AM, FM, Sideband, Narrowband FM, and Wideband FM

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Welcome to Session 5 of Scanner School.   In this session we talk about AM, FM, Sideband (SSB), Upper Sideband (USB), Lower Sideband (LSB), Narrowband FM (NFM) and Wideband FM (WBFM)

We are all familiar with the terms AM and FM from our home radios, but what does each actually mean, and how do we properly program our scanner radios to monitor each type of analog modulation?

AM, or Amplitude Modulation is the earliest form of passing a human voice across the airwaves. Like most technologies, the first revision is not always the best one!

AM gave way to Sideband, which is more efficient than straight AM. We discuss in the podcast why SSB is more efficient and how we split the signal into an Upper and Lower Sideband.

FM, or Frequency Modulation, is the most popular form of analog modulation when it comes to two way radios, and even our home or car stereos. You can certainly hear a major difference in sound quality when listening to FM.

The signal picked up by your home or car stereo is Wideband FM. There is enough room in the bandwidth to hold two stereo channels, plus a little bit of extra room for data.

Two way radios use Narrowband FM. We discuss Narrowband FM and the new Narrowband in session 5.

 


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