Best AM Radios: What are they?
The Best AM Radio Stations are those which have the best signal strength. They can be classified into two types: Short Range and Long Range. The short range is those with a maximum distance of 30 miles or less, while the long range includes all others. There are many different kinds of radios in between these two extremes.
Short Range AM Stations: These include some FM stations and AM stations. They usually have a maximum distance of 10 miles or less.
Long Range AM Stations: These include most digital modes, as well as several other types of radio systems such as some military, emergency services, weather radar, etc.. Their maximum distances can reach up to 100 miles or more.
What Kind of Signal Strength do I Need?
There are various factors that determine how strong your radio’s signal will be. For example, if you live in a rural area where there is no nearby towers to amplify the signal, then it would not matter what kind of radio you use; you could still receive weak signals from the nearest station. However, if you live in a city or near any tower, then it might make sense to invest in one with stronger reception capabilities.
You can also choose how far you are willing to travel for the best reception. If you just want to listen to a few local channels, then you can buy a cheap radio and place it in an area where the signal is clear.
If you want to pick up signals from hundreds of miles away, then it may make sense to invest in a more serious radio, such as a long range scanner or satellite TV.
What are the Different Types of AM Radio Stations?
In the united states, AM radio stations fall into one of three categories:
Narrowcast Stations (Low Power): These are low-power stations that can only be heard within a small radius. They do not have a maximum range, since they are not allowed to broadcast over a certain distance in the first place.
The radio waves that they produce are very weak and cannot travel far. They are also known as Low-Power Transmitters. They are mostly reserved for community stations, small businesses, and local governments. They are not commonly used by major broadcasting companies.
Mediumwave (Class A) Stations: These are AM stations that can be heard over a long distance during the day time, but cannot broadcast very far at night. They are also known as Class A stations.
They can be heard sometimes up to hundreds of miles away, however they cannot be received at all at night, due to skywave propagation becoming nearly impossible after the sun goes down. The time that a medium wave station can be received depends on its location and its power output.
Longwave (Class B) Stations: These are AM stations that can only be heard within a radius of a few miles. They are also known as Class B stations.
They can sometimes be received for hundreds of miles away, however this is during the day time only and they cannot be received at all at night, due to skywave propagation becoming nearly impossible after the sun goes down. The time that a longwave station can be received depends on its location and its power output.
What is AM Noise?
AM Noise is a low frequency background noise that can be heard on an AM Radio if it is left on for an extended period of time. This noise is caused by lightning strikes within a few miles of the transmitter, and can sometimes last for a few minutes or even an hour or so. It can be a minor annoyance at times, but most people do not even notice it after a while.
What is Dead Air?
Dead Air is the term used to describe an AM Radio that stops transmitting sound altogether. This can happen for a few different reasons:
The Transmitter could be experiencing technical difficulties, such as a blown fuse, which prevents it from sending out any signal at all.
The Antenna that is being used could be damaged, or even non-existent. Without an antenna, then the radio is unable to send out any signal at all.
The Station it self could be experiencing technical difficulties, such as a blown fuse, or even an attack. If the station is attacked, then the radio will not be able to send out any signal at all.
The Transmitter may be set to a dead channel, such as a channel that is not in use.
What is Skywave?
The skywave is an invisible wave of energy that expands for miles above the Earth’s surface. It can be used to transmit AM Radio signals over long distances at night, however it will prevent transmission during the day. AM Stations that use the skywave are known as Daytime Only Stations, since they cannot be heard during the day at all.
What is Groundwave?
The groundwave is a secondary wave of energy that moves beneath the surface of the Earth. It does not expand nearly as much as the skywave, however it can be used at any time of the day or night. AM Stations that rely on the groundwave are known as Nighttime Only Stations, since the skywave is ineffective during the day and cannot be used at all.
Sources & references used in this article:
Population adaptation for genetic algorithm-based cognitive radios by TR Newman, R Rajbanshi, AM Wyglinski… – … on Cognitive Radio …, 2007 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
FET diode linearizer optimization for amplifier predistortion in digital radios by C Haskins, T Winslow, S Raman – IEEE microwave and guided …, 2000 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Cross layer optimization for efficient spectrum utilization in cognitive radios by AH Mahdi, MA Kalil, AM Thiel – 2013 International Conference …, 2013 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Radios get smart by R Rubenstein – IEEE Spectrum, 2007 – ieeexplore.ieee.org