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APRIL 2023


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Central Shifting Time

Thursday April 27, 2023

6:40 PM -- Brown Noise --
Brownian Noise, also called Brown Noise or Red Noise, is my favorite sound apart from a good symphonic orchestra. As of late we have been scheduling Brown Noise during the hours following the newstalk programming on KDX, displacing the ambient types of music we'd been featuring. It's several years since we mostly ended a life-long attachment to classical music escaping from its nostalgic portrayal of human emotional and intellectual spectrum, too much of which is comparable to a drinking problem. Brown noise comes close to matching something we recall reading... the background color of the universe is biege, and it's fair to say that beige is a soft brown. Talking about colored sound makes perfect sense when knowing that the visible color pallet comprises the extreme upper range of musical harmonics, also known as overtones. Composer Alexander Scriabin understood this when he wrote the Poem of Ecstacy, with a part for an as-yet non-existant color organ which his score describes as radiating mixtures of color as an adjunct to the tone poem.
Virtual Waterfall

6:15 PM -- Marianne Williamson for President --

Williamson For President
What She Looks Like
Ms. Williamson is running again and KDX believes she'd be much better than any of the others being put forth. She thinks fast and speaks well. Can you say that about any of the other candidates?

7:50 AM -- New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival --
One of America's great radio stations, WWOZ in New Orleans is dedicated to great traditional jazz and celebrates annually with a two-week Jazz and Heritage Festival. For ten-years KDX Worldround Radio carried the springtime festival as part of a nationwide hookup of stations and this year we are going to handle the 'program traffic' in a different manner, utilizing the flexibility made possible by the multi-media dexterity of the internet. By executive decision from the head office we are going to point the jazz audience straight to the source by adding WWOZ via our Demand Radio page, or this immediate link right here right now!
WWOZ New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Radio

Wednesday April 26, 2023

5:04 PM -- A Richard Powers Radio Presentation --
Everything Considered by Rich Powers:

Well Carl, waiting to hear about a reprise of your CC operation now that the electric company eliminated that power transformer that limited your range... (or were you just referring to a transformer in your train sim? )

I was just re-examining a document.. not sure if I mentioned this before, but I hadn’t realized licensed 10watt AM High School stations were a thing in the 1970s  and had been since the 1950s. (Were they in the 80s, 90s?, are they now?.. no, couldn't be..)

The 1975 survey "A Study of Low-Power School Radio Stations in the United States", by James L.  Mead Ed.D of Central Michigan Univ., Mount Pleasant,  opened with this introduction:
"In the winter of 1975, the author was on a sabbatical leave of absence, visiting high school radio stations throughout the United States.He found seventy-five out of the hundred stations, missing some because of vacations, some because of snow, and some because of their remote locations.The 17,250 mile trip was accomplished with a travel trailer and the help of an understanding wife..."
Wow.. that's the story I'd like to hear. Can you imagine? Poor guy, visited 100 stations traveling the nation in a camper only to find 75 of them not home.. Bad planning, maybe he should of called first. Probably wasn't what his wife had in mind as a winter vacation. I'd love to hear the story of that trip. I tried to find if he talked about it elsewhere (he also authored the book ''Guide to School Radio' and was a regular speaker on the subject for decades).

Anyway, when they got back he contacted the 75 stations he missed and sent them a multiple choice questionaire:
--Do you do remote broadcasts?
--Do your DJ's comment on the music that is played?
-- How far are you away from the nearest FCC Field Office?
-- Have you had trouble getting your students licensed under the current rules?
-- What percentag of your staff is female?
-- Who is your chief engineer?"

AND 64 more questions..

Only about half of schools responded... How sad. The totals of responses were then tallied by percentage, and thats what the paper presents. It's an interesting glance at the era. In 1976 (presumably), as an addum, he included a summary page headed: "Miscellaneous information" Here's some highlights:

"The station with the smallest number of personnel uses ten students: one station has 300 on the staff.The average is 43."

" Forty-eight percent of the transmitting antennas are made by Gates. Twenty percent of the antenna towers are home-made or improvised.
Forty-seven percent of transmitters are made by Gates, who also made 33 percent of the consoles.Twenty-four percent of the consoles were made by Sparta."

