SAQ

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Many years ago, I used to report in the Newsletter on the occasional transmissions of the Swedish station ‘SAQ’, using a special home-built receiver covering 15 to 22kHz This unusual transmitter and its enormous aerial system is now a “National Heritage site” in Grimton, Sweden. It was developed in the early 1920s before the advent of high power transmitting valves, and used an electro-mechanical alternator instead.

It has a similar layout to the alternators used for generating the country’s electricity supply, except that instead of having 6 poles for generating 3-phase 50Hz AC, it has 600 poles for generating single phase AC at 17,200Hz. It also rotates somewhat faster than the alternators supplying the national grid, and delivers 200 kW of RF power to the aerial system.

On Sunday, 29th June a special broadcast was made in commemoration of the station’s 10th anniversary of it being declared a National Heritage Site. Unfortunately, the 50 yard long wire which used to feed the special VLF receiver was down at my QTH, so I resolved to try another method of listening to its Morse transmission. There is a very useful and interesting wide-band SDR website which I recommend at:-
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901
This displays the whole radio frequency spectrum from DC to 29.500MHz, with options of CW, SSB, AM, etc. It is located in the university town of Twent in Holland. The above website covers not only the Amateur bands but also the Long, Medium and Short wave Broadcast bands, so, if you are interested, you can get the Indian, Chinese and other continents’ point of view. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a similar facility in the UK. (If anybody knows of one, please let us all know).

The SAQ transmission was quite short, (about 5 minutes), and at about 12 w.p.m. and is not particularly informative, mainly stating its name, address, its website, and that it is a heritage site I would give it a report, (via the above website) of RST 4,6,7, with slight chirp and frequency drift. The interest, (my interest), is more to do with receiving such low frequencies than about the content of the message.
John G0NVZ

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