FM broadcast radio on the old 45MHz band

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The old 45MHz FM broadcast band In 1945 the FCC decided that FM would have to move from the established 42 - 49 megahertz pre-war band to a new band at 88 - 108 megahertz, to make way for television. Both in frequency spectra and consumer dollars. Therefore, all radios with an FM band of 88 to 108MHz are post-war. RCA's David Sarnoff in particular wanted FM to "go away" so the public wouldn't be distracted from buying his latest up and coming product: televisions. Maybe if Armstrong said to Sarnoff in the early days that FM sound would be perfect for the television soundtrack, they wouldn't have become rivals. Turns out modern TV doesn't even use this spectra. There was to be a channel 1 here. But co-channel interference from stations in distant towns would occasionally happen. And this would be worse for television than FM signals, as FM has the FM capture ratio working in its favor. FM receivers will capture a signal that is a few dB stronger than another co-channel signal, without the weaker signal causing interference. TV, being an AM type signal with one sideband partially suppressed, would suffer more severe interference for the same given signal strengths. Seems odd that the FCC chose to replace FM with TV in this spectra, but they were more politically motivated by RCA than scientifically. Channel 1 was to be used by low power TV stations, and police and fire users in areas without a channel 1 TV station. Interference to a TV channel from a fire or police station would be particularly objectionable when propagation was good. TV channel 1 was dropped, and land-mobile fire and police now use this spectra everywhere. These users would sometimes hear distant signals, as the local signals are usually off. They do not broadcast continuously like commercial stations. FM Capture ratio doesn't help you ignore weaker signals if your local station isn't transmitting. Capture ratio is a feature of FM reception where the stronger of two FM signals will dominate. The weaker signal will not be heard at all. Fire and police departments in different jurisdictions use differing audio tones to help discriminate between each other. Some older cordless phones can be heard on these frequencies. Commercial broadcast would have been a better use of this band. Because of this reallocation, more than half a million FM receivers and some 50 transmitting stations would be rendered obsolete. One individual consumer once had a 45MHz FM tuner, a Meissner 9-1047A, that was also rendered obsolete. It tuned from 41.2 to 50.4MHz. He didn't receive any compensation or trade-in offers for his now useless radio he spent his own money to purchase. The Yankee Network of 45MHz stations in New England did not survive the change. But the worse fear for Edwin Armstrong (inventor of FM) would be a loss of confidence in FM by the growing number of faithful hi-fi listeners. This move to higher frequencies, however, proved to be only a temporary setback for FM. By 1950 there were over 600 FM stations on the air in the new band. Zenith, GE, Westinghouse, Temple and Stromberg Carlson, to name a few paid patent royalties to Edwin Armstrong for FM, but RCA wouldn't. Armstrong instituted a suit against RCA and NBC charging them with infringing his five basic FM patents. RCA's David Sarnoff figured he could outlast Edwin Armstrong in court in patent infringement lawsuits. Sarnoff wasn't thrilled with FM being selected by the FCC to carry sound for TV. RCA did outlast Armstrong, who went broke. Philcos with AM, SW, and the old prewar FM band, marked with FM channel numbers 21 to 99 were made. A Pilot AM/FM set with the old FM band was made. Note that the FM band on this set is the old 45MHz band, and that the normal AM band is also present. Possibly one of the first AM/FM sets ever produced. One may see FM radios with band markings from 201 to 300. These aren't MHz markings, but FCC channel numbers for the modern 100MHz FM broadcast band. Channel 201 is 88.1MHz, 202 is 88.3MHz, 259 is 99.7MHz, etc. Pre-war FM sets may be marked with numbers like 21 to 99. These are channel numbers for the old 45MHz FM band. A partial listing of non-experimental stations on the old 45MHz FM band. In rough order by state:

K45LA Don Lee Broadcasting System, Los Angeles 44.5
K49LA Hughes Tool Co, Los Angeles, 44.9
KALW Board of Education, San Francisco United School District San Francisco, 42.1
WTIC-FM Travelers B/c Service Corp. (WTIC), (45.3), Hartford W53H
WDRC-FM WDRC Inc. (WDRC), (46.5), Hartford W65H
WINX-FM WINX B/c Co. (WINX), (43.2), Washington DC
WTOP-FM/WHUR Jansky & Bailey, Washington DC 43.2
WOWO-FM Westinghouse Radio Stations (WOWO), (44.9 mc), Ft. Wayne
WABW Associated Broadcasters (WBBW), (47.3 mc), Indianapolis
W45V Evansville On the Air, Inc, Evansville IN, 44.5
W79C Oak Park Realty & Amusement, Chicago 47.9
WBEZ Board of Education, City of Chicago, Chicago, IL 42.5
WWZR/WEFM/WUSN Zenith Chicago W51C 45.1
WIUC University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 42.9
WBKY University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 42.9
WBZ-FM Westinghouse Radio Stations (WBZ), (46.7 mc), Boston W67B
WMNE Yankee Network (43.9 mc), Boston
WGTR Yankee Network (WNAC), (44.3 mc), Boston W43B
WMTW-FM Yankee Network, Boston W39B
WBZA-FM Westinghouse Radio Stations (WBZA), (48.1 mc), Springfield
WENA Evening News Assn. (WWJ), (44.5 mc), Detroit
W77XL WJIM Inc, Lansing, 47.7
W81SP Westinghouse Radio Stations, Inc, Springfield MO, 48.1
KMBC-FM Midland B/c Co. (KMBC), (46.5 mc), Kansas City
WFMN Edwin H. Armstrong (44.1 mc), Alpine, NJ
WNBF-FM Wylie B. Jones Adv. Agency (WNBF), (44.9 mc), Binghamton
WQXQ Interstate B/c Co. (WQXR), (45.9 mc), New York
WABF Metropolitan Television Inc. (47.5 mc), New York
WEAF-FM/WNBC-FM National Broadcasting Co, New York 42.6
WABC W67NY Columbia Broadcasting System Inc, NY, 46.7
W99NY Frequency Broadcasting Corp, NY, 49.9
WHNF W63NY Marcus Loew Booking Agency, NY, 46.3
W55NY William G. H. Finch, NY, 45.5
WNYC-FM City of New York, Municipal Broadcasting Co, 43.9
WOR-FM Bamberger Broadcasting Service, New York 43.4, 47.1
WGYN W47NY Muzak Corp, New York, 44.7
WHFM Stromberg-Carlson Co. (WHAM), (45.1 mc), Rochester W51R
WHEF WHEC Inc. (WHEC), (44.7 mc), Rochester W43R
WTAG-FM Telegram Publ

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