VHF AM and the RSGB

Recently, I wrote to the “Last Words” column in Radcom. I very much doubt my letter will be published. The main thrust of the letter is the (very negative) attitude of the RSGB to the AM mode.

My letter (as sent) is reproduced here. I’d be interested to hear your views.

At the present time G6ALB is experimenting with very low cost 70cms AM modules as the heart of a possible short range (3km) voice transceiver. We have had some success already.

“Thank you for publishing the latest Band Plans in the February 2015 RadCom. Although because of my poor voice (stroke) I tend to use digital techniques, I still enjoy the occasional outing using AM. Like many, I have worked transatlantic AMers on 29-29.1MHz with real QRP and simple antennas.

Yet again, one could be forgiven for thinking AM, especially 28MHz and up, is a dirty word at the RSGB.  AM gets no mention on 28MHz and 50MHz and gets a (begrudging?) comment as a footnote only in the 144MHz Band Plan when other modes get “centres of activity” mentions. For the avoidance of any doubt, AM is alive and well in the 29-29.1MHz sub-band. AM on the 144MHz (2m) band can be found on and around 144.550MHz. There has been AM on 29-29.1MHz for years and years and years! Yes, this is the all-mode section, but why not say this is the 28MHz (10m) AM sub-band? Also, why are 144MHz AM users asked to “consider adjacent channel activity”? AM should easily fit in 6kHz!!

Sorry, yet again, AM is being treated as a dirty and outdated mode. May I remind readers that ex-PMR AM rigs ripe for use on VHF can be picked up for virtually nothing and that there is room for AM on all bands from 28MHz upwards. AM has its enthusiasts on other bands too, but yet again the RSGB seems hell bent on killing off this mode. Why?

Roger Lapthorn G3XBM”

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

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