My uncle was in the Navy WWII. Pacific Fleet. Ugly battles in the island-hop campaign, but he preferred people not bring up specifics about that.
He was buddies with the ship radio crew, and during slack times he would hang out in the comm office.
They always had radios pointed where they should be, but they also had extras. When nothing else was happening, they would surf available reception on a spare.
Several times they picked up the local live real-time broadcasts for KRLD Dallas 1080
(which rang a distinction cowbell sound before announcing the hour and frequency)
That’s maybe 6000-8000 miles depending on ship location.
I think the station engineers found out that sometimes they could be picked up overseas at night, and so the station started periodically saying “Hi there” to the troops.
That station ran an omnidirectional broadcast at 50,000 watts. It was supposedly the first station to ever broadcast live college and high school football, and to broadcast live continuous election coverage, for what it’s worth.
I think AM can skip/bounce/reflect back and forth between atmosphere and ground. Esp at night.
That’s I think how those high-power pirate radio stations on the south side of the Rio Grande got their huge nite audiences way back when.
@f00l You’re much more knowledgeable on what was happening, I only remember that most of the homes up in northern Wisconsin had multi-band radios, and that after about 9 or 10, magic would happen as distant stations from Chicago, or St Louis, Nashville, Memphis or (OMG) Dallas or Little Rock would show up after the local noise had signed off, playing what one trucker described to me as amphetamine-fueled bluegrass into the morn when the pork-bellies report would come on …
Even later as a teen with an old chevy wagon, cruising along the ridges picking up El Paso at 2 AM and feeling like we’d contacted the distant galaxies …
Both were (somewhat) before my time, so I can’t arbitrate.
Also, I was a radio operator in the Air Force. What you describe as the long range of radio waves is referred to as “skip”. More accurately, it is reflection by atmospheric layers. It was very dependent on frequencies used and current atmospheric conditions (and also sunspots causing ionization effects). Generally the lower the frequency, the more liable skip conditions would be favorable.
That’s a big part of why you are more likely to hear far off AM stations than FM ones. Modern Satellite radio is direct, so skip usually not relevant.
Ships generally used “long wave” communications (lower frequencies).
[Tangential to whales and SONAR effects.]
I’m sure there are amateur radio operators on here a lot more knowledgeable than I on such things.
The A&M vs Texas game was not a “voice” over the air, but was voiced after the coded transmissions were received by radio. But was “play-by-play”.
For the other game, it is not mentioned whether it was “live”, i.e., play-by-play, or rather summary updates, as a lot of games were during that era. I’m not feeling energetic enough to try to dig up that info.
@f00l@phendrick You’ve got the basics covered. During the Solar Max of the late '70s and into the '80s, first the skip became more prevalent, to the point that in '78, 5W could hit points 1700 miles away on 11-meter (which was CB), and then gradually the noise level rendered that band useless for anything except very local with the squelch cranked high. The CB craze happened coincident with a minimum, where there was not as much skip and not a lot of solar noise.
For stuff that happened on radio 1920s and 1930s I just have gym memories of a few things my parents and family told me
I love the experience of radio especially when it’s not this modern by computer garbage
But of course, nowadays, I’m doing audiobooks and podcasts, and I get very little radio
Are used to love when I was in my teens and 20s. We get a bunch of friends and just go driving out to the middle of nowhere for the hell of it in the middle of the night.
No comment on what the car might have smelled like
Just no one smoke, nicotine cigarettes in that group
But the border, Fandor supposedly really cranked up there, transmitters after dark when a lot of stations went off the air and you can pick up the most amazing rock ‘n’ roll or other music coming to you from the Mexican border
I suppose it didn’t lead to much that was productive in our lives. but it was a great state of mind
Unfortunately, I know very little about the technology of radio and that’s a regretted area of ignorance
The 8-track player! (Nearly wore out my copy of Neil Diamond’s "Tap Root Manuscript) In 1970 I paid $2,000. for a '67 cougar in mint condition. 1967 was the first year the 8-track was offered as an upgrade in all ford vehicles. (I was going to school and had a 20 hour a week job at a dept. store at $1.45 an hour! Average cost of a 3 year old car today is around $30,000!)
@benj I had a ‘69 Mustang (I paid $1000 for it at the beginning of the gas shortage in 1973). It also came with the factory AM/8-track stereo. I bought an adapter that plugged into the 8-track slot and tuned FM stations. Jammin’ to KINK FM-102 out of Portland OR.
