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The AM Ghetto




 
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k4kyv
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Don
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« on: March 03, 2007, 01:28:19 AM »

I was told by someone over the air that using the term "AM Ghetto" to describe 3870-3890 kc/s might be taken as inappropriate and offensive.

I looked up the word in a dictionary, and here is the definition:

Originally an Italian word describing the area in Venice where Jews were forced to live.

1. Jewish quarter of a city; (by extension) place where a minority finds itself aggregated and isolated from the  rest of the population.

2. Social group isolated amongst themselves.

Doesn't that describe the congested "AM Window" frequencies to a tee?

The person who finds the term offensive obviously does not know the meaning of the word.  The first time I ever heard it was back in the 50's when I was in High School, used to describe the Jewish quarter in cities under German occupation during WW2.  It was not until the 60's that I ever heard it used to describe neighbourhoods in major US cities.

Evidently, the term risks not being politically correct to-day.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 02:34:03 AM »

Hi Don,

I see no reason whatsoever why the term "ghetto" should be considered politically incorrect to use in any context or forum. Please continue to use it vis-a-vis "the AM ghetto".

As you correctly pointed out, the term originally (back in the Middle Ages) described a city location where people of the Jewish faith were forced to live due to their religious afiliation. Much later, of course, the term was adopted to describe an inner-city location where people lived, but by their own choice. It does not directly connote any specific racial or ethnic origin in terms of who lives there, but it is obvious that the inner-city ghetto of the 21st century is frequently inhabited by minority groups, etc. Further, the term should not in any way imply anything directly or indirectly derogatory, demeaning, or offensive to the inhabitants of the ghetto.

I simply fail to see how anyone can construe this term as being offensive for any reason. I can see how it can be considered as an unpleasant place to live, but to my rationale, that is the extent of it.

If the term "ghetto" is now considered politically incorrect, we have a real problem in this country.

73,

Bruce
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Art
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 06:56:19 AM »

The following link provides an interesting view of "PC" and its history. One which I believe to be quite accurate. 'course, it isn't PC, LOL

http://www.academia.org/lectures/lind1.html



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W3SLK
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 08:49:13 AM »



".....On a cold and gray Chicago morn' another little baby child is born in the Ghet-toe, ([soto voce]in the ghetto), and his moma cries...."
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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 01:19:30 PM »

Please don't get me wrong -- I am not suggesting that AM operators altogether abandon the frequencies between 3870 and 3890.  It is essential that we maintain AM operation in the General class segment, especially now that newcomers are expected to show up from the ranks of the no-coders.  It would be a very dangerous thing for AM operation to move exclusively out of bounds to the expected influx of new General class operators who will appear on the bands whether we like it or not.  But I think more, regular, AM presence should be established in the expanded bands before SSB "groups" begin to claim "ownership" of all the available frequencies in the new phone portions.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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Herb K2VH
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2007, 01:43:36 PM »

Don,

You quoted: "(by extension) place where a minority finds itself aggregated and isolated from the  rest of the population."

That's what I have called the "back of the bus" for AMers.  The emphasis here is on the phrase, "where a minority finds itself."  In other words, the minority does not go there voluntarily.  The only thing politically incorrect about either of these phenomena is that they exist at all.  If AMers wish to place themselves somewhere in these frequency ranges (3870-90), that's one thing.  But when we find ourselves told by slop bucketeers to "go back where you belong," (as I have been told on several occasions) that area of the band becomes a ghetto, or the back of the bus.  It's only a ghetto when we're forced to be there.  Otherwise, it's a community.  Congress ended legal forced segregation in this country in 1964, so that the act of being aggregated and isolated from the rest of the population by the majority is not only politically incorrect, it is illegal.   Angry

K2VHerb
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K2VHerb
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2007, 04:24:12 PM »

For at least five years and maybe longer I was convinced it was time to abandon the "AM Window" on 75 meters as a broken disservice to those who try to inhabit it.

For most of the time, outsiders don't respect it, and those inside are crowded and discontented.

For some of the time it continues to be one of the many vacant spots on the dial to have an AM QSO.

Past that, it no longer is a habit.

