[AMRadio] AM Broadcast Quality

Brett Gazdzinski b.gaz at comcast.net
Tue Dec 17 22:23:41 EST 2013

Well, I admit, I used to run low power rigs hard, over modulating with the 
d104, wide and dirty most likely.
Unless you are really close to someone, it does not seem to bother much but 
yes, if they are close, or their antenna favors you, it can be rough.
There used to be a guy in NJ that ran a dx100 that way...he was fairly 

I always found it worse to have guys running that power with 50% modulation 
At least when I worked them...


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jay Bromley" <jayw5jay at cox.net>
To: "'Brett Gazdzinski'" <b.gaz at comcast.net>; "'Discussion of AM Radio in 
the Amateur Service'" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 7:57 PM
Subject: RE: [AMRadio] AM Broadcast Quality

> HI Brent,
> Ever since becoming a ham in 1972 I've always tried to have the best
> receivers I could afford.  In my case with the guy that had the BW5100 it
> wasn't true.  Also I've been talking to Don since the 1980s (maybe even 
> the
> late 70s?) and I've been around 3.885 for about the same amount of time.
> Nasty, over modulated audio, hummy audio, is no excuse for anyone for long
> periods of time.  I am not talking about putting on an old rig for the 
> first
> time here and getting it sorted out, but some never seem to advance the
> radio art on any of their transmitters.
> The point I was trying to make or I was trying hard to make, Don was his
> usual 30 over S9 plus plus over S9 (many times more like 60 dB over S9 at 
> my
> QTH) and wasn't as wide as the guy closer to me on a BW5100 that was S9
> signal.  The stock BW5100 was trying to be loud believing he could push it
> since it was using stock audio and 100 watts of power.  I don't know how
> many folks told him it sounded great, but he was always wider than Don.
> Could I have gotten on 3.875 and had a QSO, sure I could have, but it 
> would
> been much fun.  Don's transmitter is using broadcast iron, the best
> components he can get, plus he knows how to run all of it.  Not to mention
> he has a great antenna.  I dare say Don's transmitter would also meet any 
> AM
> proof of performance you could throw at it and then some.
> Maybe that is really where this all boils down to, but not sure what you
> would do about the guys that don't care enough to even have a simple 
> monitor
> scope.  They are also the ones with the wattmeter only and rely on
> recordings and such.  Don had it all over the guy as far as fidelity is
> concern, but he wasn't buckshoting all over the place.  Luckily during 
> those
> time we all ended up on the same frequency.
> As for the big boys on 3.875 I am not sure what to say.  I've listen to a
> few there that are cutting off the carrier completely under modulation.
> Again that is no excuse for that sort of thing, but I've also heard some
> guys that are running high power on that frequency that are clean.  Then
> someone comes down to complain they are not because they are using a crap
> receiver.  Over modulating is probably causing more of a problem than
> processing correctly to fill the spectrum in your case IMHO.
> Everyone has an opinion, but IMHO I think everyone no matter the rig,
> running old, new, high power or QRP, tubes, transistors, processed or
> un-processed, should be capable of running clean was the main point I was
> trying to make.  Just because you're are running old gear or low power
> shouldn't give you a pass on cleanliness of  your signal.
> 73 de w5jay/jay..
> -----Original Message-----
> From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
> [mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of Brett Gazdzinski
> Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:06 PM
> To: Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] AM Broadcast Quality
> A wide 100 watt signal is not bad to be next to, and I do not think people
> running old gear should be made to clean it up if they do not want to.
> But someone who is running 1000 watts of carrier and has 10Kc audio on it,
> processed to fill the spectrum, is a different story.
> I have never seen Don wide, and he always sounds great to me.
> I just think its rude to park on 3875 at 9 pm and take from 3860 to 3890
> with a 35 over s9 signal.
> Its great that someone can generate that big and good of a signal, but its
> rude to use it at prime time.
> I do not care what you do with a 100 watt rig, it will not be strong 
> enough
> to trash that much spectrum.
> Brett
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Jay Bromley" <jayw5jay at cox.net>
> To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 10:51 AM
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] AM Broadcast Quality
>>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
>> scanner!
>> 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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