Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve SAQ Alexanderson Alternator Transmission Set

Hopefully the annual Christmas message from this rather extreme method of generating RF will take place this year.  From ARRL Letter:

The Alexander Association 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, with tune-up at around 0730 UTC, and the message transmission following 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 long-wave antenna (attributed to arcing) had put this year's Christmas Eve transmission in jeopardy. 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 much lower power. 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. -- Thanks to Lars Kalland, SM6NM