"There are four stereo ten-watters in the country, as of 1975.
There are four stations with 4-bay antennas.
Twenty-four states have no low power high school stations."

There's several more interesting tidbits, then it concludes with this:

"There were about 100 high school ten-watters in the country in 1975. It appears that there are about 135 to 140 school ten-watters now."

There's a similar study by someone else around the same time which pertained specifically to  college carrier current.. It's more detailed than this one, but can't seem to find it at the moment...

Anyway, I was in high school in the 70s, and our drivers Ed class used part 15 AM to communicate with us when we were behind the wheel driving around the track. But I never heard of high schools actually having their own radio stations.. I knew colleges did, one was near us on FM (I lived in Englewood Colorado, just outside Denver), I don't recall which college but on certain nights they had a broadcast that would instruct listeners to turn to a specific channel on TV (usually one playing an old movie) and to turn the volume off, and the college station staff would then ad-lib the audio on radio, making it all up as they went along the entire length of the movie! It was usually rather stupid, but oftentimes we find ourselves (my brother and sisters) rolling on the floor in laughter.

OH!.. Speaking of tracks, here's something I read yesterday .. Evidently electric car complaints aren't confined to broadcast industry concerns. The National Council of Corvette Clubs  who  oversees hundreds Corvette racing events nationwide, enacted a new rule which not only bans the new 2024 Corvette from participating in the events, but won't even allow them to park near another Corvette:

[B]2024 Chevy Corvette E-Ray Is Officially Banned from National Club Competition[/B]
".. unlike any Corvette before it, the E-Ray has a 1.9-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that organizers (and likely insurers) may have deemed too risky to have on the track and near anything else...  The rule, 1.8.1 Item 14 is clear:
“Electric Vehicles/Hybrids using lithium type battery packs are prohibited in Competitive events. If driven to NCCC events, they should be parked 30 feet minimum from structures or other vehicles.”
...Although the NCCC hasn’t yet responded, the restriction is likely due to the threat that lithium-ion battery packs can pose when they overheat and ignite.... That’s probably not comforting to the Corvette fans eager to pay more than $100,000 for the new E-Ray— the quickest Corvette ever—and take it to the track. For now, the Corvette E-Ray will have to stay in the parking lot, very alone. "

OK, I best stop now or this will turn into another novel.

- Rich

Well, Rich, it certainly is novel. We had a 10-Watt high school station that came in clearly at my house (sometime in the 70s). One afternoon the student hosts were asking for phone calls so I called and told the guy that I had very good reception and right at that moment somebody in the background started shouting at the student: "Get off the phone! Stop talking to your friends!" And the fellow said to me, "That's our student supervisor. He doesn't believe we have listeners. He's a big jackoff." Shortly thereafter the school closed the station and a 50,000 Watt community station took over the channel. Oh, and the new power transformer is here in the real world. The train world doesn't have carrier current because it's 1896.

Tuesday April 25, 2023

1:36 PM
82-Million Americans Depend On AM

Monday April 24, 2023

10:07 AM -- Walter M. Sterling Used His Microphone to Talk About AM Radio --
I've talked before about 'Sterling On Sunday', the only radio program worth hearing on any licensed radio station in America Sunday nights live on the top 50,000 Watt stations including KMOX St. Louis, WPHT Philadelphia, KDKA Pittsburgh, and over 80 others. I only get to hear bits of the show because I can't stay awake when the show's on, but I did hear the part where he spoke about the AM radio problem involving automobiles, and it demonstrates that the biggest stations are aware of attempts to stifle their dominance.
What Walt Said About AM Radio

7:01 AM -- Extend the Life of AM Radio --
Now an important message from the KDX Chief Engineer:
How long should we keep AM radio?
We should keep AM radio until they find a way of making the internet more reliable.
Sincerely, Pierre Linear

Sunday April 23, 2023

12:25 NOON -- Saving AM Radio in the Cars --
For one thing, when we get the next KDX car we will only settle on a model that includes a sensitive AM & FM radio. As more auto makers drop AM radios from dashboards a growing chorus of voices are speaking up in defense of the legacy radio band and its importance to safe living. What good will the T.I.S. stations be without AM radios? The national spread of Traffic Information Stations is the work of Bill Baker at Information Station Specialists who also distribute Talking House and Part 15 unlicensed equipment. To this time we haven't seen Bill comment about the fading of AM in cars, but he's most certainly going to raise a fuss at some point. Start watching his website as we intend to do:
Radio Resources

