Brian Carling bcarling at CFL.RR.COM
Fri Jun 25 10:30:26 EDT 2004

Many thanks to Joe Walsh - WB6ACU of THE EAGLES


AM Returns at W1AW

June 18, 2004 has become a memorable day at W1AW when AM enthusiasts
delivered a vintage AM station – the first one in decades to illuminate
the ARRL’s flagship station.  The equipment, a Johnson Valiant transmitter
and a National NC-303 receiver was  a gift  from the West Coast AM
community  that was picked up in the LA area on April 26 by WD9HHN  and
hand carried  across America to it’ s final installation at the League’s
historic station, on June 18.

The idea came about on a recent visit to Newington by Joe, WB6ACU and Bob,
K9EID. In a discussion with the League’s CEO, Dave Sumner, K1ZZ about
expanding the AM frequency window, Joe thought that our case would be
better served if there was an actual AM station in operation at W1AW. The
vintage, plate-modulated AM transmitter now joins just about every
technology represented from an original spark gap transmitter to an ICOM

“After being a guest operator at W1AW and spending much of our operating
time on AM using the 7800,  it became clear to me that there needed to be
a plate modulated transmitter  in place so all of the visitors could
experience AM”  Joe Walsh, WB6ACU

The Johnson Valiant and NC 303 were brought from Studio City, Ca to the
Heil Sound plant in the metro St Louis area  by Larry WD9HHN who makes
that trip weekly delivering food products.  The gear was then taken to
April’s Dayton Hamvention and handed off to Jeff, KA9TOC and Larry, W9AMR
of South Bend, Indiana, for some work at Larry’s professional workbench .
He, along with Jeff spent several weeks cleaning, making minor repairs,
adding a transmit/receive changeover relay, and otherwise preparing the
classic AM “station” for delivery to Newington..

The gear was operated for several weeks and passed all tests.  On June 17,
Jeff and Larry loaded the gear, picked up Jeff AA9JC and the group drove
straight through from Indiana to Connecticut.  Arriving on the doorstep of
W1AW on Friday morning, they were greeted by more than 30 of the East
Coast AM community and within 90 minutes, W1AW-AM hit the airwaves !

Now,  the work begins.   Each and every AM enthusiast must contact their
ARRL section manager, division director, Jim Haynie, the ARRL president
and the CEO Dave Sumner. In our original meeting with Dave, Joe and I were
pleasantly surprised to hear that the League DOES know we are out there.
We just need to voice our needs for additional recognition as this mode,
once a very dying technology – has been revitalized.

“Joe and I quickly discovered that the League officials are VERY aware of
the AM community but they have to answer to all special interests of the
hobby and try to keep all of the different operating modes and interests
on a common level. Of course, the ‘squeaky wheel’ always gets the oil so
Joe and I thought that just perhaps if we could get a vintage AM station
on the air at W1AW, the AM community would have a much better chance to
voice our opinions and needs of frequency expansion  to the ARRL
officials.”  Bob Heil, K9EID

 The Board of Directors needs to hear from us.  Joe and I hasten to say
they are not going to pay attention if we just rant and rave, but if we
voice our specific needs for more space that the vintage station now in
operation at W1AW needs,  we will certainly get some attention.  Sitting
around on the bands complaining does no good.  Writing letters and making
phone calls 
..lots of them
.will make things happen.

We truly hope that the efforts of so many AM enthusiasts who have now
brought this specialty mode back to W1AW will not go to waste because the
AM community does not support the movement.  Getting the permission to
install this wonderful vintage station at the mother ship of amateur radio
stations must be capitalized upon.   Please join us in our efforts for
more AM recognition so that our share of the phone bands can be done in

Thanks to the many that helped make this happen.

WD9HHN, Larry
KA9TOC, Jeff
AA9JC, Jeff
W9AMR, Larry
NJ1Q, Joe

Keep the filaments lit,

Joe Walsh, WB6ACU
Bob Heil, K9EID
For more information:  618-257-3000

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