When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

A look back at various radio stations

When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby jon » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:50 pm

Recently, I read a forum where supposed oldtimers in the biz could not answer the question: when did Hertz replace Cycles in the Legal IDs of Canadian and U.S. radio stations?

No one seemed to know until someone quoted the international standards association that regulates such things, who changed the official term in 1960. And that ended the discussion. Except....

I remember distinctly that there was an official date much later than that when AM radio stations dropped the KC for KHz. Wikipedia and other sites I googled seemed strangely silent on the issue. Or quoted the 1960 date.

Hardly conclusive, but the first use of KHz I could find in the Globe and Mail in reference to Radio was a January 25, 1969, ad from the CRTC, publishing an official notice about a couple of AM radio stations.

That sounds about the right time, in terms of my DX days, as I remember that it was near the end of my days collecting QSL cards when they all changed, if the Chief Engineer remembered to fix them, about then.

Does anyone have anything more conclusive? Or even remember the change in terminology?
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9096
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby xwdcatvb » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:51 pm

Well, dunno about "saying" but if there was an official switchover, it took a while in print/type.

I can understand QSL cards being unimportant for contemporising the terminology, but I have multiple examples of letterheads of major American network stations still showing kc/s as late as 1966... and smaller market responses for DX tests into 1969.

My individually-typed verification in late 1966 for C-FUN from Stan Davis has 1410 Kc/s!

But is/was there even a requirement in Canada for "legal ID"? Um, we all did it umpteen times an hour in inane chatter anyway.
xwdcatvb
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:58 pm

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby jon » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:44 pm

In the early part of this century, many stations got a nasty communication from Industry Canada about not doing required Station Identifications. As I understand, their legal beagles had reviewed CRTC regulations and, quite correctly, concluded that the CRTC does not require any station identifications at all. But they eventually found out, after some stations had gone about two years without one mention of their call letters, that Industry Canada regulations were well worth their time to read, and do require IDs.

Here is the full current regulations:

BETS-11 — Technical Requirements Respecting the Identification of Broadcasting Stations

Technical Requirements Respecting the Identification of Broadcasting Stations

Issue 1
November 1, 1996

Spectrum Management
Broadcasting Equipment Technical Standard

Purpose

This document establishes technical requirements respecting the identification of broadcasting stations.

1. General

The broadcasting stations for which a call sign has been issued must identify according to the technical requirements in this document.

2. Technical Requirements

2.1 Using the call sign issued to the broadcasting station, the holder of a Broadcasting Certificate shall, during any time that the broadcasting station for which that certificate was issued transmits a radio signal, identify the broadcasting station at least once every hour on the hour or within 10 minutes thereof, or at the beginning and end of a program where the program lasts longer than one hour, by a voice announcement in English or in French that:

articulates each letter and states any accompanying designator of the call sign of the station; and
names the principal city or community that is served by the station.

2.2 In the case of a television broadcasting station, the voice announcement may be replaced by a visual announcement of not less than three seconds in duration that identifies the call sign assigned to that station and the principal city or community that is served by that station.

2.3 The holder of a Broadcasting Certificate for a broadcasting station or network that originates programming shall identify at least once every day, in the manner set out in 2.1 or 2.2, as the case may be, a station that is licensed to rebroadcast the programming.

2.4 Paragraph 2.3 does not apply in respect of a rebroadcasting station where the Broadcasting Certificate issued in respect of that rebroadcasting station specifies that the rebroadcasting station:

has been assigned a radio frequency without protection from interference caused by a broadcasting undertaking;
shall not cause interference to any broadcasting undertaking; and
is not within any zone that, by virtue of an agreement between Canada and any other country, requires Canada to obtain the concurrence of that other country to the establishment of that rebroadcasting station.

Date modified: 2010-09-30

ref. - http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.ns ... 01225.html
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9096
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby radiofan » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:46 pm

I just checked the September 30, 1973 CKVN to CFUN aircheck, and they say 1410 Kilocycles on the official CKVN sign off.

I can honestly say I don't EVER recall hearing a station use the word kilohertz. But then again, I haven't heard a lot of sign offs in the last 30 or so years.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
User avatar
radiofan
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 10387
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:24 pm
Location: Pitt Meadows

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby radiofan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:26 am

In the mid 1970's, CJNB 1050 in North Battleford, SK was using kHz on their Sunday night sign off, Monday morning sign on.

CJNB 1050 Sign Off and Sign On

Thanks to justaprairieguy for sharing this audio!
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
User avatar
radiofan
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 10387
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:24 pm
Location: Pitt Meadows

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby jon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:34 am

Closest thing to a real answer that I've found so far is this quote from the book "Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today" by Jerome S. Berg, with a copyright date of 2008:
...1969, the approximate time at which kHz. became the preferred abbreviation.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9096
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: When Did Radio Start Saying KHz and MHz?

Postby Eldon-Mr.CFAY » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:27 pm

Greetings,
One way of getting a good idea of when this happened approximately is to check your radio station verification letters and see what date stations used khz. instead of kcs. on their stationary. I have lots of letters from radio stations for survey requests, some verfications etc. going back to 1967 and into the early 70s so will check a few of mine. Interesting question. As I recall Jon I would say it was between 1969 and the very early 70s when quite a few radio stations started using khz. instead of kcs. You know I have heard a few comments over the years about this especially in the USA and some USA radio technicians, engineers and amateur radio operators resented the change to kilohertz and tried to stick to kilocycles for many years! So that might add to the confusion as well! But in general terms I think 69 or 70 is about right for the changeover with some stations even in Canada not using the term kilocycles for another 5 or 6 years into the mid-70s as Radiofan pointed out too!

Will check my radio station letters and see what I find and get a posting back on here about it later.

73s Eldon
Bye . . Mr. CFAY "Frequently On The Frequency"
The CFAY Website: http://cfayradio.wordpress.com
CFAY Radio: http://tinyurl.com/l9qqmh
User avatar
Eldon-Mr.CFAY
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 2:09 pm
Location: P.O. Box 3536, Langley, BC V3A 4R9


Return to Radio Station History

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests