The Alexander Associationhas 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. — Thanks to Lars Kalland, SM6NM