Announcements‎ > ‎

FARA Members Participate in the AM Rally

posted Feb 15, 2018, 10:37 AM by L Gray   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 2:01 PM ]

A few FARA members participated in the 2018 AM Rally.  Steve, KB1VWC, operated using his classic Heathkit Mohawk and Apache tube rigs.  In contrast, Larry, W1IZZ operated with a Flex-6500 and solid state amp.  Participants used all manner of rigs, including a number of IC-7300's  Basically, any rig that can generate an AM signal can be used.   

Comments from FARA members follow:

From Steve Harris, KB1VWC:
Since participating in the inaugural event in 2017, I decided I need to participate again in 2018.   I recorded 167 contacts over 4 bands  in 30 states and 5 Canadian provinces.  These contacts were made running a 100W carrier AM signal out of a 1958 Heathkit Apache. Remember that a 100W AM carrier fully modulated gives you a pair of 25 watt sidebands, so equate these numbers to a 25W SSB signal.   On 160, 75 and 40 I have to say there were a lot of the AM community on the air.  By this I mean stations that I have more than likely spoken with in the past.  On 20 meters, this was definitely not the case.  Most of the contacts on 20 were either first time AM'ers or 1st contacts. Notables were Gary WQ5K out of OK. He was running a Ten-Tec Orion and stated this was his first AM contact in 40 years. N0BD out of IA running a home built pair of 813 modulated by a pair of 813’s. He wound up a new output coil for 20 meters just for the Rally.  WA8AHJ running a IC7300 (one of many on am) with his first AM contact since 1963.

The best contact, however, was Daniel, KC3FKR . On 40 meters, I spoke with Daniel for over 30 minutes--so much for contesting. He was running a DX-100 (1955) and listening on a Hammarlund HQ129 (1947).  Turns out Daniel is 17 years old; he fixed the DX100 and Hammarlund by himself and, with the help of W3GMS, Joe, an avid AM operator, got on the air.   He will be attending an EE program  in the fall.  I couldn’t convince him to apply to my alma-mater, WPI, but that is another story.

More of a social event, and for the promotion of AM as an alternative way for Hams to experiment with than a contest; the AM rally proved very enjoyable once again to operate.  Now if the Patriots had done better it would have made a perfect weekend.

From Matt Winters: 
Having used AM maybe twice in 20 years, I am going to have to check this out this evening. Thanks!

From Paul Silva:
First time listening to AM, great sound quality!

From Larry, W1IZZ:
I participated in 2017, but only found out about the 2018 AM Rally after it had already started. I worked the event a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, making 51 contacts across 80, 40, and 20 meters, in 23 states and 2 Canadian provinces.  A great combination of "heavy iron" old tube rigs, modern class D and E dedicated AM rigs, current transceivers, and SDR's.  Many people were making their first AM contacts.  A contact with Dave, K4CAE was his first AM contact in 50 years. 

Rob, KM4POP called me originally on SSB and switched to AM when I told him it was an AM event.  It was his first AM contact in 30 years.  Another fun set of contacts was with a husband/wife team, KX4EZ and KM4WRG, making contacts with a current transceiver and a G5RV.

As Steve noted, the AM Rally is more of a social event than a contest.  Each contact tended toward a rag-chew instead of the usual "QSL, 599" sort of contest contact.  The AM Rally is a great event and I encourage everyone to give AM a try during the 2019 AM Rally.