What made you choose AM?

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N6YW, Aug 15, 2019.

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  1. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    November 7, 2014. He was only 70. Gone too soon.

    At first this seems like nonsense....but consider.....

    Human beings just like us have been around for tens of thousands of years - probably more. Predecessor species even longer. They were all people who used tools and fire, had language, etc.

    Yet for all those millennia, people had absolutely NO idea that such a thing as "electricity" existed, let alone its practical application. It was less than 300 years ago that the first understanding of things such as "electric current" and "magnetism" started for human beings. The electric telegraph was developed less than 200 years ago and the first beginnings of Radio less than 150 years ago.

    Imagine if you could go back in time just 350 years, and told people in the British colonies in America that you could converse with people in England as if they were in the same room. You'd either be locked up as a lunatic or executed as a witch. Yet 300 years later, it was accepted as completely normal.

    Who knows what other phenomena are out there which we haven't yet discovered?

    But the carrier conveys none of that. It's all in the sidebands. All the carrier does is mark the place.....which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    ---

    Way back about 1981, I discovered Garrison Keillor and "A Prairie Home Companion" one Saturday evening. If there was ever someone who could write and tell a story, it was GK.

    I then discovered that people fell into two distinct classes: those who LOVED APHC, and those who HATED APHC. Very few in the middle. I think it has to do with patience and attention span of the listener, and whether someone is primarily visual or auditory.

    Yes, we are. Gone but not forgotten.

    Thanks for the link!

    73 de Jim, N2EY
     
    WA3VJB likes this.
  2. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Imagine if the Romans had discovered electricity and then developed radio before the Empire fizzled. We would probably have human colonies on Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn by now, and unimaginable technology would exist. We might have even found intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Or else the human species might have long ago nuked itself to death.

    The one thing that likely prevented this was the Roman numbering system. Imagine trying to work a calculus problem or even a simple algebra problem using Roman Numerals. But their greatest obstacle was their lack of the concept of the number zero. There is a word for "nothing" in Latin, but for some baffling reason, despite their obvious intelligence and cultural development, they never connected this concept to their counting system, so their mathematics were impeded by the fencepost error. This could also be called the coil-winding error, when counting turns for making a coil. This is avoided simply by calling the first fencepost or first wire of the spiral, number zero instead of number one. It took the Arabs to devise a numbering system that accounted for number zero; we still use Arabic numerals for our counting system.
    And 300 years is an infinitesimally small fraction of the amount of time modern humans with the same intelligence as ours have roamed the planet.
     
    N2EY likes this.
  3. W2WDX

    W2WDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK everyone ... Stop disrespecting fictional cartoon characters by comparing them to SSB operation. It's just wrong, racist and prejudicial! Cartoon Lives Matter!
     
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    WDX:

    Help Roger Rabbit save Toon Town from developers who want the property because when the new freeway is built, it will be worth millions!

    Glen, K9STH
     
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe. Nobody really knows. A big part of the problem was that so many things needed to be discovered to make the discovery of radio possible.

    And it may not be possible to have human colonies on other planets until technology is much more advanced than we can imagine now, because of the radiation present outside the Earth's magnetic field.

    I remember a discussion as to whether a technological civilization could go straight to silicon transistors without ever inventing hollow-state devices. The Big Problem was: How could you get the instrumentation that is needed to make the first transistors without hollow-state devices?

    Maybe, but I doubt it.

    I've been to Italy and seen the kind of work the Romans did. The best example IMHO is the Pantheon - a concrete building with a domed roof that has stood for almost 2000 years and is still in use today. (It was converted to a church, which saved it from destruction). All over the Empire you can find incredible works - aqueducts, stadiums, buildings, bridges, etc. - that required great know-how, and mathematics, to build.

    I have seen some alternative but plausible hypotheses about the Romans and other civilizations of antiquity, such as the Egyptians.

    For example:

    - Until relatively recently, the concept of "intellectual property" did not really exist. If someone stole money, livestock, other possessions, The Law would often go after them, but the concept that someone could own an idea or a technique was not taken seriously until a few hundred years ago - and not be everyone. So, to protect themselves, those who knew various technologies often kept them to themselves. Guilds and other organizations were part of this; they realized that their knowledge was their true wealth. Unfortunately, if something happened to them, the knowledge could be lost.

    In Florence Italy, there is the great dome of the cathedral, known as Il Duomo. The dome was started in 1420 and finished in 1436 and is still the largest masonry dome in the world. It was built without falsework to support it while being constructed (there wasn't enough wood in all of Tuscany to build the enormous structure that would be needed) so the builder figured out how to build the dome without it. To this day, no one is sure of just how it was built, just that it has stood for more than 500 years.

    There are many other examples. For all we know, the Romans had a system of numbers used for engineering that they didn't let others see.

    - The Romans, Greeks, and others had slavery, and some say that besides all the other evils of slavery, it works against innovation. Why bother to develop labor-saving machines when you have an enormous supply of slave labor? Note how much more industrialized the North was compared to the South in 1860.

    - For well over a millennia, the work of Aristotle was considered to be the standard of science and truth. Aristotle got a lot of things right but he also made some enormous blunders which held back science for a very very long time.

