Originally posted by mkirsch
First, there is no such thing as an "AMA field." There are AMA clubs, and fields where AMA membership is mandatory for insurance purposes. The AMA does not regulate flying fields, or radios for that matter. Flying fields are left to the club to monitor, and the FCC regulates the radios.
That said, there is nothing preventing you from using an AM radio. AM radios are still manufactured, in fact.
The real issue is the age of the radio. If the radio was manufactured before 1989 or so, AND doesn't have a GOLD sticker on the back, it's illegal to use, period. Radios went from the old "wide band" to the newer "narrow band" system, which doubled the number of available channels. Old wide band radios will interfere with the odd-numbered channels adjacent to the radio's even-numbered channel.
The FCC made this law in 1991. Radios made through the mid 1990's will have a gold sticker on the back to indicate that they're legal to use. Gold stickers indicate that the radio was either updated to narrow-band specifications, or that the radio was manufactured from the beginning as narrow-band.
You can no longer get an old wide-band radio modified to work in the narrow-band system. Such modifications haven't been allowed by the FCC since 1996 or 1998, I'm not sure which. Besides, it's cheaper to get a new radio than it is to send it off to be modified, AND purchase new batteries. Old radios always need new batteries, because the old ones are generally worn out or dead from lack of use.
Pretty close, but, several mistakes in your answer.
The AMA has no clubs. The AMA charters clubs.
The gold sticker is no longer necessary, although the system must be narrow band and it may still be used. The owner needs to be able to demonstrate that it is. It was an AMA sticker, not an FCC sticker.
AMA event directors (CD's) are charged with enforcing the FCC regulations at AMA sanctioned events. It is not at the discretion of the CD or the club.
The mods are still allowed, you just can't find anyone to do them. And.. your right, it makes no sense financially to do it.
If you want the most up to date info, check the FCC or you can check the information on the AMA web site in the 2003 membership guide, page 16.