What has happened to radio?

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Hoss
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What has happened to radio?

Post by Hoss » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:39 pm

I drive a lot of different vehicles in my job, as many as 4 vehicles per day for varying lengths of time but at least an hour each within a 240 mile radius of Charleston/Huntington. Some radios are better than others in reception and interference but none of them on the AM dial are immune from interference by a traffic light, or a public building like a police facility or semi truck as you pass them. Additionally stations I used to listen to, AM and FM, 60 to 100 miles from the city of license now are lost in as little as 20 miles of that city or become interfered with by another station on the same frequency. The best for me is when the vehicle still has sat radio activated, it takes a tunnel. I suspect the FCC has made a mess of the spectrums frequency offset and the feds let too many exceptions pass. Also radio manufacturers antennas in the vehicles are not very good or even aligned correctly in some vehicles. There is a big difference in vehicles as to reception and distance from transmitter. You guys are the pros but let me say back in the 70's we ran scared of the FCC and in my last broadcasting stint the FCC was hardly even known or acknowledged by the staff. Just a question that passes my mind as I lose the only good station I could find that day.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
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Tom Taggart
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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Tom Taggart » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:26 pm

1. Window antennas, or the little amplified stub on many cars;
2. Electrical noise from power lines, many carrying voltages in excess of the design for insulators. Poor maintenance of these lines as well
3. Interference from oscillators in computers (many run at 100 mhz--right in the middle of the FM band)
4. Myriad other devices generating interference. Most from China or other far east source.
5. Computerized cars--and poor filtering that allows this noise to get into the car radio.

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Hoss
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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Hoss » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:56 pm

But what happened to the FCC with oversight to protect the airwaves?
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Tom Taggart » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:31 pm

Radio? TV? what's that?

We need universal broadband--carefully controlled by the elites in Washington.

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by cgarison » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:52 pm

Tom Taggart wrote:Radio? TV? what's that?

We need universal broadband--carefully controlled by the elites in Washington.
And the part that makes me cry is that the FCC is failing at both universal broadband and radio. When I look at the quality of service provided by my ISPs in the tri-state, I wretch from disgust at the pi$$ poor service, slow upload speeds and draconian measures used to keep the users in line. In particular, the ISP at the compound cuts the service anytime their are large files being transferred through a VPN. Hmmmm.... How do I connect to my corporate overlords network and transfer large files for work including teleconferencing? Yep, through a VPN. But the ISP is probably more interested in the other encrypted VPN connections that I use to download the TV shows that I miss via BitTorrent because I am too cheap to pay for a DVR service like the one offered by the cable company or TiVo. Of course, Verizon in southeastern PA has cut my service twice for using BitTorrent to download digital copies of the Holy Bible which blows my mind because the King James version is not covered under copyright. :twisted: And yes, I use the KJ Bible as a means to complain to the FCC for the bad quality of service, but that technique works great when a Republican is in power. Only one more year for that strategy to hit the sweet spot.

As far as radio, the FCC has such a hard time and I have the feeling that the agency has let the industry pass it by. Their measure to control the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz spectrum was to lock down devices so we could not install custom firmware. Really? I would think that the problem is the plethora of computing junk that is being sold via eBay directly from China that has not even come close to passing by the FCC for any kind of approval. Plus it makes life really hard for people like me who are trying to create a blowtorch of a WiFi signal to cover the entire compound in KY. :twisted:

Also, I personally believe that we have so many different types of network communications technology being released that it is really had for the FCC to keep up with all the demands in determining what kinds of interference are generated by the new technologies. Our first iPad Mini on Verizon LTE did not play well with the other networks in the house and at times cause the Wi-Fi signal to become a transmission of useless garbage and WiMax on our Sprint devices simply failed to connect. Of course, maybe the fault was on Verizon who wanted all the interference to blow away all other forms of communication within 100 ft of the LTE device, but I am pretty sure the FCC would not have let that kind of radio out of Apple's empire. I will have to say that with the release of iOS7, that iPad became much more useable with other devices in the house when on LTE, but it caused a bunch of heart ache when we first brought that into our little realm of gadgets. Now, lets compound the issue of LTE and WiFi in 2012 with all the additional gadgets that connect to networks like LTE connected watches, bluetooth connected Glass, and the proliferation of USB3 which generates so much interference when cheap cables are used that it works as a great 'null' for all the wireless signal in your house (as documented in an Intel whitepaper). The FCC just can't keep up. Essentially, there role is that of babysitter that handles all the complaints from the industry and the product customers when things simply go wrong. But on a happy note, all of those wireless security products can defeated when a neighbor plugs in their Samsung Galaxy S5 into a cheap Chinese charger leaving your house wide open for burglars. Yippee!

So in short, the FCC really does not have time to regulate the airwaves like they did 20 years ago because of all the crap that has been created by the disruptive folks in Silicon Valley. So the only chance for 'political victory' in the style of the political mess that is in DC is for the FCC to simply try to create something of a broadband legacy for the presidential administration. But just like all things touched by this group in executive branch, we just see more defeat jerked from the jaws of victory. :cry:
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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by cgarison » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:21 pm

Interesting letter sent to the FCC......

https://regmedia.co.uk/2016/01/20/broad ... to-fcc.pdf
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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Arp2 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:53 am

Everything Tom Taggart said.....

...AND....

Intimidation.

Maybe not exactly and completely in the legal sense, but, as signals were being improved or shoehorned into places they just barely fit, those who had/have existing signals felt, in some number of cases, powerless to stop what was being done to their signal(s) because the company or organization doing the improving was "so big" that trying to really fight it could cost them in many ways beyond the technical and legal.

One that I know quite well decided it wouldn't put up more than token resistance and flat out lost about 20 miles in an ~120-degree section of its signal while another 10-15 miles, some of that actually in its market, became fringe that gets lost to the supposedly-far-enough-away signal on any and every day with the appropriate atmospherics. I'm sure most of us could tell a number of those stories.

And, THEN, came the IB(cough)OC hybrid digital AND all the translators and LPs...... :evil:

....and deferred and/or on-the-cheap maintenance......

...so there's your "it seems hard to pick up stations these days" answer. :(
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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Hoss » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:15 pm

Never thought I'd say this but I gave up and switched to Sirrius, best thing I've done, miss the local news but boy am I happy hearing the quality in the old songs I remember.
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Dave Harman » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:33 pm

I agree with the things Tom said, but I also think that AM owners can't or won't literally keep shoveling money in the ground for ground systems when a bunch of meth heads keeping pulling them up.

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Hoss » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:26 am

Copper theft is a dangerous occupation and not for the ignorant. These two tried and failed in Dallas, TX.
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Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
John Adams, Letter, April 15, 1814
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by The Interpreter » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:26 pm

They won't be trying that again.

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Re: What has happened to radio?

Post by Arp2 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:33 pm

This is begging for a long list of "Austin Powers"-like bad puns......


But, seriously, I'm not even sure what I'm looking at.....all I can tell for sure is that it's awful.
"I don't know the same things you don't know."

"Yes, you do; you just won't admit it!"


"Yeeee...it looks like a 'Belt Buckle & Ball Cap' convention in here......"

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