AM on 2 meters?

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by KD8UEI, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. KD8UEI

    KD8UEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there any AM activity on 2 meters or 70 cm? I'm just wondering because I may be moving into an apartment where antenna space is limited. I know people do SSB on 2 meters, but I'm interested whether anyone does AM.

  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are still some nostalgia nets in certain areas that use AM on 2-meters. Although the frequency of 144.400 MHz was adopted as the "calling frequency" on 2-meters, APRS operation on 144.390 MHz has made such operation impossible in many locations. As such, 144.350 MHz is used in a number of areas for AM operation.

    I do have several pieces of equipment that I can use on 2-meters including a Heath HW-30 "Twoer", Gonset Communicator I and Communicator IV, and a Heath VHF-1 Seneca plus XC-2 converter for my Heath RX-1 Mohawk. Unfortunately, we are a "bit" too far apart being that I am on the north side of Dallas, Texas!

    Glen, K9STG
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    In my experience, very few and very little.

    SSB, CW and digi modes for weak signal, FM for strong signal have really taken over (mostly a long time ago).

    However there are "pockets" of AM activity here and there -- more so on six meters than on 2m or 70cm -- and it would pay to ask at your local club meetings and such to really find out. For me, 2m SSB replaced AM almost entirely by about 1977, but it started happening well before that and during VHF contests my SSB contact totals surpassed my AM contact totals on both 2m and 70cm in about 1975. I was very active back then and "won" VHF contests at the national level several times (from NJ, where I lived at the time).
    KD8UEI likes this.
  4. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Don't rule out the possibility of Ducting. You may be quite surprised at how 2 meters works with just a few watts.
    Although I have never tried this with AM, I did manage a long haul tropo from Baja California to Alaska with my
    handheld on simplex with 5 watts. The ducting potential along the West coast is phenomenal, but I am sure this
    potential exists anywhere if the conditions are right. Read up on it, quite fascinating.
    If you want to do 2 meter AM, get some of your friends in the area and create a group and ham it up!
    That's what we do here in Tucson, and while the 2 meter thing hasn't happened yet, 6 meters is quite popular.
    Good luck!
    KD8UEI likes this.
  5. KD8UEI

    KD8UEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, guys, for the replies.

    Yeah, 2 meters is one strange band even with FM. Some nights I can really get out with my modest antenna set-up. And some nights there is a far away repeater that apparently uses the same CTCSS tone and frequency as a local repeater and people using that repeater open our repeater. I've had a lot of fun with 2 meters FM.

    The problem with enlisting club members to ham it up with AM on 2 meters is that not all radios support this mode on 2 meters. The Yaesu FT-991 does however. I am seriously considering getting that radio mainly for it's ability to do AM on 2 meters. If there is not much AM activity on 2 meters, I can get away with an Icom IC-7100 which does SSB but not AM on 2 meters. I guess I'm just looking for reasons to get the Yaesu.
    N6YW likes this.
  6. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I like that approach, get all you need for other modes and bands.
    If you ever get into a vintage rig, I suggest the Yaesu FT-101E, then add the matching
    FTV-250 transverter for 2 meters. This will give you multi-mode service with AM,
    producing about 4 watts. You could then use an amp to boost it a bit if needed.
    Great radios. Also, don't overlook the gear made by Gonset or Clegg. They all have
    rightful place in radio history with high praise, especially the Clegg gear!

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