Letters: Digital Dash, CFA, More
     

Credit: Robert Richer
NO MINDLESS DIGITAL DASH

It is true, everything does have a beginning and an end, so I am hoping that opinions/comments like the ones made by Frank A. Gagliano (“Let Great Grandpa AM Go,” April 9 issue) will soon take the “digital dashboard” to the graveyard instead. We already have worldwide information and music delivery via digital forms and the Internet, smartphones, etc. To kill AM and FM terrestrial radio to just be another digital drone clone is not the answer.

We need to give the radio back to the people, have it serve local interests and the communities they were meant to serve. Community-based radio, in my opinion, is a much better solution than just killing off AM and FM. We need real people running real radio, generating local listeners and participation. There are many great community-based radio stations, such as KXCI(FM) in Tucson, Ariz., and others. I would rather roll the dice with community-based radio than to join the mindless digital dash to nowhere.

I’m sure I am not the only person out there who loves the sound of AM radio; there is just something about it that has always interested me, and I am only in my 30s. I love the way it sounds, how distant stations travel at night. I love everything about it. Sure, it does not have the fidelity of FM, but who cares? It’s about the experience of AM, with all its wonderful spooky noises and static as you turn the dial. That’s part of the magic with its music and news. The only thing I am letting go is your digital dash, with 100,000 audio choices of things I don’t want to listen to.

R.D. Voxx
Owner/President
Voxx Productions
Akron, Ohio


HAM DESIGNATIONS

I enjoyed Robert Kegerreis’s article on ham radio very much (“Reception Lets Hams Meet in Person,” March 26 issue). However, I need to point out that there is no such designation as “Extra General” or “General Extra.” You are either a Technician, General, or Extra, not a combination of any of the three.

Great job, Robert, on a very interesting article.

Steve Tuzeneu, C.B.T.
President, Sonshine Media LLC
Abilene, Kan.
SBE member; Amateur Extra Broadcast GROL


CROSSED FIELD ANTENNA

Since I discovered this antenna (“Whatever Happened to the CFA?,” April 9 issue) in 1996, I’ve been quietly examining and sharing it with other radio engineers, only to find skepticism of its performance amongst their ranks. After some time I, too, started to share such skepticism. There appears to be inconclusive evidence that this antenna is on par with a vertical quarter-wave.

Now, once again, the antenna is touted in print as being a viable substitute for a vertical quarter-wave model. It’s a most interesting antenna, but I’m not falling for any exaggerated claims. I hope someone has actual comparative data about how the CFA compares with a vertical quarter-wave antenna. As of now, I’ve not found any such information, only speculative arguments.

Bob Henry
Broadcast Engineer
New Mexico PBS
Albuquerque, N.M.


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