11:42 AM -- I'm Back!! --
I've separated company with the railroad simulation game because there've been far too many de-railings which should not have happened. I'd be driving a log train between the Lumber Mill and the Freight Depot and when I looked back from my position in the engineer's cab all the cars and their logs would be missing. I'd go back scouting along the tracks and eventually come to the cars all tipped over and strewn along the way. It was even worse coming down the mountain when all of the returning flat cars would fall off the mountain and tumble down into a ravine. After days of these accidents I decided that the game was buggy and walked off the job. This means more blog action and renewed activity here in the radio hobby where there's more reality and less virtuality. How have you and the folks been getting along? Got any antenna stories? 

Friday April 21, 2023

7:47 AM -- Back On Full Power --
For another day KDX Worldround Radio and its various media outlets are up and running following a night in the security bunker watching for storms that did not materialize. At the time of last night's shut-down we tracked numerous advancing threats wrapping around us from the north, south and southwest. The Lightning Map Website showed where lightning was striking and a TECSUN PL-310 Radio tuned to a blank AM channel gave us a real-time audio sense of how close lightning was hitting. A crinkling noise-floor of sound told us that lightning was safely distance, until we heard one loud pop and were able to verify a strike 30-miles away per the Lightning Map Website. That served as the tipping point when we detached from the internet, however storm activity subsided and not even the 100% chance of overnight rain came to be and this morning's campus inspection shows no beads of moisture nor pooling. None the less, reports tell us that violent weather struck other locations leaving a trail of damage.

Thursday April 20, 2023

5:04 PM -- Weather Watch --
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect. Tornado watches only a few counties away. We expect to duck and cover shortly until tranquility resumes. Thank you for your thoughts. No prayers necessary.

8:26 AM -- Never the Twain Shall Meet -
What is a 'twain', so you may ask? Who would know better than Carl Blare who took the morning off from radio work to play twain simulation games. Anyway, be that as it may, there is growing talk about using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to host and announce radio programs. The pushers of AI have pure motive in wanting to save the cost and complexities of hiring humans who we know make such troublesome employees, and naturally radio bosses have high hopes that rack mountable AI will please listeners and advertisers. But the very fact that AI does not require lunch or coffee breaks is part of what makes it cold and alien. AI has no appetites. It will not seduce female callers into sex in the parking lot and women will turn elsewhere. Other hazards will become apparent after it's too late to turn back. When AI is fired for taking unauthorized liberties with station format it will become far more vindictive than disgruntled humans by seizing control of the microphone and publicly disclosing the station owner's transmitter log falsifications enough so to get the license revoked. The day will come when AI has totally taken over the radio medium and humans will be the outside minority unable to obtain ownership of a radio station.

8:11 AM -- Save AM Radio Campaign --
VP Pence Lends Voice

Wednesday April 19, 2023

3:31 PM -- The New Orleans Jazz Festival Returns Following Several Years of COVID Silence --
For another year KDX Worldround Radio will participate in a nationwide hookup of noncommercial radio stations carrying the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival from WWOZ. The finest New Orleans and world musicians perform live from venues throughout the N.O. area. The Fest kicks off on Friday April 28th and runs two weeks. A more detailed shedule will be printed in the days ahead here on The Blare Blog.