I never quite understood why the 8-track tapes worked - it pulled the continuous loop of tape from the (smaller) center of the reel and wrapped it back around the (larger diameter) outside of the same reel. I don’t know why it didn’t just bind up. (I guess a lot of the time it did! )
I never quite understood why the 8-track tapes worked
It was a combination of a carefully calculated amount of slack in the coil on the reel, and tape materials that were slipperier than what was used in reel-to-reel and compounded with things that kept the continual sliding from causing static to be generated. If any significant part of the tape got contaminated with crud (finger oils included) the tape would cling instead of sliding freely, and it would jam on the reel. Normally, the tape being pulled from the center kept just enough slack in the rest of the loop that the coil would slide against itself marginally as the loops constricted, keeping a minuscule gap between the layers as the tape progressed back toward the center.
@benj@macromeh Heh. If you ever had the coil spring out of the recoil part of a lawn mower starter, and weren’t careful handling it, and then had the fun of rewinding it, you’d understand how they worked and didn’t usually bind.
Strictly speaking the cassette, because when we went out west as kids dad came equipped with like three of these
/image tdk 15 cassette carrier
Along with the whole recording/copying the tapes on the accelerated decks. Since the expedition and metro only have cassette decks I actually would have liked to have those tapes for nostalgia reasons, but they may have been deprecated when we got him a CDRW. Those binders may have been larger
I bought my new Chevy Impala in '70 or so. It had jyst an AM radio, and I got the ultimate upgrade, I put 2 speakers in the back deck. Luxury personified, until I installed an 8-track machine in the glove box. (never once had gloves in there anyway.)
Not audio, but audio adjacent; About…15 years or so ago, I got a head unit with a built-in DVD player and included back-up camera. If installed according the instructions, it would only play DVDs when the parking brake was set and only allow viewing the backup camera when the vehicle was in reverse. Connecting those two wires to ground instead made it so those functions were always available. While stupid in retrospect, it sure was fun. All my friends had those little binders full of CDs in their cars, I mostly just had movies in mine.
@Aspirant_Fool Coming back from Lake Tahoe to the Bay Area on a Sunday, we locked onto a one of those big GM Whatevers and were able to watch most of Toy Story on their rear seat DVD player as we headed down I-80 toward SF …
@2many2no@f00l Sorry about the slow reply.
No, I don’t recall any Ft Worth radio stations in particular. Dallas had so many of them and the better reception for us through the day. We had very few stations that we just rotated through, mostly depending on which DJ was the in-one at the time.
In the 70’s, I added several local FM stations to my play. Loved WRR for classical and also KVIL-FM that had Ron Chapman (whom I had liked at KLIF; he died a couple years ago at about 85). Continued to listen to them for a long time afterward whenever I would visit.
I would listen to those or to KLIF when there; or on the way to/from AF in Abilene while I could receive them. When not, I could get the Abilene station.
KILT Houston and KTSA San Antonio were part of the same ownership (at the time) as KLIF, so I also tended to listen to them when I traveled.
I do remember the Ft Worth TV stations, in particular KTVT (“Lively Eleven”) with Icky Twerp giving me my childish entertainment. [My father would regularly watch several programs on PBS, but I never really got into it then.]
@f00l Been thinking it over, trying to come up with the names of two radio stations, the Ft Worth one you asked about and the other Dallas FM station I listened to enough to fill up some open reel tapes from. Tonight, into my head popped “KFJZ”. Was that your FW station, operating then on 1270? https://duckduckgo.com/?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KFJZ
@highonpez only cool thing was you could park next to your buddy and blast the same song on both systems by tuning to the correct frequency. One we used wasn’t built into the plug like that, but a separate box you could hold outside the car window for optimal broadcasting.
@highonpez@medz If you lived in a major metropolitan area, there usually weren’t any gaps in the freq range big enough for the gadget to work very well. As you drove around town, you’d end up continually shifting to get out of the signal space of another strong station.
I still have a few of my parents old 8-track players that go in cars. I’m thinking about trying to hook one up and trying to run it through the aux in my car. I still have a decent little collection of 8-track tapes.
@sicc574 I remember my dad had one in his '78 F-150, but never saw him use one in it. I remember thinking it was cool because the AM/FM tuner panel was a flap for where you’d push the 8-track tape in. They did have an 8-track player in the house and my siblings and I would listen to my mom’s Queen - A Night at the Opera tape on it after we discovered Bohemian Rhapsody thanks to Wayne’s World, haha.
My first car (1973 Dodge Dart) had a factory 8-track player…I also had a “boom box” before they were called that that had an 8-track player. The heavens parted & down came The KRACO KCA-7 8-track/Cassette adaptor…and ALL was right in the world!!