2m SSB history


For me, 2m SSB began with the purchase of a 10W pep Belcom Liner 2, which opened up 2m SSB to the masses. Before then, people used homebrew transverters and HF rigs to get on VHF SSB.

After that I owned the IC202 from ICOM which had a very good VXO but less power (3W pep).  Later, the first digital synthesised rigs appeared and 2m SSB really took off.

In the last 20 years or so, certainly here in the UK, VHF/UHF SSB took a nosedive and what little VHF/UHF activity there is is mainly using FM. Here in the UK there is good SSB activity in contests and in good lifts, but little casual use of the SSB/CW modes, which is a pity. Ranges on SSB can be much greater than FM for similar power levels.

When I first used my Liner 2 I was amazed how far I could reach in flat conditions, even with 10W and a small indoor antenna.

See https://sites.google.com/site/g3xbmqrp3/vuhf/ic202 .

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.

2 Responses to “2m SSB history”

  • Joe Cro N3IBX:

    Hello Roger, Just a “FYI”, I have a Belcom Liner 2 called a KLM “Echo Two” here in the US, and it is still in excellent operating condition. KLM marketed their “Echo 70” for 432 and 435 SSB which is almost identical to the Liner 2, but for 70CM. Both rigs use that infamous “CRYSTALPLEXER” to achieve frequency agility, and are a bit persnickety to properly tune. Remember the Clegg “FM27B” for 2M? It was the same basic scheme.
    Two meter sideband activity has been waning here in the US, but one can still make a contact or two within their grid square if you are lucky enough. It was very different twenty years ago when it seemed like there were more people using the mode during periods of non contest activity. Ditto with Six meters.
    I run my Liner 2 (10W) into a Cushcraft four element yagi at about 35′ or so. My contacts are marginal with that power level since I don’t have a good antenna or the height it should be mounted at.
    Very best regards and thank you for mentioning the venerable Liner Two/Echo Two as they were a bit challenging but fun rigs to operate. They got a lot of people into two meter sideband and offered an alternative to using only FM on the band.
    73 de Joe Cro N3IBX FN20nh

  • KC4YLV Matt:

    Nice notes! I am trying as hard as I can to promote VHF+ weak signal here in the Denver area. About to start building very basic 3-element yagis and giving them away. Many people are picking up the Icom 706 / Yaesu 857 style radios, and they’re often but a horizontal antenna away from playing!

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