[AMRadio] Back on the air

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 14:56:45 EDT 2006

Well, after waiting and wishing and wanting for far too long, I
managed to finally get a station back on the air in mid-March. The
last time I worked AM from home was in 1995, with only a couple of SSB
contacts in '96 while repairing a fellow's KWM-2. Other than that,
I've basically been in listening mode only, which is fine a lot of the
time but really annoying when you wish you could join in.

The main problem was not having an antenna up in the air after my 75m
dipole came down. Add to that having to work all week, traveling
somewhat, and a 125 year old house that always needs something, and
you get the picture. About the only thing I had time to do was
accumulate more projects, and move out a few things I didn't use or

Another problem was having a transmitter that worked, or worked right.
The 32V-2 decided to start acting weird by simulcasting on three
frequencies at once, which resulted in my going off the air after a
phonecall from a MARS station in White Plains NY. He was hearing me up
above 4mc when I was actually down around 3880. Apparently, I was also
putting out a similar signal the same distance below my frequency.
Time was tight, life was busy, so I never got back to tracking down
the problem.

Then a few years back I was listening in for the Heavy Metal Rally and
wishing I was in on the fun. The signals from those old broadcast rigs
really sounded sweet. So I got to work repairing the old KW-1 which
liked to blow fuses and had been kaput since 1990 or so. Replaced a
cracked doorknob cap, swapped the 872s out for 4B32s, and got it
making power again in 2003. Finally built a 40m dipole a few months
back, got it hung up and working in mid-March and started making
contacts. Not many, but enough to spur me on.

Some of the contacts were with W1UJR, WA1HLR, W9AD, VE3CUI, WA3VJB,
W3CRR and others I can't recall at the moment. Even worked a fellow
from Connecticut who was mobile in NC. After listening many evenings
and weekends for years and years, it was GREAT to make that first
contact again! Paul and Craig also made some audio files which are
very encouraging.

I do still have some things to work out, like the overload relay
kicking out on voice peaks, and having to move the electric range and
roll the transmitter out into the kitchen to operate since I don't
have a 230v line in the radio room. Need to get a 75m antenna up as
well, but at least it's a start.

There's a photo of the 'Kitchen Studio' posted on the amfone board at:


Thanks to Bruce, W1UJR for making it viewable by lightening it up a
bit. Digital cameras are handy, but they do have their limitations. It
took me a while to get the shots because they were on the YL's camera
which is back in Florida. And I didn't want to post that I was active
again until I had proof, since I'd been threatening to get back on for
years, with no results to back up the threats.

So, as well as looking forward to seeing folks at the Hosstraders
hamfest in 3 weeks, I'm also hoping to make some contacts on the air.
And thanks to everyone who offered help, encouragement, and even
prodded me along to get to this point. It's great to be "back".

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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