[AMRadio] Heavy Metal AM Rally

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Sun Dec 27 20:22:54 EST 2015

On Sun, Dec 27, 2015 at 4:41 PM, Steve WA1QIX <wa1qix at piesky.com> wrote:

The quoted statement below does not necessarily reflect what actually
> happened:

It wasn't meant to define or reflect what happened, Steve. I don't dispute
any of that. It was in response to Jim's query about wondering what Bill
would think of it now. My comments reflect only what was told to me in
conversations with Bill, Barry, and later Ray as well as my personal
conversations with, and listening on the air to, others. It wasn't about
anyone being able to take part, more how these three folks perceived the
situation before them and the desire by some to change the rules and intent
of the event away from its original description.

You and I have discussed this many times, face to face at hamfests or the
AM Dinner, as well as on the air. I hold the same opinion now as then: the
purpose of the event as laid out by its founder was to highlight and
promote large, tube based transmitters - plate modulated and otherwise.
While all types of gear were welcome, true 'heavy metal' was the intent
from the start. Not just the 250 lb minimum *guideline* (which was all it
was initially intended to be). The later exclusion you mentioned and
resulting towel-wringing was a reflection of this. It was intended to be a
clarification as in 'Hey guys, remember what this event was originally
meant to be about?'. A few chose to focus exclusively on the 250 lb
guideline because it benefited their view and that's when the 'trying to
please all the people all the time' changes started. Pretty sure that was
how Barry described it to me. The only ambiguity was not making it more
clear at the outset and instead assuming folks would keep with the spirit
of the event.

Nothing wrong with Class E, SDR, Yaecomwood transceivers or anything else.
I'll talk with anyone using any type of gear. But if you want to highlight
one of those, as I've mentioned to you many times - why not create another
event to do so rather than relegating the original description to what
amounts to an 'honorable mention' category? The more involved the rules
became and the more contest-like the event was, the fewer logs came in. The
changes speak for themselves.

I agree with you, it could be a very big event again - though not through
the 'special exception/award' approach. Streamline the rules to focus on
the original intent and have, at most, 3 awards: Most unique/interesting
big commercial or military vacuum tube station heard, Best homebrew tube
station heard, and people's choice for the best sounding tube-based AM
signal heard - all supported with photos and logs for publicity purposes
(ER, etc). After all, that was the original idea Bill had - to celebrate
big tube transmitters of the past and get them back on the air - not to
have a contest. Do away with points, multipliers, whatever else. Anyone can
participate with any type of gear so long as it is capable of AM. Give a
certificate to anyone sending in a log with 25 contacts or more and SASE.

BTW, I hope you don't think I was in any way referring to you about the
Class E whining. I know you were respectful in your attempts to change
things. I did hear a fairly well-heard New England Class E station get on
the air and complain endlessly one night to the point I thought he was
going to cry. Lost a lot of respect for him and really got turned off by
the whole attitude of a few about something that was merely meant to be a
fun on-air gathering for the AM community. This is the kind of nonsense
that made its way back to those responsible for the event, in addition to
direct attempts to change the event.

Regardless - I hope you and others can get on and make some contacts
tonight, maybe even have fun without the need to worry about points,
winning, or whatever else. In the end, it's really all about getting people
on the air so others as well as us can hear and enjoy wonderful AM in
action. I'm going out now to listen, just put the little one to bed.

Have fun -

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4

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