[AMRadio] "AM Ghetto"

Donald Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Thu Nov 7 17:05:54 EST 2013

> From: Warren Elly <w1gud4 at gmail.com>

>>We abandoned 3675 and 3655 because we were not drawing any new AMers.
Every week down here we have another AMer or two... admittedly, nearly all
are newbees on their riceboxes...but most of them end up with a tube rig
down the road, and some even understand how radio works!
Trouble was they weren't coming down the band...most are advanced or
generals...and the split frequency operation proved more and more difficult
due to slopbuckets.

Since we moved to 3885 on sunday mornings at 6 am...we are drawing much
larger numbers, and we are also drawing a lot more on our weekend
informals...monday, wednes and friday...

Down here, at least as winter starts, we have a pretty good thing going,
with three major nets, co-existing across the southeast. Southeast AM Club
on Tuesday nights, The Gulf Coast Mullet Society on Thursdays and the FLA AM
GROUP... AM activity will never be the way it is 24/7, up in the
northeast... but we are seeing a lot more action on 3880 3885 and 3890... 

We've also seen significant expansion of AM action on 40,10, 15 and 20...
even 17 !!

We had the sense that we were running in place down below, with fewer and
fewer new old voices, and fewer still novice AMers.  Having led the charge
to 3675 its been disappointing...but folks just didn't take to it like we'd
hoped after the initial surge five years ago...

great to hear from you... and hope to work you this winter a bit more

73, Warren >>

That's exactly what I was referring to in my earlier post. It seems that
except for a few of us, the AM community has abandoned the band space the
FCC gave us a few years ago from 3600-3750. I do hear a little regular
activity on 3705, and occasionally the mostly Canadian group on 3725, but
rarely anything else, and hardly anyone in the 3600-3700 segment.

As for the "AM Ghetto", yes, I believe it was Derb who originally coined the
phrase. I often use the term, not  meant to be condescending. I frequent
3870-90 pretty regularly myself, although I tend to operate in those
frequencies either in late afternoon/early evening, or late at night,
avoiding prime time evening hours.

Ghetto: a part of society or group that is in some way divided from the main
part. Example: Brought up in what he describes as 'a middle class ghetto',
he imagined that all people were as privileged as he was.
(Definition of ghetto noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
& Thesaurus C Cambridge University Press)

Note that  this definition has nothing to do with racially-tinged negative
connotations that have popularly crept in association with the term in the
past generation or so, and I don't think there is any reason for anyone to
get their knickers in a twist over use of the term. The above definition
describes exactly AM use of 3870-90, at least in the eastern half of north
America. It serves a useful function of allowing AMers to easily find each
other by listening within a certain portion of the band. One problem,
however, is that during prime evening hours it may become unduly congested
because many AMers insist on operating too close together in frequency.
Often there are AM QSOs simultaneously on 3885, 3880 and 3875. Five kc/s
apart is too close for comfortable AM operation; 7 kc/s would be closer to
optimum. In addition to the interference from too many AM signals in too
small a frequency segment, we have the inevitable slopbuckets trying to
wedge in between the AM signals. I prefer to avoid this segment during prime
evening hours when the congestion is the worse, although so far this season
I have found activity and associated congestion (both AM and SSB) on 75 and
on 160, to be way down  compared to years past. Where did everyone go?

Last night, or as many would probably say, early this morning, I had a nice
QSO on 3705 with Jay, W5JAY and Mike WZ5Q with no QRM and minimal QRN. Those
guys were still going strong after they put ME to bed!

Don k4kyv

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