[AMRadio] ER Magazine

Geoff/W5OMR ars.w5omr at gmail.com
Sat Dec 15 07:44:39 EST 2007

Peter Markavage wrote:
> Back in the "good old days" real hams didn't need Elmers.

The 'good ol' days'? 

*What AM Is To Me*

by John E. Coleman, WA5BXO

*O*perating AM is not about communicating using the most efficient mode 
of transmission or the latest technology. It is about technical 
understanding of what is really happening in one's transmitter. Not just 
the standard old definitions but down in the nitty-gritty. It is about 
understanding the technology of old and new. It's about understanding 
why one circuit is better suited for a job than another even though both 
have the same definition. It is about home-brew equipment and 
modifications. It is about fellowship and a gentleman's mannerisms. It 
is about fun in learning. It's a little new stuff mixed with some 
nostalgia and used in a mode that is pleasurable to the operator and the 

Sounds a lot like Ham Radio in general.

Don't misunderstand me, there is a lot more to Ham Radio than operating 
AM. There are so many aspects of Ham Radio that I'm sure I could not do 
the list justice. For this I am glad. Ham Radio has always been the 
seeds of electronic and communication technology. And I hope it 
continues to be.

Somewhere deep in my brain are the memories of the days of learning and 
wonderment. I can not forget the first time I saw the bottom of the 
Sears 1950 TV as the repairman went in with his meter and hand tools to 
repair the set so that I could watch Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on the 
next Saturday Morning. All the tubes glowing and how did it get in there 
(the picture and the sound) I asked myself and many others. Then later 
while in high school and having upgraded to general class, I was 
privileged to not only see some of the greatest radio transmitters to 
have ever been home brewed, but I was known by the men that built them 
on a first name basis. Walking in to the shack of K5SWK in the evening 
to see the 833s and 866s glowing and to hear the feedback from the 
modulation transformer and slight hum of the pole pegs is a memory that 
will always make me stop what I doing and ponder the nostalgia. Do I 
operate AM because I can't let go of a childhood memory? You bet I do. 
And I hope to stir some of those memories in others if possible and to 
plant some seeds of my own.

Many Thanks and 73 to those Elmers

Wayne, W5FJS
Otis, K5SWK
Tom, K5IBW
Koby, K5MZH
Jake, K5IQV
Bill, WA5DWX 	Gene, WA5ATH
Gene, W5HQJ
Roy, W5MRY
Steve, K5LTK
Ronnie, K5MKB
Don, K4KYV

This is just to name a few and I know that a lot are silent keys and 
some have changed their calls. But I will always remember them with the 
calls heard first.

Pete, John either just made, or is going to make 60 years old, this 
year.  He got his novice as a freshman or sophomore in high school.  
We're talking some 40 years ago.  How far back does one have to go to be 
in the 'old days'?

Driving your AM Rig without a scope, 
is like driving your car at night, without headlights. (K4KYV)

73 = Best Regards,

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