Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 1/14/2015 6:39:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/15/2015 4:04:15 PM EST by fosters]
All started I was listening to an Art Bell rerun and he started talking about Essb and gave a small comparison of the audio. Wow. Quite a difference

Why hasn't this been embraced?
Bandwidth issues?
Hardware capabilities?
Just too much of a pain in the arse to implement with any success?


Thoughts and comments appreciated

Link Posted: 1/14/2015 8:30:56 AM EST
This article has some interesting points: http://www.nu9n.com/essb.html

I think largely, 3khz of bandwidth was customary, and most radio manufacturers didn't support the ability for their audio signal paths to be wider than 3k. Not all radios can do eSSB. This opinion is worth the paper it is written on, so... YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 10:56:15 AM EST
Disclaimer: I've become an inveterate ESSB'er, so I'm naturally enthusiastic about it.

It has and is taking off! IMHO ESSB is becoming more commonplace than AM.

echomancer pointed you at a very good article, although its discussion of ESSB "standards" is somewhat misleading. There really aren't any standards per se. 3.5, 4.5 and 6KHz are the most common bandwidths, but they can vary quite a bit. I've seen some guys running 10KHz!

It's certainly been embraced, but not for more traditional op's, mostly because of bandwidth issues as you suspect. And it when working DX, award chasing, contesting, etc., even if infinite bandwidth were available, it is more efficient use of your available power thereby obtaining a better signal at your intended target (the power/bandwidth ratio in dBm/Hz is larger). However I've found that if you run about 3KHz, with really good, clean audio with some nice multi-band compression, it can get you "noticed" in pile-up's more quickly.

Hardware capabilities are also a consideration. Few radios offer easy access to ESSB bandwidths and the ones that do tend to be expensive. ESSB op's trend towards more modern equipment and you will find many of them operating Flex and Anan radios, or modified high-end Kenwoods and Yaesu's. However, other than the cost of the equipment, ESSB is not difficult to implement at all. Equipment modifications, if required, are pretty simple, or non-existent with SDRs.

Another reason that you might not be seeing a lot of ESSB signals is because they tend to occur on the relatively uncrowded Extra-class sub-bands, particularly on 80 and 40M. In the afternoon, say before 1700 local, listen around 7168. After 1700 local, listen around 3630, 3636 and 3640. There are also occasionally ESSB op's in the neighborhood of 14168. However, if you do not have a radio that can listen with bandwidths in excess of 3KHz, then you are still missing out.

A very inexpensive way to get into ESSB listening is to use one of the cheap USB dongle SDR receivers and something like cuSDR or the like.

There are many similarities between AM and ESSB aficionados, namely the pursuit of excellent audio quality. However there are also many differences. The more modern radios, for example. These are becoming more prevalent for AM op's, too, but there is a high percentage of "heavy metal" vintage and homebrew gear use in AM, class E transmitters in particular.

The other main difference between ESSB and AM is that ESSB operators normally, but not always, tend to focus quite a bit on RF signal quality in addition to audio quality. As early adopters of SDR radio technology, ESSB op's generally take great pride in presenting a very clean spectrum. As a result, and possibly also as a result of most ESSB op's occurring in the Extra sub-band, it is rare to get some ESSB-hater trying to jam signals. Compare and contrast this to the anarchy that occurs on the traditional 80M AM frequencies like 3873. Jamming, catcalls and other abuse is quite common there. In some ways this is unsurprising as a lot of AM transmissions, particularly those from what I would call "broadcaster wannabees", can often take up 30KHz of the band! On the other hand the AM freq's and op's have been around since forever, so why not just leave them alone?

I suspect that much of the ESSB concentration on clean RF has to do with the high percentage of SDR users. There is nothing like a bunch of other guys all looking at their waterfall displays to get you to tighten up your shot group. And when you are the one doing the looking, it is much easier to a) appreciate how bad a lot of signals are and b) take more care in choosing what freq's to operate on.

At any rate, I've greatly enjoyed the sub-specialty of ESSB. Much like operating digital modes, it has taught me an incredible amount about audio and RF processing and has motivated me to wring the maximum performance from my Flex radio. I'm still working on mastering my Elecraft amp, which I suspect has some sort of bias issue affecting its IMD performance. And, while not all ESSB op's are into extensive audio processing, I find the digital audio software is great fun to play with!

I will try to post some interesting panafall displays of ESSB signals later this evening.

Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:39:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 11:41:32 AM EST by Kekoa]
I'd say it hasn't taken off, because amateur radio has so much to offer in so many different areas. For instance, my main interests have been chasing DX and WAS, building kits, home brewing, and becoming a good CW operator. So ESSB doesn't really come into the picture. My main concern is having a good RF signal. For many, the goal is simply to make contact (certainly true with contesters), and audio quality takes a back seat.

But that's what makes this such a great hobby. There are so many different aspects to amateur radio, that most everyone can find something about it that they enjoy. Maybe one day I'll become an audiophile, but for now, I just don't have time. I'm too busy with other things.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 3:12:34 PM EST
Regular ol' SSB is designed for max analog Signal to Noise Ratio - this is done by reducing the bandwidth to the minimum required for intelligibility.

ESSB has a wider bandwidth, by around a factor of 2 or so, and therefore has a correspondingly lower SNR, all other things being equal.

It has a more pleasing and natural sound, but it is at the cost of SNR and therefore transmitter power and/or comm range, by around 3dB, depending on the chosen bandwidth.



Link Posted: 1/14/2015 4:55:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
Disclaimer: I've become an inveterate ESSB'er, so I'm naturally enthusiastic about it.

It has and is taking off! IMHO ESSB is becoming more commonplace than AM.

echomancer pointed you at a very good article, although its discussion of ESSB "standards" is somewhat misleading. There really aren't any standards per se. 3.5, 4.5 and 6KHz are the most common bandwidths, but they can vary quite a bit. I've seen some guys running 10KHz!

It's certainly been embraced, but not for more traditional op's, mostly because of bandwidth issues as you suspect. And it when working DX, award chasing, contesting, etc., even if infinite bandwidth were available, it is more efficient use of your available power thereby obtaining a better signal at your intended target (the power/bandwidth ratio in dBm/Hz is larger). However I've found that if you run about 3KHz, with really good, clean audio with some nice multi-band compression, it can get you "noticed" in pile-up's more quickly.

Hardware capabilities are also a consideration. Few radios offer easy access to ESSB bandwidths and the ones that do tend to be expensive. ESSB op's trend towards more modern equipment and you will find many of them operating Flex and Anan radios, or modified high-end Kenwoods and Yaesu's. However, other than the cost of the equipment, ESSB is not difficult to implement at all. Equipment modifications, if required, are pretty simple, or non-existent with SDRs.

Another reason that you might not be seeing a lot of ESSB signals is because they tend to occur on the relatively uncrowded Extra-class sub-bands, particularly on 80 and 40M. In the afternoon, say before 1700 local, listen around 7168. After 1700 local, listen around 3630, 3636 and 3640. There are also occasionally ESSB op's in the neighborhood of 14168. However, if you do not have a radio that can listen with bandwidths in excess of 3KHz, then you are still missing out.

A very inexpensive way to get into ESSB listening is to use one of the cheap USB dongle SDR receivers and something like cuSDR or the like.

There are many similarities between AM and ESSB aficionados, namely the pursuit of excellent audio quality. However there are also many differences. The more modern radios, for example. These are becoming more prevalent for AM op's, too, but there is a high percentage of "heavy metal" vintage and homebrew gear use in AM, class E transmitters in particular.

The other main difference between ESSB and AM is that ESSB operators normally, but not always, tend to focus quite a bit on RF signal quality in addition to audio quality. As early adopters of SDR radio technology, ESSB op's generally take great pride in presenting a very clean spectrum. As a result, and possibly also as a result of most ESSB op's occurring in the Extra sub-band, it is rare to get some ESSB-hater trying to jam signals. Compare and contrast this to the anarchy that occurs on the traditional 80M AM frequencies like 3873. Jamming, catcalls and other abuse is quite common there. In some ways this is unsurprising as a lot of AM transmissions, particularly those from what I would call "broadcaster wannabees", can often take up 30KHz of the band! On the other hand the AM freq's and op's have been around since forever, so why not just leave them alone?

I suspect that much of the ESSB concentration on clean RF has to do with the high percentage of SDR users. There is nothing like a bunch of other guys all looking at their waterfall displays to get you to tighten up your shot group. And when you are the one doing the looking, it is much easier to a) appreciate how bad a lot of signals are and b) take more care in choosing what freq's to operate on.

