AM broadcasting

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AM broadcasting is the process of radio broadcasting using amplitude modulation.



AM was the dominant method of broadcasting during the first eighty years of the 20th century and remains widely used into the 21st.

AM radio began with the first, experimental broadcast on Christmas Eve of 1906 by Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden, and was used for small-scale voice and music broadcasts up until World War I. San Francisco, California radio station KCBS claims to be the direct descendant of KQW, founded by radio experimenter Charles "Doc" Herrold, who made regular weekly broadcasts in San Jose, California as early as June 1909. On that basis KCBS has claimed to be the world's oldest broadcast station and celebrated its 100th anniversary in the summer of 2009. The great increase in the use of AM radio came late in the following decade as radio experimentation increased worldwide following World War I. The first licensed commercial radio services began on AM in the 1920s. XWA of Montreal, Quebec (later CFCF, now CINW) claims status as the first commercial broadcaster in the world, with regular broadcasts commencing on May 20, 1920. The first licensed American radio station was started by Frank Conrad, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Radio programming boomed during the "Golden Age of Radio" (1920s–1950s). Dramas, comedy and all other forms of entertainment were produced, as well as broadcasts of news and music.


AM radio technology is simpler than Frequency Modulated (FM) radio, Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB), Satellite Radio or HD (digital) Radio. An AM receiver detects amplitude variations in the radio waves at a particular frequency. It then amplifies changes in the signal voltage to drive a loudspeaker or earphones. The earliest crystal radio receivers used a crystal diode detector with no amplification.

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