Vintage Radio: The Life, Decline and Possible Rebirth of AM
by Paul Litwinovich
Last month we looked at contributions to the art made by amateur operators, in particular advancements in Amplitude Modulation, or AM, and how it came to give radio its voice. This month, we will look a little deeper into AM, its history, how it works, the corporate politics at its heyday and where it is going.
In the beginning, there was Morse code. After the discovery of radio waves and how to create them, came the question of how to use them for communication. If a transmitter could be switched on and off with a telegraph key, then it could transmit long and short bursts of radio waves corresponding to the long and short dashes and dots of Morse code.