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posted by janrinok on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:47AM   Printer-friendly

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2023/05/ev-advocates-join-tech-groups-and-automakers-to-oppose-am-radio-mandate/

Congress wants to force AM into every new car for emergency alerts.

The fight over the future of AM radio got a little more heated this week as organizations representing the auto and technology industries told Congress that its plan to mandate this mode of radio wave reception is poorly conceived and will hinder progress.

AM radio has seen almost every other in-car entertainment option come and go—vinyl, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs—and it might predate just about everything other than playing "I Spy," but time is catching up with this old broadcast technology. It is starting to get left behind as new models—many of which are electric vehicles—drive off into the sunset, streaming their audio instead of modulating its amplitude.

[...] "As more and more Americans adopt electric vehicles, we must ensure that they are equipped with AM radio. AM radio is—and will remain—an essential communications channel for emergency alerts and for disseminating news and other important information to residents of our district and communities across our country. I am proud to co-lead this bipartisan legislation which would ensure that EVs continue to be equipped with this basic but critical capability," said Rep. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), another co-sponsor.


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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:12AM (9 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:12AM (#1307874)

    But, you have to ask: even if AM radio is the best broadcast medium for a Zombie Apocalypse, are modern computer controlled Lithium batteried vehicles going to be good for more than bonfires when the SHTF?

    I would rather have something that runs on biodiesel, AM receivers work fine in those, they don't even have spark ignition.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:51PM

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:51PM (#1307915)

      a Zombie Apocalypse

      Its mostly more mundane stuff like "tune to 1710 to hear detour / construction news"

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:03PM (7 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:03PM (#1307919)

      are modern computer controlled Lithium batteried vehicles going to be good for more than bonfires when the SHTF?

      I comprehend your point. I don't see a clear answer. One could argue that in the Beyond Thunderdome scenario, I'd rather have a PV system and an electric car, or at least electric bicycle, because even biodiesel might be unobtanium.

      I just worked on my friends Chevy Bolt yesterday. Just brakes and a few other simple things. Wow, those cars are deceptively heavy! Large strong floor jack crying "uncle". I'd advocate for more modular batteries. Some people may not need 350 mile range, but you're always carting around all that battery weight. I saw a video from somewhere in Europe (Norway maybe?) where they had battery modules and you swapped them out at a charging station. But my real vote is for "plugin hybrid" where you run on batteries but there's an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) for obvious backup reasons. I'm also a fan of dual fuel engines. Theoretically you could have an ICE run on almost anything combustible and liquid or gaseous. I'm talking about common fuels from biodiesel to hydrogen (including gasoline, propane, alcohol, ...)

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:24PM (4 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:24PM (#1307926)

        >I'd rather have a PV system and an electric car, or at least electric bicycle, because even biodiesel might be unobtanium.

        Well, as long as they are working, sure, PV is less effort than making bio-diesel. In the first couple of years post SHTF the electric systems users are going to be pretty smug about all that. Where it gets interesting is more in the 10+ years down the road timeframe.

        While some electric bikes are simple enough for DIY maintenance and repair, modern cars (electric or IC) have gone beyond the pale in terms of long term maintainability - as in: they have none. They are horrendously complex interdependent systems of systems which are not designed to work (well, if at all) when parts fail.

        I'm liking more of a late 1980s Land Rover 110 diesel for post-apocalypse motoring. It might take a bit of infrastructure to make biodiesel, but unless the earth is scorched ala Mad Max scenery, there will be plenty of feedstock weeds growing when there aren't enough people around to mow them down anymore. The infrastructure to make new PV, and even Lithium-ion, cells is quite a bit more complex. And you're not likely to be putting a ton of miles on anything post-apocalypse, so engine and drive train rebuilds shouldn't be necessary too often. But, what matters is the ability to bug-out when the hoarde does show up on the horizon...

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:42PM (1 child)

          by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:42PM (#1307931)

          Very interesting and good points. Well, now we know of your Land Rover 110, so you'll see the hordes coming over that hilltop.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:27PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:27PM (#1307948)

            Yeah, that's the thing about playing Apocalypse... the only way to really win is not to play.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday May 24 2023, @06:52PM (1 child)

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @06:52PM (#1307989) Journal

          In the event that you're thinking about SHTF for 10+ years, you're already screwed. Sure, you can plan for some crazy stuff, but that's not really going to help you in the long run. Best thing to do is be in reasonable shape health wise, invest in your own knowledge, go off-grid power (if you can afford it), and get yourself a well. In the event that you have a nice solar setup that's easy to spot from miles around. You're going to be a nice fat target. In the event that you can't get water. You've got a fairly short time span that you're going to survive.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @08:26PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @08:26PM (#1308005)

            Already on the well, and it flows without electricity most of the time, likely will flow a lot better when all the pumps pulling from the aquifer stop pulling.

            Location.... not a bad compromise, in a suburbish area of a major metro, livable until the SHTF, and tucked back just far enough off the beaten path that we'll likely hear the gunfire when the horde starts advancing down our driveway (6 other homes before they get to ours).

            All in all, I'd much rather vaporize in the flash of a 20MT detonation, but we're a good 80 miles from the submarine base, so in all likelihood we'll instead be witness to the mushroom cloud low on the horizon.

            Growing food around here will be a challenge... we've got a little land, but I'm guessing our current halfhearted efforts at gardening have only produced about 20,000 calories on the best year.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday May 25 2023, @12:57PM (1 child)

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday May 25 2023, @12:57PM (#1308096)

        the battery swap stuff is from NIO (I used to work for them a few years ago).

        battery swap is killer app stuff. it works, its great, and china loves it. it works over there. it could work here, too, but tesla decided 'no' and that was that. no one else considered it in the US. if nio does come to the US, we can see if they bring swap stations here, too. the whole idea is really good and its a shame others didn't embrace the concept.

        --
        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @04:29PM

          by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @04:29PM (#1308135)

          Thanks for that. That's not the one I had seen, but it's what I've envisioned for a long time- easily swappable battery packs. Charge if you want to, or swap it out if you're in a hurry (and/or wealthy enough because it will cost more than just a recharge).

          In the US and many countries some kind of standard would be needed for it to work economically.

          It would be an enormous investment, and the only way, I think, it could happen is a complete cooperation between competing companies and governments. China can do it because they act as a cooperative entity (whether they want to or not) under the government. That and frankly they understand the benefit to everyone.

