Category: Radio History and Origins
Edwin Howard Armstrong was convinced that radio could be improved by using frequency modulation (FM) as opposed to amplitude modulation (AM), which was how radio was then has several advantages over AM broadcasting. First, the broadcast bandwidth was wider, meaning both a fuller range of frequencies and also the availability of broadcasting in stereo. Second, since the wavelength was shorter, it required much less power, and a smaller antenna. And third, FM was not subject to static interference from lightning and many other electrical obtained patents in the regenerative circuit and the super heterodyne receiver in 1914 and 1918, respectively (both necessary components of FM).In 1934 he was hired by David Sarnoff of RCA, who was interested in new radio technologies. However, Sarnoff soon became concerned that FM wasn’t compatible with RCA’s vast AM radio empire, and saw it as possible competition. Sarnoff was also much more interested in developing television than any new radio technology, so RCA not only stopped supporting Armstrong’s research, but they also became fairly adversarial and tried to suppress to be deterred, in 1937 Armstrong was able to finance construction of the first FM radio station W2XMN in Alpine, New Jersey.