Why are AM and FM presets separted?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Hunter P, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    0
    I posted this question in the Car Audio/Video section but got no response so I'm trying again in the AHL where all the cool people hang.[​IMG]

    Every car radio (to my knowledge) has their AM and FM presets separated and I would like to know why. I listen to a few FM stations and one AM station when I'm flipping through channels. It is such a hassle to switch over to AM before getting to that memorized station. Why can't the radio save favorite stations on the same set of presets regardless of AM or FM? Haven't we advanced as a race to be able to do this?
     
  2. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 1999
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have six buttons, with separate AM and FM presets, you can have -- and advertise -- twelve presets. Some have even more, by using AM, FM1, and FM2.

    So which way is better depends on how many presets you use. Given how fancy radios are nowadays, they should have an option to work either way.
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    4,633
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh get a life Hunter! [​IMG]
    I've got REAL problems. Why don't VCRs have a "Record Tuesday thru Saturday" setting so I can record programs that come on after midnight on weekdays?
    Maybe TIVO has solved this problem, but I've slipped behind on technology. [​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,313
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    Techno-lag. It is a common thing for technology to retain elements of earlier technology that it was based on, even when those things no longer seem to make a great deal of sense. Sort of like junk DNA or the human appendix. [​IMG]

    All radios have separate tuners for the two frequency bands. With the early electro-mechanical radios, it clearly made the most sense to switch to the proper band first, then tune to specific station. Early presets were mechnical button and pin arrangements, somewhat like tabulation stops on a mechanical typewriter. When these things were gradually replaced with electronic versions, they retained the look and feel of their predecessors.

    It is true that modern electronic systems could store both the band and the channel information, and switch both band and channel in one operation, but nobody thought to do this because - well, nobody thought to do it and probably nobody asked for it. (And with multiple "pages" of presets the car companies could still advertise those 12 channels even if you could mix and match.)

    Chances are the system response would be slower with such an arrangement - which raises the possibility that somebody did experiment with the idea at some point but that focus-group research killed it. (There would have to be a lag in switching bands before switching to a channel, and people are used to instantly hearing different music when they mash a button. I can actually see this being something people would complain about. [​IMG])

    But there are all sorts of design elements like this that just persist in products until and unless somebody asks, "why are we doing it this way?" and nobody in the room can give him an answer.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    the question should be, why do we even have AM radio any more
    for some reason, AM does not seem to work as well with digital tuners as it did with analog tuners, it never sounds as good
     
  6. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    0


    Too funny..... and my 8-track was right underneath. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    0


    Lots of people listen to talk radio on AM. I don't personally like it, but all I have to do is walk around the place where I work and a lot of radios are tuned into talk radio on AM. Also, I don't think the problem is with digital tuners, but AM tuners in general. With AM now being mostly talk or sports, fidelity is not an issue with most people. The development money is spent on the FM side. Personally, I've gone to XM.
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2000
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why, if flipping through channels consecutively on my TV and I hit the "last channel" button, it takes me back one channel!?? [​IMG]

    I used to have a cable box that remembered the last number you entered rather than the last channel you flipped through. So, you could flip all over the place and hit "last channel" and it would take you back to where you wanted to go.
     
  9. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    0


    Anyone know of a third-party remote that does NOT do this ? Please let us know !
     
  10. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2000
    Messages:
    8,286
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Tivo has solved this problem.[​IMG] It doesn't care when the show comes on, it records it based on the show's name.

    Back to the original question, I have an '04 Maxima with a factory Bose (no other option) radio. It has 3 sets of 6 presets which can be any combination of AM, FM or XM.

    -Robert
     
  11. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,213
    Likes Received:
    0

    True my tube radios from the 50s sound better than any non tube radio for Baseball games
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Probably the same reason DVD studios don't like you switching audio tracks on the fly [​IMG]

    According to a quick bit of research, it appears that AM and FM signals are processed differently.

    According to How Stuff Works.com...
    Link

    AM:It looks like a somewhat complicated process. Even though they could probably do it, I agree with Joseph that no one decided to change what's already been put in place.

    It's the old "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" routine.
     
  13. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    AM is Amplitude modulation, they vary the power of the signal but the frequency stays the same at all times, the tuner decodes this power change for an audible signal

    FM is frequency modulation, they modulate the frequency but the signal strength stays the same, to get any deeper into how they do this, ask someone else, I am not sure
     
  14. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    0

    You can also set it to record a channel at a certain block of time, like Tues-Sun from 12am-2am.
     
  15. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 1999
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recall my old ProScan VCR could do this. It also had Commercial Advance.
     

Share This Page