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I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 27, 2023 10:39AM
I got a small handheld radio, not the best quality in the world but good enough.

I found 2-3 stations, very noisy and it seems to be religious stuff.

In the evening I can pick up SW stations from around the world so I don't think the radio is complete crap.

[www.amazon.com]
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: jonny
Date: September 27, 2023 11:03AM
AM radio is crap. Full of fringe nutsos, and conspiracy theorists.
The only thing it's good for is traffic and weather when you're outside of FM range.
How's the sound on that radio?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2023 11:06AM by jonny.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Bixby
Date: September 27, 2023 12:22PM
If you have a car, how is AM reception on that? Almost all handheld tuners are poor quality, and I can't imagine a $10 radio has quality design and components.

Use Radio Locator to see what stations should be in your area.

But I will agree there's not much good to be found on the AM dial. I work in radio, on the FM side.

Sangean, Tivoli and CCrane are about the only companies I'd recommend to others buying a non-car radio.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Acer
Date: September 27, 2023 12:23PM
Traffic and weather.
Around here, even the pundits and preachers are increasingly on FM stations.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 27, 2023 12:38PM
I'll try the car radio later. Thanks for the suggestion on brands.

Yes, this is a really cheap radio, but the control inside are digital, despite the analog dial. There is a DSP unit. These digital DSP circuits should be really high quality at low price points.

SW is OK. FM sounds decent too for that size. There are several youtube reviews on this and similar models.

I bought it to scan SW once in a while, and since it has AM and FM, it can be used inside in case of power outages. I normally stream NPR on my smart speakers.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: mikebw
Date: September 27, 2023 01:07PM
Quote
gadje

In the evening I can pick up SW stations from around the world so I don't think the radio is complete crap.

In case you want to know the reason why-

"... radio waves can refract from the ionosphere. This means that medium and short radio waves transmitted at an angle into the sky can be refracted back to Earth at great distances beyond the horizon – even transcontinental distances. This is called skywave propagation. It is used by amateur radio operators to communicate with operators in distant countries, and by shortwave broadcast stations to transmit internationally."

[en.wikipedia.org]
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 27, 2023 01:21PM
In the evening I can pick up SW stations from around the world


The skip is in.

AM radio needs a decent antenna.

Distance from stations and atmospherics (as you've found) also affect the ability to pick up stations.

Small hand-helds used an internal ferrite core antenna which was directional unless close to a strong AM station.

Others use a built-in telescoping antenna, while a few had (have?) a connection for an external wire antenna.

These days I only listen to two stations - KCBS (AM/FM) for traffic and weather, and KCSM (FM) for Jazz.

Both are also found on the WWW.






I am that Masked Man.

All you can do, is all you can do.

There’s trouble — it's time to play the sound of my people.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 27, 2023 01:30PM
Yes I have know and understand the propagation. This has a telescopic antenna. It does help.

But still much noise and very little content on AM.

I’ll try the car stereo later. I virtually never use AM in the car, it’s Sirius, iPhone or FM. In that order.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: rz
Date: September 27, 2023 02:31PM
I’ve had my vehicle for 8 years now. I have a portable Sirius/XM radio that’s been in it from day 1. I probably tried the FM once. Never tried the AM radio. I’ve lived here for 29 years now and honestly cannot ever remember checking anything on the AM dial. Traffic and weather are easily gotten from my iPhone.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: RgrF
Date: September 27, 2023 02:50PM
I grew up during AM radio's heyday and can clearly remember tooling around the upper reaches of Nova Scotia listening to my favorite 5,000 watt, highly directional Boston radio station. A signal I couldn't get 10 mikes from the city itself.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: September 27, 2023 06:29PM
As a kid my boombox had the SW bands.

Used to listen to Radio Moscow extolling how many metric tons of wheat were harvested that month.

Les Nessman's farm reports must have been more exciting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2023 06:29PM by Bill in NC.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 27, 2023 07:38PM
Ooh…. Night time clear channel AM and pirate radio stations….
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Bixby
Date: September 27, 2023 10:22PM
Telescopic antennas are typically only used for FM. If it's helping reception at all it's likely due to induction.

Most portables use a small ferrite rod for AM, which are usually only decent for local reception during the day.
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: September 27, 2023 10:27PM
I get a kick out of the AM radio in my car.

With the right conditions, I can listen to radio stations up to about 400 miles away. Some of them are familiar and comforting voices from home.



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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: September 28, 2023 11:10AM
I was driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield
Listening to gospel music on the AM radio station
And the preacher said, you know you always have the Lord by your side
And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran
Twenty red lights in his honor
Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord

Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send
Ten dollars to the church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart Of Jesus
Located somewhere in Los Angeles, California
And next week they'd say my prayer on the radio
And all my dreams would come true
So I did, the next week, I got a prayer with a girl
Well, you know what kind of eyes she got, well I'll tell ya
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: btfc
Date: September 28, 2023 11:17AM
So if you’re down on your luck…
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Re: I just tried to scan the AM radio band
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 28, 2023 01:15PM
Quote
Tiangou
I get a kick out of the AM radio in my car.

With the right conditions, I can listen to radio stations up to about 400 miles away. Some of them are familiar and comforting voices from home.

I recall listening to WTOP out of DC 20 or so years ago as I drove home from work late at night here in W. MA. At some point their format was changed and I stopped tuning in. Looking it up now apparently the AM station changed call signs and later was dropped by the current WTOP owners.
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