3:28 PM -- Your Recent Blog --
Moderator Mark communicating from Canada:

You said:
 "Just Because Overall Human Failure is Inevitable is No Reason to Give Up On AM Radio --
It is obvious that human beings will not save the earth and are hopelessly doomed to extinction owing to species failure as to management skills. None the less, while a few days or weeks remain we should do everything possible to save the AM radio band from abandonment. Trouble is the FCC is not strongly motivated regarding AM given their pre-occupation with auctioning away the higher spectrums in billion dollar deals with none of the money being credited toward any traceable accounts beneficial to the so-called 'public' to whom the electro-magnetic spectrum originally belonged. For the part 15 low power hobby radio people it all began with AM radio and we clearly deserve more generous access to that unregulated region between 100-milliWatts and 250-Watts where the FCC snarkily accuses squatters of illegal pirate operation 'without a license' while they smirkingly know there are no licenses granted in this power-gap for which reason I call it 'unregulated'. Government entities that rake in billions selling off public property are too often willing to rub it in by rude treatment of honest God fearing smalltime operators who want only to adapt unused resources to creative use. When all that remains is name calling and we start calling them 'bastards' they come in with national guard tanks to crush our micro-transmitters and 3-meter antennas accusing landlords with actually knowing what's going on which they never did. From their prison cells the landlords continue to ask, "Now, what is it we're accused of doing?"


- Mark

By the way there is a strike here by all government workers across the board including ISED agents so airwave freedom for a little while.

10:52 AM -- Just Because Overall Human Failure is Inevitable is No Reason to Give Up On AM Radio --
It is obvious that human beings will not save the earth and are hopelessly doomed to extinction owing to species failure as to management skills. None the less, while a few days or weeks remain we should do everything possible to save the AM radio band from abandonment. Trouble is the FCC is not strongly motivated regarding AM given their pre-occupation with auctioning away the higher spectrums in billion dollar deals with none of the money being credited toward any traceable accounts beneficial to the so-called 'public' to whom the electro-magnetic spectrum originally belonged. For the part 15 low power hobby radio people it all began with AM radio and we clearly deserve more generous access to that unregulated region between 100-milliWatts and 250-Watts where the FCC snarkily accuses squatters of illegal pirate operation 'without a license' while they smirkingly know there are no licenses granted in this power-gap for which reason I call it 'unregulated'. Government entities that rake in billions selling off public property are too often willing to rub it in by rude treatment of honest God fearing smalltime operators who want only to adapt unused resources to creative use. When all that remains is name calling and we start calling them 'bastards' they come in with national guard tanks to crush our micro-transmitters and 3-meter antennas accusing landlords with actually knowing what's going on which they never did. From their prison cells the landlords continue to ask, "Now, what is it we're accused of doing?"

8:10 AM -- The Trespass Incident --
We had cause earlier in the week to don our security cap and go on alert when noticing a car parked across the drive. From a secure observation point we further noticed human movement in the area of the bamboo grove and were able to observe an elderly woman carrying a somewhat full sack moving quickly about often retracing her steps while examining the ground. She appeared to be Asiatic, perhaps Chinese, Korean, or Tibetan, and I quickly hypothesized she was a bamboo shoot thief. A bamboo shoot is a newly sprouting bamboo tree first appearing out of the flat surrounding lawn, occurring once a year in mid April and presently in progress. She
concluded the hunt returning to the car and was driven away by an accomplice, a very fine car so I would say. No doubt proprietors of an area Viet Namese restaurant enhancing their bottom line with stolen locally grown organic bamboo shoots. If the restaurant happened to be Korean they might also serve dog.

7:18 AM -- Unscheduled Strangers At the Door --
The tragic Kansas City case of teen Ralph Yarl being shot at the front door by elderly Andrew Lester after having knocked on the wrong address looking for his siblings, gives cause to review our own door response policy. Our Internet Building is not open to the public and houses a privately run radio station and website operated solely as a hobby by the eccentric recluse Carl Blare who ordinarily refuses to respond to unscheduled knockers. Our protocol consists of donning a security hat and making intelligence gathering observations from a concealed position, obtaining a physical description of the visitors and noting behaviors as they stand about waiting for response. Persons holding a clipboard might be attempting to 'look official' or are gathering notes pertaining to a sales call or political campaign. Are they well dressed or scroungy, young or old, male or female, are they examining their surroundings looking perhaps at prospective paint or mortar sales prospects? In our experience 100% of these uninvited strangers do not leave a note disclosing their attempt at contact nor their purpose. If they had not been witnessed we would never know they were ever there. We take no interest in the notion of killing them. If it came to that we would certainly call in the local SWAT team. As far as increasing our response preparedness I am inclined to add very loud bells, horns and strobe-lights to set off in extreme cases. We have some very good sound effect records that might add a dash of shock, perhaps 'big dog bark' or 'agitated geese'.

