History of Single Sideband in Amateur Radio

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

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  1. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    FYI, that link to the CQ archives has some limitations. "Only pages 1 through 8 of each issue can be viewed in the demo version unless you subscribe to the CQ Magazine archives"
    W7UUU and N2EY like this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The SR-9T also transmits on 30 meters. Its receiver is general coverage, too.

    For AC operation, it needs a "12 volt" power supply, but then again the AT-1 needs an external power supply for DC power.

    The AT-1 also needs crystals or an external VFO to transmit. The matching VF-1 VFO cost $19.50 back then IIRC; one could easily spend that much on a handful of crystals if bought new.
    N2SR likes this.
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    One thing that you need to learn about QRZ.com is that topic drift is very common. With only a total of 219 posts, as of 10:52 AM 13 August 2017, your experiences are very limited.

    Once you establish a thread, the thread becomes "public property" and, so long as the "rules of the road" of QRZ.com are not violated, the discussion can alter the topic to go off on all sorts of tangents. Although you desire that discussion cease, that moderators lock the thread, etc., there is no need for such to happen. Others do have an interest in whatever subject the thread has morphed and the discussion can certainly continue along those lines.


    There are also CDROMs of the CQ archive "out there" that have the entire issues present. I have a set that cover the period from 1945, when the magazine "spun off" from the old Radio Magazine, through 2005. Those were copied onto my hard drive so that I can have immediate access. Also, I have the complete set of 73 Magazine CDROMs that are on my hard drive as well.

    Glen, K9STH
    WA3VJB, W2AI and N2EY like this.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why do yo say that? I have found LOTS of good stuff to read in this thread written by people other than you. You wrote some good stuff - but lots of others have contributed lots of other good stuff. There's plenty to see here, and still have time for the pot roast :)

    WA3VJB, N2EY, WR2E and 1 other person like this.
  5. W2AI

    W2AI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is your interpretation; not necessarily that of other participants.

    Did you REALLY expect a middle-aged amateur licensed in 1945 who was an early SSB pioneer to provide you with a rational explanation on the use of upper and lower sideband in a QRZ forum??. Is Even that person , who at the very least; if still alive, would be in their
    late 90s! Your only source of information on early SSB use would be those archived CQ Magazines not from a live person.

    Not to worry. K9STH and N2EY always come through with great commentary on those old,fun days of amateur radio.

    I prefer chicken myself--not really into red meats.
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  6. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    See how well Google works?

    And when was that?

    By using LSB on such a frequency, AM and DSB users couldn't be on frequency legally.

    What band was W6DEI on? The sources I have found say 20 meters. Triple conversion would not be needed to get to 75 meters.

    The use of USB on 20 could be because of this:

    The USA 'phone subband on 20 was and still is narrower than that allowed to most "DX" countries. So, DX operation on 20 phone was often "split", with the US amateur in the US phone subband and the DX down below the low end.

    And of course American hams would crowd the low end of the 'phone subband - which is best done running....USB.

    (The most likely explanation is the one I posted way back at the start of these threads - that some early SSB rigs generated SSB on 5 MHz and then heterodyned it to 75 or 20 using a 9 MHz VFO or crystal. That arrangement inverts the sideband on 75 but not 20).

    No chaos and no degeneration. Just thread drift. As @K9STH, that's normal for the Zed. The person who starts a thread does not own it nor control it.

    There was very little amateur radio activity in 1945 because, for most of it, WW2 was still going on. Even after the war ended, it took soldier-hams a while to get back home, and those at home needed time to get back on the air. Plus the FCC didn't immediately reopen Amateur Radio after V-J Day.

    Do a little math.....

    A ham who was, say, 25 in 1945 was born in 1920. That ham would be 96 or 97 today, if still alive.

    Such as?

    There's nothing wrong with continuing the discussion.

    btw....for those interested in radio history (not just amateur radio, but all radio) check this out:


    Unfortunately, R9 isn't there.
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  7. W2AI

    W2AI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My dad is a WWII veteran, still alive at age 96; served in Patton's 3rd Army in the European Theater. Has ALL his senses and still able to drive a car. But he wasn't a ham.
    N2EY likes this.
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    WOW! That's GREAT!

    My dad was in the 7th Air Force. 13 missions in a B-24 against Japan; then the war ended. He would be 94 today, but he's long gone.

    As you mentioned previously - anyone who was a reasonably-active ham in their 20s or 30s in the late 1940s would be in their mid-late 90s or older today.

    And....just because someone was a ham at a given time does not mean they know all the history. Someone who was a CW operator might have little interest or knowledge of what was going on in the 'phone bands. Someone who was primarily interested in VHF might not know much about what was happening on HF.

    Also - very important! - before Feb 1953, in the USA, only Class A/Advanced and Extra hams could operate 'phone on 75 and 20. In those days, 40 was all CW and 15 wasn't a ham band in the USA.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    N2SR and W2AI like this.
  9. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is.
    I found it in the Lagercrantz (SM5SV) 1951 catalog for SEK 650, and the 500 W modulation transformer alone was SEK 450.
    A lot of money, but when you ran a successful printing business as SM5RM did, you could probably afford it.

    Regarding the output frequency and mixing architechture of the W6DEI exciter, it was stated in a block diagram shown in the
    video that it used triple conversion from 10 kHz via 190 kHz up to 3990 kHz LSB output. If

    It clearly shows the heritage from the FDM multiplex telephony carried through, and it is probably no coincidence that W6DEI was a Bell System employee at the time. To have a reasonable image suppression, it is necessary to keep the ratio between the IF and RF to about 1:10 or 1:20 at the most.


    It appears that the Continental SSB pioneers almost invariably used phasing techniques which made sideband selection much easier, but the first G2NX design used a filter architecture was clearly patterned after W6DEI.

    A later design used cascaded 5 MHz single-crystal filters. Both with LSB outputs.

    OZ7T, SM7HZ and SM5QV used USB on 80 m for their first experiments in 1946/47,
    but they may very well have switched to LSB if required to work G2NX or someone else.

    The OZ7T and SM7HZ exciters used a quite unorthodox way of generating DSB, by ordinary low-level AM without any suppression of the carriers, but the final carrier suppression was taken care of by outphasing the AM carrier at the composite signal outputs.

    DX operations using SSB were quite infrequent up to the mid-50's, and Jim's explanation for USB seems very plausible:

    Finally it is somewhat sad that I did meet with both Mike Villard W6QYT, SM7HZ and OZ7T during the 80's, and had I known that this would become such a heated question, I would have asked them how this convention came about. Now it is too late...

  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    The number of even Korean War veterans is decreasing at a rapid rate let alone those from World War II. The only close relative that I have is my wife's (she is the "baby" of the family by quite a number of years) eldest sister's husband. He just turned 90 a couple of weeks ago. Jake was in the Coast Guard serving on a destroyer escorting ships in the North Atlantic. The entire crew, of the destroyer, were Coast Guard members.

    There might be a very few amateur radio operators who were in their early teenage years in the period just after World War II who could have experimented with SSSC. In the "early days", the mode was called single sideband suppressed carrier and not the shortened SSB that we use today.


    The Collins 70E-8A PTO sold for $95.50 in 1948. It definitely was not cheap here in the United States. I have no idea as to how much it would have been in Sweden!

    By the way, speaking of Collins equipment, right now I have, on the workbench, a KWM-1 with matching power supply and station control unit, that one of my major clients has sold to someone in Sweden. I have no idea as to just who the buyer is.

    Glen, K9STH
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017

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