In addition to 1 April being CT SOTA day, don’t forget 1 April is also SOTA AM Mode day. No this post is not a joke!
Beyond the typical HF and VHF activation frequencies, VK activators are also planning activations on 160m using CW, AM and SSB.
SOTA AM Mode Day (1 April) started in 2015 as a VK experiment. In 2016, with SOTA MT’s support, the broader world wide SOTA community jumped on board. Out of interest here is a link to last year’s (2016) AM Mode post
Unfortunately the pair of EL34’s and QQV06/40A that I had are long gone. The AM produced by modern rigs is a weak reflection on what the mode used to be. I don’t recall ever having had an AM QSO with either the FT-817 or FT-857. Maybe Saturday will change that. It will be interesting to see what level of interest there is.
I worked Jon, GW2HFR/P on 60 metres AM last year, 3-4-16. He was on Great Orme G/NW-070 using a vintage WWII rig, a “19 set” (WS19), and I was running about 2 watts from an FT817. I found it a bit surprising that we could exchange reports with me running such low power but as my first rig was AM it was a nice bit of nostalgia.
This year if I find any AM activations I will call with higher power.
As others here may or may not already be aware, April 1 is also one of the scheduled days for the “AM Rally”, so there will hopefully be lots of people out there on AM. There is more information about the AM Rally here: http://www.amrally.com.
I am going to try and be out there on AM for the first time with my FT-857D.
My 1’st QRV at a summit (JA/ST-001) was on 6m AM with Panasonic RJX-601 in 1976.
And then, I have operated on 6m AM at summits every year and received many calls after SSB was mainly substituted.
I made 36 AM QSOs on 6m at summits in this winter season.
Actually a transceiver with the final stage modulation sounds best and the modulation of my FT817 is poor. KX3 receives good reports so far…
I wonder why AM mode is not specified in the SOTA input form.
Please tune to 50.6MHz in case of good TEP condition between VK and JA.
Equipment planned will be an open wire fed dipole to a No. 19 Set as per last year, although we will be using the MKII High Power amplifier (2X 807’s) together with it this time around. The equipment will be driven up to a point just below the AZ and brought into position by hand and powered using two 40 Ah service batteries.
Frequencies will be 3.615 MHz AM
and 5.317 MHz AM
Times will be late afternoon when both bands are likely to provide good results.
With a better antenna and a bit more power from a better summit, this combination should prove worthwhile.
Weather dependent with this one, any rain and it will be called off.
I haven’t got the dyno for that plus its 28V so both batteries would have to be wired in series. It would take a humongous set of batteries to keep that running even for 20 mins I suspect. Although it would be tempting and it puts out a superb signal, even though its very wide
One dyno for the ART-13 came up on Ebay in France last year, but went for silly money. Its incredibly noisy too, far worse than the 19 Set Dyno’s which are loud enough to annoy mum down stairs when Dad uses it on air on a Saturday morning
Since I moved out the shack is destined to be moved outside, I am sure this had a lot to do with it !
It would be great to have some recordings of contacts being made including the signal from the 19 set. Wonder if you can persuade a few contacts to record it off air for you.
When I visited the Telegraph Museum in Cornwall last May I noticed some fine specimens of the wartime equipment though none of it was necessarily in working condition. It did give an indication of what some of the gear would have been like to operate.
My school radio club in the 60s had an AT5 transmitter, which was probably ok in that decade but rapidly would have become unpopular in a mainly ssb world from the mid 60s onwards.
Hope the weather and radio conditions are good enough for you to make some contacts on Saturday.
I’d have to drive to a different COUNTRY to be able to operate AM (any mode wider than 2.7KHz is not allowed on the German amateur bands) so unfortunately, I wont be able to take part. I believe the AM from the 817 isn’t great in any case.