Listening to my 6300 at work on the AM band, learned soemthing new

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I have been disappointed with all of my Amateur radio's AM band reception performance. My 1938 Zenith 12S267 yanks in stations all across the band while my Ham Radios miss a lot of them. My Yeasu FT-1000MP Mark V doesn't do too bad but the Flex was horrible using the same antenna.

While at work yesterday I was complaining to myself that I couldn't hear many of the stations even though the antenna spanned the entire width of my attic while my 12S267 has a simple wire running across a room and it seems to pick up everything.

I looked through the settings and remembered the 20db gain setting, I turned it on and all of the missing stations lit up the display like a Christmas tree. I use this setting on other bands that need it, why did I forget about it on AM?? Senior moment I guess.

Now the 6300 is picking up stations the 12S267 could only dream of so it clearly was not picking up everything, I just didn't know they were out there, ever! I'm hearing things in the Chicago area I have never heard before!

I also get an insane amount of CB signals in my area, I hadn't listened to CB since probably the 80's. I can't understand a single word any of them are saying except for the constant "break break break break break they scream into the microphone. CB has gone nuts!

Anyway, felt like sharing my senior moment... that has lasted a year... :)

AM Before applying gain


After, I know, you're all thinking DUH! The simple things that put a smile on our face.


My 12S267 from 1938.

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KC9NRN

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Posted 2 years ago

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Ken Hansen

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Great pictures/screen shots.

As I was reading your post my brain went to 'broadcast band filter' - many radios have filters to block 'AM band' broadcast interference that are easily disabled to specifically enjoy AM broadcast band stations...
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Dave - W6OVP

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Below is what I cut my teeth on during the '40s and '50s. Great AM performance, and the bands were full of International Short Wave and AM Ham Radio.

Also learned to read the "Radio Code" on it. Having learned to read and send the Railroad Code on railroad telegraph sounders, reading the radio "thumps" was not a big issue.

This was of course before SSB so not having a BFO was not yet an issue.   -Dave






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Kevin

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I would not have guessed the preamp would be required at such a low frequency. I've never had to use my preamp except sometimes on 20 and usually on bands above that. But .5 to 1.6 MHz? Very surprised.

I wonder if anyone knows why the preamp makes such a difference (lots of noise down low and it's getting amplified just as much). Am I thinking about it wrong or is this a quirk of ham gear to deal with local high powered AM stations?

73,
Kev K4VD
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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If it is a low or negative gain antenna, the RF preamp can be useful.  I do not need it with my outside delta loop.
(Edited)
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KC9NRN

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I have a 20m and 10m dipole attached, they're in the attic sadly.

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Kevin

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Compared with a 1938 Zenith and wire running across the room? I guess maybe. 
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Mark - N7MHB

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dumb question.  where is this setting.  I love to listen to AM
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KC9NRN

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Mark - N7MHB

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I was asking about the 20db gain setting.  I got the AM part.
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Dave - W6OVP

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Mark- Click on ANT in the pulldown at the upper left hand corner of the screen, then drag the nearly invisible slider at RF Gain to the right. It seems pretty obscure to me too and I had to hunt for it, but it does seem to help with AM on the higher frequencies. -Dave
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Mark - N7MHB

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thanks.  I'll give it a try.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Mark - sri, I thought you were referring to demodulating AM
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I see you have the portable version on your porch. As a kid I was guilty of tearing apart many a radio my dad brought me, at least 100. A few big ones like that. Really wished I would have kept some. Beautiful radio Erik.
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KC9NRN

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Thanks Mike,

I used to have 2 of these beasts! Back in the late 60's and 70's people were throwing away tube radios and TV's like crazy. I would bring them home and get yelled at but I was able to get many of them to work but ended up giving them away or selling them cheap. Hindsight being what it is I remember a few and had I held onto them there could have been some good money made.

I have a Howard Model-0 that there is nearly no information on, it's similar to their Model-35. I got it for free not working and looking pretty bad, it's now fully restored and sounds great.

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Dave - W6OVP

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My Ham Radio "AHA MOMENT!" came while playing with the short wave bands on a large Philco console at my Grandparents house in northern Iowa. I was maybe 10 yrs old, and it was the mid to late 40s.

A Ham was talking on 75 Meters AM from his weekend home on a lake in Northern Minnesota and he had a very strong signal. I recall clearly now 70+ years later that he had a permanent wire antenna strung between some trees at his cabin, and took his ham station back and forth from Minneapolis.

Whatever they were talking about it rang my bell hard! And whatever Ham Radio was all about I wanted it! I was already competent at CW (Railroad Telegraph Code) and was busy building little electrical projects. But this was the turning point towards RADIO, and I never looked back.

A radio just like the one shown in my post above soon appeared as my Dad (who would become a Ham many years later, after I did) brought it home from someplace. That very heavy table top radio took me through Jr High School and HS and served to constantly encourage my interest in Radio. It has served me well both professionally and avocationally the rest of my life.

It took another 9 years or so to become licensed since I did not meet real Hams until College, where a Ham Club quickly got me licensed. A used Heathkit AT-1 followed quickly, and I put a loopstick in a tabletop superhet and detuned it to 80M CW. Worked fine, even without a BFO...

(Sorry ........ more than you really wanted to know. But it all started with a big AM radio console...)  -Dave
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KC9NRN

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I love these stories, thanks for sharing.
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Dave - W6OVP

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Thank You. There must be about 800,000 American ham stories out there, with another similar amount from other hams around the world. Would be fun to hear them all. <g>
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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We use to get so many from the garbage dump for free. I had one beauty that I was saving as I used it as my shortwave radio in my bedroom. Was almost 3 feet wide by about 8 inches high. Worked like a charm and looked great I really loved that. My younger brother tore it apart for the speaker which he couldn't use. I was so mad. I do have an old Electrohome radio with a turntable on the top. The top lifts up all the wood knobs are there and it's in pretty good shape. Don't use it.
I'd like to pickup a large standup radio like yours some day. 
(Edited)
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Ross - K9COX

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I like your welcome sign "Please Go Away". My wife made me flip mine over. Have two old consoles here and several table top wood radios. I like those with the magic eye.
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KC9NRN

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The sign reads "Unless you're selling cookies, go away". :) The wife bought it and had me install it. I have a KUNA porch light with a camera and we have seen people turn around after seeing that sign so it does work!
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David H Hickman

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Add a Pixel Loop as your RX antenna hooked to the transverter input. Then attach a rotor.  You will then be able to listen to almost any AM station in the US.  In the ham bands it will drop the noise floor by 20db if you live in an urban area.