          It sure makes sense on every other level, and is the kind of thing where, in the long run, society benefits from standards and collaboration.

          This is what I had seen (India):

          https://www.deccanherald.com/business/hurdles-seen-in-mass-adoption-of-ev-battery-swapping-technology-1078152.html [deccanherald.com]

          https://www.news18.com/news/auto/chargeup-is-offering-a-2-minute-ev-battery-swap-within-a-radius-of-2-km-for-increased-roi-interview-3729374.html [news18.com]

          I also see some Japanese companies collaborating (as they do) to come up with something similar.

          A worldwide standard (like USB-C?) would be best for everyone.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by SomeGuy on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:32AM (15 children)

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:32AM (#1307876)

    Trade groups want people to pay for everything they hear, and keep on paying while listening. Even pay for advertisements. And people will love it somehow because it is new and fancy, and probably uses their stupid smartphones somehow.

    AM radio doesn't do that all that, and it is ooooold. So, get the ax.

    If electric cars put off so much interference they can't pick up AM, that interference should be a major problem.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:39PM (12 children)

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @12:39PM (#1307886)

      If electric cars put off so much interference they can't pick up AM

      AFAIK this is the problem, also charger infrastructure.

      Its going to be a dead technology due to RFI real soon.

      Doesn't matter if you're driving a 2023 electric car or a 1950s chevy, pretty soon the AM band will be switching power supply noise from one end to the other.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:52PM (1 child)

        by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:52PM (#1307901)

        Curious -- could it be worse than spark plugs firing nearby? Car AM radios were stuffed with noise filtering when I first read about them.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:10PM

          by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:10PM (#1308142)

          I'm an ee but not total expert. AFAIK, you can't really filter out spark plug noise coming in to the antenna. Tuned RF and IF sections of a receiver should filter out much of the undesired RF noise, but where the noise frequencies hit your desired carrier, you can't really filter it much.

          RFI can kind of "ride" on wires, and "leak" into things like sensitive receivers. "Feed-through" capacitive connections which do a pretty good job of blocking RF in and out of a chassis, but they're for high-end super sensitive receivers, lab equipment, etc.

          You can certainly filter the +12V power, and there have been simple filters available (LC) for that purpose. Car radios often had them built in (pretty big "choke" (inductor (L)) and capacitors. They still have filtering, but for very long EE explanations the filtering isn't as much of an issue (I'll explain if you really wanna know...)

          The main fix was resistor spark plugs and plug wires. The resistors damp out much of the higher frequency (RF) energy. Of course you lose some electrical spark energy, so racers and hot rodders often use non-resistor plugs and wires to get a "hotter" spark.

          Metal car bodies do a lot of shielding. I've seen ground straps going from the hood (bonnet) to chassis to ensure good hood grounding (earthing).

          Corvettes often had fully shielded ignition systems because the fiberglass body doesn't block the RFI.

          HAM radio people often use copper braid shielding over ignition wires.

          All that said, AFAIK all newer spark ignition engines use COP- Coil On Plug ignition, where there is no distributor nor wires. There is one coil (high voltage spark transformer) per spark plug. The wire from the coil to the plug terminal is very short, and almost always down into the engine (through the valve cover) and is pretty well shielded. Plastic valve covers of course don't shield, but there's usually a metal tube into which the spark plug and coil to plug connection are inserted.

          Here's a company selling an aftermarket "hotter" ignition with better RFI shielding (random search- I have no connection): https://www.promracing.com/coil-on-plug [promracing.com]

          Purely speculating here, but AFAIK, spark ignition RFI is pretty well solved, but electric motor RFI is not yet, and companies don't want to spend the money to correct it. It's not just AM radio, but HAM, CB, and potentially many other forms of radio communications will be affected. The problem is solvable, and IMHO FCC needs to do their job and force the RFI reduction.

          (notice I didn't get into the realm of people who are afraid of cell phones, microwave ovens, power lines, etc., due to electromagnetic radiation? Wait until they hear about EV "radiation"!!)

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:09PM (9 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:09PM (#1307904)

        The most efficient / highest performing electric car power systems run high voltage, like 480 or even 960 when they get it worked out.

        The most efficient / highest performing electronic power switches go from zero ohms to open circuit in 0 picoseconds, in other words: dI/dt of infinity - kinda like the early Marconi spark gap transmitters.

        AM radio receivers are basically the least filtered (therefore: simplest, cheapest to implement) form of demodulation, most sensitive to pops, clicks, buzzing, etc. You might make an electric drive system "invisible" to AM by always being sure that the switching (and any harmonics) are below 10Hz or above 50KHz when heterodyned with any frequency in the AM (540-1700KHz) band but that's definitely a tail wagging the dog type of design scenario.

        Much like high voltage AC power in the homes would never pass today's safety standards, the basic design of AM radio would never pass even the most basic EMI susceptibility requirements for modern electronics.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:40PM (2 children)

          by epitaxial (3165) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:40PM (#1307929)

          The problem is the low voltage electronics. A modern car probably has dozens if not a hundred switching power supplies in total. These aren't your 30Khz switchers of the 1970s. Plenty operate well into the Mhz region. Plus the CAN bus transmitting at 500Khz and all the sensors using ethernet.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:39PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:39PM (#1307952)

            The problem is all the complexity.

            The damn thing is a vehicle. It just needs to roll down the road in the right direction and stop when necessary. I do like me some air conditioning, and that's about it.

            Want audio entertainment? How about a fully independent bluetooth speaker setup installed in the car that you can then pair with your phone, or whatever, to drive it? Zero interaction with the rest of the vehicle beyond power input to the speaker system.

            Want GPS mapping? How about a decent phone and/or tablet holder on the dashboard?

            Climate control? Like audio entertainment: power input only, zero integration with the rest of the vehicle systems. And, FFS, physical knob controls.

            CAN bus is nice in theory, but it should be clearly segregated and not be functionally dependent on optional systems.

            Theft protection? If you're an EV, embed a relay so deep into the drivetrain that you'd have to disassemble most of the vehicle to get into it to hotwire it. Have that relay demand proof of holding a secret key (much like chip credit cards) before permitting drive power to flow.

            EVs could be so much simpler to maintain than IC cars, but both have moved past Kafka and Dante's 9th level...

