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Countdown to Third Annual AM Rally Has Begun

12/18/2018

The third annual AM Rally is on the near horizon — just about 6 weeks away — getting under way at 0000 UTC on February 2 and continuing until 0700 UTC on February 4. The event aims to encourage the use of AM on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meters while highlighting the various types of AM equipment in use today. The event is open to any and all radio amateurs running AM using any type of radio equipment — modern, vintage, tube, solid-state, software-defined, military, boat anchor, broadcast, homebrew, or commercial.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming AM Rally in February, given its growth over the past 2 years and the positive comments we’ve received,” said Clark Burgard, N1BCG, who is spearheading the event with Steve Cloutier, WA1QIX, and Brian Kress, KB3WFV. “In particular, it’s great to hear how so many ops are giving this classic mode a try, many for the first time, and of the help offered to them by those who have mastered the technology.”

For many, if not most, radio amateurs getting on AM is as simple as pressing the AM mode button on the front panel. Numerous transceivers in use today offer AM capability. A lot of hams enjoy restoring and using vintage Amateur Radio equipment, which typically means a separate transmitter and receiver. Until SSB subsumed it on the ham bands, AM was the primary HF voice mode. The change to SSB did not happen without some pushback, however.

Today, a group of dedicated radio amateurs keeps the flame alive, getting on AM frequently, and for many of them, AM is their primary operating mode. The AM Rally gives the uninitiated a chance to dip a toe into the pool, so to speak.

The event website has complete AM Rally details, contact information, award categories, logging, and tips on how to get the most out of your station equipment in AM mode. Contact Burgard for more information.

The event is sponsored by Radio Engineering Associates (REA), in cooperation with ARRL, which supports all modes of Amateur Radio operation. W1AW will play a leading role in the event, as it has for the past two years.

Certificates will be awarded to stations scoring the highest number of points in each of the five power classes, regardless of rig category, both for most contacts and most states/provinces.

“All it takes is a turn, push, or click to participate!” Burgard said. There’s also plenty of time to dig out and dust off that old AM-capable tube gear sitting in your attic or basement.



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