At any rate, I've greatly enjoyed the sub-specialty of ESSB. Much like operating digital modes, it has taught me an incredible amount about audio and RF processing and has motivated me to wring the maximum performance from my Flex radio. I'm still working on mastering my Elecraft amp, which I suspect has some sort of bias issue affecting its IMD performance. And, while not all ESSB op's are into extensive audio processing, I find the digital audio software is great fun to play with!

I will try to post some interesting panafall displays of ESSB signals later this evening.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7527/16092235950_ed38f51b1a_b.jpg
View Quote


What are the IMD issues you are having with the Elecraft KPA500 amp?
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 7:25:31 PM EST
aa777888-2 summed it up nicely.

The first big thing is that most radios won't do ESSB on either transmit or receive. Many of the more popular radios from "the big three" arn't capable of it. So if you are into this, you need to work other guys who are also into it or at least have equipment capable of appreciating it.

But, it is a niche type of thing as was also mentioned. There are people who get their jollies seriously playing with their audio. In order to pull it off, you have to have some knowledge about the subject.
Most hams are interested in other things or possibly just not interested in putting that kind of effort into something.

I think it is cool when used with common sense, like anything else.


Interestingly, the KX3 has ESSB if you want to use it.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 8:49:35 PM EST
Like I said, it's becoming more popular than AM, and AM isn't considered all that obscure!
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 1:51:33 AM EST
A good sounding signal can be achieved with 3kHz bandwidth. Unfortunately about half the stations on the air sound very poor. Some sound almost unintelligible.
I need to try it sometime but really don't feel like messing with TX parametric equalizer settings. My FTDX3000 is ESSB capable. It's a simple menu parameter change.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 10:32:14 AM EST
My favorite rx for casual SWL, 80M AM, good quality SSB, is the Hammarlund HQ129, with the orange "cheese curl" S-meter and the 8" metal box speaker:
.
.

.
.

.
.
It was probably hand built by this hottie :)
.
.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 12:26:19 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KnowFear:
My favorite rx for casual SWL, 80M AM, good quality SSB, is the Hammarlund HQ129, with the orange "cheese curl" S-meter and the 8" metal box speaker:
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/HQ129X_1.JPG
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/HQ129Ad3.JPG
.
.
It was probably hand built by this hottie :)
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/MAKHQ129.JPG
View Quote


WOW brings back memories! My first novice setup was a Hammarlund HQ120 heavily modified with the 129X filters used with a Johnson Viking Challenger transmitter.
I lost my first novice station and an HW101 when my bat shit crazy sister sold my parents entire estate.
Would love to find a working 120 or 129. I have a full compliment of tubes for them. I have recovered the TX. Looking for a working HW101 and PS too.
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 12:48:05 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:


WOW brings back memories! My first novice setup was a Hammarlund HQ120 heavily modified with the 129X filters used with a Johnson Viking Challenger transmitter.
I lost my first novice station and an HW101 when my bat shit crazy sister sold my parents entire estate.
Would love to find a working 120 or 129. I have a full compliment of tubes for them. I have recovered the TX. Looking for a working HW101 and PS too.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
Originally Posted By KnowFear:
My favorite rx for casual SWL, 80M AM, good quality SSB, is the Hammarlund HQ129, with the orange "cheese curl" S-meter and the 8" metal box speaker:
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/HQ129X_1.JPG
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/HQ129Ad3.JPG
.
.
It was probably hand built by this hottie :)
.
.
http://www.ohio.edu/people/postr/bapix/MAKHQ129.JPG


WOW brings back memories! My first novice setup was a Hammarlund HQ120 heavily modified with the 129X filters used with a Johnson Viking Challenger transmitter.
I lost my first novice station and an HW101 when my bat shit crazy sister sold my parents entire estate.
Would love to find a working 120 or 129. I have a full compliment of tubes for them. I have recovered the TX. Looking for a working HW101 and PS too.


My first "real" station was also an HW101. I have an HW100, with CW filter added, that I was thinking of finding a better home for. Great functionality, but needs the vernier worked on to fix the common backlash issue. Also has external digital readout (via rear panel connectors, no front panel hack job, it's all stock looking...), Heathkit speaker and power supply. Will PM if I can figure out how....
Link Posted: 1/15/2015 2:45:22 PM EST
I don't mind ESSB as long as guys are using it on bands that are large enough to accomodate the wide tx signal.

Guys that want to run ESSB on a band like 17m just makes my head spin. It may sound cool, but its a poor amateur practice IMHO.

So as far as I am concerned....I hope ESSB never takes off.