I now fully subscribe to the ARRL's suggestion that it is only a calling frequency, where you can move elsewhere after hooking up., Or bypass the first step entirely and just tun around.

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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2007, 04:37:56 PM »

Call it the AM Central Hub.
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Steve - WB3HUZ
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2007, 10:33:03 PM »

If you are running a broadcast rig in the amateur bands, you've already moved beyond stock. I don't see how using a VFO is any more "non-stock." When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

It's probably worthwhile to keep an AM presence in the General segment. But many of us purposely upgraded to Advanced or extra just so we could get on 3885 back when it was in the Advanced portion of the band. Bet the ARRL did have that in mind when they came up with incentive licensing! Grin
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 08:53:33 AM »

Bet the ARRL did have that in mind when they came up with incentive licensing!

Did not !   Did not !!!
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2007, 08:56:51 AM »

and this group just moved down 5kc. That's life in the ghetto!   

Really?  A   whole   5 Kc ?  Wow, that's really decent of them.

Everyone must have a 75A4 or something else awful and narrow.

This should be required reading for anyone who intends to use a VFO.

I firmly believe that in the majority of the on air cases where the signal strength of stations are within a 10 dB range, a 5 kHz frequency spacing between two stations or QSOs is not enough. A more acceptable minimum spacing appears to be around 7 kHz.

Howcome? Read on.

http://www.amwindow.org/tech/htm/ambw.html



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k4kyv
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2007, 10:28:43 AM »

But many of us purposely upgraded to Advanced or extra just so we could get on 3885 back when it was in the Advanced portion of the band. Bet the ARRL did have that in mind when they came up with incentive licensing!

Incentive licensing pre-dates the 3885 kc/s "AM Window."  Back then, AM was commonly heard throughout 3800-3900, but by that time the majority of the activity was SSB. 

I spent some time in California in the latter part of 1965.  Despite the fact that there was still ample AM operation in eastern USA, on the west coast AM had practically disappeared.  The couple of times I had the opportunity to listen on 75m, you would have been lucky to hear one AM signal.

I was living outside the country in 1968, but came back to TN for a visit.  The first step of Incentive Licensing had just gone into effect.  There was still enough activity left on AM that it was easy to make an AM QSO about any time, day or night, although by then AM was definitely a small minority.

In 1970, I returned to the States and got back on the air.  In that slightly over one year period following Incentive Licensing, AM had all but disappeared.  If anything, Incentive Licensing appeared to be the death knell for AM as well as homebrewing.

I spent some more time overseas, and had pretty much figured that AM was dead once and for all.

Then in 1973 or 74 I moved to the Boston area.  A few months later I picked up an old HRO and started to monitor shortwave.  I was surprised to hear some 75m AM activity, all from the northeast USA, and almost all on 3885. 

That's what got me interested in ham radio once again.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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Herb K2VH
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2007, 10:42:19 AM »

This morning at about 7:30 I joined in with the DX-60 pre-net on 3.880.  There was another qso of east coasters on 3.885.  I had no trouble reading the DX-60 boys, but according to the "5KHz isn't enough" philosophy, I shouldn't have joined with the 3.880 group.  Perhaps if we did run our receivers in a narrower position, and didn't always have to hear Hi-Fi (= East Coast) audio, we wouldn't have these kinds of problems.  My receiver was in the 4KHz selectivity position.  No problem.  And not "awful and narrow."  Just good selectivity, with no QRM.

vH
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K2VHerb
First licensed in 1954 as KN2JVM  
On AM since 1955;on SSB since 1963

"Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."
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The Slab Bacon
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2007, 12:48:36 PM »

AM ghetto, Hmmmm..................   Sometime a good while ago, I was duely appointed : "mayor of the AM ghetto" By a long standing member of our illustrius AM community, Bob W2ZM !! I was working at the bench around 2:00am when He put out a cq on 3885. Since I had had a transmitter idling on standby for hours, I reached over and hit the ptt and said howdy.. there had been no activity for hours.

Bob promptly said : "Frank, you have got to be the mayor of the AM ghetto, Any time I put out a cq, you are always there!!"  We both laughed and had a nice relaxed 1 on 1 qso that lasted a good hour or so.

