[AMRadio] Is AM a special case, or is it "just another mode"?

K5MYJ macklinbob at gmail.com
Wed Jul 31 17:28:00 EDT 2013

I can't read the editorial because I am not a member of the ARRL!

Is the ARRL trying to eliminate AM as an operating mode again?

There is no problem with AM here on the Left Coast.

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: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:08 PM
Subject: [AMRadio] Is AM a special case, or is it "just another mode"?

>A debate has flared up in some ham radio discussion circles, triggered by a
> QST editorial, whether AM should be regarded as a "legacy" or 
> "speciality"
> mode, or if it's "just another mode", nothing more than one more button to
> push on a transceiver. If it's the latter, then what is the purpose of 
> these
> AM websites and mailing  lists in the first place? Why not just stay with
> e-Ham and QRZ.com?  This discussion has not been heard on the air and
> remains largely amongst what I like to call "cyber hams" whose presence is
> visible on the internet, but whom you rarely if ever hear on the radio.
> My take on the issue is that we can't afford to be "special" or
> "exceptional" in the sense that AM privileges are granted only in a
> footnote, permitting the mode to exist as an "exception" to the general
> rules, as was proposed under the now-defunct ARRL bandwidth petition, and
> presently listed in the non-binding IARU Band Plans. Were that the case, 
> AM
> could easily be eliminated altogether with the stroke of a pen or  the 
> click
> of a mouse, by simply erasing the footnote. AM privileges must remain 
> firmly
> embedded in the FCC rules as one of the mainstream modes of operation. But
> to those of us who operate AM, there is more to the mode than just another
> button to push on a radio. The present day AM community includes probably
> one of the  last remaining vestiges of what has existed for close to a
> century as genuine amateur radio. Amateur radio is more than just
> "communications"  that we could just as easily carry out using a cell 
> phone.
> Equally disconcerting is the premise that "we must adapt to the 21st
> century", a buzz-word I see of late whenever a topic like bandwidth
> limitation, or plastic radios/appliance operation vs. 
> home-building/vintage
> AM comes up for discussion. In reality, adapting to the 21st century is a
> strong argument AGAINST bandwidth limitation, since congestion on HF has
> clearly decreased over the past 15 years or so, to the point that it's
> largely a non-issue to-day, despite the inflated numbers of licensees in 
> the
> FCC data base. As to-day's high school kid would put it, "that bandwidth
> obsession is SOooo twentieth century".
> The QST editorial can be viewed at
> http://www.arrl.org/files/file/QST/This%20Month%20in%20QST/September%202013/
> ItSeemsToUs.pdf  The trigger mechanism was the reference to the infamous
> bandwidth Docket 20777, which as originally proposed would have eliminated
> AM on all amateur frequencies below 28.5 mc/s.
> Don k4kyv
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