Link Posted: 1/15/2015 6:50:46 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gyprat:
A good sounding signal can be achieved with 3kHz bandwidth. ....
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gyprat:
A good sounding signal can be achieved with 3kHz bandwidth. ....


Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
I don't mind ESSB as long as guys are using it on bands that are large enough to accomodate the wide tx signal.

Guys that want to run ESSB on a band like 17m just makes my head spin. It may sound cool, but its a poor amateur practice IMHO.
...



+1
+1

the wider everyone's signal, the less people can play.

The whole point of the post WWII SSB movement was to punch thru and work DX better than AM

Link Posted: 1/15/2015 11:45:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
I don't mind ESSB as long as guys are using it on bands that are large enough to accomodate the wide tx signal.

Guys that want to run ESSB on a band like 17m just makes my head spin. It may sound cool, but its a poor amateur practice IMHO.

So as far as I am concerned....I hope ESSB never takes off.



View Quote


Who wants to get a t-shirt: Another ESSB operator, ruining the hobby?
Just kidding, don't take it personal.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 9:16:30 AM EST
So how do you ESSB naysayers feel about AM?
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 9:49:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 10:14:59 AM EST by K9-Bob]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
So how do you ESSB naysayers feel about AM?
View Quote


Most AM operators are very considerate and typically operate on few established frequencies.

I have no issues with AM.



When I hear ESSB on tiny HF band like 17m.....it reminds me of the same idiots that bought one of these back in the day.



Or this....








Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:26:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:


Most AM operators are very considerate and typically operate on few established frequencies.

I have no issues with AM.

When I hear ESSB on tiny HF band like 17m.....it reminds me of the same idiots that bought one of these back in the day.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
So how do you ESSB naysayers feel about AM?


Most AM operators are very considerate and typically operate on few established frequencies.

I have no issues with AM.

When I hear ESSB on tiny HF band like 17m.....it reminds me of the same idiots that bought one of these back in the day.


That's interesting, but not unexpected. I will admit to baiting your answer

With the exception of the "few established frequencies" comment, which I agree with, I find that the situation is exactly the opposite. I frequently operate on AM, usually with the Northeast 3873 evening crowd, but I limit my bandwidth to 12KHz out of courtesy. Most of the AM'ers I hear are using 20 to 30KHz of spectrum.

I'd like to say that AM is the "devil" and ESSB is purer then the driven snow (I jest, of course ), but, seriously, I can't even count how many times I've either listened to or operated with AM'ers who are being actively jammed and taunted. Meanwhile the number of times I've experienced this over the past 6 months while operating ESSB is maybe 2 or 3 times.

So, respectfully, I suggest you reassess the behaviors of the two operational groups more critically. There are lids in every aspect of the hobby, and I'm not saying you haven't seen them on 17M, but by and large I think if you look closely you'll find that most ESSB is operated more carefully and considerately than the average DX chaser.

Oh, and I want my T shirt
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 11:45:36 AM EST
ESSB Posers = Trolls of the bands
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 1:57:27 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SandHillsHillbilly:
ESSB Posers = Trolls of the bands
View Quote

Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:28:26 PM EST
AM'ers and ESSB'ers on 80&160 dont really bother me....
...but if i ever hear them around 14.195-14.200 it will piss me off

I want to punch thru and work DX ...I dont need to sound like KMOX's Jim White

The hobby has a lot of different factions...and thats a good thing


Ths thread reminds me.... I'm still waiting for my ART BELL QSL card

Anybody remember that thread ?

I SASE'd him twice
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:49:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 3:00:47 PM EST by 444]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
So how do you ESSB naysayers feel about AM?
View Quote



I used to be quite active on AM when I lived out west. AM is a lot different out there than it is here. Rigs include the Collins 32V3, the Johnson Valiant, the K7DYY Super Senior, as well as the Retro 75 kit. FWIIW: a lot of the AM activity I hear in the east sounds to me like a bunch of LIDS. Burping into the microphone and all that. There are some nice guys on AM, don't get me wrong I am not throwing them under the bus but the while vibe of the thing is different. Out west there was a LOT of AM activity with a lot of guys using vintage gear and talking about restoring and using vintage gear as well as a lot of guys running broadcast transmitters. They were real nice guys and very courteous operators. I have operated AM here in the east to a very limited extent. A couple times I worked a guy over in Maryland that was running his Retro 75, so I put my Retro 75 on the air and worked him. While we were in QSO two other guys got on with their Retro 75s and I really enjoyed the whole thing. It is a shame that the Retro 75 kit was discontinued. Another FWIW: out west we had a weekly AM net and there would be 70-80 or more check-ins. Again, it was very popular.

