Do people still transmit in AM?
As AM is so inefficient (in that much of the power is used by the carrier alone), other than using SSB, is AM actually used by HAM enthusiasts? – From DH, a Foundation Student
Good question. The short answer is “generally no”. As you say, it’s inefficient on power, and also uses double the bandwidth, so on a crowded band, is not popular.
That said, we’re allowed to use it, the audio quality is better and most radios support it, so it occasionally gets some usage, particularly with one segment of the hobby:
There’s a good chunk of the ham radio community that repurposes old military kit, in fact there’s a dedicated group called the Vintage Military Amateur Radio Society. They specialise in retuning old ex-military gear to operate on the amateur radio frequencies. Much of the old military stuff was AM-only.
Famously, the Vintage Military Amateur Radio Society team run a series of “AM-only” nets, to allow people to talk to each other using various bits of kit. See https://www.vmars.org.uk/Regular_NETS_Details
In general though, most amateurs use SSB on HF.