[AMRadio] AM "Ghetto"

rbethman rbethman at comcast.net
Sat Nov 9 12:13:19 EST 2013

The licensing is such that to go from General to Exxtra you must show 
proof that you had your license prior to something likr the late '80s.

I went to the FCC and obtained such proof that I was indeed licensed in 
1980.  Precisely what the purpose is I don't know.

I DO know that I had to be able to copy at least 13 WPM then.  It wasn't 
an issue in the least bit, as I had been running CW around 30 to 35 WPM 
as a novice.  Had it not taken multiple tests to go to a higher class in 
that one sitting, I most likely would have gone to Advanced right then 
and there.

I am a firm believer that a two tier license methodology would be the 
best way of handling things today.  Get away from this idiotic published 
Q&A pool!  Get folks to learn MORE so that they are prepared to 
operate.  I keep hearing those that simply sit down and take the Extra 
that make it above the minimum, and EVERY one of those got their ticket 
the old hard way.  They, like myself and most of those on this list got 
their ticket the same way back in what some seem to call the "Dark Ages".

Oh how I wish we still did it that way!

Regarding crystals, I have a box of them for the BC-610.  I've never 
stuck a single one in yet, not even for a test.

I obtained my DX-60 with an HG-10 VFO at the same time from the same seller.

My antenna farm is such that I can manage to tune +/- 15 to 25 KC with 
no issue since I'm dealing with hollow state rigs and I can easily do so 
without VSWR issues.  Tunable PA outputs make that easily possible.

As I have posted, I do not doubt that there are "some" folks that choose 
to be rock bound.

The BC-610 has the MO position in lieu of crystal.  It has its own 
method of variable tuning.  However, the MO is so darn touchy, that I 
picked up an HP-3336B Frequency Synthesizer that will plug into the 
Tuning Unit Xtal jack and allow me to poke in the desired frequency and 
output level desired.

It cost a whopping $80 and was/is still in calibration according the 
USAF cal sticker.  I've checked it with frequency counters, and it zero 
beats with WWV on any of the WWV frequencies.  The most it "may" be off 
is when I watch it in a counter and some six or seven digits to the 
right of the MC decimal point it will flicker from all 9s to all 0s.  So 
I know how close I am to a given setting.

I don't believe that anyone I talk to would have even noticed at all.  
It wouldn't even drop out of someones CW filter range.

I would simply say that it is my opinion, and not a solid fact that VFOs 
seem to be the norm.

My $0.02 worth, and worth all you paid for it.

It's IMHO.

Bob - N0DGN

On 11/9/2013 11:33 AM, Donald Chester wrote:
> I have a drawer full of 160, 80 and 40m crystals, including most of 
> the popular AM frequencies, but they work in only one of my 
> transmitters, but I have something to keep me on the air in case the 
> VFO craps out. I modified the Gates BC transmitter to run off an 
> external VFO, and it won't operate xtal control any more. I sometimes 
> run the HF-300 rig on crystal just for the fun of it. Most of my xtals 
> are the old round Bliley/Valpey types that fit into a 5-pin tube socket.
> So, any Advanced licensee had to have passed the 13 wpm code test? I 
> wasn't sure whether or not those changes all occurred in one sweep.
> Both my homebrew rigs will work multiple bands, but the Gates works 
> only 160m. I find it easier to tune one of the HB rigs to 40 and the 
> other one to 80. Then I just fire up whichever rig is tuned to the 
> band to the band I want to get on. I have to run down to the tower to 
> switch antennas, but once selected, the tuner at the tower can be 
> remotely adjusted from the operating position using a reversible DC 
> motor and position indicator.
> I can tune equally well all way across any band. One of the excuses I 
> frequently hear for not operating outside the window/Ghetto is that 
> the antenna is resonant at 3870-90 and won't tune "down below". I 
> prefer by far one good, solid, high antenna fed with resonant feeders 
> and a tuner, to a forest of coax-fed half wave dipoles for each band, 
> even incuding separate ones for 80 and 75m, cluttering the space over 
> the shack.
> Don k4kyv

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