Back on 10 Meter FM

I have been hearing everyone rave about the improving conditions on the HF bands, especially some great propagation on 10 Meters. Then I came across this posting by G4VXE: The Return of 10M FM. Ah, yes, I do recall having a blast running FM on 29 MHz years ago!

This triggered the thought that the FT-8900 transceiver in my car has 10 Meters in it. Lately, I have been using this quad-band FM rig (10M, 6M, 2M & 70 cm) like a dualband 2M/70cm rig. I almost forgot that it had the other two bands. I plopped a 10 Meter Larsen antenna on the SUV roof and reconfigured the coaxial cables and diplexers to get the right RF to the antenna. Suddenly, I was back on 29.6 MHz FM calling CQ. K8LF (Jerome, mobile in Virginia) came back to my call and we had a nice little QSO.

10M FM is a little bit counter intuitive (some people would say “makes no friggin’ sense at all!”). Here we have a high frequency band which can introduce fading and phase distortion (that destroys FM signals) being combined with our most inefficient modulation format (FM). Why on earth would anyone mess around with this combination?

I think FM is fun on 10 Meters for the same reason it is fun on VHF and UHF. You can be tooling down the highway with no radio noise at all and if the band is open, a signal pops through the squelch. Forget all of the static and Donald Duckness of SSB communication. When the signal is strong, FM is loud and clear.

Its good to have 10 Meters back again!

73, Bob K0NR

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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