APRIL 1-2, 2017 THE AM RALLY aka "Behind the AM Button"

Discussion in 'Contests, DXpeditions and Special Events' started by N1BCG, Jan 27, 2017.

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  1. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The AM Rally, aka "Behind the AM Button"...

    What happens when the AM button is pushed? A lot of operators haven't tried it, and that's why there's an event coming up on the April 1-2 weekend that invites everyone who can transmit in the AM mode to join in and expand the capabilities of their amateur stations!

    The AM Rally is a cooperative event organized by AMers, Sidebanders, and CW operators to encourage their fellow operators to try out this sister mode, make contacts, and have a shot at earning certificates in a number of categories. We plan to make the AM Rally fun for everyone, but we also want to help ops who might be new to the mode get their rigs set up and sounding the best they can in time for the event. Whether your rig is software based, transistorized, vacuum tubed, a hybrid, homebrewed, or broadcast, you'll be a welcome part of the AM Rally.

    Visit www.amrally.com for details on the event, contact information, award categories, logging, and tips on getting the most out of your station.

    We look forward to hearing you on the air!

    What: The AM Rally
    When: April 1-2, 2017
    Where: 160M, 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M, 10M, & 6M
    Why: To have fun and encourage all amateurs to learn about and get the most out of the AM mode

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
    K1OIK and KG4MGB like this.
  2. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    And there's even a promotional video...

  3. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    As the event gets closer (April 1-2), it's helpful to note that the AM Rally website (www.amrally.com) offers some guidance on setting up a variety of rigs for AM.

    The information is found by scrolling down past the event information. Specific rig questions are always welcome.

    With so many Internet receivers available throughout the U.S., it's easier than ever to check your sound.

    Two great sites are:

    WebSDR: www.websdr.org

    KiwiSDR: http://sdr.hu/?top=kiwi

    Many offer the ability to record your audio and download the file.
  4. WB3LHD

    WB3LHD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, about time to put some AM contacts in my log. Sounds like fun, see you there!
  5. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now that we're 1 week out, it seemed like a good time to post a reminder to get ready. Lots of helpful information about modern rig settings and various ways you can log your contacts is on the AM Rally website at www.amrally.com
  6. KE0CTG

    KE0CTG Ham Member QRZ Page

    It not on the ARRL calander. I was at HRO and mentioned it no one seem to be aware of it.
  7. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is what happens when millennials are tasked with marketing an event...
    K1OIK and WB4IUY like this.
  8. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    I have many pleasant memories of using AM on 11 meters years ago. :)

    One problem, that I have with AM is how wide, how much bandwidth it takes for 1 signal to go out to say hello to another person, versus SSB.

    It might be pleasant on the ears to hear a wider audio signal, but much of the joy goes away when I think that in the same
    space that my on AM qso is using there could be 2 or more SSB qso's taking place.

    I have also ran into a couple, {not very many} "Yay'M" "Snobs" who did not seem to want to talk to me because I am using modern gear,
    and do not bother with a separate audio board or $250+ mic, versus some boat anchor stuff. LOL.
  9. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Because I've heard from several ops who share your feelings, I'll address each point...

    Bandwidth - There are many modes available for communication that vary in width and AM and SSB are just two examples. The Flex and Anon rigs are capable of producing a wider SSB signal than most hardware rigs can produce on AM, so it's up to the operator's better judgement to choose settings. For example, when a band offers wide open space, like 75M in the afternoons or early evenings, any full quality signal is pleasant to hear. Conversely, if a band is packed with signals, launching into a new wideband QSO (either AM or SSB), shoehorned between two others, is not in keeping with good operating practice. Think of it like riding in a plane. If the seats on either side of you are open, you can lift the armrests and spread out. If the flight is packed, you stay within your seat.

    Modern Gear - A lot of modern gear can sound quite good if the operator properly sets carrier and audio levels. The ALC meter provides important information and should be understood (more on this at www.amrally.com). I'm surprised by how good some modern rigs sound, in fact, the Icom 7300 is remarkable as is the K2 and even some Asian transceivers. Most have adjustable EQ settings in their menus that should be explored. Using a decent microphone often makes a big difference and many are available for around $50. A $250+ mic is unnecessary.

    I don't think anyone running AM should be criticized for how they sound. They made the effort and that should be encouraged with helpful suggestions.

    Ideally, there wouldn't be SSB and AM ops, but rather, phone ops who choose the mode for their objectives. DXing? Perhaps SSB. Casual QSO? Perhaps AM. It's time to put the Us & Them into the hamateur radio history books.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
    WB4IUY and K2HAT like this.
  10. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also, anyone who wants to download and use the logging software should get familiar with it ahead of time.

    Visit www.amrally.com/amtrlog.htm to check it out. Test logs submitted before the event will be removed so do all the testing and familiarizing you want!

    XLS and CSV logs can be downloaded and used as well.

    Visit www.amrally.com for complete info on logging options!

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