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:00PM

            by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:00PM (#1308097)

            can-FD is even faster and yes, car ethernet is a 'thing' (its 2 wire at 100meg speed and 4 wire at gig speed; called 'broad-r-reach' and its wild modulation shit, I tells ya).

            with all the networking gear and cpus in modern cars, having AM 'work' is asking a lot. I say, give it the hell up. I know who wants AM and I dont care about those idiots. yes, I said it. AM listeners are mostly morons, or people who follow some deranged politics.

            fuck them.

            cars are moving networking boxes and that brings tons of square waves and rf noise.

            AM radio is not worth it. its being deleted for good reasons.

            you yokels want your am content? stream that shit, then. you can have your misinformation all you want, but in a different carrier form.

            (they're still idiots. AM is crap and you should feel bad if you still want that)

            --
            "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:59PM (5 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:59PM (#1307938)

          Random search turned up this- AC (Air Conditioning) in a Tesla car causing much 10-meter (~28 MHz amateur radio) band interference.

          https://www.reddit.com/r/amateurradio/comments/11k4sx7/in_case_anyone_is_curious_of_the_rfi_from_a_tesla/ [reddit.com]

          That's a LOT of electrical noise, and that's just the AC compressor motor.

          And, it's not just AM radio band, but obviously much higher.

          Purely speculating, but my guess is the EV makers just don't care about RF noise (EMI / RFI) and don't want to care. I'd love to know where FCC stands on this, or are they only in the game of selling RF spectrum and rendering expensive wireless audio / video equipment into e-waste?

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:18PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:18PM (#1307946)

            >don't want to care.

            I'm pretty sure that's the case, and their systems of systems of electrical everything are going to be expensive to test and more expensive to make compliant with any given standard. In a "business friendly" regulatory environment they just might be able to convince the regulators to let them off the hook for much of those testing and compliance costs.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:44PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:44PM (#1307953)

            > my guess is the EV makers just don't care about RF noise (EMI / RFI)

            When the Prius hybrid first became popular in USA, c.2004, I had one on loan and visited someone with a pacemaker and a remotely-controlled insulin pump. He was very concerned about EMI/RFI and wouldn't ride in the car or get near it.

            Later, through a press connection, I was able to check this out with a Toyota engineer (in USA) who was in charge of meeting all the USA electric/radio interference specs. He said that Toyota was extremely careful on this point, since they knew they were doing something different with Prius, and would attract a lot of bad press if there were any problems.

            No idea if other manufacturers are being this careful...also, the Prius electric system is relatively low voltage and low power compared to just about all of the pure BEVs, so the problem is a different scale.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:54PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:54PM (#1307958)

              When PCs were coming out in the 1980s most of them didn't comply with any of the RF emissions regulations. The FCC actually created Part C as an exemption to allow PCs to spew EMI above and beyond anything made before.

              I had an Atari 800 with a 5.25" floppy drive that was designed before Part C was announced. It had a serial data transfer cable that ran at some ungodly slow speed, I think it would take upwards of 2 minutes to read a full 88Kbyte floppy into memory. Not that you had 88Kbytes of memory to read it into, but still, the data transfer was really slow - but it was EMI compliant without the Part C exemption.

              I suspect similar things are at play now, new EV tech that would be hard (read: expensive) to make compliant with existing rules, like: not interfering with AM radio... Plus, what business ever asked for _more_ regulations?

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:08PM (1 child)

                by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:08PM (#1308022) Journal

                Yes, this is what I think. Manufacturers want to not have to care that they're polluting the electromagnetic spectrum. Not care that their products can't be used on planes. My Apple II would interfere with TV reception even though it and the TV were in opposite corners of the house, about 60 feet apart. The PC-AT never did that.

                It's not even that expensive to reduce EMI to such a low level that it's not noticeable at distances greater then 1 meter.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 25 2023, @09:58AM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 25 2023, @09:58AM (#1308077)

                  >It's not even that expensive to reduce EMI to such a low level

                  That depends....

                  Plastic housing: $4

                  UL certified plastic housing: $4.50

                  Plastic housing sprayed inside with conductive paint: $6.50

                  UL certified plastic housing sprayed inside with conductive paint by UL certified paint sprayer: $27.50

                  It hits the worst on small volume operations where the extra design and testing and process development and certification work isn't amortized over millions of units.

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:12PM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:12PM (#1307905)

      >AM radio doesn't do that all that

      AM radio plays plenty of ads, the problem is that the listener demographic is dwindling into oblivion so the ads don't generate any significant revenue.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:43PM (#1308033)

        Where are the frothing leftists warning about right-wing radio being forced down their throats, like Obamacare, gay marriage and men wearing dresses! It's an outrage - what if I don't want to listen to AM radio??????????!!!!

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:16PM (3 children)

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:16PM (#1307893)

    When he says:

    an essential communications channel for emergency alerts and for disseminating news and other important information to residents of our district and communities across our country

    What he technically means can be found at this link:

    https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/travelers-information-stations-search [fcc.gov]

    which amounts to governments (mostly parks and DOT but technically any govt) can get cheap and easy licenses for 10 watt AM broadcast stations for short range stuff. Perhaps some of you have seen signs like "tune to 1710 to hear detour instructions" or whatever.

    What he means in practice is AM broadcast licenses sell for "a million bucks" it varies widely check out radiotvdeals.com if you're bored. So you invest "a million bucks" then pay it off "somewhat over $100/hr" to people willing to rent it. A church service, perhaps. Or sell ad space on your own programs or ad inserts into syndicated programs. The numbers are assuming about "a million residents" and it scales pretty linear. Yes this does mean you can easily buy a "farm country" station for about the cost of a house but that's a risky business because the numbers involved are so low.

    All the AM broadcasters have some level of daydream about covering their secured exposure limited transmitter footprint with solar panels; I'm pretty sure smaller market transmitters can be net electrical producers during the day and MAYBE run a net electrical profit depending on location, legal stuff, etc. Of course the best think financially to do with 10 KW of solar power laying around might be to sell it to the grid or might be to transmit it, depends entirely on interconnection agreements and how much you can demand from ad sales.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by VLM on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:18PM (2 children)

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:18PM (#1307894)

      Oh well for fucks sakes

      Access Denied
      You don't have permission to access "http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/General_Menu_Reports/engineering_search_out.cfm" on this server.
      Reference #18.4a714017.1684934200.4d279f49

      All I can say is it used to work when I made the bookmark a long time ago.

      But, yeah, the service still exists even if the FCC webservers are inop.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:46PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:46PM (#1307913)

        https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/General_Menu_Reports/engineering_search.cfm?accessible=NO&wild_select=on [fcc.gov]

        ?