Anyway, the point is that I am in favor of AM. I think that it is a worthwhile part of the hobby, espeically by people who enjoy vintage gear.

In my earlier post I said: "I think it is cool when used with common sense, like anything else. " In other words, if you are on a band that isn't super busy and you are not interfering with other people, then ESSB is cool. I find it interesting. And as you mention, like anything else in life, there are assholes who will insist upon running very wide bandwidths when it isn't appropriate and give the whole thing a bad name. Common sense and being courteous is important. We are all in this thing together. There is plenty of room for us all to enjoy the things in this hobby we like without shitting on everybody else. This only works however if we follow the band plans and try to think of everybody else before we transmit. In some cases, just because it is legal to do something, that doesn't make it the right thing to do. I wish everybody would buy into that notion. Whether you are operating digital in the CW sub-band, or operating FM simplex in the 2 meter satellite sub-band, or putting a simplex repeater on the national simplex calling frequency..............or operating wide bandwidth modes.



FWIW: I used to live in the same town as Art Bell and have worked him on 75 meters AM very briefly. He followed the QSO up with a few emails apologizing that he couldn't make the contact longer but he had something he needed to do...........I never asked him for a QSL card.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 3:43:00 PM EST
Well said 444

I was driving home from work last year and had a nice QSO with art bell on HF
I didnt know it was him until I got home and checked QRZ

after we said 73, and another ham called him and they talked about broadcast careers and getting a card

I figured he was a broadcast engineer at a local TV or radio station

Years ago i worled nights and would listen to his moonbat UFO bullshit
Hes pro-gun and a veteran too
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 4:21:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 4:24:44 PM EST by 444]
Yeah, I think that a hellava lot of people who work nights were addicted to Art Bell.

I have worked almost my entire adult life as a paramedic or paramedic/firefighter. I spent MANY a long night listening to Coast to Coast AM.
I have done a lot of shooting within sight of his house and drove right by his house to get there.

One thing about Art Bell is that he is/was absolutely fantastic at his job. I would often listen to his show for an hour or so and then suddenly say to myself, this is all a bunch of bullshit. But the point is that he was so entertaining that for over an hour I sat there and listened to the show without really caring about what he was talking about. I listen to a podcast like that now. I really don't give a shit about most of the stuff the guy is talking about, but he is really entertaining to listen to. He has good turn-of-phrase and is well spoken. It is entertaining without relying on the subject matter or the guests to make it entertaining. It's a rare skill.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 6:46:04 PM EST
* sorry for the thread hijack*

Here's my ( archived ) thread about my ART BELL QSO

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/671812__ARCHIVED_THREAD____Just_had_the_most_interesting_QSO_on_the_way_home_LOLOLOLOL.html&page=1



Fired up the TS-480HX, 10meters 28.464

Heard a 6 lander calling CQ from Pahrump NV.

I jumped in and chatted all the way home, picking up the kids, after work, telling me my signal is very strong for a mobile, talking about the weather, etc... I made a joke about Pahrump, NV from the movie.
MARS ATTACKS

and he says " ACK ACK.....ACK ACK....ACK ACK."...My kids LOLOL'd


Got home to log him and it's W6OBB......ART BELL

http://www.qrz.com/db/W6OBB

http://artbell.com/

I thought he sounded familiar, but I had no clue.
Used to listen to his goofy radio show when I worked E-shift years ago.


View Quote
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 10:57:21 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 444:
Yeah, I think that a hellava lot of people who work nights were addicted to Art Bell.

I have worked almost my entire adult life as a paramedic or paramedic/firefighter. I spent MANY a long night listening to Coast to Coast AM.
I have done a lot of shooting within sight of his house and drove right by his house to get there.

One thing about Art Bell is that he is/was absolutely fantastic at his job. I would often listen to his show for an hour or so and then suddenly say to myself, this is all a bunch of bullshit. But the point is that he was so entertaining that for over an hour I sat there and listened to the show without really caring about what he was talking about. I listen to a podcast like that now. I really don't give a shit about most of the stuff the guy is talking about, but he is really entertaining to listen to. He has good turn-of-phrase and is well spoken. It is entertaining without relying on the subject matter or the guests to make it entertaining. It's a rare skill.
View Quote

John Wells' caravan to midnight?
Top Top