Monday, October 16, 2006

High Fidelity AM radio

No not HD, IBOC dosen't actually work on AM you already know that.

Starting in 1934 U.S. frequencies above 1500 were allocated only to four experimental stations. the experiment was High Fidelity AM Radio. They broadcast with a signal 20 kHz wide for this improved AQH. The High Fidelity stations were converted to regular broadcasting(and regular call signs) with the NARBA frequency move.

But from December 19, 1933, until then The FRC allowed the three channels, at 1530, 1550, and 1570 kHz, too operate at double the Khz making high-fidelity broadcasting possible without interference from adjacent stations.

These stations were:

on 1530 W1XBS to which became WBRY (later WTBY, then WQQW; went dark in 1989)
on 1590 W9XBY to KITE(wenr dark in 1942)
on 1550 W2XR to WQXR (now 1560 WQEW-AM) which survives today
and also on 1550 W6XAI to KPMC (now 1560 KNZR-AM)

KITE-AM has a great history page here:
WBRY-AM history here:
a WQEW-AM page here:

There was actually a fight over 1530. There were two Kansas City applicants for 1530 kHz. The Unity School of Christianity, owner of WOQ, was seeking the channel as a means of staying on the air if it lost its fight to stay on 1300 kHz. The commission had attempted to deny WOQ a license renewal in 1931. The other Kansas City applicant was First National Television, Inc., operator of a radio engineering school and holder of an experimental television license, W9XAL. First National was partially owned by Arthur B. Church, the principal owner of KMBC.

There were only six applicants for all four licenses.
Unity School of Christianity, Kansas City,
American-Republican, Inc., Waterbury, CT
First National Television, Inc., Kansas City,
John V. L. Hogan, Long Island City, New York,
Pioneer Mercantile Co., Bakersfield, California,
Fred W. Christian, Jr., and Raleigh W. Whiston, Los Angeles,

Two weeks later, the Commission approved all except the Unity and Los Angeles applications. According to Broadcasting, "The fact that more applicants for the newly opened wave lengths did not appear has produced considerable surprise, particularly in the ranks of the Radio Commission."