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Author Topic: Anyone still into rockin' it in AM mode? Would this be a great topic?  (Read 460 times)

Offline ThaDood

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COOL!!!! Boomer told me about the Amateur Radio board. Great idea!!!!! (THANKS BOOMER!!!!) Whelp, the SSTV, CW, FT8, and other digital modes are neat, and will help keep this hobby expanding and going. However, how much interest is there in amateur radio AM mode? For the listeners, it can be an easy AM only SW portable that someone had gotten for $10.00 to hear HAM's on 160M, 75/80M, and 40M. (And even I have received a couple QSL requests from such listeners whom heard my 20W carrier AM ops on 3880 / 3885kHz. That's a lot of fun, and in my mind, easier catches, but what about the other bands in AM mode, 20M, 17M, 12M, 15M, 10M, 6M, and even 2M? Yeah, most cheap and modest priced SW receivers won't go past 30MHz, but there are some nice scanners that can RX from 25MHz to the GHz regions in both FM and AM modes. So, 6M and 2M can be had by some of these scanning DX'ers. Yeah, 20M, on up, sucks now with us being in the gully of the sunspot cycles, but when these high bands do pick up, my 20W carrier, or less, is all I need to make some nice AM DX contacts. Heck, with Sporadic "E" season coming this May 2019, 10M and 6M will come alive again. And, I've had several QSO's with 6M AM'ers running only 5W. But, not just on where AM can be had in the bands. We can also discuss various gear, tube, riceboxes, mics, audio processing, filters, RX DSP help and other noise reductions, antennas, etc. Even discuss AM techniques to MAX OUT what can be done on the very basic gear in RX and TX. (Like I try too, since I'm damned cheap.) Any thoughts???
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Offline IZS4

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I was thinking about AM operation the other day. I know there are frequencies listed has AM call frequencies. I have never used my rig in that mode. If someone wants to set up a schedule I would be down to try.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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If I can pick up a variac at the next local hamfest, I may try to fire up the Viking II on 80 or 40 meters. It's been sitting in a closet for about 20 years.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 270 ft west-south-west beverage / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Josh

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The thing about am is you reallllly need power to get out as compared to ssb. That or a reallllly good antenna. I'm loathe to obtain an amp, if everyone worked on their local noise sources, antennas, and/or installed preamps/preselectors that would eliminate the need for hi powa.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline ThaDood

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FREQ's to try, and power? Well, on 160M - 40M, high power is nice to have to get over the multitudes of QRM, especially with lightning crashes becoming more prevalent. However, when 20M on up opens, not much power is required at all. CB's keep proving that on 27MHz 11M. On 75M, QRP can happen. Last year, I've talked to several Pineboard Project 5W stations that did the Bob Heil, K9EID build. And, they were anywhere from S5 to an S9 peak! So, it can be done. On 75M, pretty much anytime 24/7 there could be AM activity from 3870 - 3885kHz. Albeit the best times for barefooters, (Like me at this time.), are early evening, just before sunset, and about an hour after sunrise. Albeit, I had a great QSO with Timtron, WA1HLR, last WED at 4AM EST on 3885kHz. I got back home from work at stupid o'clock, something told me to fire the rig up, I went through my memory channels, and heard Tim calling CQ. We had the FREQ for ourselves for about an hour. Good time for a 40M AM QSO? Try 7290 - 7295kHz during the late mornings, early afternoon, before CRI F's it up for everyone. I have heard late night 40M AM up there, but it's long skip where you are not likely to hear the other stations QSO'ing. 20M??? The status quo seems to be 14.286MHz for AM, but too many SSB on, or around that. Timtron suggested 14.330 - 14.340MHz, and I did that during the AM Rally with success to several stations. 17M, 15M, and 12M? Those might be likly to use as some of us locally are using 10M, as local round table AM chats, with those bands being dead now. But, don't forget that during Sporadic "E" 12M is just as good as 10M, if not better, since no one seems to use it during "E" opens. (Go figure.)   Oh, here's a quick copy & paste of AM chart for USA / Canada:

All Frequencies in MHz
160 Meters: 1.885, 1.900, 1.945, 1.985
75 Meters: 3.825, 3.870 (West Coast), 3.880, 3.885
40 Meters: 7.290, 7.295
20 Meters: 14.286
17 Meters: 18.150
15 Meters: 21.285, 21.425
10 Meters: 29.000-29.200
6 Meters: 50.4 (generally), 50.250 Northern CO
144.4 (Northwest)
2 Meters:
144.425 (Massachusetts)
144.28 (NYC-Long Island)
144.45 (California)

On some weekends, there are still some 6M, 50.400MHz AM round tables, and some of these can be heard pretty far, like +50 miles. During "E" openings, there's quite a few stations sitting on that AM FREQ, most only 20W, and less. For 10M? What I'd wish that they would do for Tech Class is give the whole 10M band to them. Today, 10M seems to be the new HAM Tech gate-way band, and not so much 2M. Why??? Many use 10M export rigs as CB's, but when they get their Tech Class ticket, they can operate 10M 28.000 - 28.500MHz, but need the Generals for 29MHz AM and FM's 29MHz portions. I always thought that to be kind of dumb not to give the Tech's all of 10M, like they did on 6M. Just my $0.02 worth.
From DC to light, I take a huge spectrum bite!

