Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AM major change dismissed

Tafuna, American Samoa: 630KHz:
KJAL request to move from 585KHz dismissed.
Station would have remained 5,000 watts non-directional day & night.
KJAL will remain on 585.


Laurence Glavin said...

Since nearly all recently-manufactured radios use frequency-specific (that's the term I'm using; I don't know what they're actually called in the biz)tuning in both home and mobile AM radios, wouldn't any such station HAVE to move to a frequency like 630? On a radio with manual tuning, you could turn the dial from 580 or 590, but this is no longer the case for the most part. Anyway, are there plentiful FM stations there?

Doug Smith said...

585 isn't quite as bizarre a channel as one might think. But I think you have a good point.

The ITU has divided the world into three Regions. Region I is Europe & Africa; Region II is the Americas; Region III is Asia and the Pacific.

In Regions I and III, AM stations are on 9KHz channels; 585KHz is a valid channel in that plan. And American Samoa is in Region III.

So a radio sold for use in Region III would tune 585.

I suppose the primary question would be, are cars sold in American Samoa manufactured to U.S. standards, or to Australian/NZ standards?

All that said, I'd think what you'd really want is a frequency where it doesn't matter. 630 is such a frequency -- it's valid in both plans.

My guess is after KJAL's application was notified to neighboring countries, someone objected to the use of 630.

Anonymous said...

That station should keep trying for an "on the ten khz" frequency as most digital tuners made in the Western countries will only tune on the ten.
AM band channels in Region I and III that are "on the ten" would be 540, 630, 720,810, 900, 990, 1080, 1170, 1260, 1350, 1440, 1530, and 1620 khz.

p.s. One of my cars had a digital tuning problem in that when I tuned the digital radio to a station the receiver was actually tuned 1+ khz off of the center "on the ten" spot. That drove me crazy trying to listen to a station slightly off tune. I had to remove that radio and replace it with an analog tuning radio purchased from a thrift store for a few bucks.

David Ricquish said...

KJAL has to use 9kHz spacing because of its location.
630 is used by Radio Cook Islands in nearby Rarotonga.
I believe its existing tower is in very bad condition, was not designed for a low AM frequency and is the only AM tower on the island.
The economics of building a new tower are stacked as American Samoa listeners use FM and KJAL would need someone else to share a new AM tower. Who? South Seas were looking at 720/900 for two new AM stations on the island but would face same issue of building a new tower and finding land to lease for it, on top of a hard pressed local economy and more FM stations piling into the FM dial.
I'd kiss KJAL goodbye at this time. Unless a miracle happens.