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Advice on AM roundtables and such

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by W7UUU, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Now that I have finally resolved my horrid noise problems since being in the new QTH... for the first time ever I can actually enjoy tuning in to all the various AM roundtables on 75 meters (40 as well, but 75 around here seems the hot spot). AMAZING audio from some of those stations! It's just amazing to finally have zero noise on 75/80 and 40m.

    Before winter is done, I hope to have my Globe Scout 680 on the air on AM (it's on CW now on a regular basis) with the HQ-180 on receive.

    So what is protocol for joining the AM roundtable discussions? It is always the same group of guys talking (and it sounds REALLY good!) in each one I tune in to... are such groups typically open to a "break"? I've not heard that happen. Not talking "traffic nets" or "check-in nets" but just AM yak session roundtables.

    I feel kinda silly asking - having been on the air for 43 years - but I've never done HF AM (other than my first-ever 40m AM QSO with friend Bryan @WA7PRC on my DX-60b a year or two ago). I really don't know what the protocol is for newcomers. Seems it would be fun to join one of the regular late afternoon groups.

    WA3VJB, K6LPM and AE1N like this.
  2. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The best way to get started if you don’t know anyone in the group is to ask how you sound. If the ops are true AMers they’ll be happy to oblige and offer suggestions.

    Converse with others as if you’re all hanging out together in person (not just on the air). No radio jargon, no “we” when you me “I”, no “destinated at my home QTH where I live”, no roger this or roger that, or anything else or “QSL”. AMers know you’re done transmitting because your carrier drops, so “over” is redundant. “Fine Business” is used only in jest.

    Be yourself, but ID every 10 minutes.

    AM is to be equally enjoyed as a participant and as a listener. Most of all, though, always assist newcomers to the mode in setting up their rigs for best performance.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    WD4IGX, K6LPM, AC0OB and 2 others like this.
  3. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Awesome Dave and the GS 680 is one of the few vintage transmitters that used Heising Modulation. Great rig.

    In order to get a decent signal-to-noise ratio in the AM mode you may need to increase your final AM carrier power to at least 120 Watts with an amp. I have to do this with all of my Screen Grid modulated rigs by putting about 20 Watts into my Amp. Of course, how much input power depends on the robustness of the amp.

    Welcome OM.

    W7UUU likes this.
  4. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    You CAN call CQ, or just jump in.
    It might not be a good idea to jump into a large group, round tables can get out of control if there are loads of people.
    Its a friendly mode though, and its hard to go wrong.
    K6LPM and W7UUU like this.
  5. AG5CK

    AG5CK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The people in my area usually pause for a second before they transmit. Aka "drag their feet." At that point you would ID and be put in the rotation.

    The local group sticks to a strict round table format where everyone talks in order even when the group gets large. For that reason I usually go call CQ somewhere else if there are more than a couple of people there already.

    Since you have to ID every 10 minutes and it might be longer than that before you get to talk again it's customary to ID at the end of each transmission. Some ID at the beginning and end.

    The most important thing is to have fun using Advanced Modulation. :)
    K6LPM and W7UUU like this.
  6. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Generally, and by no means the ONLY way of having an AM conversation:

    The operator on the other end (K5XYZ) will have some comments and then hand it over to you by saying: "This is K5XYZ with W7UUU, or simply say "K5XYZ - W7UUU," and then drop his carrier. One then may respond: "K5XYZ, W7UUU back with you," or something similar.

    This at least lets other's know to whom you are speaking and you are the one responding to K5XYZ.

    In giving out a CQ on AM, many of us will say, "Hello CQ, CQ, CQ AM Phone, this is Kilo-Five-Xray-Yankee - Zulu calling CQ, K5XYZ is standing by."

    This will alert others that you are in the AM mode and if they would like to respond they also need to be in that mode.

    Another way of calling CQ is: "Hello CQ, CQ, CQ AM Phone, this is Whiskey-Seven- Uniform - Uniform - Uniform calling CQ. W7TripleU in Washington State is calling CQ and standing by."

    Just be yourself and have fun, exchange rig info, etc.

    Just my preference, but I try to avoid a round table with more than three participants in the corral because it can become unwieldy. :)

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    W7UUU likes this.
  7. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is apparently a 20 minute minimum TX time from what I have heard listening in....
  8. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    That explains why early boat anchors had a “Plate On” switch prior to the advent of PTT.
    AC0OB likes this.
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the nuance - I fully realized the AM crowd does things "just a little differently"

    For now, I'm having a lot of fun in the mornings just listening to the AM nets. Same with later afternoons - they really do seem to go away once the sun goes down. Never noticed that before.

    Should be able to be in transmit mode in the next week or so - lots of other "life priorities" and work stuff - but will get my D-104 or other mic wired to the Globe Scout 680 soon and see what happens.

    Thanks for all the good info

    KC8VWM, K6LPM and N1BCG like this.
  10. K4KYV

    K4KYV Premium Subscriber Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    It depends on the operating style of the stations involved. 'Over' is unnecessary when fast break-in is used and/or everyone is making short transmissions. In roundtable QSOs where transmissions tend to be longer, or in 'old buzzard' style one-on-one QSOs, the custom is to ID at the beginning and end of each transmission; no 'over' is needed. But unless transmissions are kept short or fast-break is used, it can be confusing when a station making a lengthy transmission abruptly drops the carrier without warning, no ID, no 'over' nor 'go ahead'. Others in the QSO can't always tell if you ended your transmission, propagation changed or you had a power failure or transmitter crap-out. Don't expect AM operating practices to be identical to those of SSB.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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