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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX021 (2016)

ARLX021 Christmas Eve SAQ Alexanderson Alternator Transmission Set

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 21  ARLX021
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 22, 2016
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX021 Christmas Eve SAQ Alexanderson Alternator Transmission Set

The Alexander Association has announced that it plans to have
Alexanderson alternator transmitter SAQ on the air for its
traditional Christmas Eve transmission. The 200 kW Alexanderson
alternator will transmit on 17.2 kHz on the morning of Christmas
Eve, December 24, starting with transmitter tune-up at around 0730
UTC. The message transmission will take place at 0800 UTC.

"Since the plant is old, there is always the risk that the
transmission will be cancelled on short notice," the Association
said in an announcement. Repairs following an early October fire in
the longwave antenna, attributed to arcing, had put the Christmas
Eve transmission in jeopardy this year.

Dating from the 1900s, the Alexanderson alternator - essentially an
AC generator 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. It was built in
the 1920s.

Christmas Eve activity will also take place on Amateur Radio
frequencies from SK6SAQ on or about 7.035 and 14.035 MHz (CW). Send
reception reports of SAQ or SK6SAQ via email at,