Saturday, December 25, 2021

Fifty Years Ago - The AM Count-down

Original log book from
When I first got into radio, in 1971, I barely knew what I was doing. I had done some shortwave DXing with my GR-81, but that rig worked much better on the AM broadcast band than anywhere else. Just before labor day of 1971, I put up my first outdoor antenna. 

Previously, I had just used a spool of magnet wire strung around the ceiling of my attic bedroom. This was not a very good antenna. Just before school started in 1971, I bought a 25 foot roll of small speaker wire and unzipped it all. Soldering the two pieces together, this gave me 50 feet of antenna wire, which I strung out the window, across the garage and into a tree at the edge of the yard. 

I was eager to try this new antenna, so I proceeded to tune across the AM broadcast band that evening, and log each station I could. I started about 9 PM, and kept tuning until midnight. The next evening, I continued the process. 

Sep 3 log page.
That first night, I had started at the bottom of the band at worked my way upwards. The second evening, I continued upwards, but then reversed and went lower in frequency. This made more sense to me, and my later "countdowns" that I would make in subsequent years all started at the top of the broadcast band and continued toward the bottom. 

Sep 4 log page.
This event inspired me that for the next several years, I would try to do a "countdown" around Labor Day weekend. It marked the end of the summer, but also the beginning of the radio season. 

I remember it distinctly. I would sit patiently and wait for the AM stations to ID, generally at the top or bottom of the hour. If I got lucky, they would ID sooner. 

Hard to believe that event was over fifty years ago. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Oh, Wow, What a Year!

I can't believe I haven't posted in over six months. It's been an interesting year. Things really heated up quite a bit at work in the late spring, and I finally got the opportunity to take a couple of nice vacation times in the summer before Covid sprung back up.

And then, in October, when I finally thought I was hitting my stride at work a year after a position change -- they laid me off....

So, I've been busy looking for new employment. I'm happy to say that I have accepted a position that starts in January, so perhaps I can catch up on some much needed writing before then.