results and give grain and cattle prices and then give you a country tune before the local news,,,The national news and weather is all canned and repeated/updated 3 or 4 times a day..
Our local WBLQ 1230 AM 1 KW 24/7 in Westerly  RI is this type of station...morning talk  mixed with classic rock and old top 40s content, sports flashes focused mainly on local HS results, the day's activities at the local senior center, interviews with local civic leaders on what's going on in and around the area, birthday and anniversary announcements, call in giveaway promotions, etc. Local  coverage of HS sports games, and live broadcasts of town meetings at night. On weekend's there's a Saturday morning sports talk call in show hosted by a gang of local characters, one of whom is an orthopedist in town (the Doc) who buzzard on on both Boston teams and the locals.  Also an excellent oldies show using old 60s style station IDs and jingles.  Sunday morning Italian classics themed show (the town has a big Italian population) heavy on Sinatra, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, and old Pat Cooper comedy bits, and an excellent jazz brunch program. And something that goes way back in small town radio programming, an over the air reading of children's stories..when was the last time you heard one of those, about 1940?

Their audio quality is excellent, blows away most of the local FM stations with their overcompressed, overmodulated, and overboosted low ends.  Like most stations these days, they have an internet live stream going as well.
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Chris, AJ1G
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 12:30:06 AM »

  Yea, the so called "good ole days". Spending my entire life in the Trenton, NJ area, I was in the middle of the AM station market. Being I was just about midway between the NY and Philly stations.
  I still listen around the AM stations for some music from  the late 50's and 60's, not much around. But I did find a station in Toronto, AM 740, that plays a pretty good mix.

Chuck...wa2onk
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W7TFO
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IN A TRIODE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREEN


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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 12:59:51 AM »

http://ktla.com/2013/02/27/historic-khj-radio-tower-demolished-jim-castillo-reports/#axzz2MCzQrcbV

 Cry

I did my part listening to them, KGB, and KCBQ.

73DG
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2013, 07:27:57 AM »

Did some early morning before daylight driving several times in the desert SW this winter..listening to AM...Stations from Calif to Texas...British Columbia  to Mexico all coming in.....Most were hashed by an adjacent station...Music was poor and most of the talk stations  sound like telephone..Only a couple that were in the clear had audio that was decent.....All on the GM supplied Bose radio in my Silverado....I don't think that the  GM/Bose is too good either.

It was the GM AM radio in a company Silverado (1980's??) that let me hear the nice C-QUAM AM stereo. It was very nice audio and I could hear stereo separation. It was a station received by skywave. The stereo would drop out in deep fades and was not objectionable.
And I'll even toot my horn for HD AM radio!!!
It's awesome!! AM is better suited for HD than FM (multipath kills it). But our broadcast system ALWAYS has to be compatible!! The new digital radio shudda been assigned a different band, instead of the present debacle.

Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 07:43:34 AM »

If you are lucky enough to have a small AM station still providing locally produced content, and programming things the way they used to be done, be sure to tell them you are out there listening, and pay attention to the sponsors and give them your business.  When you do that be sure to tell the sponsor you heard about them on the local radio station.  It all sounds silly and contrived but often listeners never provide any feedback (except to bitch about something) and the station and sponsors have no idea who is listening.  for a little commercial station this is a matter of survival as they can't afford to pay arbitron for rating research.  

It blows my mind that so many folks would rather get their "radio" via internet streams.   I find that mode a pain in the ass--it is complex and unreliable compared to simply firing up a broadcast receiver and letting it play.  As more suckers forgo a simple and reliable mode of reception in favor of the internet, radio stations will continue to barely hang on.  I predict an eventual funding model where they have a mix of paid sponsors and listener contributions to keep them going.   That will work if they provide unique local content that listeners want to hear.

As with many things, real radio won't be missed by these jackasses until it has been forced into death.   When they're paying $100/month for internet and it craps out in the middle of a disaster or their HD crashes, or their PC gets hacked and they turn on the old broadcast rx and hear nothing they'll piss and moan but it will be too late.

rob
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 08:53:19 AM »

When I was a kid growing up on a cattle ranch...I had a crystal set and a pc of wire strung from my upstairs bedroom out to a cottonwood tree in the field...I could get quite a few of the west coast 3 letter stations...One favorite was KGO san francisco....I would listen to the "Ira Blue Show"..live from a nite club  down town..Wolf Man Jack  from XERB   was always loud ...then he moved across the border to Chula Vista, Calif and he was still loud....KSL in Salt lake, KGA in Spokane...We had the old Zenith Console in the kitchen with SW, MW, and BC bands....I would sneak out of bed at night and go down to the kitchen and close the door..(ranch house kitchens all had doors in those days)  Put the volume on low and put my ear up against the speaker and spin the dial...Opened up my world a little bit.....Bought my first Radio with SW bands from the Lafayette Radio Catalog....It was an 8 transistor battery powered job that worked really well if I hung it on the wall opposite where the fuse box/ meter was on the house...
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Jeff W9GY
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2013, 09:04:22 AM »

Quote
It was the GM AM radio in a company Silverado (1980's??) that let me hear the nice C-QUAM AM stereo. It was very nice audio and I could hear stereo separation. It was a station received by skywave. The stereo would drop out in deep fades and was not objectionable.