The AM ghetto isnt always that bad of a place to be, you should try it sometime!! We had a very nice qso there last night from around 7:30pm untill I ran out of gas somewhere around 1:45. We had a huge group that was so big at one time, I couldnt remember all of the callsigns. the guests that stopped by as the night progressed  were: W2DTC,WA2UJX, N1FT,
WA1UQM, K1KBW, WB6QEX, N3IBX, KA2DZT, W1GHW, W1IA, KD2XA, WB3HUZ, KE4LRL, K7YOO, KE5ERI, K2DK, KK4AM, N4QNX, KB0INT, KB3OMT, MYSELF, and prolly a few more that I am not remembering. It was KB3OMT/AG's first night on AM as a control op. We all had a great time!! Maybe you should try it sometime, you just might like it!!

It is nice to have the luxury of running wide bandwidth recieve when condx permit, but lets face it, it is not always possible no matter where in the band you are. I was running 4kc on the '390a last night and it was still a great time! Reduced receive bandwidth definately does NOT stop my enjoyment if I am hearing everyone loud and clear. 5kc spacing is definately a little tight, but still doable and enjoyable. I would definately prefer 7-10 kc, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!! Get a good reveiver and have fun!! A few "tall ships" in the group definately help keep the slopbucket qwerm away.

                                                                                         The Slab Bacon
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2007, 01:17:44 PM »

I heard you guys on 3885 last night, but I spent nearly 3 hours working Don/ K4KYV, and Gary, K4XT/8 on 3675 Khz. Good QSO, until I ran out of steam at around 3 AM EST. The AM ghetto is great, with lots of activity and fun, but as has been stated before in these posts, the clear channel frequencies below 3700 Khz are really nice for those one-on-one QSOs. I was able to keep the SP-600 at 8 Khz bandwidth most of the time during this QSO, occasionally opening her up all the way, with minimal QRM to boot!

I'm really surprised there isn't more AM activity down there, Extra Class license permitting. Is it an antenna issue, or perhaps some of the Class E rigs are not sufficiently frequency agile to permit their operation below the "ghetto"? Just curious.

73,

Bruce
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2007, 01:47:58 PM »

Quote
GET REAL! When you have a roundtable running inside a 150 mile circle and another QSO starts to float in from hundreds of miles away, when the band stretchs out a little, 5kc is plenty far enough to move. IT'S NOT ENOUGH ON STRONG AM SIGNALS! picky, picky, picky

Since the closest station I converse with regularly on AM is about 150 miles away, I have very few roundtables within a 150 mile circle. And you are taking things out of context. I never said 5 kHz is ABSOLUTELY NEVER an acceptable spacing. Read the article. The bigger point is why would you only move down 5 kHz if there were open freqs 10-20-50-100 kHz away? I fully understand 5 kHz is sometimes all that can be accomodated. But when I hear two AM QSOs only 5 kHz apart at 3PM (or 1 AM) when the band is largely unoccupied, and people in both QSOs are complaining of splatter, I cringe. I'm sure Al Gore would approve.  Grin

Just because you and I don't agree on this point, no need to go get nasty and call names and make Al Gore comments. Sheesh. Your opinion gets posted just like mine. What's the problem? Let's debate this on the technical merits. I've put forth some on my article. Come back with some legitimate engineering numbers of your own. Then we can have a real discussion. Name calling doesn't get it bro.

The last paragraph of the article makes my intent very clear.

Quote
I hope the data and analysis presented here will serve as a starting point in the discussion on minimum frequency spacing for AM amateur radio stations. I also hope it drives the discussion towards the use of theoretical and empirically derived data. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
  (Emphasis added)


Please point out where I said "I'm smarter than you and you should listen to me."

........
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N8LGU
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2007, 03:30:04 PM »

Now, now fellas...We're all brothers here-
Say! why not come down to the clear channel area (3600-3800 kc) and you can quit arguing about 5 kc spacing?
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2007, 03:56:45 PM »

See you in the 3700s somewhere.

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kc2ifr
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2007, 06:04:03 PM »

Quote
Everyone must have a 75A4 or something else awful and narrow.

