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Author Topic: Where is AM activity  (Read 32352 times)

Posts: 115

« on: February 18, 2014, 08:31:14 AM »

Hello.  Are there frequencies where guys get together to do some casual AM QSO's without checking into a net?  I've got nothing against nets, but  I would like to just call CQ on AM just to play with the old radios for a bit. I've never had a QSO with Sideband in my life and don't intend to, ... ever,  but I never had a QSO with my AM rigs either,  having just worked CW with them. I've been a Ham for only 22 years, so it took me a while to get curious about what the "mic" jack was for.


73, Joe N8TI

Posts: 262

« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 08:52:04 AM »

Check out the "Band Watch" forum at:

There you will find where the Am activity is greatest.

Phil - AC0OB

AC0OB - A Place Where Thermionic Emitters Rule!
Besides, when you're a Ham, you experiment with and improve boat anchors - that's what you do!. Smiley

Posts: 21764

« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 10:24:57 AM »

I like AM sometimes and use it occasionally on HF.  Takes somewhat "better conditions" than SSB, CW or digi modes as signals right in the noise are very difficult to copy. 

But condx lately have been quite good.

LOTS of AM on 10m when it's open (mornings/afternoons mostly), up around 29.0 MHz but below 29.3 MHz.

LOTS of AM on 75m at night, and frequencies used are regional but 'round here it's mostly around 3870 kHz or so.

Quite a bit of AM on 160m at night, also, almost all above 1860 kHz and I hear it above above 1900 also.

The other bands seem to be more on "spot" frequencies which are sort of set aside for AMers and respected by SSBers.

Obviously, "legally" you can operate AM anywhere you can operate SSB, but it's "kinder" to stick to where the AMers mostly congregate.

I think 10m is is probably most active of all, but requires conditions.


Posts: 156

« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 12:23:47 PM »

Like another ham mentioned, I hear AM activity on 10 meters when the conditions are good.  In the USA, the ARRL Band Plan has AM mode for 29.000 - 29.200 MHz.   It was interesting to make a contact with someone in South Texas on 10 meters using AM mode from Richmond, Virginia.   But the conditions were good that day.


Posts: 134

« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 02:31:24 PM »

 15 -   21.420- 21.440.

 10 -   29.000- 29.100.  Usually lower 50 Kc.

 20 -   Don't bother.

 40 -   7.285- 7.295.

  Hope to see you there.

  Bradenton, fl

Posts: 960

« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 05:12:03 PM »

A lot of good info and freqs used by the AMers.
160M-----1880 or 1885---1945
80M------3690 (Extra Class) 3705 (Advance Class) 3880 usually very busy and the guys like to use the break-in mode. Sometimes orderly sometimes chaos and people talking over each other. I like the old fashioned Roundtable QSO.
40M------7290 and others
On 160 and 80 it is best to use legal limit and a good antenna. Low dipoles and 25 watts at night is a strain.


Posts: 3289

« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2014, 06:32:42 PM »

AM Windows and Watering Holes 
Rev 01/18/2013  KB4QAA

160m    None recommended
1850   Euro ?
1945   ?
1985   ?

3615   UK   per G8YMW
3705   Euro ?
3870   busy
3875   busy
3880     busy
3885     AM Window

7100-7200  Increasing activity due to low SSB usage
7143    UK ?
7160-7195  European area
7290    AM Window

60m      Not Permitted
30m     Not Permitted

14.286 AM Window

21.425  AM Window
21.285  ?

12m    None recommended.  Ops controversial due to limited band size.

29.000 - 29.200  AM Window   

50.400  AM Window.  Unofficial but universally recognized.

2m   None Recommended

Notes :
-AM is not restricted or limited in the US to any particular frequency.
-The ARRL Band Plan has suggested AM Windows for some, but not all bands.
-Courtesy: AM'ers try to avoid interfering with SSB in view of the wider bandwidth.

Posts: 34

« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 10:40:18 AM »

Great advice here.  Ten meters is my favorite band for AM.  There can be a lot of activity when conditions are favorable and you will not have to contend/run elbows with SSB stations on 29-29.200 MHz.  I rarely hear anyone (SSB or AM) call CQ on 80.  Most AM QSOs seem to consist of regulars who may or may not be open to someone breaking in--particularly if you are a low power station (AMers call this piss weak).  I avoid 80 like the proverbial plague.   

I wish there was more AM activity on 6 meters.  I have been calling CQ on 6 meters AM (50.4) at different times throughout the day for sometime now (porbably every day for two months) and no one has ever responded.