    - Medieval Christianity destroyed much of the knowledge of the past because it was "pagan". Much of what we know about the ancient Greeks and such we have because Arab scholars preserved it. Who knows what was lost that no one preserved? (The book A Canticle For Leibowitz is not entirely fiction).

    - Some things require a truly unique individual. Isaac Newton, for example - he came up with entire mathematical systems to explain phenomena he observed! Galileo. Faraday, Maxwell, Einstein and many others. Robert Goddard, whose work was largely ignored by Americans, but not by Germans. Alan Turing....and many more. It's easy to say that eventually SOMEONE would have done the same work, but that SOMEONE might not have come along for another 100 years or more.

    - There is an interesting book called Guns Germs and Steel which hypothesizes why different cultures and different civilizations have such different technologies. The book makes the case that there are many factors involved, from the available domestic animals and plants to the climate and the diseases.

    Consider the "ancient" Polynesians. They crossed the largest ocean of the world in great double-hulled sailing canoes (actually catamarans) that were faster than anything else in the world at the time. They discovered and settled practically every island in the Pacific that could support human life. They did it without the use of metal; their ships were literally sewn together. They did not have the compass, nor the chronometer, nor even writing. Most of their exploration was south of the equator, which means they didn't even have a pole star. They navigated by memorizing how the southern sky looks at different times of night and of the year, and how to read the waves, the winds, the flights of birds.

    Very true!
     
  6. AC0OB

    AC0OB Subscriber QRZ Page

    For sure!

    Imagine what my slide rules would look like with Roman Numeral Notation. :eek:

    Imagine trying to do natural logarithms with Roman Numeral Notation! :(

    Thank goodness RMN did not survive! :D


    Pheel
     
  7. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    As far as I know, there is no provision for decimal notation in Roman Numerals, nor even common fractions although they must have had some way to do it when designing buildings, aqueducts and bridges. Imagine if we had adopted a binary system of counting instead of the decimal system, before the advent of computers?

    Actually, counting to base 12 instead of 10, the duodecimal system, would have been superior. We already do that to a certain extent: 12 hours on the clock, 12 months in a year, 12 inches in a foot, and the word "dozen". We use multiples of 12: 360 degrees in a circle, 24 hours in a day. This is why in some ways the English system with inches and feet is superior to the metric system since it's easier to count and divide in your head in the ES than with the metric system.




    More links:


    https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-we-should-switch-to-a-base-12-counting-system-5977095

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duodecimal

     
  8. KL3NO

    KL3NO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great thread, enjoyed the stories!

    Personally I have not used AM a whole lot, but certainly find it an interesting mode. Since getting back into the hobby last year, AM is the only phone mode I've used on 75m. The local AM group here in the PNW are a friendly bunch too, they don't mind what you're using wither it be a boat anchor or a modern rig, there's a bit of everything in use and everyone is welcome - the last time I joined in I was invited to join them on 160m AM too.

    I've not had a 75m transmit capable antenna up over the summer, but it's because of the good experience on AM that I'm putting something back up for 75m NVIS.

    That aside, my experience with AM as a kid (growing up in New Zealand) in the 80s was the MW broadcast band - I had an old car radio in my room at one point and marveled that at night the band was full of stations, but during the day only the local stuff. I discovered shortwave in the late 80s with an old vacuum tube radio we still had kicking around where I found WWVH, HCJB, VOA, and probably dozens more - all I can remember is the SW bands were wall to wall with broadcast stations back then. Got into CB for a bit in the 90s, then 2m/70cm FM/SSB, SSB on VHF and above is kinda neat too in my opinion.

    Getting on HF briefly around 2008/9 I was surprised to find an active group on 80m AM and quite enjoyed using AM initially because it was something new and different to me - what's old is new again right? :) And again here in the PNW with an equally interesting bunch.
     
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  9. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are an old time radio head, AM lets you talk about old gear, tubes, audio, antennas, with people who use, restore or build stuff like that.
    Every kind of receiver and transmitter all they back to the 30's or older.
    I find that sort of thing very interesting.
     
  10. WA4JK

    WA4JK Ham Member QRZ Page

    My introduction to AM came one morning while spinning the dial on my FT-401b. Living in north central Texas I heard the Texoma traders net with the likes of Mike wa5cmi, the ol dog, roger, Otis and many more in discussions covering their different transmitters. Smooth quieting audio with far superior knowledge of design and functionality of current and past built tube type radios than I ever imagined. I was fortunate to be at that space and time in Texas with the Texarkansas group of Ken, Otis, JD, Mike, ol dog, Jerry, and more that long and interesting topics and laughter existed. We could listen and talk to the north east bunch as well and the funny stuff that was done is never done today. We’ve become stiff necked and without humor I since today.
    Before this I was a contester and 5/9 thanks for the contact was all I did on phone. CW was for talking.
    From the early 90’s on I have stayed the course with AM, but now find few roundtables that are not check in from some net and take hours to cycle out with nothing of interest being discussed.
    This I think is due to the band conditions and the sheikh of the AM’ers here in the southeast.
    Bands are dead quite after 7pm void of much AM activity.
    With the demise of the 160m loop from a fallen tree I’ll put up a 160m doublet with its legs clear of any tree hazard and see how the winter goes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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