[AMRadio] Trouble Brewing in AM Window

K5MYJ macklinbob at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 16:40:54 EST 2013

I remember when SSB came on the scene in the late 50's. As Don commented it 
was the guys with DEEP POCKETS that first bought this stuff.

As I remember the activity in the 50's, 60's, and 70's SSB was a good idea 
because of the level of activity. I can remember wall to wall signals on the 
phone bands every night and weekend days. SSB made sense. No heterodynes 
like with AM.

Bu today it seems there is much less activity so AM should not be a problem. 
It seems to me that AM could use all the space between 3850 and 3900 and the 
SSB people would have the rest of the 75M phone segment.

Ten years ago I did see 75M phone (both AM an SSB) on the gear I have. But 
now I seldom hear anything on 75M.

The problem as I see it is there are just a bunch of jerks out there that 
want to drive AM away.

The main thing I like about AM is the tuning is not critical like it is with 
SSB. You can have a round table and everyone does not have to be precisely 
on the same frequency. With SSB they just speak three words and stop before 
you have time to fine tune them. And no two people in the group will be on 
the same frequency.

Bob Macklin
Seattle, Wa.
"Real Radios Glow In The Dark"
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Donald Chester" <k4kyv at charter.net>
To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Trouble Brewing in AM Window

>>>From: kc9cdt at aol.com
> For the first ten years or so I had my license...I don't remember any of
> this crap.
> You know why....because FCC would not put up with it then!
> Also, we didn't have many of the types that are a problem today.
> 73,
> Lee>>
> Lee,
> This isn't just a recent phenomenon. It has been with us since the early
> 60s, and to a certain extent dates all the way back to the spark-gap days.
> Look through the old QSTs, R/9 and Radio magazines from the 1920s onwards.
> The problem took a sharp turn for the worse in about 1963, with the great 
> AM
> vs SSB wars. When SSB first appeared on the amateur bands, only the 
> well-off
> and technically competent could operate the mode; either purchase an
> expensive Collins or Central Electronics SSB station, or else homebrew 
> your
> own. Most hams couldn't afford Collins and didn't have the technical
> expertise, test equipment or workshop facilities to build a SSB rig from
> scratch. The result was a minority of hams running SSB, and the rest
> continuing to operate AM, but many of the remaining AMers were wannabe SSB
> ops who simply couldn't afford a station.
> Then, about 1963, cheap, low quality but affordable SSB transceivers
> appeared on the scene - the Swans, Galaxies and Heathkit  "Hotwater" 
> rigs...
> SIDEBAND FOR THE MASSES! Many hams dumped their solid, well-constructed AM
> station, constructed from quality components, and replaced it with a 
> cheap
> flimsy little transceiver and sweep tube  linear. In those days there was 
> an
> ongoing hard-core salesmanship campaign by ARRL, the magazine publishers,
> local ham clubs and equipment manufacturers (who saw a whole new market
> opening up for a brand-new product) to convince everyone to change over to
> SSB, and that the changeover was mandatory whether they wanted to or not.
> Those of us who  resisted by staying with AM were subjected to all kinds 
> of
> on-the-air  harassment by hordes of newly-converted. This developed into 
> an
> all-out AM vs SSB war, particularly on 75m. Deliberate interference, 
> jamming
> and profanity became widespread and heard on the air nightly. A few on 
> both
> sides lost their licences over the deal. Things eventually cooled down, 
> and
> for a period of time AM almost disappeared from the amateur bands. So did
> homebrew transmitters and stations. But the practice of deliberate
> interference had become instilled in the amateur community and remains 
> with
> us to this day. After a few years AM began to make a come-back, and has 
> now
> been "coming back" for many more years than it was ever supposed to be
> "dead". This, despite a couple of decades starting in the early 70s, when
> the chief of the amateur rulemaking division, who appeared to be 
> vehemently
> opposed to AM, launched a long string of rulemaking proposals that would
> have crippled if not eliminated AM entirely. Most of these were ultimately
> rejected largely due to opposition from the amateur community; the only 
> one
> to actually make it into the rules was the p.e.p.  nonsense.
> Many of the original AM/SSB warriors are now SK or have moved on to other
> things in life, and AM has pretty much returned as one of the many facets 
> of
> mainstream amateur radio. Most commercially built transceivers now include
> an AM button, along with the CW, SSB and FM buttons. But anti-AM sentiment
> has continued to sizzle in the background with a few miscreants, and from
> time to time this sort of nonsense erupts, reminiscent of a dormant 
> volcano.
> Something that didn't help was the period of years when the FCC virtually
> ceased enforcing the amateur rules as amateur radio apparently had dropped
> to near the bottom of the FCC's priority list. AM vs SSB was no longer the
> driving issue, but the legacy of casual jamming and deliberate 
> interference
> is well established and there  is no turning back. Riley Hollingsworth put 
> a
> partial damper on the worst offenders when he  came on the scene, but now 
> he
> has departed and the phenomenon remains with us and erupts from time to
> time.
> Don k4kyv
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