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History of Single Sideband in Amateur Radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AF4RK, Aug 10, 2017.

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  1. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page;wap2

    Tony Vitale W2EWL who lived in Denille NJ wrote an article in CQ in the early1950's entitled "Cheap and Easy Sideband". It was a 9 Mhz USB phasing generator tweaked for optimum suppression on LSB and an ARC-5 used as a 5 Mhz VFO. It summed the 9 Mhz USB signal and 5 Mhz VFO to work on 20 meters.
    Sum mixing does not invert the USB signal. It used difference mixing to work on 75 Meters, causing the USB signal to be inverted to LSB. At this time commercial SSB rigs were virtually non existent. Shortly after this article was published, Wes Schaum & Joe Batchelor formed Central Electronics and utilized a similar design to make the 10A, 10B, & 20A. The few hams using "Ducktalk" had only the capability of USB on 20 meters and LSB on 75 meters. Thus the convention was set. When other rigs like the 10A, 10B, & 20A came along, they followed the precedent that had been set by the "Cheap and Easy Sideband" article by Tony Vitale. I met Tony in 1975 when I worked for Cessna. Tony retired in the late '70's and died in the mid 80's.

    Also, for reference, W1LSB is an authority on this subject (Ham Nation 81 on youtube) and KG7TR as a website with references to all of the articles mentioned above.

    If you were there, or if you own and operate this vintage equipment, please let us know your thoughts and perhaps explain what is clearly a fact. We do use LSB on 75 and USB on 20.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  2. W4KJG

    W4KJG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    KY5U likes this.
  3. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is history . This is not for your thoughtless comments based on the conviction that you are the supreme authority on electronics, usually without the benefit of post-graduate study.
    I am sincerely interested in the truth and the pursuit of wisdom through the study of history. I am not interested in your ego. I am a student of wisdom and an enemy of pride. I
    If you have curriculum vitae (resume for the unwashed), please post with it your comments. My field is computer science (BS) and I make no pretense of being an electronics "expert" although I was employed for 20 years as a Pro Audio Sound Engineer (Rock 'n Roll) before going back to college to study computer programming when Personal Computers put the Recording Studios out of business. I have an extra class license and I found the exam to be trivial compared to the
    I don't think that post contains anything relevant to this subject. It has been hijacked by the thoughtless and self-serving comments of a few egomaniacs, who will be here shortly. I have new information that is based on historical records that will correct misimpressions that were made in the previous post.

    KA4DPO likes this.
  4. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    KA4DPO likes this.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    It was a fairly long time before the ARRL actually recognized the trend to use SSB in the Amateur Radio Service.

    However, there were a few articles, in other magazines, before World War II. Then, with CQ Magazine "spinning off" from the old Radio Magazine, in late 1945, there were quite a number of articles on SSSC (single sideband suppressed carrier) operation which, eventually, became called SSB. Those articles included a fair number of construction articles showing how to build exciters.

    If one has the old CQ Magazines, or has the CDROM set with those magazines, from 1945 until, at least, the mid 1950s, there are a pretty good number of articles on building SSB exciters.

    What W2EWL did was to take one of the ARC-5 / SCR-274N transmitters, the T-20 / BC-457, that covers 4.0 MHz to 5.3 MHz, or the T-21 / BC-458, that covers 5.3 MHz to 7.0 MHz, and were not useful for amateur radio operation without some modification, and made a very useful SSB exciter using them as the basis.

    Eldico had a complete SSB transmitter on the market in 1950 and several other models in the 1950 through 1955 period. Hallicrafters did not have an SSB exciter until 1954 with the HT-30 and Collins with the KWS-1 in 1955. Johnson had the Pacemaker in 1956 and Heath had the SB-10 adapter in 1958. Lakeshore had the "Phasemaster Junior" in late 1953. Elenco had 2-different SSB exciters out in late 1953. There were probably a few more SSB transmitters commercially available in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I remember seeing advertisements in CQ Magazine published during that period. However, I just do not have the time to go through every issue looking for those advertisements! I do have the collection on CDROMs that I copied to my computer for easy reference.

    Glen, K9STH
  6. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for a very informative post. I had hoped to get some comments that were informative before the "experts" graced us with their wisdom.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    In high school, I started to build the W2EWL exciter. However, I did not get that far! I did build the DSB exciter that was in Popular Electronics June 1962 issue the summer before I went off to college. That was my first "side-band" transmitter.

    My first SSB unit was a used Heath SB-10 that I modified my Heath MT-1 Cheyenne transmitter for use with the unit. This was in 1966. That combination worked very well!

    Glen, K9STH
  8. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Isn't the answer available on Google? Forums are opinion based, facts are in the eye of the beholder.
    K3EY likes this.
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    Just like a lot of other things, all of the information on the Internet is not, necessarily, accurate! I have found quite a number of articles, on the history of amateur radio, that are just not correct! Yes, the majority of information is accurate. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of information that is not accurate!

    Especially newcomers, who have little experience in amateur radio, often cannot tell the difference between what is correct and what is not correct. Then, throw in personal opinions and things get muddied even more!

    Glen, K9STH
    N2EY and W4IOA like this.
  10. K1FBI

    K1FBI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was hoping this died in the other thread.
    KY5U, K3ALE, W4IOA and 2 others like this.

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