(Originally printed in the January 1977 issue of C B Magazine)

A recent letter from Greg
Doerschler of 19 Reed Drive,
Wethersfield, CT" says, in part:
"In reading your column in the
August issue of CB MAGAZINE, I
came across something that
almost made me sick, I am
referring to your statement that
you thought AM should be
banned. Well, I think you are
crazy". (My words were to the
effect that "if it was up to me, AM
would be banned, but, of course,
I'm biased", ED.) Greg continues;
"I am an AM'er who monitors
channel 15 which, in this area,
has been used as an AM channel
for many years. Channels 16 and
17 had been set aside for
sideband use (by Whom?-Ed)
and AM'ers stayed off them.
"I've encountered the most
inconsiderate group of people I
have ever known. The local group
feel they are great and dominate
all the AM'ers. They displayed
this a few months ago when
sideband started to get a little
crowded and they went and
"stole" (from whom?-ED)
channel 15 from an already


". . . all 40 channels are
available for both AM and SSB

overcrowded AM band. The
sidebanders have NO con-
sideration for the AM'ers and
totally foul up their com-
Greg closes by saying: "the
AM'ers are not even considering
letting sideband take over
channel 15". While I am not sure
that the AM'ers have much
control over the situation, it will
be interesting to see how things
work out in Wethersfield, Ct.
All of which brings me around
to the subject of this month's
column which is to reiterate and
stress the fact that all 40
channels are available for both
AM and SSB use.
I feel the sidebanders have
made a serious tactical error by
sticking to only two channels.
Look at the existing situation.
Everyone monitors channel 16. If
you want a QSO, you call on this
channel. When contact is established, you QSY to channel
15 (Channel 17 in some areas).
Nine times out of ten, someone is
already operating there and you
have to go "on the side". As soon
as your turn comes up, you can
talk for a minute, or two until
someone "breaks" or goes "on
the side".
What about upper sideband?
Everyone is convinced that upper
and lower interfere with each
Other and shouldn't be used at the
same time. Many of the
technological advances provided
by SSB goes to waste.
Because of the system, side-
banders have only one "rag
chew" channel, or at least they
think they do. Frankly, if I had
only two SSB channels available,
I wouldn't be the least bit in-
terested in operating sideband.
Fortunately, I have 40 and so do
the rest of you sidebanders.

Sidebanders have refined
courtesy to the point of a fetish
and to their own detriment. We
even have convinced ourselves
that we only have two channels
available and that the AM'ers
should not be interfered with
under any circumstanefes.
I had a conversation a few days
ago which went something like
this, when I called a station on
Channel 15: "Hey, Earl, drop
down to 10, will you"? "Gee, Don,
don't know if I should, that's an
AM channel". , "Hey, man, it's
empty (it was) - nobody's using
it". "Okeh, but I don't feel right
about it". I spent much of my
precious five minutes explaining
to Earl it was a CB channel, not
an AM channel. He wasn't
I have heard numerous SSB
QSO's terminated because they
were tying up channel 16 and
channel 15 was occupied. Yet at
the same time, several other
channels were not being used.
How many acquaintances and
friendships have never been
made because of the self imposed
restrictions to two channels?
When I establish contact on
channel 16, I locate a reasonably
dear channel and then QSY
there. There are no restrictions
on AM or SSB and I feel no
obligation to avoid any frequency
except Channel 9. When I have

 "Sidebanders have refined
courtesy to the point of a fetish
and to their own detriment."

consumed my five minutes, I
terminate my conversation and
make room for someone else.
The situation has gotten so
ridiculous that most AM'ers
firmly believe that the side-
banders are legally restricted to
15 and 16.1 recently picked up a
copy of "Mechanix Illustrated CB
Tournal". In an unsigned article
titled "Getting the Most Out of A Base Station", I read that "As a
courtesy, AM.'ers have given
channel 16 to the sidebanders.
This is not an FCC edict, just a
courtesy so they'll have a channel
to hang out on. What a
sidebander does is call someone
on AM, then switch over to SSB
for the five minutes on, one
minute off conversation".
I was disappointed to learn
that it was the AM'ers who had
given us Channel 16 to "hang out
on". All this time, I thought it was
our self discipline that had
restricted SSB operation to
channel 16.
Most AM'ers have little in-
terest or curiosity in going SSB
with "only two channels
available". More important, they
are understandably irate when a
sidebander operates "illegally"
on one of "their" channels. Let's
say you are a typical AM'er. You
honestly believe that sidebanders
are legally restricted to channels
15 and 16. Suddenly, an SSB
station appears on your favorite
channel. Even though you are
only monitoring at the time, and
no one else is using the channel,
vou bubble with righteous in-dignation at that "discourtesy" and "illegal" operation.

You also rationalize that you are fully justified in throwing carriers,
testing, or causing other forms of
intentional interference. None of
this, of course, interferes suf-
...ficiently ' to terminate the SSB
QSO. The situation occurs simply
because sidebanders have
created the impression they are
restricted to two channels.
We must overcome this im-
pression that sidebanders are

"With the opening of the 17
new channels, there is an ex-
cellent opportunity to correct the
unfortunate two-channel

legally restricted to two channels.
I believe we must "circulate"
more so that our presence on an
"AM channel" is not an unusual
occurrence. If you hear in-
tentional interference or
derogatory comments in the
background, take a moment from your SSB QSO and switch over to
AM. Explain that you are entitled
to operate on the channel just as
much as the AM stations, that you
are going to be using it for the
next three minutes (or whatever
time you have left of the five) and
then they can use it. Then switch
back to SSB and finish your QSO
as promised.
With the opening of the 17 new
channels, there is an excellent
opportunity to correct the un-
fortunate two-channel situation.
Many sideband groups have
agreed to confine their activities
to the upper six channels (35
through 40). The frequencies are:
35- 27.355
36-27.365 .
37- 27.375
38- 27.385
39- 27.395
Channel 40 should become the
new call channel; Channel 16
(27.155) should continue to be the
call channel for those who do not
have expanded channel equip-
Remember that on the 20 meter
am band, initially all the
sideband activity was confined to
the high end of the band. Then, as
the ranks swelled, the side-
banders moved to .lower and
lower frequencies.
In summary, I believe side-
banders should stick to the
following procedure. If you don't
have expanded capabilities,
.monitor Channel 16. After you
establish contact on 16, find a
reasonably clear channel where
it is unlikely that you will in-
terfere with an existing con-
versation. QSY to this channel
arid use it for 5 minutes
maximum. If you have more to
say, go back to 16 and reestablish
contact after a minute, then find
another channel which is clear
and continue your QSO. Do not
stay on the "AM channel" for
more than 5 minutes. Otherwise,
the AM'ers have a legitimate
complaint that you are
Monopolizing and tying up "their"
If you have expanded channel
equipment, monitor Channel 40.
When contact is established, QSY
to channels 35-39. If these are
occupied, find another clear
channel as described in the
preceding paragraph.