5 August 2012
I enjoyed great AM propagation earlier tonight and was able to listen to multiple radio stations outside my normal broadcast contour. In general, this is termed DX-ing. AM broadcast band stations heard tonight included:
- WCKY (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- KDKA (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- WBZ (Boston, Massachusetts)
- WABC (New York, New York)
- WWVA (Wheeling, West Virgina)
- WRVA (Richmond, Virginia)
- CFRB (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
On the shortwave side of things, the following stations were heard:
I wasn't trying hard on the shortwave front but was taking an informal look earlier at placing equipment with a view to keeping transmission lines short.
Why does this matter? The key here is the transport layer. There were no podcasts involved let alone live streams. The movement of radio waves was key to reaching a mass audience.
We must not forget that in the midst of talk about a spectrum crunch that not all spectrum is created equally. The spectrum occupied by those lovely stations I heard tonight would be not nearly as usable for pushing data around. Various bits and bobs of digitally-generated signals do exist in those bands moving data, though. From transmission standards such as WEFAX to RTTY, data still moves but in ways incomprehensible to paradigms rooted in the Internet.
Strangely enough, information still traveled around our planet when the general public didn't have access to the Internet. As new technologies are being built and bikesheds are sometimes being continually repainted, is the tech world generally considering why old tech is not fit for purpose anymore? Mass communications remain fairly efficient being distributed by the means of old compared to the network stresses Internet-based transmission incurs.