The "grandfather" of amateur radio audio is often attributed to the early development of single sideband (SSB) modulation. Single sideband is a technique that allows for efficient use of radio frequency spectrum while maintaining good audio quality. It was a significant advancement in audio transmission in amateur radio.
The development of SSB modulation can be attributed to several key individuals:
Donald H. J. "Doc" Mix, W1IM: In the late 1930s, Mix developed the concept of single sideband modulation and published his work in QST, a popular amateur radio magazine. Mix's efforts in refining and promoting SSB helped establish it as a standard mode of communication in amateur radio.
Collins Radio Company: Collins Radio Company, led by Arthur Collins, played a significant role in the commercialization and popularization of SSB technology. They developed SSB transmitters and receivers that were widely used in amateur radio and other applications. Their advancements in SSB technology contributed to the widespread adoption of SSB audio.
The development of SSB audio revolutionized amateur radio communications by providing improved audio quality and spectrum efficiency. It allowed for clearer and more reliable transmissions, making long-distance communication more accessible for amateur radio operators. SSB modulation is still widely used in amateur radio today, and its impact on audio transmission in the hobby cannot be overstated.
SSB was successful but the broadcast development and spread of communications quickly outreached the limitations of standard SSB audio and amateur radio operators started to do what they could to make the audio coming from their stations better for general "Rag Chew" armchair conversation. Later these attempts developed into what we call ESSB today.
ESSB stands for "Extended Single Sideband," which is a type of modulation used in amateur radio. It is a method of transmitting audio that allows for a wider frequency range than traditional narrowband SSB (Single Sideband) signals.
The use of ESSB allows for a higher quality of audio transmission, with more clarity and fidelity. This is achieved by transmitting a wider audio bandwidth, typically between 6 kHz to 10 kHz, compared to the standard narrowband SSB which has a bandwidth of around 2.5 kHz.
The use of ESSB is not officially recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a standard for amateur radio transmission. However, it is a popular method among some amateur radio enthusiasts who value high-quality audio in their communications.
The history of ESSB can be traced back to the 1960s and 70s, when amateur radio operators began experimenting with transmitting wider audio bandwidths to improve the quality of their communications. Over time, the technology and techniques for ESSB transmission have improved, with the use of specialized equipment such as high-fidelity microphones, audio equalizers, and specialized filters.
Today, ESSB remains a niche interest in the amateur radio community, with a small but dedicated group of enthusiasts who continue to refine and develop the technology.