Question about RCA RP7887 High-Performance Super Radio

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AM radio reception

Sir, years ago (the 60's) It seems to me that am radio reception was very much better than it is today. Example AM 770 (WABC) from New York city came in very strong both day and night here in the Albany NY area about 200miles away. Now its very poor. Automobile radios seemed to pick up so much better. Stations out of Chicago and Canada came in strong.I am talking about the days when tubes were common and auto antennas much taller. Has anything changed since that time and if so is there a solution? Thankyou William.madrian@nyscot.ang.af.mil

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You are correct William, reception is not what it used to be for many reasons. Some corporate owners and local owners have spent much more maintaining FM facilities, and many have neglected the AM's. A good part of the AM signal is via the ground radials beneath each AM tower. In time these radials deteriorate, and with it the signal. Years ago stations licensed as daytime only shut down at night. Quite a few are now allowed to stay on with greatly reduced power, adding to the noise floor at night. You also have more AM licensees now than in the 60's. Unfortunately many of the really knowledgeable AM RF engineers have retired, or are close to doing so. AM directionals require a very experienced engineer. In addition we have many Part 15 radiators, that are devices that radiate a low level RF signal. Every home is full of them, thus more interference. We have power distribution systems that generate huge amounts of noise across the band too. Then there is the issue of manufacturers who have spent more on the FM receiver side of a radio as more migrated to FM. In the 60's, very few were FM listeners. Gone is sensitivity, selectivity and frequency response in the newer AM radios. There are a few exceptions, the CC Crane, and RCA SuperRadio, both sound good with great performance. By the way, the RCA WAS the GE SuperRadio. I also like to pick up some of the vintage radios on EBay and other sites, plus occasionally at yard sales. Unless you are in the country and don't have a house full of gadgets, DX listening can be difficult, but not impossible. Best of luck, capttomconroy@jetbroadband.com

Posted on Jul 19, 2008

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Thanks for the info - especially about "Part 15 radiators". What got me searching this topic is that I had great reception earlier this evening when my electricity was out - the minute it went on again, I could hear the immediate deterioration in my reception. I'm wondering if this is just from devices in my house, or also from the electric wires out in the street?

Posted on Nov 15, 2008

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