I Will take exception to that Paul. I have a 75A4 and love it. It IS without a doubt my best battle receiver. Seems like ppl ,are pissing and moaning about the 5kc spacing and I must admit I have complained about that also.......BUT if 5kc is the spacing, my A4 works great. Narrow it down and use the bandpass tuning and I can still copy fine. All this crap about having to have HI FI audio all the time is just that...crap. I enjoy good audio as much as the next guy....but if I have to narrow down my receiver I will. And the qso goes on......hi fi or not.
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WA3VJB
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2007, 06:19:03 PM »

To each his own Bill, by all means.

But I don't consider it "hi-fi" to expect to hear out 4Kc from center.

And if I have to pinch it down to 2Kc from center, it's time to sign out and I do.

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k4kyv
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Don
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2007, 07:54:12 PM »

I can work @ 5 kc/s separation using the stock 6 kc/s mechanical filter, but I hear the monkey chatter from the adjacent channel.  It usually doesn't make the station difficult to understand, but just a little annoying.  With the 8 kc/s filter, the interference would definitely be intolerable.  Sometimes when working AM on 3870-90 I have to use the 4 kc/s filter.  Now that is better than the SSB filter, but still "battle condx" audio.  Even when using the 6.0 filter to work AM @ 5.0 separation, I often find myself tuning slightly to one side to dodge the QRM.

When condx permit, I prefer to move at least 7 kc/s from the nearest AM station.

Interestingly, the DX quarmtesters seemed to stick with the traditional DX window, so most of the quarmtest congestion was between 3750 and 3820, including the stations above 3800 working split.

Very little quarmtest activity in 3600-3700, even though that should have been prime DX territory.
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2007, 10:49:18 PM »


Per an earlier thread on the same topic that I started right after the new band rules went into effect: call on 3385 (or vicinity) make contact, and suggest quickly to QSY to an open freq or freqs that you've checked out or go to check out... move off - as far as possible.

Just a suggestion.

It's up to you to suggest it when you join a QSO in the "window".
Don't wait for everyone else... or if someone does, chime in.

The more people that suggest it, the more it will become SOP.

Right now, as far as I can hear, nothing has changed. It's exactly the same as it was before the band was widened.

I suspect that the thinking tends to be along these lines - 'there aren't that many stations on, so why move?'

Or maybe, 'if I QSY, no one will join me/us and we'll be left sitting alone while everyone else is back on 3885...'?

It would be a good idea to move off at least some of the time!! At least that's how it seems to me. If some of the tall ships - and you know who you are - were to take the initiative, others would follow down the band.

I like the idea of 3805 if it is open... less likely to get hit with buckshot from below...  Wink

           _-_-WBear2GCR
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kc2ifr
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2007, 05:40:04 AM »

Speaking of the FAA....Just another quick note........
My 2 meter mobile rig......a Yeasu  FT 3000M, covers the AM air frequencys for receive only.
Some of the AM aircraft transmitters I hear sound very good. Others sound awful but my point is that I find some of them even with there limited freq. response sound very good. I guess there is something to say for good communications quality audio.....very punchy but yet nice to listen to.
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WD8BIL
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2007, 07:34:15 AM »

Quote
It ain't as pleasant to listen to as hifi but helps a bunch in the "AM Ghetto" situation.


Moving helps too.
BUT NOTHING BEATS STRAP !!!!
In the ghetto last nite the strapping hi-fi ruled.
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Bill, KD0HG
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2007, 09:30:57 AM »

The FAA was considering converting to NBFM from the fairly tight 5-6kc AM VHF/UHF gear they were using. Rooms with noise introduced were used to test the subjects ability to copy transmitted voice and copy it correctly, AM won by a large margin.


Mack, let me add something else to your excellent post.

The real problem with FM was its capture effect on the receiver. If you listen to aircraft comms, especially around uncontrolled airports, you often hear one or more aircraft making transmissions at the same time. Because they're on AM, you can at least "sorta-understand" everyone at the same time through the heterodynes. If they were on FM, because of its capture effect, the strongest signal wins, period.You don't hear the weaker sigs audio at all. That creates a potentially dangerous situation.
Same for future digital communications. I think aircraft communications are going to be AM forever.
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