[AMRadio] SSB AM revisited

k0ng at inebraska.com k0ng at inebraska.com
Thu Mar 17 19:58:37 EST 2005

SSB AM, like any "linear system" must have the sideband amplitude carefully
adjusted in relation to the carrier in order for the diode detector to
reproduce the AM without excessive distortion. It can be made to sound
fairly well, in my opinion. Other than the carrier being used to lock a PLL
as Don-KYV has suggested, the carrier serves another good purpose. That
is to "quiet down" any noise between sylables. Good quality SSB dosnt
sound bad except for the junk in between sylables. The overall reduction in
bandwidth on transmit makes us better neighbors and the reduction in receive
bandwidth favors us without as much QRM. I dont expect many hams to use
SSB AM, much like we didnt use NBFM or NBPM early on. If the radio didnt
come equipped with mode, we would have to experiment.

73 ,  Charlie,  K0NG 

Quoting Gary Schafer <garyschafer at comcast.net>:

> SSB AM has been discussed before and was always thought the transmitter 
> to have audio power down 3 db from regular double side band AM 
> transmitter. This is because of only transmitting one side band and thus 
> half the power in the side bands.
> A DSB AM transmitter has each side band 6 db down from the carrier.
> In thinking about it I was trying to come up with how we get the same 
> PEP power with SSB AM as we do with DSB AM.
> It turns out that you can run 4 times the side band power in a single 
> side band as you can when using double side band AM.
> With SSB AM 100% modulation the side band power equals the carrier 
> power! It is not 6 db down as each side band is with DSB AM.
> If you look at PEP with AM, the voltage into the antenna doubles with 
> modulation to make PEP 4 times what the carrier power is.
> With SSB AM the voltage also doubles to make PEP 4 times carrier power. 
> But in this case it takes the same amount of power in the side band as 
> there is in the carrier!
> Just to verify all this I hooked up the spectrum analyzer, scope and PEP 
> watt meter to the old 20A. Here is how the numbers work out:
> On AM DSB.
> carrier power=          2 watts.
> carrier volts=         10 volts.
> side band power each = .5 watts.
> side band volts each =  5 volts.
> PEP of transmitter =    8 watts.
> On SSB AM.
> carrier power =         2 watts.
> carrier volts =         10 volts.
> side band power =       2 watts.
> side band volts =       10 volts.
> PEP of transmitter =    8 watts.
> When figuring PEP of an AM transmitter you must add the voltage of each 
> component together and then square it and divide by the resistance it 
> feeds. You can not add power directly. In the case of DSB AM the voltage 
> of the carrier gets added plus the voltage of the upper side band plus 
> the voltage of the lower side band. In the example above that equals 20 
> volts. 20x20=400. divide by 50 = 8 watts PEP.
> With SSB AM there is only the carrier and one side bands voltage to add 
> together to find PEP. In the above example 10 volts carrier plus 10 
> volts side band = 20 volts. Squared= 400 divide by 50 = 8 watts PEP.
> But as you can see there is twice the voltage in the side band or 4 
> times more power in it than with double side band am. This still gives 
> the same PEP.
> With 6 db more audio power in SSB AM than in one side band of DSB AM the 
> recovered audio should be the same as with DSB AM. DSB AM was always 
> thought to have a 6 db advantage because of having the second side band 
> and being coherent in the detector. Seems this evens things out.
> Of course there are the distortion issues in the detector with SSB AM to 
> deal with.
> With a little thinking you can see where you might be able to run more 
> carrier power with SSB AM and not having to reduce the audio level as 
> much as you would with DSB AM and have the PEP still stay within limits.
> Here are some numbers with the carrier increased to 3.34 watts (1.67 
> times) and audio down only by 3 db.
> carrier power=          3.34 watts.
> carrier volts=          12.93 volts.
> side band power =       1 watt.
> side band volts =       7.07 volts.
> PEP of transmitter =    8 watts.
> 73
> Gary  K4FMX
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