        Flaky servers seem to be the order of the day for me. My primary focus at work is on a server that went inoperative 48 hours ago, no word from anyone on when it will be back. And I'm supposed to be developing an app that depends on this server for our people to get access in the field, around the world...

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:37PM (#1308032)

          Is your flaky server behind an Asus router?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by redback on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:26PM (35 children)

    by redback (1011) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:26PM (#1307896)

    Ford has committed to providing AM radio in all future cars, and adding to some cars already out there via a firmware update.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:15PM (32 children)

      by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:15PM (#1307906)

      and adding to some cars already out there via a firmware update.

      Which just goes to show that the "removal" wasn't much of a removal if a firmware update can restore AM radio. All the hardware was already present, they just flipped a switch and turned off the "AM Radio" UI on the touchscreen.

      Which also meant it would have been zero cost on their part to have just left things alone.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:40PM (13 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:40PM (#1307911)

        >Which also meant it would have been zero cost on their part to have just left things alone.

        Just because the software supports it, and the hardware can implement an AM receiver, does not mean that the customer experience is going to be satisfactory.

        Even if It works great when you've parked your Ford in the middle of a corn field in central Illinois, nearest powerline or other vehicle being miles away, listening to Chicago stations after sunset - things will be different on the 110/I290 at rush hour, surrounded by Teslas in stop-and-go traffic with electric trains sparking by. Ford might point at others as the sources of interference some of the time, but odds are the Ford itself will be interfering with your AM listening enjoyment in some driving scenarios.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:10PM (12 children)

          by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:10PM (#1307922)

          All of which is already occurring today in any car where the driver has tuned to an AM station. At least in markets with a higher level of Tesla (and the like) purchases than most. Around me I see Tesla's all the time. So anyone tuning AM is already hearing static caused by Tesla's.

          And, of course, this is nothing new. I remember late 1970's cars, with only AM radios, and the reception was already full of static and pops and glitches anyway (and, if you knew what you were listening for, you could estimate engine RPM by the tone of the alternator whine). AM and static have been a pairing for as long as AM has existed.

          Why the sudden desire on the part of car makers to drop AM (other than possibly to "ape teslla") none of us know -- but static and interference on AM stations has been a constant forever, so 'static' alone is not likely the real reason why.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:28PM (11 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:28PM (#1307927)

            I think the situation is: while AM static of the 1970s was annoying, AM static of the 2030s is likely to render the band unusable, unintelligible, absolutely worthless.

            Being able to drop "AM compatibility" from their list of design criteria will enable future automakers to make even more profit on the cars they will be selling. You can't claim AM compatibility when your own vehicle is rendering the radio output useless any time the vehicle is moving.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:31PM (10 children)

              by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:31PM (#1307928)

              AFAIK FCC required spark-ignition engines to use resistor plugs and plug wires to reduce EMI. Is this whole thing about EVs not complying with RF emissions, and EV makers and industry groups fighting RF shielding and general RF noise reduction?

              • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:45PM (1 child)

                by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:45PM (#1307932)

                That's what it sounds like. They don't want to adequately shield/filter their noise, and the FCC's not on the ball to force the issue.

                • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:16PM

                  by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:16PM (#1307945)

                  So who's in charge of FCC? Who should be holding their feet to the fire?

                  If my hunch is right, that EV makers (and others) don't want to bother with fixing RFI problems, it's obviously not just AM radio that suffers. CB radio, HAM, and probably many others I haven't thought of yet.

                  My fear is: if this problem isn't clamped down on soon, by the time various people groups collaborate and demand action, it will be too late- too many electrically noisy cars out there, too expensive to fix.

                  This feels far too much like the whole FAA / Boeing / MCAS / many deaths problem. Govt. agencies not doing their jobs but still raking in pay and great benefits including long-term pensions.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:15PM (7 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:15PM (#1307943)

                I believe that's it, and I believe this go-around they have some legitimate concerns about the costs involved to shield a "modern, efficient" EV powertrain from causing AM interference.

                Anything is possible, I'm sure they can make an EV that's absolutely radio-silent on the whole AM band, but that would eat into profits because nobody is actually going to pay extra just because they can listen to AM radio.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:32PM (3 children)

                  by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:32PM (#1307949)

                  "FCC": Feckless Communications Commission. Our tax dollars at work.

                  It's not just shielding- there are many electronic techniques to reduce RFI, including snubbers. It requires an impetus toward RFI reduction from the start of the design process.

                  (I'm sure you and others know this- I'm just writing, as often, for those who might not know). In industry / factories, and more and more places, we're using 3-phase motor controllers. Most new clothes washing machines use them, water well pumps, EV motors, on and on. As many of you know, the controllers employ semiconductor switching, which is great, but that fast current switch dI/dt makes big RF noise.

                  One great way to reduce the noise: by interesting properties of electromagnetism, you can twist wires and they'll mutually shield themselves- against emitting RFI, and they'll also be better at rejecting incoming electrical noise. Ethernet wire is a great example of this- balanced signal pair (one is an inverted signal of the other's signal), and this works with 3-phase. I've installed motor controller (sometimes called "drives", VFD, etc.) to motor wires that were 3 conductor, twisted and shielded. The main reason in a factory: the RFI can mess with sensors, which are everywhere in most factories.

                  Point is, there are fairly easy solutions and it would be great if they'd put more effort into solutions and less effort into PR BS and lobbying.

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:05PM (2 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:05PM (#1307960)

                    I agree, there are techniques that _help_, but a 300hp drive motor is a slightly bigger problem than a washing machine.

                    In my field we have to comply with pretty strict emissions standards for in-hospital use. Oftentimes we'll employ all those "simple tricks" and go to testing just to find out that we're 3 or 5 dB over limit somewhere on the band, so we apply some "simple tricks" to push down that peak, and another one pops up... and there we are at $1000 per day at the testing facility that we have to reserve months in advance, playing whack-a-mole with emissions spectra.

