On Christmas Eve morning, Sunday December 24th 2023, SAQ Grimeton is scheduled to be on the air, to send out the traditional Christmas message to the whole world, using the 200kW Alexanderson alternator from 1924, on 17.2 kHz CW.
Program and transmission schedule: 08:00 CET (07:00 UTC: The transmitter hall at World Heritage Grimeton is opened for visitors.
Transmission & YouTube Live stream: 08:25 CET (07:25 UTC): Live stream on YouTube begins. 08:30 CET (07:30 UTC): Startup and tuning of the Alexanderson Alternator SAQ. 09:00 CET (08:00 UTC): Transmission of a message from SAQ.
Test transmissions We are planning to carry our some test transmissions on Friday, December 22nd, approximately between 13:00 CET (12:00 UTC) and 16:00 CET (15:00 UTC). SAQ will be on the air shorter periods of time during this interval, when we will be carrying out some tests and measurements. Your comments are welcome to email@example.com.
I received this e QSL from SAQ Grimeton, Sweden, for the reception of their UN-day transmission. The event took place on October 24th, at 15:00 UTC on the usual 17.2 kHz. I struggled to get a readable signal at my home QTH this time. So I used the Twente SDR as an alternative. Funny thing is that contrary to my expectations their previous transmission around noon mid summer resulted in a much better signal.
I received this beautiful QSL card DCF77 Time-Signal on 77.5 kHz by mail. The transmitter is located in Mainflingen, Germany. The QSL was accompanied by a folder on how time is managed. I also received a 2009 magazine from the PTB (Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt) with a special topic on 50 years of DCF77. This magazine is also available online. I sent my report to firstname.lastname@example.org .
As you can read on the QSL there is no voice announcement of the time. Instead the date and time are transmitted by in code through the interval between second markers (0.1 s = “zero”; 0.2 s = “1”). You can see this in my waterfall map below. The gap prior to second 53 and 57 is twice as big. At the minute there is no gap.
I received an e- QSL from SAQ Grimeton, Sweden, for their transmission on 17.2 kHz to celebrate Alexanderson Day.
Ernst Alexanderson was the inventor of the Alexanderson alternator, a rotating machine used for the generation of a high frequency alternating current, which could be used to produce an electromagnetic wave for radio transmissions. The first alternator based stations were installed in 1906 for long wave telegraphy. In the early 1920s vacuum-tube transmitters came available, replacing the alternators. The Grimeton historical station is the only station in the world that still operates on the basis of an alternator.
I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to receive SAQ on VLF 17.2 kHz at noon in the middle of the summer. Not that I know a lot about VLF propagation. But the signals came through in much better quality than last time I received them on World Radio Day on February 13th this year.
The VLF Grimeton transmitter in Sweden was in the air on February 13th celeberating “World Radio Day”. This truly is a heritage station, recognized by UNESCO as such. During the event they ran a YouTube Video to show you what it takes to bring a 100 year old transmitter to life… The transmission was – of course – in Morse Code. This e-QSL card marks the lowest frequency I’ve ever received in my DX-ing career! Learn more about Grimeton on: https://grimeton.org/?lang=en