[AMRadio] Winter Solstice AM Broadcast Propagation recollections

Lee L at w0vt.us
Wed Dec 21 01:16:41 EST 2016

Let me tell you a little story on what helped me become a ham.
Back in 1952 I was a Boy Scout and got Boys Life Magazine.  The magazine 
got me interested in ham radio and they had an article in it on how to 
build a 6V6 Slat board Transmitter.  But I never heard a ham signal.  I 
had gotten a Burstein Applebee catalog and in it they described this 
Loop Stick Antenna.  The way they described it, you could remove the 
loop antenna from an All American Five radio and install this thing.  
With it, it sounded like I would be able to pick in every AM station in 
the US.  So I paid my Dad to order this 35 cent device.  It arrived just 
about the time I stayed home one day with a cold.  I was in bed and had 
nothing better to do and I was getting board listening to local AM 
station with my mother's kitchen radio sitting next to me on my bed.  (I 
was listening to local 250 watt station, WEMP, Milwaukee).  So I decided 
to install the Loop Stick Antenna and see what it did for the radio's 
sensitivity.  (As most of you know the Loop Stick Antenna was nothing 
more then an input coil tuned to the broadcast band.  This one had an 
adjustable slug in the coil.)  So I got it installed and now I turned on 
the radio and had to adjust the coil slug for "best signal 
sensitivity."  It did indeed peak to the frequency in use but the 
signals didn't seem any louder using it.  But what amazed me was when I 
basically removed the slug from the antenna coil I was hearing AM Ham 
stations!  I later found out I was listening to the 75 meter ham phone 
band.  I was hearing a whole bunch of hams talking in and around the 
Milwaukee area.  I was amazed at all this and from that time on this 
radio was basically a 75 meter AM radio and no longer a BC set.   I 
listened and listened and got to know these people a good year before I 
became a general class ham myself in early 1954 as W9DRC using my new 
Globe Scout 40A transmitter and Hallicrafters S-38C receiver.  (I got to 
know by listening, w9hif, w9pym, w9ezz, w9mer, w9zaz, w9ttt, w9uit, and 
many others with this lowly Motorola All American Five receiver.)
Lee, w0vt

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