[AMRadio] Re: AM and SSB history (was: Eliminate AM)

Chris Codella, W2PA w2pa at arrl.net
Mon Sep 19 12:38:06 EDT 2005

First of all:  Jack has the right idea - everybody should read his 
posting.  The same holds for CW: it will not disappear because of 
digital modes or lack of FCC requirement.  One of the greatest aspects 
of being a ham is the ability to pick and choose the activites and modes 
in which one is most interested.  They all have a place.  It's ironic 
that some of the most technically savvy hams these days are finding 
interesting new things to do with some of the the oldest technologies, 
AM and CW.

Next - there's been some interesting notes about the origins of SSB so I 
thought I'd add the following bit of history you might find interesting 
too:  In Terman's book "Radio Engineering", the standard text for this 
subject in the 30s and 40s, he points out that (in 1932) "The only 
single side-band radio system in commercial operation is the long-wave 
transatlantic telephone...", and that SSB "... is extensively used in 
carrier-current communication over wire lines, but the difficulty of 
producing large amounts of single side-band power at radio frequencies 
and the difficulty of receiving the signals have prevented single 
side-band transmission from being standard practice in radio work."

A decade or two of research can do wonders.

Chris, W2PA

w9gt at comcast.net wrote:

>This is an interesting thread and I guess I just had to throw my two cents in.
>The SSB vs AM wars have been going on since the 50's, perhaps mostly because of the incompatibility of the two modes.  The SSBers complain about bandwidth and carriers of the AM stations and the AMers complain about the Quack Quack
>from SSB.  This may never ever be resolved as long as we are both trying to compete for the same space on the bands.  It does certainly help, however, to have some sort of mutual respect and tolerance for each other.  After all, we are all hams!!  This is why the idea for the AM window(s) really came into play.  The problem is that as long as the windows are not respected as being a haven for AM operations, they are worthless as far as preventing interference from SSB or other modes.  And....we all know that the AM windows are certainly not respected by many, if any SSBers.
>It is interesting to note that the ranks of AMers are filled with many very knowledgable and talented individuals who are interested in AM because it just sounds better than SSB.  There are also many individuals who enjoy the mode for the nostalgia aspects, including collecting, restoring , and operating vintage tube-type gear.  Many of these folks were first licensed during the time when AM was the most prevelant mode on the phone bands.  They really enjoy stepping back in time a little and enjoying the relaxed, laid back operating style that is associated with AM.
>Anyway, I believe that AM and its associated specialties which include the nostalgia aspects are a great and enduring part of the hobby that should be encouraged and preserved.  Would you throw away a '57 Chevy just because it is not the latest technology?  Why, then would anyone want to dispose of  or eliminate vintage gear and/or technology on the ham bands?  We take up a very small percentage of the total available bandwidth and we actively enjoy and preserve the heritage and rich history of the hobby.
>There is really room for all of us!  The diversity is great and it is one of the things that makes ham radio such a great hobby.  There are so many different aspects of the hobby under one umbrella.  Long Live AM!!
>73,  Jack, W9GT

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