[AMRadio] AM Returns at W1AW

Geoff/W5OMR w5omr at w5omr.shacknet.nu
Fri Jun 25 05:39:44 EDT 2004

(Sent to me by Dave/W6PSS

AM Returns at W1AW

June 18, 2004 has become a memorable day at W1AW when AM enthusiasts  delivered
a vintage AM station – the first one in decades to illuminate the ARRL’s
flagship station.  The equipment, a Johnson Valiant transmitter and a National
NC-303 receiver was  a gift  from the West Coast AM community  that was picked
up in the LA area on April 26 by WD9HHN  and hand carried  across America to it’
s final installation at the League’s historic station, on June 18.

The idea came about on a recent visit to Newington by Joe, WB6ACU and Bob,
K9EID. In a discussion with the League’s CEO, Dave Sumner, K1ZZ about expanding
the AM frequency window, Joe thought that our case would be better served if
there was an actual AM station in operation at W1AW. The vintage,
plate-modulated AM transmitter now joins just about every technology represented
from an original spark gap transmitter to an ICOM 7800.

“After being a guest operator at W1AW and spending much of our operating time on
AM using the 7800,  it became clear to me that there needed to be a plate
modulated transmitter  in place so all of the visitors could experience AM”  Joe
Walsh, WB6ACU

The Johnson Valiant and NC 303 were brought from Studio City, Ca to the Heil
Sound plant in the metro St Louis area  by Larry WD9HHN who makes that trip
weekly delivering food products.  The gear was then taken to April’s Dayton
Hamvention and handed off to Jeff, KA9TOC and Larry, W9AMR of South Bend,
Indiana, for some work at Larry’s professional workbench . He, along with Jeff
spent several weeks cleaning, making minor repairs, adding a transmit/receive
changeover relay, and otherwise preparing the classic AM “station” for delivery
to Newington..

The gear was operated for several weeks and passed all tests.  On June 17, Jeff
and Larry loaded the gear, picked up Jeff AA9JC and the group drove straight
through from Indiana to Connecticut.  Arriving on the doorstep of W1AW on Friday
morning, they were greeted by more than 30 of the East Coast AM community and
within 90 minutes, W1AW-AM hit the airwaves !

Now,  the work begins.   Each and every AM enthusiast must contact their ARRL
section manager, division director, Jim Haynie, the ARRL president and the CEO
Dave Sumner. In our original meeting with Dave, Joe and I were pleasantly
surprised to hear that the League DOES know we are out there.  We just need to
voice our needs for additional recognition as this mode, once a very dying
technology – has been revitalized.

“Joe and I quickly discovered that the League officials are VERY aware of the AM
community but they have to answer to all special interests of the hobby and try
to keep all of the different operating modes and interests on a common level.
Of course, the ‘squeaky wheel’ always gets the oil so Joe and I thought that
just perhaps if we could get a vintage AM station on the air at W1AW, the AM
community would have a much better chance to voice our opinions and needs of
frequency expansion  to the ARRL officials.”  Bob Heil, K9EID

 The Board of Directors needs to hear from us.  Joe and I hasten to say that
they are not going to pay attention if we just rant and rave, but if we voice
our specific needs for more space that the vintage station now in operation at
W1AW needs,  we will certainly get some attention.  Sitting around on the bands
complaining does no good.  Writing letters and making phone calls …..lots of
them….will make things happen.

We truly hope that the efforts of so many AM enthusiasts who have now brought
this specialty mode back to W1AW will not go to waste because the AM community
does not support the movement.  Getting the permission to install this wonderful
vintage station at the mother ship of amateur radio stations must be capitalized
upon.   Please join us in our efforts for more AM recognition so that our share
of the phone bands can be done in harmony.

Thanks to the many that helped make this happen.

WD9HHN, Larry
KA9TOC, Jeff
AA9JC, Jeff
W9AMR, Larry
NJ1Q, Joe

Keep the filaments lit,

Joe Walsh, WB6ACU
Bob Heil, K9EID
For more information:  618-257-3000

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This page last updated 24 Jan 2018.