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Author Topic: AM Phone  (Read 3007 times)
K3WEC
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« on: December 07, 2011, 05:40:38 PM »

I am seriously considering getting into AM phone.  I've done a lot of listening and, not to offend SSB operators (which include myself), the conversations seem more relaxed and personable.   I'm sure there are bad apples just as on SSB, but I haven't noticed any cursing or poor behavior yet.

AM also intrigues me for other reasons that I can't explain.   I'm looking at either adding an AM filter to my Drake TR4-C or eventually obtaining a boatanchor transmitter to pair with my old Kenwood GCR.  

Anyone who is active on AM, please chime in with any comments!

PS:  Yes, I have been reading the AMFone.net site too....
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 06:29:07 PM »

Mode does not dictate content as I have had some very fine SSB chats. The "problem" with AM is that it takes a lot more bandwidth and is not SSB friendly to those on its skirts either so it is kinda looked down on by many. This is not to say not to do it but rather consider were you do it. 80m would be a good place and there is a lot of room there and AM can be found on it.
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KD6KWZ
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 07:58:31 PM »

Many years ago, when I was a SWL'er in the 1970's, I heard some Hams on 160 meters using AM. I didn't hear
any AM on other bands, but 10 meters was bad at the time, due to sun spot lows.
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K3WEC
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 08:00:55 PM »

Mode does not dictate content as I have had some very fine SSB chats. The "problem" with AM is that it takes a lot more bandwidth and is not SSB friendly to those on its skirts either so it is kinda looked down on by many. This is not to say not to do it but rather consider were you do it. 80m would be a good place and there is a lot of room there and AM can be found on it.

Yes, the lower bands are my preference.  All amateurs should be mindful of those around him/her - regardless of mode or band.   Like you, I enjoy SSB and have regular nice QSOs and nets....but like I said, there's something about the AM signal and a different breed of operators that I've observed thus far.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 09:37:07 PM by K3WEC » Logged
SWMAN
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 08:28:36 PM »

I accidently discovered AM phone a few months ago while surfing around on 10 meters. Around 29.000 up to 29.200 or so there were several AM QSO's going on and some calling CQ. I answered a couple of calls and now I thing I'm hooked. And yes everyone seemed sort of laid back and not in a big hurry for their next QSO. They said that my little TS-570 sounded real good on AM for a solid state rig. I'll try again later now that 10 is going strong. 73 Jim W5JJG
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K8AXW
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 09:03:50 PM »

I could be wrong of course but I think the reason you'll find AM operators a bit more "laid back" is because they share what is a somewhat rare mode.  Their main purposes for using AM is twofold.  One, they appreciate good audio quality and some of the old AM transmitters provided very good sounding audio.

The second reason is simply nostalgia.  Many of these operators remember "the way it was."  The AM days was indeed a very different time with a different breed of operator.  The AM days were GOOD days!
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ONAIR
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2011, 05:07:38 PM »

    There's nothing like the sound of a good old AM tube rig with a great microphone.  Back in the day, AM dominated the airwaves!  Oh, to hear those wonderful heterodynes again.
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 07:28:54 PM »

Back in the day, AM dominated the airwaves! 

Only because SSB was not mature yet as it required a lot more stability than AM. As I recall when we put a man on the moon in 69, they talked back to earth using 5.5 ghz SSB because it worked better than AM at same power level.
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ONAIR
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 08:26:38 PM »

Back in the day, AM dominated the airwaves! 

Only because SSB was not mature yet as it required a lot more stability than AM. As I recall when we put a man on the moon in 69, they talked back to earth using 5.5 ghz SSB because it worked better than AM at same power level.

  Yep, SSB sure does have its advantages.  But sometimes a great AM station can sound like they are right there in the shack with you!
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K3WEC
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 08:36:12 PM »

Yep, there's little debating that the audio fidelity of AM is, in general, superior to SSB.   Listening to KN4ME calling CQ on 3885 right now.  Like you said, he sounds as if he's in the chair next to me.
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 12:42:00 PM »

Yep, there's little debating that the audio fidelity of AM is, in general, superior to SSB.   Listening to KN4ME calling CQ on 3885 right now.  Like you said, he sounds as if he's in the chair next to me.

Well I never was much into hifi audio for HF. Tuff to copy under less than ideal conditions. Wider spectrum means more bandwidth wasted a less field strength as same power level is spread over a wider spectrum. Also if you can support say 20 AM QSO's is a certain band area, you can easily support 40 to 50 or more SSB QSO in same spread because of narrower bandwidth.
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W3LK
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 01:15:10 PM »

AM audio in the "old days" was helped by the fact that most receivers had external, 8-12 inch speakers with a decent frequency response, not the 3" speakers that come internal on today's rigs.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 09:36:59 PM »

On the question of SSB vs. AM, SSB will beat AM in every respect except audio quality.  That isn't the subject of this thread though.  The guy was wondering why the AM guys seemed more laid back.....

Quote
the conversations seem more relaxed and personable

Ham radio operators get along so well because of the camaraderie of the hobby itself.  But within this hobby are subgroups who understands and appreciates early radio, good audio quality and have a great deal to talk about. 

In this day and age, it's difficult to discuss which transistor or IC gives the best audio quality.... or anything else for that matter.

Antique car owners would understand this quite well.

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N3WAK
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2011, 05:31:38 AM »

Bill--Jeff Covelli, WA8SAJ, wrote a couple of nice articles for Electric Radio on modifying a Drake TR4CW for better AM.  These articles are reproduced on Ron Baker's website, WB4HFN.com.  Essentially, one adds the new Inrad 6 kHz (er, since we're talking AM, I guess that should be 6 kcs) filter (they sell it for the TR-6), add a fan, and you bump up the resting AM carrier.  Ron did these reversible modifications to my TR4CWrit when he was refurbishing it for me, and it works great.  Of course, you lose the 500 Hz filter for CW because the position is now used by the AM filter.  The wide filter sounds wonderful. 


73, Tony
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K3WEC
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2011, 08:19:01 PM »

Thanks Tony - yes I've been looking at those articles.   Jeff actually did a great job fixing up my transceiver a couple years ago.   
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