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My name is Cezar and I am a hamradio operator from Bucharest, Romania (KN34AK, call is YO3FHM). I finally managed to receive the SAQ transmission today, starting with 08:45 UTC on 17.2 kHz VLF. I also received the 2nd transmission, starting with 10:45 UTC.
The receiving conditions were very poor, with a lot of noise coming from switching power supplies of the industrial telecommunication equipments that works in the immediate vicinity of my radio shack. To receive the SAQ signal, I was forced to use both the transceiver’s noise filters and band narrowing up to 200Hz. In these conditions, the signal report was about 459.
I used an Icom IC-7300 transceiver, a miniWhip antenna and a passive VLF converter.
The converter consist in a simple SBL-1 integrated mixer with 7dBm 5MHz carrier signal applied from a HP RF generator, an elliptic low-pass filter applied between the miniWhip antenna and the input of the SBL-1 mixer (for this time I used the IF input instead the RF input, to avoid the input transformer that cannot work properly on such low frequencies). I used the RF port of the SBL-1 as 50 ohms output device to the IC-7300.
It is my first attempt to receive SAQ and I am very happy to see that I did it 🙂
My congratulations for the entire team from SAQ !