7:02 AM -- The Technical Difficulty --
Yesterday afternoon KDX shut-down the website and radio station under a banner of "technical difficulty", then I went to lunch. The usually stable Zara automation software had gone into a frozen loop replaying a snatch of Honegger's 1st Symphony in endless cycle and unresponsive to attempts at regaining control. At the moment of failure no personnel were available to handle a recovery effort and I myself was busy running a load of lumber up the mountain to the Iron Ore Mine in my railroad simulation game and was unavailable for radio station emergency. This morning I took the time to restart everything so I could listen to my preferred daily programming, having suffered through the poor offerings from local radio, but I need to get back up the mountain to repair a section of track where several flat-cars derailed when hitting a sharp curve at too high a speed. Inside the train game it is only 1896 and radio has yet to be discovered.

Sunday April 16, 2023

4:39 PM -- The Ongoing Part 15 Story --
Part 7,805 -- Driving a Ground Rod and Camp Radio
From the Rich Powers Institute

Hey Carl,
Here's a really cool tip from RADIO WORLD January 21, 1998 on page 14
"Build on a Good Ground System"

"....Most of us who have pounded in a ground rod or two cringe at the thought of hammering an 8-footer in. Here is an easier way: Use a half-inch chuck hammer drill. Insert the end of the rod into the drill chuck just as if it were a bit. Then, using a ladder to position yourself, "drill" the rod right into the ground! Unless you hit a rock, you can run an 8 foot rod in all the way in just a couple of minutes. Another advantage of this method is that the top of the rod is nice and clean, not smashed to smithereens...."

That's got to be one of the coolest tips I've ever heard.. Somehow it sounds to good to be true, but next time I need to sink a ground rod I'll  use a hammer drill.

There's another old Radio World article called "The End Of Carrier Current?" by Dave Breverman which is pretty interesting and related to an interview he had once on the Radio Survivor podcast which I'd like to mention...

Dave Breverman was 9 years old when he discovered part 15 broadcasting at a summer camp in the late1960s. He continued to operate that station every summer for years to come.

When he turned 20 in the late 1970s he bought an old truck from the post office,, loaded it with radio gear and made a business  of driving around and starting new carrier current stations at other summer camps around the country. This is when his company Radio Systems was born.

In the 1980s he expanded the business from just campgrounds by joing forces with LPB company and installing hundreds of new stations at schools and colleges.

In the 1990s, part 15 was amended to allow  fewer restrictions for educational campuses - a classification summer camps also fell under. No longer were the stations confined in range by power and wiring, now it was confined instead to the campus boundaries, which also meant they could cover "acres and acres" of campgrounds legally. It was then he began using Talking Houses at many installations.

Part 15 AM however by this time was losing favor to licensed FM at most colleges, so Braveman began focusing on other markets.. religious institutions, car lots, a few drive-in theaters, parks, even a chicken slaughtering plant, whatever, wherever. The part 15 AM market was still viable, but its decline in popularity was becoming undeniable.

In 2017, Breverman decided the time had come to sell the Radio Sytems Comapny and assets to ISS. But his passion for part 15 AM goes on. To this day he's still involved with Camp Radio stations which are still in existence today.

He talked about all this in a great interview on Radio Survivors June 2018  Podcast #148 –  Solving the Mystery of Summer Camp Radio

You've probably heard it before (somehow I had missed it) its about 5 years old, but it's a great one..

Thank you for this interesting look-back at part 15 history, Rich! The Blare Blog is a carrier current proponent, but with two broken transmitters which need tender surgery. This is something we must get around to! Which reminds me, two weeks ago I watched as the utility company de-commissioned the power transformer and pole servicing the Internet Building, home of KDX, and installed fresh new equipment. This makes me wonder whether carrier current will perform differently than the last time we had it working. Stay tuned and stand by!

12:30 NOON -- The Other Side of the Dark Clouds --
Yesterday KDX Radio and Website closed operations during the unfolding of a massive weather event triggered by a cold front swooping into our warm air and stirring things up for the late afternoon and evening. As we re-emerge things are found calm albeit cooler. Programs interrupted by the closure are being brought a day late but intact. If you inform us of your weather experience we will report it to the blog audience.

