*** W1AW Vintage Station Inaugural, June 18, 2004 ***

On June 18, 2004, W1AW was back on the air calling CQ on AM phone for the first time in many years with their own donated 1950's vintage AM station. The transmitter is a Johnson Viking Valiant which runs about 150 watts of AM carrier and the receiver is a National NC 303. The gear was donated by Bob Heil and Joe Walsh and delivered to Newington around 10:30 AM. There were about 25 to 30 New England AM'ers who showed up for the event.
I am one HAM who is very appreciative of the ARRL for showing some interest in this venerable mode of operation. The league has a wonderful static display of radios from a bygone era and now with this setup they have an operational vintage station. This is the kind of station many amateurs, who are still alive today, have used and fondly remember. For the new amateurs who visit W1AW they will learn some important history of the radio art. For many it may be their only chance to "tune a grid and dip the plate".
The AM mode played a major part in shaping our world. It won many battles in World War Two and Korea and was still used in the Navy when I served during Vietnam. It brought us news, music, and warnings. How many remember tuning across the AM or Shortwave band late on a cold winters night trying to see how far away we could pick up a station. We could tune into the fishing fleets and ocean liners. Fortunately AM is still with us not only in the amateur service but also the commercial service. The aeronautical radios all use the AM mode. There are still commercial AM stations entertaining us both locally and worldwide. While AM technology has advanced both in the commercial sector and the amateur community with solid state transmitters operating in more efficient modes like Class E, there are still those of who love the warm glow of those filaments.


W1AW calling CQ on Vintage station

W1AW working WA1HLR on Vintage station

Installing the gear

The guys who brought it across country installing the vintage station.

Q, W1QWT checking receiver

Larry getting ready to operate while Q, W1QWT checks the receiver.

Eager spectators

Eager spectators waiting for a hiss from the receiver.

First AM operator at ARRL

First AM operator at ARRL.


Dale, KW1I, the president of AMI makes a presentation to W1AW station manager, Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. This presentaion makes W1AW a member of AM International with number 1500.

Chuck and Bill

Bob, K1KBW, and Bill, KE1GF.


Ed Hare, W1RFI, one of AM'ers friends at the league. Thanks for the lunch Ed.

Dale and Steve

Dale, KW1I, and Steve, WA1QIX.

AM Group Shot

AM group shot in front of W1AW. Yes there I stood at the very door Hiram used to walk through.


Lunch at the local Italian restaurant. I had linguini and clam sauce. Not bad. They didn't have Black and Tans.

AM Station

W1AW AM Station. Johnson Viking Valiant and NC303 receiver. The mic is a special two element phased unit that Bob Heil set up for the Viking.

Antenna Patching

W1AW antenna patching panel..

Operator control

One of the W1AW guest stations.

Operator Console

W1AW control operator position.

Back to Home

Last edited on June 19, 2004