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German radio band abbreviations

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by jtaylor, Feb 20, 2004.

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  1. jtaylor

    jtaylor Guest

    I'm looking at various car radios on ebay, hoping for one with shortwave.
    The best would be a Philips dc777, but they don't seem to appear at all.
    There are a lot of german radions with UKW as a radio band - I think this is
    what we in the new world call FM. I know MW is AM, and LW is, well, LW.
    What would KW be?

    And if the list above doesn't include SW, what would the germans be using
    for that?

    (Psst: anyone got an old dc777?)
  2. Don Pearce

    Don Pearce Guest

    K is for Kurtz - KW is the german for short wave.


  3. LW is "Langwelle", German for Long Wave (700m - 2000m)
    MW is "Mittelwelle", German for Middle Wave, or AM (185m - 580m)
    KW is "Kurzwelle", German for Short Wave (18.5m - 50m)
    UKW is "Ultrakurzwelle", German for Ultra Short Wave, or FM (87.5 - 108MHz)

    I've always wondered why the Americans use the wave length in some cases
    and the modulation method in other cases. A bit confusing, especially
    since the modulation used for LW or SW is also Amplitude Modulation (AM).
  4. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Perhaps because nobody had thought to just call them all 'channels' (0-199?
    1-200?) back when the commercial AM and FM bands were started to be used?
    Just as TV channels are, uh... channelized... newer radio systems such as XM
    are as well.
  5. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    But at what channel spacing.
    For AM, vestigal sideband should be easily able to do 3.5Khz channel
    spacing, at telephone quality for over 280 channels on medium-wave.
    Current spacing is 9Khz in the UK.
    9Khz spacing though would have been problematical for early radios, and
    there are were cost/selectivity tradeoffs.
    Not to mention that the ability to tune in specific channels by number
    would be a significant problem for early radios, even making them stable
    enough to select one reliably over time would be difficult.
  6. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    Why would 9kHz spacing be hard for early radios, which were manually tuned
    by a rotating knob anyway? And it wasn't until FM broadcast radio came about
    that the tuners were 'dumbed down' and had their audio bandwidth limited - a
    good quality AM radio with a nice broad AF stage gave a good HiFi response,
    out to 15kHz and more. Under good signal conditions, stereo AM is (was?) as
    good as stereo FM.

    As for numbering the channels rather than using the frequency, I guess we
    were smarter back then.... :) ("What's the frequency, Ken?")


  7. Ian Stirling

    Ian Stirling Guest

    Well, for one, you simply can't have 9Khz channel spacing and 15Khz
    bandwidth without some problems.
    For early radios, every component was very expensive, and every active
    component added significantly to unreliability too.

    This means that they often had relatively poor selectivity (the ability
    to reject a strong signal on an adjacent frequency) as well as poor stability
    over time.

    This means that 9Khz spacing would be a problem, as it would have made
    radios more expensive.

    Which means that "channels" as the original poster suggested might not be
    that good an idea.
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