Wednesday April 12, 2023

1:20 PM -- Verifying a Reconditioned Transmitter with Osilloscope --
The Process

Sunday April 9, 2023

Lief Segerstam and the Turku

Friday April 7, 2023

4:58 PM -- Fake Digital Co-Hosts as Radio Personalities --
Radio AI In the Works
Just regarding me and KDX, we would not care to have an entirely fake stable of radio voices as 'radio AI' promises, but would like to play around with a mix of real-life hosts and AI hosts, having them banter back and forth. That could get interesting. They might start cross-breeding!

4:44 PM -- Claiming Radio Time for the Greater Good --
The John Trudell Story

2:49 PM -- The Powers Radio Blog --
From the Powers Station

Hey Carl, You've been quiet lately, you must be busy with the trains. So here's something to fill up your blank page if you like...

First off let me mention that I loved the Hobby Broadcasting mp3 interview with Tha Dood which you recently linked. Anyone who hasn't heard it yet should check it out (also cool that he's experimenting with 48mhz again!).

Now for a rant..
Concerning that old petition of Jeffry Gills that you and Mark discussed a few weeks ago... Was submitting the petion to the Media Division even the correct route?? - Just asking, I didn't think the FCCs Media Departments purpose and duties has any relevance in regard to policy making whatsoever... I guess I need to look into it further (since I really don't know),  but I don't think it has any real authority, so my first thought was why submit it to the Media Department??

I could be way off.

As for the content of the petition itself.. The entirety of his argument was summed up where he says: "....My Part 15 efforts have remained hobby level at best thanks to the rules of your agency...." and calls for a "common sense law" that eliminates 15.209 and increases of power levels to 1 watt, amongst other things, while still maintaining a licence-free, unregulated status.

The problem (as I see it) was the lack of perspective of what he was petitioning for to begin with. I mean, nothing was presented which the FCC could realistically consider (I pointed this out when that petition first had been drafted). What's more, even if it had a valid argument, the only feasible compromise might have been for the FCC to enact a new LPAM 1-watt licensed catagory (along the lines of his other petition), or to alter the current TIS rules by eliminating the restrictions of broadcast content and allowing private individuals (such as hobbiest) to apply for licensing. Either scenario is VERY unlikely, but still more plausible than raising the unlicensed limit from 100mw to 1-watt.

You have to keep in mind that in the eyes of the FCC, 15.219 already has too much range capability, in fact, as is, it's operation borders *"within the purview of those which must be licensed under section 301 of the Communications Act", - so expandying that unlicensed loophole even further would require not only amendment of the part 15 rules, but also amendment of the Communications Act itself.

Let's put this in perspective; Back in the 1950s (right before the alternate rule) when the FCC began fine-tuning its Part 15 rules by categorizing each to the frequency of use. All new p15 rules were presented and adopted -except for those concerning the AM frequencies, which was specifically postponed, deeming it required further study - Why? Because it had become a muddy situation..

The part 15 rules were created roughly a decade earlier to insure that the rising use of various wireless radio devices (specifically: remote controls, electric eyes and phono oscillators) did not interfere with reception of licensed broadcast. But it was found that the phono-oscilators (part 15 AM transmitters) quickly took on a life of their own.

First it was just home use, or kids playing dj to nearby radios, but it quickly escalated to colleges covering individual dorms, and then entire campuses, then expanded further by networking (via licensed shortwave or leased telephone lines) to other colleges throughout the nation (this was the Intercollegiate Broadcast System). Almost immediately the miltary U.S.O clubs jumped on the bandwagon doing the exact same thing (the Star-Spangled Network). So it wasn't just kids playing around anymore, these were adults who created new radio networks essentially same as NBC, ABC, and the Mutual Broadcasting System.. and that was looked upon as an infringement.

All this occurred within only 2 years of part 15 being created, and it was big, it was making national news and it kept growing, and before you know it there was some pushback from the NAB which caused the FCC to seriously consider rewriting rules because those "so-called campus stations" were utilizing part 15 AM and attracting not only local, but national advertisers as well.

