Are we losing AM radio?

Maybe before steam… but certainly not in the 20th century…

I know as a child I sailed from Sydney to Southampton, took 4 weeks (we stayed aboard however, and got off at Rotterdam) - we came by way the Pacific Ocean and South America and the Atlantic…

Our return journey about 18-20 months later, took about 5 weeks from Southampton, by way of South Africa and the Indian Ocean (ultimately, to Sydney)…

That was 1970 and 72… I’m sure maybe steam powered propulsion in the time of wireless radios, would only have taken a tad longer 6-7 weeks?

Literally thousansd, probably 10’s or even 100’s of thousands of “ten pound poms” who came here, can attest to it being a damnable journey, might have felt like 6 months, but was probably only 6 weeks at most… (BTW my missus is a Ten Pound Pom :smiley: )… Our return leg of our European adventure, by boat, about 95% of our fellow passengers were Ten Pound Poms… Back then Australia still had the racist “The White Australia Policy” in place…

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I was also a Luxembourg radio fan as a teenager, listening to the chart rundown each week under the bed covers so not to upset the family. It faded in and out on a regular basis part of the attraction. When they moved to being available on TV I gave up.
I understand now it’s on RTL and in France part of M6 broadcasting. Just not the same. Little bit like pirate radio.
Is this a sign of age …

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Hi Neville, :wave:

Yes, it´s correct that atmospheric conditions affect reception quality.
But that´s only half of it.

Other factors are the 11 year solar cycle. The number of sunspots has a huge influence on SW reception.

An then there´s the factor of which of the SW bands you´re currently using.
In my part of the world the 49m band is also called “Europa Band”.

The bands using lower frequencies than the 49m band are seen as the so-called tropical bands. It´s especially here that the time of day and the season have an immense influence on SW propagation. :wink:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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My mother came in 1912. Took 6 months. It was a steamship, but probably a very early one.
Sailships took 9 months. The old route was via the Cape.

Sydney was an absolute backwater up till about 1960. I grew up with horses and carts delivering milk and bread to the door. Mothers family were blacksmiths… we lived at the blacksmith shop which was still functional when I was a child. Postwar Sydney was clean and uncongested and safe… a really nice place for families. I think everyone was grateful the war and depression were over and they simply enjoyed life like never before.

Yes there were lots of Poms came in the 1950’s. My sister married one. Then Europeans.
We are all migrants or descended from migrants. Even indigrnous Australians were migrants, 40000 years ago. Its a shifting world.


Well, thank you Rosika. I did not know any of that.
Sunspots… must look at that in my rainfall analysis. If it affects the atmosphere it may affect weather.


Maturity maybe.
With me, some activities are still adventures, but other have lost their special appeal.
I think as long as you retain some special interests, or find new ones, you will handle retirement easily.

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Hi Neville, :wave:

you´re welcome.

Yes, the sun´s activity (sunspots and 11-year-cycle) is crucial with SW propagation.
If you´re interested you may take a look at
Short-wave radio propagation description and explanation .
It seems like it covers many of the important aspects in a concise way.

There are a lot of of other websites on the internet covering the subject, of course.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Inner city Newcastle (we lived in Cooks Hill - there was still a stigma about it being a slum - my maternal grandmother was shocked when she found out my parents had bought a house there) was still like that in the 1960’s - I even remember as late as 1970 bread being delivered to the school tuck shop (canteen) on horse and cart.

My Tripp grandfather was co-owner of a bakery with his brother in law, in the Newcastle suburb of Hamilton, Lynch and Tripp, I bought one of their tokens off e-bay a while back :

On the reverse it said “Good For One Loaf”.

And I can still remember sometimes being awoken in the wee hours to the sound of clop clop clop outside as the milkman delivered a couple of pints of milk, that still had cream on the top!

I do have fond memories of AM radio, mostly (only) the ABC - on Saturday and Sunday afternoons my mum would be in the kitchen or laundry, listening to The Goon Show on “the wireless” and chuckling away as she washed my brother’s and my school uniforms… She still usually, often, has the radio on during the day, but on ABC Classic FM…


Check it out on Satellites are geostable–

Where can I listen to SiriusXM?

You can enjoy SiriusXM Satellite Radio almost anywhere—within the 48 contiguous United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (with some limitations), hundreds of miles out into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Great Lakes. SiriusXM streaming is available throughout our satellite service area plus Alaska and Hawaii.


I had a CB radio over much of my younger life. I started out with a standard AM transceiver, then I got a Single Side-band radio. I added a power amplifier to increase my broadcast range (illegal here in the U.S. because it raised power output above 4 watts). During the time when hurricane Hugo passed between the D.C. area and New York off the East coast, I made contact with someone from Wales (on the English west coast). That was the most distant conversation I ever held, and more than a dozen fellow CBers tried to make contact too, but failed. I must have been in the right place at the right time that day. I’m in North-West Ohio, and I regularly talked with people in Colorado, Texas, and often Florida, but that conversation with the guy in Wales is one of my fondest memories of CBing :).


I was on my way home from some late night work about 11:00 PM and there was a storm coming in from the north. I saw a huge fork of lightning and decided to flip the radio over to AM so I could hear it. I changed stations a couple times and listened for about 5 minutes and never did hear any crackling. Did they figure out how to filter that out since I was a kid?

I think it might depend on location of the storm relative to your receiver and the station transmitter.
We use AM regularly in the car , and the station is about 150Km away. It crackles and the volume fluctuates.


Here in Switzerland, AM is already completely switched off and FM will follow next year.

Truly the end of an era.

I still remember the days of the Cold War, when each block tried to reach as far as possible with their signals across the Iron Curtain.


Sad. Those memories seem so clear, but they reach back into the 50s–at night, under the covers, with earphones. Does shortwave still exist or is it all internet radio?

Most shortwave stations are off the air these days. It’s almost all internet-based now.


There a big move of keeping AM right now, there a lot of national weather channels on AM, That I have seen the last couple of weeks.