Chris, N4JOY

Posts: 407

« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 03:26:46 AM »

Plenty of excellent AM activity on 80 meters . For those with Extra class licenses , 3705 is popular . There is regular activity on 3725 at around 4:00 PM EST , mostly Canadians but of course they are always glad to hear from US stations . The AWA net meets on Sunday afternoons , check their website for freq and time .  Moving up the band to 3870 - 3890 will usually find some good activity any time the rest of the band is active . A CQ on 3880 in the afternnoon has an excellent chance of snagging a response . 
   Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM , the "DX-60 Net" gathers on 3880 . A very friendly bunch celebrating low power novice type rigs but every type of AM gear is welcome . Wed evenings around 7:00 PM brings the "Mighty Elmac Net" again all AM types welcome . (First Wednesday of the month , the Collins folks hold a net instead of the Elmac net )


Posts: 1041

« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 04:54:51 AM »

There's quite a bit of AM activity on 10 meters (29 - 29.2). You don't need a lot of power either.

My simple 10 meter AM station consist of a modified VFO controlled 11 meter Johnson Messenger 223 at 5 watts and a modified 11 meter Johnson Messenger One at 7 watts. I've worked plenty of stations into New England, Oregon, Washington state, Florida, California, and Vancouver Canada with good reports using those 2 transceivers and a simple 10 meter inverted vee.

I monitor the 10 meter AM calling frequency, 29.0, everyday and hear quite a few AM stations calling CQ.

Mike W5RKL

Posts: 23


« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 10:12:48 AM »

In central Texas you will find AM ops on 3880, 3885, 3890 and 7160 as well. Every Sat at 7 AM there is a traders net on 3890.

73 & good DX / AM de W5XJ

Posts: 287


« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 06:31:38 PM »

7295 weekdays at 1700 Z it's a forum/net...

But, before and after the 7295 forum at 1700 Z there is a LOT of AM Fone activity between 7290 and 7295.

been palling around with some good operators there for a bit over a year now...

I've been primarilly a CW op for 19 years now with a sprinkle of SSB back till about 5 years ago when I've all but abandoned SSB...

So when the AM interests bagan to becon, these guys around 7290 and 7295 have really helped to grow my knowledge as I was repairing and modifying some old boat anchor gear that was being accumulated.

Conditions are really good during the day and early evening on 40 meters for some AM Fone rag chews. This is especially good if you can erect an NVIS dipole cut for the upper edge of 40meters. between 16 to 20 feet up seems to work great for a take off angle between 70 & 90 degrees.

de N8NSN Norway Eight Never Say Never
. .

Posts: 814

« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 02:59:30 PM »

Jump In. Am has rekindled my interest in HAM radio. I am one of the "mostly Canadians" mentioned above. However that is more by accident then design. Anyone is welcome.  I work mostly 80 and 40m and have several rigs , some homebrew some old ARC5s and one DX60B heathkit. It works best if you figure out your antennas natural propagation pattern which I am sure you already know from your CW ops. Those areas can usually be worked easily with moderate power. Modulation% needs to be relatively high as it is the first part to disappear when a signal is weak. (or carrier is the past part to disappear , ie you can often hear someone is there but not hear any modulation or understandable modulation.  If you are borderline with someone then an amp or an increase in power can make that much better. I personally don't care about AM dx or distance but am much more interested in the conversation. You will always be able to talk with someone. Skeds are a very good idea especially when starting out. I sometimes test Hbs around 7160 if it is not busy with a caveat down 5KC if busy. SSB signals with appear much wider then they are because they bother you more. You can sit 5 kcs from a AM station with no problem while a SSB at the closeness will drive you nuts.  Lastly do not consider people are throwing a carrier to bother you or are parked near you to annoy you. Many SSB rigs do not copy AM well and without a great deal of skill it may be impossible. Far better chance for the SSBer and the AMer that they didn't realize the other was there then it is malicious intent. During busy times try to stay in the agreed on AM Windows.  Anytime you want a test just ask. I for one will be there. And remember just like on any mode sometimes folks don't respond because they don't know who you are which makes absolutely no sense but it happens. Keep your transmission length within reason. The AM windows are small and time is short. Many a time I have had to quit before my turn in when someone spent 35 or 40 minutes describing how they made dinner. Probably 5 minutes would be a good rule of thumb. That way everyone gets a turn.   And be careful AM is addictive!

Posts: 493


« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 10:00:33 AM »

The "AM Windows" have been imaginary for years.  Why would you limit yourself to some very small sliver of frequency range when you can operate AM wherever phone is allowed (obviously depending on your license class). It's just plain silly to define an imaginary 10 or 20 KHz range and try to have four or five different AM QSO's going on at the same time. On 75 and 40 meters, this AM scenario happens all the time. Use that big tuning knob and find an empty frequency somewhere in the phone band and call CQ (if you know how to do that). You might also entice some SSB operator to press the AM button on their transceiver and give you a call. There are several documented (depending on who is writing them) "AM Calling Frequencies" (1885, 3885, 7290, 14.286, 50.4). I'll leave you to define "Calling Frequency". None of this is rocket science.

Pete, wa2cwa

Posts: 564


« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 05:03:35 PM »

AM belongs in the days of the past. But a old Johnson would be just fine for CW.   Lips sealed
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