                    The most impressive "design for compliance" I have seen in action is spread spectrum clocks. Instead of having a "ringer" 96MHz oscillator driving your microprocessor's input, use a 92-100MHz spread spectrum oscillator - the peaks, and importantly: their harmonics, just disappear behind the background noise - even in an RF shielded room. Of course, we were using our 96MHz oscillator as the basis of a very precise difference measurement clock, so spread spectrum didn't work for us, and the 3rd harmonic of 96MHz comes in just below the 300MHz "step" in the allowable emissions spectrum, below 300MHz there are much stricter limits than above, and our 288MHz emissions spike would have met the limits if it were at 301MHz... I briefly considered bumping our base clock up to 101MHz to be done with it, but instead a 2nd ferrite clamped on to the accessory cables did the trick. Fun thing was: the device without the accessory cables passed first try, adding a couple of 2 meter antennas outside the shielded box, even if they are shielded and coupled to the box and don't carry any intentional 288MHz content, still doesn't do anything good for radiated power.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:36PM (1 child)

                      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:36PM (#1307970)

                      I've had PCs that had BIOS settings to spread the master clock a bit. Maybe Award BIOS on Gigabyte MB? I forget now...

                      Regarding testing: it's pretty easy and cheap to do your own testing before you take stuff to the test lab. Years ago I worked in EEG and we had to get some stuff qualified. I used several techniques to pre-test the stuff. What we didn't do was test with a patient connected, but knowing a little about HAM and RFI, I don't think the patient inputs would have radiated much RF as sample rates were pretty low; I forget- and it wasn't my area (but should have been) but maybe 20 Hz? IIRC the PC cases were all metal and had the various beryllium copper things everywhere to "seal" up the cases. We passed with flying colors anyway.

                      RF is fun stuff. As a kid I used to read the ARRL handbook (still refer to it occasionally) and I was fascinated with (and slightly disturbed by) the sections on RF "leakage" out of fairly well closed up boxes. I think one factor is: like most of life, EEs and system designers are specialized and just don't understand RF stuff much if at all. Companies don't want to hire RF EEs, and those EEs might not understand motor harmonics (but probably would figure it out pretty quickly).

                      Yes, ferrite beads do great things. They're everywhere. I always wonder why one thing will have them molded into the cable, but another similar product doesn't have one. I fully understand, but I have to wonder if the one devoid of ferrite ferrule should have had one?

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:56PM

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:56PM (#1307978)

                        >Regarding testing: it's pretty easy and cheap to do your own testing before you take stuff to the test lab.

                        Yes... ish. (After a couple of spectacular failures involving cross country travel) We built our own metal room, sealed the seams with conductive adhesive copper tape, installed a wall of RF anechoic cones, bought some decent gear and did a great deal of pre-testing before going to the certified house to obtain our compliance certificates. Our devices contained intentional oscillators for the purposes of making precise measurements, so we never really cleared the limits by wide margins. Our pre-testing did help, but even if we had calibrated our gear, I doubt it would have correlated 1:1 with what got observed at the certified labs.

                        >BIOS settings to spread the master clock a bit.

                        Yeah, first time I tested anything with a spread spectrum clock was a Palm Pilot in the (obviously) late 1990s - you couldn't tell if that thing was on or off by the RF emissions in a shielded room.

                        >Companies don't want to hire RF EEs

                        Small ones don't. Brash young startups (cough Tesla cough) probably don't. Once you get big and mature enough, you eventually end up building your own calibrated anechoic chambers and whether your EEs studied RF in school or not, you'll have a couple on staff who know enough to make stuff compliant.

                        >I have to wonder if the one devoid of ferrite ferrule should have had one?

                        Look to the certifications. Of course, I have never, ever, seen any practical enforcement channels that would realistically catch whether we put those two beads on our accessory cables or not. I suppose basic ISO-9001 style compliance audits _might_ look at the finished product vs the design on file from compliance testing, but in reality - especially smaller company reality - I'd bet it would average 20 years or more (maybe 200 years or more) before such an audit would catch such a non-compliance. More likely would be, if the emissions were truly grievous, that an end-user would complain about the interference and it would bubble up through channels that way - audit of complaints logs is the most common audit activity. Thing about our two ferrite design was: we were only a couple of dB over without them, nothing anybody would notice in practice, particularly when our peak was at 288MHz and compliant with 300MHz+ limits. But, non-conformance is risk and as a business we'd rather not risk our reputation over a couple of bucks per copy on a device we barely sell 100 copies a year of, on a good year! Now, an offshore manufacturer of something like power tools sold in big box home improvement stores? Hell yeah, I bet a lot of them cut that corner.

                        --
                        🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:34PM (2 children)

                  by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:34PM (#1307950)

                  Thing is, EM noise such as this is not often isolated to a single band (other than the base frequency of the switching PSU that is). This kind of EM noise is most often wideband interference. AM radios may not be the only thing impacted. A lot of other RF might also be impacted (think CB, or police/fire/rescue bands or other RF bands). AM here may just be the "canary in the coal mine" that is actually warning of a far larger amount of interference that will happen. And as another poster here pointed out, after a certain tipping point of enough EV's without proper shielding/suppression installed on the road, it will be so expensive to turn back that no one in a position to do so will likely be willing to make that call.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:04PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:04PM (#1307959)

                    > A lot of other RF might also be impacted ...

                    Also think electronic medical devices - insulin pumps, pacemakers, the list keeps on growing.

                    If cars produce RF that kills someone, the FCC and the car maker will get a wake up call!

                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:10PM

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:10PM (#1307961)

                      First: it will have to be proven, and that can take expensive years when someone the size of Ford is fighting the other side in our adversarial system.

                      By the time that proof comes through, there should be dozens to hundreds of additional deaths, if the proof was really true.

                      Such is our system.

                      Want to find some nasty RF interference for your implantable medical device? Look no further than the theft prevention tags / deactivation pads / sensors at store entrances and exits. They ring around 80-125KHz, which is a very common frequency range for pacemakers and other implantable devices to run their wireless control interfaces.

                      --
                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:43PM (17 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:43PM (#1307912) Journal

        Speculation.

        Is it possible that the "hardware already present" was modern SDR? They didn't just flip a switch, but rather downloaded an "AM Radio App" which could configure the SDR hardware and demodulate AM radio. Of course, it would need to filter out the noisy spark plug interference, which is especially bad on EVs.

        --
        The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
        • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:00PM (15 children)

          by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:00PM (#1307916)

          Is it possible that the "hardware already present" was modern SDR?

          Which, therefore, means: the hardware was already present. Even SDR needs hardware -- the actual analog sampler circuits that digitize the incoming waveforms so the SDR code can then filter and demodulate the signals.

          I.e., they did not need to replace the "radio hardware" with new hardware that contained additional circuits capable of tuning and demodulating the AM bands. Al the hardware necessary was already present.

