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Surfin’: AM Radio Days

03/25/2011

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ returns to its radio roots: 520-1610, before kc became hertz.

I blame it all on AM radio.

Technical writing has been my career for more than three decades. I became a technical writer because my future boss at Modems”R”Us thought that being a ham radio operator made me an excellent candidate for their open technical writing position. A two-year stint writing at ARRL Headquarters also helped.

I worked at ARRL Headquarters because I was a ham radio operator.

I became a ham radio operator because I wanted to go beyond shortwave listening, and I became a shortwave listener because I wanted to go beyond AM radio listening.

AM radio was my first love, radio-wise. Often I return to my roots and listen to AM radio, tuning up and down the dial looking for distant stations I have not heard before. I also browse the Internet looking for interesting stuff related to AM radio

Two AM radio related blogs that I enjoy visiting are Radio-Timetraveller and Arcane Radio Trivia.

At Radio-Timetraveller, William Scott, WE7W, blogs “about radio and radio DXing, antennas, opinions, reviews -- basically all things concerning radio,” emphasizing medium-wave and medium-wave DXing.

WE7W’s blog posts are always interesting. For example, lately, WE7W has featured a series of blog posts about ferrite loopstick antennas. Be sure to check out his occasional “Mediumwave Oddities” posts, which I particularly enjoy.

Joe Fritz hosts Arcane Radio Trivia, and his “hypergraphia-powered weekday rants on radio history, programming, engineering, media law, and broadcasting ephemera” touches upon a variety of topics concerning AM radio past.

For example, as a second generation Pole whose parents listened to Polish radio 24/7, I liked Joe’s latest post “Dick Yash’s Afternoon Polka Party” on WFIF, an AM station where a ham friend, Roger Minor, K1DQV, was chief engineer. Roger also ran a local surplus radio store, but that’s another story.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, still recalls his first radio: a Remco crystal set. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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