Speakers from readers Archie Stulc, Michael Shovan and Craig Seelig

Published: November 24, 2022

Radio World invites industry-oriented comment and response. Send to Radio World. Below is a sample of recent letters to the editor.

Getty Images/Stan Eales

Watch your foot!

I agree with Ira Wilner’s letter in the Aug. 17 issue, “I’m worried about the cloud” about being used for radio broadcasting operations, but for different reasons.

First, as a former engineer, I feel weird handing off critical parts of a station’s operations to a third party. Doing this with a station’s library, programming, and billing operations feels just like holding a gun to your foot.

Next, the potential for hacking. The cloud must be a prime target for any hacker, from the high school rookie to the real bad guy.

For now we have a choice. Choose wisely.

– Archie Stulc

Reflecting on “The Cloud”

As always, your August 17 issue was another fun issue of my favorite magazine!

I agree with Ira Wilner’s concerns about this popular “cloud” trend. We’ve already experienced this in the OTA-TV world with multiple “Titanic deckchair shuffles” that significantly reduced available spectrum in favor of those “20,000 pound gorilla” wireless providers, which also caused a number of less fortunate passengers “share” some of the remaining “seats”.

In the “old days”, each station had its own complete (and unique) “chain” from microphone to antenna. A failure in one part didn’t necessarily bring down the others, particularly during emergencies.

Imagine a future where all broadcasters are but “passengers” on a single “liner” and that “boat” hits an “iceberg”.

I also share his distrust of “cloud-based” software, which ensures continued revenue for Microsoft, et al. When I needed a word processor or spreadsheet for my new Win10 PC, the obvious choice would have been MS Office, but it was only available on ‘subscription’. After a little research, I found the free (and compatible) LibreOffice, which does everything and is regularly supported, and everything stays “down to earth”.

Yes, Ira, it really does feel like a new Wild West. Thankfully, that federal agency that was once tasked with regulating users of our spectrum to prevent interference and prevent “concentration of media control” no longer has to worry about any of that “old fuddy-duddy stuff.”

– Michael Shovan, CBTE (Life)

More on Mono

Some thoughts on analog FM stereo reception in automotive receivers (“Turn off the stereo and see what happens” RW August 17):

Most, if not all, OEM automotive receivers in use today have dynamic “stereo blend” circuitry that constantly adjusts stereo separation and high-frequency response as signal strength varies. For this reason, at least in part, stereo FM reception in an automobile is actually close to mono reception.

For example, the older Sanyo PLL FM MPX IC LA 3430 stereo demodulator, designed for use in FM car stereos, offered this “stereo blend” feature as a means of improving the signal-to-noise ratio under weak signal conditions.

The signal from a receiver’s IF stage (which varies with signal strength) is applied to pins 7 and 8 of this IC (pin 7 is the high cut control, pin 8 is the stereo noise control) . This control circuit working in tandem performs a dynamic “stereo mixing” process that can actively reduce stereo separation to sometimes zero while simultaneously reducing high-frequency audio response above approximately 7 kHz.

The effect of these combined circuit controls has improved listening to FM stereo stations in a mobile environment where signal strength varies constantly.

–Craig R. Seelig NARTE Certified Engineer

[Read more letters to the editor]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *