[AMRadio] Re: Carrier with one sideband

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Thu Feb 7 18:22:14 EST 2008

> From: Peter Markavage <manualman at juno.com>

> A number of the early phasing type transmitters/exciters and SSB adapters
> allowed you to operate on "AM" with just one sideband. So, only operating
> DSB AM would really be an issue.

>> From: "Bob Macklin" <macklinbob at msn.com>

> Any of the Heath SSB rigs (SB-100/101, SB-400/401, HW-100/101) could be
> modified to Vestigial SB. SSB with carrier reinserted.
> Bob Macklin

SSB with the carrier re-inserted is not the same thing as what we know as 
AM.  It is nothing more than SSB with poor carrier suppression.  Reception 
with an envelope detector inherently generates severe distortion at 
modulation levels beyond about 20%.  This mode is useful only with a 
receiver with BFO that locks onto the "pilot carrier" to eliminate frequency 
error in SSB reception, a technique that has in fact long been used in 
commercial services, with the carrier level reduced to about 20 dB below 
p.e.p.  At modulation levels low enough to avert this distortion, known as 
"quadrature distortion" it is very wasteful of power since the sideband 
power becomes a very small percentage of total radiated power.  Those 
amateur SSB rigs that transmit "AM" with carrier and one sideband sound like 
CRAP.  Unless the receiving station is equipped with a proper receiver with 
PLL carrier reinsertion, which includes very few amateur receivers, it is a 
totally useless mode beyond simply getting someone's attention when they are 
receiving in AM mode, in order that they may switch the receiver over to SSB 
to receive the signal in normal SSB fashion.

This problem is inherent to the principles of modulation, and has nothing to 
do with the quality of the equipment used.  Transmitting AM with one 
sideband is NOT a solution to the problem nor is it even a satisfactory 


Don k4kyv 

More information about the AMRadio mailing list

This page last updated 14 Dec 2017.