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I'm considering hanging a long wire this spring and trying to get my 13 y.o. son interested in radio as a Scouting activity. Has everything gone to DRM these days, or is it worth dusting off my HQ-180 and checking the capacitors?

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    $\begingroup$ There's actually just a small number of DRM stations. It seems to be a sort of a chicken and an egg problem. There are only few DRM receivers available, so not many stations want to broadcast in DRM. On the other hand, there aren't many DRM stations, so there's a small market for DRM receivers. It's similar with other new technologies, such as AM signalling system. Not many stations use AMSS for identification and not many receivers are capable of decoding AMSS. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Mar 11 '16 at 0:50
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    $\begingroup$ Aircraft control uses A.M. because it is possible to hear and understand two A.M. transmissions on the same frequency (one might be a distress call) whereas with any other mode of transmission it is not possible, you just get noise. $\endgroup$ – Harry Weston Mar 12 '16 at 11:54
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There are still many AM shortwave stations.

A great way to find out the state of the spectrum for yourself is to use WebSDR sites, which let you use many different receivers around the world from your web browser. Many of them are restricted to the amateur bands only, but some have wider coverage.

The University of Twente WebSDR in particular has continuous 0-30 MHz coverage. You'll find that its marked broadcast bands are full of AM signals.

Of course, that's just one location, in the Netherlands. At my home on the west coast of the United States, I have very high local noise, but I can still hear several shortwave AM broadcast stations when propagation conditions are good, and I have not heard any DRM stations at all.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks!! I'll be stringing up a wire and dusting off the Drake RX-8 this weekend (if the 'lytics are still good...) $\endgroup$ – nzc Mar 11 '16 at 21:59

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