Offline Looking-Glass

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There's a regular group of AM fanatics in Australia and New Zealand who meet on 7.125MHz AM on 40m most days... ;)
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Rizla

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3870 is indeed pretty active out here most weekends, there is at least one net (California based I think).
QTH: Sonoran Desert, AZ. Kenwood TS-820S, FT-891, Tecsun 880, neophyte in a forest of antenna wire.

Offline Josh

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FREQ's to try, and power? Well, on 160M - 40M, high power is nice to have to get over the multitudes of QRM, especially with lightning crashes becoming more prevalent. However, when 20M on up opens, not much power is required at all. CB's keep proving that on 27MHz 11M. On 75M, QRP can happen. Last year, I've talked to several Pineboard Project 5W stations that did the Bob Heil, K9EID build. And, they were anywhere from S5 to an S9 peak! So, it can be done. On 75M, pretty much anytime 24/7 there could be AM activity from 3870 - 3885kHz. Albeit the best times for barefooters, (Like me at this time.), are early evening, just before sunset, and about an hour after sunrise. Albeit, I had a great QSO with Timtron, WA1HLR, last WED at 4AM EST on 3885kHz. I got back home from work at stupid o'clock, something told me to fire the rig up, I went through my memory channels, and heard Tim calling CQ. We had the FREQ for ourselves for about an hour. Good time for a 40M AM QSO? Try 7290 - 7295kHz during the late mornings, early afternoon, before CRI F's it up for everyone. I have heard late night 40M AM up there, but it's long skip where you are not likely to hear the other stations QSO'ing. 20M??? The status quo seems to be 14.286MHz for AM, but too many SSB on, or around that. Timtron suggested 14.330 - 14.340MHz, and I did that during the AM Rally with success to several stations. 17M, 15M, and 12M? Those might be likly to use as some of us locally are using 10M, as local round table AM chats, with those bands being dead now. But, don't forget that during Sporadic "E" 12M is just as good as 10M, if not better, since no one seems to use it during "E" opens. (Go figure.)   Oh, here's a quick copy & paste of AM chart for USA / Canada:

All Frequencies in MHz
160 Meters: 1.885, 1.900, 1.945, 1.985
75 Meters: 3.825, 3.870 (West Coast), 3.880, 3.885
40 Meters: 7.290, 7.295
20 Meters: 14.286
17 Meters: 18.150
15 Meters: 21.285, 21.425
10 Meters: 29.000-29.200
6 Meters: 50.4 (generally), 50.250 Northern CO
144.4 (Northwest)
2 Meters:
144.425 (Massachusetts)
144.28 (NYC-Long Island)
144.45 (California)

On some weekends, there are still some 6M, 50.400MHz AM round tables, and some of these can be heard pretty far, like +50 miles. During "E" openings, there's quite a few stations sitting on that AM FREQ, most only 20W, and less. For 10M? What I'd wish that they would do for Tech Class is give the whole 10M band to them. Today, 10M seems to be the new HAM Tech gate-way band, and not so much 2M. Why??? Many use 10M export rigs as CB's, but when they get their Tech Class ticket, they can operate 10M 28.000 - 28.500MHz, but need the Generals for 29MHz AM and FM's 29MHz portions. I always thought that to be kind of dumb not to give the Tech's all of 10M, like they did on 6M. Just my $0.02 worth.

Something along the lines of am for ragchewing I've oft pondered is to use nfm instead, especially in the summertime when noise is higher. It's legal below 10m by the way as it takes up the same bw as am in practice.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline ThaDood

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I actually heard several stations QSO'ing on 3870AM at the beginning of March and was able to catch several "6" calls over here in WV. Not a bad haul for AM mode. This morning, I checked out the CB Superbowl CH 6 and heard several mudduck stations popping in. I don't know if that was Sporadic "E", or meteor scatter, but neat to hear AM propagation getting that high up in FREQ.
From DC to light, I take a huge spectrum bite!

Offline ThaDood

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Re: Anyone still into rockin' it in AM mode? 20M AM?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2019, 1745 UTC »
I did try to listen in last week on 3885AM, and only the Big Guns could hear each other over the lightning crap, and could not hear anyone else, especially me on barefoot power. But, they were trying to kick around the idea of returning to 20M AM and, in their minds, were considering on what they had to go up there and do that. I've tried some 14.286MHz AM, with some success, but too many SSB'ers using that. I do kind of like Tim's, WA1HLR, idea of using the FREQ's from 14.330MHz - 14.340MHz for AM, and I've QSO'ed with a few stations there as well. What's nice about 20M is that barefoot power and a simple beam can work well, even with crappy 20M conditions. Even point to point, with dead skip openings, 20M can be had over 100 miles. Yeah, 20M is mainly for daytime openings, and now the warm weather is the biggest competition to that, but still a chance to try some AM stuff up there. And, no DX lightning crashes. Albeit, if you do hear that from 20M on up, time to pull the plug.
From DC to light, I take a huge spectrum bite!