Canadian's  Tiny LF Hop

Joe Craig, VO1NA, from Torbay, Newfoundland, is one of the earliest experimenters using VLF (very low frequency). He’s among the early MF, LF, and VLF experimenters in North America — active even before Canada allocated Amateur Radio bands in that part of the spectrum.

Joe believes he has made a Canadian radio amateur "first" whilst operating on 22nd October 2017, his very VLF, very QRP signal on 8.27 kHz (36-kilometre band) was copied in the UK, making the 3,500 kilometre (2170 mile) journey using only 10 µW ERP power.

After much effort on both sides of the pond, SWL Paul Nicholson in Todmorden finally copied a three-letter message. It’s the lowest-frequency transatlantic message, made possible because of Paul’s EbNaut coherent BPSK mode and DL4YHF’s Spectrum Lab spectrum analyzer.
— Joe Craig VO1NA

Craig’s transmission from Newfoundland began at 2300 UTC on 22nd October 2017 and ended 7 hours later. “Paul replied by e-mail the following day with the correct message,” Craig said, “and there was much rejoicing across the pond and in the Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland!”

Craig said that Nicholson had detected a carrier from VO1NA this past spring, but it was not stable enough to send a message.

DL4YHF’s Spectrum Lab, with a GPS module output signal used to calibrate the computer and help from DF6NM and DK7FC, worked much better, Craig said. “Paul measured the phase for a few days before the message was sent. With the new high-stability carrier, Paul got me on the first call.”

The final stage of his VLF transmitter is what Craig described as “the very Canadian Traynor Group One/SC stage amplifier” from the 1970s. He says he is “the only known VLF transmitter in Newfoundland and Labrador.” His antenna is approximately 100 meters (approximately 328 feet) of #12 copper wire, about 12 meters high on average.

Joe Craig's Blog -