SAQ “Alexanderson Day” Transmissions Set for June 29 and July 2
The annual “Alexanderson Day” transmission from the World Heritage Grimeton site in Sweden, using the vintage Alexanderson alternator on 17.2 kHz will take place Sunday, June 29 at 0900 UTC (SAQ will start tuning at about 0830 UTC) and again at 1200 UTC (SAQ will start tuning at about 1130 UTC). An SAQ transmission will take place on July 2 at 1430 UTC (SAQ will start tuning at about 1400 UTC, to mark 10 years since SAQ was designated as a World Heritage site.
Amateur Radio activity from SAQ Grimeton club station SK6SAQ will get underway at about 0800 and continue until about 1400 UTC, except during SAQ transmissions. Listen for SK6SAQ on 14.035 MHz (CW), 14.215 MHz (SSB), and 3.535 MHz (CW) QSL via the bureau. QSL reports for SAQ are welcome via e-mail or via the bureau, or direct to Alexander-Grimeton Veteranradios Vaenner, Radiostationen, Grimeton 72 SE-432 98 GRIMETON, Sweden.
In January, SAQ reported that nearly 300 listeners — most of them in Europe — reported hearing the 17.2 kHz CW transmission from SAQ on Christmas Eve 2013. The reports included three from the US.
Dating from the 1920s, the Alexanderson alternator — essentially an ac alternator run at extremely high speed — can put out 200 kW but typically is operated at less than one-half that power level. Once providing reliable transatlantic communication, it is now a museum piece and only put on the air on special occasions.
The transmitter was developed by Swedish engineer and radio pioneer Ernst Alexanderson, who was employed at General Electric in Schenectady, New York, and was chief engineer at the Radio Corporation of America.
Six 400+ foot towers with 150 foot crossarms support a multi-wire antenna for SAQ. The actual signal radiates from a vertical wire, one from each tower. Amateur Radio station SK6SAQ operates from the Alexanderson alternator site.