First AM Rally is a Hit with over 1500 contacts logged

Posted: April 28, 2017 by nz1q in AM Operating
From the ARRL….

The numbers are in, and the first AM Rally, April 1-3, was a huge success, with nearly 1,500 contacts reported on the 72 logs submitted. Unique call signs logged numbered 664. Event co-organizer Clark Burgard, N1BCG, feels the actual number of contacts was quite a bit larger, because not all participants submitted LOTW logs, although logs continue to trickle in past the entry deadline. Burgard said he’s been hearing a lot of newcomers on AM lately, and he believes the AM Rally is a factor.

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Steve Cloutier, WA1QIX, has a lot of heavy metal in his Massachusetts shack

“Perhaps the most endearing moments were an exchange between an op who got his General and an IC-7300 just in time for the event, and a report from an old timer, who said that he’d ‘dusted off his DX-100 and got her ready a week early for the Rally. First time back on AM since 1969,'” Burgard recounted. “This was just a sample of the positive spirit shared that weekend.”

Burgard said that several AM “tall ships” anchored throughout the bands greeted newcomers and helped all to make some easy contacts.

The top stations in terms of total contacts were W1AW at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut; and Steve Cloutier, WA1QIX, and Stephen Harris, KB1VWC, both in Massachusetts. W1AW and Cloutier — an AM Rally co-organizer with Burgard and others — are ineligible to receive certificates, however.

W1AW logged 178 contacts in 29 states, while WA1QIX made 138 contacts in 26 states, and KB1VWC snagged 132 contacts in 28 states. Rounding out the top five were inveterate AMer Paul Courson, WA3VJB, in Maryland, with 121 contacts in 28 states, and John Bogath, N2BE, in New Jersey, with 57 contacts in 29 states. Some of the stations submitting logs worked just a single contact.

“Considering the solar flare, which wiped out the lower bands for a significant portion of the event, it was an amazing turnout,” Cloutier told ARRL. “For the future, it would be better to have the event in February — better propagation and less static, and a good thing to cure cabin fever.”

Throughout the weekend, the AM windows were very busy with radio amateurs operating AM mode using vintage vacuum-tube and solid-state equipment. Transmitters heard ranged from World War II-era BC-610s to Johnson Desk Kilowatts and other heavy metal, such as converted AM broadcast transmitters and solid-state homebrew units using Class E modulation. Plenty of name-brand transceivers were on the air, and many operators were excited to use AM for the first time. The on-air atmosphere was relaxed and cordial, with operators sharing their ham radio experiences and equipment used.

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