November 2013
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A few updates

UPDATE: I notice that Radio World has a little star rating system on their articles. According to the rating, twenty one people think I suck… That is okay, but when I started looking around at all of the other articles on the website, I noticed most have but one or two votes.  It seems odd to me that my little opinion piece would have so many negative votes, especially in light of the e-mails, phone calls and personal interactions I have received supporting my position. 

Perhaps a few of you could run over there, read the article then objectively decide what you think… Here is the link: AM Efforts Should Include Tech Solutions

I am deeply immersed in all things networking, yet again. I regret the sparse posts, but there are a few things of note:

  1. It appears the the WYFR shortwave site in Okeechobee has been sold to the operators of WRMI (Radio Miami International).  This is a good turn of events for shortwave broadcasting.  WRMI programmed mostly to the Caribbean and were difficult to hear in these parts.
  2. Nielsen Radio, formerly Arbitron, says it will increase the sample size for the PPM program.  This is good, larger sample size means better accuracy and fewer extrapolation related errors and strange rating spikes.
  3. I published an commentary in Radio World Commentary: AM Efforts Should Include Tech Solutions. What do you think? Should the industry be looking at something other than HD Radio?
  4. Then, from across the pond there is this:

    Which is a digital radio promotion from the BBC. It seems Great Brittan is trying to force an all digital transition. A glimpse of things to come?

  5. In spite of the lack of posts, the blog continues to grow, averaging 550 to 600 page views per day with about 180 RSS subscribers.  As far as content goes, I can assume more of the same will suffice.

As time becomes available, I will post more.

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9 comments to A few updates

  • From an ex broadcast engineer – You’ve got a great blog. Keep it going. It never does get out of your blood. Even when you retire.

    Jerry WA2FNQ

  • Chris R.

    Tons of very useful info, no cat fights or endless threads of useless babble. Always a good stop on the daily rounds of browsing!
    BTW, check out 580 AM CKWW, A good example of what AM could be. They stream and you don’t need to sign up to listen!

  • That commentary was right on the money Paul. Who knows, maybe only the “FM Crowd” reads those articles?

    Your blog is excellent too. You’ve been linked from my site for quite some time now, for good reason.

    — Mike

  • @Paul. Enjoyed your commentary in RW. My only beef would be about converting the entire AM band to digital. I really think AM could be the lifeblood to community service but obsoleting countless AM radios in the process wouldn’t be great. While the HDTV transition had adapters to get people by until they replaced their televisions there’s likely no possibility to make such a seamless transition. This would leave cars and countless tabletop/portable radios useless.

    You are right that other technologies should be considered prior to any migration ideas to digital and I do agree that AM needs a shot in the arm, but there are places where it still works for some communities. I don’t see the mom and pop operator transitioning to digital and being married to a lifetime of licensing fees courtesy of iBiquity. I myself had commented on HD back a number of years ago in RW in the article HD Radio Faces Rocky Road. The technology would have been better coming from one of the groups more versed in codec technologies and it would have likely married better to online streaming – imagine a combo AM/WiMAX receiver with fallover to one when the other signal degraded.

    BTW: As always I enjoy your blog and consider it a must read for anyone involved in the engineering aspects of broadcasting. As a 40 year veteran I truly enjoy it.

  • Paul Thurst

    Thanks guys, I appreciate that.

    @Bill, I agree with you about converting the AM band to digital and that there are almost certainly better solutions. Given the players involved in IBOC currently, it seems that some type of digital conversion is inevitable unless a lot of people speak out very loudly.

  • Tim Moore

    Paul, you have a fantastic site. Wonderful articles with so much information and great photos that you provide. I appreciate your insight into AM radio. So many of us grew up with only AM and it can be a fantastic band again. The FCC needs to rely on folks like you for advice and direction! Keep up the Great work.

    Tim N5YCN

  • Elliot

    Thanks Paul,I gave you a 5 rating for getting your”engineer on the ground “voice out there!
    Yes,it really matters,a lot.
    Here in europe,digital radio of any kind is failing to appeal largely due to the “I” revelution.
    My long wire in the garden blew down last year and I never reconnected it through the lattice vine fence,that’s a statement for a 54 year old kid who got his first AM/LW/SW/ all band FM receiver back in 1968!
    Anyway,please post a shootout of WSPK vs WHUD when you can,reallly interested in how you see these stations of seemingly equal strength and clearly different power bills make sense in today’s radio world,if they ever did.
    I’m waiting for your synopsis!
    Best wishes in your studies,

  • Scott G

    I still am confused how giving every AM station a translator is going to save the AM band and not kill it off entirely while messing up the FM Band…The biggest problem I see in AM is station owners..1-They won’t put money into the operation and 2-They put programming on there that nobody wants anyway just to take up space on the dial and keep somebody else from using it..IF they will put some money into the operation and put something worth programming AM can and will make money and have listeners..Just my 2 cents worth…

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