          Which looks exactly like what I said in the first comment. The "hardware" (note -- generic hardware, not anything specific) was already present.

          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:23PM (14 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:23PM (#1307924)

            Do SDRs have wide enough RF front end bandwidth to go from AM to FM and beyond?

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:47PM (2 children)

              by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:47PM (#1307934)

              That depends upon the SDR hardware.

              Clearly in this specific example, given that a "software update" restores AM radio, the SDR hardware must have been capable of receiving both AM and FM bands. Because if they had used SDR hardware that could not sample the AM band, they could not restore AM radio via just a software update.

              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:07PM (1 child)

                by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:07PM (#1307941)

                Thank you. I was posing a semi-rhetorical question. I'm not up on the latest in RF front-ends, if they still need tuning circuits, or are they wide enough bandwidth to take in pretty much anything from DC to light and heterodyne to some IF frequency.

                One of my arguments in this whole dog and pony show is that it will cost MORE to redesign radio receivers to remove AM circuits. IE, cheaper to keep things as they have been.

                There's more afoot here. Whenever some industry group collaborates on something like this you know it's all about profit, never about people, product or service quality. (I think I'm becoming my dad, which isn't such a bad thing after all.)

                • (Score: 2) by owl on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:49PM

                  by owl (15206) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:49PM (#1307955)

                  I'm not up on the latest in RF front-ends, if they still need tuning circuits, or are they wide enough bandwidth to take in pretty much anything from DC to light and heterodyne to some IF frequency.

                  That partly depends upon how much you want to pay.

                  Here's a common SDR dongle used by hobbists: RTL-SDR [radioreference.com].

                  Depending on the tuner chip in a specific dongle, the lower end frequency gores down to 22Mhz. So not down to DC at the $20 price range. And not suitable for receiving AM either at this price range.

                  One of my arguments in this whole dog and pony show is that it will cost MORE to redesign radio receivers to remove AM circuits. IE, cheaper to keep things as they have been.

                  The fact that Ford can restore existing car's AM reception with a software update means the BOM for the car has the AM capable hardware parts already present. Now, whether they could remove the AM capable hardware, without also removing FM radio too, none of us know. But a "software update" to restore means they had not yet redesigned the radio circuits to drop the hardware that can receive the AM bands. Of course this could simply mean that they had not yet redesigned the hardware to reduce the BOM by dropping the chip capable of receiving the AM bands.

                  There's more afoot here. Whenever some industry group collaborates on something like this you know it's all about profit, never about people, product or service quality. (I think I'm becoming my dad, which isn't such a bad thing after all.)

                  A "follow the money" analysis will often find an actual reason for some imposed change from some "entity". Even if they don't overtly advertise that reason.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:40PM (10 children)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:40PM (#1308154) Journal

              First of all, please forgive any poor description that follows. I am NOT an RF guy.

              I've watched SDR videos on YouTube. I've used a cheap dongle to play with SDR myself.

              What you will typically see (either on videos, or if you try it for yourself) is that the software display shows quite a bit of spectrum. You can see where in the spectrum signals are located. Then move your little 'red line' to that part of the spectrum and hear it, or decode it if it is a digital transmission. So the hardware doesn't "tune" to a specific frequency. All of these frequencies across a wide range are seen in software and visualized on the display. You simply pick out what part of what you are seeing that you wish to listen to.

              However you can see the constantly changing signal energy in all of the adjacent bands simultaneously.

              --
              The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:11PM

                by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:11PM (#1308166)

                I haven't dug into SDRs (yet) but did a quick search. It looks like there are several topologies, ranging from mostly digital sampling / processing, to much analog tuning / amplification / filtering then digital sampling. It'd take more research to find out what is more common in typical SDRs.

                In other words, you may have a "digital" UI, but using DAC (digital to analog) the system can control analog tuning circuits. You'll always get a more sensitive receiver if you can do better RF tuning and amplification, rather than wide-band amplification and then filter. Reason: amplifiers also amplify electrical noise, including their own noise. The more tuning and tuned filtering you use, the more you literally tune out (filter) the unwanted spectra. Some noise will still be present in the desired tuning frequency, but the signal-to-noise will be much better.

                Antenna size and tuning are a huge factor too.

                Even with all of that analog tuning / filtering you'll still get adjacent frequencies. The better the filter, usually the more "narrow" its bandpass (unless you're designing for a wide bandpass or "mesa" (tabletop) frequency response because you need a bunch of frequencies at once, such as spread-spectrum systems).

                Transistors are getting better and better, less inherent noise, so we can do more amplification with less tuning circuits and let the DSP handle much of the tuning and signal "detection" (word used long ago to describe the process of extracting the useful information out of a modulated RF signal).

                Being a bit pedantic, SDR could also be partially a "software controlled radio" where again, software controls some of the (legacy) analog circuitry.

                (I purposely didn't get into low-level specifics like "local oscillator", frequency synthesis, PLL, varactor diodes, heterodyning, IF amplification, ..., but I can talk mov, jsr, ret, push, jnz, pop, and nop if you like. nop is my personal favorite.)

              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:16PM (8 children)

                by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:16PM (#1308167)

                Augmentation: in pure theory, SDR is almost infinite bandwidth, and all done by sampling / DSP. But you'd need some unearthly sample rates, and even unsolarsystemly DSPs to do it. Although not quite DC to light, commonly available SDRs have very impressive tuning bandwidths. I need to do some more market research / studying...

                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:20PM

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:20PM (#1308200) Journal

                  There are some videos about how the SDR actually works.

                  It's been a while since I toyed with it. So my memory may be fuzzy.

                  Something beats or somehow lowers the frequency range to something acceptable to a DAC. But I don't think it is superhet, which I remember fondly from the 1970s in my teens.

                  Something is done involving phase shifting the original wave by two different phase shifts, and doing something something involving some ugodly complex math, and then getting something useful. So it is almost all done digitally. There is little analog. Certainly not a 'radio' in any conventional old fashioned sense -- that happens to be controlled by a microprocessor.

                  It really is a "software radio".

                  There are several different user interfaces that work with various SDR dongles you can buy on Amazon. Some of the software are open source.

                  Typically you can see a large part of the spectrum. Then pick (not "tune") some small piece. You can then select whether to demodulate and how to demodulate, and other options and whizbang like single sideband and other things I don't understand. You can then listen to the demodulated signal (AM, FM, etc) or treat it as a digital signal, and decode it according to various protocols, such as digital TV, packet radio, etc.

