Topband: Don W6AM

Carl km1h at
Sun Jul 28 09:37:46 EDT 2013

Subject: Re: Topband: Don W6AM

>I think this topic has gone from talking about actual radios and antennas 
>and the merits and folklore about each, to disrespecting people.
> I actually thought it was kind of neat that as a 12 year old kid, living 
> in a house with tar paper outside and dirt floors and building my gear 
> with parts from a dump, that someone was kind and thoughtful enough to 
> have a 160 signal I could hear clearly from the west coast on the crap I 
> had for equipment, and that could hear me with as little as I knew about 
> antennas and the small junk I had.  As long as all those old guys were 
> having fun and not hurting anyone, that's OK with me. I never felt 
> anything except admiration for them being available for contacts, and how 
> loud they were.
> That, of course, doesn't change how antennas work. I have no doubt a good 
> monoband Yagi is as good as or better than a pretty large Ham Rhombic. But 
> I think we can talk about antennas and amplifiers, and some of the big red 
> glowing anodes, without getting in a snit or condemning some old dead Ham. 
> After all, most of us are 90% there already, and no one will really care 
> who had what first DXCC or country total. They will mostly remember the 
> characters that touched their lives. I still can hear W6VSS pounding in to 
> Ohio with his 25 watts on 1999 kHz, when I could just barely hear W6YY 
> with two half waves in phase on top of a 450-foot tower on some mountain.
> 73 Tom

The QST's of the late 20's, thru the 30's, are full of  W6AM items from 
station descriptions, articles, stations worked, etc. How he was alerted of 
DX and got home or laments of when he was in SF on business and missed a new 

I always enjoyed reading about him and somewhere in a drawer or attic box is 
a 10M QSL from when I was a 14 yr old SWL using a HB regen. It had a RF 
stage and was out of a Popular Mechanics article from mostly parts scrounged 
from the various town dumps I could bicycle to. My parents gave me prewound 
plug in coil sets as a birthday present and the tuning caps and vernier dial 
came from Radio Row in NYC which was a subway ride.

I still have those coils!


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