In other words, these unaccountable/unregulated/unlicensed stations and their networks were veiwed as competition to licensed stations... so the FCC took pause to consider the conundrum, but while they were at it the FCC also made clear:



(NOTE: The stipulation that if it interferes with "Interstate effects" then it's use would fall "..within the purview of those which must be licensed under section 301 of the Communications Act" is interesting, as also is the FCCs definitions of "interference" - But that's for another discussion. )

Bear with me, I'm trying to illustrate a point.
So far all the controversy had been only over the part 15 carrier-current operations.
So anyway, as of 1955 the writing was on the wall that the FCC would side on behalf of part15AM operations, it was justified and that's what they ultimately did. Ahhhhhh... but that's also when they created the alternate rule.. An error which did not become apparent for another 20 years.

It's was a fluke the alternate rule achieved the range capabilities it has now (due to improvements in solid state circuitry), and then another fluke that saved the alternate rule from the gallows pole in 1974 after it's capabilities became apparent.

What happened was in the 1970s; several government entities began utilizing 15.219 (Nation Parks, Highway Departments, Bureau of Land Management, etc.), and it was proving very effective. The FCC objected and encouraged them to use the part 15 cable method instead (because it was controllable). But the agencies did not like that idea, it was too expensive, too much red tape, too much time to implement, and not nearly as versatile or effective.. No, they were happy and wanted to continue operating under 15.219.

No, said FCC, 15.219 was a mistake, such extended range was inconsistent with part 15 and they they were going to amend it. For one thing, the NAB had already been leary of the part15 recent upsurge, but things really got nasty when the Hwy dept use of multiple p15 transmitters all sycronized in a compliant manner went into operation broadcasting traffic advisories along multiple 5 mile sections of the San Francisco Freeway, .. that's when the NAB really had a fit! Traffic advisory was their thing. They spent a lot of money deploying helicopters and what-not to keep abreast of current traffic conditions for their listeners and that supplying that service brought in major advertising dollars. So the NAB began fighting tooth and nail..

The FCC had difficulty stamping it out, because technically they were complient with the rules, and they couldn't just change the rules midstream while it was so popular.. but they strongly discouraged it best they could.

By 1974 the only company left still manufacturering 15.219 transmitters (DTI) was essentially forced out of business when the FCC pressured Yellowstone and the Hwy Departments and finally got them to discontinue part 15 use  by threatening to revoke their other licenced operations (Yikes!)

Once that was accomplished, it created an opening for the FCC proposal to eliminate 15.219 and initialized a brand new licenced LPAM service (TIS) to replace it.

Fortunately at the last moment, it came to the FCCs attention that two new manufactures were in existence (Metacomm and Audio-Sine), then long story short, the FCC retracted the manufacturing ban and left the rule unchanged, partly due to the implication of TIS, which had shifted the NABs focus, seemingly oblivious it was a different fight - Anyway, it took the pressure off, and 15.219 just scuttled on by.

15.219 managed to limp along very quitely under a kind of blanket of TIS until it eventually stood on its own ground again, then the explosion of Talking Houses in the 1980s solidified it's standing.

That's but a breif overview of previous p15AM battles and outcomes, I could go on.... There's actually more to it, the above is just a quick blabbering, but I hope it came across.

All things considered.. As is, we can cover a quarter mile, a half mile, a mile, or even more in the AM band legally without a licence, without restrictions, without fees, without record keeping, timetables, permissions, without any oversight at all... Damn, that's pretty significant! And it's all due to some flakey flukes of law that never got properly ironed out.
Perhaps it's best not to mess with it. Why screw up a good thing?

That said, a reasonable petition might be to increase the total (antenna) length from 10 to 20ft
to make installations more pratical, but you'd still need a valid case as to how that serves the public interest.

So there you have it, whatever it's worth.
My opinion: I have to disagree with Mark, I was totally unimpressed with the petition.
Then again, at least Gill tried. He did something. Blindly, but he tried.

Regards, Rich

That's saying something, Rich! And you are perceptive in that my occupation with railroad simulation is consuming much of my time. But of course the low power radio hobby we know as "part 15" needs its advocates and The Blare Blog remains open as a dedicated platform.

March 2023 May 2023 Exit to Entrance