                  --
                  The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
                • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:30PM (6 children)

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @08:30PM (#1308202) Journal

                  In case it helps, here are some things I had bookmarked long ago:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOlz0OcZPjc [youtube.com]

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCiyN9llVGA [youtube.com]

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PwQmDcSUow [youtube.com]

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN0hFGfv-4g [youtube.com]

                  --
                  The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
                  • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 26 2023, @12:31AM (3 children)

                    by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 26 2023, @12:31AM (#1308238)

                    Thank you for those java tutorials that happened to use an SDR for the project. :)

                    Seriously, thank you. Very interesting. I see that below 30 MHz or so the CPU can do most of the processing- very little analog hardware involved. I'm not sure how sensitive it is.

                    I was thinking of receivers more in the GHz range, where you can't sample fast enough to do purely software radio without more analog hardware- amplifier, mixer which gives the "heterodyne" or down-shifted lower frequency that you can then sample and do DSP.

                    Here's an interesting project (C++): https://gist.github.com/threeme3/dc6e02a3a1c2ba49e717ac622719e720 [github.com]

                    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Friday May 26 2023, @02:29PM (2 children)

                      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 26 2023, @02:29PM (#1308316) Journal

                      You must remember the wisdom of SN that Java is very slow.

                      Despite the runtime having what may be the most advanced JIT compiler on the planet, the product of more than two decades of intensive research after IBM opened it up as open source to researchers long ago.

                      Back in September 2019 they removed the maximum heap limitation of 16 Terabytes of RAM. So now the only practical limit -- that I can find anywhere -- is the Linux user space limit of 128 TB. If you use one of these two GCs in Java:
                      * Oracle's ZGC
                      * Red Hat's Shenandoah GC
                      Then even with these enormous heap spaces, you still get a max GC pause time of 1 ms.

                      Another thing about real GC, as opposed to reference counting (hereinafter referred to as "fake" GC), is that you've moved all of the memory management out of the main workload and on to other cpu cores. Thus the primary application doesn't spend any cpu cycles on memory management. You don't have these points where a single dispose triggers an avalanche of deallocation and destructors. The primary Java workload can just malloc away as if memory is infinite, and malloc is designed to be very cheap. The clean up GC crew runs on other cores. Thus Java programmers have no concern about silly things like memory or cpu cycles, or efficiency.

                      Here is the Java Hello World, Enterprise Edition. [github.com] A program truly worthy of being a Java program. One criticism I could offer is that it did not use XML configuration files so that some things could be reconfigured without changing the source code. Things like the actual "hello world" message, or which output class to use. After all, there could be many different possibilities for where you want the Java hello world to go.

                      Here is the Java FizzBuzz Enterprise Edition. [github.com]

                      --
                      The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
                      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 26 2023, @06:35PM (1 child)

                        by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 26 2023, @06:35PM (#1308351)

                        Wow thank you for all of that. It's too easy for us humans to hold onto memories of past experiences. I don't think I ever commented that java is slow, but if I was ever to make such a comment, it would be in the context of that specific experience. IE, perhaps java could be fast and efficient, but perhaps that particular java code, or the environment it's running on, is the problem.

                        I'm open-minded enough to know my experience is specific. Most of what little experience I've had with java stuff has been on MS Windows machines. And some years ago, not with gobs of RAM, probably single core CPUs, etc. I don't think I've run, or am not aware of running a java app for at least 8 years now...

                        One sore spot I remember: something I was trying to do that was java code, required a very specific runtime version. If you updated the runtime, as we're supposed to always do, the program would refuse to run. I had several situations where that happened, but one I remember specifically: a Cisco GUI for programming Cisco routers. Cisco IOS CLI is its own world, and I needed to significantly reprogram a Cisco router at the time. Well, needless to say, I didn't have enough time to learn everything about IOS programming and the many many pratfalls of entering things in the wrong order (oh, the router would route, but much more slowly than potentially possible if you knew the far too many secrets to Cisco programming). So I hoped the GUI java app would do the job.

                        Oh yeah- another problem was it would only run through IE, and a very specific version of IE. Hours and hours wasted just trying to get a Windows machine set up with the correct IE and java runtime, make sure to disable _all_ automagic updaters, and even then (days later) something else didn't work (I forget what...)

                        Purely Cisco's fault, of course. But also: you had to have a very specific java app to go with your specific router, and not all routers were supported with a GUI java app.

                        I ended up using a commercially available router with built-in web-based GUI and it worked swimmingly and have never looked back at Cisco IOS (sho run...)

                        All that is to say: why would a java runtime update break a java application? They don't honor backward compatibility / support older APIs?

                        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Saturday May 27 2023, @10:47PM

                          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 27 2023, @10:47PM (#1308569) Journal

                          If you have a Java program that requires a very specific runtime version, then I would blame the developer. It seems that the developer would have to go out of their way to make a Java program depend on a specific runtime.

                          As for browsers, it was a bad idea to allow any third party executable extensions such as:
                          * Java Applets
                          * Flash
                          * Microsoft ActiveX
                          * Microsoft Silverlight

                          I have also seen web sites that were written to very specific browsers and versions.

                          In the early 2000s a lot of sites coded to specifically IE, and then IE 6.

                          --
                          The people who rely on government handouts and refuse to work should be kicked out of congress.
                  • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 26 2023, @12:42AM (1 child)

                    by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 26 2023, @12:42AM (#1308239)

                    Ah yes, that 4th one is very interesting. Notice that it covers 10MHz - 3.5GHz, but the bandwidth is only 30.72MHz. That means the RF analog circuits can handle the entire range (and likely much lower), but the sampling / DSP can only do up to 30.72MHz, so you basically tune somewhere and you have a 30.72MHz range, or "window" into that frequency span (often called a "band"). That matches up with what I was saying before, and makes sense based on what reasonably cheap hardware can do these days. Maybe someday we'll be able to sample and DSP in the GHz ranges! Not likely soon.

                    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Friday May 26 2023, @12:48AM

                      by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 26 2023, @12:48AM (#1308240)

                      A bit more research says the "LimeSDR Mini" has Bandwidth: 61.44 MHz, which is 2x 30.72, so maybe the spec. in the YT video meant the bandwidth is ±30.72MHz. Hmmm- that may be for the LimeSDR, not "Mini"... Either way it's quite useful.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by crm114 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:49PM

          by crm114 (8238) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 24 2023, @04:49PM (#1307956)

          LOL

          "Spark plug interference, which is especially bad on EVs"

          which do not have spark plugs. Loved the sarcasm!

