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I would like to try AM...

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KB4MNG, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    What is the best way to go. I don't want to spend a bunch at first. Want to give it a try. Any suggestions?
    I have a sb 301 and 401, will they work?

  2. WB1EAD

    WB1EAD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Brian..I commend you on wanting to give the AM mode a try..however the SB401 WILL NOT transmit AM..the SB301 rcvr will do an adequate job on AM for recieve..but without MAJOR mods/redo on ur transmitter..ur outta luk on half that duo..I did look over ur QRZ site and unless I'm missing sumptin none of the rigs shown/mentioned are able to do AM as far as transmit goes..I guess I answered ur Heathkit do-ability question but whether I should be the one to steer you into what you seek is tuff to pin down..if you do want to "explore" AM then my suggestion is to search for an older type of transmitter such as Heaths DX-60/DX-40..perhaps a Johnson Ranger/Valiant/Viking.or maybe a transmitter by Hallicrafter like an HT-37 and so see you may or may not want to go that route and might be satisfied by an older more modern trcvr like an FT-101 series and so other words way too many choices without really knowing how you want to get into AM and what ur wallet/patience/time can tolerate....if you do have other rigs in mind..then tell us and then we can chime in with likes/dislikes and so forth..but agn congrats on thinking towards AM and keep us in mind if you do get on air on that mode.......when it comes to AM I'm always willing to lend a hand....73 de DAVE

    PS: our local "gang" meet almost every day on 29.070 at 11:00am est..and FOR SURE it's on AM!!!
  3. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    Get yourself an old Radio Handbook, and lots of time..! Parts can be had cheap if you have enough time.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    SB-401 = no AM at all, it was never designed for that. With major modifications it might be possible, but the stock design doesn't come close.

    SB-301 = can receive AM but wasn't really designed for it either.

    Easier to buy a cheap old AM rig from the 50s and just go with it. All the new DSP rigs (Japanese or American) work well on AM, as the modulation is all done by DSP so the difference between modes is just lines of code. However, the typical 100W rig will only run 25W of AM power. The old plate modulated boat anchors of the 50s run "full power" on AM, so even an old Ranger, rated 65W of power, will do that on both CW and AM equally well. There is a difference.

    But anything that gets you on can be fun! At any power level. The "big guns" mostly have HUGE antenna systems and will hear you almost regardless what you use. The real work is done by the antennas.
  5. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here are some starting points....
    ARRL AM information page.

    Note that many modern transceivers are AM capable and have quite good signal quality. As with other parts of ham radio AM has areas of special interest to different hams including, home brew, HiFi Audio, Class E (Pulse Width Modulation), Boat Anchors, QRP. AM'ers as a group tend to appreciate the art of conversation, eschewing the quick contact, and welcome anyone with a genuine interest in AM regardless of the type of rig operated.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  6. KK4CWA

    KK4CWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    willing to trade my like new working dx60/hg10vfo and hr10 rx with spare tubes all in working order for your sb301/401 as mine was stolen by a shop going out of business but was stilll taking in work and then disappeared.

    I have been looking for one for awhile.

    email me at
  7. NA7U

    NA7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, there are two SB301s and one SB401 on eBay right now.
  8. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have operated AM with my Icom 7000 and my FT-950. With the help of the guys I talked to I adjusted the mic gain and got both radios sounding pretty good on AM. I also had an AL-80A in line and drove the amp with 20 watts from the rigs. Worked for me.

    Receive might not be quite as good as it would be on an older tube receiver. But you can make it work.
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