Analog AM Radio Woes

Ever since I deleted my Twitter account, due to the fact that Elon Musk is quite literally a Nazi (except that he can’t speak German), I have a lot more time to think about the world and my place in it, but I still need to feed my addiction to news. I’ve started reading the Schwartz Report, which is a stream of news related to the future, curated by Stephan A. Schwartz, whose claim to fame is remote viewing, something I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

Schwartz recently posted a link to a Washington Post story, End of a love affair: AM radio is being removed from many cars, about the trend of automakers removing AM radio from either their EVs, or all of their vehicles, in the case of Ford, due to the problems with severe AM radio interference caused by the EV propulsion system. This is a real problem for emergencies, and for that reason, I’m not cheering this trend.

My suggestion would be to compromise by encouraging a transition to all-digital broadcasting on the AM band, which is already supported by car radios with digital “HD Radio” support, which I believe is all of them these days. People think of digital radio as applying to FM stations, but there’s also an AM variant. Switching to all-digital AM would be a problem for elderly shut-ins who listen to far-right talk radio and aren’t computer literate enough to pick up their favorite hate radio hosts on the Internet instead of their old portable AM/FM radios.

There’s an obvious “mind control” aspect to AM radio related to broadcasting toxic ideologies, but there’s no spooky EMF aspect that I know of, other than the fact that analog AM signals pick up all sorts of electrical interference: from the sun, from power lines, from electrical storms, and now from EV power systems.

If you understand the basics of radio, this makes sense because the audio signal in AM radio is carried on the amplitude of the signal (AM = amplitude modulation), so any regular or irregular distortion of that amplitude will be picked up by the receiver, which isn’t the case with FM, which modulates the frequency of the carrier wave with the audio signal, making changes in the amplitude irrelevant as long as the receiver can still pick up the signal.

The benefits of switching AM radio stations to all-digital, particularly for stations that also have an FM signal, is that listeners get the benefit of the much larger footprint of the AM signal, solving the problems of emergency broadcast range (at least for those with compatible digital AM receivers) and noise due to EMF sources (including EV propulsion systems), with the only disadvantage being incompatibility with analog AM radio tuners.

On a related note, did you know that there’s no technical reason why our smartphones and feature phones couldn’t have all had built-in FM radios that used our wired headsets (remember those?) for antennas? In the era of the first iPhones and Android phones, the typical Bluetooth controller chip also included an FM radio receiver and the circuitry to use wired headphones as the antenna.

These days only the very cheapest phones include the FM radio feature. The “conspiracy theory” explanation for why Apple and Google didn’t include this feature is that it would have competed with their respective music stores and music streaming services. I think that is the correct explanation, sadly.




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