    • (Score: 2) by dw861 on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:52AM (1 child)

      by dw861 (1561) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @05:52AM (#1308061) Journal
      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:19PM

        by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:19PM (#1308168)

        Now if they can just keep them from being stolen...

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by FuzzyTheBear on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:48PM (4 children)

    by FuzzyTheBear (974) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @01:48PM (#1307900)

    Emergencies , traffic stations ( ex 730 AM MOntreal ) that give the road network status continuously , news .
    AM reaches where FM don't . AM at night can go extremely far. SW also goes around the globe.
    Say what you want about sound quality , fact is that very important stations are on AM and on the FM band
    there is no more available frequencies ! ./.

    SO go without services and important stations because FM is loaded everywhere in America or keep AM ?

    Be logical , there's no reasons not to keep AM in a car .. specially cost which is close to nil.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:16PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @02:16PM (#1307907)

      >specially cost which is close to nil.

      That's actually the problem. The cost of the receiver is close to nil, but the cost of making the vehicle systems (electric powertrains) compatible with the receiver is actually quite high.

      I wonder how bad the issue is? Like, if you're in your AM compatible Ford, but surrounded by F-AM Teslas, will the Teslas be killing your AM reception quality from their nearby positions?

      It's not too far off from the issue of WiFi and 5G competing with weather radar.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by driverless on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:06PM

      by driverless (4770) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:06PM (#1307921)

      Emergencies , traffic stations ( ex 730 AM MOntreal ) that give the road network status continuously , news. AM reaches where FM don't .

      While we're at it, I think we should also mandate that everyone learn Morse code, which will get through when voice communications fail. And semaphore if there's a problem with powering Morse transmitters. And smoke signals as well, you know, just in case all the others don't work.

      The current arguments for AM seem very, very similar to the arguments for Morse code in amateur radio a few decades ago. The Morse requirement has been dead for 20-30 years now, and no-one even noticed its absence. I suspect AM-required-in-cars would be fairly similar.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @06:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @06:31PM (#1307983)

      The first reaction from Arse Technica:

      Can basically guarantee this law is being pushed by people whose buddies depend on AM talk radio for pushing their propaganda out to the masses. There's still a pretty big chunk of folks who listen to AM talk radio as their main source of "news" and religious programming.

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:22PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Thursday May 25 2023, @06:22PM (#1308169)

      Adding: I'll argue that even if AM doesn't work well while the car is moving, you could still listen while stopped / parked.

      (I'll still stand on: FCC needs to do their job and force EVs to emit less RFI.)

  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:53PM (1 child)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @03:53PM (#1307935)

    Make it mandatory (and preferably cheap) to own a crank-powered AM radio receiver.

    Problem solved.

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:42PM

      by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:42PM (#1307973)

      I think the main point in all of this is the EV and other manufacturers don't want to be forced to reduce RFI. They're hoping to deprecate AM radio as a way of then petitioning for different FCC RFI rules. Just my 2¢.

  • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:55PM

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @05:55PM (#1307976)

    Getting EV's to not emit RFI outside the vehicle will end up being necessary. AM is just the most obvious example. The AM tech itself is legacy and can be dropped.

  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:55PM (2 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @10:55PM (#1308035)

    No, not Digital Rights Management, but Digital Radio Mondiale [wikipedia.org].

    If RFI is a problem, perhaps requiring Digital Radio Mondiale could be a way forward?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by namefags_are_jerks on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:54AM (1 child)

      by namefags_are_jerks (17638) on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:54AM (#1308050)

      Not really -- aside from needing complex computer-based systems over a 1910-era receiver that costs cents to put together, AM has the advantage over other modulations in that the signal is readable in spite of high noise. FM falls over totally when the SNR is less than ~6 dB, and DRM in high noise loses too any packets for the forward error correction to cope. It one of the reasons why the Aircraft band is AM.

      Where AM is like "dxink yxurxovaxtinex", which a concentrating human can make sense of, FM becomes "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX", and DRM becomes "D k ti ine"

      • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:28AM

        by pTamok (3042) on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:28AM (#1308069)

        Well, I agree. I rather think having a simple backup system available for when everything goes to pieces is a good idea.

        I suggested DRM because I think, originally, it was conceived as an overlay that supplemented plain AM modulation rather than replaced it - it could be used to improve audio quality or provide broadcast data (or a combination of both), so a simple AM receiver would still work, just not decode the supplementary information. But it seems the bandwidth available in such a hybrid mode is insufficient. Ah well.

  • (Score: 2) by jb on Thursday May 25 2023, @04:58AM (3 children)

    by jb (338) on Thursday May 25 2023, @04:58AM (#1308059)

    How about the leaders of those trade groups go live in the bush for a few months. Y'know, that place where the ONLY stations you can pick up on a car radio are on the AM band and where an FM-only tuner in your car is about as useless as tits on a bull...

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:17AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:17AM (#1308068)

      Nowadays you can load thousands of songs onto a smart phone and use the phone as a music player.

      And you can get a usb car charger and/or solar charger to charge your phone.

      Zero ads (assuming you use a music player with no ads, I'm using Musicolet and it works for me ).

      I've tried AM/FM radio, not for me. Perhaps the area I'm in has boring stations[1].

      [1] FWIW stuff like https://radio.garden/ [radio.garden] can be entertaining for a while if you can find an interesting station.

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday May 27 2023, @12:51AM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday May 27 2023, @12:51AM (#1308404)

        I use a memory stick that currently has nearly 7000 .mp3's on it plugged into the USB port in my car for sounds in the car. FM radio, except for a very few college stations here and there, just plays syndicated, short playlist music programs, punctuated too frequently by a blizzard of loud commercials and/or idiotically opinionated disc jockeys (I doubt they do anything but press a button to allow the syndicated music feed and don't actually know what music is playing). AM radio hasn't been worth listening to since cars started coming with AM/FM radios standard and killed off the few decent AM stations. I wouldn't mind if you could still get CD players and even cassette players in cars, I have a 1000 CD's or so plus a big box of old mix tape cassettes...

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday May 27 2023, @01:39AM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday May 27 2023, @01:39AM (#1308410)

        By the way, thanks for that radio.garden link. One can tune into radio stations almost anywhere in the world.

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