[AMRadio] AM Broadcast Quality

Jay Bromley jayw5jay at cox.net
Tue Dec 17 10:51:52 EST 2013

I don't know how many times I've heard a stock BW 5100, Valiant, RiceBox,
etc, using only 100 watts on 3.885 taking up more BW than other stations
using broadcast iron that is 30 dB higher in signal strength using much more
power!  In other words, Johnny novice AMer using his stock BW5100 is S9 is
taking up more space on the dial than a station using BC audio that is 30 dB
or more over the S9 point.  Those guys always seem the need to crank up the
audio just for folks to hear them with that restricted audio splattering up
and down the band.  Very few of them seem to care enough to use a simple
monitor scope or to get the distortion out of their audio.  It is not the
signal that not cutting it here, S9 is plenty loud enough, there is not
enough audio power or "fidelity" for them to get through the noise.  

One thing I have noticed using an SDR receiver, is many times I have used
more bandwidth (NOT less) on receive to understand what a guy is saying.
This seems to be clear from QRM and many times on a noisy night.  This is
completely wrong from conventional thinking and from what I was taught.  

IMHO, if you are going to sound like the FAA control tower, then why bother
at all with AM?  You are taking up double the space of an SSB station and
many times sounding worse while taking up more BW like in the example above.
Once we start going down this rabbit hole of less bandwidth, less power,
etc, really is no end to it until you get to why do ham radio at all!  There
are some PC folks in our Ham Radio ranks that want to even outlaw antennas
more than a simple dipole because of an unfair advantage!

Looking at my panadaptor these days and nights, we are a dying breed
compared to other decades.  I know the numbers say different, but that
doesn't mean the numbers are on the air.  For that matter, I never hear many
of your that are on this list every day, maybe I am too wide for you or you
are too narrow for me!  :-)  You will never get any new younger blood in the
hobby with crappie audio.    

BTW, I also do digital modes.  There are modes much narrower than CW and PSK
that also use less power!  JT65 and JT9 are some of the newest WSJT modes.
Many times you can't even hear a JT9 signal on the air!  Like some digital
modes, it is like watching paint dry with canned QSOs.  Not very exciting
and I wouldn't expect everyone to like it or use it.  In the same token, if
there were no "Clean" broadcast audio on AM, I wouldn't be on AM or in ham
radio for that matter.  If I wanted to listen to FAA audio all I need is a

It is all good as far as I am concerned.  I will continue to try all the
modes when I can, but you will find me in the AM groups with good "Clean" BC
like audio.  

Give me guys that have audio like K4KYV any day over the BW5100 fly boys!

73 de w5jay/jay..

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