The AM Rally Returns! February 1-4 2019

Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N1BCG, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last night fought the noise on 80m and the limits of my little 30ft tall top loaded wire. But Dennis KØEOO had great ears on the 75A4 and pulled me out for the first QSO. Hear his KW1 blasting through here,

    That was my best "DX" so far too. Made a few more QSO's last night up the Eastern Seaboard and across the Deep South QSO's last night. Now on more hi-fi 40m this morning. Hope to also log some up on 20m later.

    73, John, WØPV
    WD4IGX likes this.
  2. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    1. That will happen, but not before summer. I started building the basement out back when I was married. The room that is now the hamshack was my then-wife's room, and she wanted higher ceilings than resulted from the (plenty high enough) drop ceiling in the rest of the area we built out, so that room has dry wall over head. I will probably tear it down and put a drop ceiling there too, and the wiring can be done with the rest. For that matter I need it in the rest of the basement. I can't run two space heaters in the large room (which is multi-use but normally stays set up as a home theater) to keep it comfortable while watching a movie plus one in the hamshack even on low to keep it habitable if I wander over after the movie, plus my home theater projector. That will also kick the breaker if all three heaters happen to have thermostats turned on at once. Normally it's not a big problem as I CAN keep the theater room comfortable and watch a movie, OR the hamshack comfortable and run either the boat anchors or the AL-911H, but I can't use one and keep the other comfy for after, at least not in the winter. The 220v will help the AL-811H too and allow me more selection in a move up amp. I'm not at all sure line voltage drop isn't giving me lower power out of the 811H too - posted about that in the "tubes for AL-811H" thread. Most I can get out of it with the max recommended 80 watts drive is right at 500 out, and with a lot of dimming of the panel lights. It ought to do more, even though that's a good level to actually run a 4x811 amp at.

    2. When I said "plate current" I meant modulator plate current, not final. The DX-100 has a meter position for this. But still, you're quite right. That will happen (scope.)

    3. I realize this was addressed to someone else but right now I don't have a workable antenna. Plan had been, maybe is, to get as much grounding in as I can and maybe tie the sides of the window line together and work the doublet on 160 as a Marconi, but all the home improvements I have planned for next year had me looking at the survey of my property and realizing it goes farther back into the woods behind the retaining wall behind the house than I thought. I'm considering fencing the entire rear and cutting steps into the hill held up by that retaining wall, doing something to make it easier to get down there anyway. If I do I should be able to extend the ends off the doublet, albeit not straight they won't be bent so much as to cause an issue I don't think, and get 200' or even 300. That ought to load up on 160 fine. It'll basically be a NVIS/worm warmer, but it should work for that!
  3. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my opinion (I am not making the rules) B and D should only be used by operators who built their rigs themselves. Rigs built for them by another ham should not qualify. Otherwise, you have hams who got a rig from someone, and they know how to operate it, giving the impression they built an AM rig. Not fair to those who sweated out building and putting a rig on the air. For example, I have a homebrew 75 m. rig, my 3-400 rig, but it was built by some unknown fellow circa 1961. Therefore, I should not be allowed to claim category B.
    K4KYV and AG5CK like this.
  4. N1BCG

    N1BCG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I see your point, really, but it's a category of transmitter only. In other words, specs and performance for commercially designed rigs are thoroughly documented whereas home built transmitters are as unique as their designers. Once they work and are put on the air, they're not going to perform any better for someone who bought the rig than for the builder. What is seen on a spectral display or heard on a receiver is independent of the user as long as it's being used as designed, but that's with any transmitter.

    Now, to throw in some wrenches... commercially made or home built?:

    1) A Heathkit DX-100 built by the op
    2) A factory assembled Johnson Valiant externally modulated by a home designed and built solid state amplifier

    BTW, there's more competition within each power class (and we don't take antennas into account).

    It's far from being a perfect system, but our focus is more on documenting the variety of AM rigs in use and ops having fun operating AM...
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    W8KHK and WD4IGX like this.
  5. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wondered how a Heathkit built by the operator would fit in. Of course I figured my DX-100 built by who-knows-who years ago, is just "commercially made."

    OTOH, if the idea is that commercial rigs have known specs then a Heathkit should be commercially made even if the operator built it.

    No danger my ever having one of those though. I DO have an unbuilt HW-16 though so I'll have a CW rig I built from a kit one day. :)
  6. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Today was just too nice for a February day to spend it in the hamshack. I put 113 miles on my motorcycle, swinging by Fry's on the way home for fuses for the DX-100 then stopping at my favorite hole in the wall Mexican place for dinner, then I crashed for a two hour nap! :D Back to the shack now for 80m. Hopefully tomorrow I can get on 40 in the daytime, 20 if I catch it open.
  7. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its supposed to get up to 40F tomorrow so I plan on getting a motorcycle ride in.
    Today was a lot of AM on 80 meters, about 35 or 40 people worked.
    Lots of fun.
    I worked Chris (W4SVA) on his HT32. Do they all sound that good?
    D014 into it and boy did he sound smooth!

    Very good conditions all day long really.
  8. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was 68 here just north of Atlanta when I rolled out about 3 PM. :)

    Been in the shack a couple of hours and haven't managed a single AM contact.
  9. AC0OB

    AC0OB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have one of the sets tuned up on 1.945 kHz and calling CQ.

    I spoke to Glen N4AK earlier his evening (was 68 at his QTH) on 7.95 and Glen had many contacts. Had to wait in line.:p

  10. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Three and a half hours in the shack listening, calling stations who called, and calling my own CQs - not one contact.

    It's TOO popular this year. Everyone is running at least 300 watts carrier - or at least everyone who seems to be making contacts. My 100 watts got nothing but squashed. Maybe 40 or 20 tomorrow!

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