So I’ve been fooling around on 60m band lately on SSB as well as CW and digital modes.Today I decided to see if using AM might strike it lucky for me.
AM is a mode I remember from my youth. All the original imported CB sets were AM at that time and I seem to recall that I enjoyed the sound quality. Somehow it’s more relaxing than FM. Maybe its because you don’t need squelch, I really don’t know. FM has great clarify but AM just has a roundness to it.
Most modern radio sets come with the ability to transmit on AM but there’s an element of setting up, for instance with an old fashioned AM CB radio, you probably don’t set up the carrier and then adjust the microphone gain to achieve the modulation.The good news is that out the box, my TS990s seemed to transmit AM pretty well. I have an additional benefit in that the AM carrier on the TS990s is 50 watts, with voice peaks naturally falling at around 100 watts, perfect for maximum juice on the 60m band which limits our power to 100 watts anyway.
Once of the best methods of testing your signal is by listening to your own transmission via one of the excellent WebSDR receiving stations out there. I chose HackGreenSDR to listen to mine. It even allows you to record your audio and then play it back at your leisure.
Here’s a short AM clip of me calling CQ on AM this morning:
- M0MCX calling CQ on 60m AM 5.317 MHz.
I did a couple of callers including John from Berkshire, G3VHH. Actually we doubled (listening back to the audio) but he called me again at the end of this CQ.
Most callers do actually say that they saw my trace on an SDR somewhere. And to be frank, he was pretty quiet with me on my big full-wave loop. Apparently he was using pretty low power – however by cheating and using the SDR 50 miles up the road from here gave me a better copy for a while until the skip changed and I reverted to headphones.
Soon after, I replied to a CQ call from G4BIM, Peter from Isle of Wight who was astonished to get a reply immediately from me. Were were soon joined by G3YJO, Martin in Guildford. Martin was using an ex-military 52-set which sounded really fine indeed. His QRX page shows his setup(s).
Here’s an audio clip from Martin:
- Martin G3YJO on his 52 Set
All in the name of having fun with RF
73 DE Callum M0MCX