Fred, I did a lot of development work on that radio in the day.  One of the most objectionable artifacts was a phenomenon we called "platform motion".  This was caused by skywave and multipath signals fooling the C-QUAM decoder and causing the stereo effect to move from left to right and back again, just like like the musicians were on a rotating merry-go-round.  Pretty much unavoidable unless you could force the decoder to mono based on signal strength --- always a difficult design balance.
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Jeff  W9GY Calumet, Michigan
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 09:39:13 AM »


When I worked at WEEI in 1970, the transmitter site had an elevated walkway at the front of the building, with exterior doors at each end.

One of the senior engineers told me that during the 1930's, the transmitter site was open for visits by the public on weekends. He said that on Sundays, there was a continuous line of people passing by on the catwalk for most of the day. They went to the site just to see the transmitter in operation.

Bill, W1AC


We are still getting a version of that with our display piece at the museum.  People ooo and ahh at the chrome and glass, and it's even better when someone lights off the filaments and the motor-driven interlock timer counts down before the relays activate.  It's on 1885Kc now instead of 1240Kc.

They love hearing the story of the transmitter rescue from a little station in Florida about ten years ago.

You can even see where the "station clock" used to sit, hooked over the edge of the front door.


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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2013, 09:46:20 AM »

Being a teenager in the middle- to late 1960's, there was virtually no FM except for a few "elevator music" stations. Our night time listening was WLS and WCFL from Chicago,WKYC out of Cleveland,and CKLW out of Windsor, ON as well as XELO and XERF. Daytime we had WVOK from Birmingham about 100 miles away. WSM was what we woke up to.Real entertainment. I joked with someone the other day that I had early warning radar in case that 'honey boo boo family" ever traveled out of central GA toward southern TN that I would have ample time to get my 12 ga. Ithaca loaded up with double-aught buckshot.Great memories!! Now on weekends and in the mornings going to work, it is KMOX.
                                        Joe W4AAB
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Jim, W5JO
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2013, 10:02:36 AM »

There is a one KW AM station located in Sherman TX, KJIM, that plays big band during the week.  Sunday morning at 10 AM they do a show called "The Lucky B Ranch"  it is locally produced and nothing but old, no very old, country music no one has heard since the early 50s or before, songs like Bob Wills version of Ida Red and such.  During the hour they will have cowboy poets and other stories of the West and it is sponsored by local businesses that do their own commercials.  They have a decent analog sound and stations on either adjacent frequency do not spew that trash so the station sounds good on my 9 Kc filter.

The station competes with a number of big stations out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.  I listen to the station when I am not on the air and enjoy it because they use local talent for a number of shows.  In a recent survey the station was number 2 with the 45-64 audience and I am pleased people found the station and patronize it especially in a big market.  What is hard to believe is the number of stations that have migrated to Mexican programming in the Southwest.  One of the old line stations in OKC that began broadcasting in about 1925 is now Mexican and there are a lot like that.  Many stations that play music all subscribe to the satellite feed and it is so non personal.  What a shame.
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2013, 10:14:54 AM »

Oh Man....

CKLW  800..Changed Radio forever.

WJR...the Detroit clear channel powerhouse.  Listened to WJR from all over the East coast while in the Navy..very comforting..a piece of Home.

KU8L
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2013, 10:33:01 AM »

Even our PBS station went from classical music, jazz, Prairie Home Companion to talk radio.   I listen to the internet for music now.    In the old days nothing sounded better than my father's 1955 Pontiac radio with push-pull 6V6 audio tuned to 770 Kc (before KHz) in New York City.
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Rick & "Roosevelt"


« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2013, 10:57:25 AM »

The pushbuttons on my Capehart Panamuse read from left to right;
WLW, WOR, WABC, Dial, WMMN, WBLK, WQXR

Ah, those were the days...   The two, second from last, were local, Fairmont and Clarksburg, WVa. The rest you all will instantly recognize.

The FM band is from 42 to 50 MCS.

Two 12 in. speakers, Steve, ... don't need no young ears.   Cool
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RICK  *W3RSW*
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